In 2017, I read many new books but also re-read some old favourites which I hadn’t read in ages. James Herriot is one of my all-time favourite authors and I’ve been going through his series again, picking up old copies from Blossoms in Bangalore, every time I visit. I loved the first one in the series All Creatures Great & Small. Other favourites of the year were Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, Aches & Pains by Maeve Binchy, and Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag.
I enjoy books exploring psychological or medical themes but often find them overly dramatised or giving a sanitised view of the real issues. However, Gail Honeyman’s description of a young woman living through the aftermath of a traumatic childhood in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine struck the balance really well with an easily flowing prose. Ghachar Ghochar is one of the first translated books that I’ve enjoyed in a while. In less than 150 pages, the author creates a feeling of darkness closing in, which became more apparent only after I finished the book, and it stayed with me for a long time. Maeve Binchy and James Herriot have an endearing style of finding humour in daily tragedies and I keep going back to both for the same.
After being on my TBR list for ages, I finally managed to discover Keigo Higashino in 2017. He’s not a new author but was for me. I love the stealth and simplicity of his narrative that slowly creeps up on you. His book reminded me of the Studio Ghibli movies and I’m hoping to read more of him in 2018.