Monday, 6 April 2020

March Reads: 8 Mini Book Reviews! (Mindscape Reviews)

Hi Guys! Hope you all are doing okay. Being at home has been good for me. So good that I got to read EIGHT BOOKS in the past month. I haven’t been this proud of myself in the recent past. What’s even better is that I LOVED THREE BOOKS, HATED TWO BOOKS & the rest THREE were AVERAGE. I don’t think I have read so many books in a month and loved at least three of those! Check out the mini reviews!

This is hands-down one of the best books I have read this year. I had bought it long back, but never took to reading it. But, when I finally started, 5 pages in, I knew it would be amazing. It was. This novel written by Anthony Doerr won the Pulitzer Award for Fiction in 2015. It is a beautiful story in the historical fiction genre, set in France during WWII. There are two story lines – Marie-Laure & Werner Pfenning. Reading this novel gave me a lot of hope. It’s the kind of book that you just need to read! I have rated it at 5/5 on Goodreads. I checked the ‘Pulitzer Prize winning Book’ category by reading this book.

Unlike Khaled Hosseini’s earlier 2 novels, this one is a little bit different. It does revolve around the people of Afghanistan, but instead of 2 main characters, it is made up of little stories of a lot of people of Afghanistan that nicely tie up together. What is common in all three is that they will have you surging with all the emotions & leave you all cried out. The story writing, as always, is wonderful. The author knows how to play with words & readers’ feelings. If you haven’t read it already, you definitely should! I have obviously rated it at 5/5 on Goodreads.

I read Khaled Hosseini’s Sea Prayer immediately after I finished ‘And the Mountains Echoed’. I just did not want to live in a world where I had not read EVERYTHING written by KHALED HOSSEINI. Sea Prayer is a piece of art with amalgamation of words with painting. It is an illustrated book which is written about the refugee crises. It’s a letter from a father to his son. The wonderful illustration are by Dan Williams. I rated this book at 4/5 on Goodreads. By reading this, I have checked the ‘A Book based on a True Story’ category.

This was my first book by Jhumpa Lahiri. It had been on my TBR for a LONG TIME. I just started reading the e-book out of nowhere & I was hooked! It is a small book with a collection of 9 short stories revolving around Indian based abroad. All the stories are heart-warming & touch base with Indian culture. I absolutely loved some, but I wasn’t a fan of 2-3 stories. Be that as it may, the writing is so beautiful. I have never quite read something so wondrous that could touch me even when I cannot relate to it. I rated it at 4/5 on Goodreads. This book checked the category of ‘A Book of Short Stories’ from my Reading Challenge. I’m keen on reading her book named ‘Unaccustomed Earth soon enough!

I had started this book & given up on it many many times. But, this time I finally completed it. I thought it was quite average & overhyped. Goodreads describes it as ‘Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity. The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.” As with most classics, I didn’t think it to be as great as most people think. I rated it at 3/5 on Goodreads. From my 2020 Reading Challenge, I checked the category of ‘A book mentioned in a TV Series (Little Fires Everywhere)’ by reading this one.

The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller & actually a debut novel by Alex Michaelides. It won the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery & Thriller. It’s the dark & twisted story of a woman named Alicia Berenson. It was a good debut novel. Even though there were some obvious misses, I have rated it at 3.5/5 on Goodreads. The thing I liked was how it is an UNPUTDOWNABLE book. By reading this novel I have now ticked the ‘A Debut Novel’ category form my 2020 Reading Challenge!

I read this book on a colleague’s recommendation. It is written by a Japanese author & is translated to English. After having read 3 of Murakami’s books, I thought I will explore more Japanese authors, but it didn’t go so well. I usually love WEIRD stories, like in Kafka on the Shore. But, this one was way too weird & not for me. It is comprised of three short stories, each one more bizarre than the last. I rated it at 1/5 on Goodreads. I checked the ‘Recommended by a Friend’ category from my 2020 Reading Challenge by reading this book.

The thing that most bothered me most about this book was the writing style. What Goodreads mentions as ‘lyrical prose’ is nothing but ‘lazy writing’. It is a different style for me to read, yes. But, I am very open to new styles especially when it comes to books. This one just didn’t do it for me. The story is butchered into a million parts. It is really difficult to understand the link of one thing to other. The Atlas of Reds and Blues is not written well enough, in all terms: novel style or prose style or metaphorical style or social matters style. I cannot stress how difficult it was to read the book. It was pointless & fails to set a tone with the American or Indian or any reader. I rated it at 1/5 on Goodreads. This book was in none of my Reading Challenge categories, so I put it under ‘A book with Blue cover.’

I will write a book review for 'Where the Crawdads Sing' soon enough. I am currently reading 'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanaghara & also re-readin Harry Potter, because why not!

Until next time,

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