Top Ten Books i read in 2021

I read a lot of great books this year and here are my top ten. These are in no particular order.

1. 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

Set in Istanbul, this book follows a murdered prostitute as her life flashes past her in the last 10 minutes, 38 seconds of her consciousness. As you’d expect, it is not exactly a happy tale, but it is ond full of empathy and humanity as it celebrate life, friendship, love etc. and brings the city of Istanbul to life. A great read.

2. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christine Lefteri

This was another, not-so happy book. It followed a Syrian couple fleeing the war, through Turkey and Greece to make it to safety in the U.K. As you’d expect, this one was not a happy tale either. But it was full of life and humanity as well

3. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

This was a dark, weird post-apocalyptic book that followed a man named ‘the Snowman’ left alone with a new, genetically modified race as he recounts the events of his past, with the wily Crake and the beautiful Oryx. A really dark cynical, yet innovative take on the future.

4. Broken April by Ismail Kadare

I just realised all books in this list so far have been sad and depressing. Looks like 2021 was the year of sad books! This is no exception. This book was originally written in Albanian, and follows Gjorg, who had killed a man to avenge his brother and as per the custom of his village in Northern Albania, it is his turn to be hunted down and killed by the dead man’s kin. A beautiful, poetic, and sad tale.

6. The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

This book follows a privileged, but dissatisfied Indian woman who decides to travel to conflict-ridden Kashmir in order to find the mysterious man who used to be a friend of her mother’s. A complex and captivating story that captures both complex political issues and emotional themes

6. The Aleph and other stories by Jorge Luis Borges

These short stories were so good. Drawing from history, philosophy, metaphysics and the occult, as well as Argentine culture, they kept me hooked and eager to read more from this author.

7. Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Set in Nigeria, this follows the life of a women who is unable to become a mother. It follows themes like polygamy, marriage, relationships etc and takes a pretty dark and intense turn.

8. Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

I don’t usually include nonfiction in these lists, but this definitely deserves to be here! It relates the life of an incredible woman in really interesting, engaging way.

9. An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

This was a really captivating story of an elderly Lebanese woman living alone in Beirut as she recounts her life. She talks about her divorce, war and her deep and abiding love for literature which she cultivates by translating famous works-only to keep the translations hidden away, never to be seen again. A magnificent read.

The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore

KoThis is an Indian classic, written originally in Bengali. Set in the backdrop of India’s freedom struggle, it follows a young woman torn between two men-her mild-mannered, rational and progressive husband and a fiery, almost fanatical freedom fighter. An intense drama that also functioned ad a philosophical battle.


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