Showing posts from January, 2012

Which book genre do you stay away from?

Follow Friday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

This week's question is:
Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?
Soppy romance - okay, I know "soppy" doesn't count as a genre. The thing is, though, it's not like I don't like romances in books, not just as the main theme, specially when they are just depressing, sob stories. I wouldn't for example particularly enjoy a book by Nicholas Sparks or Cecelia Ahern!
What I have avoided at all costs till now is Paranormal romance, and after reading Jane Eyre, romances set in the Victorian era. Of course, after reading and loving books that I never imagined I would like, I am open to any suggestions that might change my opinion.
What genre do you tend to avoid?

Top Ten Favourite Non-fiction Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.
Top Ten Favourite Non-fiction Books (in no particular order):
I finished reading the book Balasaraswati: Her Art and Life yesterday. I realized I have been reading quite a lot of non-fiction these past couple of months. I love fiction, but there are a bunch of non-fiction books that I just couldn't help loving just as much.
1. Danse Macabre by Stephen King - (that's French for Dance of Death) a look at horror books, movies, comic books, tv series and more by one of the best horror writers ever!
2. Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell - "how little things can make a big difference"; one of the first non-fiction books I read and liked.
3. The Wonder that was India by A. L. Basham - an amazing book on ancient Indian history that studies the culture of India before the arrival of Muslims.
4. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach - a wonderful popular science book about the use of cada…

Balasaraswati: Her Art & Life by Douglas M. Knight Jr.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through Blogadda.

About the book:According to Wikipedia, Balasaraswati was “a celebrated Indian dancer, and her rendering of Bharatanatyam, a classical dance style, made this style of dancing of south India well known in different parts of India, as also many parts of the world.” She has received numerous national awards for dance as well as music. This book, written by her son-in-law, is her first biography to ever be published. The book contains many rare pictures of the dancer, along with a huge glossary and notes by the author.

Summary: Born in a matrilineal family with a long and rich tradition of dance and music, we might as well say, that Balasaraswati had art in her blood. That won't be entirely true though, as is the case with any real artist. Along with that inborn talent, it was years of practice that helped Balasaraswati reach her level of perfection. Ever since she was a little child, Bala learned dance and music fr…

"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes": Two book reviews

That's a famous line from Shakespeare's Macbeth, first used by Ray Bradbury as the title for his famous horror-fantasy novel. Now I haven't read Macbeth, but after reading Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes last month, I thought it would be rather amusing to follow it up with Agatha Christie's By the Pricking of my Thumbs - making it a couple of really great reads!
1. By the Pricking of my Thumbs by Agatha Christie
‘I don’t suppose I shall ever see this house again. I’m looking at it very hard, so that I shall be able to remember it.’ ‘Do you want to remember it?’ ‘Yes, I do. Someone said to me that it was a house that had been put to the wrong use. I know what they meant now.’This is unlike any Agatha Christie mystery I have read; mostly because it's more a thriller than a detective story. When Tommy and Tuppence (they are old now) go to a nursing home to meet Tommy's great aunt, Tuppence meets a suspicious old lady who talks about a mysterious de…

Stephen King's 11.22.63 - A long overdue review/rant

I have been putting off publishing this review for so long. It's just been lying in my drafts and I have read it time and again, wondering why it just doesn't seem right. You know, it's difficult to write a review that does justice to such a long book - long, not only because of the number of pages, but because of the content. Let's just say, your everyday non-Stephen King author could have easily made three books out of it - for instance, a love story, a science fiction book and a historical fiction novel.

Now I have decided to scrap the "About the book + Summary + My Thoughts" review format and write this instead. I have just read horror fiction by Stephen King, along with a couple of non-fiction books. I haven't read the Dark Tower series, so I had no idea what to expect from a combination of science fiction and King. I read about King's upcoming book on New York Times and I just had to get my hands on it; which I did manage to, thanks to someone…

Scary books for those who don't normally read scary books!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on The Broke and the Bookish. Today's top ten list:
Top Ten Scary Books I'd Recommend to Someone Who Doesn't Read Scary Books:
1. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty - If your think that books just can't be scary enough, or that horror isn't fun when it isn't scary; this one is a makes-you-want-to-rip-your-eyes-out-and-wipe-away-your-memory scary novel. Along with that, unlike the movie, the book isn't focused entirely on the actual exorcism, making it much more intriguing. Do read this book, if you happen to believe, somehow, that words can't be scary!
2. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (also other stories) by H. P. Lovecraft - If you're the exact opposite, and think you'd just be too scared to keep on reading, read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. I love this book. All stories by H. P. Lovecraft, for that matter, specially the Cthulhu Mythos stories; but I would recommend this one. This is book is …

The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts by Arthur Miller

About the book: The Crucible is a 1952 play by Arthur Miller. It is a tragedy, which draws a parallel between the Salem Witch trials (1692-93) and the McCarthy era (1950s). There are two film versions of the play, a 1957 movie with a screenplay adapted by Jean-Paul Sartre and a later Academy Award nominated 1996 version.

Summary: Set in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, The Crucible is a fictionalization of the Salem Witch Hunt. When a group of teenage girls accuse the townspeople of witchcraft and association with the Devil, claiming to be their victims; the entire town falls apart in a mass hysteria. The superstition and paranoia combined with building guilt and vengefulness led to wrongful punishment of a number of people.

"The witch hunt was a long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to express publicly his guilt and sins, under the cover of accusations against the victims. (...) Long-held hatreds of neighbours could now be openly expressed, and vengeance taken, …

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

The title of the novel The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett made me want to read it. When I started reading the novel, I hadn't read any reviews or synopses and had no idea what to expect.

It is the story of a notorious book thief and a clever rare-book dealer who tracks him down. It provides a glimpse into the quite magical world of rare book collectors.
There is not much to say about the writing style. I found it a bit pompous, too literary; but it's one of the things you learn to overlook when only the plot/ideas get you so involved in the book. The author's opinion about the fact that many collectors don't actually read the books they collect was first surprising, then convincing. It is the love for the physical beauty of books that drives people to collect them. The yellowed pages, the delicate spine and that old smell, I'd be lying if I said never I loved books for all of that. "Much of the fondness avid readers, and certainly co…

A Year in Review: 2011 Wrap Up

2011 was a great year, reading- and otherwise! I did read 78 books, which is 13 more than my goal of 65 (which I never thought I'd reach in the first place!) I'm going to take a look at some of my favourites this years.
I did not quite manage to count the number of pages I read - and counting them now, knowing I read 78 books is nearly impossible.

Genres read in 2011: Fantasy, comic fantasy, horror, gothic fiction, satire, historical fiction, dystopian, classic fiction, science fiction, mystery/thrillers.
Top Reads of 2011 (in the order I read them):
1. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
3. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
4. On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
6. Helter Skelter - The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi
7. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre
8. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
9. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecra…