Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 23:54 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 23:54 | SYDNEY

My books of the year


Rory Medcalf


22 December 2009 10:52

Not sure if it makes for ideal holiday reading, but a list of the best books I've encountered this year would have to begin with the masterpiece I neglected to mention in a recent essay about new books on India. Ramachandra Guha's India After Gandhi is the definitive account of how Indian democracy has evolved and survived. Don't be deterred by its length (as I was – which is why I can only praise this 2007 publication two years later). This is highly readable, engaging and accessible – but with plenty of the colour, spice and sheer detail that characterises India.

Usually I prefer short books. David Malouf's newest novel Ransom brings fresh life to The  Iliad in a bittersweet tale of fatherhood, loss, revenge and atonement, against the backdrop of the original total war. All this character, viscera and geopolitics in just 200 pages.  Homer meets Hemingway.

Photo by Flickr user StrudelMonkey, used under a Creative Commons license.