Friday, July 31, 2009

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Memoirs of a Geisha
By Arthur Golden
November 22nd 2005 (first published 1997) by Vintage
512 Pages
5 on 5!


According to Arthur Golden's absorbing first novel, the word "geisha" does not mean "prostitute," as Westerners ignorantly assume--it means "artisan" or "artist." To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia--and an M.A. in English--he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.

The result is a novel with the broad social canvas (and love of coincidence) of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen's intense attention to the nuances of erotic maneuvering. Readers experience the entire life of a geisha, from her origins as an orphaned fishing-village girl in 1929 to her triumphant auction of her mizuage (virginity) for a record price as a teenager to her reminiscent old age as the distinguished mistress of the powerful patron of her dreams. We discover that a geisha is more analogous to a Western "trophy wife" than to a prostitute--and, as in Austen, flat-out prostitution and early death is a woman's alternative to the repressive, arcane system of courtship. In simple, elegant prose, Golden puts us right in the tearoom with the geisha; we are there as she gracefully fights for her life in a social situation where careers are made or destroyed by a witticism, a too-revealing (or not revealing enough) glimpse of flesh under the kimono, or a vicious rumor spread by a rival "as cruel as a spider."

Golden's web is finely woven, but his book has a serious flaw: the geisha's true romance rings hollow--the love of her life is a symbol, not a character. Her villainous geisha nemesis is sharply drawn, but she would be more so if we got a deeper peek into the cause of her motiveless malignity--the plight all geisha share. Still, Golden has won the triple crown of fiction: he has created a plausible female protagonist in a vivid, now-vanished world, and he gloriously captures Japanese culture by expressing his thoughts in authentic Eastern metaphors.

I really can't understand how to start my review. This book is a gorgeous example of beautiful writing with exotic details. The summary from GoodReads in itself beautifully describes this book!
Chiyo Chan is the 2nd and the more beautiful daughter of a fisherman in Yoroido, Japan. Her mother one day unexpectedly falls ill and their father has no money to look after his 2 daughters. In sadness and desperation, he sells his 2 daughters to Mr. Tanaka; who in turn sells them into 2 different levels of prostitution - Chiyo is send to be a Geisha and Satsu, her elder one is sold into a lesser prostitute house. This novella is a journey that Chiyo takes from her carefree non-exciting life of being a fisherman's daughter to being a renowned successful Geisha.
This book depicts beautifully the day to day life of a Geisha, their traditions and their beliefs, the culture of Japan . It's detailing is beautiful and the innocent voice of Sayuri [Chiyo Chan's Geisha name] tugs at our heart as she struggles to follow her heart with only one goal in her heart, that was to get to her true love; and on the way she learns there is no Love in the life a Geisha..
But who knew the turn of fate.

The novella is set in the 1930's - 1940's and gives a peek into the lives of the people before the World War started, during the Great Depression and during the World War 2! We also see how the Geisha district of Gion is closed during World War 2 and how there lives of luxury change. It is interesting to see that in Japan, each factory that was there in those times was asked to produce fighter plane parts and such items... even if they never had ANY experience in the field. How every other housewife or tailor or even designers of exquisite Kimono's were asked to sew parachutes! How people survived the air-raids and much more!

It also outlines how American soldiers entered in to there destroyed nation and threw candy at little kids! And when the Geisha district of Gion was reopened they pooled into enjoy themselves. Laughing and playing with Geisha's, some without even the interpreters!

Japanese Literature Challenge 3

This is another challenge that I am going to join, Thank You Sandra:)
Hosted by Bellezza at Dolce Bellezza.
July 30, 2009 - January 30, 2010.

Read at least one work of Japanese origin.

And here is the button, ain't it CUTE :)A little about the button [ copied from Dolce Bellezza site! ]
"The button comes from a work of art painted by Yoshitomo Naro in 1996. It’s entitled “Do Not Disturb!” and I loved its childlike simplicity.
The dog in Yoshitomo Nara’s “Do Not Disturb!” is a beguiling bookworm who has found a quiet spot to do some reading. An influential Japanese Pop artist who gained a cultish following in the 1990s, Nara is known for painting cartoonishly aggressive children influenced by Japanese comic books and American cartoons. His images, which express children’s alienation and intense independence, are featured on CD cases, ashtrays, clocks and T-shirts.”

My picks [ will be updated with links to my review and other books later] -

Have you tried Japanese Lit? No? Then come on, join the challenge and explore a whole new world of beautiful writing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Victoria Holt Books

I remember reading Victoria Holt a lot, during my school days, and easily forgot about her. Until recently while updating my list of read books, that I remembered about the books i hardly remembered about, and began a search of an author I hardly knew and remembered the name. What remained as a memory were few vague titles and and the frustration over nothing coming out of the Google search engine.

Finally I found all about it...!!!! :)

Victoria Holt... aka ... Eleanor Hibbert or should I say it the other way round.. anyways. Eleanor Hibbert was an author who wrote many genres and that too under different Pen names. A new name for new Genres and also kept shifting them though decades. I found this really fascinating about her, and I would also agree that her work too fascinated me strongly.

Name: Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert
Born: 1 September 1906
Died: 18 January 1993

Pen Names/ Pseudonyms: Eleanor Burford --- Contemporary Novels
Jean Plaidy --- Historical Novels
Elbur Ford --- 1950-53
Kathleen Kellow --- 1952-60
Ellalice Tate --- 1956-61
Anna Percival --- 1960's
Victoria Holt --- 1960's
Phillipa Carr --- 1972

Genres: Historical, Gothic & Romance

I love her Romantic Fiction and would recommend - The Black Opal and Seven for a secret, uner the name Victoria Holt. I have read her under this pseudonym a lot.

To Know more about her and her works, Click Me...


Intersting Fact: ** Joanne Murray ** - The Famous J. K. Rowling of the Harry Potter Series, uses the Pseudonym J. K. Rowling. "K" was never a part of her name.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teasers Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today's Teaser ~
Jeremy listened intently as she talked. They walked slowly, Lexie interrupting her own story to point out some of her favorite books. She was, he soon came to learn, even more well read than he, especially in the classics, but it made sense, now that he thought about it. Why else would you become a librarian if you didn't love books?
- p. 89, “True Believer” by Nicholas Sparks.

Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday :)

Cover Attractions!

I really do get attracted to a book by a good eye-catching cover! Do You?! It makes me stop, and give it more consideration.

Go ahead and read Alea's review of this one which I read on!
I loved what I have read about this one, and would love to grab a copy as soon as I can! What about you?
Which is the recent cover that grabbed your attention and made you give the book more consideration?

Thank You Marcia for hosting this! For more attractive covers, head over to Marcia's!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday is here!

Alongwith Deception Point and Persuasion I am also reading,


As a science journalist with a regular column in Scientific American, Jeremy Marsh specializes in debunking the supernatural. A born skeptic, he travels to the small town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, determined to find the real cause behind the ghostly apparitions that appear in the towns cemetery. What he doesnt plan on, however, is falling hopelessly in love with Lexie Darnell, granddaughter of the town psychic. Now, if the young lovers are to have any kind of future at all, Jeremy must make a difficult choice: return to the life he knows, or do something hes never done beforetake a giant leap of faith.

Happy Monday to ALL!!
Head over to J.Kaye's to know what everyone is reading!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

On Vacation!

I am going on a vacation!

Will be back on Tuesday! See you then!

Have a good week ahead!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BTT: What do you Prefer?

Which do you prefer? (Quick answers–we’ll do more detail at some later date)
    • Reading something frivolous? Or something serious?

    Anything, depends on the mood at that point of time.

    • Paperbacks? Or hardcovers?

    Hmm… I like to have hardcover but like to read Paperbacks. Paperbacks are affordable!

    • Fiction? Or Nonfiction?

    Fiction mostly. I have read a couple of memoirs and liked them!

    • Poetry? Or Prose?

    Prose ofcourse!

    • Biographies? Or Autobiographies?

    None. Not read any! I tried sincerely, but couldn’t J

    • History? Or Historical Fiction?

    Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genre!

    • Series? Or Stand-alones?

    Both! I love Harry Porter series!

    • Classics? Or best-sellers?


    • Lurid, fruity prose? Or straight-forward, basic prose?

    Hmm…really depends on the book and genre I think J

    • Plots? Or Stream-of-Consciousness?

    Hmm… didn’t understand this one… so I will go for plots!

    • Long books? Or Short?

    Again Both! If the plot and characters are engaging book length is not a problem at all.

    • Illustrated? Or Non-illustrated?

    I like Illustrated ones too!

    • Borrowed? Or Owned?

    Definitely OWNED “)

    • New? Or Used?

    I like NEW, but I don’t mind OLD as well!

Thank You Deb!
Happy Thursday ALL!

Currently Reading

I have never read Elizabeth Noble, but this title actually grabbed my attentions and with good reviews I decided to add this up to my library. I am currently reading this one and will soon update with the review.

Another title I treated myself with is Paulo Coelho's - next in line TBR.

Yiiipppeee...!! I am just few titles away from having read and owned all Titles of Paulo. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cover Attractions~~

This cover from Literate Housewives Sunday Salon post on the Dog Days of Summer Selections! If you don't know about what really is the Dog Days of Summer and books, go right ahead and visit this wonderful lady's blog.

Thank You Marcia for hosting this! For more attractive covers, head over to Marcia's!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Teasers Tuesday!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This is my FIRST Teasers Tuesday Post and I am so happy about it. Thank You MizB for hosting this :)
My teaser -

Lady Russell felt obliged to oppose her dear Anne's known wishes. It would be too much to expect Sir Walter to descend into a small house in his own neighbourhood. Anne herself would have found the mortification of it more than she foresaw, and to Sir Walter's feelings they must have been dreadful.
- p. 15, “Persuasion” by Jane Austen

I have a question for all of you Jane Austen readers :)
Which is your favorite Jane Austen novel?

Persuasion is my very first Austen novel, and I like it so far. I am just curious as to which is the best out of the 6 completed works by this author.
Hope you have a great day!

Classic Monday!!

I finally completed Mosaic
I am really happy about that, I am half way through Deception Point
and I have started Persuasion-Can you believe it - this is my FIRST Jane Austen Book! Yes, finally!
Happy Monday to ALL!!
Head over to J.Kaye's to know what everyone is reading!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


BTT asks..
Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?

All my unread books are in a pile ...all together! I keep the most recent ones together, then there is a pile full of old books that I have collected but not read over the years... and then there are others that I have started but not quite made any progress on! All in different neat piles.
The books I have finished go into desk drawers, so that I don't mix them all up!

What about you Ladies!?!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Attarction to Tea Cups

I LOVED the cover the first time I saw it on Beth F.'s blog :)
Love it?!

Thanks Marcia for hosting this event :)

Monday is here!

So I am almost finishing Memoirs of a Geisha! And I re-started-
Last time, around 2 weeks back I started this one, but then I don't know I couldn't read further! This week I am going to push myself into this book again :)
Wish me luck ;)

What are you reading on Mondays?
For others post, head over lovely J.Kaye's Book blog!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

by Stephenie Meyer

Paperback, 464 pages

November 6th 2008 (first published 2005) by ATOM

From product description,

The book that started the phenomenon is now available in a deluxe collector's edition! Featuring a ribbon bookmark, cloth cover, ragged edges, new chapter opener designs, and a beautiful protective slipcase, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

No one really needs an intro to what this story is all about! Really my 5 on 5 rating is all that you need to know! Another devoted admirer of Meyer has joined the bandwagon :) and well, she is hunting for the next installments already. Well seriously I really heard about Twilight, when the movie was about to be released! All of the blog-world world went berserk raving about it! I really wanted to read this one, but suddenly I was scared of not liking it, and I kept on putting it off :)
And finally, finally I read it :)! In 2-3 days FLAT! Really! I am a very slow reader! And this was amazing! The only other book series I have devoured like this is the Potter series - but I am yet to read the last installment of that :D - that's a whole different story ... I will tell you later :)

So back to topic, I just LOVED it, period :)

Guys! I really like Bella Swan, Edward ... damn everything ;)! I so want to read more about Vampires! :)

I found this funny link @BookGirl's NightStand .. it is for all those who like me are Twilight Fans ... go read it! Seriously it is funny!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen
By Sarah Dessen
Paperback, 400 page
Published on July 5th 2007 Book Description,
Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf ’s Department Store.This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling.With Owen’s help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

In this multi-layered, impossible-to-put-down book, Sarah Dessen tells the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect facade.

Annabel Green was one of those girls who had everything, model looks, great family, cool friends; but then all that is just from the outside, just as the glass house she lives in, from outside it is just perfect but really no one bothers to know the inside. Annabel's likes to keep to herself her views, her thoughts so as to not hurt anyone with the bitter truth. Everything really starts changing fer her, when her grandmother dies suddenly and her mother starts going downhill. She really can't bear the sadness and puts up with the modeling, which is her mothers favorite hobby. She has 2 elder sisters, who would not to talk to each other and one of them has an eating disorder, which her family ignores, until it is too late.
Well, Annabel has a good friends following, until one night everything changes. She feels it safer to hide from them, than confront them. She, now is only friends with Owen who is a loner by choice! Owen is the only bright spot of her school life and her whole day in it's entirety.
When it comes to music or Annabel’s inner monologue, Owen’s advice remains the same:
don’t judge...just listen.
Actually a super fast and cosy read!
Grab it now :)!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A late Monday and a beautiful Cover!

It was a very long weekend for me and I was excited about it too! and amidst all the hubble-bubble, fun - I totally forgot about my postings!

So, :) my week starts on this Wednesday :)
I finished Twilight, oh my! it was AWESOME! I am hunting for the 2nd installment already :). Review to follow soon.

And started -

This one also becomes my Cover Attractions post. God alone knows how many times I have stopped reading and gazed at the books cover - into the startling grey-blue eyes of Chiyo-Chan!

Head over to J.Kaye's to know what everyone else is reading :)
And also to Marcia's to see what other covers you should be ogling at! :)

Have a very good week ahead!

Friday, July 03, 2009

When I was a Soldier by Valeri Zennati

When I was a Soldier
By Valerie Zenatti
235 Pages
Published in 2005

When I was a Soldier is the story of a teenage girl named Valerie who has this perfect life of a teenager with 2 best friends whom she hangs out with all the time. After her bac exam, Valerie like everyone just turning 18, gets ready to start the 2 years of compulsory military service. This memoir is an account of her experience in the military service.
It is nothing like you could imagine happening in your own country. In Israel, boy or girl turning 18 after there high school exams have to spend there 2 years in military service. Valerie's voices the teenage views of many down there, and takes us through an ocean of different issues she and her like face during this period.
It gives you a peep into the Palestinian and Israeli conflicts that are still on and how the teenagers look at it. At the effect the wars have had on people! It is small book which necessarily does not give you a deep insight into the issues, but one girl's perspective of the country which was not hers, but where she belongs now.

My first OT-09 book! 4 stars :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cover Attractions~~ One book and 2 covers!

I found 2 covers of the same book [ thanks to Sandra's post where I saw the cover]. And liked the both!

Another cover that I really found kinda cute was from All About {n}

I know it is kind of weird, but I like it ;)
I love the yellow footwear and everything :)

Head over to Marcia's to get a visual treat :). Thanks Marcia!