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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre

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Reading John le Carre always makes me realize that a good mystery does not need to be fast-paced. In this book, as well, le Carre takes his time introducing us to the different characters and creating an apt background for the story that is about to begin. I like the slow-ish pace, because the writing is engaging and the descriptions are very close to real. That being said, the book is certainly action-packed. The opening scene itself is a carefully arranged bombing that takes place in Berlin, which leads to the events of the book.

As with all his books, le Carre's characters are introduced and depicted with skill. I really do appreciate the kind of effort the author takes to make his settings seem not only realistic but also relatable to the common readers. The central character in this story is woman named Charlie; the little drummer girl; a mediocre English actress, a flower-child/gypsy of sorts, who is recruited by the Israeli intelligence to track down a Palestenian agent. He…

The Shadow out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft

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I admit, I haven't read many of Lovecraft's works. But what I have read, I love. I have read quite a few stories from the Cthulu Mythos, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and now this fascinating little novella about time travel and mind transference and spiritual possession and such. H. P. Lovecraft was an American authors, known for his tales of madness and gory and has influenced some of my favourite writers; not to mention, was himself influenced by some of the greatest horror/weird fiction writers. Those of you who are familiar with or like Lovecraftian horror, should definitely give this one a try.

The Shadow of out Time, published in 1936, is a combination of horror, thriller and science fiction. The story takes place (sort of) in the early 1900s, when a man named Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee happens to temporarily switch bodies with a member of the Great Race of Yith; a weird species that is able to travel through time and space. And it is Nathaniel who tell us the story!

W…

Favourite Literary Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.
I have a feeling most of these are going to be from fantasy novels. But I would be lying, if I wrote otherwise.
1. DEATH from Discworld series by Terry Pratchett - Along with Granny Weatherwax, Susan Sto Helit, Lord Vetinari, Tiffany Aching and even Rincewind. But if I only had to choose one, it would be DEATH. HE'S FANTASTIC, PLUS HE LIKES CATS. (see how I switched to Death-speak there?)
2. Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling - While I do also like Sirius, the Weasley twins, Hagrid and others, the only other character that I come close to liking as much as Dumbledore is Tom Riddle (the smart, handsome, obsessed-with the Dark Arts wizard, before he turned into Voldemort, that is.) But Dumbledore wins. As J. K. Rowling herself put it, "Everyone would like a Dumbledore in their lives."
3. Jack Torrance from The Shining by Stephen King - Also, Dick Halloran. I don't mean t…

The 24 Hour Readathon Wrap Up!

Done. Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon is over!! 24 hours, well spent.
Number of books completed: 4
Number of pages read: 915
Books read (in order of completion) - (Click on the name for review)
1. Turn of the Screw by Henry James 2. The Shadow Out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft 3. The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre 4. Snuff: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
I thoroughly enjoyed this readathon. I met some great new and old bloggers, managed to check four books off my TBR list in just one day. I would love to take part in the next 24 hour read-a-thon, only this time, more prepared and knowing what to expect.
Right now, I am too tired to post anything else; but I will post the reviews of these books along with a little something about my first 24 hour readathon experience in a short while (as soon as I stop looking like a zombie.) Good-(whatever time of day it is where you are)!

The 24 Hour Readathon Update # 3

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This will be my last update.
Currently Reading: Snuff: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
Last book read:The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre
Next up to-be-read: None. Just started reading Snuff, and it will last a while!
Reading stats -
Total Number of pages read: 715
Total Number of books completed: 3
I had planned to read the second book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series at the end, so that I could enjoy myself and it would be a light, entertaining read. Still, when I finally got to that moment when I was tired and ready to read what would be my last book of the readathon, I was quite in a mood for some Discworld magic. I can read a Discworld book even in my sleep and I managed to get my hands on this one. Well, wish me happy reading. Hope you had a lot of fun!
(The next time I do this, I'll try to be more prepared with what to read, and plan my updates better!)

The 24 Hour Readathon Update # 2

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Currently Reading: The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre (496 pages)
Last book read:The Shadow Out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft (70 pages)
Next up to-be-read: I'm not quite sure, anymore!
Reading stats -
Total Number of pages read: 472
Total Number of books completed: 2
The thing is, The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre, though very interesting and action-packed, is much longer than I figured it would be. The print is very small and the pages are kind of large, so I am flitting between this awesome spy novel that I've been reading for hours now and shorter reads.

I read and liked Turn of the Screw by Henry James; it reminded me vaguely of a movie I had once seen, and I realized after a quick Google search that it was actually the book that inspired the movie The Others. It's slightly dramatic and overdone and really more of a psychological horror story than the ghost story that the blurb on the back says it is. Still, a quick, good read!
And then, I just finished reading The …

The 24 Hour Readathon Update # 1

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Currently Reading: The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre (496 pages)
Last book read:Turn of the Screw by Henry James (149 pages)
Next up to-be-read: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (...maybe.)
Reading stats -
Total Number of pages read: 322
Total Number of books completed: 1
I think I started reading a bit too early (the whole GMT, IST thing is very confusing.) But does it really matter if I accidentally read for a couple of extra hours? I honestly can't recall the last time I felt so incredibly comfortable and involved in a book. Maybe when I read the entire Chrestomanci series (Diana Wynne Jones) in a single day. Or when that Harry Potter book, that I had been desperately waiting for for almost a year, finally came out. It wasn't more than a couple of times. I guess you're not always able to just drop everything else from your mind, avoid all possible distractions and throw yourself into a book. This read-a-thon is helping me realize how much I l…

Planning for the 24 Hour Readathon... not!

Ah, another read-a-thon. It's my first time participating in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon, and to say that I am excited would be a gross understatement. I had planned to read actual paper books, because reading e-books continuously for such a long time might actually make my eyes melt. But, as it turns out, and at the worst possible time, there is only one book left on my shelf that I haven't read yet. And I was under the impression, that the readathon is next weekend, until, right about NOW! So I rushed out to get me some books. But obviously, as fate will have it, it's too late and all the shops were closed. My last resort was second-hand books, you know, the ones at the roadside 'shops'. I stopped and looked around at a few of those, but didn't find anything that wasn't bent or torn and that did interest me. My point being this; I had to alter my reading list quite a bit. Didn't affect my excitement, though! Not in the least.

What do I plan to rea…

Literary Pet Peeves

"What are your literary pet peeves?", asks today's question on Booking Through Thursdays (a meme about reading and books, which is hosted here every week!)
I think I have ranted enough on this blog about coffee stains (worse, stains of inexplicable origins) and dog-eared pages, and bent covers and broken spines; novels with too much dialogue, plays with too many descriptions, teen-talk and slang and such things. Here are bookish habits (that people have) that I have managed not to complain about. Some of my people-related literary pet peeves:
1. Nosy librarians - I know, that they are there to help. But when that librarian tells me that that book is not for my level (which she wouldn't really know) it is sort of irritating. I don't particularly enjoy it, when a librarian tells me that I shouldn't read that book because I wouldn't like it, or that Kafka can be confusing, or gives me her opinions on the book that I have chosen, in a slightly condescending, kn…

Reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

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I spent a little over a month reading Anna Karenina, hoping and praying for the book not to end. It was my first Tolstoy, and I have to say, one of the best reading experiences of my life. Tolstoy is known, according to that little book analysis at the beginning of my edition (I can't seem to remember who has written it) for his ability to make fiction seem real, and the characters do almost walk right off the pages. I am certain, that Anna Karenina is one of the best works of literary realism.
Someone asked me a while ago what the book was about, and my reply, "A love affair and the social and personal disasters it leads to" just didn't seem to cut it. It is a book about an entire Society, I would now say. Religion, politics, marriage, happiness, insecurity, death, aristocracy, social obligation and everything in between. I used to think it was beautiful and amazing how writers can come up with a whole new world, a bizarre, fantastic world; which is why fantasy was…

Favourite Words

I like to write, I love to read; that makes it fairly obvious that I like words. These aren't my favourite words, because I like what they mean or because I think they sound exactly like what they mean (which, according to me, the words laughter and mystery really do!) It's because I like saying them; even if only in my head (I don't talk all that much.) I like the way they roll off your tongue or how they have a sort of easy flow or how they somehow simply sound funny!
quirkyfantasy euphemism obvious excruciating turquoise nightmare weird crayon intrigue accentuate goblin twist chagrin affectionate falcon vengeance
These are only a few that just came to my mind. Really. What are your favourite words and why?

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

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“It’s weird, isn’t it?” asked Sam, leaning closer to her over the card table and dropping his voice. “What’s weird?” she said, turning to him. “That you can have this whole entire life, with all your opinions, your loves, your fears. Eventually those parts of you disappear. And then the people who could remember those parts of you disappear, and before long all that’s left is your name in some ledger. This Marcy person - she had a favorite food. She had friends and people she disliked. We don’t even know how she died.” Sam smiled sadly. “I guess that’s why I like preservation better than history. In preservation I feel like I can keep some of it from slipping away.” As he spoke Connie noticed that his face was attractive in a wonderfully flawed sort of way; it held a sharp, straight nose peeling with sunburn, and mischievous green eyes bracketed by deep smile lines. His hair was pulled back in a ponytail, a brown color bleached by the sun. Connie smiled at him. “I can see that. But histor…

How did you come up with your blog name?

Did you put a lot of thought into it? I mean all of it - the blog title, the address, the tag-line (if you have one!) It's pretty much the first thing you have to enter in there when you make your blog. So, does your blog name have a story behind it, or was it a spur-of-the-moment idea? And, if it was a spur-of-the-moment thing, have you ever wanted to change it?
My sister had been convincing me to start a blog the entire week, I think, but since I never took her seriously, I didn't really give the blog name a thought. I was online one day and I just went, "Hell. Why don't I just do it!" And I started a blog, that I didn't really plan on keeping up for so long. Looking at all the cool bookish blog titles out there, I now wish I had thought of something wittier.
Well, anyway, a few days before I started this blog, I watched one of my favourite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes - Tabula Rasa. And the spell Willow casts was stuck in my head. It went something lik…