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Chicago, more renovation, and Squid Game | Weekly Snapshot

I think I can say that Fall is finally here. Or at least the crisp Fall air is finally here. The colors not so much. We still haven't gotten around to any Fall activities, and at this point, I'm not sure when or if we'll do them.  Renovation updates We are almost at the halfway point into our ground floor renovation. The flooring is almost done, cabinets are ready to be setup, appliances are here. It's exciting to be on the other side of the renovation when things are getting finished. There's still easily 2.5 weeks worth of work left in the kitchen, and another 2-2.5 weeks for the master bathroom, so mid-November is likely when we are done with the renovation. Assuming no delays.  Flooring coming along All of us are pretty exhausted at this point. Walking up and down the stairs to pick items from the makeshift pantry and then cook on the main floor gets old very fast. I have been able to work from home without issues and I'm grateful for that. I've set up m

My troubles with Indian fiction | Notes from my Reading

I've been going through a reading spree. Over the past four weeks. I completed five books and am halfway through my sixth. This is huge for me. I'm not sure how long it will last, but if a slump comes through, that's alright - at least I'm having a good run at the moment. 

Indian fiction

I don't read as many books written by Indian-origin authors or set in India or featuring Indian-origin characters as I want to. Part of it is due to poor track record so far - a lot of the same tropes keep showing up. When you know something intimately, it gets hard to look past the tropes. There are some books that I have loved and I could find more books by those authors, so part of the blame is on me and not the books. I've also not done well about reading Indian authors though I have quite a large collection of such books.

This past week, I spent some time to find a book featuring Indian-American characters. I was intentionally looking for a light and fun read. (Mainly I was coming off a high after watching Never Have I Ever and wanted something light, fun, and with a healthy dose of sarcasm. I did find a ton of books, I certainly did. But I was sorely disappointed to see some of the same cliches again - arranged marriages, by far, is the most popular one - not sure what the obsession with that is about, especially when it's not presented well.

So when I saw Mitali Perkins' You Bring the Distant Near, it sounded different - five girls/women and their immigrant experience. The premise was good really, however, the book itself left much to be desired. Which is unfortunate because Mitali Perkins does have a huge following. I had a lot of trouble with the structure of the book, but it also didn't help that some of the other elements - five unique characters, the immigrant experience and assimilation, multi-generational makeup - weren't utilized well. I guess I'll keep looking for that elusive book.

In Five Years

Couple of days ago, I started reading In Five Years. I wasn't sure if this book is for me but so far, I'm enjoying the writing and the story. I'm intensely fascinated by the use of time travel in books. This one doesn't heavily use it, at least not beyond the one time jump and I don't think there's more coming. But that one time jump is in some ways a trigger for what happens. 

I don't read enough time travel books though I always look for some. I believe it was Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife that first hooked me into this subject. All those time jumps and the price Henry will eventually pay. To date, I believe it is still my favorite time travel book I've read though I did rate it a 4 for some reason I can't recall anymore. I guess its memory has aged well. I wonder what I would think of it, were I to read it now.

How about you? Got any favorite time travel books?

What to read next?

My six month hold for In Five Years came at the right time. I was just finishing my previous book, hadn't even started thinking about what next, when In Five Years popped into my inbox. Awesome. But I'm almost at the end of my to-read list and not sure what's next. I do have Transcendent Kingdom to look forward to, though after some recent reviews, I'm thinking of letting it wait a bit. My expectations are sky-high at the moment. I've been going through a string of easier reads lately, and that wasn't an intentional choice, but since that is what is working, I'm inclined to go with the flow. We're fast approaching the season that tends to kill reading a bit - not just because of the holidays but also the upcoming US elections. I'm trying to stay off the news and keep all my worries away for now. 

For my next few reads, I'm thinking of reading authors that I've always wanted to read but haven't lately. There are a whole host of authors I'm pondering, some who have been writing for years while others are newer authors - Michael Chabon, Brit Bennett, Emily St. John Mandel, Ali Smith, Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chris Bohjalian, to name a few. I'm not sure what book I'll actually choose to read but I do have many of these authors on my physical shelves so I may start there.

Please recommend me the last book you loved.