Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Kosher Delhi by Ivan Wainewright: Book Review

Publisher: RedDoor Publishing, Release Date: August 01, 2019

About the book:

‘Considering all the things we did during our brief spell in Somerset that should have got us into trouble, it’s ironic that the act which did cause the police to come looking for us was an accident.’

It’s the early 1990s. Vic is twenty, naive and drifting – grappling with his mixed Indian-Jewish heritage. When he meets Yvonne – activist, hedonist, social justice warrior – his life changes in ways he could never have imagined. They travel together from Leeds to London to New York. While Vic navigates fast-paced restaurant scenes, Yvonne ventures into the world of underground political music and tensions begin to rise. What begins as hedonistic traveling and young romance soon takes a darker turn as the racist underbelly of society is exposed with violent and fatal outcomes.


What I think: If there’s a story that goes to show that people can indeed surprise you, then this right here would be one of those that I mention. We follow Vik and Yvonne from London to New York, and their struggles with finding meaning, acceptance and love in tumultuous times makes for an interesting read. However, what personally stood out for me was the growth that was evident in Vik’s life and his perception of the racism and hurdles he encountered in his work.

It’s as engaging as it is melancholic, but one thing is certain, any reader is bound to grow with the characters at some point in the book, whether it’s for good or for the worse, that’s not in my place to tell. Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.

PS: Oh, the ending! If there’s anything that threw me off guard, it’s got to be one word “Hello?”

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Two Romantic Comedies

I read two romantic comedies this week off Netgalley and let me just say that my Friday and Saturday were amazing, if not just plain hilarious!

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This is the kind of book that you don’t put down once you start reading it. Well, that’s if you love a romantic comedy or generally if you love characters who are witty and always find a way to make things work. Margo is down on her luck, but she’s smart and knows more about marketing than her sister Kirby. So, she gets a chance to work for her sister until she gets back up on her feet- but somewhere along the way, she runs into Matt when they’re looking for an apartment. What happens when you have two people who are willing to do anything to get out of a rut? A hilarious experience, that’s what.  PS: I love the cover and I certainly wish I had a friend like Chelsea on my corner!


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This is a fun romantic comedy. When shy and reluctant “to get back on the saddle” Simon meets Lisa, who is a full force to be reckoned with suddenly everything seems like a push-and-pull effect. It’s interesting how the pace is in line with their first meeting in the first half. It’s slow and there’s a bit of uncertainty, but once the two become open to getting to know each other-then it builds up beautifully.

The book’s available on Amazon UK- and will officially be released on August 6th 2019.

Check it out: here

 

 

Tips for Writers: Review of Writing is Essential by Judine Slaughter

I love reading and I write. So, when I came across Writing is Essential by Judine Slaughter which is a collection of conversations with black writers on writing, pursuing it as an art and career, I couldn’t help but hit that request button.

Brief description of the book


A collection edited interviews from writers of different genres. Each writer provides valuable information about writing, publishing, or being an entrepreneur. There’s a uniqueness in each dialogue; yet the same resounding message … just write!

My two-cents


These are the types of conversations that keep me writing even when it seems like sometimes the words escape me.

The interviews are personal and draw on early life experiences, the frustrations and challenges writers experience along the way- and as a young black African writer, I am pleased that there’s a platform for writers like me even though it’s a continent away.

“I’ve learned the written word has power.”-Judine Slaughter, Executive Director of United Black Writers Association, Inc

I do wish it featured many more writers too and also included more snippets of books or black writers that may have influenced their writing at some point. Thanks Netgalley for the eARC. I believe any reader would enjoy reading this book because of the conversational tone and how short it is.

My rating: Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

You can get more information on the book by visiting their website: https://byanyinknecessary.org/

 

 

Tissues:My experience reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I’m a mess.

There is no way that a very short read like Gayle Forman’s “If I Stay” could make me tear up so much so that I went through a whole pack of tissue and even complemented it with two handkerchiefs. What does that say about me?

Either I am (a) too emotional, (b) easily moved to tears or (c) there is something about life being cut short that gets me crying.

I’ll go with all of the above and add that the story is beautifully written. Mia’s world becomes your world as you go from a family taking a drive to a young girl in a coma having to choose whether she fights to stay alive or sinks into the despair of having lost her whole family.

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The moment which stood out more for me was when Mia’s Grandfather softly spoke beside her bed saying:

“It’s okay,” he tells me. “If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.” His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. “But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”

The book’s available on Amazon and whilst looking it up online I found that it had been turned into a movie  and the trailer promises tears…

 

Book Review: Swan by Frances Mayes

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The Masons are a prominent but now fragmented family who have lived for generations in Swan, an edenic, hidebound small town in Georgia. As Swan opens, a bizarre crime pulls Ginger Mason home from her life as an archeologist in Italy: The body of her mother, Catherine, a suicide nineteen years before, has been mysteriously exhumed. Reunited on new terms with her troubled, isolated brother J.J., who has never ventured far from Swan, the Mason children grapple with the profound effects of their mother’s life and death on their own lives. When a new explanation for Catherine’s death emerges, and other closely guarded family secrets rise to the surface as well, Ginger and J.J. are confronted with startling truths about their family, a particular ordeal in a family and a town that wants to keep the past buried.

The feeling I got from reading this book was like having warm butter melting in my mouth.

I know that sounds a bit flowery but where there is a tragic event that scarred a family, I’m all in, eager to know what happened, when it happened and more so how the family talk about it.

Now, here with Catherine Mason gone- her husband in a nursing home unaware of his surroundings, there are her children: Ginger, an Architect, and J.J. well…he’s the one who loves his time alone in the woods.

It’s a beautiful tale of two children who are grieving their mother, their childhood and most of all…a family that’s looking to deal with a tragedy they never saw coming.

I loved the insights on the characters. They are as complex as they are unraveled but you can’t help but enjoy how crisp the author brings this to light.

Lily had opinions but refused to examine them. p.136

The events in the story take place in 7 days or so from July 7, 1975 to July 14.

I could relate to J.J at some point when he said:

“You know how a fish sounds when it leaps out of water? If I could write that in a word, I’d know how to be a Writer. Or like the bee, that sizzling sound when it goes back to the swarm. Words are all you have to write with and most things don’t go into words.”

I’d give this heartheartheartheart

However, a dramatic part of me wished for a different ending, but all’s well that ends well.

You can buy a copy of this book on: Amazon

 

 

We are not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas: A Book Review

I can never have enough of “chasing the American dream story,” and with this book I had a front row seat into the lives of Irish Immigrants three generations down the line.

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Hardcover, 620 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
About the Book


We Are Not Ourselves is a multigenerational portrait of the Irish American Leary family.

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. 
When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream. 

Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future. 

Read more reviews on: Goodreads


My rating: heartheartheartheart

In this book the author tells the story as it is and in his own way, you delve into the lives of the character each with their own dreams and ambitions trying to lead a better life than those who came before them and struggling under the burden of this.

By the Light of Embers|Shaylin Gandhi

Historical Fiction/Briar Rose Publishing $3.99 on Amazon

 

It’s 1954, and twenty-two-year-old Lucia Lafleur has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. While sock hops and poodle skirts occupy her classmates, she dreams of bacteria and broken bones—and the day she’ll finally fix them. (Read more here)

Thoughts: heart heart heart heart

Lucia is a spitfire! She’s outspoken and does not mince her words so it’s no suprise really when her fiancee, Kip, wants her to choose between being a doctor and a housewife, what she’s going to choose. But her trip back home with her best friend Gretchen is the beginning of life, love, hatred, anger, loss and everything that you believe life could throw at you. She meets Nicholas and their’s is a friendship that slowly blossoms coupled with an event that spooked them years ago.

It’s a beautiful friendship and soon it blossoms into an understanding and finally love.

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And then it hits you, it’s 1954 in Lousiana and going by history black and white don’t mix and then just like that, when Lucia asks Nicholas what Robbie would do to him if he found out he was friends with her, he says “Oh, that’s easy,”…”He’d kill me.”

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Look, there are books you read and you know it’s not going to end well. There are also books that you want to keep reading no matter how painful or heartbreaking or just downright unfair the endings are…because life’s got those moments and Shaylin Gandhi brings them out so well in her characters that you cannot help but grab that box of tissues and still smile in between scenes.

It’s amazing how she achieved such balance.

I saw this book on Netgalley and requested to read it and it’s been worth every tissue I tell you. The book’s out on May 9th 2019, you can also pre-order on amazon from as low as $3.99 and read about Lucia and Nicholas. Visit the author’s website for more: here