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Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’


Yes of course, I am active at Goodreads because I keep the site as my virtual library. It’s where I find lovely and inspiring book reviews, books  that are some readers’ favorites, books that  earn five stars  and recommendations from other readers. I actually voted in the selection of books in the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards.  Been Looking forward to this and the results came out today. Though those books that I recommended didn’t win, I am still happy that I was able to read most of the nominated books for this year.  If you are not a Goodreads member, it might interest you to know these books which are included and which  I had the opportunity to read.

FICTION:

  1. Still Me by Jojo Moyes – this is a sequel (3rd book) to the first one called Me Before You.  Moyes is a British author and this is her first Goodreads Choice Awards.
  2. Girls Burn Brighter  by Shobha Rao. – This is actually placed at number 8, a story of India and two teenage girls in rural India. Here’s my short review:  I think this is my second book about India and my first one with this author. Not expecting much but oh gosh, this book grips you all throughout. I’ve never been aware of those traditions in rural parts of India until now. The story is brutal in a sense that it delivers without sugar-coating the events and happenings in the story.
    I was quite disappointed though when I reached the ending. Although it was implied that the two characters have finally found each other again, I would have preferred seeing their reactions face to face.
    There is still life after all the hardships as long as one believes.
  3. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin – I’ve read almost all of Emily Giffin books and this one is another winner. How far would you go to protect your child? Are you willing to sacrifice everything, even your marriage to protect them? This is a relevant story of how teens deal with stress and pressure nowadays. Some friends could be bad influences in their lives. Some could do well staying as just friends.

BEST MYSTERY AND THRILLER:

  1. The Outsider by Stephen King – I blogged about this a few days ago while I was in the middle of reading it.
  2. Force of Nature by Jane Harper – this is on the 9th slot and I didn’t have a review of it.

HISTORICAL FICTION:

  1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.  – She bagged it in 2015 for The Nightingale and today she won again for this book The Great Alone. Read this last March 2018. A lovely, touching and beautiful book. One of Kristin Hannah’s best. One gets to be a little emotional while reading a wonderful story.
  2. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – it came in second though. I wrote a review about this book here at WordPress a few months ago.A compelling read about the Holocaust. Based on a true story of two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz.I wonder why I am always drawn to historical books, fiction or otherwise particularly in that time of history which is the Second World War. I love those heart-wrenching stories of survival, the hope and faith of each person to live a normal life again.And I am reminded of our situation here in our country, democracy and populism. What is good for a group of people does not apply to all.
  3. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje – It came in at the number nine slot.  I thought at first, it is a memoir since there is not much dialogue so to speak. The story jumps making you a little lost. It was only during the third part of the story that it made sense at all. Sorry, not really my cup of tea as a historical fiction.

BEST OF THE BEST:

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie  Thomas. – I’ve long wanted to read this but I couldn’t find a copy. Curious about how it came to be the best story (among other winners in the past).
  2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This was my nomination but it came up in number two slot. I think I made a review of this at  WordPress too. I can’t remember now. I think I did when it won the Best Historical Fiction back in 2014.
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I rated this four stars.  I wasn’t active in reviewing books yet back in 2014.
  4. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 2015 winner. Would love to re-read this. I think I already forgot the story.
  5. Catching Fire by  Suzanne Collins – the number two book in the Hunger Games series. I am sure you are also familiar with it. When the series came out, Nissa bought the whole set.
  6. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – I love this book but it is the only  one  I read of the author. Nissa has a whole set too of the series. I also watched the movie adaptation. It’s Goodreads’ Best Young Adult Fiction of 2012.
  7. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. No wonder this won the 2017 Best Fiction. Beautiful!
  8. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I had a great time reading this. Best Young Adult Fiction of 2013
  9. Before We Were Yours – by Lisa Wingate  Best Historical Fiction of 2017. Really hard to review this but it was an enjoyable read.

You are welcome to read these books which I’ve enjoyed reading the past months and years.

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Allow me to borrow a book title for my blog post today. I have just finished reading this, a book about a family’s struggles while fleeing war-torn Afghanistan. I have just encountered Nadia Hashimi’s book, my first one of her actually but based on Goodread’s  short bio about her, she is a very gifted author. This book  was simple but so elegantly written that I can’t help but fill my small notebook with quotes that ring and vibrate throughout the story.

I never base  my reviews on book summaries but how it affected me while reading it. This is one of those books that is comparable with the works of  another Afghan author that I admire so much, Khaled Hosseini. Don’t ask me why but ever since I started reading I have always been fascinated by history and historical novels.  I think I am old soul. I am reminded of those times when I searched and bought almost all of Leon Uris’ published books and reread  Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

One learns a lot when you read about other people and other countries’ cultures.  You learn how their lives are shaped by their beliefs and their love for their families. You learn that everywhere, there is something similar about the culture you grew up  in. Family represents a binding force always. And lest I forget, let me quote some of those words I’ve jotted down while reading this book.

  • – Love can grow even in place where there is hardly air to breathe.
  • There are truths and lies and there are things in between, murky waters where light gets bent and broken.
  • Love grows wildest in the gardens of hardship.
  • – Some things are clearer from a distance.
  • – It takes a lifetime to learn your parents. For children, parents are larger than life. They are strong arms that carry little ones, warm laps for sleepy heads, sources of food and wisdom. It’s as if parents were born on the same day as their children, having not existed a moment before. As children inch their way into adolescence, the parent changes. He is an authority, a source of answers, and a chastising voice. Depending on the day, he may be resented, emulated, questioned, or defied. Only as an adult can a child imagine his parent as a whole person, as a husband, a brother, or a son. Only then can a child see how his parent fits into the world beyond four walls.

There are more  wonderful quotes that I’d like to share with you but these will do for now. Next on my list is a book about Lou Gehrig’s disease. The last time I encountered ALS ( Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) was when I read Tuesdays With Morrie several years ago. I hope I won’t cry as much as I did when I read Mitch Albom’s book. I remember giving copies to my two doctors when I had sigmoid surgery. It is a gift to know that you can be strong even if you are dying.

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