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Quick recap of the 44 books read in 2017

Capital by Rana Dasgupta

A wonderful book about Delhi and very unlike the usual ones. It doesn't tell you how awesome the city but tries to figure out why it is so messed up. Many things in the book are applicable to this country as a whole but there are some things very inherent in Delhi. It is a dark book and hard to read at the end of a long work day.
Whether you like the city or hate it, read this book. And the people who are neutral towards the city don't exist so everyone falls in either of these categories.

When I hit you: Or, a portrait of the writer as a young wife by Meena Kandasamy 

I couldn't find the kindle version and read it on the juggernaut app. The book is about the author's short lived marriage filled with domestic violence and rape.
The author is a woman like you and me. She married a guy she chose and was the victim of his abuse for months. She managed to walk out only once she was on the verge of getting killed.
This book should be read by everyone.

Mindhunter : Inside the FBI's Elite Serial crime unit by John E Douglas and Mark Olshaker

After watching the series on Netflix, I read the book and prefer the latter over the former. The series took the least exciting parts of the book and turned it into a series. I was more curious about the criminals and the crimes instead of the central character's dating or married life. A great read which takes into the minds of the worst serial killers in USA and how Behavioural Science moved from theory to practice.

Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous by Manu Joseph 

Written by my favourite author, this could be mistaken as Chetan Bhagat trying his hand at writing a political thriller. That isn't a compliment. Instead that is the harshest criticism I can bestow upon a book.
It is based on a real life incident and Manu Joseph's version of what actually transpired. There are spurts of brilliance in the book but they are few and far between.
Read it if you are a Manu Joseph fan else skip.

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas 

This is book was mentioned in the Goodreads reviews of The Dinner and it seemed to be a controversial one. Set in Australia, a family and their friends and relatives have gathered for a party. A child is slapped for throwing a tantrum and his parents decide to press charges against the man who delivered the slap.
The book has no specific plot as such. There is no ending or climax. What I liked were the characters and their detailing. I knew what was going on in each character's head. They were fleshed out quite well. The author spends a chapter getting into the head of a character and moves the story forward with him/her. It is a very unique way of telling the story. Read it for this.

The Man who has it All

There is a Twitter account by the same name and the owner has written this book. It is everything women have read in magazines or heard in their lifetime. Except the advice is for men. What if men were women and had to hear the ridiculous advice we get.
While this book is hilarious, it would work better as a series of articles.

The Dinner by Herman Koch

This is a wonderful book about a family meeting for a dinner. It is narrated from one person's perspective and you realise by the end of it how that can change how you see things. It is dark and screws with your head. The person narrating it makes his brother seems like a vain villain and you start hating him. But the reality is something else altogether.
I loved it and would like to read more such books.

"Oh...." by Philippe Dijan

I read this book because I had questions about the story and the French movie "Elle" left them hanging in the air. The book does give clarity but the writing is quite mediocre. The story is quite twisted and not for the faint hearted.
The story is about a woman who gets raped in her house by her neighbour and then proceeds to have an affair with him. Yeah, it is screwed up. You need a stomach of steel to get your head around to this one.

Sapiens : A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

I read this book with a lot of expectation. It was on my "to read" list for a few months and was staring at me everytime I walked into a bookstore before I decided to pick it up. The premise of the book is unique. It is about the evolution about human beings and civilisation. Very interesting except it meanders too much. Too many topics are packed into the book and it fails to explain the evolution of things like misogyny and sexism. It gives superficial knowledge about many things but indepth details about few topics.
Meh.



*To be updated soon*

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Amazon Exclusives - Hindi

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Lipstick under my burkha

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The movie stars Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey and Shashank Arora.

There is so much I want to say about the movie. Yes, it is a "lady oriented" film, whatever the censor board means by that. I guess it means that this movie realistically portrays women of all ages and that is reason enough for it to get most men's and some women's knickers in a twist.

*Spoilers ahead*

A 50 year old who reads erotica??? OMG. And wants to have sex? With a man half her age? How dare she!!! That is ridiculous. Whoever heard of people having sex with other people half their age.

There is a woman having an affair with another man while her mother has arranged her marriage against her wish…

Bookerworm

The Vegetarian by Han King The cover of the book mentioned that this is an erotica and so I picked it up. The beginning was very intriguing with a woman, Yeong-hye who stops eating meat one day. In Korea, this is considered weird. Her husband, who didn't love her anyway, walked out of the marriage. Her brother-in-law becomes obsessed with her and they have sex. The sister catches them in the act and the woman tries to commit suicide. She is put in an institution.  I am still trying to figure out what the book was all about. It wasn't erotica for sure. Was it about mental illness? But it doesn't talk about that either.  The end felt like the writer was bored or lost his thought mid way. 
An Era of Darkness by Shashi Tharoor It took me a few weeks, a break of 2 months, and another few weeks to finish reading the book. Shashi Tharoor had given a speech about how the British rule is responsible for many of India's problems and they should pay a token penalty as a symbol. Th…