Close Watch by Signe Christensen

#BookReview
Thriller|Fiction|Suspense

Nobody likes the feeling of being closely watched or followed but it’s terrifying to know when somebody actually breaks into your house!

Close Watch by Signe Christensen is a fictional story about Amber, a normal person trying to live a normal life. After her recent breakup with her boyfriend, Sam, she feels like she is constantly being followed to a point where she feels creeped out in her own house. When she reaches out to the police, it leads nowhere because of the lack of information. However her two friends, Karen and Maya, are a great support. Amber relies on them the most, they are always by her side and try to keep her safe. But after Amber’s several attempts to ignore the feeling of being stalked and being threatened, she decides to escape from the city for a while and spend a few days in her aunt’s cottage in Dorset. What happens if this turns out to be a wrong decision?

Close Watch is a entertaining thriller that is easy to read. The story is well narrated, the element of suspense and character building is strong. As a reader I felt dragged into the story right from the start. The book is lighthearted and not too intense. Even though, you might get the feeling that you know who the stalker is going to be, it is a nice read right till the end.

Also, find my review on this website: Reedsy

Gorgeous Quote #6

To bake a cake in the eye of a storm; to feed yourself sugar on the cusp of danger.

By Ocean Vuong

This quote is from the book, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Every line in this book is like poetry, beautiful, graceful and so impactful. The title of the book itself was amazing enough for me to pick it up and start reading. This literary fiction discusses some serious elements like trauma, violence, race, war, and survival.

To explain the above quote, the author says, “In the story, when a girl and her grandmother spot a storm brewing on the green horizon, instead of shuttering the windows or nailing boards on the doors, they set out to bake a cake. I was unmoored by this act, its precarious yet bold refusal of common sense.”

Relatable Quotes #3

A man’s emotions are what define him and control is the hallmark of true strength. To lack feelings is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.

– Brandon Sanderson, Way of Kings ❤

This line was like an awakening for me where I had to tell myself out loud, “See, did you read that. It’s ok to have so many emotions but stop being a child.” The Stormlight Archive has my heart and soul.

Books That I Read in 2020

Hello New Year!

Before I start my journey with books in 2021, I am sharing the books that I got the time and opportunity to read in 2020. Also, writing a brief summary about the books (without any spoilers). Hopefully, this post helps you find some interesting books to consider reading this year.

1. Educated by Tara Westover
Educated is memoir that discusses the life journey of the author. Born in a Mormon survivalist home, Tara’s father isolated the children from the mainstream world. He does not believe in the government, public schools, or health care. Tara never attended school and only receives formal education at the age of seventeen. Despite her innumerable setbacks, Tara educates herself and lives a successful life. This powerful tale is narrated beautifully and is very inspiring. Educated is a book about family ties, personal struggles, power, and success.

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for Educated by Tara Westover

2. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
A debut novel, this book has three distinct sections – Folly, Madness, and Ezra Blazer’s Desert Island Discs. The first part discuss a romantic relationship of a young American editor, Alice, with an older famous writer, Ezra Pound. The second part is a tale about the struggles of an Iraqi-American man who is detained at the Heathrow airport by the immigration officers. The last part is a detailed interview of Ezra Pound and his experiences. Asymmetry is about love, daily struggles of Iraqis, power, and justice.

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday


3. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
An incredibly unique book that I couldn’t put down. It plays with multiple themes and concepts. It is one of the few books where a clear story is not necessarily important. However, it is extremely interesting as you keep wondering where the story is really heading towards. It can have multiple meanings depending on your viewpoint. Written by Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore is a book about a 15-year old boy called Kafka and his life experiences.

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You can change direction but the sandstorm chases you. This storm is you. Something inside of you.”

-Haruki Murakami

4. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Mahabharata is one of the most famous epic mythological Indian stories. It is about a war between two families – Pandavas and Kauravas who fight the epic battle at Kuruskehtra for the throne at Hastinapur. The author Chitra Banerjee recreates this story of Mahabharata in The Palace of Illusions but from the point of view of a woman. The lead character of this story is Panchaali, also known as Draupadi, who marries the five Pandavas and goes through a life of pain, suffering, and also triumphs. This book discusses the identity of women in a male dominated world and is mainly about revenge, family, power, and war.

5. The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Forest of Enchantments is a journey of Sita and her tragic love story. This is another book by the author Chitra Banerjee that retells the other famous epic Indian story called the Ramayana. The original Ramayana is written by Vyasa from a patriarchal perspective. In this book, the author brilliantly narrates the story of Sita while highlighting the emotions and sufferings of the women that are often neglected. The struggles, humiliation, disappointment, and tragedies faced by Sita, Madodari, Kaikeyi, Urmila, and Surpanakha are, for once, not downplayed when compared to the men – Rama, Lakshmana, Ravana, and Dasharatha.

6. Quiet by Susan Cain
The quiet ones often prefer listening over talking. However, they are often misjudged and face issues of self-doubt. This book emphasizes that introverts are equally important and powerful. Susan Cain, who is also an introvert builds this confidence and teaches us to be more kind to ourselves and the people around us. She shares success stories of some of the most powerful introverts such as, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, JK Rowling, and more. Quiet, is a great read for introverts as well as extroverts.

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for Quiet by Susan Cain


7. Kokoro by Natsume Sōseki
This is another uniquely interesting story which is about a friendship between a young boy and a reclusive older man whom the boy refers to as Sensei or teacher. The central theme is loneliness and how Sensei has lost faith in humanity. It is about their life choices, how destiny can affect their life, and how some mistakes can never be forgotten. Excellently narrated by Natsume Soseki, Kokoro connects with you on a strangely deep level.

8. Life by Lu Yao
Gao Jialin, the protagonist of this story is a school teacher in his country village. Due to local politics, he loses his job and it throws his whole life into disarray. At this low point, he finds comfort in a romantic relationship. But, Gao Jialin is ambitious and believes he deserves to have a better life. To fulfill his stubborn dreams he decides to leave behind his rural life and moves to a big city. An easy read, Life is an emotional story that gives a very realistic portrayal of the urban and rural divide.

9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
It is an amazing story about a little French girl and a German boy during World War II. Loved this war novel, it is a must-read!

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

10. ⭐️Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson⭐️
Oathbringer is book three of the Stormlight Archive, this epic series has got me hooked! You cannot help but lose yourself in the fantasy world of the Stormlight Archive. It is a story about Roshar, Parshmen, Knights Radiants, Shardblades, Sprens, war, and a lot more. If you enjoy reading high-fantasy, then Stormlight Archive is one of the best ever!

11. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
There is an explosion of a therapeutic medical device called a HBOT chamber. Was it an accident or a planned murder? The story is centered around murder mystery that deals with a fast-paced and thrilling courtroom drama. It is about challenges of parenting, secrets, lies, identity crisis, troubles of a teenage girl, and relationships.

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for Miracle Creek by Angie Kim


12. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Finally, got a chance to read this famous classic novel and I loved it! It is a story about four sisters and their journey from childhood to womanhood. The rich descriptive language and wonderful character buildup make this book extremely personal and special.

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


13. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Oddly comical, this book is about two sisters, Korede and Ayoola. Ayoola murders and Korede cleans up after Ayoola kills her boyfriends. Korede loves her sister and cannot hand her over to the police but what happens when Ayoola starts dating the person that Korede has been in love with?

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite


14. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
One morning, Kya wakes up and watches her mother walk out of the door and she knows life will never be the same again. Where the Crawdads Sing is a story of a young girl left alone in an isolated marshland and an intriguing murder mystery of Chase Andrews.

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


15. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman
This graphic novel is a piece of art! It narrates the famous story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but with a dark twist, a must-read!

*Please click on the link below if you wish to read a longer review that I’ve written for this book on my blog.
Book Review for Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman


16. The End is Always Near by Dan Carlin
This book is written by the host of the popular podcast, Hardcore History, Dan Carlin who takes us through a crash course in history. He shows us how all the great empires have suffered similar problems which continue till date such as, climate change, famine, plague, and war. This book gives us historical perspective on problems that we think exist only in this generation. Dan Carlin makes the reader aware that while the end may always seem near, humanity has prevailed so far.

17. Alone by Christophe Chabouté
A stunning tale beautifully illustrated by Chabouté. It is a story about a lonely hermit who has spent his entire life alone in a lighthouse and has never interacted with the rest of the world. This graphic novel is a heartwarming masterpiece!