Showing posts from December, 2019

Best of 2019 - II (Lists!)

I decided to go one further this time and give you the best of various lists, among my fav reads of the year. Ha :) Bring it on, 2020. We got to raise the bar! Best of 2019 Fantasy Books: This one's tough as many series endings happened in 2019 and also new books by favourite authors from the past have surfaced. Anyways - the long list is here ( on my previous post) but if I had to slice out my heart and lay down in front of you, the best of the best among that, it would have to be: A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie This book is a return to fine fettle, by one of my go-to-authors when I feel down in the dumps. There are a few authors who make me want to drop everything and read non-stop, inspire me to write and really really play with my imagination. Joe Abercrombie tops that list and his new series is an absolute blast in that manner. Best of 2019 Science Fiction books:  Admittedly, I need to read a lot more SF books. But among the few I did

Best of 2019 on Smorgasbord!

Happy New Year folks!  It's the start of a new decade and I am super excited. Looking back at how 2019 has gone down for me, I mostly take pride. My total books read has hit 54 (That's a book every week!) with a few in various final stages as they stand today, on 31st Dec. What has helped that tally this year, is the advent of audio books in a big way in my life. I have managed to finish 13 audio books this year (A book every month!), which is phenomenal for me. Combing through this list, there are quite a few shining gems for the year, that I have loved to bits and would categorise as the best reads of the year. A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie: The return of the Lord Grim Dark to his brutal lawless world of the First Law trilogy was indeed, a welcome one.  The wheels of time are turning and an age of madness descends into this world.  A Little Hatred  features the sons and daughters of our intrepid 'heroes' of the original trilogy. Complex, twisted, nuan

Rise of the Skywalker (Star Wars ) - (Not a) Movie Review

We knew this was coming. 42 years and 9 movies later, the genius of George Lucas is finally drawing curtains and frankly, I cannot keep calm. Rise of the Skywalker marks the end of the third trilogy of star-wars saga and the full stop on the new story-line as we know it. It is the sort of cultural identity that has been seared into the minds of us fans, deep and long. Regardless of whether you started binge-watching the series on your mobile phone in the last one week ( like my teenage nephew!) or been brought up on the staples of May the Force be with you, right from '77 or like me, got struck by the bug in my college days in the late 90's [The whole concept of a Jedi with light sabre who fights for the Light was mind blowing stuff for me, young adult! I was mesmerised by the start of this whole original series, the first of the prequels that had me enthralled and completely engrossed by the terrible transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader !] this has been an em

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Geisbrecht

The Monster of Elendhaven hit the bookshelves right around Halloween and this seemed like the perfect excuse to burrow deeper into your night sheets, dim the lights a bit and snuggle down to devour this perfectly wicked, deviously plotted horror novella from Jennifer Geisbrecht . It's a fascinating piece of work, in all its perfect allure - balancing character, plot and masterful world building on a razor thin platter, building up into a bleak crescendo of horror and violence. It's the kind of rare book that comes along once in a while and the writing is so sharp and lucid that the wounds linger far beyond that last page turned, forcing you think about the subtle contexts hinted to, around social injustices, homophobia, the power-play and even capitalism to some extent. So Johann is the 'monster' of Elendhaven, a foul dying city birthed out of magical violence, which never was able to sustain the industrial revolution that swamped over and is now, just in its