Books I Read // January and February 2017

Reading is one of those things that just lights my soul on fire (too cliche?) and I love it. I think the hardest thing for me has been reading and not reading it with a group. I love to discuss thoughts and theories and philosophies as I read (thanks Chandler Prep)so poor Dallin listens to me ramble on and on about the current books that I am reading. I have always been a novel reader. I love to analyze characters and their motivations. I need to read more non-fiction and philosophy, but so far this year I have mostly read a random assortment of novels.  I am going to report every few months about the books that I have read. (Please note the summaries are pulled from goodreads.com). If you’re not into books then just skip this post. I personally love reading posts like this because it helps me find new books to read.

Secret Daughter (My Rating: 4.5/5 stars)

books I read

Summary  (from Goodreads):

Somer’s life is everything she imagined it would be — she’s newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco — until she makes the devastating discovery she never will be able to have children. The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter’s life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life, and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again. Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha’s journey of self-discovery leads her back to India. Compulsively readable and deeply touching, Secret Daughter is a story of the unforeseen ways in which our choices and families affect our lives, and the indelible power of love in all its many forms.

My Thoughts:

I LOVED this book! I love reading books about other cultures, but especially India. I work with people from India on a day to day basis and I eat up any literature or stories about people there.  This is a book that I couldn’t put down because I just had to see what happens next. I was particularly interested in the portrayal of motherly love across cultures.  It is also showing the importance of our heritage and understanding our identity. It was a beautiful book that made you feel like you were in India experiencing the culture shock right along with the characters.

The Golden Son (My Rating: 4.5/5 stars)

Summary (from Goodreads):

The first of his family to go to college, Anil Patel, the golden son, carries the weight of tradition and his family’s expectations when he leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency in Dallas, Texas, at one of the busiest and most competitive hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the de facto head of the Patel household and inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village’s disputes. But he is uneasy with the custom, uncertain that he has the wisdom and courage demonstrated by his father and grandfather. His doubts are compounded by the difficulties he discovers in adjusting to a new culture and a new job, challenges that will shake his confidence in himself and his abilities.

Back home in India, Anil’s closest childhood friend, Leena, struggles to adapt to her demanding new husband and relatives. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena’s romantic hopes and eventually forces her to make a desperate choice that will hold drastic repercussions for herself and her family. Though Anil and Leena struggle to come to terms with their identities thousands of miles apart, their lives eventually intersect once more—changing them both and the people they love forever.

My Thoughts

I loved Secret Daughter and I was a little bit worried about how The Golden Son would compare. If it was even possible, I loved this book even more. It talks about the experience of an international student in America, which is my job and my reality day in and day out.  Reading from the perspective of the student about the cultural shock while dealing with the conflicts and tension back home in India was extremely interesting to me.  In my opinion the author painted a very moving picture of the struggles of Leena faced back in India.  I would 10/10 recommend, especially if you love cultural books. On the more critical aspect of it, I felt like the author really told you what the moral of the story was, and I prefer to determine that for myself.

A Man Called Ove (My rating: 5/5 stars)


Summary (from Goodreads)

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

My Thoughts

I have heard amazing things about this book, but I had also heard that it was terribly boring and depressing. My verdict? I loved it! (I know, I’ve loved all of the books so far…) It made me cry and laugh and feel all of the feelings.  I loved getting inside Ove’s head and the flashbacks to the past were extremely touching. This is a character that we can all learn a great deal from.  If you have a hard time getting into it, just push through to the end because it is worth it!  The author does an amazing job of portraying a grumpy old man while increasing your empathy towards him. If you want a book that changes you, read this one.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (My rating: 4/5 stars)

Summary (from Goodreads)

I’m too Young for Menopause-So Why Do I Feel Like this? You could be experiencing unexplained weight gain…fatigue…mood swings…loss of libido…fibroids…tender or lumpy breasts…endometriosis…PMS…infertility…memory loss…migraines…very heavy or light periods…cold hands and feet…or a combination of these symptoms. You may have been told they’re “nothing,” or stress, or even menopause-and offered surgery, antidepressants, or prescription hormones. But the startling truth is that you may be suffering from premenopause syndrome-and there are simple, safe solutions. When John Lee wrote the groundbreaking What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, younger women started asking if natural progesterone could help them, too. In this book Dr. Lee, with women’s health expert Jesse Hanley, M.D., brings you a revolutionary nonprescription “Balance Program” to restore your gynecological health, energy, and sex drive-and even slow the aging process before menopause, and beyond.

My Thoughts

I read this book as an instruction from my doctor before I went to see her.  While some parts of it may be a little extreme in my opinion, I truly believe that every woman should read this. As I have been experiencing different health issues over the years, this book helped me pinpoint some of my symptoms and provided me with solutions with how to fix these problems. I was definitely in the right place to read this book since I had a very open mind and was desperate to find solutions to the problems bothering me. Our hormones are behind everything that we are feeling, and often times women are estrogen dominant simply due to environmental factors and the current American diet.  If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed in the summary I would give this book a try and see if it describes you. My doctor has helped me the most and she draws her philosophies from this book in fixing problems with more natural solutions and with diet.  Anyways, please email me if you have any other questions about it as I would love to tell you more about my own personal health journey with it so far!

Based on these four books, do you have any recommendations on other books I would enjoy? I would love any about India 🙂

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