Book Chronicles – April & May 2018 reads

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I reaped a tidy harvest in books in April as birthday gifts as I had shamelessly asked for books, books and more books. On top of that I spent a better part of the month in hospitals as dad had fallen ill. So all of these books came in handy to while away time and I was able to make a happy dent in my TBR.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder had been on my list ever since the Julia Robert starter movie came out on it. The book is about a ten-year old boy whose physical appearance is “unusual” and who will start school this year as up until now he was being home schooled. It’s a heart wrenching tale of the anguish that a young boy faces when he is confronted with the gargantuan task of being with his peers who will judge him for his looks. The tale follows August’s trysts with making friends, heart breaks and finally achieving a “normal” status as he plunges head first into his school life. I will be posting a full review of this book soonest. 5 star rating follows for this one!!

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

This is a book that was doing the rounds on several blogs on my timeline. I just had to get it for my birthday. It’s a gorgeous tale about a person who is a stickler for routine, anal with her habits and downright honest to the point of being blunt; BTW she finds nothing awry in being brutally honest. It perplexes her to interact with others socially as she doesn’t understand why they lie so much or rather alter the events all the time. Take for instance, if the party invitation said 8 o clock then why is it deemed polite to reach 15 minutes late? Why not just say 815 is the time for the party? You will soon get to read a full review of this one on my blog soonest. 4 stars for this one !!

A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This is a warm mushy tale of a curmudgeonly old fellow who takes life a little too seriously and just doesn’t appreciate all the games people play. After his wife dies, he completely fails to understand why he needs to live and tries with all his might to join her but for the nosy Parker neighbours who don’t even let him die in peace; let alone live on peace. I mean come on leaving food casseroles for him when he hasn’t even asked for it- it was a little too much in his opinion. This book too will be part of a book review as it really warmed the cockles of my heart. 5 stars for sure!

The Djinn Falls in love & other stories by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin

This is a really neat collection of stories from around the world, featuring Djinns, Genie or Jinn as the main protagonist. From Middle East to the Far East to the future – it seems the Djinns are everywhere. Some of the tales in this collection are gripping and remind me of the childhood fascination with such stories. But some miss the mark totally and I would say this is a 50-50 book for me. I am not sorry I picked it up as I loved the tales that were sparkling with folk-lore and magic. For my readers I would say, pick itΒ  up only if you are avidly fond of such tales. 3 star rating from me for this collection.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

I got this book as a Bday gift (see I told you I asked for books) as it had been long on my to read list. There have been rave reviews of this book on several platforms and that’s what gravitated my attention towards it. It’s a short and simple read about a very deep and intense topic coupled with the fact that its set in the Japanese culture. Their way of life, eating habits, shopping, going to work, dressing up, etc is so so different from ours and having that woven into the story makes it kind of interesting to read. So Kitchen is a tale about a young girl, orphaned at 18 who is taken in by a kind neighbour/friend and his mother (who is actually his father). She finds immense solace in the Kitchen and vents out her grief by cooking. She ultimately ends up pursuing a career as a chef. I loved the way she questions the concepts of death, family and self. Her journey to find herself in this turmoil is what warmed up the book for me. 3 1/2 star rating for this one.

The parrot who wouldn’t talk & other stories by Ruskin Bond

I saw a gorgeous display of books by Ruskin Bond at this years Book fair in Pragiti Maidan. They had designed and published new covers for loads of books and its the attractive colours and the graphics that gravitated me towards this book. It’s basically a book for a younger reader and quite a warm and humorous collection of tales from his boyhood while living in Mussorie/Dehradun area. The writing is simplistic and the tales are short and sweet.Β 3 star rating

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

The premise of this book is what hooked me to buying it but what a disappointing read it turned out to be. It’s a tale of a thirty something young woman Kathryn who runs a book shop with her childhood friend Frieda. They both seem to have given up on finding a man for themselves. They both did go through the gamut of putting ads in the personal section of the newspaper and then talking/meeting a few men but none seemed right. Life kept them busy and soon they both gave up on the whole idea, being content in their present situation. Off late Kathryn seemed to be having some vivid dreams where she seems to be in another life with a handsome husband and beautiful children. That life starts to take over her current one so much so that she seems to resent waking up at all. Only one of these lives is real but which one and what happens next. I kept turning the pages to find my suspense dwindling into irritation at the slow pace and repetitive scenarios. Truth be told, I read it to finish it , towards the end. It bored me too much and I wanted to give up midway. A brilliant concept but sadly the author misses the mark by not being able to sustain the story to keep the reader’s attention. Give this one a miss for sure. 2 stars.

A cage of desires by Shuchi Singh Kalra


Shuchi’s book released this month and I couldnt wait to read it as she was doing a small promo on my blog in June which you can read here. I am not revealing anything here yet as a full-fledged post on this is up in a few days time which I hope you will tune into soonest. Oh by the way, there is a Giveaway running on my blog for her latest book – hope you have checked that yet!

Well! that s it for my TBR for the past two months. I hope you like the selections and enjoy my reviews of them too.Β 

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23 thoughts on “Book Chronicles – April & May 2018 reads

  1. The first three books are still in my wishlist. I think I would rather watch the movie first. ‘Wonder’ – the trailer was good.

    If the giveaway is still on- I must think a question fast! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

    1. Yes it feels awesome to see the TBR moving. I have far too many unread books on my shelf. I was just gifted 4 more book recently by a dear friend and another 3 were sent by a Twitter friend – I am rich rich rich!!! πŸ™‚

    1. I had a no book reading in FEB-MAR – really need to make up there if I am planning on completing my Goodreads number πŸ˜‰ But yeah I could read a lot in these two months; looking to complete more in June. Thanks so muchos generous friends, I have about 10 new books – so loving it!!!

  2. Yay, my favorite book blogger is back! πŸ˜€

    The first 3 books are my favorites this year! They taught me so much about life. I have become a better person thanks to these books. The movie ‘Wonder’ is also very good. This is how a family should be.

    As I trust your reviews so much, I would not pick up anything that you would give less than 3 stars. So I’m still skeptical about the rest.

    1. Thank you thank you my friend for bequeathing such a generous bouquet of compliments on moi!!! πŸ™‚

      Yes the three star raters are only to be bought if you are very keen to read it for yourself.

      And you are bang on about the first three books- they will be reviewed this month on my blog

  3. A wonderful collection out there. So glad you loved Eleanotr oliphant. I totally enjoyed it and so did I enjoy a man called Ove. Also have you read A City of Djinns by William Dalrymple? A must read for all Delhites trying to understand the city and its history.

    1. Yup I really loved these books.

      Haven’t tried any of Darymple but will now that you have suggested this.

      Thanks for the recco.

  4. Sounds like a good collection, Shalini. First three are already on my list and the rest I have added to my kitty πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing! These days I am reading Atul Gawande and he is good to read if you like reading about medicine.

    1. Thanks Parul – let me check this book too! I havent heard of it and am not really into medicine – reading! But thanks for recommending!

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