No Sit Book Club – August 2021

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I started the month of August off by breaking my left pinky toe – you wouldn’t think something that small would hurt so much! The doctor put me in a boot and my activity was limited for a couple of weeks, so I actually read more print books than listened to audiobooks this month. Here are a couple, though, that I did enjoy:

Laziness Does Not Exist, by Devon Price – This book by Dr. Devon Price lays out the lie that society has ingrained in most of us – that if you’re not constantly busy, working, Being Productive/active/creative, or attending to social responsibilities, you are lazy. This is a fascinating exposition of how, in our desperate attempts to avoid laziness and sloth, we often make ourselves physically and mentally unhealthy. It also explores how the behaviors we tend to label or associate with laziness are demonized and what may actually be going on when people exhibit them. Solutions for escaping the hamster wheel are also offered up. This will get readers thinking about their own behaviors – lazy or otherwise – and encourage them to ask questions before judging themselves or anyone else. (adult nonfiction)

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, by Alka Joshi – This is the sequel to “The Henna Artist,” but no knowledge of the previous book is necessary to enjoy it (speaking as a reader who was unaware there even *was* a first book!). If you had read the first book, you would already be familiar with Lakshmi – a henna artist – who is now married to a doctor and is reponsible for the hospital/clinic healing garden, and Malik (not her actual son, but very much like a son to her) who became an important part of her previous life and joined her when she moved. New to their story is Nimmi, a young widow with 2 children, with whom Malik falls in love. Lakshmi, who wants only the best for Malik, sends him away to learn about the building trade, which he dutifully accepts much to Nimmi’s distress (she feels Lakshmi is too controlling). But Lakshmi also makes a place for Nimmi at the garden – as a local plant expert – and begins teaching her daughter (mom, too!) how to read and write. Meanwhile, there’s a gold smuggling operation going on under the radar of local authorities in which they become reluctantly involved, and a brand new theater comissioned by the royal palace collapses, bringing disgrace upon Malik’s employers. Some suspicious accounts lead Malik to begin his own investigation into the tragedy, and soon Lakshmi is on the case as well! Told from the perspectives of several different characters, this continuing story of found family, relationships, and connections doesn’t immediately announce itself as a mystery waiting to be solved (but it is totally a cozy mystery set in India). Very enjoyable. (adult fiction)

I actually ran out of audiobooks last week and panicked and requested/borrowed a bunch on Libby and on CD. So now I have like 12 (maybe?) checked out to me and am panicking anew that I won’t be able to finish them all before they come due. There are a bunch of biographies among them and a few adult fiction selections thrown in. If you’re just looking for a good read in general I heartily recommend The Apprentice Witch, by James Nicol. I didn’t listen to it, but the print version was great (tween fantasy/click on the title to see my review). Also Words in Deep Blue was wonderful (teen/realistic fiction/romance).

What have you been reading/listening to this month? Submit your books and activities here: No Sit Book Club

See you in September!