All posts tagged: Reading

collage of book covers of biographies

7 Must-Read Biographies

I love stories. These stories become even more meaningful when you know they’re true. I’ve not always read non-fiction, and I started reading biographies even later. Since then, I’ve read stories from people’s lives that are inspiring, heart-breaking, and relatable.  I cannot classify the stories I’ve read into good or better stories. Each book brings its own charm. However, some books are well-written, and some books pull you in and make you pause as you feel each word that’s penned down. This is a list of those books. Decoded by Jay-Z It gave me a refreshing perspective of the hip-hop culture and rap music – a genre I always overlooked. The lyrics have been beautifully written and explained and is comparable to pure poetry. That is not to say that there isn’t some lousy hip-hop doing the rounds (pointless violence and sex), but good rap, as Jay Z points out, is very powerful and has several layers. Even the cover of a Rorschach blot is a stroke of genius…just like rap music, it conveys different …

baby with a book

Raising a Reader

I love reading. I’ve loved it ever since I can remember. I don’t remember where I picked up the habit because no one else in my family was interested in or had any time for reading as a hobby.  When I started college, I first came across people who romanticised reading. You’d never catch them without a book with them. They’d pride themselves in how many books they carried on their travels because they’re more important than clothes or shoes! Then came the Internet memes asking boys to find girls who read over every other type (whatever that means). I’ve seen parents proudly showing off how their kids are glued to books at the dinner table and prefer the company of books over people. Let’s not even get into the topic of book hoarding. I love books, and I have done all of these things mentioned above. But I am also a practical person. I’m not going to carry a book unless I know I’m in for a long wait. On my travels, I would …

woman on a chair reading a book with a cat on lap

Around the World in Books

I got the idea from a newspaper article about a teenager reading at least one book from each country in the world. What a novel thought! Why hadn’t I thought of that? All my life, I’ve read about the adventures of various White kids and adults.  We’re told how Enid Blyton books are quintessential childhood stories even though my childhood didn’t resemble it in any way. Even contemporary writers widely available in my adulthood were White. I have written previously about my quest to diversify mine and my son’s bookshelves. Here, I talk about this in detail. I’ve also added my list here, so if anyone’s interested in expanding their reading list or even help me with recommendations.  What I learned about what I read When I started paying attention to who I read, I decided to make an Excel Sheet by region and country. I was pretty surprised by what I saw, although I shouldn’t have been. The UK and US columns overflowed, while the India column was relatively modest. Even within the UK …

Gajapati Kulapati series of 4 books

Book Review: Gajapati Kulapati

Ganesh Chaturti is the perfect time to talk about our favourite elephant. The Gajapati Kulapati series by Ashok Rajagopalan, published by Tulika Books, is a favourite in our house. We bought the first one when our son was about a year old, and now five years later, we have the complete set and still love reading them. The story is simple and hilarious. Each book is about an adventure Gajapati Kulapati has with his friends in the village where he lives. The sound effects will make kids and adults giggle with delight. There are four books in the series. We meet the same characters in each book and love to see how they’re getting on. Tulika Books publishes these books in Indian regional languages as well. They’re sure to delight young readers for a long time to come. Note: Some links are part of an affiliate program, which means that if you click on a link and buy something, I might receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you. 

Top 10 Free Ebooks you need in your Library

Who doesn’t love free stuff? When it comes to books, I can never have too many. I would always have to worry about storage while purchasing physical copies of all the books I wanted. Now, with Kindle, I can read to my heart’s content. The best part is, there is such an immense repository of books that have crossed their copyright period and are now available to download and read for free. All you need to do is download the Kindle reading app on any of your devices if you don’t want to invest in a Kindle. If you already have a Prime membership then Amazon’s Prime Reading programme gives you a wide selection of books that are included in your membership, hence free to read. I have previously written about the benefits of an e-book reader. You can read and decide what works best for you. So, without further delay, here are my top 10 free Kindle ebooks you need to read. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is one of my absolute favourites. Such …

Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader with the cover of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Paper Books vs E-Books vs Audiobooks

If you have ever tried to decide between getting a paper book, ebook or an audio book then you understand the challenge. While they all contain the same information – there are differences. If you’re trying to cut your reading expenses and make reading more efficient I will explain the differences and help you choose a format that works best for you. A few years ago, if you asked any boomer or Gen Xers if they’d switch to e-books, you’d probably hear them gasp and scowl in horror at the thought. E-books are so impersonal. I could never give up the touch and feel of REAL books. It’s blasphemy to even think of reading on a screen. I know because I was one of those who turned their noses up at the thought of anything apart from a paper book. (We shall discuss book snobbery in another post.)  Physical paper books have been around from centuries and will never go out of fashion. But they are not the only option anymore when it comes to …

Pile of books next to a small wooden deer

Reading Challenge: 2018 (Prologue: On Diversity)

When you have read 50 books in a year, it’s safe to say not all of them can be (or need to be) reviewed. Even the ones I want to talk about are too many for a single post so I’ve divided them in three parts (and this rant). I used to read whatever book piqued my interest at the moment either because someone recommended it to me or the blurb was well written. Then there was a list of books that were considered well known and famous.  After reading some ‘classics’, I wanted to add contemporary books to my list as well so I would try and look (mainly on Goodreads lists) for interesting books released in that year. What I realised as I documented my reading lists, is that my list was very lop-sided – very Western, very White. I had not explored Indian authors since English Lit classes in college. My list barely had any authors from countries other than the UK or US. I found that to be a dreadful shortcoming; …

Reading Challenge: 2017

I finally am getting back to my stride and making time to read more. This year I jumped to 41 books. There were a few hits and a few misses as with every year. So without further delay let’s dive in. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult: It is a more holistic approach to racism than I’ve read before and tries to approach the story from different angles. The neat way it’s all wrapped up in the end seems far fetched but it’s known to happen. The courtroom drama is not as dramatic as novels of the genre and there’s not much of it. It’s basically a book on the racial divide in the US and feelings that it brings up in different people A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: Beautifully written. Reminded me of the movie Up in some ways. Makes you smile through the grumpiness. A simple feel good book especially in these troubling times. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, M.D.: It is a story of living life when death …