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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

Reading in bite sizes | Notes from my Reading

I'm currently in the middle of three delightful books - which is something that doesn't happen often. I rarely have multiple books in progress, mainly because my reading time is so scattered that it's hard enough to pick one book back up and three would be nightmare to manage. Somehow for the three books in progress - intermittent reading just works plus, they all have their time and place to be picked up. 

Last week, I started waking up an hour earlier than usual, hoping to get some reading time before the kids wake up. While a couple of times, they decided to ruin the reading retreat, most days, this change in schedule worked. Hopefully, it's something I can keep continuing, going into winter. 

Nonfiction in bite-sized pieces

I don't read as much nonfiction as I would like to but currently, I have two going on in parallel that I read a few pages of throughout the day. One thing I like about most nonfiction is their readability and hence suitability to be read even if you have only a minute or two. The two books that I am currently reading - Rage Against the Minivan and The Happiness Project - are especially suited for this as one is a collection of short and very engaging essays, while the other has an essay collection-like feel. I may not want to put the book down when interrupted but at least I don't feel frustrated by the interruption. Both books can be put in the advice category, even if one is focused on life in general and the other on parenting specifically. Occasionally, I did get them mixed up but that was easily resolved.

Here's a funny story. I picked up Rage Against the Minivan because the title fully represented my take on minivans, before I had kids. I hated them - they looked ghastly. In fact, that's a sentiment I still share. A minivan gave me the feeling of a tired looking vehicle having been put through its limits, and carrying screaming kids and weary parents. My husband and I had decided to never buy one. So, as soon as possible, we got an SUV, fully intending to use it as our baby vehicle. We would be the "cool parents". And use the SUV, we did. It didn't matter if our daughter couldn't climb the car by herself without help, "she'll grow up", we said.

And then our son came along, and suddenly we were crowding the SUV. It was no fun going out as a family as we all jostled inside it. Very soon after that, we found ourselves in front of a minivan, having decided to buy it after driving one during a vacation the previous year and grudgingly admitting that it was the most comfortable vehicle we sat in, in recent years. And there went our resolution to never be that minivan family. So, when I recently heard a young lady tell me that she would never buy a minivan, I secretly laughed, knowing what was going to come at her soon. Buhaha!

Boy Meets Girl...

Couple of mornings ago, I started reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Years ago, I used to read a lot of Sophie Kinsella's books and so when I started reading Eleanor Oliphant, I was immediately reminded of The Undomestic Goddess and Remember Me?. I do hope the similarities end there because I haven't read Sophie Kinsella in years and know that I likely won't enjoy her books today like I did then. I am not far in to make any judgment but I am enjoying the writing. I can tell that there's going to be something very dark in Eleanor's past.  

New releases this month...

I have not been staying on top of new releases, but there's one book that I've been waiting for since the beginning of this year. Rumaan Alam's Leave the World Behind has a very fascinating premise - two couples locked in a mysterious situation and forced to confront their biases without any lifeline to the outside world. This is very timely literature but also very intriguing. 

Two other books that are being released this month and are on my radar are The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and The Cold Millions by Jess Walter. Both authors have previous books that are well-loved by many readers. I haven't read those books yet though I did sample A Darker Shade of Magic and loved what I read.

What books are keeping you engaged today?