What Should I Read Next : Issue 11
Books I've loved this year Part 2, a real life evil empire, a college admissions novel, gut wrenching books, comforting reads on art & literature
I was 21 when I first saw the temple of Dendur. I remember being dumbstruck with the ancient temple in New York’s Central Park, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
At the time, I didn’t know the back story tying this beautiful building to a legally sanctioned Narcos, the biggest & deadliest drug addiction epidemic ever.
But this was before I read the mesmerising Empire of Pain ! If there is just one book you choose to read this year, this is it !
Discover how the Sacklers, like some startup founders today, deal with lawmakers, as they build their empire. See the connections between abusive corporates & art, often obfuscated by philanthrophy or PR - read about Joss Sackler & Madeleine Sackler. And understand the history of addiction, its protests and the stories of activists like Nan Goldin.
Best Book on Education
Portia works as an admissions office at Princeton University in this deceptively light novel that might make you question our college education system. A 2009 publication, Admission pairs well with the The Tyranny of Merit by Michael Sandel, the Harvard professor who questions our ‘meritocratic’ system.
Best Book on AI
Nobel prize winning Ishiguro tells a simple yet nuanced story about Klara, an artificial friend. Klara and the Sun raises questions on right wing violence, eugenics, empathy and what it means to be human. For a non fiction look at AI, check out AI Superpowers by Kai-fu Lee.
Most Gut Wrenching book
Journalist Christina Lamb writes a heart rending history of war, collecting oral histories from women in Argentina, Bosnia, Bangladesh etc. Our Bodies, Their Battlefield is a book every human being should read - this is the truth of war we need to know.
Most Gut Wrenching Picture Book
Should you read such a sad story to a child ? In a world riven by inequalities the only bridges between extremes are stories like these. Jamlo Walks is the book our children need to read to question the design of societies that let such tales take place.
Best Survival Story
How does a woman get by in a world where people are forever proffering prescriptions ? At a recent book discussion some readers found this book radical, others fervently underlined its invocations. But aye or nay notwithstanding, Untamed certainly captures the zeitgeist of our times - and that is reason enough to read it.
Best Survival Story YA
A children’s picnic in the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh goes horribly wrong in this deftly plotted suspense story. We loved that Invictus was set in a part of India many of us haven’t had the chance to see. The book reminded us of the popular Readers Digest survival stories. And this one is true too.
Best Self Help book
An easy to read, feel-good book from the best selling author of The Midnight Library. Haig has struggled with mental health and The Comfort Book’s daily dollops of advice make for excellent dip-into reading.
Best Art Book
2021 had many wonderful art books that came our way ; pictures book like Mornings with Monet by Barb Rosenstock, Somnath Hore Wounds by Likla Lall , Amrita Shergil by Anita Vachharajani. And best of all this beautiful little book by Neil Gaiman - Art Matters.
Best Books about Books
And finally a genre irresistible to many readers - books about books. Ex Libris is a gorgeous hard cover by New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani featuring 100 books to be read and re-read. Languages of Truth by Salman Rushdie has beautifully written essays on the power of literature.
Next fortnight we feature the best books on sports and running and books on how to change your habits !
Here’s wishing you a great reading 2022 ! Read more and read better !
How about trying a subscription to our book box, so you receive a book every month chosen specially for you and delivered directly to your doorstep ?
And if you’d like gift a friend or family a very special New Year present , why not try out a book box ?
What have been your best reads of 2021 ?
Do let us know in the comments section - we’d love some book recommendations !
Until next fortnight then, happy reading !
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