Best books (I read) in 2017

Palakkad-Coimbatore
Read one of the books on way to Palakkad.

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

As 2017 draws to close, I bring you the 7 best books that I read and would strongly recommend. (These aren’t the best books out there, just the ones I came across in 2017.)

And wish you a very Happy 2018. 🙂

FICTION

Black Water Lilies, Michel Bussi
Translated from French, this novel is the best book I read this year. The plot revolves around 2 murders in Giverny, France where the great painter Claude Monet lived the last 20 years or so of his life and painted just water lilies. An old lady in her eighties is the protagonist and relates the story from her viewpoint. Unfortunately I can’t reveal more since it would then give away the suspense. I will just say that the twist is that it is more of a love story than a crime story.

03:02, Mainak Dhar
Bought this e-book at a very low price in an Amazon sale, so was pleasantly surprised to find it very good. Due to an attack on India and other countries, all electrical and electronic equipments break down. (This happens at 3 am, hence the title.) The story revolves around a few societies in Mumbai – how they cope up with a world which has suddenly gone back 100 years, and how they deal with the attackers. It does have a lot of melodrama just like a Bollywood movie, but the novel is still worth a read. 🙂

Behind Closed Doors, B A Paris
This psychological thriller is very disturbing. I am not sure what scared me so much – the way it was written or the story itself. A very handsome successful lawyer marries a woman with an invalid sister, but there is a something extremely wrong with this guy, starting with the house in which they stay. Everything looks great in their marriage to everyone, but there is a horrible secret. I have decided to not pick up such scary books!

Cut like Wound and Chain of Custody, Anita Nair
These were the first 2 novels I read by this award-winning author. Inspector Gowda, progressing in both age and cynicism, hasn’t lost his sharp crime-solving skills. His career is going nowhere, his marriage is suffering, but he still manages to solve disturbing crimes in both the books. What grabbed me were the realistic yet funny scenes a policeman might have to deal with on a daily basis – auto-rickshaw walas not trusting them, policemen getting angry at the municipal workers for not cleaning the area near their station, a network of informers right from paan shop owners to urchins, many of the policemen not enjoying their jobs – some doing it out of a sense of duty, and some because they won’t get another job elsewhere.

NON-FICTION

Get Strong, Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo
I have always been a fan of body-weight exercises, right from school days. All you need is some space and your body! No equipment, no mirrors, no hassle of going anywhere. In this book, the famous Kavadlo brothers take us through a plan of these exercises to become stronger. These can be done by anyone – old or young, male or female. But as the levels increase, the exercises become difficult – a good example is the human flag, which I doubt I will ever be able to do. 🙂

More than a Life, Arundhathi Subramaniam
This book is a biographical account of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s life. I keep coming across multiple videos and articles by this mystic, so decided to read his biography. I had expected the usual story of enlightenment, but there is a completely different angle to it, which makes the book absolutely riveting. The primary mission of Vasudev’s life (since the last few births) wasn’t to guide the people through his Isha Yoga programs, but the establishment of the Dhyanalinga (a Shiva temple) in his Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore. The book focuses on how and why he establishes this temple. He says that the temple has immense energy concentrated in it and will help everyone who visits the place in their path towards enlightenment.

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