OMG. I don’t know what to say about this week. All last weekend it poured heavily, there was no internet, no TV, no electricity, and no going anywhere because of the floods and trees falling. The kids were extremely bored, and so was I honestly.
I shouldn’t crib though when other places around the world are struggling with heavy rain and flooding – Texas, Mumbai, Florida. I wonder why the rains are so unusually heavy this year. Is it an El Nino thing or something?
Of late, I have been feeling like my blogging has got a bit mechanical – a bunch of book reviews (usually done way after I have read the book), the occasional restaurant review, but I think the earlier personal note has started to go missing. Partly, because somewhere along the way I started doing book reviews for publishers and food posts for restaurants (meaning I have a deadline), and basically the blog has started feeling more business-like, than like a personal blog.
I can’t say I can go completely back to the old tone and content as i no longer feel like I am writing solely for friends and family. But I also don’t want the blog to exist merely as a database of places to go, and books to read. I don’t know how the new style will evolve but I plan to have a little more about my daily life and routines, things I am thinking, what the kids are doing/saying to me, and so on.
Let’s see how things evolve. Old readers, I hope you will like my going back to more of what made you read my blog read in the first place, newer readers, I hope you find reading about the person behind the blog as interesting as the blog itself.
There are some books that draw you in from the very first sentence itself. Very powerful, and reflects the tone of the rest of the story beautifully. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it sets up for a very great book. I loved this opening sentence from Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.
Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list top ten books I liked more/less than I thought I would.
Expectations are always so damning, aren’t they. So many times I go into a good book with great expectations, and end up disappointed. At other times, I read a book that seems just about ok, and then end up surprised and amazed by the book. It may not be a particularly good book, but because my expectations were low, I end up loving it.
Oh! How much I wanted to love this book! The premise is wonderful, and it’s a Man Booker nominee so it was anyway on my TBR list for the longest time. The only reason I hesitated to read this book was that I felt the subject of the book would be too disturbing for me. My son is the same age as Jack – the little boy in the book, and I was afraid I would get all emotional about poor little Jack’s plight.
Eventually, it turned out I didn’t get all emotional or all that excited about the book. I”ll tell you why a little later in my review.
Jonathan Franzen is one of those writers who I’ve always avoided. Initially, I didn’t mean to. But when a writer is labelled as the Great American novelist or some such grandiose term, I tend to back away from their books. And then I read about all his weird interviews, and the bird-watching (not that I have anything against it), and most important – the number of reviews that talk about his white male worldview, and his problematic approach to writing female characters. Let’s say nothing I read compelled me to go read his books.
This year however, something made me change my mind. #FranzeninFebruary happened and I saw a number of tweets chattering on about all the Franzen books. Finally, reading Laura Frey’s tweets convinced me that there wouldn’t be any harm in reading one of his books, and trying him out for myself.