Nov’17

I genuinely see no point in ending a month without a quote;

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Major, major throwback to when I read The Book Thief and cried loads!

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Liberal Arts (2012): A Very Biased Review

I watched Liberal Arts day before yesterday and it was a movie I had actually wanted to watch for quite some time. Liberal Arts is one of those movies that has actors that everyone just knows. The movie starts and the first thought through your head is, “Hey, thats the guy from How I met Your Mother!” – the protagonist of the movie is Jesse Fisher, played by Josh Radnor (who’s actually directed, and produced and written the movie as well). Jesse Fisher is 35 years old and has a degree in English and History that is getting him nowhere in life. Jesse Fisher lives in New York, gets dumped by his girlfriend, and then goes back to the university he graduated from – Ohio University, for the farewell of his second favourite professor ever.

If you’ve watched Avengers: Age of Ultron (which you definitely should have watched), the first thought you get when you’re introduced to Zibby, is, “That’s Scarlet Witch from Marvel –  but, where’s the accent?” – Elizabeth Olsen plays a 19 year old sophomore who begins a quick friendship with Jesse and makes him forget that he’s actually not 19 years old anymore.

The movie overall however seems to be quite random, but I enjoyed it very much for one very simple reason: Every single character in the movie is obsessed with reading! (And actually enjoys it shamelessly) The movie has endless book references and a TON of quotes to be used for various instagram posts. Apart from Jesse and Zibby’s friendship, the movie has quite a few complex characters and various sub-plots, and everything involves books! I loved the movie and I loved the fact that millions of people rely on millions of books. Additionally, the movie had some of the most relatable quotes.

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Me too, Ted Mosby, me too. 

Top 4 2017 Reads!

My reading this year has actually been really quite slow – Its almost the end of October and I’ve just managed to finish 21 books this year. To be honest, I have zero clue as to why I’ve read so less this year and because of the less reading, instead of doing the usual book lists that I do; I decided to do a list of just my favourite reads from this year. So here are my Top 4 Reads from 2017!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Sáenz:
My brother gifted me this book that I found on yet another list of books featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists. The book narrates the story of Aristotle, a teenager who makes a new friend in Dante and the two start spending all their time together. Inevitably, Dante falls in love with Aristotle who has spend all his childhood and all of this teenage years running away from people. The book is heartbreaking and breathtaking at the same time and leaves you angry at various points. My favourite part is this conversation between Aristotle and Dante’s mother when he rightly remarks, “There are worse things in the world than a boy who likes to kiss boys and girls who like to kiss girls.”

The Boyfriend by R. Raj Rao:
This is book about a 40 year old gay journalist who falls in love with a 19 year old boy he meets on the Churchgate Station in Mumbai. The book spans through various years and various different people that come in the journalist’s life. There were tons of parts in the book at felt realistic and unrealistic at the same time. The reason I liked this book very much was that it had everything that any of the other LGBTQ+ books I’ve read (kissing, holding hands, sex) and all this was happening in India. The book was completely different from any other book by any other Indian author and I completely loved it!

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell:
Outliers is a non-fiction book that talks about successful people and how they become successful people. I absolutely loved this book. It was by far my favourite book of the year. Through careful analysis and relatable examples, Malcom Gladwell describes how some people succeed and some people don’t. For every single thing he says in his book, he has five different things ready to back it up with. His explanations and theories make a lot of sense and once you start reading, you cannot be putting this book down. He connects ordinary people with exceptionally successful people and finds patterns in the craziest of things. My favourite line is this book with a million great lines is this, “Knowledge of a law student’s test scores is of little help if you are faced with a classroom of clever law students.”

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli:
The book’s main story revolves around Molly, a 17 year old girl who’s had exactly 26 unrequited crushes throughout her life. Molly has a twin sister Cassie, who on the other hand has had exceptional success with boys and girls alike. Molly and Cassie are best friends but their life turns upside down when Cassie starts dating a girl they meet at a concert. Molly instantly starts feeling lonely and at some level, really jealous of her sister. Amongst all of this, Cassie is constantly trying to set Molly up with her girlfriend’s best friend, Will. This book hit a major chord with me and there were various parts that were very relatable. I love Becky Albertalli’s writing and with every sentence she makes you feel more as a part of the story and less just a reader.

The Book List – Part Nine

41) Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang:
This book starts with a young girl driving her Mercedes off a bridge and ending up in a coma. The book is then narrated by one boy who cares way too much and is, and has been invisible to everyone for as far as he can remember. The book is a long struggle of people dealing with a girl who goes off to commit suicide and try to come to terms with it even though most them didn’t like/care about it. Though the book is really good, I didn’t really feel for this girl and I was kind of silently hoping for her to die.

42) The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard:
War stories are some of my favourite stories and thus again, I loved this book. The Book of Aron is narrated by Aron (who’s six, seven or eight years old) and is about how Aron and his family are tormented by the Germans during the Second World War. The book is innocent and sad and ends really sad which I’ve got little bit used to now – its war; they don’t end happy.

43) Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
You need serious long attention spans for this book. This book is so complex and brilliant that just flipping through pages will never be enough. In all honesty however, I finished this book in a hurried manner and never really understood it; it was more of a thing to do ticked off my list. As much as I enjoyed The Picture of Dorian Gray, I couldn’t get the same amount of satisfaction from this one.

44) The King of Torts by John Grisham:
Back to re-reading John Grisham and feeling proud of the degree I shall receive soon. This book was about a lawyer who gives up being a public defender to start a new firm and make tons of money through various of class actions. The book is a classic example of how wanting to make too much money can in fact turn out to be the worst thing you could ever want.

45) Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler:
This book revolves around a married woman who walks out on her family, her husband, her daughters and her sons and doesn’t stop till she reaches an unknown town, with unknown people and starts working all over again. She finds a new family and starts caring for new people and sends zero messages to her family. This book was weird and funny, however there were tons of times when someone who’s really tired of everything and everyone around them to relate to. 

46) Gay Bombay by Parmesh Sahani:
I finished this book on the 26th of December and this was one of my favouritest reads of the year. I loved everything in this book and loved everything this book stood for. This book was a thesis written by Parmesh Sahani for his degree at MIT and was one huge project filled with interviews, and personal experiences and facts and millions, and millions of ideologies and theories that I agreed with 10000000%.
This book made me very happy and very sad at the same time and the only thing I really hated was that the book was published back in 2008 and I read it in 2016. But I would recommend this b book to every single person.

So this ends the 46 books I read in 2016. I was so unbelievably proud of myself. I cried, and I cheered and I felt much more for these books than I did for humans and Idk what I would honestly do if I ever lost my ability to read.

The Book List – Part Eight

January’s the month with exams and thus I lay off reading. Its sad and annoying but those novels can get way too distracting.

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS, I ate pizza at New Year’s Eve and thus can say safely that I bought in the new year happily, here’s hoping you guys did the same!

Now I ended 2016 with 46 books! That’s sixteen more books than I read in 2015 (self high-five!) And here’s five more books that I read last year:

36) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi:
Last year I decided to start reading more of non-fiction and focusing a tiny bit more on autobiographies. When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of a neurosurgeon diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. It goes all the way from medical school, to his successful career and just when he’s at the height of his career and his personal life, he gets diagnosed. The book was published posthumously in January, 2016 and thus thee ending is quite clear. This book is heartbreaking as the author describes his journey from doctor to patient. Made me cry little bit.

37) Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie:
This was my third book by Salman Rushdie and by far the best one I’ve read as yet. The Man Booker Prize Winner in 1981 and the Best of the Booker winner in 1993 and 2008, this book is amazingly addictive. Once you start, you cannot and would not want to put it down. The book is narrated by Saleem, a boy who’s born in India on the eve of India’s partition on 15th August, 1947. Several other children like him are born all over India and Pakistan, thus named ‘Midnight’s Children’ and are special in their own way. The book alternates between Salem’s childhood, and his current life. This book is definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys reading.

38) The Absolutist by John Boyne:
One of my absolute favourite categories of books to read is books based in the World Wars or post-World Wars. This book is based in September, 1919 and follows the story of Tristan Stadler who goes to visit the his old friend Will’s sister. Will is dead and Tristan has letters that Will kept with him during the war which he takes to deliver to his sister. The book is sad and happy, brilliant and heartbreaking. Tristan’s journey right from his training, to war and to coming back to visit his best friend’s sister is enough to keep you from not putting this book down. Fair warning though: Nothing will hurt more than the ending of this book.

39) Mortal Fear by Robin Cook:
We made an impromptu trip to my grandfather’s house in the Diwali vacations and thus I was without any of my books, all of which I left back home. I found Mortal Fear in the basement of the house and decided to read it. This is a book published back in 1988 and focuses on patients of Dr. Jason Howard who end up mysteriously dying even after being given a clean bill of health just a month prior.
This book wasn’t really as interesting as I thought it would be and was one of the low sides of my reading in 2016.

40) 11//22/63 by Stephen King:
This was my first book by Stephen King and I have to say, I was extremely and completed not disappointed. Little warning before you read on: This is a novel with over 700 pages, takes quite a bit of patience and time.
The book narrates the story of a High School English teacher Jake Epping who ends up going back in time to save John F. Kennedy from being assassinated. The book is an absolute joy as a man living in the 2000’s adjusts to life in the late 1950’s. The book lives up to everything I’ve heard about Stephen King and is completely absorbing.

The Book List – Part Seven

2016’s almost over and here’s five more books I’ve read this year!

31) The Thomas Berryman Number by James Patterson:
Obviously, I’ve heard TONS about James Patterson. So I was very excited to read this book, also since this was his first book. I have to say though I wasn’t as fascinated by the book as I expected to be and looking back now, I can’t really remember the plot of the book. No more James Patterson for me, I guess.

32) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part I and Part II byJ. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany:
I know what people have been saying about this, but nevertheless I LOVED this book. It isn’t Harry Potter so to expect that is completely wrong. The book does however mesmerize you at various parts. I had waited for this for very long and thus was very excited about it as well. There were still however some parts in the book that seemed too far fetched or non-Harry Potterish. Also, seeing Harry, Hermione and Ron all grown up isn’t exactly as much fun as thought. This book gives out Harry Potter vibes and in the end just makes you miss Harry more and more.

33)Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond:
This is Ruskin Bond’s first novel and features a young boy named Rusty who lives in Dehradun, and is also an orphan. The book, like every other book is brilliant and beautiful. Ruskin Bond’s wiring is so simple and magical that it makes you cry and laugh at the same time.
A MUST READ.

34) Vagrants in the Valley by Ruskin Bond:
This book starts off where Room on the Roof ended. Ruskin Bond writes off a few characters from the first book and that hurt me the most because it meant losing my favourite character of the book. The book is equally beautiful and the end is little heartbreaking.

35) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller:
This book. I have zero words. This was was my favourite read of this year. I couldn’t have possibly loved any book any more than this. Again, I found  this off a list of books with LGBTQ protagonists, and I’m so thankful my brother gifted it to me.
This book talks about Greek hero Achilles and his lover, Patroclus. The book is narrated by Patroclus  right from the time he first meets Achilles to their respective deaths. This book beautifully depicts their friendship, their love for each other, their bravery and it just a brilliant read over all. I finished the book in one day and cried tons after it. The writing is beautiful and for a debut novel, it is the greatest I have ever read. Ever since I’ve read this book, I’ve quite literally, asked every single person to read it.
This book is amazing and I keep it next to my bed so I can keep going back to it whenever.
100000000000000000/10

 

 

The Book List – Part Six

Hi, gosh its been toooooo long since I did one of these! There was one time when I had nothing at all to blog about other than these books and I kept postponing it because I wanted to write about something else. And then suddenly there were only other posts and no Book Lists!

So now here’s five more books I’ve read and loved this year!

26) More Than This by Patrick Ness:
This book was another book that I found in a list of books with LGBT protagonists. But wow, this book was SO much more than just the protagonist, Seth’s sexual orientation. The book begins with Seth drowning. Seth commits suicide and he’s just 17. He drowns and then suddenly, he wakes up. However, he wakes up in a completely different place than where he’s lived the past ten years of his life.
This book goes from being slightly confusing as neither Seth nor the Reader know whats going on, to being absolutely brilliant and mind-blowing. The book follows Seth’s journey in this mysterious place and slowly shows why Seth decided to end his life.
8/10

27) Carry on by Rainbow Rowell:
Possibly the sixth book I’ve read this year off the list of books with LGBT protagonists (not sorry!). This book talks about Simon Snow, who studies at a wizardry school. If you just read the brief synopsis given at the back, the book seems a tiny bit weird and too mystical for a 19 year old. But, thats just how it seems. This book describes Simon’s life at school, his relationship with his roommate who’s a vampire, and who also hates him and focuses on a much, much bigger plot that Simon is a part of.
The book does give out Harry Potter vibes and ended up being one of my favourites this year!

28) The Partner by John Grisham:
Another one of my books on my journey to rediscover John Grisham this year. This book is the story of a Partner in a big law firm, who takes tons and tons of money from his partners, fakes his death and then disappears off to Brazil. The book is a dream come true for anyone who’s tired of working their ass off as a lawyer and suddenly finding a way to make quick and big money. The book follows him all the way from the United States to Brazil and then back to life.
The ending of the book will leave you flabbergasted. I guarantee it.

29) Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra by Ruskin Bond:
I don’t think I’ll ever stress on reading Indian authors as much as I stress on reading Ruskin Bond. Honestly, just start!
This book is an autobiography written as a set of short stories that have various stories from his childhood, to becoming to a writer, to family and every single person that has inspired him and left an impression on him all clubbed into one beautiful book. A complete must read!

30) Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie:
Agatha Christie will always and forever be my favourite and I still haven’t read all her books! But I’m getting there :”)
This book is brilliant like everything she’s ever written. It tells the story of a family completely dependent on their uncle to die and leave them his inheritance. However, said uncle marries a young woman, invalidating his previous will and then dies leaving everything for her. The book has various complex characters and the ending will, like in every other Agatha Christie book, leave you super speechless.