It has been a while since I shared a reading update. June started on a high note with Pride Month reads and summer picks. But it has also been an eventful summer with surgical procedures and emergency hospitalization. As always, books have come to the rescue keeping me sane through it all.
With Fall almost here and the New York Fashion Week less than a month away, I have cut down on ARC and review copy requests. Picking books that appeal to me and some random picks. And as always, audiobooks take precedence.
Read on as I share my reads from June and July.
Books I read:
Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Non-Fiction, Format: Audiobook
When it comes to LGBTQA+ awareness, asexuality is perhaps the least talked about and the most misunderstood. So much so that many do not even consider it real. Labeling it a phase or just being too prude.
Ace by Alexa Chen explores what it means to be asexual in a world that’s obsessed with sexual attraction. Through interviews and analysis, this part memoir is indeed an eye-opener.
I highly recommend you pick it up.
TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary Fiction, Format: ARC Ebook
Tejindar Powar has something to prove. That she can be her hairy self and still be beautiful.
The book is about beauty standards and social prejudices. About the pressure on teen girls to fit into the specific boxes. About self-worth that isn’t (and shouldn’t) be measured by outward appearance. About bullying faced by those who don’t adhere to the “rules”.
Valmiki’s Women by Anand Neelakantan
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Mythological Fiction, Format: Audiobook
Valmiki’s Women had been on my Audible library for a while. I finally picked up the book thanks to Soumya @ LifeOfLeo’s recommendation and really glad I did.
A peek into the thought process of characters such as Kaikeyi, Manthara, Surpanakha, and Tataka. And the repercussions of their actions. I was pleasantly surprised that the author did not go the tried and tested way of painting the good all black to absolve the antagonists of the sins. Do give it a read.
Chronicles of the Lost Daughters by Debarati Mukhopadhyay
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Historical Fiction, Format: ARC Paperback
India has a rich history of regional literature and we often miss out on such gems. Originally written in Bengali as Narach and translated into English by Arunava Sinha, Chronicles of the Lost Daughters explores the socio-cultural politics of 19th-century Bengal including caste hierarchies, real-life figures, and events.
If you enjoy historical novels, I highly recommend you pick up the book. Check out the complete review.
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Fantasy, Format: Audiobook
What a ride! She Who Became the Sun is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.
Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in this genderqueer retelling of the origin of the Ming dynasty. Zhu Chongba will to survive as she defies fate taking over her brother’s identity. Sometimes dark and brutal but absolutely unputdownable.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality by Molly Muldoon and Will Hernandez
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Graphic Novel, Format: Kindle Ebook
True to its name, A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality is a primer for those who wish to learn more about asexuality. Beautifully illustrated and divided into pertinent sections, the graphic novel explores the misconceptions, the asexuality spectrum, and what it means growing up asexual.
At just 73 pages, it can be read in one sitting. The book is available on Kindle Unlimited. All the more reason to pick it up pronto!
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Romance, Format: Audiobook
Do you need a reason to pick an Emily Henry book?
A book about books is always a bibliophile’s delight. At its heart, Book Lovers is about a literary agent and an editor set in a small town in North Carolina. But it is not your classic small-town romance. In fact, it subverts the trope.
Pick it if you haven’t already.
Mr Eashwar’s Daughter by Debeshi Gooptu
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Genre: Romance, Format: Kindle Ebook
That’s how you do a retelling. Persuasion is one of my favorites by Jane Austen with Frederick Wentworth ranking higher than Fitzwilliam Darcy.
After watching (or trying to watch) Persuasion on Netflix, I reread Mr. Eashwar’s Daughter, one of the few Indian retellings of Persuasion, if any. To have loved and persuaded to give up. A second chance. The book maintains the subtlety of the classic.
Summer at Blogchatter is incomplete without the #BlogchatterEbook carnival. Each year, I return to the library to pick books by debut and veteran authors. And this year has been no different.
I have a bit of catching up to do and here is my first set of picks that I have read and enjoyed.
I have a lot on my plate right now and romances are the perfect way to unwind. I am currently listening to the immensely popular It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey. A Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com with Hallmark-ish feels (and a generous dose of steam, of course).
Alongside, I am enjoying User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play by Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant. A fascinating read, more so given my 20+ years in the field.
What is the best way to ask someone about their pronouns? What is intersectionality? Sahi is my go-to for non-fiction recommendations and she highly recommends Read This to Get Smarter by Blair Imani. I have been keen to pick it up and the audiobook is already in my library.
I am hearing great things about The Curse of Kuldhara by Richa S. Mukherjee. Why not, all her books have been winners. I have got my copy and the weekend is all sorted.
I have achieved the targets for all three reading challenges. It is time for another goal update. But I am not going all out given the Fall season is just around the corner.
The A2Z challenge has been fun. Still have a few alphabets remaining there, though.
On the Blog
It has been a balanced set of posts on the blog with reviews and reading lists.
Gender Identity & India – LGBTQIA+ Memoirs and Personal Narratives is one of my favorites along with 2022 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag & Statistics.
I enjoyed reading Chronicles of the Lost Daughters by Debarati Mukhopadhyay and TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo and shared my thoughts.
Last but not the least, the Top Picks From The #BlogchatterEbook Carnival: Mini Book Reviews Vol I.
What have you been reading this summer? I would love to check out your recommendations. Do share in the comments below.
Photo credit: Canva.com