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Monday, 10 February 2020

January Reads!

Hi Readers! How are you all? How has the first month of 2020 treated you?
Well, for me, I’m already kind of beat. I sure started the year with a LOT of goals, what with the 20 Things to do in 2020, 52 Books in 52 Weeks & the Habit Tracker! All these things are making me exhausted instead of improving me. So, one month in, I have already made some changes in the 20 Things. As for the Reading Challenge, I am on track, having read 5 books already! In this post, I’m going to write mini reviews of the FOUR BOOKS I read in January!

~~SHOUT BY LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON~~
This book of poems – SHOUT won the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2019 for the best poetry book. This is why I wanted to read it. Having read this, I have also crossed off the ‘Poetry’ book from the Challenge.

Goodreads describes it as “A searing poetic memoir and call to action from the bestselling and award-winning author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson!” It is quite inspiring & I loved a few parts of it. But, for a 304 paged poetry book, it is a lot repetitive. Some of the parts are just glorified in the name of poetry & do not make much sense. At least, they didn’t make much sense to a seasoned reader like me. The book has its highlights & also its low points. I felt that some poems could be easily skipped making it a shorter & better 200-page book.

Goodreads Rating: 4
My Rating: 3




~~NOTHING VENTURED BY JEFFREY ARCHER~~
I had never read anything by Jeffrey Archer before reading this one. But, I’m glad I started with Nothing Ventured, because I’m sure the author must have better-written books than this one. By reading this book, I have checked the ‘Crime’ book from the Challenge.

“Nothing Ventured is not a detective story. It is the story of the making of a detective.” This was what lured me into reading it. But, I didn’t find it vastly different from other detective stories. The only thing is that the personal detective story is about 10% more than in usual crime & thriller novels. The story revolves around Detective William Warwick as he joins the Police Force. It shows a number of cases he works on. This is what impressed me the most. One story line but multiple case stories within it. Sometimes you get confused as to which case is being solved. But, that’s what I liked about it. Having said that, the cases shown in the book are quite generic & won’t have you at the edge of your seat. It is quite possible to predict the ending & doesn’t leave much scope for shocks. But, because I like Jeffrey Archer’s writing style, I am going to read his most popular book - Kane & Abel.

Goodreads Rating: 4
My Rating: 3

~~KAFKA ON THE SHORE BY HARUKI MURAKAMI~~
I’m sure most of you know about my love/hate reader relationship when it comes to Murakami books. I either end up totally hating them or absolutely loving them. Kafka on the Shore is among the latter. The most distinctive aspect about Murakami’s writing is how there is always extremely weird things happening in the universe of the book. Like in this book & also in A Wild Sheep Chase. Maybe this is the reason I wasn’t fond of Norwegian Wood. With Kafka on the Shore, I have ticked the ‘A Book translated to English’ from my Challenge.

Kafka on the Shore follows 2 parallel stories; one side of Nakata which has all the weird things & dumb conversations & on the other hand that of Kafka with the intellectual discussions. This way there is always a balance for the reader; not too weird & not too heavy. This book has things like people being able to talk to cats, fish & mackerel & leeches falling from the sky, ghost or soul of a living person floating around, a concept that can take the shape of any human being, unaged soldiers from WWII hidden in the forest & so on. This is written in the book’s description which was the clear reason it drew me to read it. And, I ENJOYED reading this book. There are just SO MANY unusual things in it that it’s impossible to guess the ending. It leaves a lot to the readers’ imagination & it can make you come up with multiple unreal scenarios in your head about what will happen. This is another thing I loved. Along with all the weirdness, there are also a lot of METAPHORS which also makes the novel thought-provoking. The book has it all & it was an absolute delight to finally read it!

Goodreads Rating: 4
My Rating: 4.5



~~SUCH A FUN AGE BY KILEY REID~~
Such a Fun Age is one of the most talked-about books that I know of. It also the author’s debut novel which is also a Reese Book Club pick. I read thing only because I wanted to tick the ‘Recommended by Reese’s Book Club’ from my Challenge. Obviously, this is going to be the LAST book that I will have picked from Reese’s recommendations, because like almost all her recommendations, I didn’t like it.

Goodreads describes it as “A big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.” What I thought would be a light read turned out to be a book with a lot of meaning between the lines. It’s just that that meaning could’ve been better written throughout the novel. It misses something which I can’t quite put a finger on, but yes, it feels incomplete.

Goodreads Rating: 4
My Rating: 3


In February, I read Mitch Alboom’s ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ which was easily the best thing I have read this year. I may write a post with all the life-lessons from it & make it the most optimistic thing you read on my blog! Stay tuned!

Until next time,

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