Every month, I share what books I read the last month and give you my honest review of them. Unfortunately, I completely missed the May book reviews, so I combined them with June. I read a lot of books and have some amazing recommendations for you!
If you would like to see more recommendations, you can find them here!
This book is disturbing yet fascinating and beautifully written. The story follows a memoir of a disgraced doctor by the name of Norton Perina as he recounts his life's tales of the expedition to the island of a lost tribe where he makes a fascinating medical discovery which lands him fame at the expense of the tribe and the island. It has everything - an unreliable narrator, accurate descriptions of medicine and anthropology, and tackles everything from colonialism to the limits we should go for scientific knowledge. This book will force you to think about morally gray areas and will stay with you for a very long time.
The Verdict: A masterpiece to be read while you sip on a fruity tea and get transported to the lush landscapes of Ivu'ivu
I don't know why I read this book since it's not in the typical genre of books that I read. It probably has to do with reading some really intense books and needing something lighter and the fact that I grew up on fantasy books. The story begins when MacKayla Lane's sister is gruesomely murdered in Ireland and sends her a disturbing and confusing voicemail. MacKayla follows her to Ireland to find her sister's killer only to be drawn into the secret world of Fae. I loved the world-building but the way one of the characters treated her got too awful and irritating for me.
The Verdict: Not really my cup of tea
I immediately loved the premise of this book so I am going to start with that. The book follows Caire, a successful historical fiction writer, as she is writing her new book about the failed Jacobite uprising of 1708. When she is immediately drawn to the Slains castle in Scotland, she settles into the nearby town and bases the main character from one of her own ancestors. As she starts to write, she begins to realize that all of the fiction that she has written is actual fact and starts to uncover secrets about her ancestor's past. This is a gentle and light read which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Verdict: A book to be read while laying out in the sun with some iced tea.
I am going to start off by saying yes, I know that this book got a lot of criticism for being a book for privileged white women and yes Sheryl Sandberg definitely started from a good place and has a lot of support. Despite that, I still liked this book and think it made some encouraging and valid points for women. Sheryl Sandberg, the current COO of facebook, offers her and other women's tips on how to rise up to leadership positions through stories and research all while stressing the importance of women rising to leadership positions. It's not a roadmap to success, but she made some valid points and discussed both the internal and external blocks that prevent women from rising to the top.
The Verdict: Read with a hot coffee/chai in a coffeehouse/tea shop with a notebook so you can take notes
I loved The Secret History (you can read it's review here!) so I was expecting to like this book, and for the first few chapters I did. The book follows Theodore Decker, who survives a terrible event that kills his mother and ties him to a painting that links him to her. I do have to give it to Donna Tartt for telling a story about loss so poignantly and for weaving such beautiful sentences which may have been the main reason I kept reading it. I felt like I was wandering through it just like the main character is - that might have been the point. While it wraps up nicely at the end, I wasn't satisfied but relieved that the book had ended.
The Verdict: Beautifully written, but not my cup of tea
During my recent visit to India, I really wanted to get a book from an Indian female author and so after several recommendations I decided to pick this one up. The book is a retelling of the epic Hindu story the Mahabharata from the viewpoint of the Paanchali, one of the main female characters in the saga. The Mahabharata is an ancient Sanskrit text, which tells of the Kurukshetra war between the Kaurava and Pandava princes and is filled with many other stories and texts, like the Bhagvid Gita, within it. I know the general outline of the Mahabharata so I am not sure how much creative license the author took but from what I have heard, she didn't change much. And the one thing she did change, which was the secret feelings for someone else, I really didn't like and found it unnecessary. Other than that, I found her take of the females of the story to be refreshing and interesting. In terms of plot, the story follows the general outline of the Mahabharata, which is fascinating on its own, but it does jump ahead occasionally since the Mahabharata is so long.
The Verdict: To be read with a cup of chai of course.