Last year was an eventful one for me. A lot happened this year – which can be summed up in three simple words – I changed jobs. More than half of the year, I was occupied with stuff related to new job, new profile, new company and its culture, new coworkers, etc. etc. Reading really took a backstage. However, when I look back at 2014, I am glad that I was able to read 24 awesome books this year too. (same as 2013). The difference between this year and last year is that I was able to review a much lesser number of books (just four)
Some books I read in 2014
My thoughts on my 2014 reading list:
Well begin is half done
I started the year with Hercule Poirot – The Complete Short Story Collection. I really loved the television show Agatha Christie’s Poirot (starring David Suchet), and it was this show that prompted me to read this book. I am now a die-hard Poirot fan and hope to read some more Poirot stories in 2015 (esp. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which, as people tell me, is the best Poirot novel).
Rediscovery of Gabriel García Márquez.
This year we lost him, and as a tribute, I re-read some of my favorite novels by him. Most notably – A Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera (this is one of the best love story ever written – I you haven’t read this – drop everything else and grab a copy)
Of the six books shortlisted for Man booker 2014, I read three: To Rise Again At a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (which I absolutely loved – it is an awesome book – see my review here), The Life of Others by Neel Mukherjee (a wonderful book, but a bit too long), and We are Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Flowler (I did not like it very much).
Other Books by Authors who impressed me
If I like a book, I generally try to read other books by the same author. This is how I selected the following books to read:
- The Unnamed By Joshua Ferris (Selected after reading To Rise Again at a Decent Hour) – hailed as ‘the first great book of the decade by GQ, I think it is one of the best books about marriage. See my review here
- Malice by Keigo Higashino (selected as I liked The Devotion of Suspect X and Salvation of a Saint) – Not as good as other works by the same author. See my review here
- Summer Home with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch (selected as I liked The Dinner) – again not as good as The Dinner
Just one non-fiction this year – Flash Boys by Michael Lewis – good book on algorithmic trading, but somewhat technically dense – not for everyone.
Indian Sherlock Holmes
This year I discovered Vish Puri series by Tarquin Hall – also called as the India Sherlock Holmes There are four novels in the series – The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri 1), The Case of the Man who Died Laughing (Vish Puri 2), The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (Vish Puri 3) and The Case of the Love Commandos. Not literary master pieces, neither as intelligent as Sherlock Homes series or Poirot series, but good enjoyable reads.
Some more Jack Reacher
Somehow, I find Jack Reacher series by Lee Child a very good travel/vacation Companion. I read three of them this year – Personal (Jack Reacher 19), The Affair (Jack Reacher 16) and The Visitor (Jack Reacher 4), taking my total tally to five. I enjoyed all of them, Visitor being the best of the three. Typical commercial entertainers – read, enjoy and forget. I am now selecting the next one to read for my upcoming vacation.
Grand Ending to a Great Year
The year ended at a wonderful note with The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. What a book!! Made me jealous of David, how can some one write something so awesome!
How was your year in books? Do Share.
And a very happy new year to everyone!! Have an amazing “book-year” ahead.
3 thoughts on “2014: My Year in Books”
Quite an impressive list…How did you find the lives of others? I plan on reading it soon
Life of others is very good. One of the best I read last year.
Somehow, I find Jack Reacher series by Lee Child a very good travel/vacation Companion. Well said . there, Ashutosh. Lee is good and I love his books too.