True Crime Books

So I’m a fan of true crime documentaries and shows like crime patrol, date line and BuzzFeed Unsolved (#teamboogara). Actually there is this thing about grotesque things,you can’t look away. But if you would like to know more about why you are obsessed with true crime I’ll plug a very informative blog post here

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/559256/why-we-love-true-crime

Okay so now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about true crime books, as this is a book blog, so here are my few favourite true crime books

The five

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London – the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

Mafia queens of Mumbai

Smuggling, gun-running, drugs, terrorism for many decades, Mumbai has lived under the shadow of the Underworld. Dawood Ibrahim, Karim Lala, Varadara- jan Mudaliar: these are names that any Indian would recognise. Analysed in print, immortalised on film, their lives, their gangs, their ‘businesses’ are out there for anyone who wants the information. But there have been women, too, who have been part of this murky side of the city, walking along side, sometimes leading and manipulating men in the Underworld to run their own illegal businesses. Here, for the first time, crime journal- ists S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges explore the lives of some of these women, and how, in cold blood, they were able to make their way up in what was certainly a man’s world. From Kamathipura to Dongri, from assassins to molls, this is a collection that tells the stories of women who have become legend in Mumbai’s streets, lanes and back-alleys. Absorbingly told, impeccably researched, Mafia Queens of Mumbai reveals a side of Mumbai’s Underworld that has never been seen before.

Black warrant

This is a book of revelations – what is life like inside Asia’s largest prison? What happens when a man is hanged, but his pulse refuses to give up even after two hours? Did Nirbhaya’s rapist, Ram Singh, commit suicide, or was he murdered? For the first time we have a riveting account from an insider who breaks his silence about all he’s seen. How the most poorly judged and infamous in contemporary Indian history, the least known and most chastised criminals and conspirators in the subcontinent, the guilty and the framed – from Sobhraj via Afzal Guru – lived and died. Award-winning journalist Sunetra Choudhury has captured an extraordinary life lived in a most secretive institution.

Here my detailed review of the book https://drficticity.home.blog/2019/12/06/black-warrant/

Queens of crime

Dysfunctional families, sexual abuse, sheer greed and sometimes just a skewed moral compass. These are some of the triggers that drove the women captured in these pages to become lawbreakers.


Queens of Crime demonstrates a haunting criminal power that most people do not associate women with. The acts of depravity described in this book will jolt you to the core, ensuring you have sleepless nights for months.
Based on painstaking research, these are raw, violent and seemingly unbelievable but true rendition of India’s women criminals.

Here’s my detailed review of the book https://drficticity.home.blog/2019/09/14/queens-of-crime/

Lajja by Taslima Narsin

A nation with a national religion became a religious Nation and all from other religions became second class citizens. This book is one of my toughest read of this year, and to be honest I thought I might non finish it, let alone writing a review but here we are. I might have never read it TBH if it wasn’t for Mridula’s book club, do check out her content her Blog – I would plug her blog here https://ecstaticyetchaotic.in/

I would highly suggest reading this book not just as a piece of literature but as a reminder of why democracy and equality are so important,why no one person or community should have more than other, because humans are known to prey on everyone they feel are in a more vulnerable state. *But as a fair warning, it has too many incidences of violence of all kinds, in graphic details, paired by real life data of such crimes so it can be really heavy at times, pick the book knowing so.

The book covers the aftermath of the Babri mosque demolition in a Hindu minority Bangladesh. Mostly revolving around the Duttas, a Hindu family who remain loyal to their land even after being let down again & again,they refuse to flee their land.

Sudhamoy the patriarch of the family, is a doctor who comes from a very wealthy household but leaves all it behind to move to the city from his home village leaving behind all his luxuries to settle in to a small rental house after his six year old daughter is kidnapped ( later released )

He is honest and truly the most patriotic character & he does everything to prove this & refuses to leave his country at all costs and his fate is truly heartbreaking. To see him break slowly and slowly both physically and mentally throughout the book to the point where he reaches by the end of the book was haunting for me.

Sudhamoy was ashamed to say it, his voice trembled, yet he spoke of going away because the strong mountain that he had built inside him had gradually begun to crumble

Kironmoyee his wife and the mother of his children is the perfect partner to all his faiths and practices. From giving up her sindur and shell bangles and dreams to live with her side of the family across the border to selling her jewellery to keep the food in family’s belly and a roof over their heads. Her character is reminiscent of all the mothers who silently keep on compromising their own needs and wishes for those of their families.

Suronjon,the son on the other hand I found very annoying, he is 33 year old jobless son, who used to be kind of a responsible guy in the past, but now he just lounge around all day and food and tea is served to him. An annoying male chauvinist who takes his frustration out on a Muslim prostitute after his sister is taken away and he is unable to find her.

His patriotism, atheism and values also feel kind of a defence mechanism of sorts to me contrasting with his father’s deep rooted and honest one. He do score some compassion as he shows his more vulnerable side with the evolution of story.

Maya who was once abducted as a kid, is now a hardworking individual, she has the strongest will to live and love, to be financially independent and is the responsible child in contrast to Suronjon but her fate is honestly the most tearing one.

Suronjon stayed in his room all day—lying in bed. He did not feel like going out anywhere. He did not even feel like talking to pass the time of day. Should he go and look under the bridge for Maya’s rotting, bloated body? No, he was not going anywhere today.


Plot summary

The Duttas – Sudhamoy, Kironmoyee, and their two children, Suranjan and Maya – have lived in Bangladesh all their lives. Despite being part of the country’s small Hindu community, that is terrorized at every opportunity by Muslim fundamentalists, they refuse to leave their country, as most of their friends and relatives have done. Sudhamoy, an atheist, believes with a naive mix of optimism and idealism that his motherland will not let him down…
And then, on 6 December 1992, the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in India is demolished by a mob of Hindu fundamentalists. The world condemns the incident but its fallout is felt most acutely in Bangladesh, where Muslim mobs begin to seek out and attack the Hindus… The nightmare inevitably arrives at the Duttas’ doorstep – and their world begins to fall apart.


This is quite a controversial book, A nation with a national religion became a religious state and all who were from other religions became second class citizens.

The humiliation of Hindus and the attacks on their temples did not begin with the attack on the Babri Masjid in October 1990. Suronjon remembered that on 21 April 1979 a man called Ayub Ali broke the image of Kali in the historic Kali temple in Saheb Bazar in Rajshahi. And after that he also destroyed shops owned by Hindus.

It is a very important book thought,first of all to understand why do counties need democracy and equality, and I would definitely recommend reading it to you but when you are in the state of mind to handle all the graphic and gory details.

The book was so difficult to read because of the barbaric things that were done in religiously charged Bangladesh. There were far too many incidence of temples being burned and demolished and literally urinated upon mentioned in here but even more hurtful was the never ending nightmare the people went through, the rapes,the bloodshed, the despair of a father when his daughter is taken in front of his eyes and to see him with that guilt, despite of everything he did to protect her and the rest of his family.

From mob lynchings, burnings and looting houses and shops, abduction and brutal rapes and murder of the women to not letting the minorities in higher positions even wth proper qualifications or not letting them to have even jobs in the first place this book is full of the  demonic side of humanity and heartbreaks.

It felt like everyone was waiting for a terrible death. Now their hearts were no longer trembling with apprehension about Maya but about their own futures. They were all alone and when the people they knew, Muslim friends and neighbours, came to visit, the visitors did not say: ‘All of you will certainly be alive like us. Don’t be hesitant. Don’t retreat into yourselves. Walk bravely, work without trouble, laugh heartily and sleep peacefully.’

The silent patient

This book was something I struggled to put down, being daughter of a psychologist studying medicine this whole theme spoke to me at many levels but I would rather not go in to the whole therapy part and stick to the literary part.

The story revolves around Alicia Berenson, her life seemed perfect, a rich artist married to an equally famous and good-looking fashion photographer, living in the high end of London. Everything seems perfect but one evening gunshots are heard from her house, she is found there with a gun, her husband is dead and she goes totally silent. Her silence and the couple’s fame turn this quite open and shut case into a media circus. As it happens with one dead and other facing the murder charge, their previous works become more and more ‘in-demand’ and expensive.

Alicia slowly fades away from the public eye, years after the murder she is residing in a psychiatric facility and still haven’t said a word.

Theo a psychologist has a keen interest in her case, which feels like a professional curiosity bleeding towards obsession. As Theo starts to see Alicia, she remains silent in their therapy sessions too but in these silences lies the main substance of the story.

Also Theo starts to meet more people from Alicia’s life before the silence and tries to understand her art, along with Alicia’s diary which she kept around that time her character starts to come together like a intricate puzzle.

Although the story is a narrative from Theo,with every page he starts to feel creepy and creepier to me, finally revealing his true interest in Alicia’s silence which was very subtly dropped throughout the book but the whole picture didn’t comes truly together till the very end, you know like a good thriller.

Alicia’s character is very much the main pillar of the book, I have even read reviews calling this book a character study of sorts for her which honestly I don’t mind, her story is a slow burn which keeps you intrigued till the very end. One chapter she feels like a violent psychopath and in others like a victim of her bad childhood and just overall bad circumstances.

Plot Summary:


Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

I would give this book 3.5⭐ and definitely recommend it if you have loved gone girl, girl on the train and those sort of psychological thrillers.

A room of one’s own

A room of one’s own

I read this book slowly marking all the notes, quotes, books and authors that were mentioned and their ideas. This book remains a cornerstone of feminist literature because the things said in the book still hold as true in the current times if not more.

Book summary

A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled Women and Fiction, and hence the essay, are considered nonfiction.

The essay is seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.


A room of ones own is not just a room, it means a place of peace away from the daily chores the women were and are still expected to do and the financial independence that many women are still struggling to find. These things are not just important to write fiction I feel, but rather to live.

And there’s is a whole other side of the story for which I would highly recommend reading In search for our mother’s garden’ by Alice Walker

“I found myself disagreeing with Woolf. While a room along with funds are certainly important for a person’s state of being, the only real necessity for creating works of fiction is the drive to do so. If Phillis Wheatley, a slave who didn’t even own herself was able to create great poems through great effort to herself then why can’t any other striving female writer?”

“Two of the most famous and well known pieces of fiction, The Iliad and The Odyssey, were passed down through the generations through word of speech until they were finally published once the tools were available to do so. Unfortunately for many of the black mothers described by Walker, their names will never be accredited to the stories their children wrote.”

There’s is no denying in that women like Virginia Woolf even in those days had very different lives from women of color, as now women in different cultures and countries live very different lives. And as a woman of color myself I can say that creating a safe space for women to express their creativity, giving them opportunities for better lives giving them a room of one’s own can definitely help.

Ghachar ghochar

Blurb

From a cramped, ant-infested house to a spacious bungalow, a family finds itself making a transition in many ways. The narrator, a sensitive young man, is numbed by the swirl around him. All he can do is flee every day to an old-world cafe, where he seeks solace from an oracular waiter. As members of the family realign their equations and desires, new strands are knotted, others come apart and conflict brews dangerously in the background.

My views

Loved this book, masterfully crafted, capturing the so much substance in such few pages without compromising the storytelling.

(Minor spoilers ahead)

The book starts in first person and with our unnamed narrator, a guy who regularly visits a coffe shop to kill time, away from his family chaos but as the story starts to unfold we realise that the main theme of the story is the recurring phrase “blood is thicker than water.” Also he is particularly fond of a waiter Vincent, whose words have an ominous value in the story.

The narrator recalls his days growing up in a lower middle class joint family with his parents,uncle chikkappa and sister malati, the family is barely keeping it together with the job of his father as a spice salesman, who is later forced to take an early retirement.

‘It’s true what they say – it’s not we who control money, it’s the money that controls us. When there’s only a little, it behaves meekly; when it grows, it becomes brash and has its way with us.’

This quote personifies the family, as they make their overnight fortune ‘Sona Masala’. With investment from his father’s retirement money, uncle chikkappa manages every part of the businesses, as it skyrocketed, they move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house on the  upper side of Bangalore, and try to adjust to a new way of life the family dynamic begins to shift.

“Appa enjoys our current prosperity with considerable hesitation, as if it were undeserved. He’s given to quoting a proverb that says wealth shouldn’t strike suddenly like a visitation, but instead grow gradually like a tree.”

The impact of the new found fortune starts to realign the behaviour of all family members towards themselves and others. Malti’s marriage is arranged and falter, meanwhile narrator’s wife Anita enters the household and her set of values constantly clash with that of the family, brewing ominous conflict in the background making things “ghachar ghochar”—a nonsense phrase uttered by Anita, which means something tangled beyond repair, a knot that can’t be untied.

“When you have no choice you have no discontent either”

And that’s where the author leaves us with a close and open ending, it’s amazing you’ll have fun reading it and connecting the dots (A hint – focus on Vincent’s less but important lines)

Kim Jiyoung Born 1982

Blurb

The story-line centres on a housewife who becomes a stay-at-home mother and later suffers from depression. It focuses on the everyday sexism the title character experiences from childhood.

Boys are like that,” the teacher laughed. “They’re meaner to the girls they like. I’ll give him a talking-to. Why don’t you take this incident as an opportunity to become better friends instead of changing desk-mates on unfriendly terms?”

He likes me? He picks on me because he likes me?Jiyoung was confused. She went over the series of incidents that she had suffered because of him, and still couldn’t make sense of what the teacher was saying. If you like someone, you’re friendlier and nicer to them. To friends, to family, to your pet dogs and cats. Even at the age of eight, this was common sense to Jiyoung.

The teacher tells this to Kim Jiyoung when she complaints about being bullied by a classmate

She watches her grandmother & mother, her sister and herself going through the patriarch society as just passer-by.

Of the four sons she raised thus, Jiyoung’s father was the only one to carry out his duties as a son in her old age. Unwanted by her ungrateful children, Koh Boonsoon rationalized this sad outcome with an incoherent logic: “Still, I get to eat warm food my son made for me, and sleep under warm covers my son arranged for me because I had four sons. You have to have at least four sons.”
Oh Misook, her son’s wife, was the one who cooked the warm food and laid out the warm covers for her, not her son, but Koh Boonsoon had a habit of saying so anyway.

Koh Boonsoon is Kim Jiyoung’s grandmother

From being less favoured then her younger brother,being harrassed by a guy on public bus, not getting recognition at her job while working the same as her male counterparts, taking responsibilities of all the domestic tasks and so many litlle things that slip in to everyday lives of women.

My views

A little while ago a video went viral of a woman walking down streets of New York and the hundreds of men who catcalled her,
(if youbhave notnseen the video I’ll plug it here – https://youtu.be/b1XGPvbWn0A

Most men had a very expected reaction to the video, they were unaware, because it never happens to them they didn’t know it can. Somehow many of them have missed to connect the dots from ‘satis’ in the east and ‘witch-burning’ in the west to modern day microaggressions.

This book reminded me of the hundreds of women who go through their day with these microaggressions just in their everyday lives without even mentioning them because they are so many,women have learned to live their lives crossing this maze of patriarchy.

The unbelievably meager wages from working day and night, popping caffeine pills, and turning jaundiced went toward sending male siblings to school. This was a time when people believed it was up to the sons to bring honor and prosperity to the family, and that the family’s wealth and happiness hinged upon male success. The daughters gladly supported the male siblings.

Kim Jiyoung’s mother & her aunt’s worked as the male siblings went to medical school & got High paying jobs but the sisters never get any chance to enjoy any privilege or even appreciation for their contributions

This book is in a way life of every woman who has been born on the face of this earth and dare I say “lucky ones” because these are the things we ignore and there are much worse things happening to women in all parts of the globe.

We don’t talk about it enough,even women, we don’t want to come across as “too feminist”. We don’t respond to all the casual sexism because “How will I be able to get anything done if I’ll snap at every casual sexist comment and wierd stares but it does affect the mind of the person deeply even if they don’t say it, the victim feels it’s somehow their fault because the society say so.

But that night, Jiyoung got an earful from her father. “Why is your cram school so far away? Why do you talk to strangers? Why is your skirt so short?” Jiyoung grew up being told to be cautious, to dress conservatively, to be “ladylike.” That it’s your job to avoid dangerous places, times of day and people. It’s your fault for not noticing and not avoiding.

Jiyoung’s father after she is harrassed

A personal incident here, just the last working day I noticed a wierd guy following me around while I was returning home from the grocery store, what I did ? Ignored him, came back home as quickly as I could, locked my doors and checked them several times throughout the night. This was not the first time and will not be the last. Because things like this happen so much that as society we are anesthetized and women issues have become kind of a seasonal thing, read a few books in march, put up a status when a rape happens. But I hope more books like this come to us and take us ahead.

How to read more & fast?

This post might not be for all my bookstagrammers here, but out of this world the question I get asked the most is ‘how do you read a 100 books a year with a somewhat of an active social life(not in 2020 tho) , work & family life OR “how did you finish that book so fast?”

The answer to the later question is I don’t know exactly but as you start to read more and more,your brain start to process information faster ( did I tell you I’m a doctor with a keen interest in neurosciences ) so read more to read faster.

To answer to former question, let me give ou a few tips

1. Start easy

If you are trying to build a reading habit, chances are you might not enjoy ‘thou old timey classics’ right away. So start with something you resonate with or something lighthearted.

2. It’s okay to DNF

If you are stuck with a book for a while, and you feel like you can’t read it, not liking it, just ditch it. There are many many books out there waiting for you. As easy it may sound it was a life changing advice for me when I heard it from Ali Abdaal on his YouTube channel. Because I have a compulsive habit of trying to finish a book even if I don’t like it but not anymore

3. Read whatever interests you

Many of us have a habit of being influenced by all the celebrity book clubs and trending new books every week l,also we have classics and prize winning books that everyone tells us to read but the things is, your time is limited so read whatever makes you happy.

4. Audiobooks/Kindle/eBooks

They are wonderful, I love listening to a chapter before I sleep or reading on my e-reader while waiting for my coffe in canteen and so on. These new reading innovations are amazing for filling in the voids during our days. You would be surprised to know how much reading you’d be able to do instead of useless phone scrolling.

5. Have a dedicated reading hour

This really helps me, having an hour just by myself to sip a cup of tea and flip through the pages of my book (sounds like a lovely hour?) You can try it too, when you make an hour especially for reading and you make it attractive by adtting something you like (coffe and lone time is something I like) you can have tea in your balcony or something like that !

6. Try something social

Goodreads, book blogs, etc are amazing to look for a community of readers, as you see more people reading the kind of books you like you’ll be motivated too.

And with all that don’t be hard on yourself, if you enjoy reading comics, read comics if you feel overwhelmed may be skip reading and do something else, just in whatever you do, be happy and be kind.

You can connect with me on my socials

Twitter : https://twitter.com/drficticity

WordPress blog https://drficticity.home.blog/2019/07/07/mental-health-awareness-month-reading/

Goodreads https://goodreads.com/user/show/91943957-dr-ficticity

Amazon https://amazon.in/gp/aw/review/935357076X/R2CPNQ1LJTAGVV?ref=pf_ov_at_pdctrvw_srp

The colour purple

Alice Walker’s epistolary novel first published in 1982 went on to win the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Although I’m always abit cynical about award winning books but here when I started to read it you realise why this book has been so popular with many people.

Celia who initially writes letters to God as she tries to get things off her chest, but throughout the novel we find that she starts instead to write to her sister Nettie so we read letters from both of them.

Image © @dr_ficticity

The novel deal with so many themes and strong subjects from racism to homosexuality with so much humanity, the characters truly breathe out of the book, also the characters are continuously evolving as they grow older throughout the span of decades.

One thing that really got me was the determination and resilience of Celie, she starts as a very naive and innocent young girl who remains faithful and resilient during so many adversities but her ultimate display of strength lies in her forgiveness to both her life and the people who did her wrong.

(Spoilers ahead)

Celie is abused emotionally and physically by her mother and beaten and raped by her ‘pa’. She ultimately becomes pregnant twice during this incestuous sexual abuse phase, and both of her babies are taken away from her. Celie lives with the thought that the babies were killed but one day she comes across a little girl who looks just like her,growing up in a comparatively well off family. In the mean time her mother dies and her father marries another woman.

Nettie her younger sister gets involved with a much older widower and he wants to marry Nettie but her father marries off celie to him, where again she goes through similar cycle of physical and sexual abuse, not to mention she takes care of the kids and house but one day her husband brings his mistress home, Shug Avery, and celie falls in love with her(yep a LGBTQ rep), Avery is potrayed as a strong beautiful woman who do her own thing, has her own money, she is her own master and celie looks up to her,also one more character I would like to mention is Celi’s stepson’s wife Sofia, who is again a very strong woman who beats her husband in return If he hits her, ask for what she wants although rather impulsive but is definitely one of my favourite characters in the whole book. Nettie meanwhile runaways and has gone to Africa with a family who are missionaries, although she writes to celie throughout the years but her letters don’t get to her sister for decades, but through her letters we get to know some of the local African cultures and lifestyle and her life as a missionary there. There is also a family secret and racially motivated lynching.

Themes & points I jotted down after reading the book

Over all the book is amazing and it’s so sad to think about how much people has to go through just because of the amount of melanin in their skin. The novel’s deal with so many themes and strong subjects from racism to homosexuality but they are potrayed with so much humanity, the characters truly breathe out of the book, also the characters are continuously evolving as they grow older throughout the years

The thing that really comes through though is arguably the determination and resilience of Celie as we see how she progresses through the ups and downs of life, bringing up a string of emotions in the reader.

The diary of a young girl

Blurb

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and surprisingly humorous, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

My views

The diary of a young girl, one of the most read books of all time, people have all sorts of opinions on it, Nelson Mandela claimed that this book gave him hope in his jail time.

I loved this book for the hope, gratitude and empathy of the young girl, also my heart broke multiple times at the same hopes because I knew what was coming for her.

A timeline of the events

If you haven’t read this book yet, I would suggest not to read it just as a piece of literature but rather ‘diary of a young girl’ and try to remember all the inner turmoil all the teenagers go through, that feeling of being alone against the whole world, being sensitive to such an extent that you cry yourself to sleep and yes the emotional distance from parents (if you are a teenager now , as a 24year old I assure you that you are loved by many and you are not alone)

A quote from Anne Frank

As the book progresses Anne felt so much more mature and grown-up for her age due to the hardships she went through, I cannot help but wish Anne would have lived long enough to see adulthood for herself and fulfilled her dreams. Also it is important to remember that this was the story of two families but countless other innocent people also went through similar may be even worst conditions during the holocaust.

This was such a heart wrenching and humbling book, especially during the times of corona epidemic, we can take many many lessons of being grateful from Anne. Also this book is a short read, I read it in one day so I would highly recommend reading it.

Non fiction favourites

Dear reader,
I have always leaned alot more towards non-fiction books but you know they are not always success stories, sometimes they are stories of the most horrific things you could ever read and you cannot shrug it off as “just a book” because you know it’s true. You form a wierd bond the characters as the book unfolds you get to know real people and their lives.

Here are my top 5 nonfiction books that have made a lasting impact on me and I highly recommend.

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and surprisingly humorous, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo — to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.



Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function.
The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds – from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes.
This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea coming to life, by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies. But woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history – the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. These concerns reverberate even more urgently today as we learn to “read” and “write” the human genome – unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children.

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, the son of a little-educated boat-owner in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, had an unparalleled career as a defence scientist, culminating in the highest civilian award of India, the Bharat Ratna. As chief of the country’s defence research and development programme, Kalam demonstrated the great potential for dynamism and innovation that existed in seemingly moribund research establishments. This is the story of Kalam’s rise from obscurity and his personal and professional struggles, as well as the story of Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and Nag-missiles that have become household names in India and that have raised the nation to the level of a missile power of international reckoning. This is also the saga of independent India’s struggle for technological self-sufficiency and defensive autonomy-a story as much about politics, domestic and international, as it is about science.

Do let me know the books that have made a lasting impression on you! Luba geet

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