I love posting bookish photos on my Instagram account. Often, I run into some slump and freeze when I try to come up with captions. Then I realized I can use my favorite quotes for Instagram captions. And that is a life saver, honestly.
As the first read of the year, I picked up Mexican Gothic – a book I have been wanting to read for a while now. Read on my book review of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia to see how it worked for me.
When her father sends Noemí Taboada to High Palace in the Mexican countryside as a response to her newly-wed cousin’s alarming letters about her husband, she is not enthused.
Noemi, a flighty, party loving 23 year old in the 1950s, who wants to get her father’s approval to her dreams of attending university considers this as an opportunity to win him over, as well as to help her dear cousin Catalina.
When she first arrives at the ancient, crumbling mansion, the welcome from her cousin’s husband Virgil Doyle and his family is less than lukewarm. She finds out that Catalina’s health, physically and mentally is fragile and the Doyles’ family doctor doesn’t seem helpful.
With frosty and unhelpful relatives and a house that squeaks and creaks at every turn, Noemi begins to believe that her cousin was correct. And it was up to her to save herself and Catalina.
Was she able to do that? What is it about the house that does not let them escape form the rest of the story in Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Book review of Mexican Gothic
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a well written gothic fantasy thriller, leaning more towards fantasy than the thriller part. I had a huge expectations and I was left with a mixed feeling about it.
I really liked the first few pages of the book, but it took me more than fifty pages to actually get into the story. But until the last fifty pages or so, it moves really slow.
I love reading about dysfunctional families and the Doyles were definitely one of them. An aged patriarch who believes in “natural selection” and eugenics, a creepy, manipulative son, a controlling and matronly aunt and shy young man who is interested in fungus definitely wins the title.
If you like atmospheric horror like the Haunted of hill house, you are in for a treat. But being more of a “The Shining” fan, I was drifting off mentally often. Of course, it is definitely a “me” thing.
Apart from Noemi, Francis is the only other character to catch my attention and has some sort of character arc. But I am definitely not sold on their romance and strongly believe that they would be better of as friends. (I dunno why all stories have to have a romantic angle!)
What worked for me
I liked Noemi and her character development from a socialite who was a brat to a person to a matured young lady was interesting.
It was interesting to read about Marta and her stories about her ancestors and their culture. I wanted hear more from her about the colonialism and its effect on its Mexican subjects.
The whole creepy vibe of the mansion and the family is very well done. I felt sorry for the ladies for having stuck into the mess in the first place, even before realizing what it was about.
What may have been better
Mexican Gothic is definitely a slow burn, it takes about 50% of the book to garner the speed.
The mystery part is thinly veiled. If you paid close attention, you would stumble upon it quite easily and pretty early on.
Sexual assault(s), incest, murder, cannibalism, death of children, stillbirth, miscarriage, death of parent.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a must read for the fans of The Haunted hill house and other haunted house mysteries. But if you are someone like me, who wants more action than just the eerie atmosphere, you might find your attention wavering.
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.
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
Week 5 of quarantine and I am finally getting to the groove of being productive with people around me and the house. But there is more important news for the week. Yes! It is my birthday today.
I am turning one more year older today and so far I still do not feel a bit adult-er than the day I left college those many years ago. And as every adult should, I know it is more adult and not adult-er, but let it be. It is my birthday!
Today and the rest of the week is gonna be similar to the others, again. Home made food, Netflix and Amazon binge and working from the couch and turning in early. But there might be a cake today! Fingers crossed. Otherwise, sigh! Can’t wait to break this pattern.
This was an okay reading week. I read only one book, as per my usual. But that one has been a good one.
I read The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie for my ClassicsNChristie Book club. I have picked up Yes No Maybe next and might finish in a day or so.
What I watched this week
I figured if I can’t read all the Stephen King books, I will try to watch all their adaptations. Let us take the easy way out, right? So last month, I watched the Outsider and the season 1 of Mr Mercedes.
And this week I continued that streak and watched a lot!
Mr Mercedes Season 2 and 3
Jane the Virgin – S5 last few episodes
Sabrina Part 3 (currently watching)
And last night while I watched Onward and I loved it so much. Another good one from PIXAR!
On my blog
In case you had missed some of my posts from last week, here is a quick recap.
We had guests over for more than a week, and that should explain my absence during the past week. Well, having guests gave us an opportunity to see the tourist-y places in Dubai once again.
Also, winter being the peak tourist season in general, Dubai usually has lots of sale and discounts during those months, and a lot of fireworks and celebrations as well. Being the fireworks enthusiast that I am, I watched them so many times from different places in Dubai. AND I loved them.
Last but not the least, I got featured in a leading National daily here and I naturally spoke about books and authors. In case you missed that piece of news, here is it. Let me know what you think!
What I read this month:
January 2020 was an average reading month for me. I read four books despite the number of distractions I had during the month.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
Tattooist of Auschwitz, The by Heather Morris
Travelling Cat Chronicles, The by Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translator)
How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian
What I watched this month:
Thanks to the other distractions I spent way less time watching TV and movies than I would have otherwise.
I watched the Toy Story 4 last month and that is it. I loved it!But watch out for this space, because I will be back soon.
On my blog
I made a comeback this month in terms of blogging after a long time. So here are the posts from last month, in case you missed it.