1. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo – It feels good to read something gritty after several light murder mysteries. Actually exhilirating is the more apt description. I skipped yoga after work so I could finish this. Harry Hole is a bastard but I trust his instincts when it comes to murder. The bad thing is that this is the only Nesbo I have!
2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – This is YA, right? The best way to describe this is an episode of SG1 + The Matrix + The Hunger Games + ancient Rome. It was filled with tropes but somehow worked well and were not to cheesy. There were some parts that I enjoyed but the book wasn’t that amazing that I would want to read the other two books of the trilogy.
3. Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley – This was a short, sweet story however there were parts where the tone felt preachy or dated.
4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor – A scifi fiction with genocide, weaponized rape, female circumcision and roles of men and women. Yes, it is not an easy read and can be disturbing. I thought it was set in contemporary Africa but the technology is different and no longer common. There were times that I didn’t understand the main character’s decisions, she is quick to anger, impulsive, etc. However this book is highly original and very readable and it will make you think for days.
5. Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld – I was more than a quarter into the book before I realized that I already read this. I forgot that the third book is Goliath (which I haven’t read) not Behemoth. Since I read this almost 6 years ago, it would be nice to read again. Did Alek discover that Daryl is actually Deryn? I can’t remember!
6. Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi – A very well written autobiography on her life, loves and food. My favorite parts are her childhood memories in India, especially those associated with food. Lakshimi has been very truthful about her relationships though her preferences made me wonder (wealthy, powerful, older men). Another interesting part of her life is her struggle with endometriosis, despite having access of the best doctors, she was diagnosed late and her reproductive system was already ravaged. It would be interesting to read the other side of the story,
7. The Nose by Nikolai Gogol – My first Gogol and I am not exactly sure if liked it or not.
8. All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister – This seemed to take forever to finish however this is highly recommended for all women, particularly those who are single. It introduced me to some viewpoints that I have never considered before. Though the book focuses on the developments in the US, it is still applicable to all modern women in the world.
9. Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti, Marion Bolognese (Illustrations) – What is there not to like about books and food? Though I wasn’t completely blown away, I enjoyed it. I was putting off reading this because I was afraid to have food cravings in the middle of the night! Though I have read some of the books mentioned, I didn’t recall a lot of the food scenes. The only food scenes I remember in books are those in Haruki Murakami’s, though I don’t remember the details I am always fascinated that despite the weird happenings the main character always finds time to clean and make a simple meal. Also, I always remember when the characters go to Dunkin Donuts!
10. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – A well-written novel of first contact headed by Jesuits in a planet in Alpha Centauri. What seemed to be a series of events blessed by God eventually becomes doomed. The book touches about science, faith, linguistics, anthropology and family. Just reading it makes me understand why it won a lot of awards. There is a sequel but I am not interested to read it. When it was finally revealed what happened, I kept thinking about Star Trek’s Prime Directive.