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Bookshelf - July 2019

2019 is half done(!) and more books were read/ listened to.

Books -

  1. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  2. Capital by Rana Dasgupta
  3. Connaught Place and the Making of New Delhi

Audio books -

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  4. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

i. The Harry Potter series has been immense and beautiful. I have read the book several times but listening to them was an experience in itself because Stephen Fry does an incredible job narrating the series. It has been an absolute joy - a joy which is a combination of reliving ones childhood and discovering something new and exciting. A rare feat.

I delved into Harry Potter after a gap of multiple years and I realized that my most hated book of the series (Order of the Phoenix) became one of my favorites. Somehow I could relate more with it and understand Harry’s frustration and anger. Before I had criticized the book because I felt that Harry was just plain moping around throughout the whole book.

ii. I continued my readings on the city of Delhi from last year but the book “Capital” was like no other. It does not endeavour to describe the beauty of the city unlike my previously read books. What it does is it tries to put forward the cold hard truth of the modern city of Delhi and its surrounding areas and it does is it really well. It shows how the city and its people have transformed since India’s economy became liberalized and the city began to grow at an incredible pace. This is the book to read about contemporary Delhi and a must read if you’re interested in the city like I am.

iii. Swapna Liddle’s Connaught Place and the Making of New Delhi is a very detailed and well researched book about how New Delhi came to be. The references at the end of the book are enough for someone to spend years of reading and researching about Delhi. But don’t assume that the book is dry and academic; it is a light, fun and an interesting read about New Delhi. Again, a must read. The book also helped me find a Art Deco building in Delhi - The Imperial Hotel!

iv. The Emperor of All Maladies - A biography of Cancer was on my wishlist for a really long time. I finally read it and the it will not be wrong to conclude that it is a masterpiece. Dense with facts, history and experiences of the author the book for the most part is very hard to put down. It does become, at one point, a little difficult to keep track of all the nomenclature and scientific terms but that should not stop anyone from reading the book.