Looking back to the books I’ve read in 2013 is kind of embarrassing. Much like the stuck phase of what my life was/is, it reflected on my reading habits as well. I’ve learnt that reading books for me is an experience. Maybe even a phase in my life. The books I’ve read got me so emotionally attached that with every book I finished, I felt like I was ending a wonderful relationship.
That said, it was hard to choose only a few selected ones, but here are my 10 favorite books of 2013:
Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
If Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were my comedy writer and inspiring women I look up to, Mindy Kaling would be my best friend. Honestly, after reading this book, I wish she was a friend I had in school. I could relate to her on having few friends, pleasing her immigrant parents, being a late bloomer, not understanding one night stands, believing/hoping on long-lasting relationships.
Mindy gets away with talking about race, self-love and comedy in such an easygoing and engaging way. For a few weeks, this was the book I would read on the way home in the metro from a hard day in university. Perfect for college-aged women. It is also partly the reason why I love the TV show, The Mindy Project.
I finally get around to finishing the Narnia chronicles and as much as I loved the others, nothing can still beat this one. Who wouldn’t want a find a whole new world in the back racks of a closet? Here, I love the themes of forgiveness and family.
I never really noticed the Christianity symbolism but I’ve found Aslan heartwarming, and I thought The White Witch was fierce and always hoped she would have goodness in her in the end. It’s a good classic read.
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman’s prose is a combination of creepy and sweet elements, a trait that makes it appealing for children and adults. It’s an interesting plot for a graveyard of ghosts and spirits to raise a baby.
Somehow, the world looks better through Nobody’s (I love that this was his name as well, quite metaphorical) naive eyes. The parents who adopted him and his guardian are endearing. I loved this part the most:
“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change.”
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
I’m not a runner but a lover of his books and I must say, I definitely enjoyed this open-ended memoir-esque book by the great Murakami. For a while, it inspired me to start running.
It’s wonderful insight to his thoughts on running, creativity, writing and general pleasant outlook on life. His dedication, consistency, perseverance and struggles to his work, whether it was running his jazz bar or writing, or keeping fit, is impressive.
Chetan Bhagat, 2 States: The Story of My Marriage
This was an enjoyable and enlightening read. Perhaps it was because I have strict Asian parents too and I understand the pressure someone can get from parents with high expectations. Plus the woes of ‘marrying’ each other’s families accepted by our culture’s society.
Also, though I have Indian friends, it’s quite interesting to know new things about their cultural quirks. (more…)