The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
If I had to define 2018 for me, it would be Year of Books. In the beginning of the year, I had resolved to read 200 books. By the end of the year, I finished reading 209. This does not include any half reads (DNF ) ones.
Reviewing Books of 2018 is going to be a humongous task given that I have read 200 books and liked most of them! You can find detailed review of these books (I have posted some & will be posting more) on my Instagram account @bookdragonhaven
I am posting the best reads genre wise (it was difficult to choose one genre for some of the books)
Drama: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry & The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (sequel to the former) – It’s a story about friendship, love, commitments and loss. Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang – The book alternates between the script of the movie and real-life anecdotes while filming the movie. Interesting style, I think. I also read Nayak, which is of a similar style. Nayak is a movie made by Satyajit Ray turned into a book. Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy – content wise the book is not much, but the architecture, clothes and lifestyle of the riches are detailed in a very interesting manner! Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jaiswal – Not a fan of Erotica but this one is written very well. (It is not only erotica btw, it is more about the stories of Punjabi Widows who live in London, specially Southall) Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells – A moving tale of friendship and sisterhood. Wonder – a story about a boy with a deformed face (If you love books, read. If you love movies, watch the one with Owen Wilson & Julia Roberts), Godan – Premchand (Hindi)
Dystopia: All the novels I read of this genre were too good! Be it the Hunger Games Trilogy, Flawed & Perfect by Cecilia Ahern and the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood!
Fantasy: Artemis Fowl series – Eoin Colfer, The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern, The magical moonlight flower & enchanting stories – Satyajit Ray, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock – Imogen Hermes Gowar, How to make time stop – Matt Haig (one of my most favourite authors now), Poonachi – Perumal Murugan (Story from a point of view of the goat – It was simply fantastic to know what goes in a goat’s world), The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin, The Bear and the Nightingle – Katherine Arden, Fire & Blood – George RR Martin, Father Christmas series – Matt Haig
History (History, Historical Fiction & Historical Romances): The last train to Istanbul – Ayse Kulin, Lincoln in the Bardo (More like the Abstract, Experimental category), The Rose of Sarajevo – Ayse Kulin, Barygaza (History of Bharuch, an important port for trading with Greece), The Guernsey literary and potato peel society – Mary Ann Shafer, The Colour Purple – Alice Walker, The little coffee shop of Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez, Love in Exile – Ayse Kulin (Was a bit disappointing, lots of questions unanswered), A Suitable Boy (Never ending saga of post-independence India), Good Things I Wish You – A Manette Mansay (Romance in romance, a writer writing book about 19th century pianists Robert & Clara Schumann & their relationship with each other & Johannes Brahms & also exploring a relationship herself), Lajja – Taslima Nasreen, Jinnah often came to our house – Kiran Doshi, Beneath a Scarlet Sky – Mark Sullivan, The name of the Rose – Umberto Eco, The boy in the striped pajamas – John Boyne, The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje, Lioness of Morocco – Henrietta Meire and Julia Drosten, The Architect’s Apprentice – Elif Shafak, The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah, The Good Earth trilogy – Pearl S Buck
Humour: The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared & The accidental further adventures of the hundred-year-old man – Jonas Jonasson, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews (It’s actually about cancer & death, but in a humorous way), Batatya chi chawl – Pu La Deshpande (Marathi)
Memoirs: Smrutichitre – Laxmi Tilak, Don’t Disturb the Dead – Shamya Dasgupta, Shashi Kapoor, The householder, the star – Aseem Chhabra, The Good, The Bad & The Ridiculous – Khushwant Singh, The one & lonely Kidar Sharma – Kidar Sharma, Romancing with life – Dev Anand, In Other Words – Jhumpa Lahiri, Shoe Dog – Phil Knight, This is me – Chrissy Metz, #GirlBoss – Sophia Amoruso
Mystery & Thrillers: The girl with the dragon tattoo trilogy – Steig Larsson, 13 Reasons why – Jay Asher, Ghachar Ghochar (sort of absurd), The Widows of Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey, Frog Music – Emma Donoghue, Seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton, Sacred Games – Vikram Chandra, I let you go – Clare Makintosh, We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver, We were liars – E Lockhart, Good Girl – Mary Kubica, Inspector Singh Investigates – Shamini Flint
Love / Romance / Feel Good: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman, Me Before You trilogy – Jojo Moyes, The art of hearing heartbeats – Jan-Philipp Sendker, Words in Blue – Cath Crowley, The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang, The History of Love – Nicole Krauss, To all the boys I have loved before – Jenny Han, I see London, I see France – Sarah Mlynowski, Less – Andrew Greer, PS from Paris – Mark Levy, One Man Guy – Michael Barakiva, Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch, November 9 – Colleen Hoover, The Hating Game – Sally Thorne, Boy meets Boy – David Levithan, Cobalt Blue – Sachin Kundalkar, Dumplin – Julie Murphy
That’s it folks!!