Fashion Magazine

Books I Read: February 2021

By Tanvi Rastogi @tanviidotcom
Books Read in February 2021
Where did February go? Right? At least it wasn't a total waste of time. I got a lot of reading done. I am also proud of keeping up with the reviewing. Keeping my fingers-crossed for the remaining ten months. 

I feel as compared to the books I read in January, this had been a better month over all. Although after a few back-to-back dud books, one does lose the momentum to pick up another one for a few days.&w;JavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to view this content.

1. Ready Player Two

by Ernest Cline This book had its fun moments. But it ends up being o disappointing that it hurts. The characters from Ready Player One become unrecognizable. With a sequel, you have two paths you can take. One is to develop the world and the characters further, take risks, push boundaries. The other is to try to please the fans by sticking to the same exact formula that netted you success. Let’s guess which one this sequel follows.
The countless subplots makes it really hard to really invested in the story at large. A lot of stuff in this book is convenient. And the ending was just so blah. Ready Player Two is the sequel we didn’t need.

2. Is This Anything?

by Jerry SeinfeldSeinfeld's best material from the past five decades copy and pasted into a book. If you've watched his TV show or his stand-up specials then you've heard a lot of this before. It's still entertaining, and there were some great bits that were new to me. The audiobook is great because Seinfeld narrates it himself, so you're hearing the material as it was meant to be delivered, as if he was on stage. I was hoping he would go into more what inspired his bits and how he constructed his sets. Regardless, I was definitely nostalgic reading it.

3. The Lies That Bind

by Emily GiffinI've enjoyed most of Giffin’s novels in the past. I was excited to read this but I am sorely disappointed to inform that this is a hodgepodge of coincidences and miscommunication that the author chose to set around 9/11 as a way to try to glue the pieces together.
The plot smacked of immaturity and downright silliness. The BIG plot twist was imagined by many before and really doesn’t work. Though Cecily is a perfectly lovely protagonist, everything around her is just too convenient and senseless.
I cannot recommend this novel.

4. If These Wings Could Fly

by Kyrie McCauleyIf These Wings Could Fly follows Leighton, a senior in high school who is trying to figure out how to leave for college when this means leaving her two younger sisters in a house where their father's rage terrorizes them all. Leighton is one hell of a character, and struck the perfect balance between being a teen while also having to grow up much faster than anyone else her age.
I also liked that the author made sure to point out that violence is not an isolated thing: oftentimes abusers were victims themselves and they count on the complicity of others, on people thinking that it's not their business or place to intervene to continue with their behavior.
It was a heavy book, but it also had so many small moments that made it a little sweet at the same time. For a debut, this is incredibly strong and I'm eager to see what else this author writes.

5. You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters

byKate Murphy I had read this book last year and it was an eye opener. For the past year or so I have been trying to be a better listener, in fact, I will go to the extent to say I have been trying to talk less and listen more. This book had made such an impact on me that I wanted to re-read it in 2021.
I loved the balance of informative research and relatable text that made You're Not Listening both engaging and thought-provoking. I also appreciated that Murphy emphasizes that listening skills are learned through implementation and practice and that it is something we can always learn, no matter how old we are.
The part where they say it's better to listen than speak, because you already know everything there is to know about yourself, but by being quite, you can find out more about the other person, really got to me. This book was eye opening and enlightening. It points out many ways we miss subtle cues or miss the entire point. I especially liked the simplicity of it.

6. The Four Winds

by Kristin HannahIn The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah’s latest novel of historical fiction, we travel back to the harrowing years of the Great Depression. It is about more than just survival. It’s a beautiful and realistic tribute to motherhood – the good, the bad, and the ugly of it. Through Elsa, Hannah vividly captures not only the unconditional love of mothers and their fierce instinct to protect their children, but also the insurmountable joy, pride, worry, and pain that motherhood encompasses.
The novel is engrossing, poignant, and unapologetically heart-wrenching. Hannah’s writing is more elegant than it has ever been, and her descriptions of the Great Plains and the dust storms are absolutely spectacular. And she has given her all to Elsa, allowing her to become the heart and soul of the novel.

7. A Pho Love Story

by Loan LeA Pho Love Story tried really hard, but it didn't pay off. The characters were flat and dull. The romance had no sparks. The story seemed too drawn out for what it could have been. At some point, it physically hurt me to continue reading. That's all that I have to say about it.

8. Greenlights

by Matthew McConaughey Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey was really a fun listen with lots of "food for thought" quotes and ideas. Greenlights is not a memoir but rather, it is a collection of McConaughey's thoughts taken down in journals and notebooks over the years. He explains all of this in the beginning. But the purpose of Greenlights was not to share his life story but rather it was to share the psychological and almost spiritual journey he embarked on to get to where he is today. While Greenlights felt a little too perfect at times with his life panning out so seamlessly, there were tender moments that did portray humanity and soul.

9. A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor TowlesWhen everybody raves about a book, and then I don't care for it much, well I feel kind of depressed.
I will explain my reaction. Much depends on what you are looking for. First and foremost this is a novel, a fairy tale, a fantastical story. A mystery, suspense and the question is: will all turn out well? Will good win over evil? I prefer books that are gritty, depressing even sad, as long as they are realistic.
It felt too erudite. Too forced in its telling. It started well enough for me - a Count living in a world-class hotel, condemned to ‘hotel-arrest’ for the rest of his life while the wheels of Russia’s history spin. It was a very slow and confusing spin that demands you know a lot of Russia’s history.
Dragged and drugged, I just skimmed through to the end.

10. This Time Next Year

by Sophie CousensSophie Cousens' debut novel, This Time Next Year , is a slow-burn rom-com about destiny, luck, and realizing you’re worthy of real love. I loved the concept of this book and found the characters so fascinating and appealing. The book’s narration shifts back and forth between Minnie and Quinn, recalling past birthdays for each and not-quite encounters, then returning to the present.
This is definitely a slow-burn romance—a little slower than I would’ve liked—but it’s still really enjoyable.

11. City of Girls

by Elizabeth GilbertThis is another re-read. I have already reviewed it on the blog here.
"Never has it felt more important for me to tell stories of joy and abandon, passion and recklessness. Life is short and difficult, people. We must take our pleasures where we can find them. Let us not become so cautious that we forget to live.” - Elizabeth Gilbert

Captivating, dazzling, and memorable. I love this book!

12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen ChboskyWhat a wonderful piece of epistolary writing - tracing the angst of an introverted teenager with warmth, compassion, humor and more than a touch of wisdom.
This is the first novel of Stephen Chbosky. I am amazed how one can write so deeply yet simply in his very first novel? I guess, a writer is a writer.
I loved the book.
I loved Charlie.
I loved Sam.
Specially, I loved Patrick.
This is one of those books that makes you take a deeper breath, and have a calmer mind. Goes down as one of my favorites of all time!
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