August has gone by and I have not finished 100 books. I was not sure if my challenge was for the end of August or by the beginning. And because I would rather have more time, going with the END of August! And here we go – the last set 🙂
Books 42 – 65:
42. Difficult Pleasures – Anjum Hasan. MUST. Short stories, and really good stuff. I liked her debut novel Lunatic in my Head and have read a few of her poems online and really enjoyed it too!
43. The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde. MUST. Mr. Wilde is a riot and I don’t need to say more!
44. Unnatural Creatures – A Compilation by Neil Gaiman. MAYBE. It’s not NG’s writing. While it’s good, it’s not great!
45. Ghana Must Go – Taiye Salesi. MUST. It starts off and you feel all distant and cold and by the end I was all wrapped up, warm and cosy with the present, past and suggestion of the future floating around me! Read my review.
46. Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase – Jonathan Stroud. MUST. I love this genre and waiting for the second book.
47. Spinning Yarns – The best children’s stories from India. MAYBE. I was expecting more, much more fun. But not so!
48. Someone like me – Roald Dahl. MUST. When I first picked it up, I wasn’t too kicked. It was good. I had judged too early, I picked it up again… It was so NOT the child-mischief Roald Dahl I grew up with, maybe that’s why I was uncomfortable. I LOVED IT. Read it if you love Roald Dahl, this is very different. Read my detailed review here.
49. Grand Delusions – A short biography of Kolkata – Indrajit Hazra. MAYBE. I think the name just dragged me in, it seemed apt. But somehow, even though I really like Kolkata, this book didn’t manage to stretch my understanding of that city.
50. I am Malala – Malala. MUST. This book opened my eyes to the kind of fights people have for what I take for granted – the right to education. Don’t miss this.
51-53 Divergent Series - MUST. Great fun. Quick read. Almost like the Hunger Games in it’s speed, action-oriented plot and fantasy space. Thanks to Puja for giving this as a birthday gift, and to Sneha for suggesting it.
54. Wordygurdyboom! – Sampurna Chaterjee. MISS. Had heard so much about this. And maybe yes, the book in Bengali is much better, but I didn’t think this was good at all! Read the original in Bengali if you can read Bengali, I’ve heard that is AMAZING!
55. Krishna Key – Ashwin Sanghvi. Hmmm… expected more maybe because it was popular. If you agree with my tastes in books, MISS this.
56. Story of the sea – Joan Aiken. MUST. The stories are sweet and simple, folk tales from another people. But read this for the illustrations. Its a glorious style and I think I should write a photo post for this. Coming up soon — Watch this space!
57. Perpetual City – Delhi by Malvika Singh. MUST. I’m a bordercase on this. It was good, but not great. But not in the maybe space, definitely worth a read. I think I am too biased by City of Djinns. No other book on Delhi can ever surpass that brilliance for me 🙂
58. Phiss Phuss Boom – Jerry Pinto and Anusha Ravishankar. MAYBE if you have a 10 year + kid; though even then I am not quite sure that it’s as hilarious as it was intended to be. I felt it was rather forced. Sadly so because I absolutely love Jerry Pinto’s writing.
59. Moin and the Monster – Anushka Ravishankar. MUST. If you have a 10+ kid. This was good fun and if I was any younger, I would pick up the other books in this series.
61. WIP collection of poems (350 in total!). For a project, so you cannot read them anyway. It was great fun as I read authors that I had not even heard about. Learning: Expand horizons of writing.
62. WIP collection of prose fiction (38 in total).
63. Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight – Rujuta Divekar. MUST. She is super practical and seems to make so much sense. Plus I love that she doesn’t say ‘starve’. Seems healthy and almost doable!
64. Silkworm – J. K. Rowling aka Robert Galbraith. MUST. I like this series. Like Cormoran, Yes, Robin could have a little more oomph!
65. Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury. (Almost done). MUST MUST MUST. Especially if you are in a creative field and keep banging your head against a blank canvas often (screen, a paper or whatever) this is the book for you. Infact this is one book that I wanted to re-read even as I was reading it! Available for free as a pdf here.
And with this my 1 year challenge is up. I am disappointed that I managed only 65 books in 365 days, instead of the original aim of 100. But that’s still an impressive number. I am so glad that I set myself this target. It was a great experience. I have some of my current favourite books in this selection, and some popular best-sellers that I didn’t seem to like much (even though I shocked people with my views). I have broadened my horizons, peeped into other cultures, experienced emotions that are beyond my current life and in the process, learnt more… about myself, my life and importantly, my dreams.
This one year has been great for me in terms of writing — I have more than 55 published pieces across newspapers, netzines and websites and I have written 13 scripts for AudioCompass.
I know I want to write, and I am even more sure now than before. Yes, that is my calling. I want to move people the way I have been moved and changed, with subtle hands that guide and yet that free you up. I want to explore worlds, drag people in holding their hand and then leave them there to experience as they choose.
So, let’s go discover more worlds and create some more of our own. Here is to a lot more writing for me and for you.
And to update you on my challenges: My current one (as of today) is to write a blog post everyday in September. Fortunately there are 30 days, but I am travelling in the middle so will need to make up for that with more posts before or after. Here is to 30-in-30! Get Set PUBLISH 🙂