September was the first full month we had our baby at home with us. Being on maternity leave seemed like a perfect time to read more, but so far the opposite is true. With my hands and mind full of the baby, slight sleep deprivation, and adjusting to a new family normal, I didn’t have much time or desire really, to read.
I realized that at the moment physical books are difficult to read. It often seems that two hands aren’t enough to hold and take care of a tiny human 🙂 I switched to e-books, and I’m already reading more. We’ll see how much I can accomplish by the end of October!
In September I only read two books, but both were very engaging and easy to read.
The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup
One December day, Sapna Sinha is approached by an old man. It’s Vinay Mohan Acharya, the owner of one of the biggest companies in India. He makes her an offer to become the CEO of his company, but first, she would need to pass seven tests.
At first, Sapna, who works as a salesgirl and is the only breadwinner of the family, refuses the offer. She believes it’s a scam. But life circumstances force Sapna to accept the conditions of Mr. Acharya.
The tests are diverse and help her learn new skills. She realizes she’s strong, decisive, resourceful and driven. The tests themselves will change her life and give her incredible opportunities.
Vikas Swarup is the author of the bestseller Slumdog Millionaire, and The Accidental Apprentice is written similarly. The current events are alternated with Sapna’s memories from the past.
I would love to see a movie based on this book! It was incredibly engaging and interesting until the very last page.
You can find the book here.
The Happiest Kids in the World by Rina Mae Acosta and Michelle Hutchinson
As a result of several studies, Dutch children are proclaimed to be the happiest kids in the world. The authors of this book, a Brit and an American, married Dutchmen and moved to the Netherlands where they are raising their children. Rina and Michelle are surprised with the way how children are brought up in their new homeland.
In the book, they recount several reasons why the Dutch children are so happy. The school system, good relationship with parents, the shorter workweek and part-time work, and independence the Dutch children have from an early age are just a few of the reason they believe influence their happiness.
The book shows the contrast between childrearing in the UK and the US versus in the Netherlands. But it’s true that the Dutch way can serve as an example to many other nations. I found many of the ideas and approaches used in the Netherlands logical and aspirational.
The book is available here.