Although I cannot claim to have read as much as The New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani or her Indian version, I read enough this year to pick out the worst books. Not only that, I'm reckless enough to publish such a list, which is probably why I don't get invited to cocktail parties and I have no job.

This list does not contain any commercial fiction, though I do occasionally read a few pages of such kind before hurling it at the monkeys who invade DLF Phase I, Gurgaon, every morning. There is no point in including such books because they are the books that are growing the Indian publishing industry faster than any other in the world. The Ravi Subramanians, Amish Tripathis, Ravinder Singhs and all those ladies who look less like Hilary Mantel and more like Katrina Kaif: these writers have my respect.

Also, I have not included books by people who used to be my friends, by people who have no choice but to remain relatives, and by quickie-master Rajdeep Sardesai.

So without further ado, here is my list of Books That Should Not Have Been Published.

Helium by Jaspreet Singh

I truly disliked this. It tried to pass off confusion, vagueness and ambiguity as something profound. On top of which, the damned publisher still hasn't returned my Rs 500, that cheapskate! Imagine my surprise when I saw it on DSC Prize longlist along with some really excellent books (providentially it missed the shortlist).

An academic coming off a broken marriage in Canada returns to India to come to terms with an incident from his youth in the November 1984 riots in which his dear lecturer was murdered. In abstract art, silences and spaces are supposed to convey meaning of their own; here they just convey one intellectual cul-de-sac after another. I trudged on, thinking the resolution would be kick-ass. How optimistic of me.

Strictly Personal: Manmohan & Gursharan by Daman Singh

Somebody would have to be really stupid to publish a vapid pseudo-biography like this right after Sanjaya Baru's delicious account in The Accidental Prime Minister of Manmohan Singh's first term as prime minister (“And Baru only wrote 30 per cent of what he knew!” the publisher told me giddily while I wished a gin-and-tonic would magically appear in my hand.) This book does not even deal with the man’s tenure as prime minister; it gives you no clue to his inner life – unless his inner life is really as boring as the technical descriptions of some jobs he held earlier in his career. I really have no idea why this wasn't published ten years ago, or never at all.

All those biographies of Narendra Modi

These books are the opposite of Manmohan Singh's book, in that each came ten years too soon. They must have given countless orgasms to Modi's fanboys; so the authors have given new meaning to the phrase “by my hand”.

Playing It My Way by Sachin Tendulkar

Reading this book is like watching Sachin in full manliness tackle Bangladesh to get his 100th 100. The over rate is too slow. It’s a careful innings, not swashbuckling. No one gets hurt, especially not anyone in the slips. The ghostwriter is as daunting as the bowlers for Nepal or Maldives.

There is not one juicy tale in this book. Sachin, just by the fact of having been around for so long, would have an endless supply of anecdotes about players, coaches, administrators, and fans. What about all the women he befriended during the course of his career? Nothing. What a waste.

Half-Girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat

There's really no point in putting Chetan Bhagat on this list because trying to critically review his books is like trying to critically review the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. I saw Bhagat on TV saying that simple writing was the best writing. Probably, but his is not simple writing (which, often, is a difficult job) but simplistic writing.

I was affronted by his aiming his latest book at Biharis, not because Biharis are great shakes, but because if he was going to put us in formulaic novel he ought to have done it in his second or third book, not his sixth! What a tired formula. The hero is always a loser male, and since India is filled with loser males, Chetan Bhagat is a rich, rich man.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

I know my vast legion of Bong acquaintances will go into a murderous rage (“Blowdy Phool!”) but what to do. Jhumpa Lahiri is not a Bong writer, she’s an American, writing in the New Yorker style – grinding the sentences down till they're so sanitised and anaesthised that you feel like you're in an manicured American suburb with nary a soul in sight. I used to read a lot of American fiction but I now find American fiction to be insufferably boring exercises in rich-world navel-gazing and brand placement.

Hard Choices by Hilary Clinton

I do, however, read a fair amount of American non-fiction. This mind-numbing book, the opening of Ms Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, should have been included in the US Senate's recent Report on Torture.

The News: A User's Manual by Alain De Botton

This book can be summed up thus: “Life is short, so screw the news.” D-uh.

Adultery by Paulo Coelho

Why, dear god, why? This book is like a cross, nay, a crash between Mills & Boons and plagiarist Shiv Khera. A journalist is discontented with her husband and gets boned by a big-time politician who is a boyfriend from the past. Finally she decides to go back to the old cuckold and while the two are para-gliding, the vastness of the skies helps her discover the true meaning of love. It took a lot of work to scrub the vomit off my keyboard.

Aditya Sinha is a senior recluse, hibernating on the outskirts of Delhi.