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The MBRB 2015 Readolutions

A brand new Reading List for a new year!

Several old favourites, a few abandoned books and exciting new releases make it to our 2015 Readolutions

2015 is finally and incontrovertibly upon us. The first two weeks of the year are over, the first terrible movie has already been released, digested and regurgitated; the first preposterous statement by a Member of the Parliament has been made and laughed at on Twitter, and the first of our resolutions discarded. (We haven’t  started either the Krav Maga or Spanish lessons!).

But if one thing remains bright and shiny,  it is our resolution to start working through our endless reading list- the books that lie untouched in our shelves, the new ones we can’t wait for, and the ones we absolutely must read this year before Bollywood/Hollywood ruins it with Ben Affleck for us.

Here are our Readolutions for 2015.

The Books We Must Retrieve From Our Bookshelves

It is no secret that we enjoy everything Gawande writes. His prose is full of the kind of compassion and insight that restores your faith in humanity and leaves you thinking at the same time.  But somehow we have been dreading the thoughtful finality of Being Mortal, a book described as “a masterful exploration of aging, death, and the medical profession’s mishandling of both” by the Boston Globe. Maybe the impetus afforded by the beginning of a new year will finally see us mustering courage for what promises to be an illuminating read.

We’ve carried an inexplicable fascination for Myanmar/Burma, an interest that was sparked by reading Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace. But it was Thant Myint-U’s absorbing River of Lost Footsteps : Histories of Burma that had us truly hooked, and the allure refused to diminish even after a visit to this complex and fascinating land in 2009 (before the joys of controlled free markets caught the eye of Burma’s rulers). So when Thant Myint-U, the grandson of former UN Secretary General U Thant, published Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia, we didn’t hesitate to download it on our Kindle. This year, we are determined to finish reading it.

The Book We Have To Finish Before Hollywood Does

Andy Weir’s The Martian is the kind of book that stands on the crossroads of popular science fiction and philosophical discourse, and has earned itself a legion of fans.  It also may very well be the Gone Girl of 2014 given just how much it has been passed around and recommended from one hungry reader to another. But guess who is directing it in its inevitable Hollywood version? Ridley Scott of bombastic Gladiator and Exodus fame! There really is no excuse for us to finish reading it before it is ruined forever and converted into a summertime blockbuster with all brawn and no brains.

Amazon suggested we read Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You after we finished reading the delightful We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves. Our inherent distrust of Amazon’s recommendations made us summarily dismiss the book as just another soppy romance, till a chance article told us that the book addresses the difficult topics of disability and euthanasia. With Emilia Clarke (nee Daenerys Targaryen) expected to play the lead role in the movie adaptation, this book has vaulted to pole position on our Reading List.

Also on the list are Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places (Charlize Theron is acting and producing) and Emma Donoghue’s Room, a book that also languishes on our Abandoned Bookshelf.

The Author We Really Should Start Reading

We know we will love Miranda July’s books (we’ve adored both of her twee and wordy movies), and we can’t quite remember why we left No One Belongs Here More Than You half-read. There’s no better way to address that gap by scheduling a read of her first novel, The First Bad Man, which has recently released to rave reviews.  Described by critics as “ quirky, yes, but also beautifully worded, emotionally complex, impressively but quietly insightful, and, in the right light, so, so funny”, we are confident it will just further our girl-crush on its talented author.

The Return of an Old Favourite

It is difficult to believe that it has been 10 years since the release of Never Let Me Go, a book that left us devastated and emotionally bruised for the longest time. But between that and Remains of a Day, we can’t imagine a world where an Ishiguro book will be anything less an event in Le Casa MBRB. And word is that he will be  back with his latest book (intriguingly called The Buried Giant) later this year. Let’s line up outside book stores for this one like Potter Maniacs, or Twihards!

The first Kiran Nagarkar we read was not the renowned Cuckold but the lesser known but equally brilliant  Saat Sakkam Trechalis (Seven Sixes Are Forty Three). But our favourite Nagarkar remains the wickedly dystopian Ravan & Eddie. The two boys came into adulthood against the backdrop of Bollywood in The Extras. What new twists and misadventures lie in wait for them? For that, we have to wait for RIP Ravan and Eddie, the last book in the series. Can’t wait!

The Trilogy We Need to Catch Up With before The Next Instalment Arrives

We devoured Wolf Hall with the kind of frenzy we normally save for a slice of dark chocolate cake!  And just like the most decadent desserts, it left us feeling both sated and hungry for another morsel. That’s why there is no telling why we didn’t get around to reading Bring Up The Bodies. The first book’s masterful mix of political intrigue, character drama and excellent writing made it ideal winter reading inside a razai. So this winter is as good a time as any to catch up with our favourite Tudors in time for the release of the third part later this year.

Meanwhile, Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies was like the Tiramisu from our favourite bakery – we couldn’t resist savouring every morsel as if it was the last thing we’d eat (or read) on Earth! We were disappointed that some of our favourite characters from the first book did not make an appearance in River of Smoke. As we await the fates of a multitude of  jahaj-bhai against the backdrop of the Opium Wars in Flood of Fire, it’s time we went back to the first two books to renew our friendship with Deeti, Zachary, Neel & Puggly.

What are some of your Readolutions for 2015? Tell us in the comments below or share your recommendations on Facebook or Twitter. And keep returning to MBRB as we delve into the world of books, pop culture, travel and more.

Image courtesy: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via Compfight cc

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