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A Will to Kill / My Beijing / To all the Boys I've Loved Before | Thoughts

Over the past couple of months, I've read a few books that I didn't get a chance to review yet. These were all enjoyable in different ways and are recommended reads. A Will to Kill by R. V. Raman I've been looking for an Indian mystery for a while now. So when I came across A Will to Kill in Netgalley set in one of my favorite places in India (also close to my home town), I just had to request it. In so many ways, this is a typical Agatha Christie type mystery - there's a death (in an isolated mansion, no less) and the investigator/detective tries to solve the mystery. Harith Athreya is visiting the owner of the mansion, Bhaskar Fernandez, where a small gathering has been planned for the owner's relatives and friends. Bhaskar has written two wills - and how he dies will determine which will goes into effect. That night, there is a murder and Athreya spends the next few days trying to find the culprit. I generally enjoy the Agatha Christie class of murder mysteries.

2020: My Year in Books and Reading

2020 has been a decent year in reading over here. In some ways, it was better than the past few years when the amount of time I spent reading had been steadily declining. Constant changes in life and work were major factors then. Of course, 2020 is no stranger to change but luckily, it didn't keep my away from reading, though it may have influenced it significantly. 

A huge chunk of my reading this year came from picture books. I wanted to start tracking them this year since I was reading them with my kids - there were whole months I didn't track any because it did become one more thing to do so my actual count was probably more than what I have tracked. 


Favorite books read in 2020


I love how different these six (plus 2 for the March Trilogy volumes) are though there are some similarities as well among some of these. Middle grade book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was my first favorite read of the year and I only wish I had read it as a child. Rage Against the Minivan was filled with delightful, hilarious, and deeply heartfelt essays related to parenting and raising four children.

Homegoing, The Best We Could Do, and March spoke of struggles and the triumph of the human spirit. If anything, they made me more grateful for our families and ancestors who gave up so much just to have a life of dignity. 

And then The Memory Police actually made me appreciate our pandemic year better. It has nothing to do with a pandemic but everything to do with post-apocalyptic lives and what's more important in times of crisis. 

I know many of these are books some of you have read and loved, but if there's a book here that you haven't read, I hope you'll add it (or bump it up) your list.


And then, some bookish stats...

...Stats that mean nothing really but are just fun to build and look at.

95 books read   |   11162 pages read

~4 days per book on average   |   ~44 pages per day on average


I abandoned most of my goals last year because with the pandemic, I decided a free-form reading was certainly needed. Funnily, one plan I did not have for last year was to read more picture books and turns out, it constituted more than 50% of my reading (real numbers are probably higher). That trend will probably continue through to this year but we'll see if I can add in more adult novels as well.

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