Tuesday, 29 October 2019

October Reads!

Hi Readers! October has been the most productive month in terms of reading. I read SEVEN BOOKS THIS MONTH, which is quite an accomplishment, I’d say. Of these 7, I truly liked reading 4 books! It is quite a mix of genres, but as you all know, I read as per my mood, so it’s all random. Here are mini reviews of the books I read this month!


On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s second novel. The first one was ‘The Hate U Give’ on which I did a review that you can check out here. The first novel was incredible & I loved reading it. Not only did it talk about important matters, it also had an interesting story. Alas, I can’t say the same for ‘On the Come Up’. This one seems to have similar patterns as in the first book. I know there are significant matters relating to people of colour in the US, but writing about the similar things isn’t really good enough to keep the readers hooked.

It is the story of a 16/17 year old girl named Bri who wants to be a rapper. Her family is poor & her mom wants her to focus on school instead of rapping. The book starts with the rap story, but somewhere along the way, it changes its course & becomes about something else. The only thing I liked about it is Bri’s character. She is so set in her head with her principles & thought process. She can identify wrong from right & has the courage to speak up about it. In any coming-of-age novel, I haven’t seen a character with such a clear head, at least for 80% of the book. Well, I have rated it at 3/5 on Goodreads!

Haruki Murakami’s ‘Norwegian Wood’ was something I was excited about, but I didn’t like it much. Since I have started reading a lot again, I can easily read even a bad book in a matter of 3 to 4 days. Same goes for this one. This is the novel that gave Murakami global fame, but somehow I never really did get the point of this book.
The story is with a lot of ups & downs. It talks about mental illness, so naturally it has a lot of emotions involved, but somehow those emotions never find their way into the words & into the reader. It was just a depressing story with no real meaning in it. I rated it at 2/5 on Goodreads.

Normal People by Sally Rooney kept cropping up in a lot of lists of book recommendations & so I finally read it only to be disappointed.
It is the story of Connell & Marianne throughout a 4 or 5 year period. It is nothing but an on-again-off-again sexual relationship. Reading this reminded me of Norwegian Wood in a few ways. The girl is broken & the boy will do anything she tells him to do. The whole story was kind of sadistic & just not worth it. I rated it at 1/5 onGoodreads.

This one was a lovely surprise! It was my first Wodehouse read & I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though the story was simple, it was entertaining. I loved the language & Wodehouse’s way with words. Even though you can predict the ending, it is still a delight to read British English not too old but not too new.
The story is about Sally who inherits a lot of money, how she spends it & how she meets interesting people along the way. It is always a thrill on every page. I am definitely going to read more books by P.G. Wodehouse. I rated it at 4/5 on Goodreads.

This one needs no explanation & is a standalone classic. I am not usually a fan of classics, mostly because of the old English & difficult to follow story which is in reality quite straight forward. But, The Great Gatsby was sure an exception. (Jane Eyre is also an exception, FYI.) In its simple way, it was quite extraordinary. Sad yet leaving you with so much to hope for in life. If you haven’t read it yet, you definitely should! I rated it at 4/5 on Goodreads!

As you all know, I loved Murakami’s ‘A Wild Sheep Chase’. You can read the review here! I have rated it at 4/5 on Goodreads.

The show stopper is indeed Melinda Gates’s ‘The Moment of Lift’. I have a lot of thoughts on this, which I still have to collect & put them in words effectively. So, a full-fledged review on this will be coming up soon! I have rated it at 5/5 on Goodreads.

That is all for now! I have read 35 books & plan on reading a minimum of 5 & a maximum of 15 more till year end. I’m always up for book recommendations, so you can drop some in the comments below!
Until next time,

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

A Wild Sheep Chase. (Mindscape Reviews)

Hello Readers! Sorry for not posting all month! A few things came up because of which I had no energy to think or write anything. So far, the month has been good only reading-wise. I completed my target of reading 30 books! And, because there are still more than 2 months left, I have extended the target to 40 or possibly 50! So, this month I read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (It was SO GOOD), Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Didn’t like it very much), The Adventures of Sally by P. G. Wodehouse (Such BEAUTIFUL WAY OF WORDS) & finally A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (WEIRDLY INTERESTING!) Of all these, I am only reviewing A Wild Sheep Chase, so here you go!


A Wild Sheep Chase is exactly what the title suggests. It is the story of a man who goes on an adventure in search of one particular sheep. The novel is a mix between a mystery and philosophical story. There are so many things in it which make it a lot weird, but the weird part is the beauty of it which makes you not stop reading it.

The best part about the story is that no one has names & it is written with such simplicity that there is no confusion without names either.
The protagonist has a girlfriend with out-of-the-world ears. There is so much mention about her ears, more than her own personality.
Then, of course, there’s the sheep. He gets an image from his friend ‘The Rat’ which has the photo of many sheep, but there is this one unusual sheep in it. He had received that picture many years ago, but only recently he decided to use it in an advertising piece. This lead to the ultimate wild sheep chase. The protagonist along with his girlfriend goes on this wild & weird adventure.

Is the sheep real or just an imagination?
Will he find The Rat leading to the sheep?
What other weird things will unfold?
What will he gain or lose from this incredible journey?
What will be the reader’s interpretation of the sheep?

It will never leave you bored. Not for a moment. It has so many levels of genres. You got your mystery. You have philosophy. There is also a touch of history & facts. And, lastly there’s the glory of classic fictional style.

This is the second Murakami book I read. The first one was Norwegian Wood, which unfortunately failed to make an impression on me. But, because I don’t quit on authors on their first reads, I gave it another try & got it right with ‘The Wild Sheep Chase’. The narrative is catchy, compelling & creative, at its best. In the entire story, all the descriptions of places & people are so amazingly drawn. There is easily a movie going on in your head parallely & you don’t need to think about imagining it because the author paints it himself, so perfectly! The flow of the story is amazing too. The parts before & after are clearly written & then connected toward the end. And, oh the end! The oh so MASTERFUL END! You will never see it coming, but either way, it will not leave you after the book ends. Such is the wonderful narrative style of Murakami in this novel.

After reading this book, I had quite a LONG THOUGHT PROCESS. Usually, all I want to do is jump on another book before sinking in a reading slump. But, books like these deserve a post-thinking time to absorb it all in. There are so many implications. One of the most striking thought I had was the symbolism of the sheep. What could it stand for & how could it be interpreted. I’m sure every reader has different interpretations. But, I thought about how it merely was a lesson. He went after something unachievable, because he was tired of his ordinary life, but in the end, his ordinary life was the essence of his existence. We all, no matter how many adventures we embark upon or how many places we travel to, have to come back to our ordinary lives which are basically the foundations of everything. We just need something extraordinary & weird like a sheep to realise it.

There is this one line in it, which captures the essence of the book:
“The whole thing is damn stupid yet everything has a painful clarity to it.”

Reading this book was a thorough joy! It had many unpredictable things & it was most certainly the weirdest yet most real book I have read. I have rated it at 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

Until next time,

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