Showing posts from July, 2011

Does a cow really say "Moo"?

Last night I found out that when German cats purr, they are actually "schnurr"-ing. That got me wondering what animals from the rest of the world say!

I can now say "woof woof" in ten languages. If I were in Japan (and if I were a dog), I'd say "wang wang". Actually, come to think about it, I'd rather not. Let's just see what the dogs say. In Spain and Greece, they say "guau guau" - it's rather fascinating to imagine a dog pronounce a "g". In India, dogs say "bhoo bhoo", which sounds kind of like those American dogs that go "bow wow". Korean dogs, apparently say "mung mung".
When I was a kid, I always wondered why on earth an English-speaking rooster says "Cockadoodledoo"! That too, when our Indian roosters get away with saying an easy: "kukoochukoo". It sounds so much more like a bird, anyway. The German rooster says "kikireki", and the French apparently says…

Reading Kafka

I had read Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka a long time ago. I have to say, call me stupid, but unless the book was meant to be funny, I didn't actually figure out what being "Kafkaesque" is all about! I happened to read two more short stories by him now, and I might just have gotten closer to solving the mystery.

Das Urteil (The Judgement) I read, very painstakingly, in German. I think I read the dictionary more than I read the book! Anyway. From what (little) I understood, it is a story about the relationship between a father and a son. It is the conflict between the worlds of the father and the son, their lives which Kafka ultimately links with society. The first half of the story is from the boy's point of view, about his life and the people he knows. When the elderly father appears, he begins immediately to criticize and blame the son. By the end of the utterly unreal interaction between the father and the son, the elderly man sentences his son to death. The conflic…

Night Owl

Booking through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading. This week's question:

What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up reading a book? Is staying up late reading a usual thing for you?
When I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I was up all night, and my sister and I read the one book in turns. I don't remember staying up the whole night reading books many times; though I did stay up till around 3 am quite a lot! And that is no wonder, because I used get up very late.
These days I try to sleep early, so I can wake up early. But I just can't get my nose out of the book. I keep telling myself that I'll just read two or three more pages and then sleep - as if that is going to work!
The only books I can't read at night are those by Stephen King. I read Salem's Lot in the middle of the night, and the entire time I felt like someone was scratching on the window! I couldn't sleep that night, even after I finished reading the book.

Why I Love Wednesdays!

Why I Love Wednesdays is a meme hosted on every Wednesday at Reflections of a Bookaholic.
"Wednesdays are often the time of the week where I have a sudden realization that the week is almost over. I'm always so thankful for this point. That's why I have created a weekly feature where I will highlight something I love that is book related. This feature is called Why I Love Wednesdays..."
I feel like I am stating the obvious by saying that Harry Potter was my most favourite childhood book! That would make my "Favourite Childhood Friends" Harry, Ron and Hermione; Ron a little more than the others!
Like I always say, in case of Harry Potter, it is not just the actual book that makes it special. All the memories that I have attached to it, wonderful times that I had because of the book, talking about it with friends, not to mention, the Harry Potter games which we played - all that makes it much more than just a book!
I read my first Harry Potter book ten years ago…

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

There were eyes painted on the church door, narrow red eyes, and ugly stone demons the height of a man stood on either side of the entrance, their teeth bared like savage dogs.
"Welcome to the devil's house!" said the bearded man with a mocking bow before opening the heavy door. Inkheart (Original: Tintenherz) is a German fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, translated into English by Anthea Bell. It is the first book in the Inkworld Trilogy. If you have ever read a book and wished that the characters would just come alive, this story is for you!
Rating: 3/5 Summary: Meggie is a little girl who loves reading books. She lives with her father, Mo, a book binder! One night, a mysterious stranger named Dustfinger shows up at their house. He calls her father Silvertongue and wants to warn him about some danger. It is the first time that Meggie notices her father lie to her and hide something from her. It is a battered, old book with a green cover; Inkheart. This is where and why the …

BTT #2 : Repeats

Booking through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading. This week's question:
What book have you read the most times? And - how many? What’s the first book that you ever read more than once? (I’m assuming there’s at least one.)

It's funny, but I can't think of a single book that I haven't re-read. There are very few books that I read just once, usually only those that I don't like.
I can't sit still without a book in my hand - even while I am having dinner or watching television; which is when I usually read books that I've already read before. That way I can read, and I won't snap at anyone for disturbing/distracting me!
Every time I re-read a book, I enjoy it more. For two reasons - one, I think of the fun I had reading it the first time and compare what I felt then, to what I feel now (now that I know what is going to happen next!) Another reason is that for fast paced books or those with a complicated plot, I can focus on the writing, in a w…

Why I Love...Fantasy Fiction

Why I Love Wednesdays is a meme hosted at Reflections of a Bookaholic and I'm taking part for the first time :)
"Wednesdays are often the time of the week where I have a sudden realization that the week is almost over. I'm always so thankful for this point. That's why I have created a weekly feature where I will highlight something I love that is book related. This feature is called Why I Love Wednesdays..."
My love for fantasy books probably started when I was a little kid - starting with my then favourite-author-ever: Enid Blyton. I loved her books! And I loved reading them till I was too old to read them (and I gave up only because people looked at me disapprovingly when they saw me reading a 'children's book'.) Brownies and tooth fairies and trees that talk and beds that run away, I'll never forget the wonderful and magical stories!
Then of course, along came Harry Potter! I can't even begin to describe how much I love that book. I still ca…

The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Grab your current read, open to a random page and share two teaser sentences from that page!

"Reading a book, for me at least, is like traveling in someone else's world. If it's a good book, then you feel comfortable and yet anxious to see what's going to happen to you there, what'll be around the next corner." The Land of Laughs is a fantasy novel by Jonathan Carroll. It is about an aspiring writer who wants to write the biography of one of the most famous children's writers ever. It's about books and writing and fantastical worlds.

Rating: 3/5

Summary: Marshall France was a legend in the world of books - children's fantasy stories to be exact, till one day he just stopped writing and disappeared. Thomas Abbey, an English teacher, is an aspiring writer and a Marshall France enthusiast. When Abbey happens to meet Saxony Gartener, a fellow Marshall France lover; they together…

Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. All you do is link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This week's topic: Top Ten Books Every Teen Should Read
Just a note - I know very few "fellow teens" who read the books that I do, so I am not sure if this list fits them. In the end, everyone just has to find their own favourite reads. This is the books I'd recommend to anyone who asks, mostly because I read them as a teenager or I wish I had, anyway!
10. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - I was thirteen when I read this, and I didn't like it. But many of my friends loved it back then, and say it's "okay" now. It's a book that everyone should read at le…

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

“As a rule, Fat Charlie felt embarrassment in his teeth, and in the upper pit of his stomach. If something that even looked like it might be embarrassing was about to happen on his television screen Fat Charlie would leap up and turn it off. If that was not possible, say if other people were present, he would leave the room on some pretext and wait until the moment of embarrassment was sure to be over.”

Anansi Boys is a novel by Neil Gaiman. This is the story of Charles Nancy, son of Anansi. Despite being perfectly normal sized, he is known to all as Fat Charlie. 
Those of you, who have read American Gods know Mr. Nancy quite well; And, those of you, who haven’t read American Gods, should.
Rating: 4/5
"God is dead - meet the kids"
Summary: Fat Charlie hasn’t met his father in ages. When he finally agrees to invite his Dad to his wedding, he learns that he has, in fact, recently passed away. Fat Charlie reluctantly goes home to his father’s funeral, not knowing the chaos about to …

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) this morning and I was very excited about it like everybody else! I wish I'd written a post about it beforehand like everyone else, because then I would have had many great things to say.
I never liked the Harry Potter movies, because they were hardly ever like the books! Unlike most people I know, I find it very hard to judge a movie based on a book without comparing it to the book it is based on. It sounds crazy! Whenever I read a book, I play the scenes in my mind; well, I expect everyone does that. Why else would I watch the Harry Potter movies when I already know what's going to happen - certainly not for the absolutely amazing cast. It's as if they want to remove all the very essential parts of the book to replace them with unnecessary, cheesy and sometimes comical (the one where Harry and Hermione dance) scenes. Still. I loyally go watch the movies every time and they don't once fail to disappoint me.
The first …

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland... (by Catherynne M. Valente)

Image a Ship of Her Own Making.
I am reviewing this book as a part of the Follow the Blurb Reading Challenge.

"When souls queue up to be born, they all leap up at just the last moment, touching the lintel of the world for luck. Some jump high and can seize a great measure of luck, some jump only a bit and snatch a few loose strands. Everyone manages to catch some. If one did not have at least a little luck, one would never survive childhood."
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a novel by Catherynne M. Valente. The book was first discussed in Valente's previous book Palimpsest (which I have yet to read!) and was officially published in May 2011. The novel, as the title very clearly says, is the story of a little girl's adventures in Fairyland
Rating: 5/5
Summary: September lives an ordinary life in Omaha. That is, until the Green Wind takes pity on her and she is whisked off by him to Fairyland. Her adventure begins atop a flying leopard…

Follow the Blurb Challenge

I came across the Follow the Blurb Reading Challenge over at Jennifer's Reading with Tequila. I haven't participated in any reading challenges till date (and it has nothing to do with my very busy schedule.)

"The plan is simple. I'm going to choose a book to read. Once I finish that book, I'll choose a blurb from the front or back cover and read a book written by the quoted author. I'll read 10 books in this fashion, just to see where I end up. Will all the books have a common theme? Will they be in the same genre? Will all of the authors be the same gender or ethnicity? Will they all have the same publisher? Are they all equally well known? Or will the books appear to be nothing more than a completely random list?"

The Challenge with run from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 - and since ten books in a year doesn't exactly sound impossible, I'm in!
My Blurb Journey: (click on the title for the review!)

1.The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship o…

Authors I would DIE to meet!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new Top Ten list complete with one bloggers’ answers.Everyone is welcome to join. All you have to do is link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own post! This week's topic:

Top Ten Authors I Would DIE to meet:
If I really think about it, I'd like to meet most of the authors that I read, whether I like the book or not. So it's tough to list ten.These are, as the question says, the authors I'd DIE (or... kill) to meet. The reason is either that I have fallen in love with their book/books, can re-read them hundred thousand times and would kill to talk about these books with their creators! Or... the authors affected me in a certain way or introduced me to a particular genre. Here are the top ten authors that I'd want to meet - in no particular order - and the one thing that put them on this list:
1. Terry Pratchett (for the Discworld)
2. J. K. Rowling (for a…

A Creative Bit

After getting what can only be described as one incredibly awesomely creative gift yesterday - well, two - I went into a bit of a creative mode myself!

As a kid, I used to absolutely love making bookmarks, specially for my father. Well, these are for me. A few days ago, I came across this post on homemade bookmarks. They are so wonderful!!
Which is why, when I was cleaning my closet for the umpteenth time, and I came across these pieces of cloth just sitting there waiting to be cut up - I knew just what I wanted to do with them!!
After spending three days of my four-day-holiday doing absolutely nothing, I finally did something productive (and... entirely out of scrap!!)

Aren't they adorable?

As for the gifts, well - my (favourite... duh!) sister gave me this left-handers' mug that reads "I may be left handed, but I am always right", and has a teenie hole on the right side, so, as you see, it can only be used by left handers! I am sipping coffee from it, as we speak.
And …

BTT #1 : Dog Days

This is my first time on Booking Through Thursdays, which is a weekly meme about books and reading. This week's question:
What animal-related books have you read? Which do you love? Do you have a favorite literary dog? (Snoopy, anyone?)
I love animals and animal related books (though I admit, I like cats more.) My favourite animal story has got to be Born Free by Joy Adamson. But since we're talking about dogs here, I can't help but make another list (I love lists!), this time of my five favourite literary dogs. Here it is:
1. Marley (Marley and Me by John Grogan) - Well, he's not exactly "literary" is he? I bet that dog was as wonderful as the book makes him seem!! He made me laugh and cry and go "aww"! Marley and Me is one of my favourite books ever.
2. Gaspode the Wonder Dog (Discworld by Terry Pratchett) - The small terrier-like mongrel who is the first thinking dog. He can speak and is also the smartest dog on the Disc. He was so funny - I loved t…

How to Be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Grab your current read, open to a random page and share two teaser sentences from that page!

How to Be a Pirate is the sequel to Cressida Cowell's How to Train your Dragon. Here's my teaser this week:
"Imagine if you had spent the whole first part of your life trying to walk on your hands. The clumsiness of it, always falling over, always stumbling, always the last at everything. Imagine the joy of discovering that in fact you could walk on your feet after all." It is a simple, whimsical and crudely humourous book meant for children. Which, of course, is why I liked it.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is an unnoticeable, average looking Viking. He is not quite up to the standard expected from someone who happens to be the heir of the Hooligan tribe. Not to mention, Hiccup has a very lazy and inefficient dragon, Toothless, who is about three times smaller than most dragons! As the tribe hunts for …

A 100 posts & yet another "Thanks"!

I was at, what I love to call "work" the other day, doodling away (along the margins of an article about Roald Dahl, which I was supposed to be reading) waiting for some real work to come along.
Unfortunately, and as I have already said before, I never did read much of Dahl. I was more of an Enid Blyton fan and progressed on to being a Harry Potter fanatic. So, if there's one author I regret not reading before, more than Roald Dahl - it is Dianna Wynne Jones. The woman is a genius! After meeting characters like Christopher Chant and Wizard Howl Pendragon and after um.. 'visiting' the Moving Castle and the Parallel Worlds, Hogwarts loses a bit of its charm. I'm just saying. It's a pity I never read her books before she passed away.
I am currently reading "Dogsbody", written by Diana Wynne Jones in 1975. The god Sirius, the denizen of the Dog Star is punished for a murder he did not commit! He is banished to the earth, reborn as a puppy, to recover…