There are two questions that can fluster any bookworm. One is the infamous “What’s your favorite book?”. And the other is our very own “What should you read next?”. Of course I am speaking from my own experience (you can read about my method in choosing my next read here).
But do not worry. I am here to help you choosing your next book.
Just answer these easy questions and I will tell you what to read next! Are you ready to do this?
I terribly miss meeting my book club and hanging out with friends, thanks to 2020, again! But that has not stopped us from reading books together as a club (and then argue over a Zoom meet) and buddy reads. Since we discovered several gems this year, here is my list of best books for your books club.
Best books for your book club
I am sure these book suggestions would keep the conversations coming, during your book club meets.
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say.
Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved.
When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of
Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned–from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren–an enigmatic artist and single mother–who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.
Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony– a celebration that ultimately never took place.
Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history.
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies.
Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
I recently came across the Book Blogger tag on Bookwyrming Thoughts‘ blog and I loved the questions. So here I am answering the Book Blogger Tag, which apparently is ancient. But better late than never right?
Book Blogger tag
I am gonna take this chance to talk about the things that happen behind the screen of this blog. And this tag is a good way to keep off my slump that might be around the corner now. Let us get on with it shall we?
How many times do you check your email every day?
I check my mail box twice a day, or less. But I also view them on my mobile notifications as they come in. Unless it is very important I do not respond right away.
I just wanted to mention this, I do not respond to review requests unless I am interested to review it. And looking at the number of unread mail I have currently, I definitely need a better system.
How many times a day do you go on Goodreads?
I don’t use Goodreads as much as I used to, a few years ago. I still go on to the site to post my reading updates as soon as I finish a book and to post my reviews.
That comes to almost twice a week, at the best.
How long does it take to you to edit your posts?
I recently updated my site’s theme, mainly to address this.
It took me way longer to edit my posts and do those formatting than I liked. So now I have made it much more simpler.
And also I love the Gutenberg editor as it makes the formatting much simpler, especially from other apps like Notion or Evernote.
Answering the question, it takes me anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to get a written post up and live on the website.
What kind of laptop do you use?
I am currently using HP laptop, which is lighter, faster and definitely easy to use. But it is definitely an upgrade from 5+ years old Dell I used to have. It doesn’t hurt that this one has a touch screen and Tablet mode.
How often do you check your Twitter?
To be honest, I spend about 15 minutes or so almost daily on Twitter for MY BLOG. But I spend a LOT more time on book twitter during the day and while commuting (at least before the Covid virus lock downs).
I love Twitter, but it is also (one of) my big time sucker(s)!
Why do you use Blogger, WordPress, etc?
As much as I loved Blogger and customizing it, I took a call to move to self hosted WordPress in 2017 and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I use(d) everything that I learnt from Blogger – HTML, CSS and generally keeping the blogging system (kind of) organized and I am loving it.
Are you good at keeping up with your reviews, tags, etc?
sure, I have a spreadsheet (among the many) to keep a tab of the books I have read and I want to review. And I fairly have it under control – yay me!
Not so great at this but I catch up with them eventually. I can attribute it safely to the fact that I write up a very few tag posts and since they are far and between, many of the tags disappear and forgotten.
It is the year 2020, and I still know some people, including women, who are not comfortable calling themselves feminists, because some how they identify women power means male bashing. Here are some inspiring quotes about women power from strong women that might change your opinion!
Inspiring feminist quotes about women power and women
If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.
Don’t let anyone speak for you, and don’t rely on others to fight for you.
The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
It’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. I’m not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.
And really, how insulting is it that to suggest that the best thing women can do is raise other people to do incredible things? I’m betting some of those women would like to do great things of their own.
Jessica Valenti, Why Have Kids?
A woman is like a tea bag you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.
For someone who didn’t grow up celebrating Halloween in India, living in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai has its perks. I can already see the Halloween outfits displayed for sale. And that only means one thing for me: reading books about witches, vampires and other horror themed books.
Okay confession time. I recently went on a spree to create a Halloween themed reading list. And unsurprisingly, it had more than a fair share of books about witches. You can’t blame me, since I sincerely believe they were misunderstood and stronger feminists than we are.
Books with witches to make the best of Halloween
So without further ado, shall we check out some of the witch books that are on my TBR?
Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’
People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be skeptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?
You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.
It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.
And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.
One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…
On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late.
The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard’s mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied.
But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children.
Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?
Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.
But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.
While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down.
Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.
A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Toward the end of the Vietnam era, in a snug little Rhode Island seacoast town, wonderful powers have descended upon Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie, bewitching divorcées with sudden access to all that is female, fecund, and mysterious. Alexandra, a sculptor, summons thunderstorms; Jane, a cellist, floats on the air; and Sukie, the local gossip columnist, turns milk into cream.
Their happy little coven takes on new, malignant life when a dark and moneyed stranger, Darryl Van Horne, refurbishes the long-derelict Lenox mansion and invites them in to play. Thenceforth scandal flits through the darkening, crooked streets of Eastwick and through the even darker fantasies of the town’s collective psyche.
As many techniques and hacks you learn to improve our productivity and life in general, it more or less boils down to one thing: are you motivated enough to follow them? So here are some motivational quotes about productivity and time management to kick your butt nudge you in the right direction.
These quotes are from well known productivity pundits as well as highly renowned leaders in their field. Some of my all time favorites are in here too.
So ready to check them out?
Motivational quotes about productivity and time management
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. – Stephen King
Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else. – Peter Drucker
Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before. – Franz Kafka
If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. – Bruce Lee
Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade! – Tony Robbins
Focus on being productive instead of busy. – Tim Ferriss
Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all. – Peter Drucker
Efficiency is doing better what is already being done. – Peter Drucker
If there are nine rabbits on the ground, if you want to catch one, just focus on one. – Jack Ma
Don’t confuse the urgent with the important. – Preston Ni
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. – Paul J. Meyer
Never mistake motion for action. – Ernest Hemingway
Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. – Charles Richards
It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks. – Warren Buffett
Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. – Leo Babauta
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney
You don’t need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment. – Seth Godin
Do you have any motivational quotes that you love? Maybe about productivity and time management, or anything else? Let’s talk.