Book 14 of 2022 | Why is my hair curly?

For the first time on this blog, I have caught up to write about just as many books as I have read. It is obviously sad because that means i have managed to read pretty less. The reasons for that are: a) my current read which sent me in a reading slump of more than 2 months, b) being obsessed with reading Reddit threads at night instead of reading or phone addiction in general.

A short note on reading habit before the actual review: Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I mostly forget what I read. Hence, going forward, you will see a structure to my book opinions. I also maintain a book journal for my notes now and I love doing that. You’ll also see me writing why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

Moving on to the 14th read of this year:

Why I chose this book?

I got this in one of those Westland sales when they were giving away one free eBook a day, really long ago. Westland has since shut shop. 😦

What I liked?

It is a children’s book and a really enjoyable one. The book is about a little, curly haired girl and her daily struggles at school and home. Later on, the book followed to involve a family mystery that the girl helps solve. What I liked most about the book was that its writing style was similar to an old childhood favorite of mine – When Amma Went Away. Basically, if you have read any children’s book by Devika Rangachari, it’s in the same tone.

What did I not like?

I think if (and when) I had kids, I would have been extra judgy towards kids books. for now, i was pretty much happy with it. Just one complaint – I wish the story had a mystery that was more related to the kid’s own life, rather than one focused on overall family drama.

Here’s the link to the book and you can give it a go as a cosy read!

Book 12 of 2022 | Murder Mystery Book Club #1

Right after my 11th book turned out to be such an amazingly fun read, I went into the flow of reading another murder mystery because why not?

A short note on reading habit before the actual review: Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I mostly forget what I read. Hence, going forward, you will see a structure to my book opinions. I also maintain a book journal for my notes now and I love doing that. You’ll also see me writing why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

With that out of the way, let’s get to this book – Murder Mystery Book Club (Florida Keys Bed & Breakfast Cozy Mystery 1 – which is a first in a series of Florida Keys Bed & Breakfast Cozy Mystery books.

Why I chose this book?

Like I mentioned, I was in the flow of reading mystery books, more specifically murder mysteries.

What I liked:

I very much loved this book, just the cozy, sunny Florida setting got me going. I loved it a little less than the previous book, but fun nonetheless. Also, how fun does the idea of running a bed and breakfast sound?

What I didn’t like:

Overall, I liked this book but still there were some things that could have been better. First one being the OTT side characters. Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love side characters whose personas are well-defined and the ones who stand out. But, here it seemed forced and kind of trying too hard. Secondly, I didn’t like the encounters that led to the romance so much, it again looked a bit forced to me.

I do still recommend reading this one for a light, cozy read. Maybe on a holiday. 🙂

Book 13 of 2022 | The Girl from Venice

Its now time for a book opinion on my favorite read of this year. This is one book that I randomly picked on NetGalley, mostly because of the name of the book and like I mentioned in my older book posts, I have been reading and loving a lot of war fiction this year.

A short note on reading habit before the actual review: Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I mostly forget what I read. Hence, going forward, you will see a structure to my book opinions. I also maintain a book journal for my notes now and I love doing that. You’ll also see me writing why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

Onto my favorite read of the year now:

Why I chose this book?

The first line of this blog post is enough to tell.

What I Liked:

I loved everything about this book, perfection is the word – from characters to the setting to the storyline to the theme of the book, i.e. WWII.

A bit about the book – An Italian Jewish woman from Venice who is a regular medical student like any of us has to flee from Venice when the Nazi regime starts capturing Jews in Venice. I don’t want to give spoilers, even though the book blurb will mention more than what I am mentioning here. Basically, the story is about her granddaughter finding her roots by way of tracing back her grandmother’s (who never brought up her Venetian past).

I have also come to realize that I like books with two parallel perspectives where one of them is a flashback and the two kind of merge together eventually. I wish I could put down my love for this book in words, but I was essentially loved every page of it. I think it was also the right length, because even though I loved reading it, in such books, you come to a point where you want the protagonist to discover what they set out for.

The Venetian setting is a bonus and a girl on solo travel to Venice with a little bit of romance thrown in is just the stuff of dreams! Pretty sure this would make a great motion picture!

What I didn’t Like:

I really do not have anything here. If I had to nit pick, the sex scenes were definitely avoidable and seemed unnecessary.

Here is the link to the book and I highly, highly urge you to give this one a read. I am also thankful that I got the opportunity to read this one purely due to NetGalley.

Book 6 of 2022 | The Pothunters by PG Wodehouse

Continuing with my streak of posting my views on all the books I read, here’s my 6th one from this year. You can find more of such posts from me here.

A short note on reading habit before the actual review: Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I mostly forget what I read. Hence, going forward, you will see a structure to my book opinions. I also maintain a book journal for my notes now and I love doing that. You’ll also see me writing why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

And now, here are my thoughts on The Pothunters:

Why I chose this book?

I had never read anything from PG Wodehouse & have been meaning to for a while. Just to know what its all about. I saw this for free on Kindly Unlimited and just picked it.

What I liked:

Well, difficult to say, since I pretty much didn’t like the book from the get go. When I started this book, I didn’t know that it is PGW’s first published novel. I usually don’t like getting too much into “what a book is about” before I read it if I am not picking it specifically for that very reason. So, I get to know these tiny details afterwards only. Now that I know its one of his first works, I may need to read more of him to decide whether I like them or not. 😀 This was about boys in a boarding school and it had that signature Brit humour of his tied to school jokes. It also had a mystery angle which I think was good but since I wasn’t invested in the book since the beginning, I couldn’t follow that a lot. I think the only thing I liked was the sort of nostalgia that you associate with school stories, even if its not your own school story.

What I didn’t like:

I think I just couldn’t invest myself in it since the beginning. So many characters, joking around in school, it took me some time to get used to the way he has written this.

As a final summary of sorts, I didn’t enjoy reading this book, but I am up for reading more of PG Wodehouse still.

Book 1 of 2022 | Queeristan by Parmesh Shahani

Keeping up with sharing of what I read, and also my wish to ‘read with more intent’, here are my thoughts on my first read of this year. I mentioned here that I didn’t post about my first book of the year because my notes were somewhere else. I got hold of my notes finally and here’s my opinion on my first read of 2022.

But before that, I wanted to share something fun with you (fun if you like to read). Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I don’t have a good memory with books and I don’t like the fact that I mostly forget what I read. Hence, I decided to be active with a book journal, basically a place where I make notes while reading. Today, I came across an awesome Instagram post about how to read more mindfully, which gave me pointers to better my notes. For example, from now on, I’ll also write why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience more. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

With that out of the way, here are some thoughts on Queeristan, my first read of 2022. Still pretty fresh in my mind due to my notes. 😛

First of all, why I chose this book. That’s because it was available for free in one of the sales and I wanted to get my hands on something queer. I went into it without knowing that this is not a book to acquaint you with why you should support queer people, but rather a queer person’s view in a corporate leadership position in one of India’s top FMCGs on how one can make use of their privilege in corporates to improve lives for queer people. Fair enough. However, the book sort of became a compilation of author’s own and other entities’ efforts towards improving queer lives. In the end, it sort of feels like a record keeping, than a book. Had it been an article, it would have been okay to read, but you know how it is with reading this many pages of just factual details on efforts. Some stories, of course, were very engaging, especially since they are real.

What I liked: I essentially liked two things in the book. One, the author’s zest for life and his recognition of his own privilege. If you were to draw a character sketch of the author from the book, he feels like someone full of life, which is great for him! The other thing I liked is kind of related to this first thing. The first part of the book is all about how he leverages his position in the corporate world to further his queer agenda. I think its a great thing to recognize your position & leverage it for betterment of society. Although how exactly he is helping apart from making inclusion & diversity policies better in offices , that’s not too clear for me. Another thing I liked was how he tried to explain that hiring more queer people is not just beneficial to the queer people, but business & society as well.

What I didn’t like: Second part of the book is more on referencing to conferences, initiatives etc which feels a lot like record keeping. The book didn’t touch upon why becoming an LGBTQ+ ally is needed. I understand that was probably not the intent, but for a book about how LGBTQ+ allies help improve lives of LGBTQ+, it should be called out I feel.

As a final summary of sorts, I didn’t enjoy reading this book, but it was informative for someone like me with limited context.

When to find time to read?

Read in metro queues

Read in passport renewal lines

Read on your way to work (if you aren’t driving or else listen to an audio book 😀)

Read while on solo dates in cozy cafes

Read while waiting for someone

Read when you are out on a lunch date with self

Read in book fairs in stalls that have chairs

Read before napping in afternoons

Read right after napping

Read before sleeping

Read in parks sitting on cute benches

Read on weekends

Read when soaking sun on the weekends

Read when you can, as that is what matters. Not how much or what you read.