Project Reread Update #2

Over the past few years my book collection has expanded a lot. Because I have a small apartment and as a result, limited shelf space, I decided I wanted to limit the number of books I have on my shelves with no reread value. Initially I thought I’d just unhaul books I’m no longer interested in, and one set of books that almost didn’t make the cut was The Boyfriend List. But then I remembered how much I loved that series growing up, so I gave it another chance, reread it, and absolutely loved it. Since then I started Project Reread, where I reread all the books on my shelves in order to give them a fair chance before potentially unhauling them. Here’s the latest set.

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
First date read: May 23, 2017
First rating: 4/5 stars
Second date read: January 23, 2020
Second rating: 4.25/5 stars

I was a bit wary going into When Dimple Met Rishi because after reading it I hadn’t enjoyed any of Menon’s books nearly as much. Thankfully my worries were unfounded. I’m always going to have a soft spot for When Dimple Met Rishi because it was the first book where I really felt seen as a POC. I was so like Dimple when I was an undergrad and for that reason I get a sense of nostalgia reading it. I’m definitely keeping it on my shelves.

Title: Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)
Author: Kristin Cashore
First date read: March 26, 2017
First rating: 4/5 stars
Second date read: January 30, 2020
Second rating: 4.25/5 stars

Title: Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
First date read: April 8, 2017
First rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second date read: March 6, 2020
Second rating: 3/5 stars

Title: Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)
First date read: May 17, 2017
First rating: 4/5 stars
Second date read: March 31, 2020
Second rating: 3.5/5 stars

I’m not surprised that Graceling holds up so well, even now I see people reading it for the first time and loving it. As for Fire and Bitterblue, well, that’s a different story. The first time I read Fire I loved it and considered it an all-time favourite, but I’ve changed as a reader over the past three years, and there are a lot of elements in Fire that I was willing to overlook three years ago, that drive me crazy now. Now I want to read about characters with more agency, and I hate reading about overly possessive male characters. As for Bitterblue, I didn’t quite like it as much the second time around, again the “romance” annoyed me, the book felt too long, and it read a bit too young for my tastes. I’m definitely keeping Graceling, and can see myself rereading it again in the future, but I’m unhauling both Fire and Bitterblue.

Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
First date read: November 27, 2016
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: January 30, 2020
Second rating: 4.5/5 stars

Three years ago I made the mistake of marathoning all of Jane Austen’s novels. I’m not a big classics reader, so it didn’t surprise me in the slightest that I got burnt out and I vowed to never pick up another Jane Austen book again. Obviously I haven’t stuck to that vow, and here we are, three years later, with me slowly making my way through Austen’s novels once again. This second time around I read some more in-depth reviews/analyses alongside the novel and I was able to appreciate Pride and Prejudice a lot more. It also helps that I’ve realized I can really max out my enjoyment of her novels by listening to them as audiobooks. I’m keeping Pride and Prejudice on my shelves in all fairness though, I bought a copy after having reread it, as I previously unhealed all my Jane Austen books.

Title: Winnie-the-Pooh
Author: A.A. Milne
First date read: January 4, 2018
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: January 31, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Both my reads of Winnie-the-Pooh have been through audiobook format, and I think it’s safe to say I’m done with the audiobook. I can only take so much of hearing Piglet’s snorts. Listening woes aside, I still think Winnie-the-Pooh is wonderful, hilarious, and adorable. Though, to be completely honest, I do not foresee myself rereading Winnie-the-Pooh again unless I am reading it to a child. I do think that, and the fact that I love my edition is enough to keep it on my shelves though.

Title: Pachinko
Author: Min Jin Lee
First date read: April 3, 2017
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: February 4, 2020
Second rating: 4.25/5 stars

It’s books like Pachinko that remind me why I love historical fiction. It’s one of my favourite genres, but not a genre I pick up often. I tend to prefer historical fiction that is not set in the western world, and that does not revolve around WWII, and I always have a hard time finding such titles. If you have recommendations I’d love to hear them! Anyways, I pretty much felt the same way rereading Pachinko as I did the first time I read it. I’m definitely keeping this on my shelves, and even if I hadn’t enjoyed it nearly as much I would have had a hard time giving it up because I love the cover so much.

Final thoughts: This set of books was a bit of a mixed bag. I was a bit hesitant with When Dimple Met Rishi, Pride and Prejudice, and Pachinko, but thankfully I still love all those books. I was expecting to love the Graceling Realm books so was surprised when that wasn’t the fact. And Winnie-the-Pooh held up just like I expected it to. I’m only unhauling two books this time around (Fire and Bitterblue), so overall I think this set of books was a success.

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.