As I write this, I’m listening to my child steadfastly refuse to nap. I will probably be crying about it in like 10 minute, but until the tears fall, let’s talk about some books. I need the distraction. And maybe, just maybe, my child will talk himself to sleep. Heaven knows he needs it. He didn’t nap yesterday and had a crappy night of sleep last night. How he managed to not pass out in his lunch is honestly beyond me. NAPS ARE AMAZING, SON. TAKE THEM. In case you’re wondering, yes, our daycare opened. However, since my job has been incredibly supportive of the whole working from home with kids thing, I’m not sending Sam back yet. The COVID cases in our local area are skyrocketing and toddlers are unbelievably gross as a general rule. Sam has started licking our appliances for no apparent reason. My child is the very definition of a super spreader. It’s a public service as much as it is my own paranoia. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself. But books. Books are nice. Let’s talk about books.
10 Things I Hate about Pinky by Sandhya Menon: Why is every book in the Dimple-verse so freaking delightful? We met Pinky Kumar and Samir Jha in There’s Something about Sweetie, both of them buddies of Ashish, whose brother Rishi starred in When Dimple Met Rishi. Interconnected books are my jam. Pinky is loud and brash, wearing multiple colors in her hair and her bleeding heart on her sleeve. Social justice? Animal rescue? Questionable choices in the dating department? That’s our Pinky. Samir is the opposite. He’s about as Alex P Keaton as they come (OMG I just dated myself horribly, didn’t I?) Samir is extremely uptight- his planner is his world and he harbors THRILLING dreams of corporate law. No surprise- Pinky and Samir are like oil and water… Until Pinky needs to call in a favor. After yet another fight with her mom, Pinky is fed up. In order to shut her mom’s lectures down, Pinky invites Samir to their summer lake house to pose as her boyfriend. Did I mention Pinky’s mom is a super high powered corporate attorney and therefore can afford things like lake houses in Cape Cod? Anyway. Samir’s Washington DC internship falls through and is faced with another summer at home with his own mother when Pinky proposes the fake boyfriend plan. In exchange for being a fake boyfriend, Pinky promises to talk him up to her mom, who just happens to be in the market for an intern. And so? Let the fake dating games begin! We all know that fake dating always turns into real feelings and even though this book is remarkably chaste, there are plenty of swoony smooches. It’s funny and it’ll hit you in the feels. Also, Drama Queen the opossum might be the greatest sidekick of all time. Read it, read it, read it!
Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi- I’ve read several books by Roshani Chokshi at this point and I never stop being utterly charmed by her insertion of humor into unexpected places. Reading her glossary after finishing this book had me absolutely cackling. Aru Shah and the Song of Death is the second book in the Pandava Quartet which is a Middle Grade series wherein middle school aged kids discover that they’re reincarnated heroes and sent on quests in the Otherworld. (Think Percy Jackson, but with South Asian characters- it’s part of Rick Riordan’s publishing imprint.) These books are not only charming AF they’re also super informative. Between pronunciation guides and explanations in clear middle school friendly vernacular, the reader is never made to feel dumb for not being familiar with something. It’s an awesome way for kids of all backgrounds to learn about Hindu mythology and Indian culture and food. Kids of South Asian descent get to see themselves represented in fiction- kids not of South Asian descent get to learn things. Grown ups who enjoy quirky adventure stories will also learn things, and then crave samosas. Look, my professor in college for Religions of the Eastern World was super passionate and interesting, but Roshani Chokshi’s take on Hindu mythology is WAY MORE FUN. What can I say? She won my heart with that horse demon in The Star-Touched Queen and I’ve never been the same. If you have middle grade readers in your life, I cannot recommend this series highly enough. Every time I see a parent on social media asking for book recommendations for their kids people recommend the same stodgy old books- THIS is the kind of stuff that’s going to get your kids into reading. I love Judy Blume as much as the next gal, but there’s a great big exciting world of middle grade and YA literature out there now. At least encourage your kids read something that was published during their lifetimes! Whew. Where’d that soap box come from?
Ahem. I am still reading things! I just started the audio book of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. It’s probably going to take me forever to finish it because nap times are my only audio book time these days but it will have been worth it, I have no doubt. My eyeballs are finishing up Alyssa Cole’s Loyal League series by tackling An Unconditional Freedom. How are you all doing, Bookworms? What little gems of the literary persuasion are keeping you sane these days?
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