Showing posts from August, 2011

Why I Loved... Hop, Skip & Jump!

Why I Love Wednesdays is a meme hosted on every Wednesday at Reflections of a Bookaholic! Today's topic is our favourite childhood books.
My favourite childhood author was, of course, Enid Blyton! My love for her started with her various books about Fairyland, and weathermen who answered toy phones and bad tooth-faries! I went on to read and love her Five Find-Outers mysteries, followed by the Famous Five series!
The Book of Brownies was one of my most treasured books as a kid, handed down to me by my older sister! It was a story of three naughty brownies called Hop, Skip & Jump. One day, at the King's party, while pretending to do a magic trick, the brownies accidentally send the little princess into an evil witch's lair. They are banished from the Kingdom until they rescue the princess and bring her back.
On the way they meet the strangest creatures, worms and giants and people who only talk in poems. They are trapped in the cruel Red Goblin's house and they resc…

TT - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at MizB's Should Be Reading.

"Thus far I have gone, tracing a secure way over the pathless seas, the very stars themselves being witnesses and testimonies of my triumph. Why not still proceed over the untamed yet obedient element? What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?"- Robert Walton (Frankenstein by Mary Shelley)Frankenstein's one of those books that everyone has heard of. And, Frankenstein's monster, like Dracula, is one of the most famous monsters in pop culture. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley is my first in the list of always-wanted-to-read classics. I have just started reading it, but I'm already loving it!

TTT - To-Be-Read List for Fall

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is, "Top Ten Books that are on the top of my TBR List for Fall!"
I've decided to go a bit classic time of the year. Catch up on all the famous literary works that I should have read by now, and a bit of serious-ish fiction that is lying around on my TBR pile for just too long. I need a break from fantasy fiction. I generally referred to the Wikipedia "100 Classic Book Collection" to pick out my classic reads.
Here are my top ten fall reads: (in no particular order!)

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - When I read Dracula, I actually wanted to read this one. But I read Dracula instead and never got back to Frankenstein. So this one has been on my TBR list for a really long time, just dying to be read.
2. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R. L. Stevenson - It's crazy that I haven't read it yet and more so because I have wanted to read it for as long as I can rem…

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted at MizB's Should Be Reading. This week's musing is... a book meme!
What was the last book you...
1. borrowed from a library?Stories and Short Pieces by Franz Kafka
2. bought?Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Although I just ordered Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and it's on it's way!
3. cried over? Make that almost cried, and it would be The Book Thief by Markus Zusak!
4. disliked and couldn't finish? Actually: Didn't like much and couldn't finish because it wasn't mine and I had to return it - One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
5. read and loved?Blaze by Stephen King (as Richard Bachman) - it is fun to read something other than horror by Stephen King!
6. got for review/got in the mail? I haven't been doing any reviewing lately, and since the last time was too long ago, I can't remember which!
7. gave to someone else?Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, I lent it to a frien…

Loving books... all over again!

Do you remember the first book you read? Or the first book you read in just a day? The first story book I remember reading as a kid was called Mickey's Christmas Carol (Dickens' A Christmas Carol, only with Disney's characters. Very cute.) And then, I remember the first actual mystery book I read. It was from the Five Find-Outers series by Enid Blyton, called the The Mystery of the Hidden House. There is no "I saw it across a crowded bookshelf" story to go with it; just a simple my sister forced me to read it. It was love at first read, though.
People who read books armed with dictionaries and all that to learn new words are crazy. Then again, the best part about reading books in a new language for the first time, is the fun of understanding new polysyllabic words all by yourself! I remember feeling quite elated whenever I discovered a new word and pompously showing it off in class. Oh, come on, everyone's done that. As you read that first book, you feel yours…

Reading Shakespeare

"In nature's infinite book of secrecy a little I can read - Soothsayer"
That's right. I am doing the unimaginable; reading a Shakespearean play. I don't even know how I got here. It started when I read two German books in one night, desperately wanting to read something English next. And I have always wanted to read a real play. Two days alone at home (no one to disturb me, no errands to run) seems like the best time; the coffee and rain being added advantages.
So, here I am, reading the Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare. Why this play? Firstly, I wanted to read a tragedy and I wasn't too keen on reading Romeo and Juliet, somehow. A few years ago my sister forced me to watch a documentary on Cleopatra, and I remember being completely fascinated, in spite of myself. There isn't anything not fascinating about Roman history, anyway.
I haven't ever read any plays and this isn't particularly easy for a first-time-play-reader. But although fini…

Characters or Plot?

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted at MizB's Should Be Reading. This week's musing asks:

Do you prefer character-driven stories or plot-driven stories?
I always get more involved in a book that has good, engaging characters. But I also don't like books where you can't make head or tail of what's going on, or worse, when nothing really happens. Honestly, neither extreme is desirable. But if I had to give a preference, I'd give it to the characters. A bad story line can't spoil the book as much as bad characters can.

It would be hard for me to name my favourite book plots, but I can easily name favourite book characters! One of my favourite authors (and I have mentioned him too many times in this context) is Stephen King - I know very few authors, who write can characters like him. When I can relate to the characters, or when they seem real - the plot doesn't matter so much. Which is also why I have come to enjoy reading short stories this much.

A Dog's Tale by Mark Twain

For Short Stories on Wednesday (hosted at Risa's Bread Crumb Reads) I was planning to read and review a vampire short story by Anne Rice. Which I did, and it did seem exciting for about the first two pages.
"Julie!" he whispered, in a voice so low that it seemed my own thoughts were speaking to me. But this was no dream. He was holding me and the scream had broken loose from me, deafening, uncontrollable and echoing from the four walls.
The story is called The Master of Rampling Gate and it is a vampire 'love' story, which is something they had forgotten to mention where I first read about it. It was such a grave disappointment, that it didn't make much sense to review it. Let's just say that it's a story Stephanie Meyer would adore; take that whatever way you want.
So, instead, I am reviewing a very beautiful and touching story I read by Mark Twain, titled A Dog's Tale (1903). It is the life story of a loyal pet dog, told from her point of view.

Only Love by Erich Segal (Mini Review)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at MizB's Should Be Reading. My teaser this week is from Erich Segal's Only Love.
"There is a popular legend about a graduate student who entered the genetic engineering lab at Harvard twenty years ago and has never emerged. Some say he is still there, eyes welded to an electron microscope, desperately seeking a particularly fugitive gene."
The story is about two doctors, Matthew and Silvia, who fall in love in Africa. It is a reality of their own, away from the rest of the world. Their perfect illusion breaks when they are driven apart during some bloodshed, and Matthew is left alone to mourn. Even today, Matthew Hiller, one of the best neurosurgeons ever, is haunted by the memories of his lover. He faces the worst time of his life, when he realizes that his new patient, a dying woman with a brain tumor is no stranger, after all. I always stayed away from romance as a genre for fear of pseudo-intellectual, mushy, dramatic writing…

Top Ten Books that make Great Gifts

I was away for a couple of days and couldn't find time to reply to the comments on my previous post. I'll get to that a bit later, along with some serious blogging that I dearly missed. But let me start with a Top Ten Tuesday post - a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new topic every week and this week is a freebie.

I have always considered books to be the perfect kind of gift - there's hardly anyone who totally hates reading. Many of my friends' birthdays are coming up, not to mention, my own birthday is less than a month away. So, this week I'm going to list ten books that I think would make perfect gifts for everyone (no matter what age they are or genre they prefer!) 1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel - Despite the Booker prize, I think this book is seriously underrated. My sister received this as a gift; she loved it and so did I! In fact, I don't know anyone who hated this book. It's unique, well written, exciting and also very mov…

Stardust on the road!

Starting with this poem, which I'd first read in a Diana Wynne Jones novel, I spent the better part of a fourteen hour journey reading another simply amazing book by Neil Gaiman; Stardust.When I was reading Stardust, I was actually transported back to my childhood. It is a fairy tale for adults, and a great one at that!"A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?"

Pointless, really..."Do the stars gaze back?" Now that's a question."Stardust is a fantasy novel written by Neil Gaiman in 1998. It is quite different from his usual books, written in a more traditional fairy-tale-like style.Stardust is the story of a young man named Tristan Thorn. He lives in Wall, a village situated on the border of our world and the realm of Faerie. The village is separated from Faerie by a long and high wall, which no one crosses. One day a distant star falls down to the earth, and Tristan Thorn se…

Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Alison at Alison Can Read, which is a great way to meet new bloggers.
This week's question is:
How has your reading habit changed since you were a teen? or If you're still a teen, what new genres are you in love with currently?
Until a few years back, I didn't read a particular genre as much. I read dystopian novels, historical fiction, popular science, mysteries and philosophical books of sorts. Whatever fantasy fiction I read back then was Harry Potter. A year ago, I started reading a variety of fantasy fiction. Right now, my favourite genres are fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, satire and science fiction - I also a read some YA books, but not primarily. And my favourite authors are Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Diana Wynne Jones, Isaac Asimov, Mark Twain and so on! Of course, I am open to try new genres too! ____________________________________________________________________________

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted at MizB's Should Be Reading. To play along just answer the following questions:1. What are you currently reading? 2. What did you recently finish reading? 3. What do you think you'll read next?
I am reading too many books together right now. And this week I am going to have a lot of free time on my hands. So I decided to participate in this meme this once!
1. What are you currently reading?
I'm reading John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things - it's the first time I've read anything by him, and I think I'm definitely going to read more books by him. I'm also reading The Killing Floor, the first book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child - I had heard a lot about Lee Child before I picked up this book, but it isn't quite up to my expectations yet. I am also reading a book of short stories called Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King.
2. What did you recently finished reading?
I read Stephen King's Cujo last week. I …

Popsy: Nightmares & Dreamscapes

Popsy is a short story by Stephen King published in the collection titled Nightmares & Dreamscapes.

While it certainly isn't my favourite from the book (a review of my actual favourite coming up shortly) I did love it compared to most of the similarly themed stuff out there.
Sheridan is a pitifully disgusting man - a gambler, who is paying off his debts by abducting children and "delivering" them to a certain Mr. Wizard. Even as he does it, Sheridan tries to convince himself he isn't doing a bad thing. (You begin to loathe this guy right from the first line of the story.) This story starts when Sheridan sees a pale white, green eyed kid crying in front of a mall. The kid is looking for his "Popsy", who has apparently went off to get the kid something to drink. Under the pretext of helping the kid, Sheridan puts him in the car and sets off. Though the boy seems a bit odd to him, he has no idea what he is in for.
"You'll be sorry." The kid e…

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

The Book of Lost Things is a fantasy novel by John Connolly. The story is about David, a young boy, struggling to cope with his mother's death. Soon his father remarries, and his family as he knew it falls apart. This is when David begins to hear his books whispering to him, and soon the walls between fantasy and reality begin to blur.

I am reading the book right now. Though the idea is far from new, I think I might enjoy this book just for the way it is written. Here's my teaser, from right after David loses his mother: "He sat up late into the night, squashed into a corner of the living room while the grown-ups exchanged stories of a mother he had never known, a strange creature with a history entirely separate from his own. (...) And when at last he fell asleep, David dreamed that he was part of these tales, a participant in every stage of his mother’s life. He was no longer a child hearing stories of another time. Instead, he was a witness to them all." Teaser Tues…

Happy "Friendship Day"!

You know, over the years, I seem to have convinced myself that I don't make friends easily. The truth is, I just don't think of friends as "people you only hang out and have fun with." Those can be called 'acquaintances' or just that: 'people I hang out with'. Maybe it is because I am actually lucky enough to have a few real friends who mean so much more than that! While we did have a card-making trend going on for a couple of years, with them 'friendship day' are just two random words. I love them no matter what day! Anyway. I am going to continue my self-established tradition of posting lists of favourites on all the "Days". These are some of my favourite book friendships:
1. Harry, Ron and Hermione - Harry Potter series (J. K. Rowling) You can't think of friendship without thinking of the three of them!
2. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn - Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) With Huck's practical humourlessness an…

Too highfalutin for my palate!

"One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed."- Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)I couldn't agree more. Unless it is absolutely essential for you to write a word that most people would need a dictionary to understand, you're only dressing up your language. And by absolutely necessary, I mean, when there is no other word in the English language that conveys exactly what you're trying to convey. If you're one of those people, who insert big words in their writing and convince themselves that those few words show what a wonderful writing style they have, allow me to tell you it that doesn't work that way. The only thing it does show, is how i…

Night of January 16th by Ayn Rand

I don’t have the kind of interest in Ayn Rand or objectivism any more that will make me want to read any of her non-fiction books. I read all of her fiction novels in high school, other than this one play, that I actually didn’t know existed – along with the Virtue of Selfishness from her non-fiction. The play is called Night of January 16th.
Bjorn Faulkner, the heart of the gold industry of the world, meets a gruesome death by falling/jumping off the top of a building. Karen Andre, his secretary and mistress is on trial for his murder. The entire book is a courtroom play, with the two sides represented by Karen Andre and Bjorn Faulkner on the one hand; and Mrs. Faulkner and her father, John Graham Whitfield, a prominent banker, on the other.To someone who hasn't read Ayn Rand before, it might be hard to figure out Bjorn Faulkner – the hero whom we actually never get to meet. To those who have read Ayn Rand before, every character including Bjorn Faulkner is like every other charac…

Short Stories by Mark Twain

This week, I read two stories by Mark Twain: Extracts from Adam's Diary (1904) and Eve's Diary (1905).Extracts from Adam's Diary is a wonderfully hilarious story - told, of course, by Adam, right from when he first meets Eve in the Garden of Eden and is incredibly annoyed by her, till he eventually falls in love with her. It is in the form of "entries" he writes in his diary (which Twain claims to have translated from the original manuscripts by deciphering Adam's hieroglyphics!)The same is the case for Eve's Diary - right from her first day on earth when she sees "the man" for the first time, till forty years later, after the fall. The story ends with Adam's speaking at Eve's grave, "Wherever she was, there was Eden."Mark Twain is indescribably amazing. Reading Adam's Diary is a colourful experience; something you would have never thought of - the day-by-day experiences of the first man! It is amusing in most parts and abs…

Cujo by Stephen King

"They began to back up, and as they did, the dog began to walk slowly forward. It was a stiff walk; not really a walk at all, Ronnie thought. It was a stalk. That dog wasn't fucking around. Its engine was running and it was ready to go. Its head remained low. That growl never changed pitch. It took a step forward for every step they took back."
Cujo is a psychological horror novel by Stephen King. It is the story of a rabid St. Bernard. It is also the story of a little boy and his nightmares, a mother and a child, and an almost broken marriage.Rating: 3.5/5Summary: Cujo is a big, five year old St. Bernard, owned by the Cambers; a family in the town of Castle Rock, Maine. Cujo is a good, loyal dog; he loves his owners and they love him! That is, until he gets scratched by a bat and becomes infected with rabies. The dog soon loses touch with reality and turns into a crazy killing machine. Four year old Tad Trenton lives in the same town with his parents, Donna and Vic. The …

Book Trends I'd like to see More/Less of

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 Trends You Would Like to See More or Less of
Less of:
1. Human girl - Supernatural guy - No more vampires or werewolves falling in love with innocent human girls, please. I'm dying for this trend to go.

2. Covers like these - I don't judge a book by it's cover. But I don't really see the purpose of having different cover designs, if all are going to be so similar, and so similarly tacky. I haven't read these books to know/like them, but I am tired of even looking at such covers!

3. Self-publishing - As much as I like to try new authors; and some of these…