I know it’s the cliche-est thing in the world to comment on how fast the time seems to be flying by. Even when we know that time keeps its own orderly pace, and it’s only really a matter of our perception.
But you guys, where did these 2 months of the year even go? How come we are already in March of 2020?! The new year celebs felt like they happened 2 mins ago. Not 2 whole months back. 😮
Anyway, the good news is that I’ve had a productive 2 months, reading wise & generally life wise. I mean I’m not really crushing my goals, but at-least now I’m going at a respectable pace in the right direction. Small win, but I’ll take it. 🙂
Moving on the books..
February 2020: Reading Wrap Up
February was a relatively relaxed month reading wise. I did not read as many books as I did in Jan. But then again, Jan was not a typical reading month for me. I rarely read more than 6 books a month, and in Jan I read 8.
In February I fell back into my normal pace, and read 4 books. But after the high of January, it felt really low to me.
Which is ridiculous, because I started the year with the stated intention of not having an “aggressive” reading goal of a book a week this year. And here I am in the second month of the year, reading a book a week, and feeling like a slacker! 😮
What can I say except that my brain has a really complicated and volatile system of perceiving, handling, and evaluating goals, expectations & performance.
Anyway, onto the books I read, and the reviews..
Mini Book Reviews: February 2020
If you remember, I read Crush It (the book that preceded this one) just last month, even though it was widely popular and on my radar for many years. It took me 10 years to get to it!
Which meant that a lot of the info was outdated as a lot changes very fast in this ever-evolving digital economy. Of-course I can’t hold it against the book, because I read it too late for it to be useful. And even after all this time, it was still very inspirational.
Which is the reason why I picked up this second book immediately. As I did not want to make the same mistake procrastinating on this one. And I’m glad I picked it up, because this second one was amazing too!
In this one, Gary V mixed it up – by sharing his thoughts / insights, along with success stories of those who read Crush It (in time), implemented it, and got super successful. Which was really inspiring, and moreover it provided the kind of inspiration that forces you into action. So much so that I had to stop the book several times to act on a couple of my goals, before I could continue on.
This book made me see the kind of fuel for passion Crush It must have been for those who read it in time.
So one thing is for sure, the next time Gary V publishes a book – I am reading it immediately! And I recommend you do too, especially if you are pursuing a passion project that is outside of the regular 9-5 work grind.
Futuristic Jane Eyre Set in Space – that was all I needed to know to pick up this second book. The fact that it was written by someone I enjoyed following on YouTube was a total bonus. It was also how I heard about the book in the first place. But like I said, the premise would have been enough reason to pique my curiosity to pick it up.
And the story and the plot did fulfill the promise of the premise. This is a fairy decent futuristic re-imagining of Jane Eyre.
The story is set several 100 years in the future, where ice age has taken over earth, and the planet is not considered inhabitable. So many of the survivors have settled in spaceships orbiting the earth, with no clue as to when they can safely return to earth, or any idea if there is life on the planet. Especially because when the story begins, the spaceships have been orbiting the earth for several hundred years. So the current generation on these ships have never lived on earth.
That is the setting of this futuristic Jane Eyre. But as interesting as the sci-fi aspect of this story is, much like Jane Eyre, it’s primarily a romance. Not as epic or gothic as the original, but still a decent attempt to recreate the spirit of the classic. Especially considering this is the author’s debut work.
I liked Stella, the futuristic Jane. But Hugo was what you’d call a watered down version of a poor man’s Rochester. For the most part, he came across as a drunk teen with too much power & unpredictable mood swings. He did not evoke the strong emotions Mr Rochester did.
And it was pretty much the same with the plot. The beats were similar, but the rhythm felt off. Not necessarily bad, just off.
Which is why I’d say it’s still an enjoyable retelling, if you don’t take it too seriously, and just want to lose yourself in the fantasy of this futuristic world. It’s actually what I enjoyed the most, the sci-fi aspect of this story, the primary theme of romance was just okay, not even remotely as epic as the original. But I guess that’s expecting too much.
The third book I picked up this month was this second chance romance anthology by authors from the Indian subcontinent.
This book had a diverse collection of second chance romances, which span the spectrum of second chance stories – featuring everything from estranged childhood sweethearts & college romance split ups to broken marriages. Each ending with a heart-warming happily-ever-after.
However I do have a favorite among these stories. And it’s My Heart’s Regret by Shilpa Suraj. From good characterization to a strong sense of plot (especially for a story this short) to angsty romantic perfection, and a heart-warming HEA, this one had it all. Which is why I’d say it’s worth picking up the entire novella collection for this story alone. Though there are so many other great ones in here.
Pick it up if you are a fan of second chance romance stories or you want to sample the writing of some of these authors.
The final book I read in February was Matilda. And yes it took me all this while to get to this one. No excuse except the fact that there are just too many good books, and not enough time to get to them all.
But anyway I’m super glad that I finally got to this one, because it was an adorable read. Even though I’ve to admit that after I read the first few chapters, I was a little concerned, as I was buddy-reading this one with my son, and Matilda seemed to find immense joy in pulling off practical jokes on her parents. But soon, both Matilda & the story grew on me, and I finished the book in one sitting, and really enjoyed it!
I mean what’s not to love? Especially with a book featuring a genius and adorable child who loves to read, and seek knowledge, all while retaining the wide-eyed humble curiosity about all things. And a story that begins off as quirky, then gets a touch fantastical, finally veering into mystery, all while keeping the reader hooked.
Highly recommend it to all readerly types – kids and adults alike! If you haven’t already read it that is.
To sum up – in Feb I read 4 books, across 4 different genres. Starting with a non-fiction book, followed by a science fiction, a romance, and finally a children’s book.
Which I think is kind of a cheat book. But then again, a book is a book is a book, right? What do you think? I’d love to know.
If there is one book of the 4 that I suggest you pick up, it’s Crushing It! Of-course this is assuming you have read Matilda (which I’m sure most of you have). Otherwise pick that one up first!
That’s all from my end folks. Happy reading!
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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Which books did you read in February? Do you have any recommendations for me?
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