Last year, I assigned myself a goal of reading 40 books in year 2020 in honor of my 40th birthday. Very random goal yet somehow poetic in my head (the number 40 just tied it all in, I guess). I was surprised that I actually accomplished that goal. As nerdy as it may sound, it was a proud moment when I finished my last book- A Promised Land (which, by the way, I highly recommend) by none other than one of my heroes President Barrack Obama.
However, as any goal setter will tell you, the problem with setting goals for yourself is that you want to one up your goals as you start meeting them. So, naturally this year’s goal is to read 50 books!! And by the way of my current reading speed, I’m pretty confident of accomplishing that goal.
If you are looking for some good reads this summer, here are my Top 5 picks. I think all books make you reflect on your life as it compares to that of the characters in your books- but the books that stand out to me are the ones that truly make me go ‘wow, I need a minute to just soak this in’. Mentioned below are those 5 books that needed some heavy soaking in:
The Midnight Library: The concept of ‘what if I could go back in this life and change certain things (pick a different path each time), how would that impact my present life’ could not have been more interestingly depicted than it is in this book. I loved reading every page of it but I may be biased because I don’t believe in regrets and that is what this whole book is about. Give it a read, I don’t think you will regret it 😉
The Great Alone: I can’t believe it took me so long to rediscover Kristin Hannah. I had read her ‘The Nightingale’ but that was it, I never went back to read any more of her work. But I’m so glad that I have found my way back to her because let me tell you I LOVE HER WRITING! This one is from 2018 and it blew my mind for two reasons- 1) Based on the premise, I didn’t expect to like it- I didn’t think I would care that much about a story based in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Alaska- but boy was I wrong- after reading this book I think I now care too much. 2) There were times in this book where I thought the plot would go in a certain direction and then it took another turn and that made for a very interesting read. Take a trip to Alaska with this book, I think it’ll blow your mind too.
The Four Winds: As explained above, I have truly found my way back to Kristin Hannah. Therefore, I gave her newly published book a shot- even though, a woman’s journey from Texas to California during the Great Depression didn’t sound too exciting. However, I was proven wrong again. As much as I hated history class in high school, I love historical fiction. I’m a huge fan of any story from WWII period. But this was an unfamiliar territory, I don’t remember reading much about the Great Depression, let alone The Dust Bowl. This book certainly educated me with details wrapped in a story of a family that was just trying to survive in arguably the most difficult time in the history of United States.
The Hunting Wives: This was such a random recommendation from a friend who herself had not read this book. It was one of the five books that her friend had received as part of a book club that she was in. But I’m so happy that I found this book, I could NOT put it down. What surprised me even more was that this is author’s debut novel. It’s a light read, perfect for a beach vacation to take with you. There are twists and turns that leave you wanting more and make you wonder what really goes on in people’s lives behind doors.
The Last Queen: I love reading books based in India and/or written by Indian authors. Needless to say, it makes me feel closer to my culture and where I came from. I have been a big fan of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, having met her and interviewed her once, I feel the need to read her books as soon as they are published. This one was no exception, I pre-ordered it and couldn’t wait to read it. This is not one of my favorites of her writings but definitely exposed me to the royals from the area of Punjab. The strength, determination and the zeal that Punjabis (people from the state of Punjab in India) are so famously known for was all very powerfully depicted in this book, especially that of the women- the Queens that unfortunately are often overlooked. This is a historical fiction and made me want to learn more about the role of some very powerful queens that reigned the states across India and fought behind the scenes during the Independence period.