With the first two months of this year being worrisome, not just for us hosts and our inactivity surrounding this challenge, but also for the world as a whole, we’re back with a more positive note. Inspired by the famous Indian festival of Holi where colours are all around, our March theme is bound to make you dip into a whole lot of colour too. Rangeen which means ‘colourful’ is our monthly theme and we’re excited for all the pleasantly surprising elements that are planned ahead.
What books can be read as part of this theme?
The Urdu root word rang means colour, and rangeen means colourful. Of course, we don’t want to confine your imagination to just colourful book covers, so feel free to interpret the theme in any way you wish! While we’re open to new ideas and creative flows from the participants, we would definitely share some ideas that you can start with or stick to:
1. A book with colour(s) in the title
2. Colourful covers
3. Read seven books, one with each colour of the rainbow
4. Books with characters whose personalities coincide with colours
Where can I find book recommendations based on this theme?
We have a great list of books that sit well with Rangeen and we’re excited to post it soon. Not only this, we also have movie & TV series as well as music recommendations if you wish to diversify your to-watch list too! Till then, keep an eye out by following the social media profiles of The South-Asian Reading Challenge because that’s where you’ll hear it first: Twitter & Instagram.
WE ARE TOTALLY NORMAL BY RAHUL KANAKIA
Nandan’s got a plan to make his junior year perfect. He’s going to make sure all the parties are chill, he’s going to smooth things over with his ex, and he’s going to help his friend Dave get into the popular crowd—whether Dave wants to or not. The high school social scene might be complicated, but Nandan is sure he’s cracked the code.
Then, one night after a party, Dave and Nandan hook up, which was not part of the plan—especially because Nandan has never been into guys. Still, Dave’s cool, and Nandan’s willing to give it a shot, even if that means everyone starts to see him differently.
But while Dave takes to their new relationship with ease, Nandan’s completely out of his depth. And the more his anxiety grows about what his sexuality means for himself, his friends, and his social life, the more he wonders whether he can just take it all back. But is breaking up with the only person who’s ever really gotten him worth feeling “normal” again?
From Rahul Kanakia comes a raw and deeply felt story about rejecting labels, seeking connection, and finding yourself.
THE SERPENT’S SECRET BY SAYANTANI DASGUPTA
MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMON SLAYER
(Only she doesn’t know it yet.)
On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.
To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…
What can I expect if I plan to read the Books of the Month?
We’re always here to cheer everyone picking up any South-Asian book but if you decide to read either of these February 2020 picks: We Are Totally Normal or The Serpent’s Secret, we’d be excited to know your thoughts while reading it or once you’ve read it.
If you review them, we would love to be tagged; if you include them in a list, we would be happy to know; if you have already read it and recommend it along with us, let us know; and if you wish to discuss them with others who are reading it (or have already read), you can participate in our monthly Twitter chat! But in the easiest way, you can use our hashtag #SARC2020 on any social media to share your thoughts.
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