Saturday, November 29, 2008

100 in 1001 Days

I am getting big time Envious of you all, who read around 100 books a year and more! And some who read 250 [ read S. Krishna LOL!!]. So, just to feel BETTER for the time being ;) -- I am going to read 100 books in 1001 days :-)! When u say 1001 days, this doesn't really sound too far :) and it gives me a feel-good-feeling [ and that it is 2.7 years, does not need to the remembered :D ]

SO I start on 1st Dec, 2008 to - July 28ish 2011 [ OK don't look at the dates! they are too far :(] i don't even know, where I will be then :( :'( **deep sorrow**
But that's ok - we will anyways try YES!

So thanks 3M, for the challenge :)!!

I will update my list here ok?! :-)
  1. Drinkwater by Eric Hopkins
  2. Jumble Pie by Melanie Lynne Hauser
  3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  4. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Steig Larsson
  5. Standoff by Sandra Brown
  6. King's Fool by Margaret Campbell Barnes
  7. Sam's Quest for the Crimson Crystal by Ben Furman
  8. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  9. Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith
  10. Between the Tides
  11. The Suburban Dragon By Garasamo Maccagnone
  12. The Garden of Ruth by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
  13. Sam's Letter to Jeniffer by James Patterson
  14. When I was a Soldier
  15. Just Listen
  16. Twilight
  17. Memoirs of a Geisha
  18. Mosaic
  19. Deception Point
  20. Dull Boy
  21. arry Potter and the Deathly hallows
  22. The Girl who played with Fire
  23. Nerititi
  24. Footsteps in the Dark
  25. Cleopatra's Daughter
  26. A Thousand Splendid Suns
  27. Things Fall Apart
  28. Soul Catcher
  29. Family Plots
  30. The Lost symbol
  31. The Piligrims
  32. True Believer
  33. Lock and Key
  34. Heidi **

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The God of Small Thing's by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small things by Arundhati Roy is the 1997 Man Booker Prize Winner. I have taken so long to finish this book, and I would WANT to say I hate this book~! But I think I like it :)

From the Blurb -

In her first novel, award-winning Indian screenwriter Arundhati Roy conjures a whoosh of wordplay that rises from the pages like a brilliant jazz improvisation. The God of Small Things is nominally the story of young twins Rahel and Estha and the rest of their family, but the book feels like a million stories spinning out indefinitely; it is the product of a genius child-mind that takes everything in and transforms it in alchemy of poetry. The God of Small Things is at once exotic and familiar to the Western reader, written in English that's completely new and invigorated by the Asian Indian influences of culture and language.

I wouldn't say this tale is a simple one for a normal reader like me! But it definitely is an sophisticated novel, which requires a lot of effort from the reader! The way story weaves around past and present of Estha and Rahel [the twins] is fantastic, it is an effortless effort [:)]
I felt sad for Velayutha , his love for Ammu was so heart-warming, and his love for Estha and Rahel was so amazing! The characterization is flawless, and their flaws remind you that this book is written on very real people. I felt sad when Rahel always remembered, that she was loved a little less. And I can remember, feeling the same when I was a kid [:)] though in very different circumstances. The prose is beautiful! There are some that you want to sit and re-read and capture their meaning again and again!

It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain.

To let it be, and to travel with it, as Velutha did, is much the harder thing to do!

[Page 190]

You would understand this prose better when you read the chain of events, but still this prose has a life of its own, I felt it true for me!

If he touched her, he couldn't talk to her, if he loved her he couldn't leave, if he spoke he couldn't listen, if he fought he couldn't win.
[Page 330]

I also liked the way Rahel and Estha, became comrades and such imaginary stuff! It is so original! The way Rahel kills the red ants, and how Sophie Mol, tells her to leave one so that it can feel “lonely”. I like the way there are so many delicate storied weaved and how effortlessly we come back to the original story of Estha and Rahel, that we don’t get lost in them!

No doubt this book is a master piece, but my only problem was that it didn’t hold my attention for a long time, which took me longer than usual to reach the ending point! The ending according to me is perfect, there was no other place for Rahel and Estha, except for each other. I hated Baby Kochamma with a passion, that no other character has generated in me for a long time now. The last chapter is beautiful, every sentence is knit with an expertise that I don't think I have read in a long time. The emotions are so raw, and the feelings are audible and it is plain breath-taking.

And another fun thing, that relates me to this book-

- my native place [ where I was born] is in Kottayam [ the big city mentioned in this book]

- my pet-name is Ammu [ in this the mother of Estha and Rahel]

- and my Dad calls me Ammukutty [ the way Ammu is called in this book by Velutha ]

So these are the reasons why this book is all the more special!

- It was the book for October at Book Blogs[travel the world (from a comfy chair)], though I am finishing it in Nov [sorry!]

- My 2nd book from the Man Booker List

- My book for the 1% Reading challenge!

- My book for the A-Z challenge as well!

Although this is a very sad novel, I would say I felt good after the ending was over. There were no questions left unanswered... there was no story left half-heartedly told.

Even though it is a beautiful book, I reiterate the problem I had was to concentrate on it. Though I must admit, that I got really interested in the book when I had reached half-way through it.

I give it a 4 on 5 [ coz it is not a fast read]

Nalle? [ means see you tommorrow here? ]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate – A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies is a mystical tale, that I enjoyed thoroughly. Being always greedy for good food, my taste buds never slept, after I started reading this amazing tale. It is so ‘fairy-talish’ and yet so real. I loved Tita, and was amazed at the speed with which the story accelerated each month.

I must say that the end was amazing, nothing that I did expected at all.

There have been mixed reaction to this novel, but I completely adored it. I had half a mind to test these recipes, or the Home remedies; but there were so many things I didn’t understand that I would not dare try. J

I would want to share this small excerpt that I found on Wiki about Laura Esquivel and her extremely amazing book –

The novel, taking place in nineteenth century Mexico, shows the importance of the kitchen in Esquivel's life. Esquivel believes that the kitchen is the most important part of the house and characterizes it as a source of knowledge and understanding that brings pleasure. The "title refers to a colloquial phrase used by the Spanish that means an extremity of feeling. It refers to a boiling point in terms of anger, passion and sexuality." The idea for the book came to Esquivel "while she was cooking the recipes of her mother and grandmother." Reportedly, "Esquivel used an episode from her own family to write her book. She had a great-aunt named Tita, who was forbidden to wed. Tita never did anything but care for her own mother. Soon after her mother died, so did Tita.

Isn’t it a mystical story?! I never knew about so many things – related to kitchen. It is amazing, that I really enjoyed the peek-a-boo into Mexican ranch life of the nineteenth century.

If you enjoy something mystical, love cooking, have problem in keeping your taste-buds from becoming watery and are emotional about love and women who don’t seem to get their love … then this book is for you … as much as it is for me.

Loved it totally.And hope you too love it, for my sakes. :-)

Thanks to 'travel the world (from a comfy chair)'; otherwise I would have never ended up reading it anyways :-)

Thanks Bethany :) for this wonderful book, just in time - for some mystical romance :)

Buy this book Via

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni – Halevy

The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni – Halevy is a riveting tale of a determined, highly respected leader and prophetess Deborah.

This novel is set in ancient Israel in the twelfth to the mid eleventh centuries BCE. In this gripping tale, Deborah is a very powerful woman who judged the people of Israel. People from far and wide would come to Deborah to seek judgment and counsel. Deborah was married to Lapidoth, and could hear God’s voice too. Her prophecies were highly revered and mostly came true too. She more than often set out to tell people the wishes of God and to tell them to mend their ways or else the wrath from Heaven would be unbearable.

On one such day, Deborah has a vision, and understands that she has to have a war against the neighboring Canannites, who have been terrorizing the people of Israel and looting them and killing many as well. She summons Barak, the mightiest of all and asks him to launch a war against them. Despite all the odds, they succeed. From the destroyed royal family of the Cannanites, Barak brings back 2 princesses Asherah, the most beautiful of the beauties and Nogah, the illegitimate daughter of the King.. And thus starts a gripping tale of love, disappointment and hatred.

The story weaves around Deborah, but at no point in the novel, do we feel that she is the only person. She is extremely powerful, but never uses her power for anything that’s against Torah rules. She is very humble and generous all throughout but nevertheless not perfect and I really found that aspect of her drawing. Barak on the other hand is one man, who is powerful, intelligent and a womanizer but extremely noble in his heart. He never forces his way with women, but women are drawn to him so much that they feel it a great reward to be with him.

I would love to say that I am in love with Barak’s character, but Nogah is the one who got all my love and anticipation. She is the quite powerhouse of knowledge and love and I identified with her so much too. And for being her aide, I really liked Uriel also.

Being totally clueless about this chapter in the Bible, I was truly amazed at the in depth knowledge about this period of time, that this book bestowed on me. It was fast-paced, well-written and Eva has done full justice to all her characters. I would love to tell you all about each and every character and more about them, but I would like you all to read and ravish and understand.

I give it 5 on 5. And I am thankful that I read this amazing tale that has given me a taste for historical fiction. I am all ready to pick up other titles by Eva herself.

A HUGE thanks to Dar for hosting the giveaway!

And another HUGE thanks to Eva for sending me my signed copy!

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Matrimony by Joshua Henkin

I won [YAY!] a SIGNED copy of Matrimony by Joshua Henkin at Alea's Pop Culture Junkie. Joshua Henkin sent it to me with a message on it. And I was VERY EXCITED that I got my FIRST prize!

Everyone has written so many reviews about this book, and I am sure MY review won't count much :-) But -- You can't stop me from writing one can you!?

An excerpt from the description -

It is 1987, and Julian Wainwright, aspiring writer and Waspy son of New York City old money, meets beautiful, Jewish Mia Mendelsohn in the laundry room at Graymont College. So begins a love affair that, spurred on by family tragedy, will take Julian and Mia across the country and back, through several college towns, spanning twenty years.
Matrimony is a very quiet book; I had feared that I would not like this book because I thought I essentially knew the ending. But I was proved wrong. Trust me the ending is not the deal here, the whole plot, the characters everything is. And I would love to tell you that I was so shocked at what happened towards the middle of the story. But they moved on Julian and Mia and so did their problems.

The characters were outlined with graceful beauty. The turn on events had no effect on the characters, they were essentially sublime all throughout the novel. They reacted with the same intensity as expected but that infuriated me sometimes; I wanted more emotion, more anger maybe more [:-)].

When Mia wanted to ask her mother - 'Who will take care of me' - I had tears in my eyes.

I laughed out loud at Cooper - the little adorable nuisance and I can swear my beau wore goggles while cutting onions too [if you have read the book, you know what I am referring too].

I loved the fact that no one was perfect in this novel, and there was not one scene I would say had come out of the sky. I am not from the culture showcased in the book, but I identified with it so much.

I also loved the fact that, even being a rich-kid, Julian didn't have the best of lives. He had his ups and downs. And he took his own time to get it right, and when he did, he didn't change with it.

I think my review is a lot personal :o) But I read every book like that. So, if you guys want a light read, and a fast read and also something that’s real as well as enjoyable - go for this one.

Thanks Alea - for the giveaway

Thanks Joshua for sending me the book. I loved it :-)

PS - I would want to hate Carter - but then I like him now :D --- that’s NOT a spoiler ok?

PPS - I love the cover of the book.