All posts tagged: Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge: 2021 (Fiction)

Here is a list of fiction books I read in 2021. There were a few misses as always, but overall, it’s a good list of books. I am also glad that the authors I read this year are from diverse cultural backgrounds—Algerian, Indian, Vietnamese, and Dutch, to list just a few. If you’re interested in diversifying your bookshelf, read my previous post on Around the World in Books.

collage of non fiction books I read in 2021

Reading Challenge: 2021 (Non-Fiction)

When I read books in my younger days, I was always looking for adventure and escapism. Non-fiction didn’t seem to offer any of these. I was one of those kids who had 7 Habits of Highly Effective People forced onto me in both written and audio formats as a teenager. That was no fun at all.
In my 20s, I realised that non-fiction doesn’t have to be tedious and drab. Biographies, essays, and informative books based on research are rich with fun and intrigue, sometimes more than fictional books. 
Here are some great non fiction books I enjoyed in 2021

collage of fantasy fiction books

Reading Challenge: 2021 (Fantasy Fiction)

The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter (I don’t remember which I read first) were the first books that got me hooked onto the fantasy fiction genre. The next was the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Since then, it has become one of my favourite genres, and I am so glad to discover a new series with exciting adventures in fantasy lands.
Here are the fantasy fiction books I read in 2021

collage of books

Reading Challenge: 2021 (Short Reads)

This is Part 1 of 4 posts about the books I read in 2021. I’ll start with the shorter reads.
Amazon Kindle has teamed up with some great story writers for a series of short stories in various themes that are available only as Kindle books or Audibles. I read a few that were powerful reads.
This year, I also read some books from the romance genre, from the literary to the unabashed soft porn. I wasn’t blown away by any of them, but they were good in-between reads—a palette cleanser, if you may!
I couldn’t catch up on any poetry collections published this year, mainly because I didn’t have the time to research the titles I wanted to read. I’m still looking for an easier way to get a list of books from different genres and regions without spending hours researching.
Short Stories I read in 2021
Books on Romance
Poetry Books

collage of book covers of books I read for my 2021 reading challenge

Reading Challenge: 2021

My 2021 Reading challenge started with 50 books that I increased to 60 by October, thanks to a few short stories and some books I couldn’t complete. Overall, it was a good year for reading. 
I made my own book award list based on my reading shelf this year. What were some of your favs in 2021?

woman on a chair reading a book with a cat on lap

Around the World in Books

I got the idea from a newspaper article about a teenager reading at least one book from each country in the world. What a novel thought! Why hadn’t I thought of that? All my life, I’ve read about the adventures of various White kids and adults.  We’re told how Enid Blyton books are quintessential childhood stories even though my childhood didn’t resemble it in any way. Even contemporary writers widely available in my adulthood were White. I have written previously about my quest to diversify mine and my son’s bookshelves. Here, I talk about this in detail. I’ve also added my list here, so if anyone’s interested in expanding their reading list or even help me with recommendations.  What I learned about what I read When I started paying attention to who I read, I decided to make an Excel Sheet by region and country. I was pretty surprised by what I saw, although I shouldn’t have been. The UK and US columns overflowed, while the India column was relatively modest. Even within the UK …

Reading Challenge: 2020 (Fiction) Part 2

How’s your reading habit? Are you in a reading slump where you want to read but are not able to for whatever reason? I had been there for a very long time. When I decided to get back to reading, I had to schedule it, like I would do any other work. Can you read a book a week? It is possible if you set a goal to read 25 pages every day. If you read fifteen minutes daily, you will finish a 250-page novel in just over one week. Make a start. Pick up books you know are going to be easy to read or are about topics you love to read about. Here are some more fiction books I read this year. These are all long books, mostly dealing with difficult life situations. Each of these books takes you on a journey over years of the lives of the people involved. A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende: How do you begin to tell the story of a friendship that has …

Reading Challenge: 2020 (Fiction) Part 1

Read more fiction. It truly broadens your mind. There’s no better way to get a deeper understanding of the human condition than through stories. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: This is a story about mental health. It’s about how people with similar experiences, feelings and emotions can make each other better just by being together. It’s also a story about loneliness, and overcoming challenges, and learning to become comfortable with yourself. It is a bit long and the author’s writing style almost reads like a journal. The story is good, but it felt too simplistic.  Grown Ups by Marian Keyes: She tackles the everyday challenges faced by ordinary people like you and me. From faulty brain wiring, siblings, friendship, family and love. Just some of these struggles are addressed by her lively and entertaining characters. Living in Dublin, they are responsible adults that sometimes make bad decisions and turn their lives upside down. It was a fun and thoughtful read. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes: The Giver of Stars is …

Reading Challenge: 2020 (Indian Authors)

I’ve been trying to read more books by Indian authors. What I am trying to do is create a quintessential reading list of Indian authors that can provide a mental road map for Indian literature and can be used as a reference for anyone seeking stories that are rich in Indian culture. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie: This book is a great example of magical realism, which is a style of writing that shows something almost unreal yet seems very real at the same time. Magic and other unnatural forces are part of reality in this story. It provides an account of the partition of India and Pakistan, a story of love across the religious divides during and after 1940s. The story weaves around a group of kids born at the exact moment and share a bond. It’s a unique concept but it feels grounded in reality. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth: It is a panoramic and insightful treatise on twentieth century India, an adventure that embraces myriad family conflicts and political intrigues. Arranged …

Reading Challenge: 2020 (Fantasy Fiction)

The thing that makes fantasy fiction great is that it lets us imagine things we can’t or dare not imagine in our real life. Reading and writing fantasy make us find the parts of ourselves we didn’t even know were there. The mystery, magic and beauty of fantasy stretch out across the ages to touch people who never meet. It connects them on a level beyond words, and that’s what we consider important: finding, connecting and celebrating wonderful stories. Reading a fantasy is like being sucked into another universe. It can be intimidating, especially for adults, who often judge it to be less engaging, or simpler, than fiction that tries to represent everyday life. Fantasy Fiction is my escape from this reality. I love finding new books in the genre that take me to newer places. These are some of my favourites this year. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: Matt Haig’s latest book, The Midnight Library is about the power of stories. It asks: what happens when someone has read so many books that …