Now, for my annual book audit.
I didn't read many non-work related stuff this year but here are my best reads, more non-fiction though. None of these books are new 2006 editions by any chance but these are the ones that I picked up. Some really old books, some which was one last years hit list, some which I always wanted to read and finally managed to. Here are the memorable ones that I particularly enjoyed:
No Logo by Naomi Klein. I finally get hold of this and she doesn't disappoint. We are assaulted by logos- Nike, McDonalds, Tesco, Shell. The corporate hegemony sneaks into our lives and affects us in much more sinister ways than we think says Klein. Not without flaws but at many levels, compelling.
Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen. Poverty is not so much a matter of low income as deprivation of human capabilities says Sen. Deep exploration of liberal economics with real, stark examples. Although I don't always agree with him, it is a remarkable book because Sen takes developmental economics out of theoretical quagmire and places it within communities and asks searing questions.
The Silent Takeover by Noreena Hertz. If you want to read one book about how corporations are perversely changing the world, this is it. How many of us vote? Not many argues Hertz. But we are all consumers driven by multinationals that have taken over the world. Scary but true.
Capitalism and Slavery by Eric Williams was a former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago and wrote this book depicting the profits made through the slave trade. What made slavery end in Britain was not so much awareness of human rights but a matter of cutting losses. You know the fancy Lloyds building in the City? That's built on slave sweat.
Bali, Jawa in my Dreams by Christine Jorges. A travel book with humour and pathos.
Toast by Nigel Slater. I remember buying this in Heathrow out of desperation as the book in hand (I can't remember what now) was driving me insane. Bittersweet memories of growing up angst and the food that accompanied over the years. Absolutely delish. I heart Nigel Slater.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Weird, quirky philosophy spanning analysis of Adolf Eichmann, talking cats to raining mackerals. Vintage Murakami.
What the Body Remembers. I absolutely had to read it, after the glowing recommendation of Ms 30in2005. Partition seen from a woman's perspective, from a Sikh viewpoint and a human face. Shauna Singh is a delicate writer and I will look forward to her other books.
On Beauty by Zadie Smith. The best book I read this year. There are some comic loose ends that are a tad too perfect but overall, its such a nuanced book deserving many superlatives. With Gramscian undertones, philosophical tug-of-war and mostly, dysfunctional families.
The Sea by John Banville. Written in a languid, immaculate style. Heart rending.
Book related resolution: Read more fiction and make an attempt at reading more books from the banned books list.
Now, have to contemplate and do some emotional audit.