I am still having Eid Festive hangover. But anyway I hope you all had a wonderful Eid and Hope all the non-Mulsim folks got their sheer kurma and Biryani treats.
This blog post is to share my past 6 months reading list and reviews of the books I’ve read. My target for this year is to read 15 books I keep my target low because I never reach my goals unlike last year I did finish reading 12 books and surprisingly that was my goal last year. Reading 12 books.
This year I am running slow. But I still have time and I can catch up hopefully. So let’s get into the real business of this blog post.
- To start with, let me introduce you to my first read of 2019, and that is Randa Abdel Fattah’s debut book of 2005, “Does My Head Look Big In This.”
Synopsis: This book is about Amal (Australian-Palestinian) a 16-year-old teenager who suddenly decides to start wearing hijab as a full-timer but the catch is now that she is in a McClean’s school which has a strict uniform system and which does not support hijab. The story revolves around Amal and her friends and how brown parents have different forms of upbringing in the west. From all the teenage issues, be it facing stereotyped comments in school as a hijabi, to facing her crush and having friends who are supportive but also how they stand by each other is all portrayed in this novel.
My Take: I loved the book for it’s writing style, it’s a teenager perspective book but I could so relate to it because I myself am a hijabi. I loved Amal’s character. I did my Master’s course thesis research on this very book because it actually fit the concept that I wanted to do. The author has not only focused on one character in the book, but every character has its space in the book. Also, the book also deals with body shaming and the typical brown parent’s typical mindset is also portrayed in the book.
“What’s the good of being true to your religion on the outside, if you don’t change what’s on the inside, where it really counts ?” …-Does My Head Look Big In this-
Randa Abdel Fattah
The book is a must read to all those who want to understand why hijabi’s practice wearing hijab although the whole concept behind hijab is not mentioned in the book and also, that’s a topic on which one can actually write a book on. It’s a light read book but with a strong message. So if you come across this book do pick it up and read it once at least.
I bought this book from Amazon and if you are interested you too can buy it from this link
2) The next book is One Hundred Names By Cecelia Ahern.
I love this book so much that this was the 3rd time I read this book because every time I read this book it gives me a bit of hope to get back to writing whenever I feel I am drifting away from writing.
The story is about Kitty Logan (Katherine Logan) who is a journalist/Tv Reporter and whose career is at stake because of her own careless behavior and mistake. She lost her mentor her friend who was the only one who believed in her. Her boyfriend left, everyday she has threats from random people who destroy the front door of her house and because of which she can also get homeless.
Before dying her mentor/friend Constance is asked by Kitty which is that one story that she wishes to write? to which Constance mentions about an envelope and promises her she will explain it to Kitty the next day, but Constance passed away and the secret was not revealed. But Kitty has only one hope to reinstate her life and her job and that is to find out what Constance wanted to write when Kitty finally after a long search finds the Envelope it consisted of 100 names and nothing more. How Kitty solves the mystery is something you will have to find out by reading it.
“Some people say that you shouldn’t operate from a place of fear but if there is no fear, how is there a challenge?”-One Hundred Names-
My take: As I said I have read this book thrice and I loved it. I love Cecelia Ahern’s writing style and most favorites of mine are P.s I love you, How to fall in love and One Hundred Names. The story does have it’s flaws like sometimes Kathy does annoy you (she does annoy me). Like you want to sympathize with her but you can’t because you do know that she is facing the karma. But by the end, everything falls into place and our dear Kathy does realize her mistake (FINALLY).
If interested buy it from here:
3) The next book is Turtles All The Way Down by John Green.
This book was a birthday gift to me in 2018 and I was taking my own time to pick this book to read. Finally, I read it in 2019.
Synopsis: The story about Aza who is suffering from severe anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder issues. Aza has a best friend Daisy who writes fan fiction on star wars. Davis Puckett who is Aza’s love interest and whose father goes missing being labeled as a fraud but leaving behind ample of money for his two son’s who have everything materialistic for their rescue but their parents. The story is a bit Romantic bit mystery and all the more cliched.
The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be a terrible company. – Turtles all the way down- John Green
My Take: I personally did not like the book so much as much it is or was hyped about. I only liked John Green’s Fault in Our Stars the rest all that he wrote were all one time read and not that great according to me. Have you read John Green what are your views on him?
If interested you can buy the book here:
4) Wake Up Life Is Calling By Preeti Shenoy.
“This is the problem with life, it snatches away people who do not deserve to die. It destroys everything when you least expect it. It takes away all that you value and hold dear, leaving you with scraps of longing and regrets that gnaw at your soul.”Wake Up, Life is Calling-Preeti Shenoy.
Synopsis: The story is about Ankita who in the book “Life is what you make it.” have been through mental disorder, had suffered a lot and had survived two suicide attempts. Trying to get over her past and hiding her scars in a new environment in Mumbai (previously lived in Kerela) Ankita is all set to start her life afresh by pursuing Creative Writing Course and trying to start her life with new beginnings. But the shadows of past, and how she discovers a book in her college which is trying to play with her mind, push her back to the darkness where she came from. Can she escape her thoughts? How Ankita will fight back to all the demons all over again?
My Take: I picked this book only for one reason and that is because this book is a sequel to ‘Life is What you Make it’ and I had read this book some years back and I had loved it. But somehow I was a bit disappointed because the first half of the book was a bit slow and was annoying because most of the story from the first book was a bit vague to me as I had read the book years ago, and now the sequel coming so late it’s hard to remember the details. I liked the second part of the book and the best was the description of the house of Mrs. Hayden one of Ankita’s professor and the story of Mrs. Hayden was something that I loved and touched my heart.
*Also, I will not recommend this book to be read by someone who is already mentally disturbed. Because even though it has a positive message and thoughts yet this book does have a gloomy feeling which might put someone into a more miserable condition. *
Overall, it’s a one time read and it’s a light read. One can opt for this if someone wishes to get back to reading, having difficulty with some current reading and needs a light read for a break…
If interested you can buy the book from here:
When I Hit You: Or A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife. – Meena Kandasamy
I discovered Meena Kandasamy when I was doing my Masters and we had her poems in our syllabus, since then I am in love with her writing style and the way she pours out emotions in words, it’s far to even my imagination. She is one of my inspiration.
Synopsis: The nameless protagonist is married to a professor who is a communist. This well-educated professor turns a deadly poison slowly to the narrator. The husband turns abusive and rapes the narrator, and the marriage turns disaster which the narrator luckily escapes but not for good.
“Hope – as the cliché goes – is the last thing to disappear. I sometimes wish it had abandoned me first, with no farewell note or goodbye hug, and forced me to act.”
-Meena Kandasamy, When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife
The writer portrays how a woman is subjugated to choices she makes and how she is the one who is blamed for not having a successful marriage. How helpless she was even when her parents at first did not supported her but then eventually they had to as she was being threatened to be murdered by her own husband. The maniac husband makes the portagonist life hell.
My take: This book brings chills to your spine but it actually depicts the real picture of our society, and how women are actually treated after being divorced. This book is heartbreaking but it’s one of my favorites of 2019 up till now.
I bought a hardcover from Amazon however if you are interested you can choose to buy paperback which is cheaper.
I also read an e-book by Sona Grover ‘Finding your Writing Flow”. It was a blog chatter review program that I had participated in. It’s a must read to all the aspiring writers and bloggers who wish to be a writer/blogger and also to those who are facing writer’s block. I have written a detailed review blog post on this book which you can find here
The books that I am currently reading are R. K Narayan’s ‘Malgudi Days’ and Mark Manson’s ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck’
What are you currently reading and have you read any of the books above?Would love to know your thoughts on them.