The Bluest eye by Toni Morrison | A book review

“The bluest eye” by Toni Morrison is everything a person should read at this time of the year when the world is falling apart and also has lost its chunk of humanity. Published in 1970, “The bluest eye” still holds the power to break hearts fifty years later.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“All of our waste which we dumped on her and which she absorbed. And all of our beauty, which was hers first and which she gave to us. All of us–all who knew her–felt so wholesome after we cleaned ourselves on her. We were so beautiful when we stood astride her ugliness.”

Toni Morrison, The Bluest eye.

PLOT:

“The bluest eyecenters around a young girl named Pecola who wants to have beautiful blue eyes. She assumes that if she becomes beautiful, she can change the state of her family. She thinks her beauty can actually make her family love her. The story then leads us to the history of her parents, explaining how things came to be the way they are. We also follow the story of another black family and how things are different from Pecola’s family.

Thoughts:

It’s just amazing when you find such rich content in just 200 pages. “The Bluest eye” is definitely a dynamite in terms of the emotions it can stir in you. I am glad that the book not only discusses Pecola’s desire for blue eyes but also the world that is built around her. It is essential to understand how the narrator is not the protagonist itself but someone much younger to Pecola, and also someone who can understand the pain in Pecola’s life. The story also compares and contrasts the differences in two black families and how family background influences the character of the children. There are also many other unique characters in the book that I almost thought that Pecola’s life is lost inside them and which at times did not make sense. Therefore it is not absolutely right to say that “The bluest eye” is the story of Pecola; it is the story of oppression, racism and sexual aggression against women.

I absolutely enjoyed the lyrical writing style of Toni Morrison. Honestly I found it difficult to get into the story because Morrison’s writing style is not the conventional type. As I started reading, I did not understand where I was heading to at least until the middle of each chapter. The novel looked like a collection of short stories woven together to bring out a sad yet powerful masterpiece. One thing that I should mention is that I couldn’t relate to certain references that are mentioned in the book, maybe it’s 2020 already and some of it can be lost in the years of its publication. Also I don’t have a favorite character here or maybe I have and it could be Claudia. I am still debating on that.

Anyway, I would like to dedicate “The bluest eye” to anyone who at one point in their life has wanted to be beautiful, who has wanted to be appreciated, who has wanted to be loved.Most of the time, our beauty is graded by people who have their own standard definition of beauty. They tell us how we look and how we ought to be, affecting our lives, scarring us forever, knowingly or unknowingly.

I am extremely happy to read “The bluest eye” for our IRL book club this month. We had an awesome discussion and am so looking forward to reading all the other books written by Toni Morrison. Hope they are not as sad as this one.

API Heritage month Readathon:

It’s that time of the year again, the month of May, when people start reading books written by Asian authors. Being an avid mood reader, I never follow such challenges. But this year, I decided to read as much as possible, the works written by East Asian authors. This is my second book this month and I absolutely loved it.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Published by : Riverhead books

Published on : April 29, 2010

“What a relationship looks like on the outside isn’t the same as what it’s like on the inside. You can be more in love with someone in your mind than with the person you see every day”.

― Jean Kwok, Girl in Translation

My Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Immigrant story
  • Heart- tugging narrative
  • Women empowerment content
  • Mom- daughter relationship
  • Coming-of-age
Continue reading “API Heritage month Readathon:”

Reading update – Triple Book Review:

I am trying to read all the books in my unread shelf at the moment so that I can buy new books. So far I have reached 48/50 on my reading goal and I am happy about it. Will I be able to cram in two more books? I am currently not in a mood to be social since I already have a lot on my mind and that explains why I haven’t met my IRL friends in a while. This non-social behavior has also made me stay away from audiobooks. I can’t stand someone reading a book out loud to be. I have a lot of Libro.fm ALCs pending which I must get to later.

So, I just wanted to give a quick update on three of the books that I read recently. They were not very high impact or popular books but it was definitely worth a read.

1) “In the pond” by Ha Jin:

I got this book from Half- price books this year. Honestly I would not have chosen the book if not for the low price. But buying the book actually was a good decision. Ha Jin’s “In the pond” might not be very popular but his novel “Waiting” is very popular and has won an award. I am so looking forward to reading it.

“In the pond” is a short novel and the story is actually very interesting. It’s about a Chinese middle class man who works at a fertilizer plant and the atrocities he has to suffer due to the corrupt officials. He is good in calligraphy and tries to bring out the corruption through his drawings. Through wit and satirical prose Ha Jin explores the life of a middle class Chinese man as he strives hard to make a living and move forward with his life.

Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟

2) “ Arid dreams” by Duanwad Pimwana:

Translated literature is like my new found love. People say that literature gets lost in translation. But there is something about these Asian translations which draws me in and makes me crave for more.

Having read “Bright” by the same author, I was very much interested to read this short story collection. The stories explored Thai working class community and culture in a very detailed manner sprinkled with humor at unexpected context which I adored. Some of the stories also held the emotions of young minds which affected me deeply.

Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

3) “When you read this” by Mary Adkins:

This debut novel by Mary Adkins is recommended to people who like to read modern age or general epistolary novels. The book was about to be DNFed by me initially but I continued which made me read a beautiful story.

I liked the relationship between the intern and the boss and their funny work e-mail exchanges. I actually thought the book is about the lady, Iris and her death caused by cancer-relapse. But it was so much more. It’s actually a love story between the people involved in the life of Iris and how they connect and find themselves in her absence.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Triple review marathon:

1) “The poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo:

You can probably read the whole book in a couple of hours. The story is light yet deep and lyrical. The presentation of the text in the book is unique that you might wonder if you are reading a poem.

The X factor in the title really intrigued me and I finally decided to give it a try even though I was sure that it is yet another YA novel about a teen girl. But reading it was totally worth it and I loved Acevedo’s writing. Looking forward to reading all of her future works.


2) “With the fire in high” By Elizabeth Acevedo:

After reading “the poet x”, I am pretty sure you might be tempted to read Acevedo’s recent book, “with the fire on high”. I have recently taken a liking for latinx literature and I am planning to read more books on that. It is interesting to learn about latinx immigration, culture and language.

This book is about a teen mom with a passion for cooking. I found it interesting to read about her natural cooking flair and her maturity in dealing with the issues she has in her life. Her unundating courage to be a mom and take care of her daughter even through high school is something to be looked up to.

If you are into YA novels, it is essential to add Acevedo’s novels to your list.


3) “Disappearing earth” by Julia Phillips:

Set in Russia’s peninsula Kamchatka, “Disappearing earth” is sure to capture your heart with Julia Phillips’ lyrical and evocative prose. The story starts with the disappearance of two young girls and what follows is a character sketch of multiple female characters throughout the months and how badly their lives are affected by the disappearance.

If you like a thriller focused on character sketch rather than the plot, you will love this book. It is definitely not a whodunnit and so let the first chapter of the book not fool you with all its hope of finding the motive of disappearance.

If you loved Chris Cander’s novel, “The weight of a piano”, then you will love this. You might find it difficult to remember all those Russian names but you will love the book and want to keep one for yourself.


P.S: So, with this book, I have completed my reading goal for the year 2019. 45 books! I am not sure if I will read anymore this year. Let’s see.

Bi-monthly reading update – Review marathon

I have been too lazy to write or be creative for the past few days. So, I have decided to put a wrap up on the books that I have read so far.

1. “Spectacle” by Susan Steinberg:

Do you happen to like books that you normally don’t read? Well, this book was something like that for me.

“Spectacle” belongs to the category of creative non-fiction and is a collection of short stories talking about the eccentricities of the author’s teenage self, her relationships with her family and boyfriends. I liked the writing style of Susan as it was very unique and also because it has a number of metaphors. The book can put you under a spell once you start reading leaving you in a vague and empty space with obscure feelings making you yearn for more words.

I was lucky enough to find a copy from Half price Books. Looking forward to read more of her works.


2. “Red at the Bone”- by Jacqueline Woodson:

Thanks to Riverhead books for sending me an ARC of this gorgeous book. Also special thanks to Riverhead books for sending me a signed hard copy of the book after publishing. This actually helped me host a giveaway and share the ARC with a fellow bookstagrammer.

“Red at the bone” with its amazing and powerful prose just froze my heart and brain making me thoughtless or rather thinking deep on various social issues. I am someone who likes to read happy books and feel happy about the ending, but this book with all its deep messages really got me thinking. It was about a black girl dealing with teen pregnancy, yes, an intense topic and how she overcomes it and also brings other families together.

Woodson’s lyrical prose can capture your heart and make you look forward to her future works. The book itself is concise but is super deep that you can drown in it.

Don’t miss this one, is all I can say. Happy that I won this book and also loved it.


3. “Twice in a blue moon” – by Christina Lauren:

I am currently an ALC influencer at Libro.fm. Special thanks to the PR for inviting and sending me an invite to collaborate. I was on cloud nine when I got a DM. Now I can listen to seven newly released audiobooks, keep them through Libro.fm and support my favorite local indie bookstore too. One of the best things ever happened so far this year.

“Twice in a blue moon” was the first book that I read as soon as downloaded the Libro.fm app. Well, the book totally lived up to its expectations. I absolutely loved the narration and the story. It was a unique love story and about second chances. Reading the blurb made me think that it is absurd to give a second chance in love but reading the novel proved me wrong. We follow the love story of a timid teenager to the story of a Hollywood actress.


4. “The DNA of you and me” by Andrea Rotham:

First of all, love the cover of this book. “Never judge a book by its cover”, they say. But I always do so and I am never disappointed:)

So, “The DNA of you and me” is a STEM based romantic novel revolving around a very successful and award winning scientist and how she falls in love with a colleague in a lab as a graduate student. Amidst the competition and academic research, this story can reach your heart and you relate in a number of possible ways if you are in the STEM field.

The author being a post-doc herself, has made the book very interesting and relatable. You might find a number of esoteric science jargon. Be ready to go on a scientific journey through the book.


5. “Ordinary girls” by Jaquira Diaz

Latinx reads always hold a special place in literature with its tiny bits of Spanish sprinkled here and there amidst its already intense prose like lemon zest. My first experience with Hispanic literature was from Natalia Sylvester’s Everyone knows you go home. I loved that but never had a chance to read another one.

So, libro.fm came as a blessing in disguise. The October ALC included “Ordinary girls”, the most hyped up memoir on instagram. It was 10 hours long but the audio was awesome and the story fantastic. Immigrant story about moving from Puerto Rico to Florida and the political unrest amidst everything.

So, this is one such book you don’t want to miss. Cheers to latinx reads. I am hoarding latinx books nowadays.


6. “Trevor Noah- Born a crime”

Are you a Trevor Noah fan? Have you binge- watched his shows on Netflix? Ever felt the need to know more about him? How he became the person he is? Then, this book is for your curious souls. Dealing with colonialism to apartheid, this book takes us through the early life of Trevor Noah. On top of that, this is not just another boring memoir. The sad stories in this book are narrated in a witty and funny manner that we almost forget the inherent sadness also showing the attitude of Trevor to laugh at himself.

Thanks to a friend of mine for suggesting this book. It took nearly an year for me to read it but I loved it. Also, many liked this photo that I posted on instagram. So, read it and do yourself a favor. Get to know the African facts amidst the pages of the memoir and get yourself acquainted to the life of Trevor to love him more.


7. “Things you save in a fire” by Katherine Center:

I have never read “How to walk away” by Katherine Center. If you liked that you are advised to read this one. Katherine’s books are known for the cliches and corny dialogues. But I actually liked it. It was a light read but definitely engaging. It was short but conveyed a powerful message about the trait of forgiveness. So, if you want some palate cleanser, this book is for you.

I definitely liked her lucid writing style and will be looking forward to her future works.


8. “The family upstairs” by Lisa Jewell:

Okay! I can’t thank Libro.fm for the ALCs. This book is a dark novel with MPOVs and timelines. You will like it if you are into UK based cult genre books. Yes, and don’t let the blurb distract you. I loved the blurb more than the book honestly. Yes, I loved the narration and writing style yet something fell through the cracks for me. I dint feel like I read a thriller after I was through the book, much to my disappointment.

I had my own cult theories and episodes inside my head but it turned out to be something serious. I loved how the novel started and the character portrayal but the ending really missed to appeal me. If you don’t want to take my word for it, you should definitely give it a try given it has a number of unexpected twists.


Wooho! That’s all for now. Let me know what all you have read so far and if my thoughts match yours.

“How not to die alone” by Richard Roper – A Book Review

It was this kind of detail that stayed with him along afterward: odd little elements of a forgotten life reasons for their existence unknowable leaving him with a subtle feeling of unresolved tension, like seeing a question written down without a question mark. – How not to die alone, Richard Roper

Synopsis:

Andrew, a 42 year old guy works at a council to dispose of unclaimed dead bodies. He leads a monotonous life until he meets Peggy, a new co-worker. He immediately connects with Peggy and this encounter makes Andrew discover his true self. He realizes how courage is important in his life and what he had been lacking all this time. But Andrew is the way he is because of his dark past which re-surfaces in the form of Ella Fitzgerald’s song “Blue moon”, throughout the novel. What is he hiding? Why is he lying? How he is different from the rest of the people?

Thoughts:

Words are not enough to explain how much I loved this book. I haven’t heard much about this book on Instagram and was a bit skeptical to read it. But, I couldn’t understand why it is not much hyped. I know people have been promoting women authors and being feminists and all that, but let’s take a moment here to support male authors too. Richard Roper in his debut novel has actually succeeded in bringing out the theme that it is not late to turn a new leaf. Andrew is a very adorable character. He is 42 but I don’t think I felt him to be of that age. With the character portrayal, I almost thought he is somewhere between 20-30. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing. But, I loved the story and it really made my heart swell. Andrew works at a Council which takes care of abandoned corpse, that is the dead body of people who live alone and do not have a relative. I felt so bad, when the dead bodies were uncovered after a year and it almost looked that nobody came to look for them. How lonely their lives would have been? Well, this book made me think in a lot of different ways and how it is important to keep your people loved ones closer.

Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Do you remember everything that you read?

Well, I don’t think anyone does. But it is super fun to read. Isn’t it?

My third trimester is in full swing, leaving me as the sole insomniac in the house. I can feel my baby move inside my belly every time I wake up, which can be intimidating initially but not anymore. It’s 2:00 AM and there is darkness everywhere as I lie (my eyes are wide open), next to my husband who is sound asleep. Wish I could sleep like him. Staring at your loved one at night, not romantic at all. Yes, freaking him out by staring at him (until he opens his eyes), has become my midnight pastime.

County library scenes!

Well, what does my brain do when it is awake. It thinks all sorts of things. So, the other day my brain waves took me to that part of my brain where I store information related to the books that I read. and then it struck me. How many books have I read in my lifetime? Being an avid reader and bookstagrammer, I don’t think it’s fair on my part to count them.

Things I remember about a book, long after I read it:

– Author’s name

– Main plot

– Genre

– Name of the protagonist

– Milieu

– how much I liked the story

– writing style

– book cover (pretty or not)

– title ( completely forgot about it)

– what drew me to the story

Well, that’s pretty much it. Anything else is lost in history. Also, these are applicable only for heavy impact books. I do forget names of places and people after a few years. But one thing that I remember for all the books is how much I liked it. The scope of re-reading a book is out of question as I have tons to finish reading at least once in my life time. But, all these aside, I really enjoy reading each and every moment of it. Thanks to those people who gave me books to read when I was a kid.

QOTD: Do you remember every book that you read? What stays in your mind long after you have read it?

“Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner – A Book Review

“Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner is a story about the resilient Kaufman family of the 1960s America who were victimized by the prevailing social issues of the decade and how they survived it.

Synopsis:

The story starts in the present with one of the Kaufman sisters married and living a life she dreamt of, which is disrupted by a grave news. The story then shifts back to the 1960s when the sisters were really small and how they faced difficulties from their childhood through adulthood and how they chose to live their lives. What happened to the youngest sister and where is she now? As the story spins across decades we realize how the sisters have evolved themselves and how what they faced in their childhood affected them in the long run.

Thoughts:

I am really disappointed in this book, as I was looking forward to reading this one for a long time. I have heard good reviews about this one but I somehow couldn’t find myself continuing the story after page 200. Maybe I’ll just read it later when I feel like it. As of now, I find it really lengthy and I has certainly failed to capture my heart, at least for now. I liked the idea to narrate the life of two sisters from childhood to adulthood. But in that attempt, the author has somehow managed to drag most of the episodes with extensive explanations. However, the social issues of the 60s is captured so well and the resilience which the sisters and their mother exhibit is commendable. Maybe some other time, maybe some other day, I will be able to appreciate the novel better. As of now, I am going to stop with page 200.

Rating:🌟🌟🌟

P.S: Thanks to Simon & Schuster, Canada for sending me an ARC.