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Monday, September 9, 2019

What I read this summer

I had grand dreams of sitting poolside with my book, soaking in the warm weather checking off my summer reading list. But I had forgotten about the kids. They were there too. Usually happy and in the pool but there was splashing and calls of "Mom! Watch me! Watch this! Are you watching?", all which makes reading a little distracting. But I was going to read and get caught up on my Goodreads reading challenge ( alas, I'm still quite far behind).

So I choose some books this summer that were more entertaining and light that some of the others that are sitting on my bookshelf beckoning to be read ( yes I see you The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A Novel, I'll get to you soon!) I wanted to read books that were a form of escapism where the noise of the splashing wouldn't distract me. But I also stuck to a bit of a theme, I choose book by female authors from a South Asian background. The fact that there were so many new choices for me to pick from this summer was a win right there. There was a time not long ago when I didn't see so much diversity reflected on the shelves at the bookstore.

Here's (some) of what I read:

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters: A Novel, by Balli Kaur Jaswal: Follow the adventures of three British born Indian sisters who embark on a journey to India to fulfill their mother's last request. This was a fun read which made me emotional (which isn't saying much to be honest, I'm a crier), but also was enjoyable reading about the sisters' adventures in different parts of India.  I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the different parts of India and comparing them with how I had recently experienced them. Balli Kaur Jaswal also does a good job with touching upon a lot of issues that South Asian women living in the diaspora have to deal with in different stages of their adult life.

The Chai Factor, by Farah Heron: The fact that the author, Farah Heron is a Toronto based desi mom had me excited to read this. The story follows Amira the engineer who doesn't date and stays laser focused on her professional goals but who unwillingly falls for a lumberjack.  I didn't expect a romantic novel like this, but I savoured it! 

Pride, Prejudice and other Flavours, by Sonali Dev: Dr. Trisha Rajee breaks some family rules and has to redeem herself in the eyes of her family, but falls in love along the way. Another romantic novel, but set in San Francisco in an affluent, over-achieving Indian family with Jane Austen's themes woven throughout. Part of me wanted this book to hurry up and end so I could get my happy ending and stop being so frustrated by the two main characters, but then I felt bored and lonely when it was done!

Stories for South Asian Super Girls by Raj Kaur Khaira: I bought this for my daughters, but I also loved going through it to find so many stories about South Asian women and their amazing accomplishments. The illustrations are beautiful as the stories are inspiring, and really this book should be on the bookshelves for everyone as it seeks to empower young brown girls by telling stories of women who look like them. It would make a great gift!

What did you read this summer?


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