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Thursday, December 29, 2016

My best reads from 2016

What I read in 2016. Rozabal Line missing in the pic

Reading evolves you and opens the thinking doors of your mind. I love to read and do not shy away from calling myself a book worm. So, I took the Good Reads challenge of reading 12 books in 2016 but could read only 10. As we move into a new year, I look back at 2016 picking out the 5 best reads from my collection-

1. The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi

      Genre – Theological thriller
Story about religious terrorism and conspiracy of taking over the world by people who claim to be descendants of Gods. The story also establishes the belief that Jesus died in Kashmir. There is a shrine named Rozabal from where the novel is inspired. Since the time the novel was published, there has been a huge upsurge of visitors to the Rozabal shrine in Srinagar as reported by the Indian newspapers.

The story is gripping and quite different from any theological thriller. The background changes from a library in London to desert in Afghan and church in Goa to India-Pakistan border. Story revolves around an American priest who gets visions and is convinced to find out the relationship of his visions with his past life. The whole truth digging activity leads to a revelation of shocking facts connected to reincarnations, terrorism and Jesus!

This is Ashwin’s first book which was commercially not successful but critically acclaimed! This page turner tops my list of favorites.  Fast paced and so well detailed, you would be intrigued to read till the end. It can even change the belief of many religious schools of thoughts. I loved this brilliant work.

2.  Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Genre- Short emotional stories
Indian author based out of New York usually writes about Indians who settle abroad. She brings about their struggle, their culture shock, their isolated lives and the way they take their culture along to connect with people. This book has various stories of Indian characters who come in touch with people abroad or come to tour India. Different stories, various emotions, a blend of gloomy as well as punch of humor in places.

Every story will leave you emotionally high. There is romance, there is old age love, there is betrayal, there is sadness, there is every spice of life. The stories are not thrillers or fast paced. But they bring out the emotional aspects of life beautifully. 

Jhumpa Lahiri is my personal favorite and this books ranks second in my reading list of 2016. 

3Bankerupt by Ravi Subramanian

Genre- Economic crime thriller

This book received strong criticism from all readers calling it a bad read. Bankerput was my first pick from Subramanian's collection. What a brilliant piece this was! 

The story revolves around the protagonists Cririsha Narayanan, a professor at MIT Boston and Aditya Raisinghania, her banker husband. Cirisha and Aditya meet during a unique business deal. They both get married after some time but do not settle as a normal couple. Aditya stays in India while Cirisha goes back to her university in Boston. Aditya strikes an innovative business deal to help his father in law and gradually rises the corporate ladder. Shuttling between career and family, Cirisha struggles to settle her married life, often causing frustration to Aditya. While Aditya gets pulled into a financial scam, Cirisha stumbles upon a cryptic message, which is apparently the key to a larger scam. As the U.S elections inch closer, the debate on gun control gains momentum. Under strange circumstances, a series of life threatening events related to MIT Boston and the gun law happen that leaves everybody shocked.

The plot is super thrilling. The books kept me at the edge of my seat. The racy thriller kept me glued to it, asking for more! 

A banker by profession, Subramanian has written popular thrillers about banking and bankers, including award winning trilogy The Incredible Banker, The Bankster and Bankerupt.  Bankerupt got my attention and gets a happy third place in my reading list!

4. Delhi Deception by Elana Sabarwal
Genre- Thriller
Carla, an American Journalist comes to stay with her friend Elouise in Delhi after being cheated upon by her husband. Nursing her hurt, she diverts her attention to exploring Delhi and the Indian culture. She is carried away by George, a charming gentleman in the neighborhood, in-spite of warnings from Elousie. Carla struggles to forget her husband and continues to meet her new found love until one fine day she is kidnapped, only to be rescued by George. This incident draws them closer and there she finds herself neck deep in a conspiracy. Together with Elousie, they embark upon a journey to dig out the truth behind the hidden facts.   

Quick paced and easy language, this book has Indian background that one can easily relate to. The characters are strong and close to real which offers a good credibility to the story. It is a light read and you can finish it in three-four days. The plot is not too intense but still manages to engross you.

This found the fourth place in my reading list.   

5.  The Kite Runner by Khalid Hoesini
Genre- Historical Fiction/drama
After lot of hum drum and appreciation for this book, I at last read it in 2016. Trust me, from
the first chapter to the last, the book is full of grief and pain! Though this is an overwhelmingly touching book, it does not end on a happy note. Your mind goes deep into the sad story empathizing with the characters who have very harsh times. 

This is the story of Amir, a young boy from Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan, his father's young Hazara servant.  The best buddies were like brothers. Amir developed a complex from Haasan and left the country with his father after the fall of Afghan monarchy. Guilty and ashamed, the two see tough times while trying to evade their country. Amir grows up in the US, at times thinking of his loyal friend Hassan. Years later he comes back in search of Hassan and to meet his father's loyal friends who had always helped them. Amir finds out the ugly truth. 

The entire novel is quite disturbing. From child abuse to Taliban rule, every incident sends shock down your spine. This book became a bestseller for Hosseini and sold over 7 million copies in the U.S. The Kite Runner is a-not-to-be missed literary piece of work! 


  1. The Kite Runner - it has there on my to read list for a long time. May be it is time I started off

    1. Now is the time then! I have Stantaram and Godfather lying on shelf since ages, but havent read till date.

  2. Ive read Interpreter of Maladies and Kite Runner. Great books. Problem for me with Bankerupt was that it was like two different stories. His novel God is a Gamer is good.

    1. Havent read God is a gamer yet. Will add this to my list. :-)

  3. Sure, the number of books you manage to read depends on the length and quality of the narrative. In my opinion, instead of reading a large number of books, it is quite fine to read few, but in detail, with appreciation. Many congratulations for your reading experience! Happy new year!

    1. Thanks! Yeah I agree that quality more than quantity should be emphasized upon. But with that speed, I dont think I can read many books in this lifetime. Wishing you a happy new year too Amit!


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