I’m going back to the beginning days of my blog when it used to be about books. I’ve been obsessed with #Bookstagram photos (they’re like my equivalent of slime) and I thought I should try them too. Two minor problems: a)My camera is shit b)I don’t know how to take photos. But I tried. So here are my books with orange covers and I’ll also try to review them.
- Sacred Games, Vikram Chandra
I’ve already spoken about this but it still features here. It is the story of Inspector Sartaj Singh and notorious underworld don Ganesh Gaitone (yeah it sounds familiar because of the hugely popular Netflix series of the same name) and it draws the reader into the underworld of Mumbai with its mafia gangs and drug and arms cartels. It’s very different from books I generally read but I’m glad I read. Also, it’s 900 pages long, so read it at leisure.
- A Thousand Yearnings, Ralph Russel (ed.)
Again, I’ve spoken about this book. This book is a pretty comprehensive anthology of popular Urdu literature along with the history of Urdu. It has introductions about each form of literature and a very descriptive piece on Ghazals, which are a form of Urdu poetry made popular by canonical greats such as Mir and Ghalib. This is a very good book for beginners, and if you already have knowledge about Urdu literature you may find that the writers mentioned in this are very pop-culture.
- The Other Side of Silence, Urvashi Butalia
I’m reading this book right now and even this is from a genre which I don’t usually pick up. I am more of a contemporary fiction reader. This book is a series of essays and it aims to explore the ‘underside of the Partition of India’ in 1947, with focus on how the Partition affected the lives of women, children, Dalits, and how it broke apart families. The idea of this book came when Butalia observed the violence of the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots and how, as many said, “It feels like 1947 all over again”.
- The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, Nadia Hashmi
Set in Afghanistan, the book interweaves the stories of a contemporary young woman, Rahima, and her great-great-grandmother, Shekiba, who were both “bacha posh”, an Afghan tradition where girls are made to cut their hair short and to live as a boy, aka a better life. This book made me angry not because it was bad, it wasn’t, but because such a tradition has to exist and is not that talked about. There are various instances in the book which show how oppressed (ugh I hate this word now because of the contemporary meanings it has taken) women are under the patriarchal thumb of the men, years before the Taliban even arrived. If there is an Afghan woman reading this, please know that I love you and I’m proud of you, this isn’t against you.
- The White Castle, Orhan Pamuk
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I want to like it because it IS a nice book, but I’m sure there is a very underlying message found in the story which I haven’t grasped, and that is faintly irritating. I’ll have to reread this, but I don’t feel like reading it in the near future.
- Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
My review of this book: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. No, seriously. I love this book. After reading Alice Walker, and tangentially, Zadie Smith, I want to explore the whole new world of African literature and how colonialism affected Africa. I know I cannot group the vast literature simply as African literature, I’m sorry if you take offense, it is because I don’t know any other less problematic word for it. But please read it.
- Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie
The spine of this book isn’t orange, but the cover is, which is why it was positioned that way and which is why it looks like a shrine as a friend put it. But anyway, you’ve all heard of this book, if you haven’t, hear me now. This book deals with immigration and politics, love and family, sacrifice and redemption, and you’ll cry. It’s not a threat, promise.
This wraps up the horrifyingly titled ‘Orange You Glad I’m Back?’ but I promise you’ll see more of me. I have a lot of blue and black books too so let me know if this series should be continued or if yall want in-depth reviews of books. I’m always open to suggestions.
Also, a reminder to also follow the similarly dead Instagram account of this page at @fadeintooblivion_