Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted at the blog Book Journey. I've seen Joy (the author of one of my favorite St. Louis blogs) participating in this meme for many months and I decided to jump in myself. In this meme, bloggers are invited to share the books they're currently reading, books they recently finished and what's next on their reading list.

I wrote a post on books just 2 weeks ago and was thrilled to get so many more book recommendations from your all. So maybe I'll make this a regular feature for all those food-loving bibliophiles, or bookish foodies if you prefer, who visit this blog.

The book I'm currently reading:

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Image from Goodreads

This is one of those popular psychology books that I seem to feel compelled to read. Human behavior is a fascinating and complex thing and yes, if someone could explain to me how to change some of my more disastrous habits, it would do me a world of good. I've only read a few chapters so far and here's my opinion thus far: the anecdotes Duhigg describes are fascinating and entertaining; however the book feels simplistic on the whole. But it was interesting to learn about the habit loop and about keystone habits. Maybe next week I'll write a more detailed post about what I learned from reading this book.





Three books I recently read all fell into the mystery/suspense genre.

1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier was a terrific read, just as so many of you promised me it would be. Du Maurier creates a suspenseful atmosphere in a masterful way. There were certainly times when I wanted to shake the protagonist and tell her to grow a backbone already. If you're looking for a toothsome read that will take you to another place and time for a few hours, I highly recommend this classic.

2. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear was another worthwhile read. Radhika has written an excellent review of this book and I have to say that my feeling about Maisie Dobbs echoed what she said. The mystery was so weak that it was practically non-existent but the book is a feel-good, meaningful read in the manner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Series. I want to read more of Maisie Dobbs. On another note, I'm really glad to have found Radhika's book blog.

3. Defending Jacob by William Landay was a book I picked up because I kept hearing about it on various book blogs and bestseller lists. Now, unlike Maisie Dobbs where all the characters are good-hearted and likeable, I didn't like a single character in this book. They had no emotional resonance with me. But I really wanted to know what happened next, and so I kept reading and appreciated that the story kept me interested. It is a courtroom drama, quite different from the cozy mysteries that I usually enjoy. I'll give it a one thumbs up.

The books I'll be reading next

Memoirs are another popular genre for me, and the two books I plan on reading next are both memoirs.

1. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

So, what are you reading?



49 comments:

  1. Hi there and good to see you join the monday rounds. "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg looks interesting - i read "Switch" last year, about changing habits, here's the blog post about it with an excerpt and more: http://virtual-notes.blogspot.de/2011/11/crowds-switch-thingbooks.html
    and "Wild" is one of my fav books of this year. enjoy the read!

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    1. Switch looks interesting- I put it on my to-read list!

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  2. Currently, I'm reading The Kitchen Diaries 2 by Nigel Slater. I have all of the Slater books. He is most absolutely my favourite food writer, just a great writer in general. His book Appetite was so inspiring, it is what made me want to start writing. Kitchen Diaries has been as amazing so far.
    I'm also reading Where did you go Bernadette? Haven't gotten too far along yet.

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    1. Oh, I love Nigel Slater too- his Toast is my favorite. I put Appetite on my to-read list. Bernadette sounds interesting!

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  3. Hi Nupur

    I read your blog posts for NaBloPoMo everyday. Enjoy them a lot and thank you for writing blogs as requested by readers.

    I love books too but somehow not successful in time management so dont get a chance to read as many as I would like. Here is a book review I wrote about a book called RIOT written by Shashi Tharoor. I am sure you will enjoy the book.

    http://www.indianewengland.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=D0AC1848406B4A6B8172FAE8506AE1B9&nm=&type=Blog&mod=View+Topic&mid=EC415C02C4804614BE8F1BEA1E3268D1&tier=7&id=85244EA537604B2DA1165A704504A1DC

    Jui

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    1. I've never read anything by Shashi Tharoor- I'll definitely look for this.

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  4. "Wild" is on my list as well :) I'm currently reading a fascinating book "SUM: Tales from the Afterlives" by neuroscientist David Eagleman.

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    1. I looked up this Eagleman book and it sounds strange and intriguing- I'll look for it!

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  5. Just got back from the library and picked up 'Jaya' by Dr. Devadutta Pattanaik. Am looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Very interesting!! Another book that I would love to read- putting it on the list.

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    2. I have read about 77 pages so far and have thoroughly enjoyed it!
      I also feel that this is one topic that everyone will want to read and will be fascinated by it.
      There are logical explanations which is what i like the most.

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  6. I've been revisiting an old favorite, Wodehouse, with the Man With Two Left Feet. And I'm a big one for pop psychology books too, albeit not too good at following any advice. :)

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    1. Oh yay Wodehouse- never fails to cheer me up!

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  7. Reading Catch-22 which is the selection for this month's mom-daughter book club. Have been wanting to read it for a long time, so this is my chance.

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    1. Catch-22 is something I read about 15 years ago and thought it was amazing back then. Would be good to re-read. A mother-daughter book club?? How fun!!

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  8. Thank you, Nupur.

    Many years ago, I was looking for a Pav Bhaji recipe and came across your blog and have always made it without onions since. I'm a longtime subscriber of your blog, you've inspired me to knit and cook, and I'm so glad you visited my little space.

    - Radhika

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    1. I've put your blog in my feed reader now so I can catch your new posts.

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  9. Cute blog...good week for you.

    Loved REBECCA...ENJOY.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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  10. It's a bummer that the mystery wasn't better in Maisie Dobbs. I've heard good things about the series though.
    I just finished Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson. I hope you have a great reading week!

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    1. Oh even without a strong mystery element, the book is worth reading and I'll definitely read the others in the series!

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  11. 'Yes Chef' is certainly a fabulous read, more so for anyone who loves to cook or just loves food. We ate at his restaurant a few months ago and my DH was obsessed with him, the food and Harlem. He literally plowed through that book!

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    1. I like Samuelsson when he shows up on TV food shows. Very excited to read the book!

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  12. I listened to Defending Jacob on audio and the narrator did such a good job that I was glued to the iPod! Have a great week of reading.

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    1. Oh did he? Can you believe I've never listened to a single audio book yet?

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  13. The Maisie Dobbs books sound interesting to me. I also want to read Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness books. I love that blend of historical fiction and mystery.

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    1. I'm not one for historical fiction usually but when tied with mystery I can get into it :)

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  14. Hi Nupur

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy this space of yours.I have been following your blog for quite sometime, but now am totally hooked with the NaBloPoMo series.

    Look forward to the posts very day, sensible, genuine and warm, like those life affirming conversations with good friends of younger days.

    As for books, next in line is 'A light in the Window' the 2nd of the Mitford Series.

    Thank You Nupur

    Ancy

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    1. Thank you Ancy, you're very kind and I'm thrilled that you're enjoying this month of posts.

      I quite enjoyed the first book in the Mitford series!

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  15. I love your book posts too - gives me so many good ideas for books to read (I read all the comments too).
    Am way behind the times, but just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver - really enjoyed it except for the few parts about their turkeys and their demise (make me queasy).
    Currently reading Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India, non-fiction book by William Dalrymple (the Scottish historian). Its a window into the lives of 9 very diverse Indians far far from the mainstream in modern India, people most of us will probably never ever meet. Its well-written, fascinating and eye-opening. Makes me want to read more of his books.
    Priya

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    1. I get SOOO many ideas for books to read through the comments on book posts! I know what you mean about that chapter from Animal...but I liked knowing that they raised their meat birds themselves and did not leave the dirty work to someone else.
      The Dalrymple book sounds fascinating!

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  16. Oh I so so so hope that you enjoy Wild! I loved the book but read it early before the hype and it seems that those who read it after me didn't like it quite as well. And I'm glad you liked Rebecca! That's a great one for this time of year--seems perfect for the cooler weather and earlier evenings.

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    1. You're the second person telling me they loved Wild so I'm getting really excited to read it!

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  17. These are in the non-fiction category..

    I'm reading Caitlin Moran's "How to be a woman" and find some of it terrifically laugh out loud funny and relatable..I think most of us in our 30s would find it relatable:) some of it a bit "excessive".. But overall quite funny. It is the Tina Fey brand of humour so avoid if that is not your cup of tea.

    The other book.. sort of completely different genre altogether is the slum-dog-millioanire-esque "Behind the beautiful forevers" by Katherine Boo. I groaned inwardly at first thinking it was another one of those voyeuristic peeks into 3rd world poverty / diaster tourism type reads but it was genuinely engaging and heartbreaking and quite wonderful.

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    1. Janani- both these books sound very interesting! Thanks so much for mentioning them.

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  18. Nupur where is that page of yours where you had a list of books ? Was at the library yesterday and couldn't find it. Please can you update that page and re-publish when you get time. Sorry, for being demanding but that was my tick-off list !

    About "Open" I didn't like it all that much except for the first few chapters and the rest I read in bits and pieces.

    You know our library has an ongoing book sale and I usually try to buy books for the girls from there as it is cheap and we are also very tardy with returning books in time. yesterday I bought "Little House on the Prairie" for a 50cents and hard bound "Swiss Family Robinson" for 2 dollars. "Little House..." is what I am re-reading again.

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    1. So sorry :( but I deleted that page when I opened a Goodreads account and now I store my book lists there. Feel free to look:
      http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10503122-nupur

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  19. I am on a Middle Eastern phase myself :) Picked up Turkish author, Elif Shafaq last visit at the library...and I am loving it so far. 'The bastard of Istanbul' is about a family of eccentric women, food, tragedy, searching for roots and just about everything else. Elif has a wonderful style of writing..the characters are so real I find myself thinking about what they will do next when I am not reading the book. My Middle Eastern phase began after picking up Naguib Mahfouz btw. 'Children of the alley' is not an easy read in the sense that it does not keep things interesting all the time, but the sub text or rather the message one can draw from it is so profound. Like a puzzle, everything just clicks in the end.
    - Ashwini

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    1. You read very interesting books, Ashwini! Thank you for sharing these- they're going on my to-read list.

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    2. Well so do you :) I like to pick up a wide range so I learn something new from every book. Happy Thanksgiving.
      - Ashwini

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  20. I am reading and nearly finished Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn. I wanted to like this story so badly, all the elements were there but I was not gripped by it. I will be reading the rest of this series when I am at a loss for finding other books.
    I will be reading Maisie Dobbs.Thanks.
    I have borrowed 2 e- books from the library- one is Death at Pemberley by PD James.The second a fluffy read- Jill Mansell's Rumor Has It.
    I want to read South Riding. It seems likemy perfect read

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    1. Arpita- I read one of Carola Dunn's books a couple of years ago, and liked it in parts but not enough to pick up another book from the series. I think you'll really like Maisie Dobbs.

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  21. Hi Nupur,
    Following ur post sitting in Japan :)
    It started with the need for a different pav bhaji recipe than mine n then I got hooked on to ur blog!
    So here is my first comment....
    It's so nice to know that u have access to public libraries. It's not easy to find English books in Japan, let alone libraries full! So I end up buying from amazon at 3-4 times the original price, as I looove to read.
    I read Open (Andre Agassi) after reading ur post abt it. It was a v nice read.
    Currently m readying for a trip back to amche Pune, so reading a silly romantic novel that' m almost finishing:)
    Loving NaBloPoMo as I get to enjoy more posts n b more creative food-wise n in other sectors
    Thanks
    Shreya

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Shreya :)

      Aww- must be hard not having access to books in Japan! I'm glad you're able to do it. Have you tried swapping books with other English readers in Japan?

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  22. I'm reading "how to teach Physics to your Dog" by Chad Orzel. So far, it's held my interest.

    Mamatha

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    1. Very interesting title- I'm off to find out about this book!

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  23. I've added 'The Power of Habit' to my list. I've just begun 'The Road Less Traveled'. I'm wondering what took me so long to get myself to read this book. There are few things in the book which I find impractical but many things which provide an insightful reading joy.

    Two other books which I've recently enjoyed are 'What Young India Wants' by Chetan Bhagat and 'Why I stopped Drinking Milk' by Sudha Murty. Both serve the purpose of quick-read and were easy to finish as well. I liked Bhagat's political and social view points and Ms. Murty's simple story telling style is a joy.

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    1. Very interesting reads, Ashwini. I've never read anything by Chetan Bhagat.

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  24. I am reading Christ ReCrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis. This along with The Hobbit and To Kill a mocking bird is something that I have read yearly for a decade now.

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