The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was the first book I read in 2023 and almost immediately, in a fit of emotion and productivity, wrote the review. I even uploaded this review to Instagram and Goodreads, too, I think. But somehow, to put my thoughts about this book here, seemed too intimidating for me. Maybe because writing a review on the blog needs me to open up more of myself than I would for the other media. There’s more space here for me to spill my thoughts and I know that once I start, it usually takes me more energy than I can spare to stop. And The Joy Luck Club is a book that makes me do this. Yes, it’s a confusing thing to reconcile oneself with, but it’s still a powerful narrative.
Author Archives: Sonali Dabade
Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai | Blog Tour Stop
Hello and welcome to my blog tour stop for Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s newest book, Dust Child! I was supposed to write a post about the progress I’ve been making on this story. Instead, here I am, writing a full review because of how invested I was in it. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai does it again with this book, infusing it with a gentle understanding and compassion that makes me such a huge fan of her writing. I read Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s debut novel The Mountains Sing in December 2022 and it marched its way onto my favorites of the year list. That (and more) made the author an instant favorite, propelling Dust Child into my most anticipated book releases of 2023 list.
The Daughters of Madurai by Rajasree Variyar | Book Review
There are some books, very rare, that grab at an issue and twist it until it’s nothing but a bunch of bare threads. Everything that constitutes it is out in the open – circumstances, decisions, relationships, reasons, strengths, weaknesses, heartbreaks – all of it. For us women, especially, each of these threads are as important as the other, because we simply cannot afford to be shortsighted. And yet, push us far enough and we will harness all our strength and push back so hard, you’ll find yourself questioning your reality. Putting all of this – a complex web of feelings and thoughts and decisions – into one book is a feat in itself. And Rajasree Variyar does it in fabulously in The Daughters of Madurai.
DramaQueenAThon Announcement – International Women’s Day 2023 | March 2023 Tentative TBR
Every time International Women’s Day rolls around, the question that many misogynists (most of these men) ask: “Why is there a special day for women? Where is the special day for men? Is this your idea of feminism?” This is so tone deaf and ignorant on so many levels that it becomes something that we are left with no choice but to ignore. Instead, we focus on celebrating women and feminism, to bring to the front all the women inspiring us in a million different best ways and more. And what can us bookworms, who are on social media, who have a pinch of a following do? Hold readathons in celebration! Which is why this year, DramaQueenAThon – the original edition – has made a comeback.
The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai | Book Review
Historical fiction is a difficult genre to write in, especially because the times are so far back in the past that you have to be extremely careful with your research. You can’t disrespect the past while you write your story, and you have to get things exactly right. But when authors do get it right, they manage to blow you away in more ways than one and in ways you’ll often not see coming. Among this population of authors is Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, who, after seven years of research, published the book The Mountains Sing, a story set before and during the Việt Nam war. I became an instant fan of her when I finally read it in December 2022. And not just because of the book.
5 Years of The Melodramatic Bookworm on YouTube! | What I Have Learned?
5 years ago, on 18 February, 2018, I made a decision to start a YouTube channel in which I could talk about books. I’d never been good at talking on camera in a rehearsed manner. But books were something I was willing to take this extra leap for. Of course, I didn’t get good at it right off the bat. I’m not the best at it now either. My very first video – an introduction of sorts – is likely the worst video ever on the Internet and I have nightmares descend on me the moment I start thinking of it. But that’s the thing – you can’t expect to be expert-level good at something the moment you start doing it, no matter what the thing is. And I’ve lived this multiple times.
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf | Book Discussion / Thoughts | Part 2
A few months ago, I talked about one of my very first books of 2022: Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. It wasn’t a review, for how can I review a book of that stature? As it stands tall and stands up for women through time and space? As it calls out the misogyny and sexism that we have come to take as ‘normal’? As it shows us why Virginia Woolf is a much-loved figure in English literature? How could I have done all that? No, never in a thousand lives! I merely took my favorite quotes from the book and wrote a piece about why Woolf is so relevant. A book discussion/thoughts of sorts. That was part 1.
And here, finally, is part 2.
Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson | Book Review
There are books that attract you with their covers, some because they have a strong blurb, and some others, just because of the title. This, again, is nuanced, because there are beautiful titles and then there are titles like this book, Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone that makes you think, “Huh! I NEED to know HOW!” It’s a bold statement to make though, and more often than not, the book ends up being a damp squib. But this one lives up to what it promises. Everyone in the protagonist’s family HAS killed someone and we’re about to find out how.
2022 Reading Recap | Favorite Books, Books I DNFed, and Least Favorite Books!
I don’t want to start off yet another blog post with how shitty 2022 started off, although by mentioning this, I’ve actually done what I said I wouldn’t. But it’s a big reason why my reading saw so many crests and troughs throughout the year, so it’s unavoidable, really. I’ve already spoke about how blogging went for me in 2022 (here in this blog post). Today, I’ll talk about how my reading went. I’ve been writing this blog post for what feels like decades and only now am I getting to upload it. But better late than never, right?
2023 Goals | Change is Here to Stay… And I Love It!
All I’m trying to do here is make sure that 2023 will be the year in which things inexorably turn around for me. Some of these goals have trickled down and are upgrades/improvements on goals from previous years, but that’s part of life, I guess. The way I see it, if I have the same goals, then I’m being consistent in some little way. Again, like last year, I won’t categorize them or slot them because I know for sure that they are interconnected.