Month: April 2019

Stop Looking at Your Phone

Stop Looking at Your Phone by Son of Alan is a satirical book on our phone addiction. It is a graphical adult book with very few words. It has several scenarios where we pick up our phone because we are bored. The book provides a remedy for such situations. A few examples are, enjoy time spent with your child by making eye contact, not just by taking pictures. Enjoy food by keeping your phone aside.⁣ This book was the shortest read and I completed in 20 minutes, with a few laughs. A book worth having in your library in today’s age where we are slaves to phones.⁣ Thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC⁣. Rating: 5/5⁣ Publication date: August 16, 2018⁣ Do you spend every free moment you have looking at your phone?⁣

The Little Black Fish

The Little Black Fish by Samad Behrangi is a story of bravery and adventure. The Little Black Fish sets out on a journey to discover where his stream ends. He did not listen to the advice of his mother and neighbors about sticking to the stream but went out to explore the world. As a result, he found many new animals such as the frog, deer, crab and the harmful pelicans. The illustrations by Farshid Mesghali were unique. The pictures were mostly black and white with a few colors highlighted. This is a good book to inculcate a spark of adventure in little ones (5-7 years old). Thank you to Netgalley and Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC for the ARC. Rating: 5/5 Publication date: 16 April 2019 The Little Black Fish was originally published in 1968. Did you read this book? What do you think?⁣

Two Little Girls

Two Little Girls is a psychological thriller by Frances Vick. It is a story about two girls, Lisa, and Kirsty who are best friends. Unfortunately, Lisa dies and Kirsty gives evidence which helps catch the killer. Did that person kill Lisa or was he wrongly accused because of Lisa? Where is Lisa’s body and how did she die? These were the questions that haunted Lisa and she sets on a perilous journey to answer these questions when she becomes an adult. The mystery held until the end. Even when I was almost in the last few pages of the novel, I was suspicious about the motives of the characters and concerned about Lisa’s safety. The author did an excellent job sowing seeds of doubt in the readers’ mind at all the crucial points of the story. A few sections in the book could have been shortened, for example, the relationship between Lisa and her sister. Two Little Girls is a stellar read for psychological thriller bookworms. Thank you to @netgalley and @bookouture for the ARC. …

Muddy: The Raccoon Who Stole Dishes

Muddy: The Raccoon Who Stole Dishes by Griffin Ondaatje and Linda Wolfsgruber is a children’s picture book. Muddy is a raccoon who does not fit in his tribe. While his family and other raccoons are satisfied with eating clams, Muddy has a taste for gourmet human food. Muddy steals the food from a nearby restaurant and heaps the plates on the river bank. His family and other raccoons discover the plates and confront Muddy’s parents that his habit could be dangerous to the group. The rest of the story is about how Muddy solves the problem of stealing food from the restaurant. The illustrations in the book could be better in a few pages. Otherwise, the ending made me smile. This book introduces the value of food and the role of raccoons in our ecosystem to little ones. Thanks to @netgalley and @northsouthbooks for the ARC. Rating: 4/5 Book published: April 2, 2019 How do you teach the importance of food to your kids?

Where are all the flowers this Spring?

Calling out all the flowers this Spring! Where are you guys? Spring is my favorite time of the year. Every year, millions of flowers bloom in Spring and adorn our sidewalks, parks and communities. I lived in Boston for a few years and there were always flowers around me. Every day, I used to take a picture of a flower and post it on Instagram. My favorite flowers are the azaleas, rhododendrons and tulips. These flowers were ubiquitous in Boston, bursting forth in beautiful colors at nondescript places. Now, I moved to a different city and I am yet to discover the places where flowers bloom in abundance. ⁣ Where are all the flowers this Spring? We had a few warm days followed by snow on the ground. The weather is sending conflicting messages to the flowers. I hope we see beautiful flowers around us soon before we move into a full blown Summer. What is your favorite flower? Has it bloomed this year yet?

Bad Blood

I have been itching to read a good adult non-fiction book for many days now. Bad Blood by John Carreyrr was the perfect book to scratch that itch. Bad Blood is about the rise and fall of a Biotech company called Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes. Theranos was a hot new start-up making medical devices. Just a drop of blood is required to conduct a full range of blood tests in walk-in clinics. The CEO of Theranos, Holmes was touted as the Bill Gates/Steve Jobs of the medical industry. The company was evaluated at $9 billion on paper but its devices did not work. The investors and the Board were misled to believe in a half-working device that could transform the medical industry. The book is fast-paced. Many characters are introduced so after a while it becomes difficult to keep track. What amazed was how the company duped the bigshots such as Walgreens, Safeway, intellectuals and business moguls. The confidence and charisma of Holmes and the secrecy regarding their devices made Theranos darling of …

Yara’s Tawari Tree

Yara’s Tawari Tree is a children’s picture book written by Yossi Lapid.⁣ ⁣Tara lives in the Amazon forest with her mother and a pet bird, Chant. The forest was getting cleared tree by tree in the name of modernization. Tara saves one tiny seedling’s life by planting it in her garden. This story drives home an important point that when you protect nature, it protects you. ⁣ I loved the bright colors in this book, the greenery, the green parrot and the red dress of Tara. It is a perfect book to introduce the importance of plants to 3-5 year olds.⁣ Thank you to Netgalley and Independent Book Publishers Association for the ARC.⁣ Rating: 4/5⁣ Publication date: July 1, 2019⁣

A Room Away from the Wolves

Nova Ren Suma’s A Room Away from the wolves is a young adult fantasy novel. It is a coming-of-age novel which seems simple on the surface but has layered complexity beneath that deceptively calm veneer. Bina, the protagonist leases a room at Catherine house to get away from the wolves in her life. Bina’s story is a reverse fairy tale. She and her mom escape from her abusive father. Her mother gives up on her dreams of becoming an actress in New York city and marries a man who has two children. Bina and her step sisters hate one another, trouble her and take advantage of her. Bina’s mother becomes tired of Bina’s lies and her attempts to get back at her step sisters. She wants to send Bina to stay with her church friends for sometime and packs Bina’s suitcase. Bina leaves the house, but goes to Catherine House instead, a mystical place where her mother spent one glorious summer. The ending came at me like a bullet train and went away before I …

The Night Diary

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandini, is a series of letters written by Nisha to her deceased mother. Nisha is 12 years old and this novel is her view of the tumultuous period when India got independence. The country was split into a new India for the Hindus and Pakistan for the Muslims. Millions of people migrated across the border and were killed in the riots. Nisha and her family had to leave Mirpur Khas and embark on a dangerous journey to the new India. This book is similar in format to the Diary of Anne Frank. We learn how the partition of India affected Nisha and her family. After reading this book, I understood that the dark periods in world history leave an unforgettable mark on children who live through it. They lose their childhood and are scarred for the rest of their lives. This book is a must read if you love learning about history and culture of other countries. I was surprised that this book was in middle-grade fiction because adults can …