2015 reading challenge

I didn’t make it to my goal, just one short of my plan of 18, but I’m not beating myself up about it. I did read 17 books, and some really nice ones at that. I told you about some of them when I made it to my half-way mark of 9 books. A snapshot for the remaining ones follows…

  • Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates is a poignant tale of a young woman who unexpectedly has to learn to cope with her mother’s sudden & violent death. It made me think that never mind how tough one is, there are some things life can never prepare you for.
  • Untold Story by Monica Ali tells the story of a princess who, hounded by the public eye and fearing for her life, fakes her own death and recreates a life away from her past. The author takes Princess Diana’s death as a hypothetical start of her story. Makes one wonder, what if…? In fact, I read Brick Lane earlier this year, another book by Monica Ali. Must say, I enjoyed both of her works almost equally.
  • Balika Badhu (The Child Bride) by Monish Ranjan Chatterjee is a classic in Bengali literature. Sadly I am nearly illiterate in my own mother tongue, but I am glad that works of Bengali literature have been widely translated into English and I am making an attempt to read more of them.
  • Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala won the Man Booker Prize in 1975. The story runs in parallel between past & present following the story of Olivia who struggles to survive societal bounds in Colonial India, and her step-granddaughter who travels to India 50 years later to uncover the mystery of the scandal that engulfed Olivia. A good read, though I did not quite enjoy the extreme coincidences between the lives of the two leading ladies.
  • Seven by Five by H.E.Bates, a collection of short stories, all of them a little too glum and grey for my taste. I didn’t even find the book on Goodreads, so that was proof enough for me that it wasn’t going to be a great book anyway. But I bought it last year at the Bokbordet, the same weekend that hosted the Stockholm Zombie Walk and the Midnattsloppet, so at least I have some happy memories of how it came to be mine 🙂
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is based in an imaginary scenario where they belong to a ‘species’ of clones borne & raised solely for the purpose of organ donations. However, human feeling is not something that can be engineered, and the book tracks a poignant trail of three friends whose lives are bound by love, friendship, jealousy, a shared past and a common fate. I watched the movie, too, but as mostly happens for me, I like the book better.
  • Lord of the Flies by Nobel prize-winning author William Golding is a hypothetical story of a bunch of schoolboys who are stranded on an island. The story tells of loss of innocence and acquisition of power among those boys, who are far from being men yet. It reveals how dangerously the human psyche may work around power & violence. I enjoyed the book, although it was  quite a horrific realization that this was very close to a possible reality.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is such a popular work that has been portrayed in plays and movies several times over. I can’t say it is one of my favorites, but I guess it depicts very accurately the decadence of American society in the 20’s. Still, happy to have another classic under my belt!

Here’s a peek at my 2014 Goodreads Reading challenge. Have you read any of the books from my lists? Did you enjoy them? I’d love to know, so please do share!

One thought on “2015 reading challenge

  1. I’ve just concentrated on your 2015 list. I think your choices are good. I like Joyce Carol Oates, but haven’t read that one. I loved Brick Lane. (I lived there briefly). I enjoyed both Lord of the Flies and The Great Gatsby.
    I can’t make out all the titles from the illustrations, but Fahrenheit 451 is brilliant


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