March and April 2023 – Reading Wrap Up

I have to say, I think I read some really diverse and interesting books in the last two months. I read some romances, books in translation, a satire on capitalism, a non fiction, a book that was adapted into a TV series, a book about a female psychopath. Here are the books I read and my thoughts on them. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these, what were your thoughts, or if you have any other recommendations for me 🙂

Book/Author: Daisy Jones & The Six/Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: 4 Stars

Looks like Taylor Jenkins Reid is all set to become the next inspiration for all blockbuster book to screen adaptations. When I read Carrie Soto is back, all I could imagine were the scenes from The King – the one with the Williams sisters. And I could picture the whole book on a screen. 

When I saw the announcement that Daisy Jones and the Six was adapted into a TV series, I just had to read the book immediately. I have my own love story with music. I love music in all forms, but my first love will always be rock and roll. So I was delighted to dive into the world of Daisy Jones and the Six. It says in the acknowledgments that Daisy Jones was inspired by Stevie Nicks and The Six by Fleetwood Mac. That has led me into another rabbit hole of rediscovering both!

At the heart of it, the book is a love story. But to me, it felt like a story about friendship, trust, having faith in someone or something, desiring someone or something so much that it makes or breaks you, its about standing up for yourself and what you believe in, its about control and letting go, and well about rock and roll and drugs. 

A very entertaining read and now I’m all set to watch the screen adaptation and listen to the Spotify playlist of the album Aurora 🙂

Book/Author: Finding Your Balance/Dr. Nozier Sheriar and Shonali Sabherwal

Rating: 3.7 Stars

I am really happy to see that we have a book on women’s health, especially women in their midlife, catered to Indian women written by a leading Indian Gynecologist himself (Dr. Nozer Sheriar), assisted with lifestyle by another Indian woman (Shonali Sabherwal). 

The instant I saw this book on my Instagram feed, I knew I had to buy a copy for myself and my friends. It is a known fact now that women’s health in general and specifically the problems women face during perimenopause and menopause are grossly neglected and under-researched. Even amongst us women – women who are educated, earning a good income and juggling multiple things, there is hardly any conversation around health and our well being. Only the weight loss industry and the beauty industry seem to be thriving.

But there are a lot of internal factors, especially the play of stress and hormones that drive a woman’s body and well being. Then there are ailments like Fibroids and Endometriosis, for which there is so little study that even Doctors accept that they do not know what causes these and the only way to remove it from the root is to have a hysterectomy. 

This is a great book for women and men to read, because it is full of scientific facts on all that ails a woman in her mid life, medical and lifestyle treatments with pros and cons for each. I probably wasnt a big fan of the lifestlye section tips because I find them hard to follow, but I appreciated all the medical facts mentioned in the book.

Book/Author: The Maid/Nita Prose

Rating: 3 Stars

This is a good book to pick if you’re in a reading slump and want to read something that is fast paced, simply written and with straight forward characters. But if you’re looking for a proper who-dunnit, then this is probably not the book to go to.

In terms of the plot, I didnt find it that interesting. But I quickly warmed up to the central character – Molly and what worked for me was the way the author used the murder mystery to show us how difficult it can be for people on the spectrum to navigate situations that might seem straightforward to others. How they are bullied all through their lives for being different and how people can take advantage of their innocence. But, all is not lost since there is the redeeming power of friendship and kindness. 

An easy and fast read with likeable and straightforward characters.

Book/Author: BlackBuck/ Mateo Askaripour

Rating: 4 Stars

I can’t remember when was the last time I devoured a 350+ page book in two days. Written in a very engaging manner, this book is a satire on capitalism, especially in the sales and marketing area with a poignant commentary on racism. Think ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ meets ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’

Ace student and college drop out poster boy of the community Darren’s life is hijacked when he meets and impresses upcoming startup – Sumwun’s CEO, Rhett. What follows is Darren’s rise and fall through the sales team in Sumwun, being the only person of colour in the entire company and his subsequent redemption.

I loved every part of the book, from the prologue on Dr. Martin Luther King, to the notes on being a great sales person, to the acknowledgements in the end. Highly entertaining and heart stopping.

Book/Author: The Plotters/Kim Un-Su, Translation by Sora Kim-Russell

Rating: 4.5 Stars

A translated book – translated from Korean to English. I thought this is a good book to read as a follow up if you’re still hung over on John Wick 4 🙂

Reseng is an orphan who has been raised as an assassin in a gang run by Old Raccoon. Old Raccoon runs his operations from an old Library, which he calls the Doghouse Library, and there is a whole chapter on why it was named so, which was hilarious.

The assassins are given their assignments and how to kill details by people called ‘The Plotters’, who are these invisible string masters who run the who show/business. There are rules and codes that need to be followed to the letter and any deviation from the instructions can lead to the death of even the assassin. On one kill, Reseng decides to change the rules only slightly, which starts the dominos falling for Reseng and everything/everyone he holds dear.

Some of the characters are exceptional – my favourite being Jeongang and Mito. The writing is great and the philosophy a mix of grim and warm at the same time. I do think that there could have been a sequel to the book to draw out some of my favourite characters and end the story better.

Otherwise a good pick if you like action, are okay with depiction of blood and gore and like morally gray characters.

Book/Author: Boy Parts/Eliza Clark

Rating: 3 Stars

It would be an understatement to say I had difficulty finishing this book. Probably because of the shocking content in the book that was way out of my comfort zone.

Boy parts is the story of our unreliable narrator – Irina, set in modern London with her playing the role of a famous photographer who is famous for her explicit photography featuring young men. Through flashbacks in the story, we are told about her dropping out from the photography institute because of a mental breakdown she had in the final year, and through stories featuring each of her models in the past, we find out what her backstory is. 

The author takes us into the toxic and sexist work culture in the art industry, with this gender reversed protagonist. This psychological horror reminded me of the movie American Psycho. The downward spiral into madness – triggered by an unresolved childhood trauma of sexual abuse aggravated to a breaking point by drug overuse and the desire of being worthy, to be really seen.

The story focuses on the twisted relationships based on power play that people can get into, when they seek validation from someone who seems unhinged – aka ‘falling for the bad boy’, in this case, a girl.

The story picks up at about 65% into the book and that’s where it was redeemed for me. I have to warn you about a million trigger warnings in this book and that this is not for the faint hearted. But if you can overcome all that and reach the end, dont be too sure you will find any validation for reaching here. I was glad it was over. A great path breaking book I think, but probably not for me.

Book/Author: How Do You Live/Genzaburo Yoshino, Translated by Bruno Navasky

Rating: 4.5 Stars

There were a lot of things that were impressive about this book. The fact that it was published first in 1937, then in 1982 in Japanese and finally published with an English translation in 2021. That the edition I have has such a soothing cover. That there is a foreword by Neil Gaiman. The fact that the last chapter has some interesting information about the origins of Buddhism in India and about the history of Gandhara Buddhas. But the best thing about the book are the life lessons that our teenage boy Copper discovers through his own experiences and from the wise advise given to him by his uncle and mother. 

It is interesting how the older generation two generations back had so many life lessons that made sense, but I doubt I will have any of those life lessons to impart to the younger generation when I grow old..hehe.

A lovely, soothing book that can be read by adults and teenagers alike, something that is of value and stood the tides of time as well.

Book/Author: The Cheat Sheet/Sarah Adams

Rating: 3.5 Stars

I had been on the lookout of a feel good closed door romance and I was so glad I came across this one. This is a friends to lovers trope. Other than the friendship that the protagonists have, I really loved the non toxic masculine representation and friendship that the baseball players have in the story. It was so refreshing. A nice feel good closed door romance with a lot of chemistry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: