Wednesday, 2 September 2015

My Favourite Reads for 2015

Possibly my favourite activities in the whole world is reading. When I was a full time working mother, I neglected this hobby for a while, but since being self-employed and the boss of my own time I have made a point of indulging in at least a few good books (admittedly usually while breastfeeding or putting kids off to bed).

Here are some of the books that I have enjoyed the most for this year.

The Divergent Series

If you liked the Hunger Games, you will love this one. 

This popular series by Veronica Roth was discovered on my sister's eReader while looking for something to read while on holiday. From the moment I started reading, I was hooked and completed the entire fast-moving trilogy within two or three weeks. 

Set in post-apocalyptic Chicago, citizens are placed into a simulated environment where they are split into five factions, according to personality type and dispositions. Our heroine, 'Tris' is a 'Divergent', which means that she does not fit neatly into one of these boxes and thus poses a threat to their conformist society.

I have since watched the Divergent and Insurgent movies and as is usually the case, the books were far better. I found that the movies, probably in an attempt to romanticize the main characters, painted the main figures as far less flawed and thus far less interesting characters.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

As a South African Muslim,who only knows other Muslims who are the friendly, peace-loving, praying types, I often find it difficult to understand how it is that an abominable few can tarnish the reputation of an entire religious group. However, through books, I have gotten some insight into this unfortunate reality. 

This inspirational book is the story of a young girl, Malala Yousafzai, who was instrumental in ensuring the right to free education for girls during time when the Taliban took control of her area, being the Swat Valley in Pakistan. At sixteen, she became the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This book is truly inspirational, showing just how much of a difference just one person, even just a scholar in a rural village can make.

Indian Takeaway

Hardeep Singh Kohli, while always labelled as 'Indian', is a proud product of Glasgow. Hardeep's passion in life is food- both eating and cooking it. Everyone thought he had lost his mind when he decided to take a trip across India, where he would introduce Indians to bland British food, but his true motive is to discover himself and what part his Indian heritage plays in his identity. 

While perhaps not the best written book (from a grammatical sense), I think this story resonates with me, being of Indian descent and labelled as 'Indian' despite having never set foot on the subcontinent and only understanding the very basics (and I do mean basic)  of Gujarati and Urdu. This book is both funny and interesting in the way it vicariously allows the reader to experience just a little bit of this unique country.

My Current Read

I have just finished an unpublished novel, 'Without Shame' by Katherine Russell, but this one warrants a post all on its own. Watch out for my review in the next couple of days!

What are you reading at the moment? What is your favourite book so far for this year? Please share!