Many moons ago I had made a promise to myself and the universe that I shall never give up on reading books. And that I shall always spread the word about good books to everyone. I was reading The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma back in the day. More than a decade has passed since I wrote my name on the following pages and committed myself to this mission.
Every once in a while, I let people around me know what I am reading. Not for some sort of validation from the outside world but only to keep my promise alive and kicking. Good reads must always be shared, after all. That said, it’s been a while since I have recommended a book. I have been reading but haven’t kept my promise of sharing.
I am finding it difficult to give each of them an individual write-up though they all deserve one. That was the original plan. But the push and pull of my other writing pursuits, sometimes my unrelenting motherhood chores, and at other times the habit of procrastination has caused this lull. The present and the coming days all look the same. Super messy and super hectic. July is action-packed.
I, therefore, decided to collate a list of books I read in the last one-year, worthy of being shared. There were many on the list, but I have taken the liberty to pick a few for you today. I have put them under various genres like romance, arts, literature, and self-help for your convenience.
Give these books a chance in case you haven’t. You won’t regret it.
Make Your Own Bed by William H. McRaven –
Written by a Navy seal with utmost dignity, the book revolves around his larger-than-life experiences during his navy career spanning more than 37 years. It is based on a simple exercise of making your bed in the morning thereby accomplishing one task at the start of the day. All the chapters in the book aim at leaving you with practical advice for your darkest hours. It’s a quick short read. Excellent travel companion. If you are looking for some motivation, go for it.
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben —
I am placing this under the self-help genre and not arts/ Photography/ Nature / Hobbies because this book cannot be type cast. Written by a nature lover, and an ecologist the book highlights the groundbreaking science behind the life of a tree. You may think it is not relevant or relatable for us the mango people, the ordinary ones. But that’s not the case. As a child, I had heard and read stories of enchanted forests, but it was only through this book that I saw the magical world of trees. The author’s connection with the trees is so unique that throughout the book you will find him making use of adjectives like ‘gregarious’, ‘greedy’, ‘sensitive’, and ‘graceful’ when referring to trees. The author has written about how concepts like aging, friendships, etiquette, and socializing exist in trees. Something that I never imagined existed. It’s like a parallel universe. An incredibly beautiful one.
I wouldn’t say this book is easy. It demands time, patience, and understanding. But isn’t that the basic premise behind reading a book? To make a sincere effort to sharpen our intellect and level up.
Nature lovers will enjoy it. People who read books to gain perspective shall also find it difficult to put away.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell–
The last bit of romantic novels that I thoroughly enjoyed were Gone with The Wind by Margarett Mitchell, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, and Love Story by Eric Segal. And that was decades ago. Post that I couldn’t make a connection with the characters, the plot, or the feeling of love in any other romance books. I am not talking about the racy, palpitating, fleeting kind of fling. I am talking of the real deal. The one that hits you with the force of an avalanche. The one that leaves you torn apart. As if this was your love story. Your first one. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is one such book. It’s a decade-old book but I somehow spotted it last year during Christmas. Add it to your list if romance is on your mind.
Literature and Fiction:
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum—
Based on an Arab- American setup, this book heartbreakingly transcends across three generations. A young Palestinian woman being raised in Brooklyn begins to question everything about her and around her. The mystery around the death of her parents, the overly patriarchal way of living, and her very own existence. But questions lead to more questions. The quest for answers is tiring and terrifying. The book gives a powerful and soul-stirring description of the horrifying intergenerational abuse that women from a certain part of the world go through. Call it cliched but the fact that more women are willing to pen down such stories is a testimony that all is not well with everyone.
This is for the empowered ones. And the voiceless ones. Alike.
Biographies, Diaries, and Memoirs:
Everything is True by Roopa Farooki
Death is painful and ruthless. For the ones that are left behind. This is a doctor’s rattlingly honest account of her first forty days of the pandemic in the hospital during the pandemic in 2020. Having lost her sister to the deadly C, she hasn’t had the time to process the grief when the pandemic strikes. It is an excruciatingly painful yet livid memoir of how she struggled with death, disease, and trauma around her. There is an urgency in her tone. A rush of emotions like the pain has just struck her and wants to find a way out. Real, raw, and extraordinary.
I shall come back with a separate list of books for Children sometime soon.