The Best Books of 2019: Best Fiction of 2019- Sneha Prakash

The year 2019 is finally going to come to an end. We are busy wrapping up our goals for the year and reviewing how the year went by. So here we are with the Top 15 Books from 2019.

We will talk about different genres like Mystery, Romance, Motivational, Mythology, Children, Social and more.

We will discuss the two best books from each genre.

Let’s, start with Mystery:

  1. The Red Line by Tanmay Dubey

I read ‘The Amigos ‘ by Tanmay Dubey and was quite excited to read ‘The RED Line ‘after watching its trailer. It’s a thriller based on the Defense sector and it is reason enough to read this book. It is based on real events. When I start reading it I became so engrossed that I forget my surroundings. What a roller coaster of adventure and mystery this book is. This book reveals a lot about corruption in the defense sector.

 I loved the character of Colonel Matrika Rana. She is amazing and so is Hanumant. A must-read I say.

  1. The Secret of Palamu Fort by Razi

This book “The Secret of Palamu Fort” By Razi is one of the few books which deserves to be treasured forever. Mythology, scientific narratives, Action, mystery, murder, suspense, treasure hunt you name it and you will find it in this book.

There is a murder of a history professor in susceptible circumstances. The murderer tried to make it look like an act performed by Ghost. He left a clue which is solved by Robin only to found a new puzzle.

The events keep happening, one murder after another and the young detective Robin, popularly known as “Hero” not only keeps his calm but also solves the puzzle and found “Elixir of Doisa”. The story is gripping and refreshing. It’s a perfect blend of history and conspiracy. The language is swift and interesting.

Mythological fiction:

  1. Ravan by Amish

I follow Amish’s book almost religiously. But, due to so many negative reviews, I contemplated buying it. But being a die-hard Amish fan made me buy it anyway.

First, I will talk of cover, what a look. I am thoroughly impressed with it.

It’s simply awesome, and if I can rate, it’s best in the Ram Chandra series. We know and hear numerous tales about Sita and Ram and we are somewhat prejudiced but Raavan’s tale is almost unheard of mostly. The only thing we know about him is he was Mahadev’s Bhakt and kidnapped Sita. But there is a lot more to him and kudos to Amish for portraying Raavan in a completely new light.

His making, why he was the way he was, is very beautifully penned down in this book.

The thing I liked most about Amish is he always talks about current issues and portray them in their work so effectively. I liked the way he described, Sabrimala and Dharma and Adharma’s definition.

We need to muse upon it in recent times, that where the path is leading us.

The language is simply perfect. The narration is awesome and interesting. I was so hooked to it that I completed it in one sitting. His books are always ‘unputdownable’.  It must-have in your collection. I will recommend it to everyone who can read open-mindedly.

Waiting with bated breath for next in series.

A Fantastic Read!!

  1. Narsimha by Kevin Missal

I love to read mythological fiction. Unlike our elder generation we need some concrete base for our belief. And if I can borrow one dialogue from this book itself “Faith is most important. Faith strengthens us and makes us believe “.

So we need our faith in our roots to grow and thrive. And our mythologies are the most important thing from our past. This book not only talks of the fourth Avatar of Vishnu but also we can see the glimpses of our rich culture. The strong women characters and their importance in the society, the equality and respect they commanded in that age is commendable.

Either Holika or Dhriti or Chechen, each woman character has their strengths and I appreciate it. The bravery of Holika impressed me most.

The different shades of Prahlad are really interesting and I am looking forward to the next part of this trilogy to know how Prahlad emerged from his death trap and how he will survive and continue his Vishnu worship. His brother’s character is also quite impressive.

The language and narration of the book are impressive. There is a smooth flow of incidents and kept me glued to the book. It’s interesting and I never felt that I am reading a mythological fiction. There is never a dull moment in the book.

A must-read book!!

Motivational: 

  1. I am another you by Priya Kumar

She writes with such conviction and in a conversational manner that you will feel like you are hearing her story straight from her mouth.

She is a Motivational speaker and it shows in her writing too.

This book is about a spiritual healing process she took up while she was feeling aimless and broken. How it affected her and what she learned is this book all about. You will feel each word, each lesson you will learn along with her. All through the book, there are positive vibes and learning’s.

It’s a must-read book for everyone who’s feeling low on motivation.

  1. Freedom of Being Human by Rab Jot

Some books are food for your soul and this book is one such book.

The story revolves around Tejas, who is a divine soul. There are different characters and they have different values, purposes, and meanings in life but they all crossed paths at one time or another. Tejas and Yanchit are two such characters, who are from completely different backgrounds and have completely different ideologies in life but somehow Tejas influenced his life and even saved him from wrongdoing.

As I said in the beginning, this book is soul touching and forces you to think and question your beliefs. If you are searching for your purpose in life, then this is the book for you. It will help you in not only analyzing your views but also help you in achieving a sense of realization.

Every character has their own life story and belief. Each has a strong character and Tejas is the binding force who bound them together for the betterment of society.

The narration is simple, the story is vast. The thing I loved most is the poetic language of the book. The quotes, the discussions are marvellous. This is a must-read story in a lifetime.

In the end, I would say the book carries a simple message:

“The dignity is not in being born as a human, but is relishing the potential of what one can become as a human and this is where each one of us individually expresses the freedom of being human”.

Children’s Literature: 

  1. Unfairly Tales by Carthick

In our life, one time or another, we read and believe in Fairy Tales. As a child, I always believed in fairy tales and Fairy’s magic wand. I sighed on reading, Cinderella’s good luck and wished and waited for my prince charming. But, once I grow up from this phase, I used to wonder about the authenticity of these tales. Because I realized life is not black and white only but fifty shades of grey between.

So, when I read about this book, I decided I have to read this book. And I am glad that I read it. What a book this turned out!! I am still reeling from its effect on my mind.

Every Fairy tale you have ever read or heard of is retold in both these volumes. Cinderella to Goldilocks, Frog prince to Hobgoblin Each one makes their appearance and retold their stories with a different perspective. And I must admit, I can relate to these tales more than their older version.

In the second volume, the author surpassed the first one. The story of snow white is so beautifully narrated with a different angle, it touched my heart.

The Jungle Tale is another masterpiece. My favourite story Shoes And Man is also there but too realistically and believable.

I can go on and on about this book but you have to buy it to relish this ultimate collection.

The language is so simple, yet poetic. All the tales are narrated in a unique style. It will keep you glued to it. Children can also easily read this book and I am sure they will enjoy it immensely.

A perfect read!!

  1. Five Gifts that shaped my life by Samardeep Singh

This book is a collection of mesmerizing short stories from Ron’s (Protagonist) childhood. Ron shared a complex relationship with his parents but at the same time, his grandfather was his best buddy, whom he calls “Dadu”. Ron, the only child in the family, finds it tough to cope up with study & relationships.

His grandfather had a positive impact on his life and through his meaningful short stories guides him and teaches him lessons of life.

The five Gifts are,” Magnifying Glass”,” Hour Glass”, ” Violin”, ” Mirror” and ” Pebbles “.

The book is divided into five parts and each part is dedicated to each gift and each part has four beautiful stories and life lessons for Ron.

The stories are really interesting and meaningful too. Each child needs to read it and learn these lessons in life if they want to succeed and become a better human being. My personal favourites from this collection are “Cracking the Glass Museum Code,” which have a strong message of choosing the right way in life for success and also how trying repeatedly, for one thing, will lead you to success at last. ,” A wise Peculiar Rabbit”, it’s the message is how we can choose our time and action on earth carefully.  “A cursed Violin”, “A best friend for a lifeline” and  ”A Perfect Holiday”.

The language is simple and narration is beautiful. I loved this collection and I am surely going to share this with my children and read it to them. You can use it as a bedtime story too. The strong bond between grandfather and grandchildren is really beautiful beyond word. A Fabulous read!!

Social:

  1. Invisible Ties by Nadya A.R

Some books are so deep that it will leave you pondering over it long after you finish it. This is surely one of those books and much more.

The first thing, which will attract you to this book, is its beautiful cover.

It’s so eye-catching and inscribed with beautiful flowery pastern with a unique mirror in the center. I loved it and left all my work and started reading it.

This book has a strong story-line and a much stronger narrative. It takes some time to get a hold on story and once you get hold I bet you couldn’t leave it till you finish it. You will want to devour it to know what happened next. And you will want to savour it to enjoy the poetic beauty and deep meaning within words.

It is Story is of A Pakistani girl, Noor Mahal, who comes from a regal background and spent her childhood mostly neglected due to her parent’s hectic social life. She got hold of her mother’s mirror and got attached to it deeply. She carried it all through her life, wherever she goes. It has a deep significance in her life.

She spent her life among continuously changing maids and got attached to her old chauffeur as he is only solid rock all through her life. But, in a robbery in her house, he lost his life to save her life.

Traumatized by the turn of events and succumbing to familial pressure, Noor reluctantly agrees to start life afresh in Singapore as the wife of Meekaal Kalim, an investment banker. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Noor finds succour in studying psychotherapy.

Her attempt to heal others brings her close to Ella, her neighbour, and Jake, a handsome American who is struggling to deal with his emotional breakdown.

How she deals with all her troubles and situation and emerged stronger is this entire story is about. You have to read it to know its beauty.

I will recommend this book to everyone who wants to read a beautifully narrated book.

The story is unique and intriguing. I am smitten with the story of Noor. And on top of it, she even thinks sometimes along the same line as I. Especially her searching logic in Taj Mahal.

  1. Sondai by Payal Kumar

It’s a pleasure reading a book from back home. I know it’s weird but I felt like I can smell the soil and feel the ambiance of Raje village.

This is the story of Sondai, who became a widow only after five days of her marriage. She was labelled a witch and literary out casted from her family, as typical of her contemporary society.

But she accepted her fate as it is, and started living her life in solitude and toiling hard, day and night for her family.

Soon, she started shouldering responsibility and literary became the man of the family. She rejected the remarriage proposal from her childhood crush and devoted her life to well being of her family.

She lived her life for others and became a form of Goddess Durga for her family.

The language and narrative are beautifully written and we saw a glimpse of village life and traditions of a rich culture all through the story. The protagonist is a strong-willed woman. I loved the way the author portrayed woman characters, whether it is Sondai or Badamia or others, and presented woman empowerment.

An amazing story.  A must-read book.

Romance: 

  1. Kabir by Anuj

Some books are so deep it leaves a great impact on my mind and I couldn’t get over from it for a few days. I keep thinking about it and its words keep replaying in my unconscious mind.

Have you ever gone through it?

Coming to this book, this is surely one such kind of book. I picked it up assuming it a light read but this book completely bowled me over! What a book it turned out to be… I always used to wonder in which way the mind of great author works. By great, I don’t mean famous but the deep philosophical writer, in whose words you can drown yourself in.

This is about such an author Kabir, and his psychologist wife Shona. They are deeply in love and married against the wishes of her family. They are totally in sync with each other. While Shona is Organized, Kabir is disorganized.

While Shona lives her life in a routine sort of way Kabir lives his life casually.

He is philosophical about life, while Shona is practical.

But they are incomplete without each other.

Some stories made me cry, some left a huge grin on my face.

The language is fluent and easily understandable, some stories are touching and some are soul searching. I read it till late at night and still couldn’t help revisiting it again and again. Their day to day life, their thought process is intriguing. Kabir’s thoughts, the way he drained himself while writing is amazingly described. You can feel like each scene is unfolding in front of you. His quick and witty replies and their love for each other is described fabulously. Even his depression is justified and I can relate to it.

The social messages here and there through the stories are superb and praiseworthy.

Kudos to the author for this beautiful piece of writing!! An amazing read!!

I will recommend it to everyone. This is a must-read book guys!!

  1. Will you stay by Vedant saxena & Annie Pruthie

In his “Poetics” Aristotle explains the tragedy and effect of tragedy as something which arouses pity and fear. We feel pity for character and fear for ourselves. We feel that at some point in our life we are going to suffer the same fate as tragic characters.

Coming to this book, some books made you cry so much that you feel spent after putting it down. But it also makes your relationship with character so real. I cried my heart out all through the novel.

Although I do not fear that I will suffer heartbreak as Shreyansh and Manya the two main characters of this novel but I fear that sometime in the future I have to let go of everything I hold dear to me and this thought is my worst nightmare.

This is what anxiety and depression do to you, I guess! Yes, this book talks openly about two of the most hushed problem of modern times. At least 5 out of 10 people suffer from it but they will never come in open and talk about it and if they will dare to talk about it the society, their friends, relatives will tear them apart. They will look at them with such pity and loathing that you will regret the moment you decided to talk about it. Shreyansh is a heartbroken student of hotel management and suffering from serious Anxiety and Depression, he is skeptical to fall in love again, but he met Manya in his college, his junior and an innocent girl whom he wanted to protect. They end up together despite all the torture, taunts and plotting of their college mates. But will they stay together or not? You have to read it to know it.

The language, the narration the menial details are fabulous. The author has done a tremendous job. Kudos for him for talking about the issues. I dedicate and recommend this book to everyone who is suffering silently and afraid of admitting the truth even to themselves.

I loved the way the author shaped the character of Shreyansh and Manya. I liked the way he emerged stronger and kinder after all the suffering he went through and Manya’ s character for how she stood up for the person she held dearest to her.

Short Stories: 

  1. City under curfew by Fazayal Shabbir

I always think that short stories are much stronger than in the novel. It leaves a strong impact in very fewer words.

This book “City under Curfew” is one such collection of short stories. The author has narrated stories from a different perspective and so realistically. Nowadays we are surrounded by social media and 24-hour news channel and we completely have no idea how and when their breaking news and status update started impacting our life this much. We have become either super sensitive about some issues or insensitive about others. There is no middle way left. Although I loved each story few of them touched me and left me thinking for a long time. The first among them is,” city under curfew “it was one of the most sensitive and heart-wrenching stories I have read ever. The tension created by riots, the pressure created by media and the life of a policeman is so realistically portrayed in this. “Allah ke bande” is one such story; it has a deep message in it. You have to read it to feel it. “Viva ” and ” Are you single ” are fun and light read and came as comic relief between the realistic and eye-opening stories.

We all are living in a state of denial and I am really glad that I read this collection of short stories.

Each story is unique and portrays real-life events and makes you see the other side of the story. The language is easily understandable and perfectly written.

The narration is crisp and to the point. I liked the way each story end with a twist. It will keep you hooked until the end.

A perfect read!

2.Temple Classroom by Puja Roy

Stories always fascinate me to the core, because it’s a craft where an author puts forth many things in fewer words. It requires special talent to pen down short stories, which are precise and crisp.

Is one such collection of short stories where the author has outdone herself.

The story is unique in nature and different in tonality. The stories pick up issues we experience in our day to day lives and present it with a unique hue. Some tales are of ordinary people having extraordinary life goals, while some stories make us see the other side of our lives, which we conveniently don’t talk about.

Each story is beautiful; few of them deeply touched my heart.

First one is, ‘Temple Classroom’,

Narrated tale of a girl who fights against all odds to get educated. Not only that, she made the way for other kids of her small village to receive an education. How does a young girl manage to do bring education in a place where there wasn’t a single school? Well, you have to read the story to find out.

The one I liked is ‘The Root’. In this story, an orphan girl who felt rootless all her life finally found her root in her unborn child.

Last promise’ ‘Broken nest’, ‘Thread of Faith’ touch upon tender issues, bringing forth homespun stories to us with the slice of life in them. These are stories with issues that are more often than really not thought about, as we tend to take them for granted. But deep within they hold the real basis that forms our lives.

Anklets’ narrates the story of a couple who love each other immensely. The husband’s sweet gesture touched my heart.

In which we see a mild docile housewife emerging into a strong woman through the narrative and how she finds her new identity through her ‘baking’.

Stories are beautifully written and compiled. The language is simple yet perfect. The author has done a tremendous job in writing about common themes and some less spoken about topics.

The stories are mostly written in familiar backdrops, we can completely relate to them as if they are our own.

Stories talk about common people and their lives which is intriguing to read.

Book through its various worlds that the stories created, made me smile and cry, alternatively.

Must read collection!

3. Driftwood by Beetashok Chatterjee

Mentioned in the Blurb, this book is a collection of short stories about the sea and seafarers. I read a book about the sea or sea voyages after a long time.

The story is different from the other, as every voyage is different from the other. Each sailor has a different story to tell and each story has an adventure, with a twist and a turn.

Stories I like most are,” The Piano Man” which started as a simple story but surprised me at the end with a twist.

The Hijack “is one of the most adventurous stories I’ve read where we catch glimpses of high-level corruption and dangers to a seaman’s life.

Reach for the Stars” is one such story full of suspense and thrill. You have to read it to know more about it.

A personal favourite is “Stairway to Heaven “; it is a story of blossoming friendship between two seafarers which end up lifelong.

End sadly, but not every story can end on a happy note, no? That’s life.

The other stories, I liked, “Miss Me” and “Sapphire Blue”, which are opposite in temperament. Whereas in the first one, we witness betrayal from a husband, in the other, we meet a devoted husband whose wife…. well, you have to read the story to find out.

The collection is full of beautiful stories of beautiful journeys and experiences. It is a perfect collection of stories from imperfections.

Bon Voyage!

 

About the Author: Sneha Prakash

Entrepreneur, Teacher, Feminist, Literary Critic
Book Reviewer, Writer, Culinarian, Mother, Wife & Daughter

Education

  • Studying PGCTE at English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad.
  • Post Graduate Certification in Feminist Studies at IIT Madras.
  • Master’s Degree in English Literature from IGNOU.
  • Bachelor’s of Arts from Patna University, Patna.

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