Wah. That was difficult. I mean the name of the challenge. Bakers Dozen Books Bucket Challenge. Vidhya from Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen tagged me to list down twelve of my favourite books. Thank you so much for tagging me. Just what the doctor ordered (Shastri trolls forgive me!) to come back to the blog world. Just curious. Why Bakers, Vidya?

Now, to the rules of the challenge

1. List your 12 favorite books
2. 7 wonders about yourself and your reading
3. Tag other 8 bloggers.

Too many numbers! Well.. First up, I don’t know if I can restrict my list to 12. I will try, okay!

My list of favourite books in no particular order

1. The entire Kane and Abel series by Jeffery Archer (Kane and Abel; The Prodigal daughter and Shall we tell the President) As much as I can remember, this series started my reading journey as an adult.

2. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. If I remember right, this is Grisham’s first book. A small cute book this was. I read it when I was in my twelveth standard and yet I remember every detail of the book. I just loved it then.

3. Ponniyin Selvan. But of course. Has to be, no?! In fact, all the Kalki Krishnamoorthy historical fiction books. Sivagamiyin Sabadham and Parthiban Kanavu too.

4. Then, my recent addiction – Harry Potter series. Enough said.

5. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakurni. This book was the reason behind my passion for mythology. After this, I read so many more books that were far better than this, but then, this is close to my heart ‘cos it was the beginning.

6. Jaya by Devdutt Patnaik. Also, Sita. Also, ‘A book on Ram’. Also, The Pregnant King. Okay.. A lot of Devdutt’s books are my favourite.

7. The Taj Trilogy by Indu Sundaresan. The Twentieth Wife; Feast of Roses and Shadow Princess. She is an author who deserves so much more. Undoubtedly, the Queen of Indian Historical Fiction.

8. Aram by Jeyamohan. This is a collection of short stories. Each of them is a gem. I think I’d written a review of the book in my old blog. A lot of people are not too fascinated with Jeyamohan but not me!

9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini. This is such a wonderfully narrated book which is very emotionally draining as well.

10. The Meluha Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. The Immortals of Meluha; The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras. Although I was not too happy with the language, I loved the plot. The books just kept me hooked.

11. Udaiyar by Balakumaaran. Obvious right. So duh.

12. Fever by Robin Cook. I read this long long ago so long ago; don’t even remember how long ago. But I still remember the plot. It was my first science-related book. Although I couldn’t understand many technicalities, I still loved it. After this I read Brain, Coma and all but Fever just stuck on!

13. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh. I just love his writing. This book is the first of the Ibis Trilogy which is set during the Opium War. The second one is called River of Smoke which I liked too but was a little put down by the Cantonese English in it. And well.. I am eagerly awaiting the third book in the sequence.

14. The Help by Kathryn Stocket. This book affected me like nothing else.

15. Okay.. May be, it’s just the timing of this tag or whetever, but I just read ‘The Zoya Factor’ by Anuja Chauhan and loved it. It is classified as chick-lit and I didn’t think I would ever ‘love’ reading it so much. This book is a light read based on the eccentricity of the game of cricket in India which has a lot of Laughing Out Loud moments. I liked the romance too but humour was top notch. Gah.. Who am I kidding. The male protagonist, the Indian Cricket team Captain Nikhil Khoda just swept me off my feet. I am so in love with him. Shhh.. Don’t tell the husband, okay! Heh. The thing is Anuja’s humour is not forced and there is a grip in her writing. Obviously why Mint described her writing style “as a mix of wit and colloquial exuberance and calling her the only Indian writer of popular fiction really worth buying. I am just giving time for this book to sink in so that I can get a few more books of the author.

Okay.. I have so many more to add, but I’ll stop with fifteen. Sorry Vidya for taking such liberties with the tag, but I really couldn’t resist!

Now, part 2 of the tag. Seven wonders about myself and my reading. I don’t quite understand the meaning behind ‘wonder’ but I’ll just state some of my reading habits.

1. I am not a perennial reader. I mean, I read a lot over a period, then give a break in between and then again begin reading.

2. I lend my books easily. But then, if those books are my favourite ones, I remind myself constantly to keep vigil till the book is returned.

3. I tried enrolling myself in a library but figured out it wouldn’t work for me. If I need a book to read, I can’t have a substitute. So, I generally buy books making the husband go bankrupt.

4. I really want to have a big home-library.

5. I am waiting for my kids to start reading. I really want them to be ‘voracious’ (whatever that word means!) readers.

6. I am okay with reading in the Kindle too. Mine is the oldest version of Kindle which can’t be read when there’s no light. Which means, I find absolutely no difference between a hard copy book and the Kindle. In fact, I find handling the Kindle to be much easier than handling Hard Cover books.

7. I am very scared of giving book recommendations. I generally try and go with the general verdict before giving my opinion. That’s because I always am not too sure whether my taste would match with the others.

Okay.. One last one. I know I am breaking every damn rule of the tag. Sorry, Vidya!

8. I think reading is a part of my genes. My maternal grandma, who was completely deaf by age sixty, whiled her entire old age in the company of books. She couldn’t watch TV ‘cos of her hearing and no one was so happy repeating stuff loudly for her, unless absolutely necessary. In such an environment, her go-to place was the library. Everyone used to wonder if she even feels hungry or sleepy with the books around but then, she bonded with her books like no one else does. I am glad I’ve got a little of her reading habit with me.

Done. Next, to tag people. Almost all my books have been recommended by bloggers. I may or may not have commented in their posts but when I want a book, I know who I should go to. I am so curious to know what books they’ll suggest as their top twelve and so I am tagging them.

1. Smitha – Any Excuse to Write/Read
2. Sangi – Life and Times in Bangalore
3. TGND – The Girl Next Door
4. Jayanthan Ravi – Jai.. Scribbling away to glory
5. Bindu Manoj – Reminiscing the Reads

That’s it. But, anyone else who’d like to take up this tag, please do. It really is fun!