Belinda’s Book Nook Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Now that Dimple Shah has graduated, she’s ready for a break from her family – especially from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. Ugh. But Dimple knows that her mother must respect that she isn’t interested in doing that right now – otherwise, she wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic, so when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him – during which he’ll have to woo her – he’s totally onboard. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. Although their parents hadn’t planned suggesting the arrangement so soon, when their kids signed up for the same summer program, they figured why not?

My Thoughts:

I kept hearing about this book in the summer and people said it was a great light summer read. I tend to agree that it is a nice light book that could be read in the summer or between really heavy books that require your brain a rest.  That said, I am not suggesting the book is fluff. It is a nice story with cute characters and of course a little romance thrown in. It also touched on commonly believed cultural expectations marriage. Often when I read books that feature characters from a different culture from my own, I seek more insight to the culture and history. That said, this is a young adult book and this may be new to them.

I listened to the audiobook edition of this book even though I have the physical book and found it very enjoyable to listen to. So if you are looking for something sweet and light, this might be a great read for you. For the reasons mentioned above, I give this book 3 butterflies.

Belinda

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Copyright: May 30, 2017
Genre: YA fiction
Format: hardcover book and audiobook Narrated: Sneha Mathan, Vikas Adam Pages: 380

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Unique Book Titles

Hello! It’s Tuesday and you know what time it is…Top Ten. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week, they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. I looked at this week’s challenge and thought I could easily participate. As may or may not know, my bedroom is in the process of being renovated and so my house is in a state of pure chaos with bedroom furniture, books and so much more moved to other areas in my house. Needless to say,  I still wanted to play Top Ten so I dug around some of the displaced books and some still shelved to find 10 unique book titles. Now, I did not go online to verify but these titles are unique to me.

The Goat Woman of Largo Bay by Gillian Royes – This is the book one in a series that features a detective in Jamaica. I can’t believe that there is a book out there with this title. It was the first one that caught my eye while searching for titles. I have not read this book yet but have been collecting the book in the series to possibly binge read them.

419 by Will Ferguson – The Canadian edition has a stunning cover, mine edition not as much. It won the Giller Prize (The Giller Prize, is a literary award given to a Canadian author of a novel or short story collection published in English the previous year, after an annual juried competition between publishers who submit entries.) I was attracted to the book from this part of the summary:

419 takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When Laura’s father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. What she finds there will change her life forever…

Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt – This one sounds like a movie title and the cover is cute. It’s a book about sisters that meet for a reunion and they are forced to rethink their past beliefs. Sounds like a light, fun read.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell -I heard about Sarah Vowell a few years ago and started collecting her books from used bookstores.  This one sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to finally sit down and actually read it. It is her collection of personal stories that travel through the past and covers a wide range of topics. Have any of you read her books and if so, which would you recommend I start with when I begin reading her works?

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson – I read this book in 2015 when it was first released and really enjoyed it. You can click to see my review. I recently purchased book 2 to read it and I believe book 3 is either already out or out soon. So I have some catching up to do.

Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa – I picked up this book at my local Savers for 50 cents. The cover caught my attention but the story sounds interesting. It is a non-fiction, autobiography of the author and the evolution of her relationship with her birthplace, Nigeria. I know very little about Nigeria and thought this would be a great entryway. I have an around the world challenge for myself and this one definitely fits the criterion.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley – The cover of this book caught my eye the year it came out and I snatched it up. It’s absolutely stunning. The story was so unique to me and I finally picked up book two. I think I need to start a list of series I have started and haven’t completed.

The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson – I remember picking this book up at Savers because of the unique title. I never read this author before and the description sounds like a spy, thriller set in Sierra Leone.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – I pretty much think I am the last to read this series. The covers are fantastic, I always hear positive feedback so now I just need to sit and read. I bought two of the books from book outlet way too long ago and yet I haven’t cracked one open. Sad, right? One day I will get to them. For those who aren’t familiar with this book, it is book 2 in The Bone Season Series. I won’t describe it because I never like to read the description if I haven’t read the preceding book.

NW by Zadie Smith – Come on, this title has to be unique. It pulls you in because it has no meaning when you first see the book on the shelf. I believe it stands for northwest London which is where the story takes place. I want to read Zadie but I am nervous about where to start because so many people like her writing and I hope I do too.

Ok here is my list. Have you read any of them? I can’t wait to see what titles you all list.

Happy reading!

Belinda

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes

I love everything about fall..the crisp morning air, the smell of fireplaces burning, the beauty of the foliage colors but one of my favorite things I love about fall is curling up in a soft blanket with my tea and a book.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week, they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. This week focus on fall covers. So this top ten sounded like it was meant for me. I walked around my bookshelves and picked out old and newer books that either the cover made me get the Autumn feels or the story had scenes set in the fall.

The following are the ten books I selected:

Of the above books, I have read only one of them but let me tell you why I think they fit lovely into this category.

Let’s start with Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden. I have been a fan of this author since I read, Marianna. The story sucked me in and I was sold. Then I went on to read Winter Sea and Shadowy Horses. Although I haven’t read this book yet, I feel the colors in the cover and roses make me think of fall. I also think the way that Ms. Kearsley blends history, time-travel and usually a touch of romance just oozes the autumn feels for me.

Maisie Dobbs book 1 has been on my TBR for years. I am not ashamed in saying that although I probably should be but at the recommendation of a book club member, I began the hunt for her books. I have never bought a new edition of any of her books and find it so much fun looking for them at used bookstores. This edition has the most amazing covers. This is a detective story set during WWI with a female (Maisie) sleuth. Need I say more. I mean fall is an amazing time for mysteries so I just know that this is a good choice for this category.

On that note, Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)  is another detective mystery with Detective Cormoran Strike. This is a first in a series. There are three books out and Rowling is working on the 4th now. So I can put on my thinking hat and solve a case while the beautiful leaves gently fall outside.

I picked The Folded Earth simply because of the beautiful fall colored cover.  However, it is a book by an author (Anuradha Roy) that I have been so eager to read. It is a tale of a woman making a new life in the foothills of the Himalaya. What better time for “armchair travel” via books than in the fall and winter months.

Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt was an ARC I read for a publisher in 2015 and I adored this book. It was a sweet women’s fiction with a little romance. It was first in a three book series. I didn’t know the other two books came out already until now so I will have to pick them up to see what happened to the characters. It’s a fast read and one of those starting over books that I think are perfect for the fall or even the new year.

On the second group photographed above I have 5 more books with yup only 1 that I read. Are we seeing a pattern here? Never mind that let’s move on.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi  – This cover is what made me think autumn. I think it is safe to say that I can now read this book. When it was first published it had so much buzz, I couldn’t even crack open the book. I just don’t like to be influenced by other’s reviews so I wanted distance to form my own opinion.

The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack – I read her debut novel (The Memory Painter) last year and loved it so much, that I emailed her to tell her as soon as I finished the book. She even emailed me back and I got the fangirl giggles. This book’s cover made me think of fall but the story of an antique appraiser who deciphers a text that she believes was written in Cleopatra’s time and how it plunges her into a dangerous mystery. Well if that isn’t one for a cup of tea and blanket I don’t know what is and I can’t wait to find out. I really appreciated the amount of research that Womack embarked on to create her first book and I expect nothing less for this one.

When Autumn Leaves by Amy S. Foster – Well if the color of the cover and the word Autumn in the title isn’t enough then a story of magic and witchcraft should seal the deal. I have not read this but don’t you think October would be a fantastic time to crack this one open?

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – A book about bookstores and books seems perfect for the fall and I think this one should fit the category. I have not read it but I know it has received mixed reviews. However, I must decide for myself so I will let you know when I finally give it a go.

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan – I read this book in 2015 and it is the third book in a trilogy. The first book is entitled, Unspoken and it is a lovely story of a girl with an imaginary friend she talks to in her head and one day, she discovers that this boy is real. It is really a fun fantasy story and the trilogy would make for a wonderful fall read.

Well there you have it, ten books I think would be wonderful choices for enjoying during the fall. Let me know if you have read any of these books.

Happy reading!

Belinda

The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan

Quote:

“At the end of the day, the money itself is just paper. What gives the whole experience meaning are the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that come with giving the money away in ways that make you smile and make your hearts sing.”

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they’re given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don’t overthink it; share your experiences; don’t feel pressured to give it all away.

Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and beyond, Kim and Brian face obstacles, including major challenges to their relationship. As she distributes the gift to people she encounters along the way she learns that money does not have a thing to do with the capacity to give, but that giving—of ourselves—is transformational.

My thoughts:

I came across this book while browsing the New Release section at our public library. The cover caught my eye. The colors looked like summer so I read the book summary and was drawn into the description. I traveled quite a bit for work and for pleasure prior to having children and for those of you that know me, know that I like to travel and dream of more in my future.  But that wasn’t the only reason I was drawn to this book. The idea of connecting with people all over the world and providing help was my main appeal.  I have a personal desire to do things in my lifetime to help others so I was very curious to find out what this book was all about.

I am not a seasoned travel memoir reader but I think this book offered so much more than what I expected.  Kim really opened up about her insecurities about her identity and her relationship with her husband. As a wife and mother, I think about my pre-marriage and mommy journey and occasionally remind myself that I must strive to continually build my wholeness. Ok, I am not trying to sound preachy but what I am trying to say is that sometimes we lose ourselves in “roles” of wife and or motherhood and there is nothing in the rule book that requires that. In this book, we witness Kim, questioning these very things for herself as she travels the globe with her husband. When taken away from the comforts and familiars of home, she is forced to address her feelings.

Kim also shares how she changes throughout this experience and grows in so many ways. For one thing, she recognizes the delicate balance of the ways to be of service for people that are in need. In one instance she is taken aback when a fellow traveler poses for a “selfie with a child they are helping”. She questions his motive and is forced to reflect on her own experiences. As I myself, try to insert myself into more humanitarian efforts, I keep questioning my motives and try to seek pure intentions with my actions.

Of course, I also enjoyed reading about the different places that she traveled but again, it took a back seat for me to all of the other topics she raised. It’s a very fast read but one that you can reflect on after. I would recommend this book and give it 4 butterflies.

Happy reading!

Belinda

Title: The Yellow Envelope
Author: Kim Dinan
Copyright: April 1, 2017
Genre: non-fiction, travel-memoir
Format: book Pages: 341

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