If I had to pick one good thing happened to me this year, I would say it was my reading list which made me happy. I was lucky enough to read several authors writing in different genres who inspired me to write and read more.
The year started with a reading challenge sent via Whatsapp by an acquaintance who I knew would never serious about a reading challenge unless it was a fad propagated by popular culture. I promptly dumped that one.
The reading challenge that I follow rigorously is the one I set up for myself at Goodreads. Last year I had taken the challenge to read 90 books and easily surpassed the number (I closed 2015 with 93 books). So this year I decided to go for 120 books, averaging 10 books per month. As of writing this blog, I have already achieved my target and read 128 books. Hopefully I should be able to reach the 130 mark. No idea yet, what my goals would be for 2017, but then, the year has not even started yet.
Another reading challenge I took this year was with the weekend edition of Hindustan Times Brunch. Brunch Book Challenge required its readers to read and tweet about 24 books, with a certain percentage of them being written by Indian authors. Done and dusted that one as well.
The point of setting these reading goals should be the discovery of new authors and new styles of writing. I was able to complete my reading of almost all Perry Mason books written by Erle Stanley Gardner. Another writer of the bygone era who has always been at top of his game was James Hadley Chase. I have read a part of his collection but some books still remain on my to-read list. I never believed that I would relate to Jodi Piccoult's writing style but her books did make an impression. I had read one Spenser novel way back and I was surprised upon reading more Robert Parker books as to how much I enjoy his writings. Yet I had not even glanced at his collection of work before. Michael Connelly and David Baldacci still remain on my regular reading lists. This year I tried to catch up on as much old Harry Bosch novels by Connelly as I could.
Among Indian authors I was happy to discover Rahul Pandita's books. His second book, Our Moon has Blood Clots is a must read for anyone interested in Kashmir or Kashmirayat. Other non-fiction books which vowed me included My Korean Deli and When Breath becomes Air.
All in all, an excellent reading year gone and I hope 2017 comes with more surprises and new discoveries to read and enjoy.