My 2022 Year in Books!

Hello, everybody. Happy New Year! I hope 2023 will be a happy and healthy year for you. I was away from writing for a long time and I am sorry for my inactivity. Things are still hectic as my finals are nearing. I have planned many things for my blog, but I cannot implement them due to time constraints. I will be free in April from all my exams and studies, still, a long way to go But, I will try to stay in touch with my writing and you all in between.

My Goodreads Goal.

I had kept a goal of 50 books and I was able to read 45 books this year. I must say that I read quite a mixed bag this year. There are many books that I rated 4-5 stars and there were many with 2-3 ratings.

Some Stats:

As I mentioned in my posts this past year, my reading tastes are evolving. 2022 was an experimenting year for me. I kept exploring different genres. Some, I instantly fell in love with and others I won’t get back to again.

In 2022, I explored different genres like realistic fiction, translated books, non-fiction, memoirs, and even romance because it was so hyped up. Many disappointments and many favorites in the past year.

My Year In Books:

I will be reviewing and discussing some of the books that I loved in my upcoming posts. It feels good to be back. Thank you for always supporting me and reading my posts. All the comments mean a lot to me, thanks again! I want you all to tell me in the comments how many books did you read in 2022.
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

The Maid: Book Review

Book: The Maid
Author: Nita Prose
Genre: Fiction, Murder Mystery
Age Limit: 16+
Trigger Warnings: Death, Murder, Bullying

Goodreads Summary:

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had united with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

My Review:

Firstly, the main character Molly the Maid. She is a very innocent person who has not seen the true world. When you will be reading, the main character won’t understand the true meaning behind the conversations, but the reader will understand the meaning. I was not a fan of this format particularly. It is like the character is up for a surprise in the case, not the reader. I did not like Molly the Maid since I found her irritating at times. I felt sad for Molly at times as she was not accepted by her co-workers. I really loved Grandma’s advice throughout the book. Molly keeps recalling her dead Grandma’s advice throughout the book which was nice to read.
Coming to the story. I think this was a solid murder mystery. I really liked that the whole story took place in the hotel from a Maid’s point of view. The ending though did not have the wow factor. Throughout, the story was going pretty smoothly (minus the character’s behavior), but I expected a better ending.

What I Liked:

  • The whole story is set in a hotel.
  • Recalling her grandma’s life lessons.

What I Did Not Like:

  • Molly was irritating at times
  • The character is up for a surprise, not the reader
  • The ending did not have a WOW factor.

What You Should Read Next:

  • The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
  • The Guest List by Lucey Foley

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This was an average read for me. Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

Before The Coffee Gets Cold: Book Review

Book: Before The Coffee Gets Cold
Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism
Age Limit: 16+
Trigger Warnings: Dementia, Death, Grief

Goodreads Summary:

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-traveling offer, to confront the man who left them, and receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

My Review:

There are four stories, all set in the cafe, where the characters are the same and known. In each story, some or other character wants to time travel back to the past/ future to convey something to the person they want to meet. These stories are very heartwarming and meaningful. You get so connected to the characters. The author has described the cafe in such a way that it makes it so comforting to read these stories. It teaches an important lesson about time and relationships. Even though they can time travel, after coming back, the present does not change, which was pretty interesting to read as even though the characters were able to experience this magical moment, they still had to come back to reality because it does not change. I got so attached to these stories that I will come back and read them again. They were so impactful with such a beautiful message at the end.

What I Liked:

  • The connection between time and relationships
  • Got attached to the characters
  • the rules for time-traveling
  • favorite story: Mother and Child

Other Books In This Series:

What You Should Read Next:

  • Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • Read the sequels of this book!

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a comfort read for me! Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments!
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

Let’s Talk About Murakami!

Hello Bookish People! I am back with another post where I talk about my recent obsession. Haruki Murakami’s Writing! As I talked about switching genres in my previous post, well I have started reading Japanese-translated books, more on it later.

Haruki Murakami

Murakami, born January 12, 1949 is a Japanese writer. His novels, essays, and short stories have been bestsellers in Japan and internationally, with his work translated into 50 languages and has sold millions of copies outside Japan. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Gunzou Prize for New Writers, the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize. Growing up in Kobe before moving to Tokyo to attend Waseda University, he published his first novel Hear the Wind Sing (1979) after working as the owner of a small jazz bar for seven years.
(source: Wikipedia)

I started reading Kafka On The Shore in August when I was sick. I instantly fell in love with his writing style. He normally writes magical realism stories and I absolutely love that style. Even though the story has magical elements, he infuses reality so well in those stories. His character developments are so unique with so much depth. Murakami’s stories are a way of escapism, it puts you in a trance. He writes books so beautifully, the stories have some history of Japan blended in.

Books I Have Read So Far by Murakami:

~ Kafka On The Shore: 5/5 stars
~ Sputnik Sweetheart: 4/5 stars
~ Birthday Girl: 4/5 stars

I am currently reading After Dark by him.

He has become my favorite author and I can’t wait to read more books by him! Have you read any Murakami books? Let me know in the comments!
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

Reviewing The New Jennette McCurdy’s Book!

Book: I’m Glad My Mom Died
Author: Jennette McCurdy
Genre: Memoir
Age Limit: 17+
Trigger Warnings: Eating Disorder, Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse

Goodreads Summary:

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only worsen when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

My Review:

This was very raw and heartbreaking. I did not have any knowledge about Jennette and you don’t need to know her to read this memoir. As you read more you will get to know about her and the trauma she had to go through. I could not believe that she went through such abuse from her mother and she wasn’t aware of it until she was an adult. This was very disturbing to read but, she wrote it with honesty and candor so it made me read more. She uncovers what she went through since the age of six and on the set of Nickelodeon while shooting iCarly. She spills the real tea and does not hesitate to talk about her co-actors, how she felt about them and how was she treated. It is surprising because celebrity memoirs usually do not share the details and reality. She has written this so truthfully and has shared her story so well. Although I would say that coming to the After part, it became a bit slow. But other than that, this book is worth the read. While reading, I had to constantly remind myself that this is real. Her book conveys that moms are always kept on a pedestal and sometimes when a child is not treated properly, they are afraid to express their feelings because of what people will say. This is a very important topic and Jennette handled it very well in her book.

What I Liked:

  • The rawness and truthfulness of her story
  • Adding dark humor to the book
  • Her coping during therapy

What I Did Not Like:

  • It became a bit slow coming to the after part

What You Should Read Next:

  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really liked this book, very painful read. I recommend reading this book!
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.