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Books Read In July

Updated on August 19, 2020
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Blogger || Media professional || YouTuber || Yoga enthusiast || Avid reader || Spiritual || Loves to travel || Loves to cook ||

July had been a good reading month for me. I read ten books including some classics. Here's the list:

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley wrote this timeless classic when she was just eighteen. The novel tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who is on a mission to create new life but ends up creating a monster. The author raises questions of the danger of knowledge, and shows probable consequences of trying to play god. The novel was published 200 years ago but the questions it raised are relevant even today.

2. Chaurasi by Satya Vyas

Chaurasi is not only a heartwarming love story but also a tale of grotesque violence. The novel tells the love story of Rishi and Manu set during the 1984 riots. It beautifully explores how love blossoms in young hearts amid the restrictions of small towns in India and on the other hand, it vividly captures the tragic 1984 riots during which hundreds of innocent Sikhs were killed and burnt alive. It was a moving account of the atrocities faced by the Sikhs and how ordinary humans turned into beasts for their own personal gains.

Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.

— Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir is a fascinating book by someone who survived the holocaust. This short but extremely intense book describes the author's experiences in four different Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz during World War II, and how he coped with those experiences. What I liked about the book is that the author chose not to dwell on the horrors of the camps but instead to focus on how prisoners found meaning in their lives and how they chose to survive. The second part of the book is an introduction to his therapeutic doctrine of Logotherapy. This remarkable memoir will inspire you to search for your life’s purpose and lead a more meaningful life.

4. Dilli Darbar by Satya Vyas

This is a light hearted fun filled masala book describing a typical college life tale of friends, constantly changing emotions towards life and love. The story revolves around two friends from a small town- the studious Mohit and his best friend Rahul who goes on flirting with any girl within his reach. It is their story of journey about venturing into a big city as they try to manage their expectations and ambitions. In spite of a mediocre plot, the book is interesting because of its funny characters and well crafted dialogues.

I think there’s a natural goodness built into human beings. You know when you’ve stepped across the line into evil, and it’s your life’s challenge to try and stay on the right side of that line.

— Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

This book is a prequel to the bestselling The Hunger Games trilogy. Coriolanus Snow is 18 years old and is appointed a mentor in the 10th Hunger Games. He must help his tribute Lucy Gray win to secure a coveted scholarship to University. I found the book average but still go for it especially if you are a big fan of the Hunger Games trilogy.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzzane Collins || Book Review

6. Malice by Keigo Higashino

Malice is an intelligent and page turning mystery is perfectly paced and with lots of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. The story revolves around the murder of the acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. The identity of the murderer is revealed at the start of the novel but what’s different about this story is that it revolves around the motive of the crime rather than how it was committed. After reading around 1/3rd of the book, it appeared as if the mystery was over. But there was a lot more to come. The story just takes an exciting turn and we learn a different side of the story. If you are looking for crime fiction that is slightly unusual with wonderful storytelling, engaging characters and a simple crime with a baffling motive, then Malice is without question a must read.

7. Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova

I loved this book. It offered lots of information and interesting interpretations of the meanings of the tarot cards, as well as some tips and practical advice. And all this information is delivered in such a friendly manner. The author shared a lot of stories about readings she’s done throughout the years and her experiences with various clients- some good, some bad and some weird ones. She also talks about the business side of tarot, which was really helpful. The writing style and humor throughout the book made learning Tarot all the more fun.

Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.

— Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

8. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

This highly acclaimed classic is a tragic story of a Cuban fisherman, Santiago in the Gulf Stream and the giant fish he kills and loses. The old fisherman has the catch of his lifetime and loses everything in a hard struggle to nature. Santiago's simple heroism inspires us to persevere and endure. The Old Man and the Sea is not just a tale of a man and a fish. It is a story of man against nature, and valor, in the face of adversity. I highly recommend reading this one.

9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany's starring Audrey Hepburn was a delightful film which is considered as a classic! As for the book, well... I didn't know there was a book! This novella charms the reader with a lively storyline. It is the story of a writer, Fred, who reminisces about his neighbor Holly Golightly he fell for back in 1943. Although I enjoyed the movie, I loved the book even more.

10. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places is the story of Libby Day who is the sole survivor of a gruesome massacre. Her mother and two sisters were brutally killed one winter night and, mostly thanks to seven-year old Libby's testimony, Libby's older brother Ben, an alleged active Satan worshiper was tried and convicted for the murders. Now Libby is in her thirties and is beginning to question the details of that fateful night long ago. And so begins the suspenseful journey, as the plot glides through past and present.

It’s a well-paced great mystery and keeps you guessing until the very last moment. The story itself is so dark and gruesome. There are brutal killings, molestation, bullying, Satan worshiping, drugs and underage sex. Some parts are so disturbing that I had to put the book aside for awhile. And then I had trouble sleeping during the night. This is certainly not a book for everyone; you need a certain taste for the dark and dreadful to enjoy this story.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Shaloo Walia

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    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      10 months ago from India

      My pleasure :)

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      10 months ago

      These books sound like they offer some great reading. I've always wanted to read "The Old Man and the Sea," by Ernest Hemingway and now I will definitely do so. I read "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly way back in high school and thought it was one of the best books I've ever read. I don't think I can read number ten as I probably wouldn't be able to sleep for days if not weeks! But all the others sound like they would be great reads. I never would have guessed that Truman Capote wrote "Breakfast at Tiffany's." I loved the book, "Man's Search for Meaning." This is an amazing book. Thanks for your wonderful list!

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      10 months ago from India

      My pleasure :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Some of these seem intense, but I'm sure that they offer pleasure to those who love to read. I have heard on number eight before and that would be my first pick to read. Thanks for sharing your list.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      11 months ago from India

      My pleasure, Linda.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing these book reviews. You've described some stories that I've never heard of before. They definitely sound like they're worth reading.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      11 months ago from India

      Thank you Bill and Eric.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      11 months ago from India

      Thank you Ankita. If you like dark thrillers then you will like Dark Places.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It was a good month of reading for you, for sure. Well done! I've read four on that list.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Another really well done piece. I will have to reread one or two.

    • Ankita B profile image

      Ankita B 

      11 months ago

      The reviews are amazing. I look forward to reading the books I haven't read. I have read 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn recently and I would definitely like to read 'Dark Places' too. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful collection.

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