Reading round up

I would like to think myself as a book collector but the reality is book hoarder is probably a much better reflection. I own 290 books and have read 51. Shocking right? This number is just novels and doesn’t even include cooking and travel books. I buy books faster than I attempt to read them. I have made by best effort to turn this around because not only am I running out of space but there might be gems out there waiting to be discovered and shared. 

The Hindi Bindi Club is the name given by three daughters to their band of mothers who left India for America. Each chapter in the book is told from either one of the mother’s or daughter’s point of view with a recipe to end it off. The story mainly focused on one character Kiran who is divorced and seeking help trying to find her next husband through an arranged marriage. It was interesting that all the daughters in the book married out of their race group  like the author. There are a few themes which I noticed: older generational friendships, forced friendships between the children, bringing children up in a different culture, arranged marriages and family values. I found the book had too many characters for any real story or theme development. The addition of the recipes was a bit pointless as I wanted to read a novel not a recipe book. This coupled with non-translated Hindi words resembled a forced attempt at Indianizing the story. If you don’t know anything about Indian culture this might provide you with a light understanding. What I enjoyed most about the book was that I learnt something new – the partition of India. Rating: 3/5

It’s very rare for me to buy a second book from an author. I loved Gone Girl so much that I ended up buying not only a second but a third as well. Dark Places tells the story of Libby Day, the only survivor of the Satan massacre on their family farm that claimed the lives of her two sisters and mother. Her brother Ben  was sent to prison for the murder after she testified against him. Twenty five years later the members of the Kill Club are willing to pay Libby for information that will free Ben. The story chops and changes between present day and a few days before the murder. This is no classic who done it. Could it be a Satan worshipping Ben? His crazy girlfriend? A drunk husband? It wouldn’t be a Gillian Flynn book without a twist – I didn’t see it coming. I enjoy her easy to read style of writing which is rather captivating. Rating: 4.5/5

Sharp Objects is the first book penned by Gillian Flynn. I found the writing a bit different and more difficult to get into than the other two. Camille is a journalist researching a missing girl story in her home town of Wind Gap. Returning home to a neurotic mother she hasn’t seen in years and a step sister comes with its own set of new problems and resurfacing of old ones. What I found interesting is how we automatically assume some crimes are committed by men and secondly the concept of cutting words into your skin. I have only read about cutting lines and have never considered the possibility of people carving words into their skin. Overall I found the book slow paced, I hated all the characters but loved the plot twist. The entire story felt more of the same and left for the end where everything was revealed. Rating: 3.5/5

I have seen countless women on Twitter rave about Me Before You which is the reason I bought the book. It’s a long book and about 3/4 in I became a little bored. One thing is guaranteed, this book will make you cry. Louisa (Lou) Clark lives a mundane life, she isn’t sure she loves her boyfriend and has lost a job she really needs. Will Traynor has lost his desire to live after a motorcycle accident renders him unable to do anything for himself. Lou gets a job to take care of Will. You would be mistaken into thinking that this is simply a love story. It explores a very relevant and important theme of assisted suicide. When you are unable to do anything for yourself, being able to make this choice is about you empowering yourself. My issue with this book is that Louisa only changes her mind about experiencing new things when Will tells her to. She is too dull and stupid to think of anything herself. Taking care of a man in a wheelchair doesn’t make her want to live each day to the fullest until he tells her to. There is also an interesting discussion to be had about a guy being confined to a wheelchair, has wealth and someone who loves him but still considers life not living despite them highlighting to him how others who are disabled are managing to live their lives. Rating: 4.5/5

I watched the movie for The Book Thief before reading it even though I had a copy. This book was heart warmingly magical for me. The story is set in Germany during World War II and with “death” as the narrator. The story is about a young foster girl who steals books and learns to read with the help of her foster dad. There are touching moments where she reads to her neighbours while sheltered in a bomb shelter and to the Jewish man who is hiding in their basement. It’s a book about the holocaust which focuses on the lives of a few. By the end of the book even the characters you didn’t like at first will hold a special place in your heart. There is something special about the magic of words, books and relationships which this novel perfectly captures. Rating: 5/5

The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is a quick frivolous read. It’s the story of a human plucked off planet earth by his alien friend seconds before the planets destruction and their resulting adventures in the Galaxy. For a book about a guide I didn’t find enough references to it or find it a key point of the story. I enjoyed the uniqueness and humour of this simple sci-fi story. This is the first in a series of five books with an abrupt ending that didn’t leave me particularly inclined to read the other four books. Rating: 3.5/5

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What it was, was boring and difficult to read. Set in Washington in the 1970s the story follows a detective solving a homicide case and a private investigator hunting down a ring last seen with the deceased. I didn’t like the slang or the car references which were lost on me. This book would appeal to those who are into old school crime novels. Rating: 1/5

Summer is the story of two orphaned kids who find themselves staying on a farm with their estranged grandfather over the Summer after their parents die. The book was a quick read but I found everything was overly described and hard to picture. It was unusual the kids referred to their grandfather as the old man and their parents by their first names. The story passes by as almost a hallucination of sorts. I didn’t get the point of the story at the end. It struck me as strange that the children could stay with the grandfather when there was no means for them to go to school. He is incapable of taking care of them so what follows is their boredom of deciding how to let the days pass. I was eager to finish this book just so that it could be done. Rating: 2.5/5

If you think Mad Women is the series Mad Men in a novel form like I did you would be wrong. The book is split into different chapter themes (sex in the office or a day on Madison avenue) written as an autobiographical tale. While the book contained a few interesting anecdotes and stories it failed to impress or captivate me. Rating: 3/5

A Dark Redemption is a really good crime story. Two detectives investigate the murder and rape of a Ugandan student. A found it a riveting read with only two faults. The authors love of describing everything as reeking of sweat and the ending which could have been more meatier in its explanation. Rating: 4.5/5

The Age of Miracles is truly an innovative story. The world is coming to an end slowly as each day and night grows longer when the earth starts spinning slower. How will this affect our 24hr cycle as well as what happens to the plants and animals poses for some interesting questions. The story is told through the life of a little girl who is still in school. There isn’t anything ground breaking in the book but I liked thinking about the scenario. I loved the notion of the end of the world being slow not an apocalyptic as we have all imagined it to be. The premise and idea for this book is fantastic but the story was average. Rating: 3/5

Books & Worms,
CG

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