Showing posts from May, 2014

Love Kills by Ismita Tandon

Summary: (from AmazonYou won’t live a boring life if you’re named after a whisky (more or less). Meet Johnny Will, named thus by an alcoholic father who died under mysterious circumstances. Johnny is the founder of Thy Will - a de-addiction centre for the rich and the famous that uses very questionable methods - and the fiancé of Mira Kermani, daughter of the richest man in town.
The beautiful, young Mira dies of an overdose of morphine. Officer Ray is convinced that Johnny is the killer. Johnny’s assistant Sera, who secretly loves him, and his half-brother Zac are working hard to protect him from the officer. Or are they? Could Aunt Adele’s hunger for what was rightfully her son’s inheritance have driven her to murder? Or is the murderer an unhappy patient?  From the author of the disturbing and controversial Jacob Hills, an unputdownable story of crime and passion in the hill-station town of Monele.
My thoughts: I read this book in one sitting, and how could I have not, when it is …

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

"Bon Agornin writhed on his deathbed, his wings beating as if he would fly to his new life in his old body. The doctors had shaken their heads and left, even his daughters had stopped telling him he was about to get well. He put his head down on the scant gold in his great draughty under-cave, struggling to keep still and draw breath. He had only little time left, to affect everything that was to come after. Perhaps it would be an hour, perhaps less. He would be glad to leave the pains of flesh, but he wished he had not so much to regret."

Summary: Five dragon siblings have gathered at their father's deathbed, for a goodbye and later, to eat his body, as is custom. While Blessed Penn hears his father's startlingly scandalous final confession, the maidens Selendra and Haner wonder about their foggy future with no guardian. Avan is curious about his share of the inheritance and Berend, the eldest sister, visits with her children and her pompous dominating husband Illust…

Top Ten Books that Make Me Laugh Out Loud

Last Sunday we discussed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at the book club (yes, on Towel Day, though I do still prefer the glorious 25th of May as Wear the Lilac Day, because well, Discworld trumps everything.) But discussing Adams' zany brilliance was fun and since humour has been on my mind, I decided to list the Top Ten Books that Make Me Laugh Out Loud for this week's Top Ten Tuesday Freebie!
Clicking on the titles will take you to the Goodreads pages. Instead of posting summaries, I've posted some of my favourite dialogues - let me just say, though, these are all books I'd recommend you to read. Delightful, witty (some more than others) and the kind that deserve to be taken a lot more seriously than you'd think!
1.Good Omens - The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of an…

A Blue Hand - The Beats in India by Deborah Baker

Allen Ginsberg lay in a sweat-drenched puddle of self-pity. He had so wanted to be a saint, but what was he supposed to suffer for? (...) Could anyone hear him? Saints, sadhus, rishis and all compassionate ones, he begged, "What's to be done with my life which has lost its idea?"

The name Deborah Baker rang vaguely familar until I realized from the dedication that she's the wife of Amitav Ghosh. I spent the whole of yesterday buried in the book. A Blue Hand - The Beats in India by Deborah Baker follows the events leading up to Ginsberg's visit to India and his time spent here, trying to find his spiritual connection and get himself a guru; almost as an escape from the rage of the publication of Howl, 'the epic work that branded him the voice of a generation', which opens:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, 
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, 
angelheaded hipster…

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

This is the sixth book I read for the Once Upon a Time challenge
This fabulous review by Delia made me want to get this book, and I'm glad I did. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker is a unique read. I've encountered jinnis (or genies and djinns) quite a few times in books, but never a golem like this one. The only other golems I remember reading of are those from the Discworld series; they have scrolls of instructions in their heads, fiery eyes, are huge, sexless and as you see, look somewhat like clay ogres. --->

Not in this book. The story of the Golem begins on a steamship off to New York. The Golem is a woman made out of clay by a corrupt rabbi who dabbles in dark magic, for a man who would be her husband and master. But on the ship, before the husband can do much other than introduce himself, he dies. Alone in New York city, the Golem, who has been built to be an obedient wife, to fulfill her master's desires, finds herself swarmed by the wishes of every pe…

Top Ten Books About Friendship

The first book that I thought of for this topic was Ich nannte ihn Krawatte by Milena Michiko Flašar, and it is about finding emotional comfort in a stranger, but it's German and hence not on the list. The ones I thought of next were all those Enid Blyton series I loved as a kid, The Famous Five and the Five Find-Outers.

I've tried not to include books about friends who fall in love, for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, Books about Friendship topic. Because, really, while a couple who are the best of friends make a really good couple, it isn't exactly their friendship that we love.

(Edit: 0.5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde - I just remembered how much I loved Ernest and Algernon together, and had to edit them into this list. While the play isn't about friendship, I do love how they'd go to any lengths to have each others' backs, and how it only adds to the confusion.)
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling - The first boo…

Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees

Summary: The story is set partly in Lud-in-the-Mist, the capital city of the country of Dorimare and a port at the confluence of two rivers, the Dapple and the Dawl. The Dapple has its origin in Fairyland, which lies out of sight from Dorimare, across the Debatable Hills. In the olden days, when Dorimare was filled with noblemen and ruled by Duke Aubrey, fairies were revered, and fairy fruit was enjoyed by the people of Dorimare. 
But then the rift between the dukes and the poor began to close, there arose a middle class, who rebelled and expelled Duke Aubrey from Dorimare and the noblemen were no longer the authority. The chaotic beauty of all that was Fairy was driven out and the Law was created, eating fairy fruit became a crime and anything related to Fairyland was unspeakable. So much, in fact, that the worst thing you could call someone was "Son of a Fairy!"

But there are rumours, of fiddlers and tricksters wooing young women, of the dead crossing over to the other side…

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

This time for Once Upon a Time, I'd decided to read some of those books that I find people from other corners of the world raving about, starting with The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I spent my childhood reading an assortment of fairy tales, then Enid Blyton, later Harry Potter and the occasional Roald Dahl. I can't say I enjoyed many classics. For the last couple of years, I tried my hand at all the books, especially fantasy, that fellow readers read as they grew up - from modern authors like Diana Wynne Jones to good oldies like C. S. Lewis. So with that in mind, I decided to read The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. 
Instead of a dull summary and review, here's what you get. FIVE Reasons You Must Read THE LAST UNICORN by Peter S. Beagle:
1. There's a horrible king, a curse by a wicked witch, there's a wizard and a forest full of magic, and then you have an immortal unicorn. But this book is still not your typical medieval fantasy.When the last unicorn in …

Five Book Covers I Would Frame As Art

1. Possession by A. S. Byatt - I love this book and cover, and the writing at the bottom makes it eerily magical: Medusina Regina Faerie Queene
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh - Look at the patterns and the colours, what's not to like?

3. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett - This is so kickass, the only thing that can make Death on a motorbike more awesome is the knowledge that he likes cats and has a horse named Binky.
4.  any vintage Penguin book cover, be it blue, green or classic orange
Papillon by Henri Charriere - a butterfly in chains, again, what's not to like? Plus, the fairy blue of its wings makes me all kinds of nostalgic.
I love love love this idea. The idea of framing book covers as art. For this week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) I've only listed five, but each of these would look great in the house. Who knows, I might even get one done. Which artsy book covers do you think would add that extra touch of awesome to your room?

The Code of the Hills: An Ozarks Mystery by Nancy Allen

Because of unexpected distractions, and despite the more-than-usual posts I wrote last month, I have a few reviews pending. This is one of those; I couldn't really write a review without properly mulling over the book, because The Code of the Hills by Nancy Allen is a layered book.
Summary: (from Goodreads) In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren't talked about... even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.
When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to become the Ozarks' avenging angel.
But as Elsie sinks her teeth into the case, everything begins to turn sour. The star witness goes missing; the girls refuse to talk about their father, who terrorizes the courtroom from the moment he enters; and Elsie begins to suspect that their tough-as-nails mother has ulterior motives. To make matters worse, Elsie receives gruesome threats from local extremists,…