This project has definitely been one of the highlights of the year for me. I’m still a lot of books away from the final goal of 52 books, but I’m having so much fun delving into stuff I’ve never really explored before – science fiction, Indian history, personal habits, productivity, etc..
Here’s a quick summary of some more books that I’ve read during the year.
- The House That BJ Built (fiction): This is a sequel to the book Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan – I’d loved, loved that book. It was a fresh, light read about five sisters and their irreverent ways. Very Bollywood-ish, but fun, nonetheless. It’s sequel continued in the same tone, with enough masala interspersed to keep things from getting boring. I thought the first book was much better written, and the sequel, while positively entertaining, was a bit too much in the “suspension of belief” category for me.
- In the Woods (fiction): I love me a good thriller novel, and a thriller with two whodunits is even more awesome. Detective Rob is put on a case to investigate the disappearance of a teenager and in doing so, has to confront his own childhood disappearance incident. The characters were well-etched out and the story was fast paced. I also loved the relationship between Rob and Detective Cassie, his partner for many years – I think the best part was that none of them came across as characters too good to be true. They were flawed and imperfect in their own ways, and therefore, that much appealing. This book’s a page turner through and through.
- In Cold Blood (non-fiction): This one is such a feted book, and a few pages in, you know why. The book is a thoroughly well-researched account by Truman Capote of the Clutter family’s murder in a rural Kansas city, and what I found remarkable about the book was the amount of detail and effort that has obviously gone into describing the lives of the characters – the victims, the murdered and the hangers-on. There is extensive analysis of the backgrounds and psychologies of the murderers and they don’t come across as some devilised caricatures.
- Dark Places (fiction): If you thought Gone Girl was twisted, well, this one is dark, really dark. Libby Day is the sole witness to her teenaged brother murder their mother and two sisters when she was all of seven years. Her witness account lands her brother in jail and results in a trust fund in her name. Now some 24 years later, that trust fund has all but dried up, and when she accepts an invitation to appear at the Kill Club (a quick aside – do these kinda things really exist????), she is forced to revisit the incident that shaped not only her life, but her brother’s as well. Gillian Flynn is a master at these dark, twisted tales and the story keeps you on edge throughout. You become as consumed as Libby to unravel what really happened on that fateful night.
- Rebecca (fiction): The first time I read this book was in high school. A lot of the finer intricacies of the writing escaped me that time. Which is why it was such a pleasure to re-read this book. Manderley is as real a character as Rebecca, Maxim, Mrs. Danvers and the second Mrs de Winter. Rebecca’s absence is as real as her absence, and she becomes an all-consuming thought for the second Mrs de Winter. Add to that the utter devotion of Mrs. Danvers to Rebecca and her ceaseless efforts to remind the second Mrs de Winter that she is match for original Mrs de Winter and you’ve got a high voltage story in your hands. However, I thought the greatest achievement of the book was in the way it makes the reader (and the second Mrs de Winter) not be appalled when he makes his confession. An underrated classic, if there ever was one.
- Harry Potter series (fiction): What can I say about this one that hasn’t already been said before? It’s one of my favourite book series ever, and rereading it as an adult has a certain kind of charm. This is the first time I’ve reread the entire series, and there were some things that I’d absolutely forgotten about (Sirius dying, for example – I know, I know!!!). I also listened along to some Harry Potter podcasts while I was reading the book and it was great to get some added perspective.
- A Little Life (fiction): Probably my favourite book this year. A more detailed review here.
I’d love to know in the comments below – What are you guys reading? What’s been your favourite book this year?
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Project 52 Books is a documentation of my goal to read 52 books in 2015. To know more about the books I’ve read as a part of this project, click here.