October 7, 2014

Bingo Update: Fifty shades and Brave New World

10th month of the year and this does warrant a Bingo Update.


A book with a number in the title: The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency
A book with a blue cover: And the mountains echoed
A book by a female author: C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton
A book with a mystery: D is for Deadbeat

The second book in a series: River of Smoke (Ibis Trilogy)  (*this can ideally be for a book with more than 500 pages too. Let me see if I manage to read something else by year end for that)
A book with a mystery: Tides of Memory by Sydney Sheldon ( that is in memory of my school time forbidden mystery ;) )
A book your friend lovesCalligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim
A book that is more than 10 years old: The House of Kanooru by Kuvempu 
A book with more than 500 pages: Fifty shades of Grey by E.L. James
The First book by a Favourite Author: Sessiv Ev by Orhan Pamuk
A book published this year: Once upon a crush by Kiran Manral
A book that became a movie: Fault in our Stars by John Green
A book which you heard about online: Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
A forgotten classic: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
A book set in another continent: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Currently Reading:

A book of short stories: Eunuch Park by Palash Krishna Mehrotra
Free Square: The Korean word for butterfly by James Zerndt

To be done in 3 months:

A book written by someone under thirty
A book with non human charachters
A funny book
A book with a one-word title
A book of non fiction
A book based on a true story
A best selling book
A book that scares you
A book at the bottom of your to be read pile

Can someone suggest a book by an author under thirty?

Fifty shades of Grey

 A book which I thought I would never read.

B cajoled me into trying something not my style, and see how I like it. I was very wary when I picked this up, and I was in no mood for some erotica. Reading the sample, I was convinced this was going to be a complete waste of time. With phrases like ' my sex' I was really unsure why I started reading it. Obviously the BDSM theme was pulling, its not really everyday I come across  work which is really out of the usual expanse of feelings and characters.

One of the things which did push me to attempt the book was the emotions which are shown of the girl, who is hopelessly in love, and who feels the futility of the relationship, and how she is unsure yet pulled into this whole world where she doesn't even know what to expect.And worst of all, he does not even warrant an explanation for why he is what he is. And, she is a person on logic, and reasoning, a hopeless Jane Eyre fan, and so not wanting the weird relationship which is panning out with him.

Very quick read and past the 60% mark, I was reading more of the story and skimming through the sex scenes. Nevertheless, I know that I would like to know the underlying story, so will pick up the second part too.

Brave New World

 This was a book which was suggested to me eons back, but I just never wanted to pick up those sci-fi stuff. I did not see myself reading those, and it just didn't seem to interest me. But when I had to pick a forgotten classic, I thought, why not!

And I was not disappointed !

It was different, a world which looks like a possibility, considering I am reading the book ages after it was originally written. But, the charachters, story and flow was beautiful. It is a very short read, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

I must admit that this is one of the few books which I was left gaping at what exactly happened at the end, and I had to read some critic notes to truly understand the authors thoughts towards the end of the book. It has been a great beginning and I am a little inclined to pick up some Sci-fi now.

September 16, 2014

Something french

I walked in and looked about. 

Everything looked just about the same. The blue walls, the water coolers, the small garden patch with the benches. It did bring a smile to my face. 

Turning a corner had me walking towards a chattering group and the familiar faces made me the silent spectator as always. 

And then I spotted the coffee brown polo neck and tan corduroy jacket. 

'Hello Sir, how have you been?' 

We started to walk to the playground as he was headed out for his lunch break duty. And I dutifully tagged along speaking about work, travel and all. 

My was smiling all through and seeing him again brought back so many memories or studying and doing things just to have him smile! 

'Amma... wake up.. the sun is OUT! It is day.'

Oh well, there are some dreams and some thoughts which are better off in dreams.  

I opened my eyes smiling, and thought that was the kind of crush high school physics teachers were entitled to :) They last through years and years, 15 years to be precise :)

As I thought back, I was quite surprised by the extend I remember about his dressing style, his goatee, his smile, and the seriousness with which he prepared his classes, and the interruptions which he did not entertain. I still have a vivid picture in my head about how he walked about with his box of chalks and textbooks.

Seems like ages back.

I have an immense liking for french beards, or goatees, or whatever it is called. And when I say immense, I quite mean it.

Source: http://images.yuku.com.s3.amazonaws.com/imag/jpj/9c116a978b4cbfc688ff60acfac9cebc68109854_r.jpg

I believe that is something which I have loved since school, and this teacher being one to sport is so well with his jeans, polo neck and corduroy jackets, had me ( and many more girls) listening raptly to vectors and forces and speed and pressure issues.

 A shaggy look, beard is something I will swoon over, any day, over the clean shaven or mustache. There is a mystery, a warm, fuzzy feeling whenever I see men as above. And that is also the reason, one of my all time favourite men in Bollywood has been Kunal Kapoor. It is as obscure a choice, I have been told, but that is the truth.

Source: http://www.pinbollywood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/1368073346e4d23.jpg

My fascination with a goatee is to such an extend that I have asked B to attempt a goatee in lieu of any gifts for birthday or anything for the entire year. But, he anyhow picked to give gifts that have an 'itchy beard' ! I believe that there is sure to be a period of irritation, especially when the hair lengths are different, but once trimmed and the threshold is crossed, it would be wonderful. Or so, I believe. I still plan on repeating the request, he might just have that bout of overflowing love wherein he might attempt it one more time.

Fingers crossed!

September 3, 2014

Book Review: Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar (Translated by Jerry Pinto)

A book with 2 chapters. A book with just 6 charachters. A book which makes you think of love very differently.

A paying guest with a free spirit in a house where a family of 4 resides. A son who falls in love with the paying guest and the daughter also follows suit. But the daughter being more feisty, decides to run away with the man and live a life away from the eyes of parents and society. But, alas, only to be left stranded and in need of counselling to get back her life and goals in order.

The son is distraught and does not even know what has happened. But he fathoms the impossible when he realizes his sister is back, and his love and sister had run off. No one understands the son, he goes into depression, and that too is not even accepted by his parents who are only fussing about the daughter, getting her fine and marrying her off. There is a certain pathos which has been shown on the side of the parents, in their dealings with the children. Society and expectations mould the behaviour of parents towards adult children. They are expected to understand and comply to keep with the traditions, and to the extend that they do not see what is blatant enough, but not the norm.

This book left me with a feeling of unknown. It did not end, per say. I felt there was a closure required, which was lacking, in my respect. But, the work was beautiful in seeing the feelings coursing through love, despair and rejection. It was beautifully portrayed.

Rating: 3/5

August 17, 2014

Book Review: Sessiv Ev (Silent House) by Orhan Pamuk

 Sessis Ev, or Silent House is the second novel by Orhan Pamuk originally written in turkish and later translated into English. His first novel being a turkish book called Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları (Cevdet Bey and His Sons), which I believe was not translated to English. So, for all practical purposes of the Bingo Reading challenge, where I am to read a first book by a favourite author, this book fits the bill. And at the onset I should also add that this book did nothing for me as My name is Red did. That was a different setting and maybe more complex and intertwined to my taste. This was something I picked up, and read through, without really feeling anything much.

Set in a small town outside Istanbul, and revolving around how 3 grandchildren come to visit their ailing grandmother and her help about the house, a dwarf. As we proceed through the book, we see how the past plays out and how the many people in the small town are related yet believes to be unrelated.

 Eldest drinks and binges all through his stay and wonders about his ex-wife and how she enjoys life. He is shown to be someone who wallows in misery and drinks till sleep overbears. Sister lives a life analyzing the communist era and trying to be there for eldest through the rough patch. She aims to spend time with the grandmom though the grandmom does not really believe so. Youngest, with money in his pockets, from private tutoring classes, wishes to woo and live life with the party crowd in this sleepy beach town. He seems to believe he is in love with a girl and it is interesting to see how he misread her intentions, and almost forces himself on him, before taking control of the situation and rethinking what he is going to do. 

One of the characteristic things which I liked when reading My Name is Red was how every chapter would be in the first person narrative of each charachter in the book. This was something new for me, but this book also had the same method of narration. But, when I look at this book, the method seems to be a little more ineffective, or something which he has not mastered to that extend. This book was a good  20 years before My Name is Red, so I believe its safe to believe he was testing out strategies long before the master piece.

Overall the book was not as thrilling as My Name is Red, the plot was not that gripping either. The story was told mostly about thoughts and what each charachter felt as the summer proceeded and how things pan out for each. It was a little slow and also did not really evoke much feelings neither in terms of story or language.

Rating: 2.5/5