2021 was a year of rereads. I did not have any massive reading goals because I was mostly just rereading my old favorites. Even so, I read a total of 60 books out of which 32 were some old classics and contemporaries that I was revisiting, and remaining 30 were new titles. Among those 30, I came cross some really good books that I had received from authors and publishers for a review.
Some of these books I thoroughly enjoyed; some for plots, some for the engaging writing style, and some for their settings. Either ways, I know I am going to recommend these books a lot as they shall make for good gifts for booknerds. So let me introduce you to these titles right away. If you wish to buy them, just click on the cover images.
Author: Shantanu Naidu | Genre: Biography
An endearing portrait of an Indian legend
I told him that when I write a book, I would write about another side of him and not just historic events or business milestones. I would write about us and our adventures together, and how I saw him, colours and shades of him unknown to the world. Life beyond the great steel wall of ‘industry doyen’.
He agreed. ‘There cannot be one book that captures everything … So you do your thing, give your perspective.’
It was their shared empathy for homeless dogs that sparked an unlikely friendship. In 2014, Shantanu Naidu, an automobile design engineer in his early twenties, developed an innovation to save the local strays from being run over by speeding cars. Ratan Tata, himself known for his compassion for stray dogs, took note. Impressed, he not only decided to invest in the venture, but over the years became a mentor, boss and an unexpectedly dear friend to Shantanu.
I Came Upon a Lighthouse is an honest, light-hearted telling of this uncommon bond between a millennial and an octogenarian that gives glimpses of a beloved Indian icon in a warm light.
Author: Nev March | Genre: Mystery
In 1892, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby, Captain Jim Agnihotri lies in Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish on the wild northern frontier, with little to do but re-read the tales of his idol, Sherlock Holmes, and browse the daily papers. The case that catches Captain Jim’s attention is being called the crime of the century: Two women fell from the busy university’s clock tower in broad daylight. Moved by Adi, the widower of one of the victims — his certainty that his wife and sister did not commit suicide — Captain Jim approaches the Parsee family and is hired to investigate what happened that terrible afternoon.
But in a land of divided loyalties, asking questions is dangerous. Captain Jim’s investigation disturbs the shadows that seem to follow the Framji family and triggers an ominous chain of events. And when lively Lady Diana Framji joins the hunt for her sisters’ attackers, Captain Jim’s heart isn’t safe, either.
Based on a true story, and set against the vibrant backdrop of colonial India.
Author: Hari Kumar | Genre: Horror
There are places where the past lingers, making shapes in the moonlight and blowing in the curtains even as the air goes suddenly still. K. Hari Kumar, bestselling author of spine-chilling horror fiction, brings you the terrifying tales of some of India’s most haunted places – including Bhangarh Fort, Malabar Hill’s Tower of Silence and Jammu and Kashmir’s notorious Khooni Nala. Whether you read them at night or in daylight, these stories will remain with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
Author: Manreet Singh Sodhi | Genre: History
In the months leading up to independence, in Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel are engaged in deliberations with British Viceroy Dickie Mountbatten over the fate of the country. In Lahore, Sepoy Malik returns home from the Great War hoping to win his sweetheart Tara’s hand in marriage, only to find divide-and-rule holding sway, and love, friendships and familial bonds being tested.
Set in parallel threads across these two cities, Lahore is a behind-the-scenes look into the negotiations and the political skullduggery that gave India its freedom, the price for which was batwara. As the men make the decisions and wield the swords, the women bear the brunt of the carnage that tears through India in the sticky hot months of its cruellest summer ever.
Backed by astute research, The Partition Trilogy captures the frenzy of Indian
independence, the Partition and the accession of the states, and takes readers back to a time of great upheaval and churn.
That’s some of books of 2021. I was blown by these particular titles because they were quite spectacular for debut works. I’d recommend them in a blink.
What all books did you read in 2021? Tell me about some good titles or authors you discovered.
Happy reading till we meet next. Until then, carpe diem!