February was a good reading month with a mixed bag of books in all shapes and sizes. Some great and some not so great. A hectic one on the work front and a difficult one personally, it had me veering towards lighter reads. Always a mood booster.
All in all, I read a total of ten books across genres in February. Continuing from January, all were digital reads. It will probably be some time until I get to a print book.
A fair warning. This is going to be a long post.
Books I read:
Ratno Dholi: The Best Stories Of Dhumketu by Dhumketu, Jenny Bhatt (Translator)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Short Stories, Format: Audiobook
Gaurishankar Govardhanram Joshi (pen name Dhoomketu) is one of the foremost and most prolific writers in Gujarati.
Ratno Dholi is a beautiful collection of 27 short stories set in rural Gujarat translated into English by Jenny Bhatt. Stories that are relevant even today. Even after half a century, not much has really changed – casteism, the state of women, the list goes on.
Clean Air by Sarah Blake
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Climate Fiction, Format: ARC ebook
In a near future, trees have rendered the air unbreathable by producing toxic amounts of pollen in a cataclysmic climate event known as the Turning.
Trees in attack mode with poisonous pollen. An all-too-real climate apocalypse. Clean Air is a rousing examination of the repercussions of environmental destruction. Highly recommended.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: LGBT Fiction, Format: Audiobook
The Death of Vivek Oji is a coming-of-age story of a trans person. Set in Nigeria, it is a stark look at the struggle to retain identity in face of extreme prejudice.
It is difficult to discuss the book without giving too much away. I highly recommend you pick the audiobook.
Trigger warning in place.
Recipe for a Perfect Marriage by Women’s Web
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Short Stories, Format: Kindle Ebook
Each year Women’s Web brings out a collection of short stories, an anthology of some of the best women’s writing from the platform.
Recipe for a Perfect Marriage explores a range of emotions, relationships, and conditions. A collection of 25 stories including one by our very own Sonia Dogra @ A Hundred Quills. A celebration of womanhood, the book is a must-read.
Pyre by Perumal Murugan, Aniruddhan Vasudevan (Translator)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Literary Fiction, Format: ARC Ebook
Perumal Murugan’s writings are always embedded in reality, showing a mirror to the society that is rooted in age-old casteism.
Set in a small village in India, it is the story of a couple with an intercaste marriage and the resulting furor and sheer savagery. Although this is not an easy read, I would definitely recommend it.
Whose Samosa is it Anyway? by Sonal Ved
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Non-fiction, Format: Kindle Ebook
I had come across the book on Instagram last year and added it to my TBR. But it took me a while to get to the book.
An interesting read about the history of food. From the Indus Valley civilization to modern times. Better storytelling and some tight editing could have worked wonders but a good one nonetheless.
Insta Reddy by Shilpa Suraj
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Romance, Format: Audiobook
What happens when an Instagrammer and an IIT student fall in love?
Insta Reddy, a Storytel Original, is a cute read with laugh-out-loud moments. Sure to leave you with a smile on your face. And some major nostalgia about Hyderabad.
What I Hate Most by Milan Vohra
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Fiction, Format: Kindle Ebook
A couple married for 30 years and lots left unsaid.
What I Hate Most is quite unlike other books. An off-beat story limited to just eighteen pages, it is written in verse with alternating points of view.
Trigger warning in place.
Kochi Hearts by Sudha Nair
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Romance, Format: Audiobook
A workaholic techie falls head over heels in love with his hot yoga instructor.
Another Storytel Original, but the book did not quite work for me. Maybe it was the Insta love that lacked depth, glaring loopholes, or the narration that sounded more like a marketing voiceover. That said, it a decent one time listen.
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Romance, Format: Audiobook
I am sure you have heard all there is about the Goodreads 2021 choice winner, The Spanish Love Deception. Enemies to lovers, fake dating, with a garrulous family thrown in for good measure.
It has some major The Hating Game hangover but was an enjoyable read nonetheless. If you are looking for some escapist romance pick, go for it.
There are two ARCs I am currently reading for upcoming blog tours. The highly anticipated The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill that I am enjoying thoroughly.
Alongside, I have picked up One for All by Lillie Lainoff, a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers wherein a girl with chronic illness trains as a Musketeer.
Stay tuned for the reviews in the upcoming weeks.
My March TBR looks inviting with a few varied reads.
The first one is the immensely popular Daisy Jones and the Six, the book club’s March pick. I am a bit apprehensive about it since popular books rarely work for me.
I am also looking forward to reading The Tiltersmith by Amy Herrick, a retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone and Khabaar: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory and Family by Madhushree Ghosh.
As expected, I am way ahead of the reading challenges. Maybe it is time to increase the target.
On the Blog
I am continuing the #CauseAChatter series in 2022 with book recommendations across causes. My pick of the categories offered this quarter are Gender Identity, Disability, and Discrimination. I shared recommendations on Gender Identity & India – Must-Read LGBTQIA+ Non-Fiction Books and Disability & India – Memoirs and Personal Narratives.
Alongside, a posted a spotlight on Clean Air by Sarah Blake.
From the Blogosphere
Do you change your book ratings or reviews? Dini @ dinipandareads discusses how it is okay to do so and why you should make it known.
A book made you feel good but had obvious flaws. Would you give it a five star rating? Tulika @ Beat About The Book‘s discusses To read from the heart or the mind?
How do you choose a book? And what are your criteria for recommending one? Sukaina @ The Night Reader shares how she goes about it at Why You Got That Recommendation From Me!
If you are a foodie like me, head over to Meetali Kutty‘s blog where she shares Top 10 Books for Foodies.
Adults who love reading young adult books get a lot of hate. Briana @ Pages Unbound discusses It’s 2022, and Apparently People Are Still Bashing Adults Who Read YA (Here Are All the Things They Get Wrong).
What have you been reading in February? Do share in the comments below.
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