2011 was a year that brought me a number of intense events with a ‘Seize the Day’ message. In April, a close family friend, Raghu Pillai, suddenly had a heart attack and died. He was only 52. In May I found myself stricken with an alarming affliction – a 400ml haematoma, a pool of blood, lazing silently in my abdomen (it shrank and exited gracefully after a 3-month tenure). And in June, an experience with a client made me realise that if I wanted to write a book that met my own standards, the best way would be to do it just for myself.
So I published The Songbird on my Shoulder. I suppose I'm obliged to say that that was my best book of 2011. It’s in the shops Jan 2012 onwards – flipkart has it listed already. So in case you don’t have it already – go get it! You can preview it here if you like. And if you can possibly read the teeny-meeny lettering on the back cover, with blurbs from some remarkably important people, you will know that this is a 'takin'-the-piss' book rather than in the more prevalent 'wannabe' genre.
Now for other people's books which I read and enjoyed most...
The best literary fiction I read this year was
Serious Men by Manu Joseph
The Folded Earth by Anuradha Rao
The Red Carpet by Lavanya Sankaran
Tales in Colour by Kunzang Choden
and the best literary nonfiction
The Convert by Deborah Baker
Road Runner by Dilip D’Souza
A Free Man by Aman Sethi.
In terms of ripping, carefree enjoyment – and with the bonus of a strong anthropological slant – my best books were
On Two Feet and Wings by Abbas Kazerooni
The Weddingwallah by Farahad Zama
The Fatwa Girl by Akbar Agha
Bangalore Calling by Brinda S Narayan
I hope you will enjoy them too!