Volume of impact: Bookstagrammers pick out their favourite reads from 2021
Three young bookstagrammers—who are redefining how books are reviewed in the modern world—from Delhi-NCR list out their impactful reads from this year
Books have the ability to transport us to a different world, all while entertaining and inspiring. “It provides me the escape that I believe all of us need at times. There is a lot that you can learn about real life and about human values even from fantasy books,” shares Dwarka-resident and bookstagrammer Prerna Parashar. It is this quality of books that makes them eternal.
No matter how promising a book may seem, many people judge it based on reviews by literary critics. With the advent of social media, book reviews are now taking screen space as a number of bibliophiles are convincing readers on what their next page-turner should be. As the year draws to an end, three young bookstagrammers—who are redefining how books are reviewed in the modern world—from Delhi-NCR list out their impactful reads from this year.
EMPOWERING THE VOICELESS THROUGH BOOKS
Parashar, who reviews books through ‘@preadsbooks’ on Instagram, enjoys exploring fantasy and mythological fiction. Her recent obsession has been the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Mass, whose fifth book A Court of Silver Flames released this year. Valmiki’s Women by Anand Neelkantan is yet another favourite, she says. “The book gave voice to the women in the stories that we have grown up listening to.” Parashar stresses that The Reading List by Sarah Adams should be part of every bookworm’s bookshelf. “It celebrates the spirit of reading.”
The thrill of reading
Aayushi Jain from Ashok Vihar has been reviewing books since 2017. Her Instagram handle ‘@penandpapers’—it has more than 18,000 followers—features aesthetic images of books along with short reviews. Jain mentions that her favourite books from this year include Song of Draupadi by Ira Mukhoty, A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam, Sylvia: Distant Avuncular Ends by Maithreyi Karnoor, and Lindsay Pereira’s Gods and Ends, which was shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2021. In crime thrillers, a genre that Jain enjoys, she recommends The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. “It is definitely one of my top five favourites this year. The book is not just a psychological thriller, it blends the genre with Greek mythology and history, and is a page-turner,” Jain shares.
INNUMERABLE LESSONS HIDDEN IN THE PAGES
Those with an interest in nonfiction can pick Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir by Ashley C Ford, as recommended by Deepak Singh Rawat from Central Delhi, who posts reviews on ‘@emptyhouseofliterature’ via Instagram. “Reading for leisure is fun but it is even more exciting when people wait for your recommendations. The best thing about reading and reviewing is connecting the fictional and real worlds through words,” he says. Talking about Ford’s book, he adds, “Ashley’s story made me realise how important it is for us to move on in life from memories, and sometimes family. Human lives are multi-dimensional, and accepting that would make your relationships better.”