Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Brajesh : Top 10 Books of 2014 – My Year of Non Fiction

A2Z Gift
Hi Friends, here is the list for 2014. Like last year, this has been culled out from my reviews and ratings , which you would have read through the year on my FB Album “2014 – Books (My Life Line)” or as part of the posts on the website maintained by Kim on “Kim and Brajesh’s Bookshelf“.

The usual disclaimers hold for the list.This compilation is from the books which I read in 2014. Hence the list is “my” list of favorites and by no means are a representation of any-kind except my personal interest and choice.

This has been an unusual year with respect to my reading pattern. I started the year with a bang, finishing 7 books in January and maintained a healthy pace till June, before peaking with 13 in August. Unfortunately the last three months have been unusually poor given our shift to London with only 8 books read over this quarter. Still, compared to the last year’s count of 57 a 64 in 2014 hasn’t been bad at all. Next year I will continue to push myself to an even larger no. However I am not setting any resolutions around the same. Finishing a yearly ritual (like this list) is oddly therapeutic and I must find newer ones, now that I am planning to give up the ritual around resolutions.

Interestingly the list this year consists of 7 Non-Fiction and only 1 each  from the Management, Fiction and Graphic Art Genre. This is a complete reversal from last year which had only 2 non-fiction representations. Not sure if this is a result of my interest moving to Non-Fiction or Non-Fiction giving me the better reads this year.

So here is the list in the ascending order of rank. A click on the title of the book will take you to a short review of the book.

10. Zona by Jeff Dyer [Non Fiction]. Totally utterly and completely nutty.

9. The Sceptical Patriot by Sidin Vadukut – Exploring the truths behind the zero and other Indian glories. [Non Fiction]. Need of today, more than ever before, a questioning mind.

8. The Novel Cure – an A to Z of Literary Remedies by Susan Elderkin, Ella Berthoud and Indrajit Hazara [Non Fiction]. The “Gifting Book of the Year”

7. Stephen King on Writing :: A Memoir of the Craft [Non Fiction]. If you ever want to write, anything.

6. Adi Parva – Churning of the Ocean by Amruta Patil [Graphic Art]. “Graphic Art Book of the Year”. Check out the attached collage of a few pages, This is ART.

Adi Parva Sample

5. A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong [Non Fiction]. If you ever want to read another book on mythology or fiction, read this first.

4.David & Goliath – Underdogs Misfits & the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell [Management]. This is a management thriller, unputdownable.

3. Don’t lose your mind Lose Your Weight by Rujuta Diwekar [Non Fiction]. The best fitness book ever written.

2. The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson [Fiction]. This is speed of light story-telling.  “The Fiction Book of the Year 2014″
100 Yr

1. Zealot – The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan [Non Fiction] “The Book of the Year 2014″. In a world which is increasingly becoming less tolerant and where serious questioning is equated with insult and blasphemy, this is probably the book to start a questioning renaissance on religious beliefs. This one evaluates Jesus as a historical figure.
ZealotZealot 2

List consists only of +4.5 raters like last year.

Sholay – The Making Of a Classic by Anupama Chopra (Non Fiction-Film) is the only book which I rated 4.5 but got missed from the list above. This is because it was a re-read and due to the practicality of keeping the list count to 10.

Given the list above is so thin on fiction, find below Honorable Mention Fiction Top 5.
  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  2. Ten Kings by Ashok Banker
  3. Worth Dying For by Lee Child
  4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  5. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Other Honorable Mentions (Top 3)
  1. Korma , Kheer & Kismet – Five Seaons in Old Delhi by Pamela Timms (Non Fiction – Food) My first ever food book, and I couldn’t have been luckier.
  2. Garbage Bin by Faisal Mohd (Graphic Art) I am now on FB subscription of Guddu. If you were born in 70s inthe Hindi-heartland, this is definitely for you.
  3. Mumbai Confidential by Saurav Mohapatra & Vivek Shinde (Graphic Art) I really discovered the graphic art medium this year along with the genius of Saurav.
This post will be incomplete without a mention of my friends who wrote books in 2014. You guys are rock-stars and my personal inspiration. If the readers want to buy any of the books below, just click on the link in the name.
  1. Bolllybook The Big Book of Hindi Movie Trivia by Diptakirti Chaudhuri
  2. A Mentor, a Novice and More Cups of Cappuccino by Subrat Padhi
  3. Blissful Discontent by Pritha Lal
As a rule, I don’t rate books by friends.

I end the post with a hope that if this list helps even one person to chose his/her next read I would be delighted. I know a few friends who give credit to my past annual lists as a helping guide in their reading journey, it is thanks to you all that I continue the tradition.
See you again in 2016 January with the next installment …

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