Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Animal’s People by Indra Sinha

Blurb from Goodreads

Profane, piercingly honest, and scathingly funny, Animal’s People is the stunning tale of an unforgettable character: Animal, a young man whose back was twisted beyond repair in an industrial accident. It is a dark world, shot through with flashes of joy and lunacy.

“I used to be human once. So I’m told. I don’t remember it myself, but people who knew me when I was small say I walked on two feet, just like a human being…”

Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, his back twisted beyond repair by the catastrophic events of “that night” when a burning fog of poison smoke from the local factory blazed out over the town of Khaufpur, and the Apocalypse visited his slums. Now just turned seventeen and well schooled in street work, he lives by his wits, spending his days jamisponding (spying) on town officials and looking after the elderly nun who raised him, Ma Franci. His nights are spent fantasizing about Nisha, the girlfriend of the local resistance leader, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.

When Elli Barber, a young American doctor, arrives in Khaufpur to open a free clinic for the still suffering townsfolk — only to find herself struggling to convince them that she isn’t there to do the dirty work of the Kampani — Animal gets caught up in a web of intrigues, scams, and plots with the unabashed aim of turning events to his own advantage.

Profane, piercingly honest, and scathingly funny, Animal’s People illuminates a dark world shot through with flashes of joy and lunacy. A stunning tale of an unforgettable character, it is an unflinching look at what it means to be human: the wounds that never heal and a spirit that will not be quenched.

Why I Want To Read It

And just like that, it is Monday again! Not only that, we’re already midway through November! In 15 more days, we will be welcoming the last month of the year. Wow. Time is flying fast. I guess it is also impatient. It wants to do away with the horrors that have been gripping us these past two years. But as 2022 draws closer, I hope that you receive or have received everything you have prayed for, that you are reaping the fruits of what you have sowed throughout the year, that you have reached the stars that you have been aiming for. I pray that you are healing from the wounds inflicted on you, that you find forgiveness for your faults, and that you, in turn, find the heart to forgive those who have trespassed against you. May we all find healing. I also hope that you are doing well, both physically and mentally, despite these trying and uncertain times. If there is one wish that I hope would be granted it would be for this pandemic to end. While I am anxious about what 2022 has in store, I am still hoping for the best.

Not only are Monday’s doors for new opportunities and new chances, but it is also for Goodreads Monday updates. Reading-wise, I have been focusing on books on my reading challenges, in particular my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. However, for my Goodreads Monday updates, I have been featuring books I recently added to my (perpetually) growing reading list; I have quite a very long one, especially considering that some of the books I own are not tagged as “Want To Read” in my Goodreads page. The latest addition to this Goodreads “Want To Read” list is Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People. Sinha is an unfamiliar name that I’ve recently encountered.

My encounter with Sinha and his novel, Animal’s People was a coincidence. I have been catching up lately on my book reviews and my last three book reviews are all Booker Prize winners (The Promise, Schindler’s Ark, and The Gathering). Because of this, I have been going through the Booker Prize shortlists. It was through the shortlists that I have encountered Animal’s People, which was shortlisted in 2007; the 2007 Booker Prize was awarded to Anne Enright’s The Gathering. It piqued my interest so I looked it up. It does have a high rating in Goodreads so I automatically added it to my reading list, sans any iota on what the book was about.

Upon researching more on the book, the more my interest was piqued. The story was predicated on the 1984 Bhopal disaster, a gas leak incident that happened on the night of December 2-3 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Around 42,000 kilograms (93,000) of the highly toxic substance methyl isocyanate (MIC) and other gases were released from the factory’s underground reservoir, exposing over half a million people to these harmful gases. The devastation was extensive, stretching to small towns surrounding the factory. It is recognized as one of the worst industrial disasters in history, with an estimated 3,500 people (although it varies) perishing immediately following the incident and a further 15,000 more deaths in the succeeding years. This was my first time reading about the incident and it broke my heart.

I can’t wait to read the book. I am hoping that Sinha’s novel will give me more insights into this unfortunate incident and its adverse effects. How about you fellow reader? What are the most recent additions to your reading lists? Perhaps you could share it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday! I hope you will all have a great week ahead! And as always, happy reading!