Book reviews are something on which I can spend hours talking. Growing up in a household where reading was given the utmost importance, it is needless to say that I developed the habit of reading from a young age.
Over the years, my choice of books has changed drastically. From reading short horrors and suspense books by Enid Blyton and finishing one book after another on the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, soon my interests matured with my age.
In the blink of an eye, I was reading books by Edgar Allen Poe (a favourite), Satyajit Ray, Tagore and O. Henry. However, I was still largely stuck in fiction.
It wasn’t until a few years back that I finally picked up my first non-fiction book; Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. That book had a tremendous impact on me. And since then, I have managed to incorporate non-fictions in my diet of bookish knowledge.
So, here is a list of the book reviews of the 5 books that I have managed to read this year amongst many.
Sapiens; Yuval Noah Harari
A little late to the party, I have watched videos by Youtubers who have been suggesting this book for years now. Finally, I got it for myself and finished it off in 10 days. Yup! That is how much I loved this book.
The book takes one through the sands of times. From the creation of the earth, first human beings and their cousins to what possibly the future holds for our race.
There is a ton of information in between the pages and along with that, some thought-provoking questions. Rarely does a book leave me wondering about what could have happened and Sapiens managed to do just that.
Merging the right amount of speculation and facts, Sapiens is a must-read for anyone who is interested in getting a more or less objective view of the society that we live in.
On Killing; Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Yeah, I know the title of the book is kind of, well, disturbing. But I have always wondered what a killer thinks after his first kill. Was he scared? Thrilled? Was he sad? There are many books on how serial killers do it.
But this book takes on a different turn and talks about what soldiers go through when they are taught to kill.
What was extremely surprising in this book was the revelation that most soldiers, in fact, do not kill. There are a number of factors that come into play when a soldier is at a battlefield. And why, even after so much conditioning, often, soldiers choose not to kill.
The book is fascinating as it is filled with details and conversations by soldiers. Soldiers who were a part of both the World Wars, Vietnam War and many more.
Veterans talk about how they came face to face with soldiers from the opposite side and instead of getting into a fight, shared a smoke and went back to their respective camps.
I highly recommend giving this book a try. It will leave one deep in thought for days; well at least it did to me. Among the many book reviews that I have come across, this book is rarely covered.
To Kill a Mockingbird; Harper Lee
Coming back to good old classics, I am sure everybody, whether you are a bookworm or not have heard of this book. Or at least of the movie. There is nothing extra I can provide as a review for this book.
But as a book that has attained such a status, I couldn’t help but mention it. Bringing out the sheer racism which was so casually prevalent in the society during that time, the book does take a bold move. It shows the ignorance of society and white supremacy present.
The story is told through the eyes of a white female girl whose father takes on the classic case of a white female being raped by a black male and defends the clearly disadvantaged man in an unjust society.
The sad reality is that, while racism may not be as prevalent as it was, this book still should be incorporated in the academic line. Because as we all are aware of, racism still exists in our society.
The Origin; Dan Brown
Book reviews on Dan Brown’s books are done and dusted with. But considering this is a personal list, I am going to add it. I started reading Dan Brown at the age of 16 and frankly, enjoyed his writing.
Origin, however, was not my favourite book by the author though. While it does have the celebrated character of Robert Langdon and it is essentially his story, this book had a lot less suspense and symbol interpretation than what is normally present in a Robert Langdon story.
The story, in general, was quite predictable according to me. However, it is just my opinion and I am sure there are people out there who loved this book.
Mossad; the Greatest Mission of the Israeli Secret Service; Bar Zohar and Nissim Mishal
One of the best books I have read this year, no wait, ever! This book, as the name suggests brings out of the shadows the works of the Israeli secret service, their bravery, loss, great leaders and of course, some other leaders of whom they are not proud of.
The particular part that I loved in the book was the recounting of how Mossad got their hands on Adolf Eichman, who was second in command to Adolf Hitler and was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews.
How the agents went all the way to Argentina where Eichman was hiding and abducted him to bring him to justice is a narration out of a Hollywood action thriller!
Portraying all the characters in the book with shades of grey brought about a realism which is normally missing from similar books and it made it easier for the readers to understand each of their motivations.
And also, it made me realise how much sacrifice is needed to bring about changes in a country and many of these sacrifices are made by agents whose names are forever hidden in the records and are never given a hero’s farewell.
Well, that was it for the book reviews. I will come back with another list of the book reviews in a few months. I hope that you will find a book of your choice from this shortlist. If you do, let us know and keep reading!
Why should you read? Well, there are tons of reasons for that. Check out our article on why reading is important to get a better understanding.