Books I read in February, 2021

The books and my thoughts

Books, books, books, books. They are all I think about now that I have the podcast. What podcast, you say? Oh just The Nano Bookcast – a small podcast about books!

Enough about that! Keeping with my monthly tradition, here are my reviews on the books I have “read” in February!

Together by Dr. Vivek Murthy

Remember how I said I wanted to read more in the health space? This is the first book that meets the criteria! Dr. Vivek Murthy is our ex Surgeon-General and is Biden’s nominee to once again be our Surgeon General.

Mental health isn’t a “traditional” topic you would expect a Surgeon General to tackle, especially if he is brown. Dr. Murthy does a great job of honestly laying the ground work for this taboo topic, he talks about how it’s something swept under the rug in the subcontinent communities and shares honest stories of his and his family member’s struggle with loneliness and the depression fueled by that.

It’s also a book of hope, the hope for a healthier, more aware United States. While I don’t share his optimism in the country, it is good to know that there are technically skilled and optimistic people leading health care for this country.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This book was all over every must read list, and the queue on Libby reflected that. It tells the story of a young black woman who is wrongly accused of kidnapping while babysitting a white child in a supermarket, and the events that follow the incident. I was surprised by how one book could make me laugh, cry, and be angry all in the space of one chapter. It’s a pick your own adventure kind of book. It can be an intergenerational drama you read on the beach, a book you read to understand the systemic issue of racism, a book you read as a caution against moving to small towns. I definitely understand why this book was on everyone’s must read list.

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Let me start with how I came across the book. Riz Ahmed aka British Brown Boy Fantasy recently announced that he was married to Fatima Farheen Mirza. This obviously led to some major stalking on my part and I found Fatima Farheen Mirza’s debut novel A Place For Us.

A Place For Us captures the religious strife in a conservative Muslim family and does a beautiful job of capturing that inner turmoil that religion breeds in families. I saw my own struggle with religion in each of the characters. Do I follow religion completely for the sake of my parents? Do I have an individual connection with God? Am I spiritual? What does being spiritual mean? Do I reject religion publicly? A Place For Us does a beautiful job of highlighting the small moments a family experiences daily. What drew me in the most was how I could see my family in the small moments that Fatima Farheen Mirza describes. Morning breakfast, awkward father daughter encounters, filial disappointment when a child follows an unknown path.

My 2021 reading goals?

  • Continue to read more poetry!
  • Read more about the space of health, be it nutrition, mental health, physical health, etc.
  • Try to get into audio books. I don’t think I will but it’s worth a shot. I strongly believe that listening to audio books is useless as you don’t capture or understand the content fully.
  • Continue reading books by diverse authors.
  • See my wider reading goals here.

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