Mini Reviews: Freakonomics, The Secret Garden, & When Dimple Met Rishi

Here we are, still playing catch up, with two rereads and two books I read for the first time.

Series: Freakonomics
Books: Freakonomics, Superfreakonomics, Think Like a Freak (not included in review)
Author: Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner
Date Published: 2006-2009
Rating: 4, 3.5
Date read: January 2020 – February 2020

Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics are two books that talk about some things going on in society and their causes and effects.

One of my goals for this year is to read at least twenty-four non-fiction titles, and I’m happy to say that I’m more than on track. Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics were some of the first non-fiction books I picked up this year and they were a great place to start, and very different from the usual non-fiction I read (I tend to gravitate towards memoirs). I wouldn’t normally pickup this type of book but Freakonomics came highly recommended by both my dad and my husband. There’s a lot of interesting information in Freakonomics that I feel is worth knowing. As for Superfreakonomics, I didn’t quite like it as much as Freakonomics. The topic of global warming aside, it could be I just wasn’t as interested in the material and there were some conclusions I thought obvious, so in that sense when they finally got to them by that point I had stopped caring. In short, these are both really interesting reads but I most definitely preferred Freakonomics to Superfreakonomics

Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Date Published: 1910
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date read: January 17, 2020 (reread)

The Secret Garden follows a sour newly orphaned girl who moves to her uncle’s vast estate. There she learns to care for nature and to get along with people.

The Secret Garden is one of my favourite children’s classics, it’s a feel good novel that reminds me so much of a fairytale. Mary, the main character, goes through some really great, and really believable character development, and I always enjoy reading her story. When I heard Karen Gillan did a narration for this story (free on Apple Books!) I knew I had to reread this one in that format, and it was an absolute pleasure. Definitely recommend!

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Date Published: May 30, 2017
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
Date read: January 23, 2020 (reread)

When Dimple Met Rishi is a young adult contemporary romance novel following a young woman named Dimple during her last summer before college. Her parents send her off to a coding camp (something she is extremely excited about) with the ulterior motive of also trying to arrange a marriage for her to a young man named Rishi. 

The first time I read When Dimple Met Rishi I could not bring myself to review the novel because I was feeling way too many things. Reading When Dimple Met Rishi was the first time I truly felt represented in a novel and the first time I realized how much representation can mean to a person. A lot of Dimple’s experiences (many of which had to do with culture and being a POC) spoke to my own experiences, and at different points in my life even my familial relationships have been similar to Dimple’s. Dimple can come off a bit strong, she’s motivated, determined to make something of herself in the male-dominated field of computer science, she knows she wants to put her career first, and doesn’t want a boyfriend, these are all things that I was during my undergrad, and they make me root for Dimple in ways I haven’t for any other character. But let’s be real here, the real star of the novel is Rishi, he’s the sweetest, most soft-hearted love interest ever and enough reason to give this one a chance. 

If you’ve read any of these books or plan to read them, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading <3.

Project Reread Update #1

One of my goals for this year is to reread more. Ideally I’ll have 2/3 of my collection reread, so far I’m at about 1/4 reread. Here are some of the books I’ve reread this year:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
First date read: <2013
First rating: 4.75/5 stars
Second date read: January 5, 2020
Second rating: 4.5/5 stars

Thoughts: I didn’t enjoy Still Alice quite as much the second time around. I think this is definitely one of those books that requires the right mind set going into it as you know Alice’s condition is going to get progressively worse. Rereading Genova’s debut just made it apparent to me how much she has grown as a writer.

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
First date read: April 17, 2017
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: January 12, 2020
Second rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
First date read: April 27, 2017
First rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second date read: February 14, 2020
Second rating: 4.25/5 stars

Thoughts: The Winner’s Trilogy is consistent in its quality. I really think this is a timeless story that has aged well.

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
First date read: August 22, 2017
First rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second date read: January 17, 2020
Second rating: 4.5/5 stars

Thoughts: I much prefer reading WWI stories over WWII stories, and my favourite war stories are the ones that involve the daily lives of everyday people. Rilla of Ingleside is both these things with amazing character development to boot. I do think this can be read as a stand–alone and I know this is a story I’ll return to again and again.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
First date read: April 10, 2016
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: January 17, 2020
Second rating: 4.5/5 stars

Thoughts: The Secret Garden is one of the first books I listened to as an audiobook, and it really got my love of audiobooks started so in that regard I’ll always be fond of it. It also helps that The Secret Garden has several really amazing audiobooks and that revisiting this story always feels like reading a fairytale.

Age of Myth by Michael J Sullivan
First date read: May 3, 2017
First rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second date read: January 23, 2020
Second rating: 4.25/5 stars

Thoughts: MJS writes some of my favourite plot twists, and his stories always surprise me. Unfortunately, without the element of surprise I didn’t quite like this one as much the second time around. Still, I love the world of Elan, and I think this series is a great expansion to it.

This first batch of rereads was immensely successful, and I enjoyed each of the novels I reread.