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‘Books are growing in demand even in these times of instant content. In this list, authors pick their favourite reads of 2014, and tell you reasons for their choices as well. If you’re a bookworm, don’t miss this!’
In the age of internet and endlessly streaming ‘content’, it’s a wonder that books are still holding their own. The number of people reading books has not gone down in the age of the web, but it has gone up by many times. Books and novels are definitely not on their way out, and 2014 was another year in which many good books came out. In this list, we present a few great authors who pick their favourite books of the year. This is of course a subjective list, but then these guys know a thing or two about what makes a good book; they’ve written many themselves.
1. Margaret Atwood
Known for her life-changing books such as ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘The Blind Assasin’, Margaret Atwood is one of the best known authors in the English language living today. In her later life, she has also doubled up as an environmental activist, so her top pick for 2014 is Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’. It’s a non-fiction book that deals with the topic of planet toxicity and how we can arrest – and possible reverse – the damage. In Ms Atwood’s words, ‘this is a conversation that needs to happen on a large scale, and a on a local scale, and on a personal scale, very soon.’
2. Julian Barnes
A Booker Prize winner for his novel, The Sense of an Ending, picks Mariusz Szczygiel’s ‘Gottland’ as his favourite book of the year. It is one of those unclassifiable books, which details a Polish journalist’s informal history of 20th-century Czechoslovakia. The book contains wonderful vignettes about people and organisations that defined Czech culture of the time, and is a must read for anyone with an eye toward history.
3. William Boyd
The popular British novelist and screenwriter picks as his favourite book of 2014 a collection of letters written by Vladimir Nabokov to his wife of forty-six years, Vera. The book, titled, ‘Letters to Vera’, shows Nabokov with his guard down, but the literary guile that encompassed his fiction and more formal writings is very evident even in these informal pieces. It shows not only Nabokov in a fresh light, but also celebrates a love story of forty-six years between an author and his wife. No other writer of his generation had a marriage that lasted that long.
4. Naomi Klein
After appearing as Margaret Atwood’s favourite pick in this very list, Naomi Klein also picks her best book of the year. She goes for ‘All My Puny Sorrows’ by Miriam Toews as the best novel she read in 2014, ‘a written story of two sisters one of whom is determined to take her own life and asks the other for assistance, is deeply wise and utterly heartbreaking.’

Sunny Pathak

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