Feb was an okay month in terms of reading. I was in a fiction reading slump 🙂 I wanted to read more non-fiction for some reason. I only read one fantasy book in feb and everything else was non-fiction. I mostly read books on minimalism, productivity and food science. I read a total of 6 books.
These are the books I read in Feb –
1. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip – 2.5 or 3 stars (?)
I am happy that I finally read something by this award winning author. I got this signed copy from Worldcon as it is a book with a strong female character who can do magic. I have mixed feelings about this book though.
The first half was really slooooow but I still liked it because of the beasts. It also reminded me a lot about Circe by Madeline Miller which is why I liked it I guess.
Midway, the story changed direction and I liked the direction it took. I kept waiting for some action or something to happen and it never did. The story again got boring towards the end. Even the twist at the end was something that I had guessed long back.
Overall, not too impressed with the descriptive style of writing by this author. Too much telling and hardly any showing. Too many conversations between characters discussing and repeating the same topic a million times. There was potential in the story but the author was too caught up in portraying emotions I guess. Reads more like a romance novel than a fantasy novel at times.
2. Organizing from the Inside Out – 5 stars
I wrote a detailed post about this and few other books on organization that I read recently here.
3. Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren – 4 stars
This is a tiny book which can be read in an hour. I read it while in the bath tub with light music on my phone surrounded by the aromas of my bath bomb. It was the perfect setting for this book to be honest. The book talks about the Japanese Wabi-Sabi tea ceremony and its origin. The author demystifies Wabi Sabi which is a way of preferring simple everyday things as opposed to mass produced modern stuff. I would love to read more books about this concept in future.
4. Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat – 4 stars –
I saw the TV show and that made me want to pick the book. This book was enlightening and it was almost like taking a cooking class with a top chef. I realized I did so many things wrong while cooking/baking after reading this book. This book also taught me why certain ingredients were added at specific times while cooking. It taught me the science of cooking, which no other book did. I gained interest in cooking only after I had a kid. Just like all the other moms, I got obsessed with cooking the most healthy and delicious food for him. In the process, I ended up liking cooking which I thought would never happen as I always hated cooking. Books like these will make anyone like cooking as it is all about the chemistry between the ingredients and as the author says it’s all about salt, fat, acid and heat. Must read for anyone interested in cooking.
I just wish the author had touched upon pressure cooking (she didn’t even mention it) since it is my most favorite and also a nutritious way of cooking. Also it was too tailored to American food. The sections under India were kinda wrong in the food wheels that she gave. I am not aware of a single Indian recipe which uses Beer as an acid. So I am skeptical about her research about cuisines from other countries. I am not sure why South Indian food never gets any recognition. It’s always North Indian meat curries that these westerners think Indian food is all about. Think beyond meat. There is so much more to Indian (and other cuisines) food than lamb curry or chicken curry. *rolling my eyes*
5. Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod – 1 star
This was probably one of the most useless books I have ever read in my life. It is like that book – “The secret” that many of my friends liked and I hated. The author doesn’t say anything concrete, keeps reiterating the same sentences again and again. Mediocre writing, poor execution.
“You will achieve success, your dreams will come true “- what if you don’t want any success and if all your dreams are already true? I mean, one should be content with their life rather than dreaming about millions of dollars right? Why should everyone be aspiring to become a millionaire by reading self help books? This is how the book has been written – “I do these things in my life. You can customize it.” No tips on how to customize or ways to customize.
He keeps mentioning his website a million times. This book is marketing his website, his phone apps, his blog, audios and videos on his site. For anything and everything, he says refer to my website. I might as well have gone through his website instead of slogging through this crappy book. Why can’t he include everything in this book? It is anyway tiny and repetitive. He might as well have added those additional info from his website in this book. He just wanted traffic to his site I guess.
This book reminded me why I stayed away from self help books for so long. *sigh*
6. Food Rules by Michael Pollan – 5 stars –
Great advice in this tiny book. Definitely going to implement some of these tips in my daily life. Most of it is common sense and what I have deciphered in other books and media. But it was great to have it all in one place.
I started Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin at the end of the month and that book is so amazing that it is brought me out of my slump. So you will see more fiction books in March Wrap up.
What did you read in Feb?