Saturday, 3 January 2015

Books that I read in 2014

The last year (2014) was not a very good one for me, book-wise. I didn't read a lot of books, and the fiction titles that I read last year disappointed me a bit. The year was a very busy one for me academically and it was a bit successful in that front. Also, if you do not do an activity for a long time, it really gets difficult to take up that activity again. For me, reading books had taken a backseat after I joined university in 2009, and so 2014 was also not an exception. But I did manage to read some really good books in the last year too. Since August 2014 I have started to keep track of the books that I have read here. One of my new year resolution is to read at least 10 books each of fiction and non-fiction titles in this year. Here I give a brief account.

Fiction: I shall start with fiction, because I read very few fiction titles in the year. I started the year by rereading my favourite book again, and it was not a let down. The Count of Monte Cristo always manages to catch up my imagination and light in me a fire that no other book has done ever. I moved on to the latest Jeffrey Archer novel when it was released and then took a long break from fiction, only occasionally reading the shady Indian titles that have started to flood the market. Needless to say, I didn't enjoy any of those books. Post August, I moved to Italy and have almost stopped reading fiction. This year I have a few books piled up to read, the topmost one is Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses.

Non-Fiction: Over the last couple of years, non-fiction (more specifically scientific biographies) has become my favourite literary genre. I like to read more scientific non-fiction than other kinds, and I read quite a few the last year. But my favourite of that lot would have to be a graphic novel called Feynman, which tells the story of Richard Feynman in a comic book setting. Other books that I read include biographies of Henrietta Lacks, Erwin Schrodinger and an excellent mathematical miscellany volume by Littlewood and Bellabos. This year I plan to read some of William Dalrymple's works and biographies of Dirac and Dyson at the least.

Technical: Most of the technical books that I read were related to academics, and only rarely I read something that was not exactly prescribed in my syllabus. However, I did enjoy reading parts of Knuth's book Surreal Numbers and The Art of Computer Programming. This year I plan to read some parts of physics and biology that I have taken an interest in recently.

I hope your new year is full of more books, may you have a healthy and prosperous new year!