I am an out and out bibliophile. Perhaps the only place I like my nose buried more than in other people’s business, is in books. Often though, as most readers will tell you, it can be difficult to find people to exchange notes with simply because of the vastness of the book world- someone in your circle has probably read Murakami before, but have they read the same one as you?
So here’s a bunch of books I read in the past month (because I have to tell SOMEbody). If you’ve read them, drop a holler in the comments section, and if you haven’t, be sure to add them to your 2020 reading list!
- My Years With Apu, Satyajit Ray
This one is an absolute gem. The language is uncomplicated and it makes for a breezy read. An interesting story backs the publishing of this novel. Satyajit Ray, known to make several changes to his work, had the final draft ready to be put out after several reworks when out of the blue, the final draft was stolen from his home. Ray passed away soon after. His wife, Bijoya, was determined to have the memoir published- it was simply too precious to be left unread by Satyajit’s fans. So, Bijoya undertook the mammoth task of deciphering the disorganised first draft and the outcome is this simple yet deeply sentimental book.
- Maximum City, Suketu Mehta
From the Bollywood business and secrets from dance bars, to profiles of the city’s underworld and conversations with the infamous Bal Thackeray, the book packs a punch as uncovers the Mumbai’s underbelly. While I did find the book to be a bit of a drag after getting past the halfway point, it packs enough punch to be on the must-read list of anyone who wants peel back the layers of the megalopolis. As is true with any journalistic and creative literary work, how much you want to believe is completely up to you.
- Em and The Big Hoom, Jerry Pinto
Jerry Pinto is a peculiar man and so is his writing, demonstrated by his debut novel Em and The Big Hoom. Em and The Big Hoom is rich with local colloquialisms and abstractions. It focuses largely on the narrator’s curiosity surrounding the life his mother Imelda. Throughout the years of swinging between euphoric highs and depressive lows (or rather, despite it), she binds the family of four together. Pinto’s take on mental illness is an insider’s point of view, which thankfully does not tinge the novel with an all-is-lost theme. That’s what makes this book a riveting read- it will make you laugh and maybe even cry, if you’re the crying kind, but it will leave you with a sense of contentment that all is, in fact, not lost.
So, those are my books for January. Have you read any of these? If not, you know what books to pick next.