Monsoon Diary Reviews

Someone posted the Amazon review site on Twitter.  I don’t know why I had never gone on it.  Learned a bit about writing and what is expected by knowing readers.

Here are two: one positive and one negative.

Delicious Read, May 12, 2007
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Never mind where you were when you experienced the ‘big events’ of your life, instead, can you remember what were you eating?

Shoba Nayaran remembers, and delivers those landmark flavors in print. From the comforting memories of her childhood, to the abuse suffered under her first graduate program, to her wedding and subsequent adjustment to married life, Shoba Narayn writes about each significant life event with an even hand, a light sense of humor, and perfectly chosen recipes to accompany every part of her story.

This isn’t your traditional cookbook, nor is it a plodding, self-aggrandizing autobiography. It is instead a book that moves along at a fast pace, giving us glimpses of intensely personal moments, but then quickly, breezily moving along to the next topic, the next recipe, the next memory. The reader is never bogged down in this parsimonious trip down memory lane. Instead, we receive exactly what is promised: a memoir with food. (and succulent food at that!)

An excellent read, a fast read, a delicious read.

 Shocked at the glowing reviews, January 6, 2011
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I’m 3/4 of the way through this book and I find it so aggravating that I decided to see what others think it it. I have to say I’m shocked to read that most people really consider it to be well written. This book seems to be written with a very selective memory that erased the less than happy aspects of growing up and making the transition as an immigrant to a radically different culture. Her memoir is all fairies and light. It’s so rose colored and sugar coated that it actually grates on my nerves. The author tends to rely on descriptive word choices that cause her to miss great opportunites to truly paint a picture. More than once she describes a fantastic meal only to end the passage by saying it made her ” somnolent.” Her vocabulary is educated but it lacks descriptive substance. I’ll finish this book only because I hate to leave a book in the middle. Her writing is sophmoric and her account lacks reality. However, the edition I have ( which is different than what is shown here)has a lovely cover with a photo of the author that is beautifully done.