Month: December 2015

Bout Of Books 15 Sign Up + TBR!

Hello everyone and today I will be showing you the list of books I am planning on reading for the Bout of Books Readathon! The 15th Bout of Books will be held from Monday, January 4th to Sunday, January 10th. This is my first readathon of the new year and I think this readathon would be a great way to start the year and make my reading count higher so I can get a head start for my reading progress this year.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

Here are the books I plan to read on that week:

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I will also set up some goals I want to complete for that week, which are:

  • To spend 1 hour to read on the weekdays and 3 hours on the weekends (and maybe on Friday as well).
  • Finish at least 3 books.
  • Read at least 1,300 pages.
  • Post an update on this blog once every 2-3 days.

Friendly reminder that you can still join the readathon if you want to, and that I will update my reading progress regularly throughout the week from my Twitter and Goodreads, so don’t forget to follow me to be updated on how far I’m reading!

I’m really pumped to do this, I am so ready to read some amazing books this readathon! Let me know if you’re participating for Bout of Books 15, and what books you’ll be reading. Or just tell me the books you are planning to read on the month of January, or if you are attending any other readathons!

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Living Abroad, Finding Yourself and Fathers: The Namesake Book Review

Greetings everyone! Today I’m gonna talk about a really fascinating book that I read as a readalong with Abigail @ The Rambling Writer, and it is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I have never read any of Lahiri’s books before and I have heard of this novel before years ago but I never got the urge to read it. So I would like to thank Abigail for making this the book of our readalong, because otherwise I wouldn’t be reading this book 🙂

cover1The Namesake is a novel about a couple who moved from India to live in the US. And the story revolves around their child, Gogol, who was born and raised in America and about him trying to find himself through his family and his namesake as he grows up.

The beginning of the story was great. It was focused more on the mother and on her point of view, how she felt suddenly moving from her hometown in India to a foreign country just to follow her husband’s work, even though she doesn’t really know her husband because their marriage was arranged. Then it follows how she adjusted to living independently in America and how she gave birth to Gogol, and how Gogol got his name.

I liked how then the point of view shifted from the mother to Gogol as he grows older, where the readers would initially thought the whole story would be focused on the mother as the main character, when in fact the main character was Gogol. I really think it was a good decision to start off with the mother, because in that way you can really know her thoughts and feelings in addition to Gogol’s.

For the story of Gogol and his family’s life itself, I really thought it was relatable for me personally. I moved to a foreign country by myself this year and I became a minority in terms of nationality and culture. I was estranged from my language, my culture, my weather, and my norms, and I can really relate to the mother in that sense. I can also sort of relate myself with Gogol, with how he struggles to come to terms with his unique name. I also have a name that is very uncommon, and sometimes I would just think “Why, dad, why did you give me such a difficult name?” But in the end I still really like my name and thankful for it.

quote2Being a foreigner, Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy – a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts. It is an ongoing responsibility, a parenthesis in what had once been ordinary life, only to discover that that previous life has vanished, replaced by something more complicated and demanding. Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ashima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect.

I really love how the story focuses on Gogol’s self discovery, of his struggles on being an Indian who lives his whole life in another country. And also not only that, but about his name, and that relates to his relationship to his father. I really love Gogol’s relationship with the other characters. We don’t really see much of his closeness with his parents or his sister, or anything like that, but we can really feel the familiar relationships, the love Gogol felt from his parents. The relationship of the mother between the father was something that really stuck to me as well. How they didn’t even know each other until they got married, and how they slowly fell in love through marriage but it’s not the conventional love you read on YA novels, it’s the deep and soundless love between two people who have lives most of their lives together.

I found that the writing style in this book was great. It flowed so easily, and during the last third of the book, I just couldn’t put it down and ended up spending around 2 hours reading and finishing the book.

Now I will continue to my spoiler section where I discuss more on the last parts of the book. If you haven’t read the book, don’t read this part, and I’ll put a section similar to the one below to let you know where you can start reading the review again.

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The last chapters of the book I felt like focused too much on Gogol’s love life. I felt like it was nice and quite interesting, because the girls he was with are really also part of his life. But I felt like there could be less of that and more of other aspects of his life, like his relationship with Sonia, or his mother, and his feelings and actions after his father died.

Speaking of his father’s death, that part was heartbreaking but also beautiful. I love Gogol’s relationship with his father, and how he had never really understood his father but afterwards tried his best to do so. I think his death was a wake up call for Gogol, to become closer to his family, and to finally take the role of his pet name as his father would’ve wanted. And while he was alive, I love his dynamic with Gogol, how they weren’t the lovey-dovey type of men but still they convey their love to each other in their own ways.

quote2And suddenly, the sound of his pet name, uttered by his father as he has been accustomed to hearing it all his life, means something completely new, bound up with a catastrophe he has unwittingly embodied for years. “Is that what you think of when you think of me?” Gogol asks him. “Do I remind you of that night?”
“Not at all,” his father says eventually, one hand going to his ribs, a habitual gesture that has baffled Gogol until now. “You remind me of everything that followed.”

The ending itself for me was great, but a little too abrupt. I suppose it’s not that I thought the ending was not good enough, I guess I just didn’t know what to expect about the ending. I do think it was a good way to end the book, how it concluded at the book that was given by Gogol’s father, so it was a full circle. It was like Gogol was sort of reborn and how the readers can imagine that in the future Gogol would read the book and try to embody his father through his actions in life further on.

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All in all, this book was a very good book that handles some interesting themes that I find very fascinating. If you like the overview of the theme of The Namesake I just talked about above, I would definitely recommend that you check it out. And for those of you who have read the book, what did you think of it? Did you agree with my thoughts on the book? Either you have read or haven’t read the book, don’t be shy to tell me your thoughts in the comments. Happy reading everyone!

4 stars

How I Read Book Tag

Yay I’m doing another book tag! I love these, they’re fun and simple and I thought of doing this one now. I was tagged by Calliope the Book Goddess and I decided to give it a try.

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#1. How do you find out about new books to read?
Most of the time I find out through Goodreads, which I love. Other times I get recommendations from other book bloggers or Booktubers I watch. But there are also a lot of books that I gave a try because of recommendations from my friends! I almost never just randomly go to the bookstore and buy a book that catches my eye, I have to thoroughly see the synopsis and the reviews before doing it because when I was younger I would do that and apparently those books are crap.

#2. How did you get into reading?
I’ve always loved reading. My parents told me that even before I could read, I would love being read to by them and I’d ask them to reread the book the second they finish it. So basically, I’ve been a huge booklover even before I could read! But I started really reading novels and such at the age of five or six, that was when I started reading children’s book like Famous Five, Little House on the Prairie, and Harry Potter.

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#3. How has your taste of books progressed as you get older?
It has changed quite a lot actually. When I was really young my favourite books would be adventure books that are quick, but I also like realistic fiction. And on my younger teenage years I started liking fantasy books and YA books, but nowadays I prefer sci-fi and more adult fiction. But ever since I was young I’ve always loved fantasy and sci-fi, so some things do change but some don’t.

#4. How did you get into book blogging?
I started this particular blog on August 2015, which was not so long ago. But around two or three years ago I actually have another blog where I post my writing, and sometimes my book reviews. I have long since abandoned it but basically I’ve always wanted to have a book blog. And I’ve read and followed quite a lot of book blogs and boooktubes for some time now. Also I’ve been writing reviews and been very active on Goodreads since 2009.

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#5. How do you react when you don’t like the ending of a book?
I must say I rarely ever really hate the ending of the book, but it does happen sometimes. But usually I just don’t like the story of the book, so I’ve disliked the book from the middle or even the beginning and continue to dislike it until the end. And it’s not often that I really like a book’s story and all and suddenly the ending was just awful, but when it does happen I’d probably curse and shout or just grumble internally and never touch the book again. Or, of course, discuss about it here on my blog!

#6. How often do you take a look at the last page of a book?
Um… never??? I hate doing that (my mom does that) and I would never ever do that because why would you do it? It won’t do me any good as the reader of the book because I’d be spoiled of the ending and reading the book won’t be fun anymore!!

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And that is it for the How I Read Tag, thank you so much for reading! I tag anyone who reads this, you should all do it and maybe link your post to me in the comments! Or you can just share your thoughts on some of the questions above down below 🙂

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