January is the month of setting up goals. Of creating (and breaking) resolutions. Apart from setting up my business goals, the other one I particularly enjoy is creating a tentative TBR (“tentative” being the keyword). I am a mood reader and don’t always stick to a TBR list. But I do enjoy charting out what I want to read through the year.
I went all out last year with reading challenges but the universe had other ideas. Due of that, I wasn’t planning to participate in a specific reading challenge in 2021. I am well aware that once things open up, I am barely going to get any time to read. I hate half measures and don’t want to sign up for something I will have to drop out of later.
Goodreads and Reading Women Challenges are a default each year. Long before I launched my blog. When Blogchatter announced their Reading Challenge, I had to sign up. Because, well, it is Blogchatter.
What is the Blogchatter Reading Challenge?
If you have been living under a rock, Blogchatter is one of the most vibrant blogging communities where something or the other is going on each day. A platform for bloggers and social media influencers from across the niches. This year, they have launched their #TBRChallenge to help tackle the ever-growing TBR.
It is a self paced, no prompts challenge where you choose your own goal. I have set no-stress target of 24. Interacting with the community and sharing notes on the current reads promises to be fun.
My 2021 TBR
I read across genres. Some favorites and some I experiment with. I enjoy literary fiction as much as I enjoy chick-lits. This year, I want to get back to reading fantasy fiction. I also want to read more books in the regional language and books in Hindi seem like a good start. From fantasy fiction to non-fiction to literary fiction to women’s fiction, here is my list of 25 books I plan to read this year.
The Celestial Trilogy
At the top of my list is the Celestial Trilogy by Sangu Mandanna. I have read a fair share of Mahabharat retellings but this series comes highly recommended. Fantasy/science fiction and inspired by ancient Indian stories. The final book in the series releases June 1st and I am looking forward to reading the complete series at a go.
The Poppy War Series
Another fantasy fiction series on my TBR is The Poppy War series by R.F. Kuang. I have been delaying picking it up due to the trigger warnings. But 2021 seems to be the year for it. Inspired by the second Sino-Japanese war and the Nanjing massacre, it promises to be a fascinating mix of fantasy and historical fiction.
Non fictions take up a considerable part of my TBR. There are four books I am planning to read this year. India is infamous for its caste politics. But there is an unspoken caste system that has shaped America. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson explores these hidden caste hierarchies.
I have read a couple of essays from the anthology Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomyand they are excellent. I am also looking forward to read Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard. Having lived in Defence Colony for years, I was not aware of the history of the Gumbad (where their RWA office is located). The Forgotten Cities of Delhi by Rana Safvi promises to unearth more such secrets and I am planning to pick it first.
Books by South Asian Authors
I am biased towards books by South Asian authors. They do not get as much love as they deserve. On the top of my list is the highly recommended Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena. Another is Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave. And then there are books by my auto-buy authors. The book on the fearless Rani Jindan, The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. And of course Sandhya Menon’s adult romance debut, Make Up, Break Up by Lily Menon.
Jane Austen Retellings
I enjoy reading Jane Austen retellings. There is a certain charm in the modern adaptation of the much loved classics. I plan to pick up Sonali Dev’s The Raje’s series – Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, Recipe for Persuasion, and upcoming Incense and Sensibility (out in July). Another Jane Austen retelling I am looking forward to re-read is the Persuasion retelling Mr Eashwar’s Daughter by Debeshi Gooptu. Persuasion is one of the lesser-known, rarely explored works of Jane Austen and my favorite. I prefer it over Pride and Prejudice – Wentworth over Darcy anytime!Blogchatter Reading Challenge And The Books I Want To Read In 2021 @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand @events_showcase @RREStudios #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
Award Winning and Popular Books
I avoid award winning and hyped books since they often disappoint. But the picks in 2020 worked well for me. This year. I am looking to pick some more popular books. The Man Booker Prize 2019 joint winner Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo is at the top of my list. So is Circe by Madeline Miller(Yes, I haven’t read it yet!). I have previously enjoyed books by Fredrik Backman and Beth O’Leary and will be hopefully reading Anxious People and The Flat Share.
Books in Hindi
India has an incredible history of Hindi literature that no longer gets its due. It breaks my heart to see translated pop-culture books considered the best books in Hindi. This year, I plan to read books in Hindi too. Dopehri by Pankaj Kapur comes highly recommended, particularly the Hindi version. Quite true, “Afternoon” does not have as much a ring to it as “Dopehri” does. I would also be re-reading Raag Darbari by Shrilal Shukla and Zindaginama by Krishna Sobti, in Hindi this time.
The Palate Cleansers
Feel-good books or “palate cleansers” as I like to call them don’t necessarily make a TBR. But I recently discovered a stash of 100+ Barbara Cartlands at Storytel. They were the only romances I was “allowed” to read growing up since they were considered chaste. And were the foundation for my love for historical romances. They will be my go-to for feel-good books. I am also curious to know how the stories have aged over the decades.
Are you participating in any reading challenges this year? What books are you looking forward to read? Do share about them in the comments below.Blogchatter Reading Challenge And The Books I Want To Read In 2021 @blogchatter #BookChatter #TBRChallenge #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
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