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I have often heard folks talking about how bored they are getting at home, thanks to the indefinite period of nation-wide lockdown! Frankly, I have always felt that if one has a genuine hobby, one is unlikely to feel listless.
As for my part, I am a bibliophile. I buy more books than I can read in a given period of time. But I always make an effort to finish one book a week. Owing to the difficult times that all of us are facing and having nothing to do much at home, I aim to read two books in a week now. Reading keeps me busy and keeps my overthinking away(huh, fortunately!)
So here i am to suggest you some of the most entertaining reads I had recently(2019-2020)
LEAH ON THE OFF BEAT by Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Romance
Leah Burke is a drummer and a senior in high school. She is an introvert, occasionally opening up to her mother and her best friend, Simon Spiers. Leah came out as a bisexual to her mother when she was eleven and her mother was the only person who knew about her sexuality. She had kept it from Simon, who is, in fact gay. Abby Suso, a girl with “Disney eyes” and “dark brown skin” is the person Leah has crushed on since middle school. They had never interacted much but a school evnt had them working together. This book revolves around the social anxieties Leah has, her dark past and her realisation of love.
It is a quick and easy read and an entertaining one too. It is suitable for readers above the age of 13 years and it will keep you out of boredom, I am sure.
TRULY DEVIOUS by Maureen Johnson
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell has got admission in Ellingham Academy, one of the most prestigious institutes in Vermont. The Academy provides free education to the young adults excelling in some field like arts, criminology, music, engineering and others. The popular school was built by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who was fond of riddles and encouraged all forms of education. Now the mystery strikes in when Albert Ellingham’s wife Iris Ellingham and their daughter Alice are kidnapped. This occurs in the late 1930s and till date was unsolved, hence being a major reason for Stevie to apply to the Academy. This book is unputdownable and is a great great mystery novel. You need to hold your breath tight till the last page. I am yet to begin the second book of the series “The Vanishing Stair” to find out what follows.
I can assure that there no gigantic words or difficult vocabulary is involved in Johnson’s writing. The style of Johnson’s writing is the story-telling kind which grasps the attention of readers well enough.
Seriously.. I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
Genre: Humour, Non Fiction
I am not a very big fan of non fiction but this book by Ellen stole my heart. Her writing style is so candid and her sense of humour so spontaneous that one can’t help but fall in love with her wit. She has described the very basic essentials in life in an extraordinarily funny and sarcastic way. She has explained what she feels during her meditation sessions, what kind of treatment her pet cats give her once she is back home from work and so many more anecdotes. It is a refreshing read and a light one. You can start reading from any random page and yet you would not have a feeling of discontinuation. I recommend it all the more because we need to keep ourselves cheerful during this critical period. We need to rise up happy and go to our bed at night, smiling.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Genre: Reality Fiction, Romance
This novel is a “miracle” and it has changed some of my perspectives towards life altogether. It has taught me one of the finest and mature lessons in life: One need’nt feel guilty about loving someone after a separation or moving on in life after a heartbreak. Love is more than just what meets the eye; a marriage is surely a special bond but it does’nt have to be eternal.
This novel of Tayari Jones start with the story of the newly married couple: Roy and Celestial. Everything was fine for one and a half years of their marriage unless Roy was arrested for a crime he did’nt commit.(It isn’t a spoiler at all) Things change a lot when Roy goes to prison and Celestial is mentally broken, waiting for his release everyday. Celestial is an independent woman and tries to turn her passion into a career(what passion? well, that would be a spoiler!) Andre was Celestial’s childhood best friend who was also a friend of Roy since college. It is through him thta Roy and Celestial had met for the first time. When Roy spent his hopeless, torturous nights in prison, Celestial found escape in talking to Andre. Events take a major turn when Roy is released after five years.(as far as I can recall)
I would highly recommend it for readers who are 18+ because the book has a string of complex human relationships and desires which might not appeal or be understandable to younger audience.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Genre: Young adult, Romance, Reality fiction
I would,nt be very surprised if some of you say that you have already read this book. Its one of the best books of all times and it appeals to a major age group. I feel this is one of the books, the perception about which changes as you mature through years and one starts getting different emotions everytime he/she reads it. I guess that’s why Murakami is a class apart.
The main protagonist of the story is Toru Watanabe and the story starts when he hears Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” being played in his flight after his landing in the Hamburg Airport, he is reminded of his first love, Naoko. Naoko was the girlfriend of his childhood best friend and only friend Kizuki. He is transported back almost twenty years ago, recollecting his memories of his college days, the beginning of complex relationships, casual sex, passion and uncertainty revolving his future. Midori is a first year student Toru met when he was in the third year. She was a weird girl with her ideals very strongly established at a tender age and she spoke her heart out to Toru. It is Toru who has to decide on love; whether to hold on to the past or move ahead in the future.
The story has some mature content not very suitable for readers under 16 years of age. The storyline is so well-knitted and so mature that it should appeal to young adults, middle-aged and veteran audience equally.
With that I would like to wrap up my blog on the recommended books and I hope all of you find some escape into Literature and not stress over the current situation. We need to do our parts by maintaining a good sanitation regime and staying at home. So until we meet, happy reading and happy de-stressing. I will sincerely hope that my recommendations prove useful to you.
Love and Regards, Riddhi Roy.
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