Best books I read in 2017

These are some amazing books I read in 2017. If any of you want some inspiration or diversity in their 2018 reading you can pick these up 😊😊

In no particular order, the best books of 2017….

#1 Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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A typical “British” story about two magicians trying to restore magic in 1800s England. It’s heavy on language and size. So that would be a warning. But other than that a great book with dry humour.

Buy Online: FlipkartAmazon

#2 Ravana: Roar of the Demon King: A Graphic Novel by Abhimanyu Singh Sisodia

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Graphic novel about Ravana’s life. Beautifully told and wonderfully illustrated. Gorgeous book that you can finish in half day.

Buy Online: Flipkart, Amazon

#3 Fortunately, the milk by Neil Gaiman

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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A children’s novel by my favourite author. Loads of wacky imagination and simple, middle grade English. A fun and light ‘in-between’ read. I read this as a part of the Neil Gaiman and the Chris Riddell boxed set.

Buy Online:Amazon, Flipkart

#4 The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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A serious novel about Draupathi’s life. A fresh and raw perspective on (patriarchal!) Mahabharata. You will either love it or hate it.

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#5 The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupéry

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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A must read if you ask me. A short tale that can be enjoyed greatly if you want to connect with your inner child. There’s a movie by the same name too which is beautifully made. Book or movie this story needs to be told and cherished forever.

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#6 The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Love. All is love. A novel that will bring back your faith in love. You will cry, laugh, sympathize, roar and nod your head at various points in the story. It’s gripping and simply ‘humane’.

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#7 Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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A saga of a bitter feud that lasts a lifetime for two ambitious men. Kane and Abel fight their personal war in the middle of World Wars I and II and America’s economic crises. The world needs to read this story. Everyone needs to read this story.

Buy Online: AmazonFlipkart

#8 A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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A book that created a rustle in the Book community on Facebook and Instagram. It’s a story about a Swedish man who lives and breathes order. We get to see his perspective of the world. The world in black and white. And the person who added color to his life, his wife.

Buy Online: Flipkart , Amazon

#9 The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Funny as hell. Enough said!

Buy Online: Flipkart , Amazon

For a more exhaustive list of all the books I’ve read this year >> My Year [2017] in Books

#mybestreadsof2017
#bestof2017

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Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer: A review

Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

An iconic story that I had been *avoiding* since I read it the first time (10 years old, Kanya blame me?). Kane and Abel is one of those novels which sit on your TBR list forever until the time is right to pick them up. Well, the last month of 2017 turned out to be the fortunate time I decided to read (and finish!) Kane and Abel.

Buy Online: AmazonFlipkart

A masterpiece:
Kane and Abel’s story is your quintessential ‘heroic’ tale. (In colloquil tongue, I’d refer to them as ‘mass’. An endearing term we use in South India for any actor who plays heroic roles and delivers spectacular performances). The novel was rife with punchlines and ‘MASS’ dialogues.

Kane and Abel are MASS!!!! 😎

Every Abel’s chapter I’d swear that I would admire him more, but come the next chapter in the novel, I’m already grovelling about Kane. Such beautifully sculpted characters. *Heart* Kane slays it in the debate team and Abel shows whose boss when he starts his first job in America. I didn’t want to miss a second of their lives and so I devoured every word from this English author.

Characters:
Neither Kane nor Abel are perfect. They are flawed characters. When Kane called his wife ‘his best asset yet’ it was a huge cringe worthy moment. It was probably the only line in the whole book that I detested. Abel had his share of shortcomings too. Why did he despise Kane again? Because Kane did his job?! C’mon that’s how any forward-thinking businessman would’ve behaved. An investment banker was going to be a tough cookie. Welcome to America, Abel.

Apart from the titular characters, the supporting characters were also given a lot of depth and essence. I enjoyed the roles of the females in Kane and Abel’s life be it their mothers, or their amorous girlfriends. Mr.Lester Sr. and The Baron Sr. were my favourites. Their fatherly role stole the show for me. I’d say, each and every character was unforgettable in this story. Their narrative was developed in great detail without boring the reader or taking away from the plotline. Kudos!

My experience:
I first attempted to read Kane and Abel as a school kid. At which point, the stock market and the World Wars I and II were nothing but boring, grown-up subjects. I didn’t comprehend the ‘story’ then. Now, I’m really, really able to appreciate the politics, the historical significance, the intensity of the characters and I could empathize with them.

Speaking of empathy, oh God, the emotional quotient was so high in this book! The loss, the pain, the ambition, the anger and the burning rage to destroy each other. It was palpable. Jeffery Archer’s characters jumped out the pages and affected me, nay, bowled me over. Sadly, the only emotion that didn’t get a lot of limelight was the romance bits, but I’d overlook that.

Their feud got a little tiresome after 380 pages. Thankfully, the story moved on to the next generation just at that moment and Florentyna and Richard were the saving grace. Nice segway into the second book of the series. Nicely done, Mr.Author.

The story kept moving at a pace that was difficult to keep up with! Come to think of it, the story and the narrative feel very much like the series Suits.

One 555-page Kane and Abel feels like 5 marathon seasons of Suits! 🤵

So, there you have it. Kane and Abel, the biblical characters turned into a savage saga of two men who lived to destroy one another.

View all my reviews

Caraval by Stephanie Garber : A review

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Caraval by Stephanie Garber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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Writing these 3-star reviews is just awful. One has to give enough reasons for both liking it and not liking it – thus leaving the review balanced. Let me see if I can do justice here. 

Caraval – I’m assuming it is a portmanteau of Caravan and Carnival – is a spooky, Halloweeny novel about Scarlet who has to play a dangerous game and win if she has to recover her most dear treasure that has been taken from her. The novel works very well to spook me and create the sense of mystery to pull me in from the beginning.

CHARACTERS:
SCARLET & JULIAN 

I liked the overall plot a lot. No complains there. As a story, it was carried well with really good plot twists and edge-of-the-seat scenes. But my main gripe is about the main characters – Scarlet and Julian. Mostly Scarlet because she was this typical self-hating heroine who’s unsure of her feelings and is afraid to talk about them. I really do not want to waste time talking about her. It’s wrong and that’s all I’m saying. Julian was marginally better with some mystery behind his actions but even that air of suspense was lost on me after he started behaving like a love-stricken idiot repeating the same thing over and over again for the second half of the story.

LEGEND 
The invisible man who runs the Caraval is intriguing. His nature, backstory and actions are sprinkled throughout the story and by the time you reach the climax of Caraval, you end up shocked to discover his identity! Don’t worry, I haven’t ruined anything for you. The Legend character is Sherlockesque and is a treat for mystery-lovers. When you think that you know him, he surprises you. There is always something new to discover about him. Very well-done!

OTHER CHARACTERS 
The weird part is even if the main characters were ruined for me, the other secondary characters stood out. Like the Dad, Governor Dragna for example. He was a vile creature. Horrible and Despicable. That was beautiful characterisation, making me hate him instantly. I think when the second book comes out, he has a scope for redemption for his misdeeds. Let’s see.

Aiko’s role was perfection! Even the tiny roles played by girl on the unicycle, the boy with the wings etc. who I honestly thought were monsters-in-disguise for a while, are all noteworthy characters whom I liked a lot. They really got me worked-up and wiping sweat off my brow when they appeared. I hope to see more of them in future books.

THE SETTING 
The most enjoyable aspect of the novel was the spookiness and the macabre tone which is present from start to finish. It’s great! I really liked the setting. Kind of like a bigger version of Hotel California where one can check in but cannot get out alive!

I found myself wondering what would happen if one loses this game. Would a monstrous dark, dank maw swallow you? Will you be driven mad from the illusions and hallucinations? Will you become a ghost haunting the Caraval forever? That’s some good storytelling and I hope to get some clearer answers in the next book of the series.

THE HORRIFIC ROMANCE
Yes, I said it. The romance in Caraval was terrible. It was horrific. I couldn’t tolerate it. It was inappropriate in the sense that it happened at the most unlikely scenarios and had bad timing. Terrible timing actually. It made me squirm with discomfort and it ended up being the irritating lovey-dovey portion that I skipped.


In conclusion, Caraval wasn’t a memorable story, but I will definitely read the next book for the Legend character. I expect to see more spooky and less romance.

Goodreads review >> here