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Book Review: The Graveyard Book

Over these years at college, I have discovered a ton of new authors. Neil Gaiman, I discovered around 2 years back when I first read The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

After this, Neil Gaiman had regularly been a feature in my books to read list.

The Graveyard Book is exactly as it sounds – mysterious but heart warming. The book tells the story of Nobody, an orphaned boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard!

No matter how kiddish the book sounds, it is so much more than that. It has a brilliant flow of writing and the story keeps you engaged all throughout. The book follows Nobody from his parents’ death, to being five, and inevitably going to school.

Neil Gaiman’s writing is beautiful and extremely easy to grasp. The story is narrated by Nobody and that just makes it easier for anyone to read it.

Fair Warning: I cried at the ending.

Rating: 4/5

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Books and more books?

I’m obsessed with books. Honestly, I feel obsessed is a very simple word, I think my obsession for books needs a word stronger than obsession. Because of this, every year whenever there’s a chance for anyone to gift me, I’m always hoping they gift me books. In fact, I make it a point to let everyone know that I really want, or even need, anything other than books. (It sucks when people don’t follow that)

I met my friend for lunch the other day and she gifted me four books for my birthday! The best part is people always ask me what books I want and I, shamelessly, send them a long list for them to choose from and so I’m always gifted the books I really want – (its a flawless technique, please try it)

I make my brother gift me books (mostly) on every gift-able occasion and I gift myself books of every gift-able occasion and thus currently my To be Read pile consists of 9 books (oops)

All in all, how unhealthy is this obsession? Or how healthy is it? I mean, I learn tons of things from various books, and I find a lot of wisdom between these pages and I’m never bored because I always have a book to read! So really, in the long run, isn’t it much better being obsessed with books than with cocaine?

On a more positive notes, here’s two of my favourite reads from this year!
1) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Mason
2) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (because why not?)

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The Book List – Part Eight

January’s the month with exams and thus I lay off reading. Its sad and annoying but those novels can get way too distracting.

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS, I ate pizza at New Year’s Eve and thus can say safely that I bought in the new year happily, here’s hoping you guys did the same!

Now I ended 2016 with 46 books! That’s sixteen more books than I read in 2015 (self high-five!) And here’s five more books that I read last year:

36) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi:
Last year I decided to start reading more of non-fiction and focusing a tiny bit more on autobiographies. When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of a neurosurgeon diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. It goes all the way from medical school, to his successful career and just when he’s at the height of his career and his personal life, he gets diagnosed. The book was published posthumously in January, 2016 and thus thee ending is quite clear. This book is heartbreaking as the author describes his journey from doctor to patient. Made me cry little bit.

37) Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie:
This was my third book by Salman Rushdie and by far the best one I’ve read as yet. The Man Booker Prize Winner in 1981 and the Best of the Booker winner in 1993 and 2008, this book is amazingly addictive. Once you start, you cannot and would not want to put it down. The book is narrated by Saleem, a boy who’s born in India on the eve of India’s partition on 15th August, 1947. Several other children like him are born all over India and Pakistan, thus named ‘Midnight’s Children’ and are special in their own way. The book alternates between Salem’s childhood, and his current life. This book is definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys reading.

38) The Absolutist by John Boyne:
One of my absolute favourite categories of books to read is books based in the World Wars or post-World Wars. This book is based in September, 1919 and follows the story of Tristan Stadler who goes to visit the his old friend Will’s sister. Will is dead and Tristan has letters that Will kept with him during the war which he takes to deliver to his sister. The book is sad and happy, brilliant and heartbreaking. Tristan’s journey right from his training, to war and to coming back to visit his best friend’s sister is enough to keep you from not putting this book down. Fair warning though: Nothing will hurt more than the ending of this book.

39) Mortal Fear by Robin Cook:
We made an impromptu trip to my grandfather’s house in the Diwali vacations and thus I was without any of my books, all of which I left back home. I found Mortal Fear in the basement of the house and decided to read it. This is a book published back in 1988 and focuses on patients of Dr. Jason Howard who end up mysteriously dying even after being given a clean bill of health just a month prior.
This book wasn’t really as interesting as I thought it would be and was one of the low sides of my reading in 2016.

40) 11//22/63 by Stephen King:
This was my first book by Stephen King and I have to say, I was extremely and completed not disappointed. Little warning before you read on: This is a novel with over 700 pages, takes quite a bit of patience and time.
The book narrates the story of a High School English teacher Jake Epping who ends up going back in time to save John F. Kennedy from being assassinated. The book is an absolute joy as a man living in the 2000’s adjusts to life in the late 1950’s. The book lives up to everything I’ve heard about Stephen King and is completely absorbing.

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The Book List: Part Five

I haven’t been able to read at all in all of September because of exams and college being a royal pain, but here are five more books I’ve read this year 😀

21) Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith 
This book wasn’t half as enjoyable as the first one. Cormoran Strike receives a severed leg in his parcel one fine morning and thus begins his hunt to catch whoever sent it to him. A lot of the book focuses on his and his secretary/partner Robin’s relationship and how it affects Robin’s own relationship with her fiancé. This seems very cliché (boyfriend jealous of boss) and becomes very monotonous as the novel progresses.
6/10 overall.

22) Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
One of my favouritest books of this year! This book talks about Simon, who’s in high school, who’s also gay and also closeted. Simon has a secret friend who he talks to online, who’s called Blue, who’s in his high school, and who’s also possibly gay, and closeted. This book is so so so cute and absolutely fun and adorable. The whole book is an insight into what Simon feels generally and what he feels specially for Blue. Its so much more than just a YA love story and I loved it beyond words(also finished it in one day!)
(Also, I might be just a tiny bit bias towards LGBTQ books-NO REGRETS)

23) The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I wanted to read this book since a long time, though I have to say that it wasn’t as romantic or lovable as I thought it would be. The story revolves around the lives of Claire and her husband, Henry who has a rare genetic disorder because of which he can time travel. There are millions of parts in the book where you feel your heart break for them because one of them always knows more than the other and they just seem to lead a really unfair life. The ending of the book doesn’t really come as a surprise as it is kind of predicted by Henry.

24) Oliver’s Story by Erich Segal

I read Love Story back in the 7th grade and then re-read it in the 11th grade(that was 2013) and I’ve since then wanted to read its sequel. The book focuses on Oliver’s life after the death of his wife and his major belief that he’d never find love again. He then meets Marcie Bonwit one day at tennis and feels himself falling in love again with someone who’s the complete opposite of his wife. The book is heartbreaking without a doubt. The last lines of the book make me cry more every time I read them again.

25) Delhi is Not Far by Ruskin Bond

I’m so unbelievably glad that I decided to read Ruskin Bond this year. If you haven’t, I strongly suggest you start with this one. The book is narrated by Arun, a struggling writer who lives in the small town of Pipalnagar and hopes of one day leaving it all behind of fame and success in Delhi. It revolves around the two people he loves most in life and a wider struggle of everyone in the small town dreaming of one day going to Delhi. Ruskin Bond’s writing is so beautiful and the book had me in tears at many parts.
My favourite line is “The world seems crowded with unfinished lives.”

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The Book List: Part Four

Five more books I’ve competed this year yayayayayayayyyyyy!

16) Never, Always, Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
This book was really good in the middle and I really liked the ending as well, but overall if I had to rate the book, I’d probably rate it 6/10. It was too much high school drama, way too much for my liking. The book talks about two best friends who are in their senior year at high school and decide to do everything that they’d penned down in their list of things not to do ever at high school. This also includes never falling in love with your best friend – and these two are in fact in love with each other. The book is an okayish read.


17) The Litigators by John Grisham
Another book om my journey to re-read all John Grishams! His books never fail to amaze me, and they’re even thousand times more interesting when I can actually understand the legal parlance in them. This book revolves around a small firm made by three individuals lawyers which includes David Zinc, a Harvard graduate who’s tired of life at his old gigantic corporate firm. This book isn’t as good as some of his other works, but if you are keen on reading John Grisham, do not skip this one.


18) Agatha Christie: An Autobiography
Loved, loved, LOVED this! It documents her life from her childhood, to her first marriage and her second one and everything you could ever think of. Reading this book brought me such immense joy, I’m not even kidding. There are pages where she’s describing how she came up with characters, and plot lines and reading these and knowing what she’s talking about, is THE best feeling in the world. When Agatha Christie was a young girl, her elder sister said, “You don’t have what it takes to be a mystery writer.”
Please, go read this book!


19) Two Years, Eight Months, Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
Complicated and brilliant – these are definitely the two words I’d use to describe this book. It talks about an ancient goddess and her children spread out all over the universe and how they’ll come together to defeat evil. The book is very complex and needs a ton of patience if you really want to understand and enjoy it.

20) Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
A thousand times better than the other book I read by him. This is his debut novel, and so so good. The book follows a young girl as she goes on a road trip around the United States, meeting different people and impacting their lives in a million different ways. There are heartbreaks, and tears and adventures; the book ends on a happy note and there’s not much else you can really ask for. In all honesty though, I didn’t really like the protagonist and there were many times when I felt like hitting her head through a wall.

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The Book List: Part Three

Back with five more amazeballs books I’ve finished this year 😀

11) Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala:
This book is a memoir of the author’s life before, during and after the 2004 tsunami that hit South Asian countries. (Google it if you don’t remember). Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, her two sons and her parents in the tsunami and came out as the only survivor in her family. This book is heartbreaking and terrifying as she describes seeing her family members for the last time before they were swept away. 90% of the book talks about how she dealt with her life after the tragedy, and it will bring tears to your eyes. The tsunami happened so long ago that until a few years ago I hadn’t even realized how many people’s lives it had affected. This book is beautiful and a must read!

12) Cometh The Hour by Jeffery Archer:
Sixth book in the Clifton Chronicles and as gripping as the first five. This book moves as a much fast pace than it’s predecessor and that makes it even more exciting. Since it’s the penultimate book, many of the sub plots in the series start ending and forming a full circle. Jeffery Archer will always be one of my favs, go read the series please.

13) Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky:
And the movie is nothing compared to this! The pure and raw emotion in the books will make you so attached to the book that you’ll want to read it again and again and again. The writing is easy and simple and definitely worthy of all the praise it has received. For those who don’t know, this book tells the story of Charlie who starts his first day of high school and is terrified of not fitting it or making any new friends. The book has it’s fair share of sad and heart-hurting things but never has anything been written in such a beautiful manner. MUST READ.

14) The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai:
Man Booker Prize winner for the year 2007, this book centers around the lives of two Indians – Sai, living in North India with her grandfather (who’s a retired Judge) after the death of her parents and Biju, an illegal immigrant living in the United States and trying his hardest to get his father there as well. The book is based during the time when India was still ruled by the Britishers and deals heavily with how their lives affected those of the Indians. Good Indian authors are rare, very, very rare and this is just Kiran Desai’s second novel and for anyone looking for good Indian authors, she is it.

15) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling:
Re-read another Harry Potter this year! :”)
Harry Potter is, always has been and always will be my most favourite book series in every lifetime and thus I re-read it whenever I get time. This book takes me back what feels like centuries, and make me miss 11-year old Harry, Hermione and Ron all over again.