I am here with a super late wrap up post for May. I read a total of 9 books in May, out of which 4 were graphic novels borrowed from my library.
These are the books that I read in May –
There were 3 DNFs in May – The Seventh Bride which was boring and childish. I went in expecting a dark fantasy but I think it’s good for middle grade children, not even for YA. The Black Tides of Heaven did not impress me with its writing or the characters. I just did not get sucked into the story for some reason. New York 2140 was boring too. I tried physical as well as audio version but just did not seem to like it. I read all these for Hugo. The Black Tides of Heaven and New York 2140 have been nominated for Hugo awards this year.
The books that I did finish are –
When I hit you by Meena Kandasamy – 5 stars –
Great book about domestic violence. I did an entire review of this book. Link for the review is here.
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi – 5 stars –
A space opera with some interesting characters and plot. My full review of this book is here.
An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler – 4 stars –
I liked the idea behind this book, but not the recipes mentioned in it. Like many people have mentioned in their reviews, it did change my thinking towards cooking. Instead of deciding on a recipe to cook and then searching for vegetables to add to it, the author talks about a different approach where you just make something with what you have. This book is great for someone who is trying to lead a minimalistic life. I loved the way author simplifies cooking and breaks down the whole process. The only problem I had was that most of the recipes and ideas are European – mostly Italian and French and the author keeps using few ingredients like olive oil, butter, parsley in every single dish she mentions. She does mention Mediterranean and Asian/Indian cooking few times but wish she had considered different cuisines while writing this book.
Still this is a great book to have along with your cookbooks. Highly recommend it for people who are interested in learning the art of cooking and for those who are not interested in blindly following recipes.
Literary London by Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison – 3 stars –
I read this in anticipation of my London trip. It is loaded with a lot of info about London based writers but not the kind of info I was expecting to find. If you are traveling to London and want to know more about the literary places there, this is not the book you should be reading. If you are a casual reader just trying to learn about some not-so-well known British authors, then this book will work for you. The authors spend most of their time talking about authors that I have never heard of and don’t really care about. I am more interested in locations associated with well known authors, which they hardly talk about.
Many of the famous authors like Somerset Maugham, Jane Austen aren’t even mentioned in passing. And some of the other prolific authors like Enid Blyton are mentioned in passing, while talking about A.A.Milne. They talk about Charlotte and Anne Bronte and there is no mention of Emily Bronte.
If you call your book”Literary London”, make it comprehensive enough to at least cover all the famous authors and their works. You cannot choose to include only authors that you might be interested in.
Also the locations and anecdotes mentioned mostly had something to do with someone’s personal life. I wish they had focused more on the writing careers than gossips about the authors’ love affairs.
It was an okay one time read.
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel – 3.5 stars –
This is a great history book about Longitude problem and how it was solved. But this is more like an essay than a well researched book. I wish the author had spent more time in understanding how these timekeepers or the lunar distance method worked, instead of just mentioning that they were complex methods. I wish the book had some of these designs reproduced, some sketches that indicated how these longitude deduction methods worked. What this book lacked was mathematics and science. The author briefly touches upon the important events and people who were involved in solving the Longitude problem but nothing is explained in detail. Still a good book to read before you visit Greenwich observatory, just to get some context on Prime Meridian.
The graphic novels that I read in May are –
A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting by Guy Delisle – 4 stars –
I had already gushed about this author and his books in this post here. I saw this book while browsing in my local library and picked it up. This is a quick and easy read which hardly takes 10-15 mins to read. It’s a humorous take on parenting as the author interacts with his two young kids in this graphical novel. Loved it. Good for parents who are in need of a good laugh.
Even More Bad Parenting Advice by Guy Delisle – 4 stars –
Funny just like the first book in this series. Most of the comic strips are about the author teasing his children and having fun with them. Loved it.
The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity (The Unwritten #1) by Mike Carey and others – 3 stars –
I liked the concept of this book but somehow wasn’t a huge fan of the story. But I must give credit for what is a fresh original story. This is about a boy Tommy who features in a Harry Potter-esque fantasy series that his father has created with him as the main protagonist. There are some scenes from this fantasy series and they sound almost like Harry Potter. So in some way it resembles Fangirl(Rainbow Rowell might have stolen the idea from this book). I did like these scenes randomly inserted in the book too.
The story starts with the author going missing while his son tries to make a living out of the popularity of the series. His story resembles that of Christopher Robin who disliked the fact that his father used him in his Winnie The Pooh books. But after that, the story takes a dark turning and becomes violent and dark, which I wasn’t expecting at all. And there are some fantasy elements too – a secret league which seems to be getting rid of authors they dislike or something. Tommy is also trying to figure out if his father was indeed his real father. Nice concept but somewhere the execution wasn’t perfect. I thought this would be more of an emotional journey, didn’t know this was a violent brutal story. Artwork was great.
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins – 4 stars –
This started out as a weird book but I liked the direction it took later. In a place where orderliness and tidiness is the norm, a beard starts growing from a man which creates chaos. This snowballs into people realizing that it’s okay to be different and everything doesn’t have to look tidy. Interesting story and the art work even though it was simplistic, it worked for the story and conveyed what the author was trying to say. Loved it.