Journey through 2016…

Last year was a huge mix of ups and downs, both at work and home, but the year did have many firsts associated with it. Chief among them was joining the Bring Your Own Book club that started with the fabulous session on Japanese literature, followed by the second Noida session on books to movies adaptations. This Saturday, they will organise a ‘foodie’s meet’ and needless to add, if you know even a slice of me at all, I have got to be there.

So last year, I did not want to actively be a part of any reading challenges. Although, I was keeping a track of the Brunch Book Challenge, I wanted to read more quality books than just strike a random number. And barring a couple of books, I know I did myself proud. I took my time with the books, underlined and made tiny notes, and all in all, it was a fruitful year books-wise.
Here’s a list of the books I read last year and if you’ve read any of them, I’d love to know what you think about it.

1. Perfume by Patrick Suskind

2. 1984 by George Orwell

3. The Exorcist by William Blatty

4. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
A book that touched me deeply. I’ve put up a separate post entirely on this. To read, click here.

5. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Read more about my take on the book here.

6. The Calling by Priya Kumar

7. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Brilliant book! I’m a huge fan of gothic fiction and this one kept me on tenterhooks.

8. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

9. Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

10. Hiroshima by John Hersey
A note on this book deserves a post all on its own, and this will be up shortly in January. Keep an eye out for this folks!

11. Gideon’s Spies by Gordon Thomas
Another book that waits patiently in the wings to be talked about on my blog, but Gideon’s Spies is a must-read for those who are interested in Israel-Palestine issues and in the world of spies.

12. Zodiac Station by Tom Harper

13. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

14. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

15. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

16. The Target by David Baldacci

17. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
There are times in life you know there are great authors and great books, but you never get around to reading them. This was one of them for me and I kicked myself for not having picked this up earlier. Want to know what went through my head while reading this? Click here.

18. God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
As I’ve been brought up in a relatively conservative Catholic household, excessive questions about God was not entertained. As I still move around the world with a head filled with questions, this book helped remove much of the fogginess that had clouded my thinking. You can read more about my take on the book here.

19. Short Stories by Anton Chekhov

20. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

A book that left me stunned. You can read all about it here.

21. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

22. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

23. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
I was lucky enough to meet the author on my first event as an intern. Even though I read the book almost eight years later, it stirred in me a strong desire to live and work in Mumbai, a feeling that had long burnt bright. And lo behold, by the close of last year, I did find myself along the ‘Queen’s necklace’, traipsing around Cafe Mondegar and soaking in the aura of Mumbai. Just my luck, eh?

24. The Age of Reason by Jean Paul Sartre
I had always wanted to read Sartre, primarily to see if the fuss around him was just a mirage. I was not disappointed. Although it was my first and only Sartre till date, his writing is very incisive and lays bare the machinations of the human heart. Read more about my take on the book here.

25. If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing with the pits! by Erma Bombeck26. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

27. The Martian by Andy Weir
A book that thoroughly entertained me and left me recommending it to strangers. I’ve blogged about this and you can read it here.

28. Same Soul, Many Bodies by Dr. Brian Weiss

29. Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Of the top of my head, pick up Middlesex, The Age of Reason, God is Not Great, Sophie’s World, The Thirteenth Tale, Shadow of the Wind, Perfume, In Cold Blood, Gideon’s Spies and Hiroshima at the earliest.

While I’ve enjoyed last year by keeping my nose firmly #BetweenPages, well mostly, this year too I hope to add another string of firsts and nourish my soul by reading extensively.  I’m also available on Instagram and my handle is @samantha_rjsdr. Cheers!


24 thoughts on “Journey through 2016…

  1. I’m so so happy to know you’ve read Shantaram. It took me a vacation from school to finish reading the book. It made me fall in love with the city even more!


  2. What a wonderful reading year you’ve had! Several books on your list I need to read again, starting with Sophie’s World. My memory is so bad that I’ve forgotten most of them completely! Except for Never Let Me Go. Which I hated. Dull, dull, dull. It’s actually an achievement to make the idea of organ-donating clones so tedious :)


  3. I’ve got this thought in my head that I can always trust the books that you share, thanks to the April recommendation of Sophie’s World! I guess I’ll continue reading it, and read these awesome titles you’ve shared here :)

    A good book is like an addiction, right? Once we bibliophiles are used to great content, it gets really tough to tolerate mediocrity!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my did you have an eventful year between pages ! So you saw through what you took over in 2016 and was happy doing that .. What a blessing ! I particularly loved your posts about the 13th tale and lonely bones . And I can’t believe you’d not read Sophie’s world so far .. It’s one of my favourite books ever . So are you taking up a reading challenge this year ? What’s on your wish list ?


  5. Hola! And you were missed. When I saw this post I was hoping it would be exactly what you have written. I have almost all the books that you have listed. Read a few.
    The Calling was fine. The Host was good. How is Never let me go.
    And happy new year!
    May you read more good books and write even more. ;)


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