Two romances and some catching up


So I woke up early this month, figuratively of course, to find that I was five books behind in my Goodreads Challenge. All through this year I had maintained a steady pace and kept a book or two ahead. But these last few months had been exceptionally trying and I lost touch.

I was pretty freaked out, I do hate backing out on a commitment even if it is to myself. And so I went on a reading frenzy. I am so very glad I took up the Challenge. It proved a great way to get my reading back on track.

I’d set aside a pile of books to read but I put them all away in favour of something light and happy. Something that wouldn’t demand much from me in terms of attention because the children were home and I knew I’d have to be on random call. So I picked up my favourite go-to comfort genre – light romance.

I began with two books I’d picked up during a Books by Weight sale. They’re both fan fiction in a sense – one on my all time favourite book, Pride and Prejudice and the other on a television series I loved, Downton Abbey (My ringtone has been the theme song from the show for a long time). Interestingly, both brought together American and English sensibilities that was fun to read.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

… is the story of three women living in an upmarket apartment building but very different in their circumstances as well as attitudes. The concierge is a fan of the show  and organises a screening of the first two seasons. He invites the residents for an evening of sampling not just the show but also a bit of British culture. That’s where three women end up connecting and sorting their lives.

Although this is definitely chicklit, it isn’t about twenty something women complaining about bad dates. The women are older, Brooke is a single mom to two kids, finding her feet after her recent separation from her husband, Claire is an empty nester struggling to write a novel while Samantha is someone who marries for security and money and is trying to understand her relationship with her husband. Those individual stories were  interesting. And there was romance too, so that was a bonus.

However the story had nothing to with the series so I was a little disappointed. The title lead me to believe there would be some kind of a connection. Conversely, having watched the show isn’t necessary to enjoy the book, so that could be a plus. As a standalone book, it was a decent enough read.

Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter my other read. It is the story of a 29 year old American girl Emily who runs a book store. I loved that bit. Any self-respecting female runner-of-a book-store has to be in love with Mr Darcy and so is Emily. The yearning becomes stronger as a result of scores of really bad dates. It’s Christmas and everyone is going away for a holiday and on an impulse (which might have been a nudge by her fairy godmother) she takes up a Jane Austen guided tour. On the bus she realises she’s the only young person around among a sea of silver-haired women other than the rather obnoxious reporter, Spike. He’s out to discover why Mr Darcy remains the heart-throb of women across ages.

While on the tour, Emily encounters Mr Darcy, the real Mr Darcy. The difference between real and fantasy blurs as Mt Darcy begins to fall in love with her.

This is a light easy read if you have nothing else to do. There’s enough humour to keep you going with some really sweet bits. However there’s a supernatural element that didn’t come through and in the end the book ended up as a rather confused mix. It remains a forgettable read.

Oh my one source of annoyance was an Indian character called Parminda. Please, it’s ‘Parminder’. And she’s into yoga. In Goa. Such careless stereotyping puts me off, even though it’s just a small side character.

After these books I went on to read a bunch of others:
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by JK Rowling
Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbagh
Rekha, The Untold Story by Yasser Usman
Letters from Kargil by Diksha Dwivedi
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult
Origin by Dan Brown
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

That’s nine books in a month! I didn’t even know I was capable of this. And with that I’m all caught up with my challenge. I can now relax and read at a steady pace through December.

So what have you been reading? Did you take up a reading challenge? How’s it going?


Linking up with #Chatty Blogs from Shanaya Tales

And with My Era’s #BookTalkbooktalk-badge-2

26 Replies to “Two romances and some catching up”

  1. I’m four books behind. It troubles me but I can’t choose right now (even though I have bought some books that I want to read) as there are two review copies. Plus, I have some writing assignments to submit. I don’t think I can catch up anytime soon.

    These sound interesting. I couldn’t finish Pride & Prejudice (not a classic reader) so maybe I can enjoy the fan-fiction. The term fan-fiction sounds interesting. Wrote one (in short story format). Planning to publish. Let’s see. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, work gets in the way all the time. I was fortunate to have found a free window. Would love to read your fanfic. Oh and there are scores of books/movies/teleseries that are a spin off on Pride and Prejudice.


  2. Chiclit is not my go-to type. Chiclit books are like masala movies, no matter if they are Hindi or English. I hate people jumping in and out of beds on the slightest pretext and this is what I have come across in such books. I give them a miss.
    Of the 2 books, Me and Mr Darcy sounds interesting to me but then I vaguely remember having watched a movie on the similar plot. The difference was that the protaganist, a huge fan of Mr Darcy, was an actor who was touring with a Drama Company visiting England to perform shows. And there was one Mr Darcy too (an actor who stayed in Mr Darcy’s character constantly – method acting). The ending was a let down. I don’t remember the movie’s name.
    I am more interested to know about The Rosie Project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well there’s Chicklit and there’s Chicklit – as in there are all kinds. While we were watching Downton Abbey had no one getting in or out of bed so that was something :-). Sometimes stories of women’s lives make for a good read, as did this one. This P&P spin off wasn’t so good. I’ve watched at least two films based on P&P but not the one you mentioned. Ah The Rosie Project is another cute find.


  3. No matter how much downside to a book is, there is always a sense of accomplishment having gone through it. For, we wanted to read it because of some reasons in the first place.

    That’s a lot of count in a month for you…and detailed analysis on if the characters clicked or not.
    I am not much of a reader, Saru sure is ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Darcy book wasn’t really a good one Lata. As far as the challenge goes, I am pretty conservative when I set my target because I know I don’t get as much time as I would like. We all have good years and not so good ones.


  4. You read 9 books in this month! Wow! I am struggling to read two in a month. About challenges, I just can’t take up a reading challenge, it stresses me out too much. Kudos to you though. I generally don’t pick up chicklit at all. The other one seems like a decent read. I am only half way through Into the Water that I am reading currently. Let’s see when that will be finished. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I went Wow too – heh heh. Doesn’t happen too often but then there were some I finished in half a day – like the Harry Potter. Haven’t read Into the Water but if Girl on the Train is anything to go by this’ll be a good. How is it so far?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 9 books! Omg… You are a machine. I had to reset the reading challenge as I was lagging way behind my schedule. Still got already 5 books to read. I like the Darcy storyline. I wonder how the supernatural thing plays in. Just the mention of Mr Darcy evokes all sorts of fuzzy feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now why din’t I think of re-setting the challenge??? As for Mr Darcy, despite the fact that I mentioned it was a forgettable read, most people want to read it! Such is his power.


  6. 9 books in a month! Wow, that’s quite something, Tulika! I have been trying to read one book since the past two months, to no avail! I think I will put it aside for a while and read one from your list of 9.
    Me and Mr. Darcy and Ghachar ghochar sound good. I hope i can find these and get on with my reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A good recap of your reading challenge. I did take up the Goodreads reading challenge and I am one away from my goal of 30 in 2017. Like you, the goal helped me read more so I’m
    not complaining. But yes, I did pick up some quick reads as well to move faster and keep it light for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! That’s good. Would love to have a recap of your reading list and the books that stood out.


    1. Yeah well – you read and you learn. But you could pick up that first one. It was a decent read other than the fact that to had little to do with Downton Abbey.


  8. 9 book a month? Woman, I’m so jealous! Since I’m like 3-4 books ahead in my challenge, I’ve decided to take reading a bit slow now. I’ve read a lot this year and decided to take my time with books and between books now.

    Sadly, I cannot read romance anymore. I find it really hard to get past the mush. But ‘The Rosie Project’ has been on my mind for a while now. Apparently it is a really happy, feel good book. Maybe I’ll pick it up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Haha.. that’s exactly what I do when I am lagging behind. Light, fluffy romances to the rescue. 😀

    Me & Mr Darcy sounds interesting, but I guess that’s mostly because I will read most things adapted/influenced by P&P. Speaking of which, I know that Eligible – a modern re-telling of P&P comes highly recommended. I’ve yet to get to it though, so I don’t know for sure.

    Oh and don’t even get me started on stereotypes & ridiculous names. I haven’t gotten over Panju yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my 9 books in a month! I can’t do that. But it’s good that you are all caught up now. I know the feeling of not being able to keep up the promise we made to ourselves when it comes to books and reading. Way to go, Tulika. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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