Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Life as and when it happens

Both White Banners and Green Light  by Lloyd  Douglas give a you a take on life and dealing with the challenges it throws on you.

I read White Banners first and perhaps that's why I liked it much better. The bottom line or the thread that strings the stories together is similar.

White Banners is the story of Hannah who in a chance encounter adapts a family aka ends up as their housekeeper and helps them stay bound together as a family. There is of course the story of why or how Hannah ends up where she did, how she connects with each member of the family, their successes their failure. More importantly there is Hannah's take on how to live ones life which explains all her actions.

Not saying that one needs to necessarily buy into her philosophy but every point of view is interesting.  Sometimes the outlook sounds altruistic, naive even but it gives the Hannah the strength to get through life and is a must read. 

Green Light on the other hand is much softer read, it has a buildup of a love story in the background. Its about a doctor who ends up taking the blame for a mistake made by his mentor and decides to give up medicine. The story is about his attempt at disappearing into the unknown and eventually confronting his situation.  Along his journey he meets several characters, including the daughter of the women who died on the operation table due to his mentors carelessness. Every character has a story and is in search of "something", trying to deal with the cards life has dealt. 

*** Must Read.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Back on the Reading spree

OK. Its not really reading spree but from one book in six months I have gotten to one book in a month. Often its been Georgette Heyer books which I have missed before or reading them again.

Whats my excuse? I am traveling a lot these days! Which should explain the GH books. The second excuse I have is having discovered Flipkart and Infibeam (which is good for used books) one feels like buying books a lot.

So plan is to start reviewing booking I have read in the past year or so.

Here is my list for now in no particular order and, if anyone happens to drop by this blog I will take suggestions on other reads.

Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaleed Hosseini

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier

Hungry Hill by Daphne Du Maurier

White Banners by Lloyd C. Douglas *still reading this!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

in time for the movie release

I haven't been reading much lately, other than a few math papers. Looking forward to the winter break to maybe catch up with some reading. I wish there was a netfilx for books. Maybe there is and I just don't know it.

Anyway, a visit to the movies a month ago reminded me what I had been reading last summer. Now a serious reader would not be proud of it, partly because of the whole bridget jones exaggerated style of writing. But inspite of all the arguments against the Shopaholic series, it was the perfect companion for the amount of air travelling I was doing. Me and my parents made the best of their visit by going to all possible ends of this country in a month. In the process I got hooked to Rebecca Bloomwood.

The books especially I think the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and "Shopaholic and the baby" were hilarious.
There something to be said for the outrageous escapades of Becky, her passion for shopping and the scrapes she gets into. Sophie Kinsella manages to get the comical circumstances right at least in the first few books. Just the concept is worth something, and I definitely recommend the first of the series.
I think the movie clips picked up a few funny moments from the book. But if bridget jones diary was anything to go by, the movie will only just end up making the character look lot more ridiculous than she needs to be.

I guess, if you were looking for a bunch of feel good books to read, then start reading this series now, before the movie spoils it for you.

Saw the movie.. It was nothing like the novel..and if you have seen the movie..don't let it put you off reading the book. The movie was just one big farce. Taking bits and pieces of all the different books and making it into something random!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Let's get graphic!

After my instant love affair with Mma.Ramotswe and my self-proclaimed submission to Pottermania, I have a new fascination. The nice thing with fictitious characters is that you can fall in love with as many as you like and the others never mind. Of course, that's hardly news to me, having had a long list of imaginary paramours.

* Violins interlude while we trip down memory lane *

Heading the list of my early obsessions is Fredrick Algernon Trotville a.k.a. Fatty of the Five-findouters. And soon after, almost as naturally as the transition to adolescence came the deeply fascinating Jupiter Jones of The Three Investigators. Ah...I've always had a thing for intelligent men...and apparently it was a taste acquired very early in life. If either of these characters had been real, I would have been their best buddy-girl friend.

There was a brief liason with Howard Roark (but that's so predictable for any teenage girl who loves books, isn't it? A sort of rite of passage into the world of thinking). I neatly bypassed Holden Caulfield and when we did meet, I was faintly disgusted with his teenage tantrums.

For awhile I was also taken in by the P.G.Wodehouse cast with a special fondness for Lord Elmsworth and a not-so-secret crush on Psmith. For awhile, I was even a member of a group where everyone took on the name of one character. I was holding out for Madeline "The stars are God's daisy chain"Bassett but since that was already taken, I settled instead for the formidable Lady Constance Keeble (more appropriate for me, wouldn't you think?)

And most recently I've been enchanted by the worlds of Milan Kundera and Alexander McCall.

* End of interlude *

fables.jpgI've been hearing about graphic novels for a fair bit now. At the Landmark sale (still on), I bumped into fellow-blogger Vijay and a friend of his. Friend in question (also blogger whose link I've forgotten) had a pile of what I recognized as graphic novels. I picked it up and opened it (much to his dismay we think, judging from the expression on his face) only to be confronted with...errm...let's just say I quickly shut it and said,
So that's why they call it a graphic novel!?!

A short discussion ensued and he ended up picking out one for me to try out. So after all this long-winding talk, this is a thank you to him for introducing me to another great reading experience. The volume I bought that day was the first part of the Fables series called Fables: Legends in Exile. I read it through the night and over the next couple of weekends, I've managed to collect a few more in the series. I'm now missing a few in between but quite firmly entrenched in the plot and engrossed in the lives of Snow, Bigby, Boy Blue, Flycatcher, Charming and the others.

And yes, fellow-bloggers who have recently been made aware of this new fascination of mine, I do read comics!! (Bloody expensive ones, may I add?) But then what else were Asterix and Tintin? These are their more recent forays into our reading.

As a part of the same drive, I also chanced on another book called De: Tales by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. Brilliant is all I can call it. You know the best kind of stories are the ones you can't figure out why you like and you have to keep going back to, to try and understand. This is one of them.


Here then to my new loves....bookstore, here I come!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Prejudice and religon

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is ( I feel like saying yet another book) written with the background of September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

The book is a narrated by Changez to an American tourist in Pakistan, about discovering love, freedom and more in America. Changez goes on to explain how the tragedy of September 11th, eventually led back to his return to Pakistan.

The whole narrative is in the form of a conversation, wherein the responses of the tourist are expressed as interepreted by Changez. The book is gripping from the very begininning.

Changez describes his love for Erica and his frustrations on not being able to take the place of memories of her late childhood love. His job at Underwood Samson brings him much pleasure and glory.
The transition of both his love life and work place envoirnment in the aftermath of the tragedy brings about the twist in the story. The sweet paced, happy love story slowly turns into a chilling thriller.

In all its a quick read and leaves you thinking.. what each of his characters symbolize and how they tell you a new tale now (in a similar vein to Life of Pi but only in that respect).

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Kabul and beyond

I saw this movie recently, ok to be honest a few months back called "The Kabul Express".
The movie was really shot in Afghanistan, and for the first time I saw pictures of this country which has been a neighbour yet some far out name in my mind for so long.

The scenary is incredible, the raw beauty just overpowers every scene. Now, this was beyond my imagination, or would have been if I had not read the Kite Runner just a few days before that. The images fit the pictures painted in the book of war torn
Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban regime.

Khaleed Hosseni tells a tale of a young boy and his Hazara servant boy. Its this boy's journey from before Taliban, to the aftermath of Taliban regime. The book is a page turner. The whole story is bound by the relationship of Amir and Hassan, their desire to win the Kite flying competetion.

KH blends drama and the reality of the period beuatifully. The description of Kabul that was and has become after the power struggles are written pictursquely from the eyes of Amir as a boy and Amir as the grown up man returning home after several years.

In all the book is must read. In fact, I should thank Janani for first putting up a book review for this one on her blog.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Aunts arn't Gentlemen

Its hard to write a review (or whatever it is I do on this blog) about well acclaimed novelists.
I cannot tell you anything you haven't read already I suppose.

I had a phase when I read every P.G. Wodehouse I could lay my hands on. Unlike most people I beleive I prefer Blandings Castle Series to Jeeves and Wooster.

I am almost afraid to say that I had forgotten how well these books have been written. Or I have never maybe really appreciated the nuances of his writing. There is humor in every thing, the plot, every sentence, even how the sentences are structured. Be it the brave face of the butler or the description of a man in the living with a painting in hanging on his neck, its hard to immitate, or for me to explain the hilarity of the situation.

Perhaps the statement I wanted to make is that if you are fond of reading, perhaps you should pick up Aunt's Arn't Gentlemen or Pigs have Wings next time you are in a bookstore. Then we can share our marvel at the beautiful writing!