Unlike last year, I was almost certain I would not be taking up any reading challenge this year. It's really something to wrap your head around so many characters and situations and not be affected. You can not really purge the emotions easily. But, then we all like challenges; to push ourselves and surpass our own limits. And so this is what I read-
1. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
A classic read and my favorite book this year also has so many career lessons to teach. An architect's indestructible will to build is challenged on every step he takes. On his way to success he gives up love, honor, fame and money, only to regain it almost towards the end of his career. But is that what he always wanted?
2. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
An extraordinary story of a brave 16 year old girl, who fostered for the cause of education in the beautiful Swat Valley of West Pakistan. Malala, is a Noble Prize winner with an iron heart who did not give up even when she was shot by Taliban and landed separated from her family in the United Kingdom.
3. Devlok by Devdutt Pattanaik
After watching an episode on Epic Channel, Devdutt had me in rapt attention. An important Q & A book with important chapters on Gods, Goddesses, Demi – Gods, Traditions, Holy Texts, Avatars, Myths and more. A must read for teenagers and those who want to know about Hinduism.
4. Devlok 2 by Devdutt Pattanaik
A continuation of Devlok 1, Devdutt Pattnaik covers interesting questions based on forests & fields, animals and more. Pattanaik's lucid writing makes for an excellent gift especially for teens, students and NRI readers.
5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Late to the party, yes, but I picked it up a couple of years ago and got bored. With no books available for Feb, I had to hunt for this one and finish it. The Alchemist teachers you about apprenticeship, belief and risks. More than anything it teaches you to keep walking.
6. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna
This book is divided into 4 stories. Each character is blamed by society but is fearless. The characters choose an unconventional path and change lives. Twinkle Khanna is an intelligent author who impresses without effort.
7. The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi
Lord Krishna's rebirth in his Kalki Avatar, to destroy the World is part fiction part real. The story takes you through lost cities of Gokul, Vrindavan and more. It enlightens the reader on the history of Somnath Temple and the Taj Mahal. Ashwin Sanghi, the Dan Brown of India is also known to weave similar plots just like the former. However, Chanakya's Chant makes for a much entertaining read.
8. Ignited Minds by Shri Abdul Kalam Azad
A guide for everyone who aims to achieve greatness in life. This book is a blessing and a hand that guides the reader with it's luminescent speeches, examples and snippets.
9. An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar
Only bought it because I loved this season of Koffee with Karan. An Unsuitable Boy will interest you if you like reading about the Hindi Film Industry. It gives a peek into Karan's childhood, films, friends and love life.
10. Faction by Khalid Mohammed
I assumed it would be an interesting read because it's a book based on stories by 22 film personalities. Very few were impressive. It's an (anthology) compilation of short stories. Some of the better stories written, are by Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal, Bobby Deol, Deepika Padukone, Karan Johar, Shekhar Kapur & Sonam Kapoor.
11. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Can not relate, identify or understand the pages or purpose of this book. It contains too many American inside jokes which only fans of SNL – Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock will understand.
12. Stories from Modern India edited by Suresh Kohli
An anthology may seem like a good bargain, but in return I have noticed how they lack quality content. Ofcourse, Chicken Soup books are an exception. The stories in this book are based on emotions like love, betrayal, sacrifice, superstition and ambition. These are works of famous authors translated from Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi and English.