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TalesandTexts

TalesandTexts

Joined May 2016

YouTube: @Talesandtexts" rel="nofollow" target="_top">https://youtube.com/@Talesandtexts ; Blog: https://storiessowild.blogspot.com/
review
TalesandTexts
Seeing Like a Feminist | Nivedita Menon
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Pickpick

Brilliantly researched, accessibly explained so it can be understood by anyone, this book is a revelation. As a feminist, this book gave so much history, heritage and context to the feminist struggles in India and South Asia.

This was my pick for Women‘s History Month and it addressed the patriarchal issues plaguing women‘s gendered roles, bodily autonomy, economic prospects, desire, emancipation and upward mobility; and the hard won victories.

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TalesandTexts
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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Pickpick

There is art, science and soul that goes into running a convenience store.

Keiko is a loveable - albeit frustrating - character. You root for her, but can‘t help being annoyed with her for some of the whacky decisions she takes.

Shiraha - the resident incel - really gets on your nerves.

This book was a powerful introduction into the way patriarchy functions and expresses itself in Japan.

Both the translation and narration were great.

Cathythoughts Nice review. I really enjoyed this book. 👍🏻 1mo
28 likes2 comments
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TalesandTexts
The Mahabharata | Bibek Debroy
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The first ten days of the Kurukshetra war are led by Bhishma - oscillating in favour between the Kauravas & Pandavas because of Bhishma‘s equal love for both sets of grandsons.

Krishna‘s wisdom in the form of the Gita fails to rouse Arjuna to action - but others pick up the slack.

Duryodhana has many tricks up his sleeve, but he is an equally honourable warrior. But things don‘t seem good for him as Bhishma is felled and Drona takes the reins.

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TalesandTexts
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Who else loves minimalist, but aesthetic notebooks?…

Do you use planners/journals to record and review your reads?

I typically use Goodnotes for reviews and have recently discovered Storygraph for tracking & stats.

But nothing beats a physical notebook and the actual act of writing!

💖

Dilara I have a notebook where I write down the books I read for #FoodandLit. I pasted in maps of all the continents, which I colour in by hand as I advance in the Global Challenge on Librarything. But my first port of call is LibraryThing: this is were I record all my readings and where my most accurate stats are 😁 1mo
bthegood I use storygraph and like it a lot for tracking - 🙂 1mo
TalesandTexts @Dilara oh wow! Sounds so amazing! I have to check this challenge out. 1mo
See All 6 Comments
TalesandTexts @bthegood I am discovering just how great storygraph is! Can‘t believe I waited this long. 1mo
Dilara @TalesandTexts It's an informal, at-your-own-pace challenge with a dedicated group on LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/ngroups/9032/The-Global-Challenge
You can have a look and decided whether you want to create your own thread 😁 I like the fact that we get to read 5 books (or more) for each country, which allows for more exploration.
(edited) 1mo
TalesandTexts Oh wow! Sounds really lovely. Thank you for sharing! I will check it out! @Dilara 1mo
25 likes6 comments
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TalesandTexts
Cursed Bunny | Bora Chung
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Mehso-so

Started out well, fizzled off at the end. Predictable for the most part and relying on common horror tropes (common if you consume enough horror content elsewhere).

However, stories like “The Head”, “The Embodiment”, “Snare” and “Goodbye, My Love” were well-written and I did enjoy them.

Won‘t dismiss this author - I do want to read her new book “Your Utopia”.

I did not like the translation - it lacked soul and perhaps made this book meh (?)

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TalesandTexts
Black Cake | Charmaine Wilkerson
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Black Cake follows the life of Eleanor Bennet, an older Caribbean woman living in California; and the mystery that shrouds her past.

It also follows the lives of Byron & Benny, her two children, and their experiences as black/brown people living in a white-ruled country.

It was nice to learn about the history of the Caribbean - both socia-culturally & culinarily.

However, the author wrote about way too many issues, making the script too busy.

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TalesandTexts
A Doll's House | Henrik Ibsen
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This book traces the awakening that the protagonist Nora undergoes, as she experiences a crisis in her marital life. When her husband Torvald fails to meet the fantasy & expectations she had constructed about him & chooses to not fulfil his basic responsibilities as her husband, a major inner & outer shift takes place in her life. Nora‘s sudden change of heart can be jarring. But I feel each person reacts to relationship trauma in different ways.

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TalesandTexts
Mad Sisters Esi | Tashan Mehta
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What is madness? Who is mad? Is it that which is strange; or the one who is different? Or is it a state, an expression, of love?

Mad Sisters of Esi is a ballad of broken hearts and splintered dreams, set against a sea of hope. It is a tale about the desire to create, the desperate need to recover the past and the jarring dissonance that occurs when remembrances cannot reconcile with time & change.

Kitta Beautiful cover! 2mo
TalesandTexts @Kitta it definitely is. Although the back cover has the pink metallic gilding, which is scraping off now because of opening and closing and holding the book. That was the only disappointment I had about the cover. 2mo
19 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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TalesandTexts
Beauty Is a Wound | Eka Kurniawan
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Panpan

Beauty Is A Wound is a book you get, when a writer starts out with an inventive theme, but slowly devolves into sexist, misogynistic garbage, which feels like its from the wet dreams of a horny and misguided teenager.

There is an unhealthy and disturbing fixation on sexual assault, incest and beastiality. But the worst is how the author makes it seem like the women invited their brutalisation with their beauty.

Just NO!!

(Contd in comments)

TalesandTexts This book is supposed to be a commentary on the toxic relationship between colonisers and the colonised countries. But, I don‘t subscribe to the author‘s view that the colonies invited their plunder and destruction by titillating their colonisers. 3mo
15 likes1 comment
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TalesandTexts
Earthlings | Sayaka Murata
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How much of propriety and morality is enforced by others; and how much of it is innate?

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata forces us to confront our own humanity - or society‘s definition of it, through the heartbreaking and fascinating stories of Natsuki, Yuu and Tomoya.

This book wasn‘t by any means super high on the weird meter. But, it stays with you. It certainly made me pause & take note of how the fractures & disintegration happens within us.

20 likes1 stack add
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TalesandTexts
The Mahabharata | Bibek Debroy
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Vol 4 starts at the Virata parva - where the Pandavas are incognito. After the 13-year exile, Duryodhana refuses to accept the legitimacy of Yudhisthira‘s claim to kingship and the preparations for the war begin.

This book shows stories of ancient sages, swarga, patala, nagas and the wise woman Viduraa. Incredible & poignant philosophy here.

We end this volume on the Kurukshetra grounds, a few hours away from the start of the 18-days massacre.

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TalesandTexts
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Mehso-so

A politically pertinent book, written by a performative and problematic author. I found the book important in terms of discussing key Indian socio-political issues. However, some of the author‘s statements in her personal life, make this book seem superficial and hypocritical.

The author narrated this herself - not a good narration. Best get a kindle copy.

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Final book haul of 2023! 😝

(Anybody else got themselves something new?)

#bookhaul #newbooks #2024readinggoals

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TalesandTexts
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Pickpick

The Attic Child reimagines the history of thousands of children of African descent who were kidnapped or sold into slavery during colonial times.

Listening to Dikembe‘s story was hard. But his final accomplishment, success & peace, was a refreshing perspective - an ode to those who survived and thrived despite these atrocities against them.

Lowra‘s story falls short for me. While I did feel sad about her beginnings, her story felt unnecessary.

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TalesandTexts
East Lynne | Ellen Wood
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A story of choices, of misunderstandings and of repentance, East Lynne was immersive.

Many of the lines in this book are absolutely beautiful and so poignant. Your heart breaks and you feel conflicted by the familial struggles portrayed here.

As for the crime, that is sub-plot, it is pretty easy to guess who the villain is, right from the start of the book.

The narration was fabulous- charged and emotional - albeit a tad melodramatic.

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TalesandTexts
The Distance of the Moon | Italo Calvino
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Strangely enchanting.

Based in an interstellar, possibly extraterrestrial, sci-fi world - this modern classic showcased four small (and engrossing) works by an author I hadn‘t known about.

The stories are memorable. But there‘s a strong ephemeral quality to them. Like star dust, these stories make their presence felt, but in an obscure way. They seem to exist in our universe, but are completely disconnected from reality.

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TalesandTexts
The Mahabharata | Bibek Debroy
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Volume 3 started out with lots of descriptions about the sacred tirthas of ancient India.

The book was divided almost equally between philosophical discussions and the stories of ancient characters such as Savitri & Satyavan, Sukanya & Chyavana, Agni & Svaha and God Kartikeya.

Karana gives away his Kavacha-Kundala to Indra and we end the book by completing the massive Aranyaka Parva.

Time to go incognito in Vol 4; with the war imminent.

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Merlot in Mizoram 🍷

Enjoying an anthology of literature from Mizoram writers - one of my first deep explorations of North East Indian literatures.

#wine #weekend #cozyreads

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TalesandTexts
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How can we do good for the world?

- End oppressive regimes and settler colonialism
- Support minorities in creating the futures they want for themselves
- Change how we view the world and its systems of power, and transform how we respond to them as a global community.

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What a delightful book, encompassing the lives and beliefs of the Dungri Garasiya Bhil Tribe of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

It offers us a glimpse into the incredible world of tribal and indigenous India.

Women take centre stage and showcase the complexities within the seemingly simple lives of this community. There is an undertone of erotica in many of these tales. The natural and supernatural come together to form a vibrant tapestry.

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TalesandTexts
Kural | Tiruvalluvar
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After selling a couple of my books which I had not read for years (and wasn‘t planning on reading again), I got myself this little treat.

Looked through it a bit and it‘s definitely a work of it‘s time. But, I love collecting Indian classics, so happy to have it in my library.

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Panpan

“The Blue Women” by Anukrti Upadhyay was a disappointment. It promised very interesting, offbeat stories about people and the emotional & mental landscapes they occupy. However, each story felt too “been there, done that”. The endings were half-baked and abrupt. Suffice to say I was unhappy I purchased the physical copy of this book. Ended up selling it and getting something else from my local bookstore.

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TalesandTexts
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Pickpick

“Radhika Santawanam” by Muddupalani is an erotic poem about the sexual dynamics and emotional bond of Krishna and Radha.

The book offers a female perspective about love, desire, passion and the immense pain of separation that comes when a relationship doesn‘t sail smoothly.

I loved how Radha embraced her sexuality, while Krishna fulfilled his role as the attentive lover. But, the book does have morally gray areas, which offers food for thought.

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TalesandTexts
The Tree Lover | Ruskin Bond
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Once again, Bond weaves magic by taking us into the quaint, but buzzing lives of the gardens and forests of Dehradun.

We learn the names of so many kinds of trees and wildlife indigenous to the Himalayan region. A simple google search reveals the secrets of our vibrant planet to us.

At around 30-35 pages, half of which have illustrations, this is a great starter book to get kids to fall in love with nature.

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TalesandTexts
Sweet Bean Paste | Durian Sukegawa
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This is a story about disease and the way it overshadows us all our lives.
It‘s a story about Japan‘s (and the world‘s) inhuman treatment of those not able bodied.
It‘s a story about finding reasons to hope and dream and find the little joys in life.
It‘s a story about taking chances on people and embracing them without judgement.
It‘s an ode to sweet red bean paste, pancakes and Dorayaki.

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“Outside the Fold: Essays on Untouchables and Untouchability” by Dr. B.R.Ambedkar

This book is a revelation and a reckoning. Each essay highlights a different aspect of untouchability - socio-cultural, political, historical, economic, physical, emotional, mental, mythological and religious.

Dr. Ambedkar tells the truth as it is. And we NEED to hear the truth. It‘s time.

I think this book is a MUST READ for every Indian.

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TalesandTexts
Divya | Yashpal
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“Divya” is a historical fiction, based in the 1st Century BC. It follows the life, choices and realisations made by Divya, a Brahmin girl, born at a time of intense and dangerous caste/religious tensions.

The novel is partly a human drama and partly a philosophical discourse about important and sensitive themes like religion, caste & caste mobility, gender equality, the realities of people living outside the fold and the true meaning of freedom.

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TalesandTexts
The Witching Hour | Anne Rice
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The section about the Mayfair Witches‘ history was the best part.

The author has resorted to common tropes and prejudices held against women dubbed as “witches”. The author has also culturally appropriated certain African magical practices as part of the narrative. This book is a work of its time and would perhaps be cancelled if written today.

The book contains references to rape, incest and necrophilia.

The narrator has done a fine job.

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TalesandTexts
Women in Love | DH Lawrence
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Bailedbailed

Just three chapters in and I already have fallen out of love with this book. What a frustrating way of writing. DNF.

Hope, LCL is better than this one.

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TalesandTexts
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Mehso-so

Found out about this through the show and wanted to give it a read. I must report that I found the book okay-ish. The first half is entertaining, but the second seems dragged out and boring. Maybe the overall series makes for a better read. But honestly, I‘m not too inclined to spend my time on it right now.

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TalesandTexts
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Here‘s to a very happy spring-summer for everyone! 🌞🌺

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TalesandTexts
The Picture Bride | Lee Geum-yi
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Mehso-so

Started off strong, but couldn‘t sustain steam till the end. I think somewhere along the way, the author sort of lost their own thread of thoughts and just inserted random interactions and experiences in the narrative. Characters were poorly developed and not fleshed out enough.

It‘s a good one time read, but I wished I had taken this on audible, rather than buy the expensive physical book.

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TalesandTexts
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Mehso-so

I have read a few beginner books before this & I feel this work is partly good, partly not.

What I enjoyed were the accounts of various folk magical traditions- you don‘t find those in many books. But I also felt that the author word drops a lot, without giving proper explanations for the practices she mentions.

If you are a complete beginner, you may need to read some other book first & then pick this one up.

Narrator has done a great job.

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TalesandTexts
The Mahabharata | Bibek Debroy
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Second volume complete. What a ride. Lots of action and many philosophical discussions in this one. We end with Arjuna having visited Indraloka; and the Nala-Damayanti story. We are in year 6 of the Pandava exile right now.

This book discusses a lot of morally grey areas and offers a lot of food for thought. Many notes mark these pages too; which I will revisit sometime in the future.

Now, onto Volume 3.

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TalesandTexts
The Mahabharata | Bibek Debroy
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Read this book over a year ago. Loved every bit of it. This first volume has the origin stories of Hinduism, followed by the creation of Gods and the royal dynasties. The actual Mahabharata story starts after 70-75% of the book is complete. We end this volume with the marriage of the Pandavas to Droupadi. Lots of notes and highlights in this one. A gem that everyone should read.

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TalesandTexts
Hurricane Season | Fernanda Melchor
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Mehso-so

A woman writing about men - a reversal of how men write about women. An interesting perspective. But too forceful, exaggerated and long for my taste.

I get why the foul language, sexual assaults, homophobia, hate crime, pedophilia and murder are needed for this novel to work - to prove the point that real evil is within all of us and is in plain sight. But, after a point, it felt too much. Came on too strong.

This book isn‘t for everyone.

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Three new books, from my trip to one of the iconic bookstores of my city.

The Picture Bride
The Cure of Souls
Thirst for Love

#excited

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TalesandTexts
The Skeleton's Holiday | Leonora Carrington
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Lenora Carrington‘s “The Skeleton‘s Holiday” has to be the weirdest book I‘ve ever read in my life.

It‘s crazy, bordering on creepy. Absolutely indelicate and strangely incredible. By calling upon human artifice, she brings alive creatures at their best and baddest simultaneously.

You gotta love an author who really couldn‘t give two shits about the rules of literature.

(Also, have you seen her paintings? OMG!! They‘re incredible.)

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Discovered this fun game and doing the #wondrouswednesday on a Friday 😅 - thanks @Eggs for creating this.

1) Summer, Bhel puri, Red/orange/forest green, Jasmine, anywhere in the ancient world, beer, snakes & ladders.

2) CR: Kadambari by Bana, BORI Mahabharata, Indica by Pranay Lal.
RR: Lapvona, Karna‘s Wife, Walking is a way of knowing.

Tagging @anushareflects

Eggs My pleasure! Great to have you! Thanks for joining in 🤗 13mo
8 likes1 comment
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TalesandTexts
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Bezoars are not a Harry Potter invention. They‘ve been used by multiple ancient civilisations for everything from medicine to make-up.

In ancient India, bezoars found in cattle, were called “Gorochana” and were used to decorate clothing, as cosmetics and more. 💚

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TalesandTexts
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Having so much fun, reading this lovely gem. 💖

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TalesandTexts
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“Walking Is A Way Of Knowing” is another gem from Tara Books, which introduces us to the Annamalai forest and the lives of the indigenous Kadar tribe.

This book really spoke to me. As someone who uses her time walking outdoors to discover trees, plants, bee hives, puppies etc. new to the neighbourhood, I could relate to the Kadar‘s lifestyle of being truly immersed in the forest that is their home.

This is an ode to the forest by her people.

15 likes2 stack adds
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TalesandTexts
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Going on a quest soon…🪷💚

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TalesandTexts
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Mehso-so

My second read by Kane. Another representation of a less-heard-about perspective (this time from the Mahabharata).

There were a few inspired reflections in this one, but on the whole, too repetitive. Kind of felt like I was listening to a record that was stuck on a never ending loop. It definitely got tiring after halfway.

This book strengthened my initial opinion about Kane being a mediocre writer. Not really bad, but not good either.

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TalesandTexts
Sita's Sister | Kavita Kane
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Mehso-so

Re-read this book after two years. An interesting perspective of Urmila, Sita‘s sister and Lakshmana‘s wife, which is not portrayed in conventional renderings of the Ramayana.

Decent book, which keeps you engaged. My first read of Kane‘s works. Not something spectacular, but….yeah, decent.

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TalesandTexts
The great gatsby | Scott Fizgerald
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Mehso-so

I know that many people consider this to be one of the cornerstones of American literature. But, to be honest, I think there are better works out there.

While the ending is sad, for the most part, this book is pretty unremarkable.

Narration was alright. Monotone and matching the vanilla character of Nick Caraway.

Can listen to it if you want to check off a seminal work. But not really life changing (at least to me).

IuliaC I remember I enjoyed this one, but have read many years ago. I'm about to start 'Beautiful and Damned' to see how I feel about his writing now 13mo
14 likes1 comment
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TalesandTexts
Lapvona: A Novel | Ottessa Moshfegh
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Lapvona is an interesting novel. Just like the characters in the book, readers too wade in the grey waters of morality. Many trigger warnings here.

The first 70% of the book definitely hooks you. The last 30% feels draggy. Still, it is a good listen.

This book felt like a commentary on the evil that all of us have hidden in our psyche. It also felt like a commentary on the status of religion today and how corrupt religion has become over time.

15 likes1 stack add1 comment
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TalesandTexts
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Weekend fun! 🥰

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TalesandTexts
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Pickpick

This is a spectacularly written novel, with wonderfully fleshed out characters. It is, at its heart, a story of abuse, dashed hopes and the birth of new love against all odds.

While this work isn‘t very atmospheric, it is very compelling in its humanness. Many themes of this book are eternal and readers today and into the future will be able to resonate with it.

Both the narrators were fabulous and have done a tremendous job. Must listen!

SamAnne Loved this one too. 1y
TalesandTexts @SamAnne yes, it was very unique 1y
21 likes2 comments
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TalesandTexts
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I love creating journal prompts for myself. But I never shared them with anyone till now. Incidentally, today is the Full Moon in Leo. And one of the insights that I tapped into today, was to be more courageous and share my creations with the world.

So I‘m taking my own advice.

TalesandTexts Feel free to use these prompts if they call to you. 💚 1y
13 likes1 comment