All posts filed under: Books

Books are food for the soul. When we read books, we learn and grow.

I reviewed the books that I have read. Pick a book to read based on my review. You are also welcome to suggest books for me to read.

House without walls

House without walls by Ching Yeung Russell is a touching novel about the plight of refugees in finding a new homeland. Eleven-year-old Lam escapes Vietnam with her younger brother Dee Dee during the Vietnam Boat People Exodus in 1979, when people from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia fled their homelands for safety. Lam and Dee Dee’s final destination is San Francisco, to live with their father. Their immediate destination was to reach a refugee camp so that they could travel to America. Their sea voyage is riddled with cold, hunger, exhaustion and violent sea pirates. At sea, a kind family takes them under their wing and they spend with them until they leave to America. The plight of the refugees and the disapproval by the new countries was heart touching. In one of the countries they landed, they shipped the refugees back to the sea in malfunctioned boats, with the intent that they will die at the sea and will not return back to their country. This incident almost brought tears to my eyes. The novel …

Primrose’s Curse

Primrose Fernetise, is a beautiful and audacious twelve-year-old girl. Her family is going through tough times. Her mother died and her father fell sick. Primrose goes to the woods in search of a divine flower that could cure her father. In the woods, she meets a group of woodland animals with mystical abilities. They tell to Primrose that the evil sorceress Queen Evelyn Velecrona wants to destroy humanity and it was up to Primrose to save humanity. Primrose and the woodland animals go on a quest to vanquish the evil sorceress. Will they be successful? Reading this story made me feel nostalgic. It is a fairy tale with a solid plot, with twists, turns,and events. I also liked the pictures in the book, which added depth to the reading experience. I felt that the names of a few of the characters were tongue-twisters. They could have simpler names. Also, it was repeated many times that Primrose’s mission was to save humanity, which was not necessary. The book would also benefit from using a simpler language. …

Malala’s Magic Pencil

Malala is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. When Malala was a child, she wished for a magic pencil. She would use the pencil to draw a lock on her door to keep her brothers out and sleep an extra hour every morning by stopping time. When Malala’s right to attend school was threatened, she picked up a real pencil and wrote about life under the Taliban. People all over the world came to know about the atrocities under the Taliban regime. What amazed me when I read this book and her biography is her father. He was an advocate for girls’ education and Malala studied in his school. He supported her education and her desire to write and publish about life under the Taliban. The world would not have a Malala if he forced her to stay at home, cook and clean for their family, as expected in his community. Instead, he gave unflinching support for his daughter, stood by her and made sure she did what she …

The life-changing magic of tidying up

In schools, they teach Science, Math, and English but they never teach about how to keep our surroundings organized. The most essential lesson of life is not taught. Marie Kondo’s book is about cleaning up once and keeping it that way for a long time. The first principle is that we need less to live in an organized manner. Second, there has to be a place for a thing and a thing in its place. Third, decluttering will also change your life, you prioritize your life goals as well. The most useful tip she provides in this book is to clean by category, not by room. Start with non-personal items such as clothes. Pile all the clothes in the center of the room. Each piece of clothing evokes a certain feeling, joy, doubt or distaste. Only keep the clothes that spark joy. Repeat the process with other categories such as books, papers, miscellaneous and sentimental items. Marie Kondo calls this approach as the KonMari method after her name. This book is truly life-changing if we …

Badger’s Perfect Garden

A badger wants to plant the perfect garden. He collects many seeds of different colors, shapes, and sizes and asks for his friends’ help to plant the seeds. His friends Red Squirrel, Dormouse and Weasel offer help willingly; they weed, rake and plant. But nature has other plans for the badger’s garden, which disappoints the badger. How did badger deal with his disappointment? Was his garden as perfect as he wanted it to be? This is a good book to teach children about how to persevere when things don’t happen according to plan. This book is written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki. The illustrations were beautiful and animated. Rating: 5/5 Published: March 15, 2019, by Sleeping Bear Press

Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller is a novel about one of the Greek mythological character, Circe. Circe is a goddess and is also known as the witch of Aiaia. She was exiled to an island for converting her fellow nymph Scylla into a sea monster. She is also the famous witch who is mentioned in Odyssey. She was the lover of Odysseus and also had a son from him. This book is like an autobiography of Circe and covers her childhood, youth and the final years. I loved the motherhood experience of Circe. Being a new mother myself, I could understand the challenges of raising a newborn and her sacrifices for her child. I did not understand the hype around this book and felt that it was not worth reading. First of all, Circe is a minor character in Greek mythology, so I did not understand why I should spend my time reading 350 pages about her. While Madeline Miller’s narration is flawless, it would have been best used for other important Greek mythological characters. Rating: …