January 2021 Reads

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The first month of the year saw me get through a few books. I usually target 2 books a month but despite being extremely busy this month I managed to read 4 books. When I say read I mean I read 2 books and listened to 2 on audibles (that counts, right?). Though I’m still not the biggest fan of audio books – it is convenient and adds productivity to a lot of my down time so I’m sticking with them. I read a wide variety of books this month from Indian mythology to self help to classics. Here is my reading list –

The Liberation of Sita by Volga (Popuri Lalita Kumari)

31680189. sy475

I started off my reading for the month with this light read that I finished reading in a night. This book revolves around Goddess Sita from the popular Indian mythology – Ramayana after she has been abandoned by her husband, Lord Ram. The book has 5 short stories that detail Sita’s interaction with key women from the mythology through her life journey that help her evolve, understand life better and eventually help her be liberated from her earthly ties. These women are Surpanakha, Renuka, Urmila and Ahalya. Their stories and perspective of life that they’ve gained from their struggles helps Sita through her own struggles. The book is amazing – it moved me and had me teared up constantly. I’d definitely recommend this to everyone who has read or knows the story of Ramayana.

Rating – 5/5

Check it out here.


Atomic Habits by James Clear (audibles)

This was my first experience with an audiobook. I usually steer clear of self help books but since I have been struggling with my habits over the past few months (another after effect of 2020), I decided to give this book a try. James Clear has some amazing tips and advice. He breaks down each habit into cue, craving, response and reward. He further goes on to describe how to work on each part of the habit. The underlying message of the author is that you need to change your identity – choose what type of a person you want to be and update & upgrade your habits to match the same. I think the book was too long with too many objectives in it and by the end I found it extremely overwhelming. I would have preferred to have the book split in 2 parts. I think the advice in the book is very useful and do recommend it everybody. I’d recommend to go through each section slowly implementing all that you learn before moving to the next section.

Rating – 4/5

Check it out here.


10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

The plotline of this book really intrigued me and I went through this book in 4 days (which is very fast for me since I only read for an hour or so every night). If after you heart stopped beating your brain continued working for a few more minutes, what would flash through your mind? After her death, Leila spends the last 10 minutes and 38 seconds of her life – going through all the important moments in her life and more importantly thinking about her 5 friends that had helped through most of her life. The book is based in Istanbul and gives a glimpse into the life in Istanbul including the struggles faced by those considered “different” (sex workers, singers, transgenders, dwarves). The book is divided into 3 parts – the first part focuses on giving us a glimpse into Leila’s life, the second part focuses on her friend’s dealing with her death and the third part on her afterlife. The first part had me hooked – Leila’s story is bound to keep you turning the pages. The second part didn’t impress me much – since the focus shifts from Leila to her friends, friends who were barely introduced to us in the first part. By the third part, I was reading to finish the book. It was an interesting read but the second half wasn’t as interesting and had me losing interest. I hadn’t formed any connection with her friends and had to keep reminding myself who was whom – so I couldn’t relate much with their struggle with dealing with the loss of their friend.

Rating – 3/5

Check it out here.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (audibles)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

My second Audible book for the month was a super light listen – following Alice in her crazy adventures through wonderland. I had read the abridged version of this book in school and enjoyed it a lot. While looking for a second book to listen to – I found this (for free on Amazon Audible) and decided to listen to it. The story is definitely a fun and light one. A young girl named Alice falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world filled with fun and weird creature. What follows is one adventure after the other as she makes her way through the fantasy world. I loved the voice of the performer (Jodie Comer) – she did the various bits in a very cutesy manner (as is required for such a cutesy novel). It was a fun break to listen to the novel instead of binge watching shows/YouTube videos though I still have to get used to audiobooks. I found myself often drifting off into my own thoughts or reading a notification and losing my place in the story. But here’s hoping it gets better with the future audiobooks.

Rating – 4/5

Check it out here.

These were my January reads. I’m halfway through one more book which I’ll include in my February reads. After not reading at all in December, I’m impressed my how much reading I got done in January. How are you doing on your reading goals for 2021?

PS: I will be taking 2 weeks off from here to focus on some other things since I’ve been finding it hard to manage my time (if only I would stop procrastinating) as well as work on some health issues (read as: anxiety). I will be back super soon. 🙂 ❤

Check out my other recent posts (I’ve seen a dip in my view stats 😦 )

Like, comment & follow!

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Wonani says:

    Maybe I should get into audiobooks too? 4 is impressive! I’ve read one book so far this year. Currently reading my second one.

    Take care of yourself and I hope your time away from here helps you ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Audiobooks is a great way to be productive during downtime like commute, work breaks. It does take some getting used to but I don’t mind listening to non-fiction books. 🙂 Good luck with your reading!

      Thank you! ❤ Just logged in for a bit today but I'll be back in a week or so. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wonani says:

        I’ll give them a try! See you in a week.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never tried an audiobook so far and also with the reading I’m way behind 🙈 Hopefully in the following months I’ll have more time ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Audiobooks are an easy way to listen to heavy reading books (read as: non fiction). It also helps me be more productive during down time – commuting to & from work as well as when I’m taking a break at work. It does take some getting used to – I dozed off while listening to one a few days back. 😀 😀
      Good luck with your reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I guess that are good moments to listen to a book, especially when the commuting is very crowded ☺️ I guess is also easy to fell asleep listening to them too ☺️ means is a good way to relax ☺️😃😉

        Like

  3. Caroline says:

    I love the idea of audiobooks but I’m slightly worried that I’ll fall asleep 😂🙈. I think I’ll try it out tho, lovely post xx

    Caroline | https://envirolineblog.com/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shahrin says:

      Pick a thriller —that seems to do the trick. I tried my hands on audiobooks by listening to “Silent Patient” and I was hooked🤗 xx

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Happy Panda says:

      I read your comment and laughed so hard because that’s exactly what happened with me 2 days back. 😀 I was listening to Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog on the way back from work and dozed off 5 minutes into it. It does take some getting used to – but I think I like listening to non-fiction books. Definitely give them a try. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Caroline says:

        Haha, yeah I think listening to a non-fiction book is maybe like a podcast? And I love them so I will definitely try soon 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand your feelings for atomic habits. I couldn’t get past chapter 2. It may have worked for the author but it felt a bit unrealistic for me. I do want to give this another try and maybe I will listen to the audiobook for a change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I felt like he gave too much advice – it is too overwhelming to do ALL of them. I’m picking and choosing what I liked and going to implement that.
      PS: If you sign up for Amazon audible, you can hear the book for free 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. tanvibytes says:

    Wow! That’s impressive, I read 2 books this month, and I want to get back into reading too 😄. This list looks interesting, I haven’t read the first three books (yet) 😄! 🌟

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Samee! I’m hoping to read 40 books this year – here’s hoping I’m able to!

      The Liberation of Sita – is definitely one you should read. 🙂

      Like

  6. S says:

    Sounds like a great variety! I’ve been wanting to check out Atomic Habits.

    Enjoy your break, hope you feel better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Atomic Habits has some amazing takeaways, I just wish it was shorter and maybe split into 2 parts. So many tips can get a little overwhelming.

      Thank you! ❤ I just logged in for a bit today to check on my scheduled posts. I'll be back in a bit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Shahrin says:

    Love this✨

    I read Elief Shafak’s “three daughters of Eve” —quite fascinating novel✨💕

    Have a good break. See you soon😘 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I want to read more of Elif Shafak’s books too. Planning on reading ‘The Bastard of Istanbul’ next. 🙂

      Thank you! Just logged in today to check if my scheduled posts are in order. Be back soon! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shahrin says:

        Yes, I am planning on getting my hands on this book.

        Great, see you soon xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Have a great break!! 🤗 I hope you get lots of rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You read a lot, and varied, too. Well done. I smiled wide when I saw Alice in Wonderland – it is my absolute favorite! And I keep seeing Atomic Habits. I just might pick up this one soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I love Alice in Wonderland’s quirkiness!! It must have been such a different book when it was initially published in the 19th century.

      Atomic Habits has some amazing takeaways but it is so lengthy. The first half had me so motivated but the second half had me feeling extremely overwhelmed.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s