I know it might be a little too late to do a recap of 2019 but then I didn’t want to break the tradition and like they say it’s never too late. 2019 had some of my best reads and I found some new authors. I also found one my favorite book ever. So here are my top 5 favorite books that I read in 2019.
1. To Kill A Mockingbird
This book became one of my all time favorites. It’s written by Harper Lee and set in 1930’s America. Different people get inspired by this book for different reasons but for me it was all about how the story was being said. The entire narrative is written through the eyes of this little girl Scout. The raw and innocent way the story has been told touches your heart. It’s all about the right and wrong when you are the put in situations like Atticus Finch, the main character was put in and the morals that he followed to defend a Black man who is falsely accussed of rape in 1930’s America and how this affects Atticus’s family.
A lot has been said about this book in the past many years, I’m happy to have discovered this book finally. It is a story that you can relate to at any point in time since society hasn’t changed much.
Some of my favorite quotes are from this book, like:
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”.
“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
This one quote beautifully summaries and justifies the book and the title.
2. The Martian
I’ve always been a science fiction geek, always loved a good sci fi story. They are always refreshing, unique and gives a little more work to your brain. Martian is one of those books that I had heard a lot about but had never gotten around to reading it. The Martian is written by this amazingly intelligent guy called Andy Weir. I’m sure I’m late to get on the bandwagon for this one as well but I’m glad that I finally did.
I had originally thought I would watch the movie first but I’m glad that I didn’t.
This is a beautifully crafted, intelligently written futuristic story about an astronaut Mark Watney who’s the first human to walk on the surface of Mars but after an accident soon after their landing is presumed to be dead and left behind by his crew mates. It’s the story of how Mark survives all alone in Mars. The story is unique in itself but the fact that there is only one character throughout (apart from the occasional cameo of people on the Earth) is a lot of creative pressure on the writer to make the readers love Mark, to make the reader root for him and pray that he survives. Mark is a charming and humorous guy who never loses hope throughout the story.
I learnt later on that most of the science aspects in the book are accurate and not something put there to make it work, so kudos for that.
I did watch the movie later and I’ll only tell you that the book is way better.
3. Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta
It is another one of the masterpieces from Amish Tripathi, who never ceases to amaze. I am only specifying Raavan from the Ramayana series of books. I’ve read the other two books in the series i.e., Ram and Sita but I just loved Raavan. It is an idea that is even difficult to comprehend let alone write an entire book about. The story show’s you Raavan in a completely different light.
Whenever I thought about a negative character in any story I always thought about how the story would be if the narrative was said by that negative character.
What is the thought process of that person? What is the justification of his/her actions? Raavan is the ultimate version of that.
The story starts off from time of Raavan was a child until he kidnaps Sita. It shows Raavan’s side of the story, what were the events that made him take the decisions that he took. Even though it’s not the original story, it’s still captivating and keeps you on the edge. It’s even more interesting since you know the original story so you kinda anticipate what might happen and start joining the dots. The twists in the story are unthinkable though. All in all it’s an amazing read.
4. Wish I Could Tell You
This is again one of those authors who amazes me with every book and leaves me wanting more and wish that the story hadn’t ended.
This book is one of those heart touching, gut wrenching stories that make you cry with happiness and bawl your eyes out in the sad parts.
Durjoy Datta has the ability to make the reader involved in the story almost as if you are there next to those characters and seeing it all happen live.
This is the story of Anusha and Ananth who meet in the most absurd and unconventional ways you could think of, fall in love in the most bizarre circumstances possible. As the story continues and you start connecting the dots you can see that it’s one of the most brilliantly and creatively crafted stories that you could ever come across. Since the book is relatively new I don’t want to give away any spoilers.
At some stage you would even start despising the characters but it comes to a point where you start thinking of them as if they are real people and wish that it comes to a happy ending.
It does take a moment to wrap your head around this sort of mind boggling story. I enjoyed reading it, loved every part of it. There is not one part that might have been too much or too little.
5. Down Under
I wouldn’t have probably believed a year ago that this book will make it into my top 5 list. I had never read travel log or any book related to travel because I had always thought unless you see the place yourself you can’t get the feel of the place, you can always imagine how it might look but to get the real feel, the essence of a place you have to be present there.
Apparently not, in it’s own little way Bill Bryson made sure I get the feel of hot, sunny and sweaty outbacks of Australia and also the beautiful, green landscapes. Get a general idea of the kind, brave and cheerful people of Australia.
Until this book the first thought I would get when I heard Australia was Cricket and Steve Irwin and his family, their work in wildlife conservation and the shows like Crocodile hunter and Crikey! It’s the Irwins.
It was mostly Cricket though because even though I knew that the Irwins were from Australia I always related them to America because of the various talk shows that I’d watched them on.
This book shows that there’s more to Australia than Cricket and dangerous animals.
I never thought I would even finish the book but half way through I feel in love with Australia.
The writing is convincing, humorous and relatable. There are a great many things to learn about this country, the rich and sometimes unexpectedly hilarious history, the Aborigines and their story, the weird places that the writer encounters throughout the journey and so many unique, unheard species of animals, plants, some of which are not found in any other part of the world.
It is an amazing book with a humorous narrative that makes you fall in love with a country.
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