It is the time of the year for me to start complaining about the heat and humidity. LOL, summer here in the UAE has just started inching towards the peak. We had 43C and a 100% humidity all through the week.
And as if that is not bad enough, we had strong winds with dust (but not enough to call it a dust storm) to cause visual disturbances.
I have some guests from India who are visiting the country in summer for the first time, and they are shocked at the heat and summer. We had a good laugh about their reactions to the weather. Now maybe they will stop saying “UAE’s weather is not as bad as India”, as if that is a competition.
Last week I took a trip to my library and grabbed a bunch of books hoping it would cure my reading blocks. Will it work? Only time will tell.
And in all the excitement about new books, I misplaced my library card and noticed it only after reaching home. Thankfully, the volunteer librarian has deposited at the lost and found, so I can collect it the next time I visit.
What I read this week
After a long time, I have something to say under this header.
I just finished reading In a Perfect World by Trish Doller. It took me on a trip to Egypt and the book is told through a young adult’s view of life.
I didn’t love it, but it got me out of my slump. My recent visit to the library might help me get out of it, I hope.
What I watched this week
I watched Angry Birds and The secret life of pets on Netflix this week. I wanted to watch something mindlessly after long days at work, and these are the ones that popped up on my screen.
What are your favorite shows/movies to run in the background like a white noise?
I lamented here a long while ago about how I have the opposite of the green finger. For a long time (years even), I was not even capable of growing a plant or even help a full grown survive a few days.
But that changed last year and I grew some bell peppers indoor. Now when we moved earlier this year to an apartment with balconies that got abundant sunshine, the peppers thrived. And we harvested more than 15 small-ish yellow bell peppers from two plants.
Well, all good things have to come to an end, right?
Thanks to the heat and humidity of Dubai’s summer (which has just started, mind you), my plants are scalded and now infested with some whiteflies. I have tried hosing them off with mild soap water. I found them just last Sunday, and within a week most of my leaves are shrunk and falling down. And the peppers have stopped growing as well.
From what I read online, there is no more saving them. So I guess that is it for this year’s contaner gardening. But at least I didn’t kill them this time, and this won’t be the last of my attempts with plants.
What I read this week
I read Love in Colour: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola this week. It was a different genre for me and it took me a while to get used to.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed it.
What I watched this week
I watched “Chemical Hearts” on Prime this week. I also watched a couple of episodes of “Two and a Half men”. Talk about a poorly aged show, right?
On my blog
In case you missed the posts from my blog, last week.
A modern day Agatha Christie-sque setting and an unwanted guest to sleuth – was The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley be as good as her previous books. I loved Foley’s other two books, what about her third? Read my book review of The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley to find out.
When Jess invites herself to her brother Ben’s luxurious apartment, Ben is missing. She was sure he would help her as he did when they were younger, but sure he wouldn’t disappear, would he?
Jess doesn’t know about the adult Ben’s life, nor how he is able to afford this apartment itself. 12 Rue des Amants, a beautiful 5 storey building with a tenant on each floor, is a character by itself.
A nice guy, a socialite, an alcoholic, a reserved student and the concierge – who is a friend and who is lying? Where is Ben and what happened to him? Read The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley to find out.
Book review of The Paris Apartment
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley is a classic whodunnit with a bunch of questionable characters and a motivated sleuth on the trail. The setting of the house was intriguing and added a sense of doom and eerie to it. It reminded me a lot of “Only Murders in the Building” (which absolutely loved it).
I have read Foley’s previous books and I really had big hopes for this one, as a big fan of closed-room mysteries. I enjoyed how the layers unraveled, even though some elements were unnecessary to the story and were added just to create a distraction.
While the slow pace put me off in places, I think it worked out well. I was not particularly enthused by Jess and her attempt to solve the mystery. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes, often. It felt a little more of thriller than a mystery to me, especially when she was getting any better at solving anything.
I found the multiple person narrative with 6 people tiresome at places, and the book could have been shorter by at least 20 pages. Maybe it was just me, I was getting restless after big twist for the book to end.
What worked for me
I loved the setting and the unlikable cast of tenants. It was eerie and sinister.
While I didn’t like any of the characters, they were well developed and intriguing.
What may have been better
I felt it was more of a thriller than a mystery.
The pace dragged a bit, compared to what is usual for the genre.
Murder, Suicide, Alcoholism, Cheating, Domestic violence, Sex work, Sexual harassment (mentioned), Self-harm (mentioned)
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley is a slow paced, claustrophobic whodunnit. It is different from Foley’s other books in terms of writing and narrative style, but it mostly works. If you like “Only Murders in the Building” you might enjoy The Paris Apartment.
It has been ages since I wrote a monthly update. You know it feels weird to do this, as if so much time has passed but nothing has changed. I can see that six months since I wrote this, but honestly I am not sure if there is anything to show. Annoying right?
But hey, I at least am writing one now. Enough chitchats, let us take a view of what happened last month, shall we?
Quick May’22 updates
I moved to full time employment after years of freelancing and part timing. I am still figuring things out but it seems fun.
In an attempt to get myself to read more, I went to the library and picked 4 books. Sadly all of them are still untouched. I also grabbed some coffee with my friends after the library trip.
I got a new phone, and I am enjoying the better memory and not enjoying the huge size.
Some container bell pepper plants survived the dust storms and heat this month. And we had a good harvest of yellow peppers, a miracle by itself.
Also I am finally writing on my blog. Granted it is just updates and reviews, but it is a start.
What I read this month
Reading wise a really poor month, and I just didn’t find the motivation to. Something to work upon this month, I guess.
I read just one book this month, Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert, and I had to push myself to read it, despite liking it.
What I watched this month
So the new Marvel movie was out this month and I really enjoyed it. Here are a few things that I watched in May’22.
Russian Doll – liked it
Stranger things – S4 – It was good
Kim’s convenience store – Rewatching couple of episodes
Lincoln Lawyer (movie & series) – Movie was good, series was bleh
Dr Strange – had to rewatch before I watched the new one