The books I enjoyed most in 2010
Most of the books I read are sent to me by publishers and authors. Every few weeks I visit the bookstores looking for hot titles I might have missed – though when I hear or read of an interesting book I want to read, it’s usually much easier just to buy it online.
In 2010 I finally faced the sad reality that I will never be able to read all the books that I want to. Not even all the new books published in any given month; not even if I restrict myself to just the best Indian books of that month. There are just too many. Publishing a book has become easy. And there are so many people who write well, or have a story to tell, or who want to get in on a new business, who are now making use of the new technology to do so.
This makes it very hard to choose and I’m afraid I do so mostly using the well-known scientific eenie-meenie-mynie-mo method.
I have often been accused of liking all the books I read. The truth is that I very rarely write about a book which I can’t find anything good to say about. That’s ok, I suppose?
It’s hard to rate enjoyment of a book but I have picked the ones that held me bound to their pages by plot or prose and the ones I admired for their skill or knowledge. They are listed here alphabetically because I really can’t rate one over the other. By a coincidence, there is a combination: two are non-fiction; one is poetry; one is a children’s adventure story and one a collection of short stories. By a coincidence, there are ten on this list. Many are writers of small readership, some from thatched-roof publishers and some of the authors (my stepmother persecution complex compels me to admit) are known to me: three* happen to be dear friends. And there are three books I’ve added to this list which I wouldn’t rate as extraordinary. They are here because I liked them enough to buy several copies during the year as presents for friends who enjoy reading but would otherwise never have heard of them.
Bala Takes the Plunge by Melvin Durai
Lost and Found by CP Surendran
Makers of Modern India by Ramachandra Guha
Palpasa Café by Narayan Wagle
Plain Truths by Arun Kumar
Quarantine by Rahul Mehta
Sahyadri Adventure by Deepak Dalal
The Counsel of Strangers by Gouri Dange
The Goat, the Sofa and Mr. Swami by R. Chandrasekhar
Victoria & Abdul by Shrabani Basu
* Luckily reasonably big-ticket guys: CP, Deepak and Shrabani :-)