All posts tagged: Fiction

Cover of the book Call me by your name on a Kindle in a beach setting

Book Review: Call me by your name by André Aciman

Call Me by Your Name is a highly sensual, somewhat nostalgic and sweet novel by André Aciman about the longings of young forbidden love. The main character, Elio, is struggling with his sexual identity. He is 17 and falls in love with Oliver, his father’s new research assistant.

It is a coming of age story about a young boy’s first love told from his perspective as a grown man reflecting on the summer that changed his life. You can feel the longing, love, and passion throughout the book. 


Call Me by Your Name has been adapted into a film starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. The smooth voice of Armie Hammer narrates the Audible version of the book.

Book Review: The One by John Marrs

The One by John Marrs is a science fiction book that seems all too real. It is based on the concept of finding your soulmate through genetic mapping. We follow the lives of five people from different walks of life and whose lives are changed considerably because of this technology. There is a little romance and some sci-fi, but this is a suspense thriller to the very end.
Overall, I found the book to be interesting. The subject matter was good food for thought, and the underlying suspense of it all kept me hooked till the end. If you’re looking for a quick, fast-paced book for the holidays, The One by John Marrs is a good recommendation!

A Book Review: Blue-Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu

Blue-Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu is one of the most underrated books I’ve read this year. I picked it up only because THE Roxane Gay highly rated it, and it’s one of the best books of 2021 for me. The book blurb doesn’t do it justice. A poignant journey of emotions and relationships makes this a must-read book.
I listened to the Audible version of this book, which was beautifully narrated by Varun Sathi.

Book Review: The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

“They say a witch used to live in these woods, a long, long time ago…And there, she bore the wolves who chase the sun and moon. They say she went to Asgard and was burned three times upon a pyre and three times she was reborn before she fled. They say she loved a man with scarred lips and a sharp tongue; a man who gave her back her heart and more. They say she loved a woman too, a sword-wielding bride of the Gods; as bold as any man and fiercer still. They say she wandered, giving aid to those who needed it most, healing them with potions and spells. They say she stood her ground against the fires of Ragnarok until the very end until she was burned a final time. All but her heart reduce to ashes once more. But others say she lives yet.” The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec is a reimagining of Norse mythology’s end of the world, Ragnarok, and how it came to pass. It is told from …

2 kindles with the covers of the books the henna artist and the secret keeper of jaipur, both by Alka Joshi. They're laid out on colourful cloth with jewellery

Book Review: The Henna Artist Jaipur Series

This is a combined book review of Alka Joshi’s The Henna Artist and The Secret Keeper of Jaipur. These books are part of a trilogy, with the final instalment yet to be released. I am not waiting with bated breath for the final book – I doubt I’ll read it. Read on to know why.  The Henna Artist Review The first book, The Henna Artist, came highly recommended as Reese Witherspoon had chosen it for her book club, and it has also topped many Bestseller lists. Goodreads also rates it very highly. My opinions differ significantly. The book started off well enough. I had good hopes for a mystery or even a romance. She aimed for a bit of both but lost my interest mid-way through the book. The writing is not excellent, and the story gets predictable very soon. The characters are not fleshed out, and we know them only superficially. I did not feel for any character in the book.  The protagonist, Lakshmi, is portrayed as an empowered, independent woman with progressive ideas …

5 Best Audiobooks on Audible

I have previously written about my preference for audiobooks while I work. If you need to commute long hours or go on a trip, I highly recommend taking an Audible membership. I know people who prefer to listen on their walks and while cooking as well. Here are my top 5 Audible recommendations that are epic. They draw you into their worlds with enchanting stories and enigmatic storytelling. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: This has to be one of my favourite books and on top of my list just for how it is told. It’s a novel I enjoyed immensely. The characters and events actually seemed real to me. The idea of a man voluntarily being under house arrest for an indefinite period in a fancy hotel seemed complicated and unrealistic to imagine. But somehow, Towles succeeded in making his book realistic—and endearing! The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: Check out the full review here. I recommend the audiobook over the written book mainly because of all the beautiful Vietnamese verses …

Books by Ismat Chughtai on a blue backdrop with a gold necklace

Book Review: Ismat Chughtai

For someone who loves to read and has studied English literature in school and college in India, it was very disappointing to learn about writers like Maanto and Chughtai so late in life. It enrages me that we teach a handful of English writers and completely ignore great Indian writers. “Faith is one thing, the culture of one’s country is quite another. I have an equal share in it, in its earth, sunshine and water. If I splash myself with colour during Holi, or light up diyas during Diwali, will my faith suffer an erosion? Are my beliefs so brittle and judgements so shaky that they will fall to pieces?” Ismat Chughtai – the story-teller Ismat Chughtai was a contemporary of Saadat Hasan Manto. They wrote during the time of India’s independence. Both were put on trial for indecency in their writing then finally acquitted. However, it put a downer on both their temperaments.  Chughtai’s Lihaaf or the Quilt was considered quite progressive for its time, talking about female sexuality. She has also written screenplays …

Kindle with the cover of Klara and Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro on a bed of colourful Lego blocks

Book Review: Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro is a dystopian science fiction story. It is much like Never Let Me Go but, somehow, not as brilliant. That is not to say Klara and the Sun is not readable. Far from it. Kazuo Ishiguro Nobel Prize winner, has a special talent for making you believe his sci-fi world is as believable as our own reality. He writes with an elegant simplicity conveying complex feelings.  “Hope,’ he said. ‘Damn thing never leaves you alone.” Klara, an Artificial Friend  The book is set in a future where it is possible to have your child genetically engineered to enhance their academic abilities. Schooling is provided at home by on-screen tutors, limiting all social interactions. For those who can afford it, an AF (Artificial Friend) is their constant companion. Klara is an AF for Josie. We follow Klara’s journey as she narrates her life experiences from the store window to her stay with Josie. Although Klara is exceptionally intelligent and observant, her knowledge of the world is limited. We see …

Kindle cover of Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi with a bunch of pink roses on a white fabric

Book Review: Transcendent Kingdom

Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom reviews were almost entirely positive, so I was at first worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But oh! It did. It is a book about relationships with family and oneself, religion and race, love and loss, and mental health. The narration is by a young woman named Gifty. She was born in America to Ghanian parents. She has an older brother who overshadows her at every juncture of her life, but he is also her hero – someone she loves and looks up to. She talks about how her mother migrated to America in the hope of a better future for her firstborn son. Her father had followed reluctantly. After she was born, she could see the unhappiness in her father, who eventually chose a path away from them. “My memories of him, though few, are mostly pleasant, but memories of people you hardly know are often permitted a kind of pleasantness in their absence. It’s those who stay who are judged the harshest, simply by virtue of …