Top 5 Tuesday – Adaptations I Liked Better Than the Book

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Adaptations I Liked Better Than the Books

Now this isn’t an easy topic today… hmmm… adaptations are mostly a no-no for me but let’s try it, shall we?

Well… Fight Club. Because of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Haha! And it was more dramatic.

lotrtrilogybookcover

lotrtrilogymovieposter

Now don’t get me wrong here… I loved the books so much, I really do. But the movies justified the books farther than I expected to be quite honest, with all the special effects, soundtracks, cast and all. I enjoyed and loved the movies a lot. So the books will remain to be my favorites and the movie adaptations, too, but a little bit more!

I loved the book but I love Jack Nicholson more! And the movie is really good!

Well, what can I say? Brad Pitt just made Tristan hotter than I could imagine!

I loved the lead characters more in the movie than in the book. And it is always a delight to watch Saoirse Ronan.

How about you? What adaptations do you like better than the books?

Quote of the Week

No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.

~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Maus II by Art Spiegelman

maus2Maus II continues the holocaust survival story of Art Spiegelman’s father, Vladek. In this second book, we learn of Vladek and his wife Anja’s struggles in order to survive in the two deadliest concentration camps ran by the Nazis and their lives after. It also shows the impact of these terrible experiences to Vladek, who now is an old man and how this affected Art’s life negatively at the same time. However, this also gave Art a purpose, to write a book about his father’s distressing and heartbreaking story.

I must say that Maus I was a rough read already but Maus II is rougher. Brutal. Heart-wrenching. Vladek related the stories inside the camps, death and torture and how tough and disheartening it makes someone to be there. It’s fascinating to read how Vladek tried his best to survive and help others while inside the camps, at the same time making sure that Anja is keeping well. One of the things that really hit me hard here was when Vladek and Anja learned of each other still alive. They got separated in the camps but knowing, just knowing, that the other is alive brought to me too much emotions. It was kinda difficult getting rid of the heaviness I felt then. It’s just too hard to imagine how difficult it was then for the victims of the holocaust and the war as a whole.

As is with Maus I, the illustrations in Maus II were equally extraordinary, terrifying, very personal and essential. The characters were again portrayed as animals. Very powerful. The storytelling style was as beautiful as the first volume.

It’s hard to put into words how I loved both books so much so I urge you to read it, only then will you understand.

Quotable Quotes:

“No matter what I accomplish, it doesn’t seem like much compared to surviving Auschwitz.”

” I feel so inadequate trying to reconstruct a reality that was worse than my darkest dreams.”

“People haven’t changed … Maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 12-May-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

thethursdaymurderclub

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to share! 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday – Books I Wish Had TV Adaptations

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books I Wish Had TV Adaptations

Hmmm… well, yeah, I guess there are some books which I think can be very good TV adaptations. It can give more details compared to movies so I think I’d prefer it more. Let’s get started, shall we?

pachinko

I’ve read Pachinko in 2019 and it easily became one of my favorites that year. When I finished reading the book, I really wished someone will adapt it into a TV series. And just a few days ago, I found out that there is indeed an upcoming TV series for it starring Lee Min-Ho!

themountainssing

The Mountains Sing is a bittersweet family saga of the Tran family in North Vietnam. This book is filled  with heartbreak and tragedy. But it is also full of hope and love. I think this story will truly capture hearts even as a TV adaptation.

alittlelife

A Little Life is one of the longest novels I’ve read. I loved it and I really think it could be a great TV series.

The-Seven-Husbands-of-Evelyn-Hugo

I think The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is currently in the early stages of its TV adaptation so I’m really looking forward to it!

thesecretlivesofbabasegiswives

If I can remember correctly, I think Netflix signed a deal with an African producer for the TV adaptation of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. I’m truly excited for this one so I hope it comes out soon.

What books do you wish had TV adaptations? I would love to know! 🙂

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

thesundownmotelCarly Kirk’s aunt Vivian Delaney accepted a job as night clerk in The Sun Down Motel thirty-five years ago in the small, mysterious town of Fell, NY and then she disappeared. At present, Carly is now the same age as her aunt Viv when she disappeared. When her mom died, she left college and went to Fell in search for answers for the disappearance of her aunt. She ended up taking the same job as night clerk in Sun Down, stayed in the same apartment where Viv used to live and soon started experiencing the very same troubles.

The Sun Down Motel is my first book from Simone St. James and I liked her gripping writing style. She did a good job with the dual narrative. It makes you curious and interested to read on the similarities between the two timelines, though there were times it got a bit confusing which timeline I was in. Viv and Carly’s characters were also well-developed. I also liked the way the author managed to create an eerie atmosphere, it wasn’t very scary but it gave the right level of spookiness that’ll give you the creeps.

I enjoyed this supernatural thriller as a whole and I think my only complaint was how quick the ending was. It was all crammed in so few pages and it felt rushed. Other than that, I enjoyed the read.

Quotable Quotes:

“The person who could be truly alone, in the company of no one but oneself and one’s own thoughts—that person was stronger than anyone else. More ready. More prepared.”

“Spend my nights at the Sun Down? I was the kind of girl who would spend the night in a supposedly haunted house, just to see what would happen. That sounded like my ideal vacation.”

“This place is dark. Some of us like the dark. It’s what we know.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

How satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement – no matter how temporary.

~Craig Thompson

WWW Wednesday 05-May-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Feel free to share! 

Top 5 Tuesday – Books I Wish Had Movie Adaptations

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this month’s first Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books I Wish Had Movie Adaptations

My friends and those who have been following my blog for some time now are well aware that I love reading and that I’m not a big fan of watching flicks and how I almost always deride movie adaptations. However, there are a few good books I somehow wish had movie adaptations. (Or maybe they do have but I just didn’t know?) Anyway, here they are…

kafkaontheshore

The plot of Kafka on the Shore is weird and well, it gets even weirder. I don’t think there’s any point making a movie out of it but I’m curious how anyone would do it.

theextraordinarylifeofsamhell

I’ve read somewhere that an Australian film producer will make a movie adaptation of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. I loved this book so I hope they can turn it into a great movie.

theshadowofthewind

I don’t think there would be any movie adaptations for The Shadow of the Wind and all of Zafon’s books as he already refused all proposals. I’m still somehow curious how they’d create the magic Zafon’s books give us and The Shadow of the Wind would prove to be a challenging one.

thenightcircus

I’m not very sure but I think I’ve read somewhere that the adaptation for The Night Circus is still at the early stages and is making slow progress but I am looking forward to the movie.

thestoryteller

Jodi Picoult have several adaptations on her sleeves already though I haven’t watched any… yet… but I’m sure interested to watch The Storyteller if they’d turn it into a movie.

There goes my list! How about you? What books do you wish had movie adaptations? Feel free to share!

April 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Hello there, Homo sapiens! And just like that, April’s over! Hello, May! So today, I’m sharing with you the books I’ve read during the month of April.

I was finally able to read my first ever graphic novel in April and three others. Maus I by Art Spiegelman is my first experience of a graphic novel and I loved it a lot! I also read Maus II and I think I loved it even more than the first one. I’ve rated both 5-stars. Also, I was able to read A Contract with God by Will Eisner and Blankets by Craig Thompson which were also very good reads, I rated them 4-stars each.

caste

My only other 5-star read for April apart from Maus I & II  is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. A very interesting read!

I have five 4-star reads which were equally interesting reads in their own ways.

less

And lastly, I have Less for 3-stars.

Quote of the Week

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

~Isaac Asimov

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History

maus1As a child, I remember reading my older brother’s collection of comics like X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman and Superman. But I have never ventured on graphic novels before and Maus I is my very first.

Maus I follows Vladek Spiegelman’s life before and during World War II. It is a one-of-a-kind memoir of a man’s suffering and several escape from death. He is deeply scarred as a result of these experiences but nevertheless boldly strong.

One of the things that caught my interest are the characters. Each race is a different kind of animal. The Jews were depicted as mice and Germans as cats. And then there were the “mice” pretending to be pigs (Poles). They put on masks to hide themselves to survive. I really think this was a brilliant idea by the author, Art Spiegelman.

The final chapter was The Mouse Trap where metaphorically, it referred to the deception of Vladek and his wife Anja which lead to their capture and imprisonment in Auschwitz.

This is a powerful and incredible graphic novel, a classic piece of writing and illustrations and I really liked the way of storytelling, it was so natural. Highly recommended!

Quotable Quotes:

“Maybe your father needed to show that he was always right – that he could always survive – because he felt guilty about surviving.”

“Disaster is my muse.”

“To die, it’s easy. But you have to struggle for life.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 28-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Graphic Novels

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Graphic Novels

I have just recently started reading graphic novels so I don’t really have much to share. So I’m sharing the three I’ve recently read and two others that I am really looking forward to reading.

maus1

Maus I by Art Spiegelman is my first ever graphic novel and I loved it!

maus2

So of course, I had to read Maus II.

acontractwithgod

My third graphic novel read is Will Eisner’s A Contract with God.

I am inclined to read Blankets and Palestine next. Both of these graphic novels were recommendations and I’d be happy to oblige.

What graphic novels have you read and which ones are your favorites? Feel free to share!

Quote of the Week

Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.

~James Baldwin

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

giovannisroomGiovanni’s Room follows the story of David, an American guy who is struggling to accept his sexuality. He has been seeing a girl named Hella for quite some time and is vacationing in Spain “to think.”David moved to Paris for some time and got involved with the Italian-born Giovanni. Uncertainty and confusion started to emerge on David as he finds himself having to choose between Giovanni and Hella. Inside Giovanni’s dark and suffocating room, much of this argument and discussion between man and woman, homosexuality and heterosexuality took place.

This is my first experience on James Baldwin’s works and I find this book remarkable. In 1950s America, discussions on homosexuality was very controversial. It also explores the people’s attitude during these times to topics like femininity and masculinity.

I love the novel’s structure where you know a murder will happen right from the start and as a reader, you would want to find out how it happened and why it happened.

This is a terribly sad and heart-wrenching novel but at the same time beautiful with a very rich prose. One of the many books I look forward to rereading.

Quotable Quotes:

It takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both.”

Not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes have perished, and are perishing every hour – and in the oddest place! – for the lack of it.”

You are the one who keeps talking about what I want. But I have only been talking about who I want.”

“And no matter what I was doing, another me sat in my belly, absolutely cold with terror over the question of my life.”

“There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 21-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? What did you enjoy most? Any recommendations? What are you going to read next? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Debut Novels

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Best Debut Novels

thekiterunner

The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini’s marvelous first novel. The story of friendship between two boys in Afghanistan. This definitely swept me away!

The Sympathizer Book Cover

The Sympathizer is a powerful novel from Viet Thanh Nguyen about the Vietnam War and its aftermath. The author definitely has a way with words!

amancalledove

A Man Called Ove is a charming novel about a grumpy old man named Ove. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry as the story unfolds. A Very memorable read from Fredrik Backman.

onearthwerebrieflygorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong is a devastatingly beautiful debut novel. It was written in a form of a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. This is the kind of book that feels like a heart bleeding in pages.

thesilentpatient

The Silent Patient is an outstanding, shocking and unforgettable psychological thriller debut novel from Alex Michaelides. Total page-turner!

Happy Tuesday!

Quote of the Week

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

~Nicolas Chamfort

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

mysistertheserialkillerMy Sister, The Serial Killer is a story set in Nigeria’s corrupt system of law and order. It’s a mix of humor and mystery and tackles societal expectations, relationships and kinship. It follows the story of Korede and her younger sister, Ayoola. Korede is plain, pragmatic and reliable while Ayoola is beautiful, charismatic and manipulative. Ayoola has just killed her boyfriend, again, her third victim, which now makes her a serial killer. Korede thinks it odd that Ayoola is carrying a knife but then just keeps quiet about it and helped her sister clean the mess at hand.

It is a short read, you can finish it in one sitting. It is written in short chapters alternating between the past and present, which I really liked as I get to know about the previous murders. Oyinkan Braithwaite is skillful in transitioning between different periods of time. Moreover, I liked how her characters were examined without revealing too much which allows for moments of surprise. Korede confides to a comatose patient in the hospital where she works for. It’s somewhat an unlikely relationship but this shows Korede’s sense of isolation from the people around her.

While the story’s language is simple and the chapters are short, there are multiple layers to this story which will keep the reader captivated. I somehow struggled with the absence of a character to like or love. I also didn’t connect emotionally to the novel and this resulted to somewhat an unsatisfying read but I must say, I was never bored in the story itself.

The ending might surprise some but it makes the most sense if you noticed the author’s clues throughout the story.

Quotable Quotes:

“She does not cry for me,” he says, his voice hardening. “She cries for her lost youth, her missed opportunities and her limited options. She does not cry for me, she cries for herself.”

“Is there anything more beautiful than a man with a voice like an ocean?”

“Love is not a weed, It cannot grow where it please…”

“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 14-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? What did you enjoy most? Any recommendations? What are you going to read next? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Books You Would Re-Rate

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Top 5 Books You Would Re-Rate

thesecretlivesofbabasegiswives

I rated The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives 4-stars but I think I can easily give it 5-stars if I get to reread it.

mycousinrachel

My Cousin Rachel is one of the many books I want to reread. I first rated this as 3-stars but I think a reread will give it a higher rating from me.

thedutchhouse

I rated The Dutch House 3-stars on my first reading. I remember loving the book when I began reading it and somewhere through the story it just went downhill. I might have missed something or whatever but I would love to reread this and I think the chances are high for it to be rated higher than 3-stars.

demian

Demian is the book that made me decide that Hermann Hesse’s works aren’t my cup of tea. Some of my seniors though regard Demian very highly and they encourage me to reread it and then decide. So this could either rate higher or lower than my previous rating of 2-stars if ever I decide a reread.

halfofayellowsun

Half of a Yellow Sun was a very educational and informative read for me and also my first experience of Adichie Chimamanda Ngozi. I’ve rated this 4-stars because it left me wondering where Kainene is and what happened to her. Until now, I am still wondering of the same thing. When I get to reread this, I probably will rate it 5 perfect stars because I know I loved this book but I still hope to find clues or probably figure out or give my own ending of what happened to Kainene.

How about you? What books do you consider to re-rate? 

Quote of the Week

The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

~Thomas Merton

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

genghiskhanMost of us have heard about Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. More often, he and his people are regarded as brute, ruthless and hostile. Almost always in a negative setting. Nevertheless, his and the empire’s story is captivating and needs to be told.

In this book, the author, Jack Weatherford tells us the story of Genghis Khan and his empire and how it shaped the beginning of the modern world. Weatherford asks us to reconsider our view of this great leader and his descendants.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World starts in detailing the early life of Genghis Khan, who was brought into the world in the steppe between Mongolia and Siberia. He was named Temujin by his father which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” It was in year 1206 (if I remember it right) that he became the leader of the great Mongol nation and was then named Genghis Khan. The information on his early life was based on a document discovered called The Secret History of the Mongols. He did not have an easy childhood. He was confronted with many difficulties as a child. He didn’t have a formal education but he knew tradition and he knew that he lives in a dangerous world. His father was murdered and their family was cast out of the clan and so they were forced to live and survive on their own. He was also kidnapped and was forced to be a slave and this started his determination to seek revenge on every tribe that made his life difficult as a child.

The book focused more on the classic Mongol era — the period from Genghis Khan to Khubilai Khan. The stream of details will truly captivate the reader. And well, yes, Genghis Khan and his armies killed many people, sure, but warfare was important in creating the Mongol empire. Through his organized warfare, he unites everyone in every place he conquers regardless of their race and religion. Warfare and uniting the people were big steps that contributed to the foundation of the modern world and Genghis Khan made many laws. Genghis Khan is an extremely reformist leader. He made sure of everyone’s fundamental freedoms, everyone including women. He also advocated for human rights and education.

Genghis Khan and the other rulers of the Mongol empire practiced universalism. Since they didn’t have their own system to impose on their people, they were open to combine systems from the different places they have conquered. They looked and tried for what worked best for the empire. It is also notable that one of the best achievement of the Mongols was their great ability to blend with different local cultures thus giving the empire’s rule an exceptional degree of stability.

In the end, though, the empire was defeated by an unexpected enemy which was the plague. It spread like wildfire. Millions of people died. Eventually the empire started to fall and left divided into smaller kingdoms. Consequently, there came a growing anti-Asian attitude specially focused on the Mongols.

I enjoyed reading this book and hope to read more about Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire. Genghis Khan rocks!

Quotable Quotes:

“Genghis Khan recognized that warfare was not a sporting contest or a mere match between rivals; it was a total commitment of one people against another. Victory did not come to the one who played by the rules; it came to the one who made the rules and imposed them on his enemy.”

“Without the vision of a goal, a man cannot manage his own life, much less the lives of others.”

” …there is no good in anything until it is finished…”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 07-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

giovannisroom

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Any new favorites? Feel free to share! 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday – Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

thekiterunner

I still remember the very first time I’ve read The Kite Runner, the tear-jerking moments, the eagerness to know what is going to happen next and Hassan! Oh, my dear Hassan! 

amancalledove

A Man Called Ove is a casual mix of tragedy and comedy. I loved the rawness of Ove’s character and the story altogether.

agameofthrones

A Game of Thrones is a book where I stopped liking the characters because if I do, they’d get killed next! Haha! I loved the book so much and the characters, too!

gonegirlGone Girl is just the perfect example of a deliciously twisted thriller!

norwegianwood

Norwegian Wood introduced me to Murakami who is now one of my favorite authors. This book also started my love affair with Japanese literature.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

thesecretlivesofbabasegiswivesThe Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s wives, as the title implies, is the story of Baba Segi’s four wives. Baba Segi is a wealthy businessman from Nigeria. He strongly believes that the number of wives and children (sons most specially) a man has is the measure of real manhood. You’d laugh at how obsessed Baba Segi was in planting his seeds to his wives. Ha!

Baba Segi’s wives all live with shocking secrets. I will not spoil them for you, of course, but let me introduce the four wives. The first wife is Iya Segi. Being the first wife, she is the queen. She loves money and that makes her an accomplished businesswoman. The second wife is Iya Tope. She’s quiet and dismissive, she doesn’t mind Iya Segi calling the shots at home. She’s just happy taking care of her daughters. Iya Femi is the third wife and though I don’t like her, I find her character very interesting. She loves plotting revenge on people, she enjoys it and she’s happy when people are miserable. Then comes Bolanle, the fourth wife, the only educated wife of Baba Segi. The youngest and somehow Baba Segi’s favorite until it turns out that she’s barren. Baba Segi turned against her until the secrets started to come out. It wasn’t really surprising anymore if you’ve focused on the wives’ stories but I could imagine how each revelation was so shocking and painful for Baba Segi.

This book gives us a good view of life in Nigeria specially for women. Women who may be different from many of us and the life we’re living but they are also humans who have wishes and dreams, big and small. It’s saddening to read about the polygamous kind of marriage that exists there and the role of women as wives most specially their “obligation” to conceive a male heir. And if you can’t, you’re good for nothing.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is a wonderful book. There’s a roller-coaster of emotions while I was reading it. It’s beautifully-written and the characters were well-drawn. Lola Shoneyin did a good job in engaging and captivating the readers.

Quotable Quotes:

“The choices we have to make in this world are hard are bitter. Sometimes we have no choices at all.”

“Men are nothing. They are fools. The penis between their legs is all they are useful for. And even then, if not that women needed their seed for children, it would be better to sit on a finger of green plantain. Listen to my words. Only a foolish woman leans heavily on a man’s promises.”

“A real woman must always do the things she wants to do, and in her own time too. You must never allow yourself to be rushed into doing things you’re not ready for.”

“Don’t think I can’t see the challenges ahead of me. People will say I am a secondhand woman. Men will hurt and ridicule me but I won’t let them hold me back. I will remain in the land of the living. I am back now and the world is spread before me like an egg cracked open.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.

~Haruki Murakami

March 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Hi there, Homo sapiens! I hope March had been a wonderful reading month for you! March had been a busy month at work for me, I feel kind of drained now but I’m still very happy that I’ve managed to read 8 books somehow. 🙂

Here are the books I’ve read for the month of March…

5-Stars

4-Stars

3-Stars

That’s my March wrap-up, moving on to April! Happy reading!

WWW Wednesday 31-Mar-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

homegoing

Currently Reading

Reading Next

thestoryofthejews

What books have you read this week? Discovered new favorites?  Feel free to share!

Quote of the Week

To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.

~Elizabeth Gilbert

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

shuggiebainThe story is set during the Thatcher-era in Glasgow, Scotland. A time where men are almost out of work and single mothers try to keep their families together. Agnes Bain marries for the second time and she sinks deeper and deeper into alcoholism. Shuggie is the only child from this second union and he loves and adores his mother so much and he tries his best to protect and save her from herself. Shuggie had a difficult childhood but his love for his mother never ever falters. He has a philandering father and a sister and a brother from his mother’s first marriage. They lived a poor life relying on government aid and sometimes stealing money from coin boxes to use electricity. Moreover, Shuggie is not like the other boys in their neighborhood, he tends to act more like a girl and this caused him unwanted attention and bullying. It’s heartbreaking reading about him growing up with this sense of being different while being humiliated and hurt by the people around him.

Shuggie Bain tackled many themes: love between mother and child, poverty, resilience, addiction, alcoholism, sexuality, devotion, struggle, hope. This is not an easy read and the story was paced rather slow. It’s heart-wrenching but it shows the power of human spirit. It’s miserable but there is always that hope, no matter how tiny, that it will somehow get better.

Highly-deserved winner of the Booker Prize.

Quotable Quotes:

“Sometimes you don’t even want a thing. You just can’t
bear anyone else to have it.”

“Flames are not just the end, they are also the beginning. For everything that you have destroyed can be rebuilt. From your own ashes you can grow again.”

“Rain was a natural state of Glasgow. It kept the grass green and the people pale and bronchial.”

“My mother has never worked a day in her life. She’s far too good-looking for that.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 24-Mar-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

homegoing

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Any new favorites? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesdays – Middle Grade Books

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Middle Grade Books

These are the top five middle grade books for me. Not sure if they count as middle grade, haha, but I believe they’re very suitable for children aged 8-12 years old.

What are your top middle grade reads? Do we have a book in common? Feel free to share. 🙂

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

kirakiraKira-Kira means glittering. Katie’s sister, Lynn, taught her this. Katie adores and loves her sister too much. As sisters, they mostly do everything together. Lynn taught Katie mostly everything. Katie wants to be like Lynn. From Iowa, they moved to Georgia for a better life. The story took place in the 1950’s and at that time, the people in Iowa were not very friendly to them. Lynn got sick and their family is faced with many roadblocks. Life seemed not very glittering anymore.

The book was narrated in a very gentle way by Katie as a child with a child’s understanding of things. Though the story dealt with difficult topics like death and racism, it was still easy to read even for children.

Kira-Kira is a powerful and engaging read. It has its moments of happiness and moments of ultimate sadness. The ending was quite sad but the lessons learned while reading were all worth the read.

Quotable Quotes:

“My sister had taught me to look at the world that way, as a place that glitters, as a place where the calls of the crickets and the crows and the wind are everyday occurrences that also happen to be magic.”

“Some days I think she was really miserable, because she cried a lot. In a way, I’d had to steel my heart to her crying. You need to steel yourself to a lot of things when someone in your family is really sick.”

“The blue of the sky is one of the most special colors in the world, because the color is deep but see-through both at the same time.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.

~Chuck Palahniuk

WWW Wednesday 17-Mar-2020

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

mysistertheserialkiller

This was a quick, amusing read. I finished it in one sitting. 3-stars.

Currently Reading

genghiskhan

I’m close to finishing this book and I am really liking it. 

Reading Next

I was meaning to read Home Going for quite some time now so I hope to get started soon as well as Before We Were Yours.

How was your reading week? Any new favorites? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Books That Got Me Into Reading

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books That Got Me Into Reading

aliceinwonderlandI was exposed to reading at a very early age but as far as I can remember, one of the books that really got me into reading as a child was Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.

It was my older brother who introduced these two books to me when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. And I just love both of these! These made me seek for more adventures and books that I can relate to.

norwegianwood

Norwegian Wood started my love affair with Japanese literature.

thekiterunner

The Kite Runner touched me to the core unlike any other and so this book got me into reading all the more.

How about you? What books got you into reading? I’d be delighted to know! 

Quote of the Week

Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.

~Matt Haig

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

themidnightlibraryThe Midnight Library centers around a thirty-five-year-old woman, Nora Seed, who has been living her life in despair and regret. She lost her will to live. She doesn’t talk to her father, brother and friend. Her mom died two years ago and she was suffering from depression since then. She lost her job and her cat died. She felt like a mess, she felt useless. She thinks she just disappoints everyone and so no one wants needs her. She’s having a very difficult time and so she decided to kill herself. Just a few moments before she’d kill herself, she finds herself transported in the Midnight Library. Here in this library, she met Mrs. Elm, her old school librarian, who explained to her everything she needs to know about how things work and why she’s there. She said the Midnight Library is a place between heaven and hell, a place where she has a chance to change her circumstances, a chance to make things right. So, will Nora take the chance?

I decided to read this book because it won Best Fiction in Goodreads but I was not very happy about it. I never felt connected to Nora Seed or her troubles at all. I was annoyed by her all through out. I didn’t feel engaged or captivated in anything that’s happening in the story. I wasn’t moved. The idea of the Midnight Library was quite interesting but the ending was predictable early on which makes the story not so interesting anymore. I almost gave up halfway through it. I’m just glad that the second half of the book was better than the first. And luckily the book was short.

I must say I felt dissatisfied with this one maybe because I was expecting something deeper. I expected to feel more but didn’t. However, I did very much like the lessons from this book. These lessons would be enough takeaway but I think I’d avoid over-hyped books for a while.

Quotable Quotes:

“In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living.”

“Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”

“You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live it.”

“She realised that you could be as honest as possible in life,
but people only see the truth if it is close enough to their
reality.”

“The only way to learn is to live.”

Rating: 2.5 stars

WWW Wednesday 10-Mar-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

genghiskhan

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to share!

Happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!

Top 5 Tuesday – Books I Wish I Had Read When I Was Younger

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books I Wish I Had Read When I Was Younger

I think you would understand why I wish I had read these books when I was younger from titles alone. 🙂

How about you? What books did you wish you’ve read sooner or when you were younger? Feel free to share!

Quote of the Week

“It’s true: lives do drift apart for no obvious reason. We’re all busy people,we can’t spend our time simply trying to stay in touch. The test of a friendship is if it can weather these inevitable gaps.”

~William Boyd

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

theextraordinarylifeofsamhellThe Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is a very touching, very engaging, coming-of-age story of a boy named Sam Hill who faced adversity all his life because he was born with ocular albinism which gave him red eyes. He was bullied and called Sam Hell or devil boy. Though he was bullied in school, he was very much protected by his mother, raised to be a real man by his father and was very much loved by his few friends.

Sam grew up from a religious family and he wanted to believe what his mom always tells him — that God made him extraordinary. He struggled to overcome his fears and the obstacles that come his way and he started questioning his faith.

The chapters were short and easy to read. The characters were remarkable. Sam’s mother was a very note-worthy character, a very important woman in his life. His father was the same. The friendships were also endearing, it would be very nice to have friends like them.

I absolutely loved this book. It was incredible. I can’t recommend it enough. This is my first Robert Dugoni experience and it certainly won’t be the last.

Quotable Quotes:

“There comes a day in every man’s life when he stops looking forward and starts looking back.”

“But to my mother—I suspect to all mothers—their little boys will always be their little boys, no matter how old those boys become.”

“Our skin, our hair, and our eyes are simply the shell that surrounds our soul, and our soul is who we are. What counts is on the inside.”

“We realize it is in those quiet moments that each of us has the ability to make our lives extraordinary.”

“Time is wicked. It comes and goes like a thief in the night, stealing our youth, our beauty, and our bodies.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 03-Mar-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

threeapplesfellfromthesky

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Have you read any of these books? Thoughts? Feel free to share!

Happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!

February 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Hello there, Homo sapiens! Love month is over… how time flies! Today I’m sharing with you the books I’ve read in February.

5-Stars

salttothesea

4-Stars

3-Stars

thesunalsorises

How was your February reading? Did you read any good ones? Any new favorites? I’d be delighted to know so feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Books From My Childhood

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! It’s March and here’s my first Top 5 Tuesday of the month!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Today I’m sharing five of my favorite reads during my childhood. There were a lot of books I enjoyed reading as a child but these five books are some that I can turn back to again and again and again.

Books From My Childhood

What’s your favorite childhood read? Feel free to share!

Quote of the Week

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

~Truman Capote

The Push by Ashley Audrain

thepushThe Push centers on Blythe Connor, the narrator, as she recounts to her husband the events that broke their marriage and their family. The book also jumps to the past to show Blythe’s difficult childhood which helps us realize how much impact it had on her. She grew up not knowing the warmth of a mother’s love. Every now and then, we get flashbacks of her mother and grandmother, both suffering from mental illness and trauma.

When she first got pregnant, she was afraid at first but she vowed to become a better mother to her child and to not be like her mother/grandmother to her. However, she struggled to connect with her daughter, Violet. As she grows up, their relationship turned from bad to worse. Several incidents happened and she started to question herself whether all these are just inside her head. She was later convinced that there is something wrong with her daughter, something evil. Sadly, her husband didn’t believe her.

She later on got pregnant with her second child, Sam, where she finally felt the connection between mother and child. She was happy and content as a mother. However, she continued to struggle with Violet and she fears for Sam’s safety with Violet around.

This was a short, easy and interesting book which showed the darker side of motherhood. I was hooked from page one and I would’ve finished it in one sitting if not for work that needs to be done urgently. I loved the short, snappy chapters which helped make the story flow well and easy to read but will leave you feeling too much emotion as you read. Gripping and suspenseful.

Quotable Quotes:

“Marriages can float apart. Sometimes we don’t notice how far we’ve gone until all of a sudden, the water meets the horizon and it feels like we’ll never make it back.”

“A mother’s heart breaks a million ways in her lifetime.”

“We could have counted our problems on the petals of the daisy in my bouquet, but it wouldn’t be long before we were lost in a field of them.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 24-Feb-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

salttothesea

Reading Next

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!