Why I Loved Reading The Windfall {Diksha Basu} and You Will, Too! {Book Review}

Why I Loved Reading The Windfall {Diksha Basu} and You Will, Too! {Book Review}

Last December my family and I went on vacation and we got stuck on a mountain. However, BEFORE all of that craziness occurred, my family and I visited the most amazing bookstore I have ever visited! I purchased only 1 souvenir from that glorious book store: Diksha Basu’s The Windfall.

Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding has been on my to read for YEARS (it was on my list of books to read in 2020) but my library hasn’t carried it. When I saw The Windfall at that glorious bookstore on our trip, I knew I had to read it! I asked the lady working if they also carried Destination Wedding but sadly they did not. I happily bought this book instead and was so excited to FINALLY have the opportunity to read and review one of Basu’s books!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Windfall {Diksha Basu}:

For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all.

The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters..

My Book Review AKA: Why I Loved Reading The Windfall {Dasha Basu}:

I truly believe that out of that entire massive selection of books at that awesome book store, I could not have made a better choice 🙂

I’ve mentioned before how much I absolutely love reading books about cultures different than my own. I always find it so fascinating to distinguish between cultural similarities and differences!

I’ve also mentioned that throughout my entire life, I’ve always felt particularly drawn to learning about the Indian culture. So many aspects of Indian culture have fascinated me from the time I was a little girl and has continued to do so.

The Windfall is EXACTLY the type of book that I find so compelling. I have read MANY books which revolve around Indian culture but none as raw and honest as this book. I learned so much without necessarily being taught…just from reading about the lives that these characters lead. I found myself Googling numerous times while reading about various cultural topics just to enhance my knowledge. I love when a book is so well written that it makes me want to learn even more factual information about the setting beyond the story!

I completely fell in love with this wonderful book and these characters. Each had such an interesting story to tell and I was equally invested in each of their stories for different reasons. I loved these characters!

And the descriptions…I truly felt like I was in India!

I finished reading this book one night last week and I woke up the following morning already missing these lovely characters. The Windfall gave me so much to think about! It’s messages about family, status, culture, love, and what is truly important in life were deep and meaningful.

AND….after checking for the millionth time…my library can now FINALLY receive a copy of Destination Wedding for me to read! I’m so excited, I have very high expectations. In fact, I’m pretty sure I love it already 🙂

Bottom Line:

Such a special book.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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The Most Amazing Bookstore I’ve Ever Visited (Pictures and VIDEO)!

As a book lover, a book blogger, a book reviewer, and an overall book ADDICT, I’ve been to my fair share of bookstores. I love everything about bookstores….the peaceful tranquility I feel the moment I step in the door, the delicious smell of the books, the beautiful covers of pieces of literature lining the shelves. I have been to some AMAZING bookstores but I think this gem of a bookstore might just be my most favorite.

Hiiiii!

On our recent trip to Tennessee (that would be the trip where we were trapped on top of a mountain with no power and little food…you can read that full crazy story HERE), I came across the most amazing bookstore I have ever visited in a totally random way!

My husband has a MoonPie obsession. Yes you read that correctly…MoonPies. What is a MoonPie you ask? From Wikipedia:

moon pie, stylized as MoonPie,[1] is an American confection, popular across much of the United States, which consists of two round graham cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating. The traditional pie is approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. A smaller version, called a mini moon pie, is approximately half the size, and a double-decker moon pie of the traditional diameter features a third cookie and attendant layer of marshmallow. The five main flavors are chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry, and salted caramel. Orange and coconut make seasonal appearances during the Mardi Gras parading season.

Jon absolutely LOVES them.

So picture it: The 4 of us were driving along through Pigeon Forge, TN on our way back to our cabin in Gatlinburg when suddenly Jon literally yelled “MOONPIES!!!! AND A BOOK WAREHOUSE FOR MOM!!!!” and made a sharp turn into a parking lot. I looked up at the sign that caught his attention and sure enough…we were at a building which apparently housed not only MoonPies but…BOOKS?!?

I’ll admit, I didn’t have very high hopes when getting out of the car. I mean, how random! MoonPies and…books? Like, how do those 2 things even go together???

The Most Amazing Bookstore I’ve Ever Visited

Once I walked in the door of the MoonPie General Store and Book Warehouse, I was pleasantly surprised to find a LOVELY bookstore to my right! My husband found a LOVELY selection of Moon Pies to his left! A building truly made just for us 🙂 Naturally we each took a kid, said good bye to each other, and set off to explore in opposite directions 🙂

My first impression was that I was greeted with a very nice and lovely bookstore. I was happy to explore! Little did I know what I would eventually discover!

Paula Deen!
Dolly Parton is everywhere in this town!

My daughter and I walked around and happily poured through the stacks. Everything was GOOD when suddenly…

The true most hidden gem of the entire experience…

THE BASEMENT.

When I walked down those stairs, I was expecting a few shelves of clearance books. I was most definitely NOT expecting…THIS.

True or false…I gasped when I got to the bottom of the staircase. True. 100 percent true.

Oh. My.

I’m still not entirely sure how MoonPies and books go together but I’m so here for it…???

I could have spent HOURS in that basement! My true version of heaven! Some of the books organized, some of the books unorganized, some books are brand new, some books are used, all of the books AMAZING. Literally THOUSANDS of treasures down in that basement. A book lover’s DREAM.

I told my daughter that she could pick any book from the store and she chose this one (from the upstairs bookstore):

I chose this one! I’ve been hunting for Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding for over a year and can’t seem to get my hands on a copy. I finally was able to find another one of her titles so I grabbed it (from the basement)! Can’t wait to read it!

And I should probably mention the other half of the massive upstairs building dedicated to…MoonPies?!?

My husband was in absolute HEAVEN and bought lots of MoonPies as souvenirs.

2 days after our initial visit, it was a very rainy day (which later turned into snow which would be how we got stuck on that mountain). What is better to do on a rainy day…than to go BACK to the hidden gem of a bookstore! You KNOW I did! However this time, I went STRAIGHT to that basement. Perfection.

I didn’t end of buying anything on that second trip but I absolutely LOVED walking around. Jon bought more MoonPies 🙂 Chocolate, chocolate mint, strawberry, and vanilla. Some full sized, some mini sized!

3 weeks later and our pantry still contains LOTS of MoonPies. He stocked up!

If you are ever in the area, this place is a MUST visit! HERE is their website where you can learn more including the many other products they carry and it’s exact Pigeon Forge address. When we go back to Tennessee (which we absolutely will one day…maaaaabye just not during the winter), I will be sure to set aside an entire afternoon to walk through this store alllllll by myself. Scratch that…I will be sure to set aside an entire afternoon to walk through THAT BASEMENT alllllll by myself!

If my husband and I ever decide to renew our wedding vows, I kind of feel like this would be the perfect venue for us amongst the Moon Pies and books, lol! It’s like this random pairing of goods was created and housed together in a building especially for the 2 of us! Perfect 🙂

Do you like MoonPies? Have any of you been to the MoonPie General Store and Book Warehouse? What is the best bookstore you have ever visited?

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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6 Books That I Really Wanted To Read in 2020–Did I?

When 2019 was coming to an end (and the absolute craziness of 2020 was still in the future), I wrote this post highlighting 6 books being released in 2020 that I had on my radar to read. It’s always fun to go back at the end of the year and see which of those books I actually ended up reading and which I still haven’t.

Current view as I’m writing this. Love.

**Click the picture of the book covers below to order your book through my Amazon Affiliate links.  When you purchase through these links, I receive a small commission.  Xo!**

Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}

Release Date: March 17, 2020

Synopsis:

The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?

To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.

Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good.

What I Had Written In 2019 On Why I Had Wanted To Read It:

“This sounds so scandalous and juicy…I can’t wait to read it :)”

Did I Read It?

Yes! You can read my review HERE.

This Is Not How It Ends {Rochelle Weinstein}

Release Date: 1/1/20

Synopsis:

When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.

Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted and the one she knows she needs.

As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and has yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing that forgiveness is a gift, and the best-laid plans can change in a heartbeat.

What I Had Written In 2019 On Why I Had Wanted To Read It:

“I was fortunate to receive an Advance Readers Copy of this book.  Spoiler Alert: I. LOVED. IT.  Full blog review (and giveaway!) coming soon! This was officially released on 1/1 so you can read it NOW! And you should.  This book was included on my list of the best books I read in 2019.”

Did I Read It?

Yes! You can read my review HERE.

Such a Fun Age {Kiley Reid}


Release Date: 12/31/19

Synopsis:

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

What I Had Written In 2019 On Why I Had Wanted To Read It:

“So TECHNICALLY this one released in 2019…but…12/31 is close enough to 2020 to be included here 🙂  This book looks so amazing!  I’ve had my name on the library hold list for months already.  I can’t wait to read this one.”

Did I Read It?

Yes! You can read my review HERE.


All Adults Here {Emma Straub}

Release Date: May 5, 2020

Synopsis:

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is intentionally pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

What I Had Written In 2019 On Why I Had Wanted To Read It:

“I’m conflicted.  I didn’t love Emma Straub’s The Vacationers but this new one of hers sounds so good…???”

Did I Read It?

Nope. I checked this book out of the library a few months ago…and returned it without even opening the cover. As good as this one sounds, I just can’t get excited about it considering how much I disliked The Vacationers. Maybe I will read this one at some point, but there are so many other books ahead of it on my list.

The Other Mrs. {Mary Kubica}

Release Date: 2/18/2020

Synopsis:

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. It’s their eerie old home, with its decrepit decor and creepy attic, which they inherited from Will’s sister after she died unexpectedly. It’s Will’s disturbed teenage niece Imogen, with her dark and threatening presence. And it’s the troubling past that continues to wear at the seams of their family.

As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan’s death. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

What I Had Written In 2019 On Why I Had Wanted To Read It:

“I was fortunate to receive an Advance Readers Copy of this book.  Very unique and special full blog review coming on MONDAY!”

Did I Read It?

Yes! I actually wrote a joint review with a fellow book blogger over on her amazing book review blog. You can read both of our reviews HERE.

Destination Wedding {Diksha Basu}

Release Date: June 30, 2020

Synopsis:

Tina Das wants to belong, but she just isn’t sure where. India or America? Brooklyn or Bombay? Manhattan or Delhi? Or start from scratch in London–she still has fond memories of her one-night stand with Rocco Gallagher, the handsome Australian, as they traipsed through Covent Garden and Seven Dials, but he never called back so maybe it’s time to let that dream go, and focus on finding the next big story for her streaming network instead.

She’s hoping she’ll find it at her cousin’s lavish, weeklong Delhi wedding, and has taken her best friend Marianne Laing along for the ride to Delhi’s poshest country club, Colebrookes. Marianne has always had international tastes, in life and in love, yet can’t help but think of sweet, steady, khaki-clad Tom back home in New York.

Also in attendance are Tina’s divorced parents: her mother, Radha, who’s bringing her American “boyfriend,” David, to the wedding, and her father, Neel, who’s using the visit to India to explore the idea of dating again, only to discover it and he have both changed completely in the decades he’s been away.

Infused with warmth, charm, and wicked humor, Destination Wedding grapples with the challenges of work, love, and finding the people who make a place feel like home.

What I Had Written In 2019 On Why I Had Wanted To Read It:

“I’ve mentioned before how I have always been drawn to learning about Indian culture throughout my entire life.  This book sounds wonderful!”

Did I Read It?

I did not…but definitely not for lack of trying! My local library doesn’t carry it no matter how many times I keep checking. I plan on asking them to order a copy but I haven’t as of yet. Stay tuned! I still think this book sounds wonderful and definitely plan on reading it. Maybe in 2021?

Have you read any of these 2020 releases this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

You can read my list of books that I wanted to read in 2019 and a mid year check in (I must not have done an end of the year check in) HERE! **I just reread that post and apparently the book that I’m currently reading is on there! Better late than never, lol**

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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