Call me by Your Name

It felt like a friend walked away today… Someone witty and intelligent, someone who had a way with words and wizardry to turn sentences into little works of art that I was tempted to underline, read again and note in my journal for safe-keeping, maybe, frame them at some point 😊.

I will remember this book. I will remember it for the story, for the places it took me to, for the languid mornings and unhurried afternoons, for sunlight strewn gardens, wine and the conversations… And Rome and roaming.

I will also remember it for the thrill that first love brings along with the excitement and the ache. I will remember it for the poignant intimacy that the author managed to generate between his protagonists, Elio and Oliver.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ intrigued me as a book title. I mulled over it and thought about it, it was just so beautiful… In what sort of a relationship does one demand this from someone, I wondered? After reading the book I understood it.

I didn’t want this book to end and yet I couldn’t wait to turn the pages…

Hanging On – Kanwal Singh

Enjoyed reading ‘Hanging On’.

It’s a slim, yet intriguing book.

While it deals with a specialized subject of demystifying the definition of inclusive education for children with disabilities, it does so with clarity, vision, respect and wit. It also does so in a language that is simple enough for everyone to understand.

Kanwal provides alternative answers to every question she raises. That, I feel, is the most important takeaway from reading it, and is where the strength of this book lies.

Here is an author who knows what she is talking about and isn’t afraid to put her thoughts down succinctly for all to read.

The realization that there are different and novel ways to deal with the same situations, is emancipating.

This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand a little more about the specialized field of Inclusive Education.

How We Disappeared – Jing Jing Lee

Sometimes one comes across a book that leads to sleepless nights… A book that grips and gnaws. You want to put it down and almost instantly, you pick it up again.

‘How We Disappeared’ by Jing-Jing Lee is one such book.

Set in Singapore of 1942, during World War II, the story unfolds through the voices of Wang Di, who was seventeen at the time of the Japanese invasion, and young Kevin, born two generations later.

Both carry the immense burden of secrets. Wang Di, of what she suffered at the hands of the Japanese and Kevin, who shares his room with his grandmother and is party to her disassociated nocturnal mumblings which he feels compelled to piece together. And we, the readers, want desperately to know how it all pans out.

While the subject of the book is dark, traumatic and heartbreaking, it is written with compassion. The story is meticulously researched and carries a kernel of hope in its dark and sordid centre.

Read it, because some voices need to be heard.

A Death in the Himalayas – Udayan Mukherji

This book comes with a whiff of fresh mountain air. A very welcome change in today’s polluted Delhi scenario 😊!

Every page of this intriguing murder mystery takes one deeper into forests and higher into mountains. This is one of the reasons that I loved reading it as much as l did.

This is also the first introduction by author Udayan Mukherjee to a rather elegant detective, Neville Wadia. Who I definitely want to see more of!

Wadia, an ex- supercop, has chosen a quiet, idyllic life in a small hamlet in the Himalayas called Birtola. But his peaceful existence comes to an abrupt end with the gruesome murder of a friend and activist, Clare, near a bubbling mountain brook,forcing him to don the mantle of being a detective once again.

This event brings the sleepy village of Birtola to a rude awakening and becomes a perfect setting for an unputdownable ‘whodunit’.

What rings true for this book is the love of the author for his beloved mountains. Through his depiction of them, he ensnares us into imagining us being there, walking those narrow mountain paths, making our acquaintance with simple hill people and becoming a part of their life.

The murder itself and the varied characters introduced within the story as possible suspects keeps one turning the pages and second-guessing the writer.

Like Udayan’s previous book, Dark Circles, which was family centric, I found this book, well written though simple in language and vocabulary. It’s almost like he’s testing his writing chops before really plunging into the writer in him.

Personally, I can’t wait for his next book and see where he takes us with his imaginative forays!

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