Goodreads challenge : You’re halfway there!

A few months ago I showed my readers the books I read last year. Keeping up my reading tradition, I set myself a new reading challenge this year. I raised the goal to 18 books this year, which means I upped it by 20% for good measure. 😉 It’s mid-July, I have met the halfway mark and I am well into my 10th read. Feels great to be on track, right?

Here’s what I have been up to the past few months, in the order that I picked them up (hmm, I notice those thumbnails appear in the reverse order, but doesn’t really matter):

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, first published in 1953, talks about an imaginary, desolate future world. Part sci-fi, part prophetic, it is an interesting read.

  • Monical Ali’s Brick Lane follows the story of a pair of sisters from Bangladesh and the different paths either of them takes through life.
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, is a sinister tale of four unlikely people that come together to explore the nature of a so-called haunted house. Not as scary as I had hope it would be.
  • The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman is an amusing set of short stories from the world of newspaper journalism. What I especially liked was the way the tales were intertwined together to make it more of a novella than disjointed stories.

  • P.G. Wodehouse’s Piccadilly Jim was one of my favorite reads this year. Superbly funny and witty, a comedy of errors and mistaken identities. You can take a look at my review of the book, posted a few weeks ago.
  • From Heaven Lake is a non-fictional work by Vikram Seth, a travelogue of his hitch-hiking journey from Heaven Lake in Xinjiang, north-west China to Delhi, via Tibet and Nepal. A beautiful account of the geography, people & cultures that he encounters along the way.
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s mystery revolving around story of a man & his wife who goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary; and how their marriage has changed them over the course of those five years years. Quite dark and a very compelling read. I watched the movie afterward, but in my opinion it didn’t do justice to the text.
  • The Bone Vault is written by Linda Fairstein, who served as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for more than 25 years. However, I did not much prefer her work as an author. Too hollywood-style for my taste.

Have you read any of these titles? I’d love to know what you thought about them. What other  books have been keeping you busy?

And the Mountains Echoed

He was the one raising her. It was true. even though he was still a child himself. Ten years old.”

I have previously read Khaled Hosseini‘s The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Both these books made me admire the author’s workI had been looking for And the Mountains Echoed for quite some time and luckily a friend lent it to me. The story revolves around a brother-sister duo who are inseparable and completely devoted to each other as the only real family. It follows their story through time and draws out a beautiful story of love, separation and longing. As always, there are several intertwined sub-plots weaving through Hosseini’s text, and it is interesting to see how they are ultimately tied together. A good read, all in all, especially if you have read his previous books. Always nice to complete a set, right?!

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

“Key is in the lock all right, sir. On the inside. Mr. Ackroyd must have locked himself in.”

Just finished reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by my all-time favorite Agatha Christie. As you must know, her books are next only to the Bible & Shakespeare‘s works as the most widely read publication ever. Over the years I have read several of her novels, but this latest read has made a bigger fan out of me, if that were even possible. I quite love the old English charm that is evident in the setting and the language of the time. This book has all the Agatha Christie staples – the secretive characters, the multiple motives, the sure-shot alibis. But of course, Hercule Poirot is at his best even at the hay end of his career as he breaks the case down bit by bit. The plot turns in the most unexpected way towards the end and makes one want to re-read the book all over again, in the newly revealed light. A highly recommended book.