February + March Reading Wrap Up (Part 2)

I had already mentioned the first 15 books I had read in February and March. Here are the rest.

16. Karmelin by Damodar Mazuo (2.5/5)

This book was a huge disappointment for me. Translated from the Konkani by Vidya Pai, this book follows the life of Karmelin, a Goan woman who ends up having to go to Kuwait to make money for her family. I felt the characters were really one-dimensional, and the way sex, and particularly sexual assault was written in this book felt kind of icky. It was a fast-moving, readable book, but the other aspects just ruined my enjoyment of it.

17. Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (5/5)

This was a really enlightening work on nonfiction. It compares racism in America to the caste system in India, as well as society in Nazi Germany. I thought the points this book made was really enlightening.

3. The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao (4/5)

The Majesties follows two Chinese-Indonesian sisters from a super-wealthy family, and the events that lead up to one of them murdering their entire family. A dark, intriguing read.Those are all the books I read in February. Now

4. Qabar by K.R Meera (5/5)

This was such a great book. Translated from the Malayalam by Nisha Susan, this book is set in a small town in Kerala and follows Bhavana, a judge as she deals with a dispute where a rather mysterious, enigmatic wants to buy back a piece of land where according to him, his ancestor is buried. With layered metaphor and a touch of magic realism, this book deals with gender issues as well as tensions between the Hindu and Muslim communities in India.

5. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (3/5)

This book had such an interesting premise, but unfortunately, its execution just did not do it for me. It is set in two parallel timelines, one present day, and one in the 18th century, following a female apothecary who helped women poison the men in their lives who presumably hurt them. I thought the characters were a little flat, and the story just did not grab my interest the way the premise had.

6. Moon Mountain by Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay

Translated from the Bengali by Pradeep Sinha, this was a fun adventure story following a boy living in colonial India who gets a letter that invites him to travel to the African jungle. A quick, fun read.

7. Kabir, Kabir by Purushottam Agarwal (4/5)

This was another work of nonfiction. This was about the life of Kabir, a poet-philosopher from 14th century India. The book also investigates the idea of modernity and questions the notion that modern thinking was a product of West alone.

8. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw (4.5/5)

This was a great collection of short stories. They all revolved around the lives of African-American women and particularly dealt with their connection with the church and religion.

9. Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (4.5/5)

This is probably my favourite among all of Murakami’s works I’ve read. This book has two intersecting portions, one in a weird tech dystopia, other in a fantastical world. A weird and enjoyable book.

10. Just the Way you Are by Adite Banerjie (3/5)

This was a light-hearted romance which follows a single mother and makeup artist who falls in love with a younger musician she meets at a wedding. It was a fun love story but i felt that the short length of the book was detrimental to it as there wasn’t enough page time for character or plot development.

11. It was always you by Andaleeb Wajid

This was another light hearted romance, book 1 of the Destination Weddings series. It follows Naima, a spoilt rich woman who is set to get into an arranged marriage only to end up falling for Uzair, her father’s assistant.

12. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (5/5)

This was really hard-hitting middle-grade book, about a real life historical incident during the Nazi occupation of Denmark when thousands of Danish Jews were smuggled to safety in Sweden. It is told through the eyes of a ten year old girl and is an amazing tale of courage.

13. Remembering You by Andaleeb Wajid (4/5)

The second book in the Destination Weddings series, this follows Naima’s former fiance Khalil who falls for the wedding photographer Kimmy who used to be his crush back in college. I actually liked this more than the first book.

14. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (4/5)

This was a beautifully written book following a family. It starts with teenager Melody’s coming of age ceremony and then goes on to the story of her mother Iris’s teenage pregnancy and how that united two very different families. It deals with issues like class, race and gender.

15. Yashodhara by Volga (3/5)

Translated from the Telugu by P.S.V Prasad, this is the retelling of the story of the life of Yashodhara, Buddha’s wife. It envisions her as a strong person who plays an important role in spirituality. Unfortunately I didn’t find the writing particularly engaging.

16. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants by Peggy Mohan (5/5)

This was such an interesting work of nonfiction. It tells the history of India through its languages, and I thought it was really interesting.

17. Their Language of Love by Bapsi Sidhwa (3.5/5)

This is a collection of short stories, mostly set in Pakistan, but some also set in India as well as among the South Asian diaspora in the West. I really liked some of them, while others I didn’t care for as much.

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