Since the time I got started on this blog, I have kept a list of books I have read so I remember what I was reading and when, and reference the ones I have reviewed. Despite my long lapses in posting here, I have kept this books list updated for fear that if I don’t, I will forget having ever read the book. And so it was that when I made my most recent entry, I decided, perhaps out of a mix of vanity and wanting to know how many books on average I read per year, to count the books read so far over the last 10 years. A hundred. I had to count again.

This is the kind of milestone that makes one take a pause and reflect back on all those hours, afternoons, late nights, long flights and entire weekends spent reading where one might have alternately gone for a run, tinkered, planted trees, bungee-jumped, pranced, cavorted, or simply enjoyed the honey-heavy dew of slumber as Shakespeare puts it. Was it worth it? That is a question for another day, but yes, it has given me much pleasure and maybe a little agony.

Since it is also the time of the year for best-of lists, I will use this milestone to extract some more juice for the rest of this post, posed as a series of questions which I am sure you are frantically  waiting for me to answer.

Best book? 

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. I have reviewed it here. The prose is poetic. The imagination is out of this world. It has made me want to learn Italian so I could read it in the original.

Best non-fiction?

A much harder genre since it covers so many areas, and I can’t claim to have read enough books on each. Since I am on a history reading spree, I will call out Rubicon by Tom Holland, for introducing me to Roman history and explaining what the big fuss around Julius Caesar was about.

Most read author?

Italo Calvino – 8 of his books, thanks to Invisible Cities, though imo, none match up to it

I wish I had not read..

Descartes Secret Notebook by Amir D. Aczel. That I managed to finish it suggests it wasn’t terrible, or maybe I was stubborn, or hopeful it would get better. But this was bad; like clickbait-masquerading-as-a-book bad. I would have got more in less time by reading about Descartes on Wikipedia.

Best book about India

The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple. I felt like a kid in a candy store visiting the Red Fort recently, having reading this book. The 1857 revolt is portrayed in all its macabre glory, and Dalrymple manages to narrate it without taking sides.

That’s it for now, or until the next 100 books. Wish me luck! Or sunshine.