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Planning for Summer Reading | Weekly Snapshot

Here we are - almost at the halfway point of the year. I still remember starting the year with so many plans, and then came a vicious virus to stump everyone. I'm reaching that point where I'm beginning to miss the life that was, while also feeling very unsure about the life that will be.

Last WeekJust another week around here - many more to come, I guess. Last week, a few of the places we frequented pre-virus have reached out saying that they are reopening. While I'm glad they don't need to shutter their doors anymore, we are still opting to stay home as much as possible. There are going to be people outside who can't avoid it, so if we can afford the luxury (or curse, however you want to call it) of staying indoors, then we'll take it. One of the places that reopened is our gym. It's the one place where I can't imagine what social distancing will be like but they are running only half-class sizes for now. Since the lockdown started, the time I spend on…

From The Road to Only Ever Yours | Six Degrees of Separation

I’ve been seeing this meme for years and have always wanted to do it. So, after years of reading other participants' posts and months of considering, reconsidering, and abandoning the idea, I figured I’ll join in this month and have fun with it. And fun it was - I redid my chain several times while working on this post.


This month’s book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy.


The Road is one of those books that’s on most people's read list or wishlist. Years ago (I can’t recall when), I started reading this book and quickly got lost in the bleak and desolate landscape in this post-apocalyptic world. However, for some unknown reason, I abandoned the book at the halfway point. I do recall feeling bad about it and wanting to come back to it, but I have a feeling I was swept in some big life change and by the time I returned to reading, I didn’t want to read this book right then. So it’s still in my to-read list waiting to be read.


If The Road was bleak, another book that feels bleaker in my mind is The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. This is one where I watched the movie first and as if that wasn’t spooky enough, I read the book shortly after. To date, I have not been able to get over the feel of loneliness, tragedy, and the spooky scenes in this book. The visuals in the movie and the book stayed with you long after you turned the last page.


The Woman in Black is not the most creative title. It also falls into the infamous category of book titles that feature ‘Girl’ or ‘Woman’ in the title. Over the last few years, there has been a spike in books with titles like that. While I haven’t read many of them, the one that I did read and would still recommend is Gone Girl. I thought I had it all figured out until I reached the middle of the book. You'll know what I’m talking about, if you’ve read the book.


Gone Girl was a book where nothing was as it looked. A similar book that I recently read was My Sister, the Serial Killer. You’d never side with a serial killer or his/her associates, right? Well, this book certainly challenges that notion strongly.


I picked up My Sister, the Serial Killer mainly because of that title. No better way to hook a reader in. Another book that I’ve bought mainly because of the title is The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks. Gosh, how do you mistake a person, much less your own spouse, for a hat? The title initially sounded to be more a play on words, but the book turned out to be anything but. 


When I think of medical nonfiction like Sacks’ book, I am reminded of another fascinating medical nonfiction that I’ve loved - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Who would have thought that a book about cells can make for fascinating reading? Yet, that’s exactly what this book is, and what’s more - there’s a lot you learn along the way.


I was quite disappointed to find that I had never reviewed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Although I still remember much about the book, there are parts I had trouble recollecting. This obviously got me thinking about many amazing books that I didn’t review - either because I didn’t have time to do it or because I was intimidated by it. There are a few that fit the bill but the one at the top of the list is Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill. I remember wanting to review the book but also struggling with the words to describe it. In this world where girls are bred and groomed to be companions, there is no place for one who doesn’t meet the beauty criteria. 

So that’s where I’ve ended. From a book set in a desolate post-apocalyptic work to a book that’s set in a dystopian world. Doesn’t sound too far off, eh?

Have you read any of these books? Where did (or would) your chain take you?

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