2022 was an eventful year for me, both professionally as well as personally. There were plans I made, plans I achieved, and plans I abandoned. I was also quite occupied with work this year, which was sometimes stressful, and many times hectic. In these hectic moments, I found solace in the lives of characters from around the world. Some characters I found in an India where people are eager to overthrow the British rule, some in a science lab where a mentally retarded person is undergoing surgery to become smart, and some in palaces where queens are making their presence felt. Some were roaming in the salty breeze of a beach, while others were living cramped up in a small room in Korea. Few characters were trying to protect their children from invaders, rulers, and competitions, and few proliferated like a dandelion, paying no heed to the whereabouts of their kids. These are all characters and situations I came across in the 17 books that I read over the year.
As always I kept a realistic objective of reading at least 12 books in the year. I started the year with an extremely interesting murder mystery called Murder at the Mushaira by Raza Mir. It was such a good start to my reading challenge. The book had everything that I like in real life too. Mushairas, intellectual women, empathetic, smart, and funny Ghalib, ambition, and lovely metaphors. Over the year I primarily read historical fiction, which is also my favorite genre. I read The Last Queen, The Glass Palace, News of the World, The Stationary Shop, Tattooist of Auschwitz, and The Color Purple. Amongst this genre, the book that I liked most was Between Shades of Gray. I also read an amazing science fiction called Flowers for Algernon. It was such beautiful writing with a compelling plot and a heart-touching end. I really marvel at the creativity of artists. Talking about creativity reminds me of the extraordinary world created by J R R Tolkien in Hobbit. As always no year of mine is complete without reading at least one book by Shashi Tharoor. This year of the author I read Show Business, which as the name suggests set in the filmy world of Bollywood, both on and off-set. I also read a few books in the form of a challenge and completed reading Less in exactly 7 hours. As a new activity, I read two books in Hindi as well. Both were as lovely as the language. Kissa kissa lucknowa and Bahut door Kitna door hota hai. A peculiar book that I read and infact loved was The Odd Book of Baby Names. This book was quite quirky and entertaining.
With these books I came to know about how life runs in different parts of the world, what are the different things that bring happiness to people, and how the times we live in are different yet similar to the times the world has seen 100s of years back. It was a great journey. My wagon of books is getting richer, and in 2023 I plan to make it further exuberant and expensive. Maybe you could suggest to me some of your favorite books to read this year. I am not a non-fiction person, so refrain from suggesting those. Below is my 2022 reading journey in video form.