Book Review - Life in the Time of Coronavirus by Ranjini S #BlogchatterEbook

by - June 08, 2020

Author : Ranjini S
Pages : 55
Formats available: eBook

The #BlogchatterA2Z challenge ended with the release of 63 wonderfully written, well-researched ebooks by authors from all over the world. The topics were myriad, ranging from fiction and motivational to poetry and cookery. Today, I want to talk about a book which dealt with a topic that is on everyone's mind this year.

book review

Who is Ranjini S

a woman drinking a cup of coffee

Pursuing a career as a chartered accountant has not diminished Ranjini's primary passion for writing, her long running blog A Few Handpicked Things a testament to that. As the title of her blog suggests, this Potterhead writes about life and its quirks and believes in not restricting herself to a niche. 

What I Like About This Book

Life in the Time of Coronavirus has a very unique origin story. The author was in the midst of changing jobs and so took the opportunity to go home to Kochi in Kerala for a few days before heading on to her new job in Bangalore. It was during this time that the sudden nation-wide lockdown was enforced due to the Coronavirus pandemic in India, leaving her 'stranded at home.'

Like all of us, Ranjini too had her eye on the daily news that came our way during this lockdown. Unlike us though, she did not allow the avalanche of information that would come to bury what truly mattered. The book documents the key moments related to COVID19 over the last few months, dating back to the first reported case in China. 

The chapters within are well-researched, cross-references provided for all data mentioned in the book. Ranjini has a keen eye for analysis and it shows in these articles. Neatly divided into categories like "The Lockdown and what came with it", "Problems caused by humans" and "Facing some stark realities", the articles within each heading deal with various incidents that caught our eye during this period, offering her personal view on them. 

Her chapter on people suffering from COVID19 saying their final goodbyes is gut-wrenching, forcing us to deal with our own inner fears about facing such a prospect. Similarly, she has collected stories of kindness from across the world during these harsh times, aimed at making you have faith in humanity once more.

Her father and sister too have written two guest articles within this book, offering a unique spiritual and delightfully youthful take respectively on life during these times (both aspects I sincerely lack due to my tin heart and balding head, I realize!)

Having read the book, I have to say that it is a view I subscribe to. The views within this book come from a heart that has empathy and kindness, yet is unafraid to call a spade a spade. Especially when we deal with a topic like this, it is important to have both these qualities.

On the day the last chapter of the book was written (April 29, 2020), India had just crossed the 31,000 mark for positive COVID19 cases. Today, just over a month later, we are well past 2.5 lakhs and hurtling towards the unwanted global top position. I cannot even remember what it felt like to have just 25 to 30 positive cases a day, which was the scenario when the author wrote her first chapter. 

That really is the point.

A year from now, we may not remember how we felt during the first few days of this horror show that 2020 has bestowed upon us. Ranjini identified that earlier than most, these chronicles she has written built to stand the test of time. 

I recommend you have this book because it is a wonderfully insightful documentation of a key moment in the history of our country, the beginning of our battle against a pandemic unlike any we had faced in over a century.

My Interview with Ranjini

Life in the Time of Coronavirus by Ranjini S is available for free (<---click the link to get it) for a limited time period. 
You can find her at her blog or on Twitter

Author's note:

I will take this opportunity to shamelessly point out that my own feel-good book 'Heroes of Kindness' is also available online for a limited time period and can be in your possession literally 30 seconds from now for free!

blurb of a book

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  1. Thank you so so much for this wonderful review Roshan. We've discussed at lengths about our books and our doubts and you would know how heart warming it is to read such reviews. The thing that tops all of it is that, you're a doctor and you've been at the heart of it all. Coming from you, this is an honor. Thank you :)

    1. It was lovely chatting with you... I enjoyed the instagram live chat a lot :)

  2. I loved the way Ranjini wrote about the beginning days of the pandemic. At the time, I never thought that things would worsen so fast and that high number of cases would become a daily thing. It was indeed a good idea to document it. :)

    1. I was going through the numbers... we had barely 400 cases when the lockdown started... today we are at 275000. The need for documentation of the early days was an inspired idea

  3. We need such books to remind us in the future how life can change in the blink of an eye and how we ought to hold on to what really matters. And, change our way of living, too, I guess!
    Thanks for this review, Roshan!

  4. A great review Roshan!

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Let me know what you think.