I’ve found my ‘Book of the Year‘
It may seem premature to declare it as early as July, especially given the stellar line up of titles on my ‘to read‘ list. But I think this won’t change by December (or even beyond) – because of just how brilliant Alex Michaelides‘ debut novel “The Silent Patient” is.
I picked it up to read over breakfast. All through a busy day, I was constantly tugged towards it, grabbing every chance to read a few chapters. With all my work done by 10 p.m., I sat in a quiet bedroom. The rest of my family was deep asleep.
I, however, was trapped inside a world created by a gifted writer, unable to return to my own until everything was resolved, explained, settled. That happened around one ‘o’ clock in the morning… and only then could I go to bed!
Look, I’m a prolific reader, and have devoured thousands of books. And so for me, to be a contender for ‘best read of the year‘, a book has to check several boxes. This one does.
I enjoy reading books that describe the arc of events and developments over a time frame. It may span centuries, like Peter Frankopan’s “The Silk Roads” (see my review here). Or shorter periods that are more intense and eventful… like Puja Mehra’s “The Lost Decade 2008-2018 – How India’s Growth Story Devolved Into Growth Without A Story“.
In a politically charged climate, and especially around election time, books like ‘The Lost Decade‘ run the risk of being called biased or partisan – and then dismissed for that reason alone.
But doing that would be a shame. This is a brilliant, balanced account of the pros and cons of fiscal policy decisions made by successive Indian governments over the last ten years which have brought us to where we are today.
Over the years, I’ve read thousands of books.
Some shaped my thoughts and views, opinions and feelings – including novels like Margaret Mitchell‘s ‘Gone With The Wind‘
And Mario Puzo‘s ‘The Godfather‘ which made a huge impact.
For decades, I could quote even lengthy passages verbatim from the book.
“Every man has but one destiny.”