On a reading spree in August

August was a rare month that saw me devour 3 books, all different genres and each one left me with so much to savour. My reading has come down significantly over the years as I started to focus on my writing and later my fitness journey. I was content by convincing myself that one cannot do everything and its wise to pick and choose, the things you love and want to devote time to will change with time, embrace that change and don’t feel guilty for what you give up.

The lockdown saw me read much more in months than I have in the last few years but it was not consistent as workouts took precedence. However as I look back at August I am glad I could make my birthday month memorable by indulging in some soulful reading.

My first read for August was blogger Kasturi Pastra’s debut novel “A Mother’s goodbye” that gave me goosebumps, it raised compelling questions around the unrealistic expectations we put on mothers , have we ever stopped to think – what does she want? Is it a given that she seeks her life’s purpose in her kids and family?”

I have always admired Kasturi’s choice of topics as a blogger and am drawn to her writing, in fact my mom and I enjoyed reading this book one after the other and discussing it. My mom could relate to it even more strongly as she spent her whole life prioritising her kids, often at the cost of her dreams. This is a book I would highly recommend- it paints a vibrant picture of life in Kolkata through the eyes of 2 teenagers, brings in diverse subjects like sexual orientation, class divide, mental health – each one woven it so well. I look forward to reading more from this talented writer.

My 2nd read was a short novel “Evidence of the affair” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, a unique story telling where the entire book unfolds through letters between the spouses of 2 people having an affair. Due to the length of the book being really short it started off with a bomb being dropped where one of the spouses intimates the other of the illicit affair between their partners. How this correspondence changes with time as they start to rediscover themselves, talk about their innermost desires, things they have brushed under the carpet, makes some unconventional choices as the story unfolds makes for an exciting read. Affairs are viewed to be ugly, devastating ,immoral but what when it sets you free? I would like to say much more but will keep it under wraps.

Deviating from my usual reading style I picked up Elif Shafaq’s “Forty Rules of Love” which was my first tryst with Rumi, Sufism, Religion and Dervishes. Concepts like what it means to love God truly, the various stages of love, a companion who is meant to come into your life so that both of you embark on a enlightened journey- It was a totally different genre but for reasons I cannot fathom it kept me intrigued and I finished the book keeping a steady pace throughout. Apart from Rumi, Shams of Tabriz and the ancient stories unfolding in Bagdad, what kept me glued was the bond between Ella and Aziz.

Love seeps into your heart when you least expect it, in a way you never fathomed in your wildest dreams, it engulfs you and you transforms you to be your best version- thats when you know its the one!

These were my reads for August that I thoroughly enjoyed, what are you reading?

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