Books I loved last year

11 Jan


The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga:

Its the ManBooker Prize winner for 2008.Do I need to elaborate more on the quality?But its a dark book.One with no whites,no blacks but an all pervasive grey. Balram Halwai doesnt accept his fate to be limited to working in chai stalls in a remote Indian village and makes his way to Gurgaon as the driver of a affluent America-returned family.His master Ashok is forever in a turmoil between his ideals and greasing the palms of babu-dom which enables his to lead his life of luxury. Balram doesnt plan to remain a driver forever. He wants his share of India shining. And there is only one way to get it. By killing Ashok.

Earning the laundry stripes by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar:

Noor is the first women Area sales manger recruited into the all boys sales club of Hindustan Lever. From Gulita based induction to TSO stint in upcountry areas to rural stint in Etah to subcharge. To eccentric Redistribution Stockists to Lux ad shoots, if you have been a mangement trainee in the FMCG industry you will find yourself laughing and nodding in agreement as the heroine tumbles into adventure after adventure.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri:

Pulitzer winning writer returns with a novel that would strike a cord with anyone who has left hometown to earn a living. The story ofΒ  a Bengali family in US, it could be the story of anyone of the million immigrants. The first generation struggles to keep the traditions they grew up with alive in a distant land, while the second generation would rather adopt the ways of the land where they were born but end up fitting neither here nor there.It is essentially the search for identity of those who perhaps never knew the meaning of roots.

The Zoya factor by Anuja Chauhan:

The lady behind “yeh dil maange more” pens a book. Full of witty one-liners, this a light read that lifts your spirits as it traces the story of Zoya who was born the exact moment India won the 1983 cricket world cup. And that bestows her with an incredible luck that the Indian cricket board is keen to exploit. But the new dashing, strong but silent,handsome(!yeah I know!!) captain doesnt seem particularly keen to have Zoya Devi accompanying the lads. Or does he? Its a fun read and trying to guess whose who in real life.

Q&A by Vikas Swarup:

A diplomat with our mission in SA, Swarup’s book has been the inspiration behind the now famous Slumdog Millionaire. A waiter from Mumbai wins the biggest gameshow jackpot by correctly answering 12 questions. And each question has a backstory. It is a leap of faith to imagine one single individual experiancing everything from murder,sodomy,child-trafficking to prostitution but each story in itself is a delightful vignette. AΒ  warmhearted look at Indian pyramids bottom.

Escape by Manjula Padmanabhan:

After a long time did I finish a book in 6 straight hours! A science fiction at that! Set in future in unnamed country (though you can make out its India) where women have been exterminated, its the story of one girl bought up in secrecy by her 3 uncles. After years of feeding her hormone suppresents they finally decide its best for her to escape to a world where women still survive. With her youngest uncle Meiji,our protagonist sets out to freedom. This is the story of the escape. My only gripe with the author is that she has set up the novel for sequel and that left one feeling very unsatisfied!

Currently reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. This book is a hit in the US with critics comparing the author to JKRowling. It has been made into a successful motion picture and has spawned 4 sequels.

I realise I have recently fallen in love with Indian writing in English.


Posted by on January 11, 2009 in Uncategorized


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7 responses to “Books I loved last year

  1. pragnya

    January 11, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    thanx sooooooooooooooo much… iv read d namesake… saving up to buy the others

    all i can say… keep reading! and fnt forget to update the list here πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  2. Smita

    January 12, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Have read 4 from this list πŸ™‚

    Earning the laundry slips I had read 3-4 years ago and loved it because at the point had just come out of mgmt college and started working in an a male office πŸ™‚

    Loved White Tiger for the truthness it showed & Zoya Factor for it’s mushiness and romance πŸ™‚

    Namkesake I would say I found OK because at the end my brain screamed, why has this been written…

    Rest 2 books will read someday πŸ™‚

    Loved the post….

  3. Arpz

    January 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Ive always loved Indian authors. I always try and pick up indian authors from my fav bookstores …. moi personally thinks, firang authors are, at times, overrated.

  4. chandni

    January 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    u r a girl after my own heart!

    U read..and such awesome stuff at that!!!!!!!

    haven’t read escape ( not in to sci-fi at all) but loved all the others!!!

  5. IM_VI

    January 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    From the photograph looks like a collection of pirated copies ?

  6. WSW

    January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    save up girl!!they are worth every penny..

    perhaps because you have never felt that contradiction of your parents wanting you to grow up following a different set of values than what the people of the place where you grow up follow

    I grew up on a staple diet of firang authors because the school lib stocked them more and they were our prescribed books.I hope those things have changed now.

    I so so agreed with your post on books. I love my books to death as well. First of all I love the new book-smell and feel and I try to preserve it. But people return your books dog eared, bent,their spines broken,pages marked by folding them.I wish I could just slap them.

    Obviously problem with your vision or my brand new camera.I do not buy pirated books and would never proudly display pirated copies on my blog.The writers deserve every penny of the royalty.

  7. Apu

    January 13, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I love reading and hence, loved this post.. The habit of not buying pirated copies has led to me not being able to reach out to all these books, but some of them I hav devoured..

    Loved the Anuja Chauhan’s typical new age romance…. Also The Namesake….You should read Unaccustomed Earth by Lahiri.. Tis good too

    The book by the HUL Sales lady is not available in any of the Crosswords, such a shame I tell you


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