This was an unplanned topic for my return to the blogging world. I have been longing to write and write in a platform where I can pour down my thoughts… specifically the creative ones. It’s been a long gap and while I was searching for the time of my last post, I had only done two posts in the whole year of 2020-21. I have completed my Doctoral Thesis Submission and got back home. In the whole year, I haven’t written any serious piece of creative work except a few poetry exercises which were paused too for unknown lame reasons. But I was consistent with one thing and that was READING.
I was attempting to hold on to this alone in many different ways. Sometimes reading through physical copies of new or secondhand or gifted book copies, Kindle ebook versions, audiobook subscriptions/ from YouTube platform. Whatever resource may it be, I was reading or listening in the midst of all chaos. Books have always kept my sanity better. In the recent months, my day begins with the audiobook, narrating the tale in a comfy voice while I try to make crispy dosas except with the sound interference of grinding coconut for chutney. And my day ends with I falling into deep sleep with the 30 minute set timer for the audiobook. I have been able to continue parallel reading or multiple books.
I have lost the count of books but definitely more than 50 books for sure I have completed in different forms from several genres. Among them, here are my top 5 English reads for 2021.
1. WILD by CHERYL STRAYED
This was a pick as part of the self-discovery/self-understanding I was attempting when I got relocated to home after my doctoral work. It gave me the strength to hold on. How often will you be ready to move from emptiness and lost in finding the self? Will you dare to listen to the most instinctive inner voice? There will be times when you have lost everything including your hope but you will take a pause from the pattern of thoughts influenced by external factors. Shut down from every possibility of the outside world, to begin a journey inward. In search of finding the lost SELF… It takes an enormous amount of courage to break the inertia or the routine of distress to take the first step in accepting/understanding your own vulnerabilities. And with the very first step begins the realization and daring chance to embrace yourself. DARE TO GO WILD… FIND YOUR SELF… IT’S WORTH EVERY MOMENT.
2. NO GOING BACK: JOURNEY TO MOTHER’S GARDEN by MARTIN KIRBY
This was a humorous memoir of a family shifting from the UK and relocating to a countryside house with a garden (known as Mother’s Garden) in Spain. This account recollects all the laughter and tears their family of four goes through in the new country with new surroundings with the least Spanish linguistic abilities to converse for their need to make a home ambiance in an old house with olive yards. Presently the family has established an Olive oil and homestay business at their Mother’s Garden.
3. NOTES ON GRIEF by CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE
How do people handle when they are struck by the departure of beloved ones. Chimamanda narrates how she felt when her dad passed away during the beginning of the Covid pandemic. What we initially feel till how we accept their loss… how the memories with them, stories they told… all comes back to us… haunts our mind… Tears to anger… the numbness when others wish their sorry for the loss… It makes us think about the inevitable truth regarding death.
4. THE READING LIST by SARA NISHA ADAMS
In the last two years, this is only fiction of recent publication which is focused on a few classic fictional works. The plot works on certain people of different age groups all connected by a reading list found in the library. Each character has their own personal tales to tell and the books mentioned in the list engage them at different times of their lives. Sometimes the book can be a soothing pain relief while other times a memento of recollecting their pain…how each fictional plot reminds them about life and make them think, respond, get out of their shell of despairing losses…how visits to the library can heal and rejuvenate people. I found the books on the reading list ready a good pick by the author. It’s nearly a 13-hour audiobook with three narrators which makes the listener smoothly indulge inside the book for prolonged hours 😊I came across this book accidentally from Instagram and got hooked onto the cover which gave me the clue that I am gonna like this book. My instinct did help me make this a good reading pick😊
5. A BOOKSHOP IN ALGIERS by KAOUTHER ADIMI
My first read from Algeria. It’s all about a bookshop and its survival in Algeria during wartime under French rule. It has dual time plots one beginning from 1936 through the diary of the bookseller (Charlot, 20 years old) who began the shop along with publishing the first work of Albert Camus… through the war (WWII) how many struggles he went through in finding paper, printing ink and being confiscated by the army, bombed and burnt the entire collection of precious books, handwritten manuscripts. The second is set in 2017 when a youngster (Ryad, 20 years old) from France is appointed as an intern to empty the bookstore. He is made to think by Abdallah, self-proclaimed guard of the bookshop. This short novel gives a glimpse into the scenarios of the common man during wartime😊
As I come towards the end of another year, I am more prepared to embrace a new year with yet another lengthy reading list like several thousands of book addicts out in this world. My choice of books has been random yet very selective about the choice of what I read. Whoever happens to read this, I wish them to have a search about these books on the internet rather than just coming to a decision based on my naive words of expression. I said it since I never wish the books to be underestimated. Happy Reading 😊