Books I read in April 2019

1) We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It’s a short essay sized book based on a TED Talk by the author. Pick it up if you want to know what real feminism is and why it is important. None of us really likes that fake feminism going around. This essay gives examples of how gender inequality still prevails and it is important to acknowledge that and work towards a solution for it. It made me question my own beliefs, how I often prefer the term egalitarian rather than feminism. Quoting from Adichie- “Some people ask, ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender… For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress the one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem should acknowledge that.”

2) Bestseller by Ahmed Faiyaz
A fictional book about what goes on behind the veil in the book publishing business. An editor trying to revive a publishing house and his career with the aim of publishing a number of bestsellers by the end of the year. An entertaining, insightful story but I wish it had been edited and proofread properly. Finding little grammatical errors in a book coming from Rupa Publications is upsetting.

3) God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
What a beautiful book! The language is rich and lavish. I’ll probably read it again just to enjoy the aesthetic sentences. The story hints towards a sense of foreboding which is revealed at the end, while the narrative continuously and smoothly moves between the past and the present, all the while remaining gripping. The central theme is about the love laws: the laws which govern who can be loved and how much.
A tip to remember in order to enjoy the book is to grasp the characters as they are revealed. While trying to read the book a few years ago, I had given up after the first chapter as I just couldn’t remember the South Indian names of the characters, this time, however, I made a family chart of the characters as they appeared, and thus was able to appreciate the book to its fullest.

4) Becoming by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama here, candidly shares her life story, from her childhood in South Side Chicago to becoming FLOTUS. It seems like an honest, humble memoir. The respect for Michelle Obama as well as Barack Obama only increases after reading this. There are several emotional and touching moments which cause one to feel and reflect on one’s own life. Since I finished reading the book, I have just been revering the Obamas and watching all their videos on Youtube. Glad to have witnessed such a world- leader as Barack Obama in my lifetime.  And Michelle herself is such an amazing person, her confidence and personality is an inspiration.


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