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Finally some books | Weekly Snapshot

Wow, I've been in a blogging blackout for quite a bit. Honestly, it feels extremely unmooring being out of it for this long. The good news is, I have a few posts planned out and am hoping to spend some time today and tomorrow trying to get caught up. At least that's the plan, we'll see what tries to come in the way of that. Renovation updates Not a whole lot to report here. The work in the kitchen had to be paused while we wait for new island cabinets and granite to come along. I am hoping for some progress on the granite this week - if that happens, we will be able to start using everything except the island and that will be a huge win for me. At this point, I am trying to get the house as ready as it can be before my parents travel from India. It will be extremely tight.  Most of the recent work has been in the master bathroom. It's coming along nicely, albeit a little slower than we hoped.  Life We were expecting to have visitors over the Thanksgiving week as our ren

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. They are more crime focused and the thrill is in the solving of the crime and the unmasking of the villain. The writing and characters are usually not as emphasized. This book was no different - the mystery got complicated with each page and I absolutely loved that. That said, I do think the writing could be better. For someone who seems to have solved several crimes, Athreya's behavior occasionally came across as a very junior investigator. There was also too much structure to the scene when the murder is discovered and far less terror. These didn't however take away my enjoyment of the book.

* I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


My Beijing by Nie Jun

When I saw My Beijing in my library's Overdrive catalog, I wasn't sure if this was a children's book, a middle-grade title, or adult fiction. Now that I finished it, I would say that this is a book that translates well to both the middle-grade and adult audiences - there is a lot of fantasy and allegory in here and they are designed to enrich your reading experience, not confuse. You could read the stories as they are or imagine what could be. 



The four stories in this book focus on the relationship between Yu'er and her grandfather as they go by their daily lives and interact with their neighbors in their hutong. Yu'er is unable to walk without assistance and it is through her lens that we see her world. Her grandfather goes to great lengths to make her comfortable - designing a carrier from a tree to help her practice swimming and being her cheerleader no matter what challenge she is facing.

This is a very fast read, though no less enjoyable. I loved the illustrations - there's a playful touch to them, similar to the comics I had read as a kid. There is some magic and some apparent time travel in the stories and while their mechanics aren't explained, I found I enjoyed these elements. I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for a quick read that's also refreshing.


To All The Boys I've Loved Before (1 & 2) by Jenny Han

It's been a while since I've read a YA book. I truly miss not reading them but I often find myself cringing or rolling my eyes. I've certainly let myself get too old. It's funny that I can read picture books and middle grade books without any problem. 

So I don't know how or why I picked this book up but I did and found that I could actually read it without finding it cheesy. If reading one book wasn't enough, I even read the second book in this trilogy. And then I tried to watch the movie to see how far my ability to read/watch YA has changed and I'm sorry to report that there I didn't last past the first 15 minutes.



This is a YA romance - sort of a triangle between Lara Jean and two boys she had a crush on. It all starts when the letters that Lara Jean wrote addressed to them but not to send them (more like a Dear Diary) actually gets sent out to the recipients. Some of these were written years ago so she is quite embarrassed that they even got sent out.

I have to say this was a fun read. The romance isn't cheesy (mind you, this is from the perspective of a thirty-something reader), the misunderstandings are hilarious, and yes, while there are your typical cliques calling the shots, there are some good people in here too.

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