Books to read this season
Pick up these volumes – some bestsellers and few popular reads
The mood is jubilant, the breeze pleasant and this is the time to take a break from the hustle-bustle of time. It’s actually a ‘me-time’. And what’s a better way to spend these holidays than sipping a steaming cup of coffee in bed with the latest book in hand? This year too saw many bestsellers, few not-so-popular releases yet good ones, and some which we had to read. Some we could read, while others are still on the shelf, untouched. So here’s a list of books released this year which you shouldn’t have missed, and if you did, pick a copy and finish them before the clock strikes New Year…
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
This one is must-read for all those who read Atkinson’s earlier book ‘Life After Life’ where Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In ‘A God in Ruins’, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.
Go Set A Watchman Harper Lee
It’s not very often that a book makes front page news. But if the book is a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, and released after more than five decades when its predecessor was published, then it has to be a bestseller. However, if you are looking forward to the magic that Lee’s debut novel created, then you are in for disappointment. ‘Go Set A Watchman’ is more like a rough draft to what Lee must be thinking before writing her first book.
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
Tyler's story encompasses three generations of the Whitshank family, wandering back and forth over seven decades of the 20th century. The writer explores the resentments that develop and fester between siblings, spouses, and in parent-child connections—as well as their affectionate bonds. ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It’s a must read if you are a sucker for drama.
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
Published posthumously, this is Pratchett’s fifth novel in the Discworld series based on the character of Tiffany Aching. The book narrates a time when Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her as the fairy horde prepares for invasion. A fabulous tale of fantasy and thrill, no doubt this book is on of the bestsellers of 2015. Don’t miss this one.
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
This one is a must-read for Rushdie fans. And if you have never read him before then this one is the best to start with. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights (a Rushdie way of saying 1001 Nights) is a masterful, mesmerizing modern tale about worlds dangerously colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and humanity in chaotic times. There are jinns and humans, emotions and chaos and at the end it’s the reader who shuts the book peacefully.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
‘The Buried Giant’ begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war. Experience pain, love and suffering while the British writer pours many sentiments narrating this tale.
The Girl on the Train by British Paula Hawkins
This psychological thriller was also hailed as second ‘Gone Girl’ by some critics. Mysterious, intense and fast-paced, this well-written novel by Paula Hawkins will not let you sleep till you finish the book, even if it means refilling those coffee mugs innumerable times at night. This is the story of Rachel who takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them and their perfect life. But nothing is perfect, is it? Compulsively readable, ‘The Girl on the Train’ is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.
Purity by Jonathan Frazen
‘Purity’ is a dark-hued comedy of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author has created a cast of vividly original characters, Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers, and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Jonathan Franzen is a major author of our time, and Purity is his edgiest and most searching book yet.
See Me by Nicholas Spark
How can a list of year-end books be completed without a hardcore romance? Well, here it is and from the writer who’s best at it. Rich in emotion and fuelled with suspense, ‘See Me’ reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us. And that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognise. Don’t miss this one if you are a mush lover.
Aurora By Kim Stanley Robinson
A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, Aurora tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. The novel concerns a generation ship travelling to Tau Ceti in order to begin a human colony, and their return to Earth after the colony fails. It is unusual in that the narrating voice is that of the starship computer's artificial intelligence. Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.