Hello everyone, and hope you are all having a nice Friday. 20 Books of Summer ’20.
I am so happy to say that I finished the two books I was in the middle of the last time I checked in with you last week! I have a lot of thoughts on them, so let’s get on straight to it.
State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury was such a page turner. This is a young adult fantasy with beautiful writing that had well-written characters and surprisingly, not cliche’d romance! I have been guilty of pre-judging YA novels in the past, but this one blew my mind. Sorrow is such an interesting character to read about. She is young but her attitude is very mature but yet at the same time you really get to learn her struggles with her family, her efforts to have the balance between her feelings and her thoughts.
I love how imperfect she is as well – she has her downs, but also she is strong and not in the typical, dystopian YA physically strong kind of way. I really like the other characters as well, especially Lucien who reminds me of F Tony from Space Force, and Charon and his daughter. The twists are fun and exciting, the writing is well balanced between slow and plotty (you know how much of a sucker I am for slow writing), and I really was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. It’s a shame that not many people are reading and talking about it! I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book of the series as well, possibly sometime this summer as well.
I also finished The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay, a captivating read set in India. I knew next to nothing about Bangalore, Kashmir, or anything about the Indian history, so this was a very eye-opening read for me. What I found most interesting however, is not the political backdrop of the story but more about the characters. Again I am astounded by the amazing well-written characters I’ve found in my reads.
Our main character is around my age or slightly older, and so she was very relatable to me. Though we barely had anything in common, I felt like I could imagine myself doing the same things she did in her situation. Themes of grief was discussed a lot in this book, especially because Shalini’s mother died recenlty of a suicide, and she was very close to her. I really liked the new characters she met along the way, but her flashbacks involving her mother and her father, her mother’s friend whom our main character adored were my favourite parts. It really shows the dynamics of a family, the problems her parents had but ultimately their love for their daughter. Beautiful writing style with amazing descriptions, and slow plot, it was a great read and something you should pick up to get to learn something about India.
Next is a very short book that I read during a commute in my audiobook app, which is We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s such a good read, and I’m sure all of you have read it by now. If not, definitely pick it up or watch the Youtube video in which she talked about the same essay. It’s quick, insightful and inspiring, and perfect for people who know only a little about feminism, with sprinkles of the author’s personal thoughts. I loved how touching it is and after finishing it, I feel much more empowered. This book makes me want to make more of a difference, so that’s when you know you just read something good and thought-provoking and important.
After completing The Far Field on audio, I immediately jumped to find some more reads, and found two different books that I am currently reading at the moment.
The first one is not part of my TBR but I have been urged to educate myself throughout what has been going on in the world right now about racism and trying to understand the system we are living in that does not encourage a fair world. I am less than halfway through So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. The book discusses very real and tangible things that we can do to create difficult but important conversations, and I am learning so much about police brutality, handling white people who are defensive about race, and affirmative action. Oluo’s writing is so fluent and encouraging and it’s a great informative book.
The second one was already part of my TBR and that is An Edited Life by Anna Newton. Anna is a Youtuber and blogger, and I really like the personality online, and I’ve been eyeing this seemingly beautiful but also useful book ever since she announced that it was published. It is a combination of personal anecdotes and tips for living an edited life, with less clutter, more put together and knowing your shit. So far I’m quite liking the format and the writing style, it’s very personal to her as a person and listening it on audiobook makes it feel like I’m just watching one of her Youtube videos. The downside is that you cannot see the pretty graphics and charts/tables/lists (yes, there are charts) that would’ve been in the physical book, and sometimes it gets a bit repetitive when a woman is reading aloud her budget, but I’ve been learning some handy things about life in general from this book. Though on other aspects, I do feel like my life already quite put together and edited, if I do say so myself.
Number of pages read: 320 of State of Sorrow + 290 pages of The Far Field + 52 pages of We Should All Be Feminists + 122 pages of An Edited Life + 108 pages of So You Want to Talk About Race = 892 pages
Number of books finished: 3
Books finished this summer