Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cover Wars

I today have 2 covers for 2 different reasons that I have liked. I actually had to hunt for them.
Generally while browsing, I like a cover and I mention it here, but this time around I had to "look" for them as none of the books featured had covers that I liked.

These I like and I would LOVE to read the books too...

A unique and sweeping debut novel of an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men. On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through twelve war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen's infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh's secret keeper, boss and truest friend.
Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman’s struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war.
I just loved the red in the above cover... I love the effect it creates, the flower and even the red illustration and doesn't book sound interesting?! I have seen this been added to the GoodReads libraries of Kathy (Bermudaonion) and A Bookshelf Monstrosity... can't wait to hear what they think of this one!

The 2nd book is from Kals Libraray @ GoodReads...and I like this because of that window detail... I remember seeing this in fortresses and I think it looks just awesome on the cover too. Love the concept.

Zaka Ullah of Delhi by C.F.Andrews

Set against the backdrop of the mutiny of 1857, C.F. Andrews draws upon the story of Zaka Ullah's life to briefly trace the social and literary history of Delhi from the decline of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century to the emerging nationalist movement in the latter half of the
nineteenth century. Two new introductions written especially for this volume place the book, its subject, and its author in a socio-historical context.

What covers or books are you attracted to?!

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Saturday, March 27, 2010


"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring into Short Stories - Week 1

Do you have short stories saved on your computer or book marked that scream...

day in, day out?!
Then YOU ought to join
LuAnn says...

March 20 - June 20, 2010
This is the “Spring into Short Stories” challenge. The goal is to read some of those short stories many of us have gathering wool on our shelves or downloaded on our computers, such as the many I personally have saved.
The stories can be included within an anthology or stand alone.
Here are the rules:
1. The story must be less than 50 pages.
2. The story can be any genre.
That’s pretty simple, isn’t it? So, as you can see, there isn’t a lot of work to this challenge.
Anyone who wishes to participate must sign up by March 19 to be eligible for the prize drawing. However, you can join in at any time during the challenge.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Become a follower of this blog.
2. Add a comment to the sign-up post letting me know you’re participating.
Once you begin reading your stories, do a short review on your own blog, then add a comment and link at the end of the post here under the appropriate week.
For those who would like to participate but don't have a blog, you can leave a short review here.
Do visit LuAnn's blog for more info and post you reviews!
This week's story is ~~
A Golden Wedding by Lucy Maud Montgomery (from the collection Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922)

It is again one of those feel good short stories that Montgomery had becomes famous for. Anything I say about the story will be like giving away too much. It is not an extraordinary story...but it is a simple tale of love. Love for someone who cared for you when there was no one and the feeling that comes with it. The want to make things right for the people who matter the most and if that means losing all you have...then so be it. 
This is why I love her stories, she never fails to bring a smile and the feeling of love that touches the heart.  


"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cover Attractions!!

It is that lady's image on the cover... her smile! I think this has to be the most beautiful face I have seen in a while :)

Synopsis - 
Arabella Dempsey’s dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls’ school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies…

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh—often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation—has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, “Meet me at Farley Castle”, the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens’ modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate 12-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? And is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella and Turnip’s hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?
What covers are you attracted to lately?!
"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bibliomania Day!!!

Did you know . . . that March 20th was Bibliomania Day?
On March 20, 1990, Stephen Blumberg of Ottumwa, Iowa, was arrested for stealing over 23,600 books worth $20 million and weighing 19 tons. So look out for a the "bookey-man"!

Over more than twenty years, Stephen Blumberg stole more than 23,000 rare books from 268 libraries, a collection that was estimated to be worth between five and twenty million dollars. According to William Moffett, an expert in bibliokleptomania, "in terms of the number of libraries raided and the number of volumes known to be stolen, Blumberg is the No. 1 thief of books in American history." Due to his intelligent modus operandi and to the fact that they were simply not expecting such a large-scale assault on their holdings, most of the libraries he stole from were not even aware of their losses until Blumberg was apprehended in 1990. Continue Reading...

Like many book thieves, Blumberg was also a book lover. "It was his habit to read constantly through the night, cat-napping, waking, reading, dozing, waking, reading again, never fully sleeping. "

Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea tagged me for this FUN MEME!

  • Are there any books you would like to beg, borrow, or steal? 
                Beg - yes! Borrow - yes! Steal - oh yes yes yes! I fantasize myself breaking into libraries of MANY of my fellow bloggers and stealing there lovely collections! So my dear blogging freinds, beware ;) :P

  • Are you addicted to trips to Borders or the public library?
               I wish I had Borders or a library nearby! In the last few months I have been confined to home and eBooks and the rest of the TBR pile that I have not read! I am itching to break my book-buying-ban!
  • Do you have a way to remember what books you have read?
                GoodReads, LibraryThing and my Blog, of course!

  • When did your love of books begin?
                I think I have said this before. It started very young, when my dad used to buy me comics and kid books for the 3 day train journey from where we lived to our home-town for vacations. It was his way of keeping me occupied! I grew up on Tinkle, Archies, Amar Chitra Katha.. Chacha Chaoudary.... Loved them all. Then it was Enid Blyton and so on! I love you Dad, for this and many other things!!
  • What is a favorite book?
                Umm... very difficult question! Over the years, as I have become older my reading chioces have changed and so has my fav book. But when I was in my 11th, I read Thorn Birds! And started me off on a reading journey so different from what I was used to. I simply loved it! Then in 2008 - I loved The Kite Runner. These 2 books, I think changed my reading choices... and for that reason will always be the top 2!    
Author? Again, I have several favorites.
  • Do you still have in your possession a book borrowed, but not returned to its rightful owner? 
                Oh yes, i have 2 books I so need to return to a family friend. But I will have to wait for some more months before I can make that trip or just hope she drops by once :)
But I generally return the books I have taken except the ones that I STOLE from my uncle's library. And well he knows and he is fine with it LOL!

  • What's the most in library fines you have owed? 
                 I was a good girl, and I have returned all my books on time.
  • Do you loan books out to others? 
                If I have read them then yes, I love giving suggestions and making my friends read the books I loved :) :)!

At the end of this, I can TAG some people to do this :) :)
umm... so I tag (**evil grin**)-

Now my dear prospective book-thieves.. go on do this fun meme... I am sure you will enjoy this as much as I did :) :)
AND if you choose NOT to do this... then.... it's ok ;) .. rest assured your personal - libraries will be BURGLED
**evil laugh**

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

This is a weekly Meme run by Sheila @ One Persons Journey through a world of Books. Post about the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week.

Whenever I read and finish a book, I am tempted to do a Monday post about it :)
Last week, I read and reviewed ~~
The Clearing by Heather Davis

This week I am reading apart from the "regular books" that I read (LOL!)

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie - I can say I am dragging myself through it!
A tall, yellow-haired young European traveller calling himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital. The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess, the youngest sister of Akbar's grandfather Babar: Qara Koz, 'Lady Black Eyes', a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, who is taken captive first by an Uzbek warlord, then by the Shah of Persia, and finally becomes the lover of a certain Argalia, a Florentine soldier of fortune, commander of the armies of the Ottoman Sultan. When Argalia returns home with his Mughal mistress the city is mesmerized by her presence, and much trouble ensues."The Enchantress of Florence" is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man's world. It brings together two cities that barely know each other - the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire and the treachery of sons, and the equally sensual Florentine world of powerful courtesans, humanist philosophy and inhuman torture, where Argalia's boyhood friend "il Machia" - Niccolo' Machiavelli - is learning, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. These two worlds, so far apart, turn out to be uncannily alike, and the enchantments of women hold sway over them both. But is Mogor's story true? And if so, then what happened to the lost princess? And if he's a liar, must he die?

Captivity by Deborah Noyes - I have never read anything like this before. It demands a lot of my attention but it is in a way thrilling to read. This is an eBook, so I will take my own time to finish this... and I think this one has to be devoured slowly and I am in no mood to miss out on anything!
Synopsis -
This masterful historical novel by Deborah Noyes, the lauded author of Angel & Apostle, The Ghosts of Kerfol, and Encyclopedia of the End (starred PW) is two stories: The first centers upon the strange, true tale of the Fox Sisters, the enigmatic family of young women who, in upstate New York in 1848, proclaimed that they could converse with the dead. Doing so, they unwittingly (but artfully) gave birth to a religious movement that touched two continents: the American Spiritualists. Their followers included the famous and the rich, and their effect on American spirituality lasted a full generation. Still, there are echoes. The Fox Sisters is a story of ambition and playfulness, of illusion and fear, of indulgence, guilt and finally self-destruction. The second story in Captivity is about loss and grief. It is the evocative tale of the bright promise that the Fox Sisters offer up to the skeptical Clara Gill, a reclusive woman of a certain age who long ago isolated herself with her paintings, following the scandalous loss of her beautiful young lover in London. Lyrical and authentic and more than a bit shadowy Captivity is, finally, a tale about physical desire and the hope that even the thinnest faith can offer up to a darkening heart.
 Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber - I picked this one because I wanted a light, emotional and romantic read. Well I am only a few pages into it and I am in no position to rate it yet. But to me it felt something like PS. I Love You. But I think there is a difference here...I am sure. 

Synopsis - 
Make time for friends. Make time for Debbie Macomber. On the anniversary of his beloved wife's death, Dr. Michael Everett receives a letter Hannah had written him. In it she reminds him of her love and makes one final request. An impossible request: I want you to marry again. She tells him he shouldn't spend the years he has left grieving her. And to that end she's chosen three women she asks him to consider. First on Hannah's list is Winter Adams, a trained chef who owns a cafe on Seattle's Blossom Street. The second is Leanne Lancaster, Hannah's oncology nurse. Michael knows them both. But the third name is one he's not familiar with - Macy Roth. Each of these three women has her own heartache, her own private grief. During the months that follow, he spends time with Winter, Leanne and Macy, learning more about each of them...and about himself.
In other news, we had a cat-attack in our utility area!!! YES! We had fish for dinner yesterday and today morning I went in to out utility room, where we keep our waste-bin and found it to be toppled over, all the waste on the floor and all the fish bones missing. The detective agency comprising of hubby and me have investigated and are sure it is the doing of a notorious cat. Now we are actually trying to figure out which one it is. LOL! Our utility room is a open one, with a grill - so it is easy entry for cats and likes. Hubby reports that around 1 in the night yesterday, our faithful stray dogs had barked and tried to tell us about the attack... but hubby did not bother to check it up! 
We will let you know if we are able to NAB the culprit :) :) :)

So how is Monday for all of you guys?!
Have a great week ahead :)

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Orbis Terrarum

I was so SURE I would be able to FINISH OT-09 last year, but I didnot. I fall short by 2 books.
Here is the FINAL list and I am doing this late BECAUSE I am feeling very sad that I could not finish it at all.
If I go by the author's birth place alone, I think I might have done fewer than the list below :(

So this year for OT -09, my progress so far ~~

  1. Mosaic by Soheir Khashoggi - Author is from Egypt, the book is based in New York and Jordan
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden - the book is based in Japan
  3. When I was a Soldier by Valerie Zennati - Author is from France, the book is based on Israel
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - Author is from England
  5. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran - Book is based in Egypt
  6. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini- Afghanistan
  7. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe - Nigeria
  8. Heidi by Johanna Spyri - Switzerland.
It is not like I did not have books, it is just that I could not finish them on time. 

Does that mean that I am not going to join this one this year?! No way... I have failed in almost all my challenges last year :) and I am joining this year as well.. nothing can stop me from joining more challenges!!

And Bethany has some new rules and a LOVELY button, that keeps on calling to me and telling me to put it up on my blog :)
Bethany says...

Welcome to Orbis Terrarum 2010!!!

This is year 3 of our big adventure. There are some different things going on this year, so read up.

Orbis Terrarum 2010 Challenge Rules:

*The Orbis Terrarum Challenge begins April,1st 2010(you are welcome to join later) through the month of November.
*For the challenge each reader is to choose 8 books (for the 8 months of the challenge).
*Each book must from a different country, I have decided to go by the country of origin of the author, or the country he/she lives in is fine as well-meaning NOT the country the book is set in!!
*You don’t have to have a list, that means you can change your mind at any time. As long as there are 8 books you have completed the challenge.

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Saturday, March 20, 2010



Note -- Hey Guys! My page was not loading fast and I thought it was because of the template... so I changed it. Now it is loading faster... but still let me know if you guys think it is fast or slow?!

I will be changing the look as I normally do in the coming days :)

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Clearing By Heather Davis

The Clearing
By Heather Davis
Publishing on April 12th 2010 by Graphia
Paperback, 336 pages 
Synopsis - 
Amy, a sixteen-year-old recovering from an abusive relationship, moves to the country to start a new life with her aunt–all she wants is for everything to be different. In the clearing at the back of Aunt Mae’s property, she makes an amazing discovery—Henry, a boy stuck in the endless summer of 1944. Henry and his world become Amy’s refuge and she begins to learn that some moments are worth savoring. But when the past and present come crashing together, both of them must find the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.
The synopsis gives you an exact picture of what this story is all about. Amy, who has been stuck in an abusive relationship moves to the country where her loving Aunt Mae lives... she basically runs away from her previous life to start afresh and to find herself and hopes things will be different. But as she realizes in due course, nothing could be different if one is not ready to be different. On one of the walks in her Aunt's backyard, she chances to find a clearing and on crossing it... she finds herself in a beautiful settings on 1940s and a family who is stuck in time, they are still living in the year 1944. She becomes friends with the boy in that clearing and starts visiting them every now and then. As there friendship blossoms into something more, both realize what they need to do to move forward in life. 
The writing is beautiful, it is lyrical and it is so nice to see words of love, friendship all woven so beautifully together. This novel apart from dealing with love, also deals with various issues in a young teens life - the choices that they make and the role of a parent in helping them out in the time of crisis. It explores the relationships between parent and child and the need of communication in life. It discusses abusive relationship and what keeps one hanging on to it even when it hurts and they know it is in vain. It teaches us that there was no point in fretting over tomorrow and that it has to come and that we need to accept what life holds for us now and then. And finally I got to read a novel on time travel and I loved it. 
My only qualm with this one was the ending, I did not expect it and it did not thrill but I felt some how happy for Amy, for her Aunt Mae and sad for Henry Briggs. I have come to accept the fact that it had to be like this!

"The physical things get more difficult when you are old like me, and the emotional things are hard when you're young like you.  I remember when I was your age, everything seemed like a crisis - everything was so big. Things happened that I thought I'd never get over."
- pg. 121
My dear, time is the one thing you should pay attention to. One day, you'll find there's never enough of it.
- pg 62.

For its writing, it's superb dealing with so many issues and things... I recommend it wholeheartedly!
Thanks to NetGalley for providing the review copy

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Monday, March 15, 2010

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
by Allan Richard Shickman
Published July 15th 2007 by Earthshaker Books
Paperback, 160 pages

The hero, Zan-Gah seeks his lost twin in a savage prehistoric world, encountering suffering, captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes: survival, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, nature's wonders and terrors.
This is the first time I have read anything in the prehistoric time period. It was a totally different experience and not a bad one at all.
On opening the book, I came across a number of recommendations done for the book by teens in the 10-13 category and there moms. I found this really sweet and I think that if I were a mom, I would just let my teen read it as well, without fretting about the content :)

In this story, we come to know and see a boys transformation into a man and that to a respected and appreciated man. And we get to see that man's flight to recover his lost twin brother. This really is set in the prehistoric times but still holds so much meaning in today's world as well. The lessons of patience, maturity and looking eye to eye with danger to win over it, is all etched through out. Practise makes a man perfect - the age old adage is proved in this little stunner. It is at the same time thrilling to see Zan-Gah go through each of his trials with a lot of grit and you can not help like him and feel for him!!

Definitely a book for your teen, teen friend or for you, if you interested in the genre!

I am already reading the sequel... so look out for a post on that one soon!

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Quick Update

Hello Guys!!
A quick note to tell you all - All is well with me and the shifting is done!
Well we are still in the process of settling down, getting minor tweaks done here and there... but then that will go on :)

Thank you ALL for your lovely comments, and it feels great to have moved into our OWN home! I will be visiting all your blogs soon...
Thank you!!

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster

Friday, March 05, 2010

Quotable Quotes

"It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."— Jean Webster