Tag Archives: bright lines

#findabook and autumn round up!

Long time, no post! As I mentioned in my last post, I took a much needed hiatus to focus on studying for a major test. Now that I’ve taken the test, I need to shift my energy to writing applications related to that test which means I still don’t have as much time as usual to be reading books and reviewing them for my blog.

Amy's #findabook

When I’m not burrowing my head in application land, I’ve begun circulating a side project that I developed for the blog called #findabook. In order to eliminate clutter from my life, I’ve decided to put books I own in public places to share them with strangers and friends. In order to kickstart the project, I’ve sent a few books to friends via mail (fellow book blogger Amy was sent Bright Lines; my pal Shelly in D.C. was sent Fun Home; my longtime friend Lisa in Austin was sent Brain on Fire; my coworker Loulou was given Americanah) and left a few in public spaces (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeGone Girl, and The Martian). If you find one, please leave a comment and let me know what city you found it in and your name and be sure to pass along the book to someone new when you’re done! Speaking of projects, I’ll also be launching a podcast soon, but more on that later…

I’m still roughly on track to finish 52 books in 52 weeks, aka the motivation that led me to create this blog initially, and I hope the coziness of fall encourages me to spend some more time reading. I’m currently toggling between two books for two different book clubs. I’m listening to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and should have a review of that up in November and am reading 200 pages a month of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace for a book club I’m leading. I’m thinking that I’ll post reviews of each of the 200 page chunks since it’s such an undertaking! Have any of you finished or attempted to finish this book before? I’m finding that the shared responsibility of tackling it for my book club has really motivated me through it. Feel free to join me digitally by completing the first chunk by early November or reading the first 400 pages by early December! If you’re joining, let me know and we can have an online discussion about what we’ve read so far!

During my absence, I was also tagged in some fun book blog related things (thank you Amy, Maryan, Chloe, and Alyssa!) that I’ll get to when I’ve officially left application land. I hope you’ve all had swell falls and have been able to cozy up to more books than I’ve had the chance to!

bright lines book release at greenlight bookstore

post-shower + very clean Bri with Bright Lines!

I’ve just returned from attending my first ever author event at Greenlight Bookstore, my local independent bookstore that I absolutely love and adore. I know everyone in New York raves about The Strand, but if you would like a less claustrophobic and a more personal bookstore experience, visit Greenlight.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll already know that I LOVED Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam. If you’d like to read my review of the book, click here. It’s a beautiful book that follows three amazing characters who are each on different, but related paths of self-discovery. Most of the book takes place in Brooklyn, very near to where Greenlight Bookstore is located which gave the event an extra magical vibe tonight.

The event began with an invitation to eat some of the delicious food provided by the author and her sister. I abstained because I had just finished eating my weight in grilled corn ten minutes prior to the event, but the food smelled amazing. After guests indulged in the food, author Mira Jacob led a conversation with Tanwi Nandini Islam about her book, life, and writing process. Islam also read a few excerpts from her book — all early portions from Anwar’s point of view.

tanwi nandini islam

Tanwi Nandini Islam clapping in excitement

The event was wonderful and Islam was so kind + gracious + humble for the positive attention her book has received so far. The store was packed to capacity with people excited to hear Islam talk about her debut novel. Many of the audience members were close friends and family members of Islam and it was honestly so amazing to be surrounded by their joy of her success — I almost felt like I was intruding on a family’s holiday celebration, but I still felt welcome and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Tanwi Nandini Islam signing Bright Lines

Tanwi Nandini Islam signing Bright Lines

Even though I had already read the novel, I decided to buy a copy to give away to a reader of my blog as part of a cool new project I’m planning on starting soon. I’ll give more details on it soon as I finish working on bringing the project to fruition.

tanwi5

The note says, “Let’s light up the work with our love + art.” Isn’t it great?

july round up

Here’s a round up of everything that I’ve acquired and posted about during the month of July! I spent my first weekend exploring America’s capital, Washington, DC, for America’s Independence Holiday (July 4th), the second weekend attending Random House’s Off the Page event in Hudson, NY, the third weekend listening to music for days at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, IL, the fourth weekend enjoying the sidewalk book sale at Greenlight bookstore, my favorite local bookstore, and the last Friday/first weekend of August at my friend’s beach house in the Hamptons! I’m very lucky to have such exciting summer experiences and even luckier to have such amazing friends to share these experiences with!

Because of all of the fun I’ve been having, it’s been harder to keep up with blogging at the same rate I’ve been reading. All of the traveling and weekends away mean I’ve been able to read a lot (yay!) but I don’t typically travel with my computer in order to spend more face-to-face time with my friends (yay! for friendship but boo! for my blog).

A sampling of books that I’ve finished recently and have yet to blog about include: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Hopefully I get my act together and post blogs about these books soon!

I also have some exciting new projects coming to the blog including a conversation about a one of the books above with fellow book blogger Amy at The Literature Life and a cool book swap/share idea that I hope becomes successful! Both of these projects will be posted here when they’ve been fleshed out a bit more!

Book Haul

July’s book haul comes entirely from Greenlight bookstore‘s summer sidewalk sale where I got each of these hardback, gently used books for $5!!!! What a steal!! Which should I read first?

summersidewalksale

The books include: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry by Jeffrey Lieberman, Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander, Gumption by Nick Offerman, and Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow.

Book Reviews

modern romancebeyondbeliefthecirclebrightlines

Posted book reviews include: Modern Romance by Aziz AnsariBeyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige HillThe Circle by Dave Eggers, and Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam (which was technically published between the end of July and this post…). Of these, I definitely recommend Bright Lines the most! Check it out!

Thanks for reading my round up 🙂 I hope your July was also snazzy!

bright lines by tanwi nandini islam

brightlinesIn a week, on August 11, 2015, a fantastic book entitled Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam will be released. This is hand’s down the best book I’ve ever received as an Advance Reader’s Copy from the First to Read program. If you know what’s good for you, you will snatch it up/request it from your local library instantly! Bright Lines features many dynamic characters who are all fully fleshed out — each of the characters all exist with their own qualities and back stories and aren’t simply devices to advance the plot, which unfortunately has been rare for me to find in books at times.

The novel shifts perspectives throughout the story from the patriarch of a family, Anwar, to his biological daughter, Charu, to his adopted child, El, who is the orphaned child of the patriarch’s deceased brother-in-law. Each of these characters struggle through their own individual turmoil and to find themselves, proving that a “coming of age” experience can occur even when you’ve passed middle age as it does for Anwar.

The novel takes place about ten years ago in Brooklyn, specifically an area that I spend a lot of time in today. This shared geography definitely added to my enjoyment of Bright Lines, but I think the setting is so well described that any reader will be able to easily imagine the environment where the characters reside. These illustrative descriptions of the setting continue when the novel shifts momentarily to Bangladesh, both when Anwar reflects on his youth in the country and when the family chooses to return for a family vacation.

Anwar owns an apothecary and isn’t always present in his own life and his family’s dilemmas because he spends a lot of time toking up. At times, his herbal habit influences him to be a bad father and spouse. He ultimately attempts to remedy his mentally and morally absent behavior, but the reader is left to decide if it’s too little to late. Charu, Anwar’s teenage daughter, experiences the most familiar “coming of age” story that I’ve read before, but Nandini still writes Charu’s story in an interesting way.

The journey I was most engrossed with was El’s, Anwar’s adopted child, who moves from their home country of Bangladesh to America. El explores their sexuality, gender identity, and place within their adopted family, each of which is beautifully detailed by the extremely talented Nandini. None of El’s story  seems rushed or superficial and I felt like I was authentically accompanying El on their self-discovery.

Please, please, please read this book! Each of the stories are radically different and are beautifully interwoven. Plus, as a reader, you’ll get to enjoy exploring Brooklyn and Bangladesh with Nandini’s characters. 

If you’re in the Brooklyn area, come join me at Greenlight Bookstore on the book’s release date for a conversation between the author and Kiese Laymon. More details can be found by clicking here.

Disclaimer: I was provided with an Advance Reader Copy of this book for free from the Penguin First to Read program. All opinions expressed in the following review are my own and have not been influenced by Penguin.

Expected Publication Date: 11 August 2015 by Penguin Books. Format: Ebook.

Author: Tanwi Nandini Islam web/@twitter/instagram