So half the year has passed, which means we are in July (already). July is the month when we welcome monsoon but, there hasn’t been even a single drop of rain here lately meanwhile the temperature keeps on soaring. Because of the heat and the fact that I finished school this year I have had a lot of time on my hands these past 6 months .Which obviously means that I read a lot of books. So here I come with my list of top 10 mid year reads.
10. Book: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Author: Samantha Shannon
A world divided but one epic fantasy which leaves the readers speechless. Women ;strong, selfless and idealistic, women who make mistakes and own them. These women are portrayed in this book beautifully. Though I do read fantasy much, I made sure to read this one for 2 reasons. First, being the beautiful cover and second being the gripping tale about dragons, kingdoms and most importantly 3 very strong women and the beautifully portrayed relationships. A feminist successor to the LOTR, it is a must read for all fantasy fanatics out there.
9. Book: The Room on the Roof
Author: Ruskin bond
This is Mr. Bond’s first book and a masterpiece for sure. The best of Ruskin bond that I have ever read. His books are simply profound and profoundly simple. He weaves magic through his words and the readers get transported to the hills; between the large trees, in the pleasant weather, the lush greens, and one imagines themselves to be living the stories.
P.S I was lucky enough to get a limited 70th anniversary signed edition from Mr. Bond himself.
8. Book: Good night stories for Rebel girls: 100 tales of extraordinary women
Author: Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
What is a woman without her man? Historically speaking ,more powerful. This book, illustrated by 60 women from around the globe brings to us the stories of hundred remarkable women who in today’s time are a role model for us all. There are books, good books and then there are books which touch us, this is one of them. This is a book I read again and again and again. The illustrations are brilliant and sharp. This is a great crowd funded book for the right cause which is not just feminism. A highly recommended book for girls and boys alike.
7. Book: Sea Prayer
Author: Khaled Hosseini
A letter from a father to a son, who looks back on his hometown where there once was peace, but is now war torn. A quick 5 minute read filled with beautiful illustrations that truly show the distress of the refugees. The book has very few words but the impact it has is boundless. This heart wrenching story seems like poetry to the readers who get extremely engrossed in it and can feel the plight and suffering of the refugees.
6. Book: The Palace of Illusions
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The most misunderstood heroine comes to us with her story through her eyes. This is Draupadi’s story. A story of a woman who is still blamed for the biggest war in the Indian history. This is her story through her perspective along with her beliefs and values and what all she faced. The dilemma of five husbands, the sorrow that she trapped within herself, her secrets; she spills it all out in this retelling of the epic Mahabharata.
5. Book: Erotic stories for Punjabi widows
Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal
Nikki takes up a job at a local temple to teach English, but to her surprise all her students are barely literate. But there is way more than what meets the eye. Under the dupattas of these women are hidden desires, stories, fantasies and mysteries, some of which may lead to danger. It is a book about a kaleidoscope of deeper themes and it surely is an immersive read. I totally loved the book and Kaur Jaswal has done a brilliant job .Can’t wait to read her next.
4. Book: This House of Clay and Water
Author: Faiqa Mansab
When three extremely different and burdened souls cross each other’s path, things will change for sure. Patriarchy and equality, courage and cowardice, suppression and freedom, but above all it is the story of forbidden love. This is the story of three people; nida, sasha and bhanggi, three imperfect souls finding themselves. Mansab has done a brilliant work weaving these three characters together and made the book a must read.
3. Book: Rebecca
Author: Daphne de Maurier
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again…
A woman, a man, a house and a landscape , a hidden history and a late wife’s shadow. These 6 elements turn the whole book upside down by refining the narrative. A gothic mystery thriller with the lingering shadow of a dead person ‘ Rebecca ‘ is one of the most complete books I have ever read. A highly recommended book for all bibliophile’s out there.
2. Book: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller
This one was so talked about on Instagram that I knew I had to get my hands on it and it was worth my money for sure. With enticing background and plotlines this is one of the most epic novels there has ever been. Miller uses Circe to showcase the estrangement and feminism in the best way. An unputdownable book that keeps you hooked till the end. A must have for all mythology – fantasy fans out there.
1. Book: An American marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
NOTE: this was Oprah’s book club read and the winner of 2019 women’s prize for fiction
A novel that sinks its teeth into you from the very first page and the one you won’t forget. The soul baring poignancy is displayed by Jones in the best way possible. It is a love story, the story of Celestial and Roy, a perfect couple stuck between the deeply flawed justice system. A newlywed couple,a wrongly convicted victim and a childhood friend, all of which completely shakes their lives.
It is a book I just can’t recommend enough.