April 2021–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet (Length: 272 pages).   This is a book of essays written by an author (known as “Capi”), who, as a widow with 5 children, spent every summer exploring the coast of British Columbia via the family’s 25-foot boat. This was in the 1920s and 30s, pre-technology, and is utterly fascinating, and very well-written. Capi’s stories are so interesting and detailed, full of the sea journeys, wildlife (both shore and oceanic). I love her essays about the various Indian villages as well as the harrowing storms and sea passages the family enountered. This isn’t widely available (it was gifted to me by my friend who grew up in BC) but it’s worth a read if you are ever lucky enough to come upon a copy.

Book #2:

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan (Length: 305 pages). This is a delightful “crime” novel set in Mumbai, featuring a newly-retired police inspector who continues to investigate a murder that occurred on the last days of his job. Concurrently he comes into the possession of a baby elephant, and the elephant ends up assisting him with his investigation in very cute ways. The characters in the novel are very likeable (I love his wife!) and the murder mystery is simple, but fun to follow. I’m always a fan of novels set in India, and there is a wonderful sense of place here, which is a bonus. This is the first of at least five books in the series, and I will absolutely be reading more.

Book #3

Think Again by Adam Grant (Length: 319 pages).  This book came onto my radar thanks to Instagram (if you don’t follow @SharonSaysSo, you’re missing out!), and I’m glad I read it. This reads like a Malcolm Gladwell book, with lots of relevant anecdotes to illustrate the author’s arguments. His main argument here is that we should all rethink our assumptions, as doing so will force us to consider any gaps in our knowledge. This book is full of practical tips, which I love. For example, when debating someone about a firmly-held idea, instead of focusing on WHY they believe in something, focus on HOW such an idea would work in practice. This forces both sides to figure out what is missing in their assumptions. Also, in a heated argument or negotiation that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, ask “What evidence would change your mind?” If the answer is “Nothing”, there is no point in continuing. (This also has the added benefit of underscoring that evidence may not be the basis for that person’s convictions). While I’m not sure I’ll remember much of this book six months from now, I did get a lot out of reading it, and would absolutely recommend it.

Book #4:

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (Length: 465 pages).  Who knew I was a fan of mermaid horror? I LOVED this book, and literally couldn’t put it down once I hit the 20% point. This is not the best writing, technically speaking, and the character development isn’t very detailed, but the sense of place AND the plot are where this fun novel really sing. There are fantastic science-based details throughout which lend a sense of legitimacy (real or not) to the idea that there are killer mermaids residing in the Mariana Trench in the middle of the ocean. I really enjoyed the novel once the characters arrived onto the luxury research/cruise ship and were anchored above the trench . . . this is when the novel grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The horror here is more of the gore/suspense type, and not the type that will give you nightmares (unless you happen to be in that area of the ocean of course!). I hope this is a movie someday. If you love the ocean and/or marine life, and if you love being entertained, read this book!

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