Whew. What a title. Yes, that is only two book titles in my blog title.
I would also like to take a moment to point out that these books were great choices for April because they are so colorful, bright, and springy! Just delightful.
ODWABDANOTWM was my choice for the month. It’s a collection of essays about author Scaachi Koul’s life. She’s Indian, and her parents moved to Canada when she was a child. She writes about being an immigrant on the edges of two different societies well. Her perspective about being an immigrant and ‘brown’ as she says is incredibly interesting to read. Plus it’s pretty stinking funny. She also writes about being a woman, being with an older boyfriend, her relationship with her parents, and life as a 20-something. Koul’s essays are funny and emotional. They made me appreciate the little things in life more because she talks almost seemingly unimportant events and details with such love and thought.
I keep seeing it compared to Furiously Happy, but that doesn’t feel accurate to me. Yes, they’re both essays about life. Yes, they’re very personal. However, Lawson’s book is much funnier and clearly meant to make the readers laugh out loud the entire time. ODWABDANOTWM is indeed funny, but the focus is not outrageous life comedy. It’s more of a balance between funny and deep. Both are really good and have similar formats, but they have different aims I think.
I decided to add an extra book because my birthday was in April, and I picked Startup. It’s about startup companies in New York and the people that work at them. Like ODWABDANOTWM, this book deals with what it’s like to be 20-something in the working world today. The book doesn’t solely focus on that perspective though. I’ve seen several people say this book is absolutely hilarious and had them in tears laughing. I’m not sure if I’ve laughed yet, maybe a light chuckle. The beginning might have been funnier and more entertaining if I knew more about the tech/startup world. The beginning of the book focused very closely on that scene, and I wasn’t very engaged. However, it is getting better and focusing on the people more. There are a few interesting dramas going on, and they’re all connected. Honestly, it’s like reading all of the juicest gossip from your job without the terrifying prospect of it affecting you. It’s awesome! I’m not quite finished with it yet, but I’m liking it more as I read further.
Both authors are Indian, which I didn’t realize at first. Though now I feel like I should have figured it out with the names Scaachi Koul and Doree Shafrir. If you’re looking for diversity that isn’t screaming HEY LOOK HOW DIVERSE I AM. WE NEED THIS. YOU NEED ME BECAUSE DIVERSITY. YOU’RE WELCOME, then these books are good choices.
I might not recommend them for young readers because of language and sexual content, so maybe don’t give it to an 11 year old. Otherwise, these are quite good. They’re light, enjoyable reads perfect for summer reading.
As usual with Book of the Month, here’s a link to give it a try.