Sunday, February 28, 2010


I have no idea how I reached Maureen Johnson's blog, but I did and I am so HAPPY I did. The title of the post on her blog intrigued me..

I had to read it... and if you have read The Lost Symbol or any of Dan Brown's books, you ought to read it. I assure you, you will laugh your heart out on this one! I totally LOVED this post of hers.
A beloafered jerk in a Mickey Mouse watch whose only known routine is his daily swim and subsequent hand-grinding of coffee beans . . . Robert Langdon would like nothing more than to be left alone to study weird puzzles and dead languages and teach the surprisingly dimwitted and slavishly devoted students he openly despises. But sadly, his phone always rings, and he must do whatever the voice on the other end tells him.
I know now why everyone loved her books, I need to get a copy of one of her books soon! I am so infatuated with her writing!

Missing the hint entirely, he delivers the great truth of the novel. “You know I didn’t do anything, right?” he says.
Hahaaa... you got to read it girls, I really really really mean it!

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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Short Hiatus!

Short Hiatus!!
W e are shifting to the new house this week.. hoping to get back in action later this week :)

Have a good week ahead girls!

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

Friday, February 26, 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

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shorty Talks: The Little Match Girl by H.C. Andersen

This is considered as one of the famous Christmas fairy tales.
It is a very small tale which tucks at your heart. It is a mix of tragedy and beauty woven excellently together. 
There is so much hope there and there is so much pain, you will "feel" this story and it will sure leave a lasting impression on you. I have never read this story as a kid and I wonder how I would have felt then. 

I found this review at by Esther Lombardi and I think she beautifully potrays my thoughts about this little piece - 

The story is famous not only because of its poignant tragedy, but also because of its beauty. Our imagination (and literature) can give us comfort, solace, and reprieve from so many of life's hardships. But, literature can also act as a reminder of personal responsibility.
I found a lovely illustrated version also.. go here to see it.

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cover Attractions!

Today I am attracted to a cover I first saw on Amy's Passages to the Past! Her blog is a visual treat to all historical fiction lovers, I am sure. 

by Vanitha Sankaran

Release Date:  April 13, 2010 | Acquired by Vanitha Sankaran/Avon Publishing

SYNOPSIS:  The daughter of a papermaker in a small French village in the year 1320—mute from birth and forced to shun normal society—young Auda finds solace and escape in the wonder of the written word. Believed to be cursed by those who embrace ignorance and superstition, Auda's very survival is a testament to the strength of her spirit. But this is an age of Inquisition and intolerance, when difference and defiance are punishable "sins" and new ideas are considered damnable heresy. When darkness descends upon her world, Auda—newly grown to womanhood—is forced to flee, setting off on a remarkable quest to discover love and a new sense of self . . . and to reclaim her heritage and the small glory of her father's art.

I so totally want this one. Totally!!

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

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday News!!

Ahh! Another week starts off today and I am sure this is going to be a hectic one for us, it better be :o)

I have decided to do the Monday me-me's I used to kind of brings a lot of discipline to my reading really... and you can also see me doing the Monday Musings posts once in a while :)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about keeping books. Do you keep all the books you ever buy? Just the ones you love? Just collectibles? What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?

I do! be it fiction, non-fiction, stolen, college book, torn old book and sometimes some Magazines as well - I keep them all. There have been many books over he years that I have "wanted" to discard - them non-fictions I will never read- the self help books that someone in the family would buy and then lose it in my book - shelf :-/; but I still keep them :-|

I always think that there might be someone who might be interested in them and ask to borrow them and then never return **wishing**! There are some other General Knowledge from my school-time, that I STILL have... and I still am so weak in GK :)
I think it is a sickness of some sort :-] !! Yes, it is! God!

It's Monday, What are you reading?!
A weekly event hosted by Sheila from One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week.
I have started a number of books and am in the process of reading them ALL - which really means that I am into a lot of books and there is no progress going on at all :)

So here is a LIST of books that I have going on right now -

Much Ado About Peter by Jean Webster

After Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster, I went ahead and downloaded this book from the Internet. This one is a collection of short stories all featuring Peter- the upper groom at Willowbrook and chronicles his life there. Through the stories we see how Peter changes from a carefree, irresponsible young groom to one with multiform anxieties, how his priorities change and how his outlook towards his friends and employer change.
It is a fun book and totally different one from Daddy-Long-Legs!

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger
I never read this book in school, but when recently I read A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J. D. Salinger, I knew I had to read something more from this author! Michelle over at A Reader's Respite came in just then with the idea of reading The Catcher in the Rye as a tribute to this great author, and I joined in. Though we were supposed to finish this on Feb 20th, I am still reading it. 

I have mixed thoughts about it though. At some point I really feel I like it, and I really like the "voice" that talks all through this book, but at times I feel - where is this leading to? Is there a story at all, or is this fellow going to just talk about what's going on, all through the book? But I have noticed that I have this feeling that I really need to know more, so this keeps me going :)
Sorry Michelle, I am not done yet, but I surely will!

There are couple of books that I did start, but where left in between due to lack of enthusiasm - I will pick them up eventually, hopefully :)

Last week I received 2 books in my mail and I started reading -

Zan-Gah - A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman
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.
Initial thoughts - A good YA novel. It was given the Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing!
I have a signed copy :)
Inside the book there are lot of recommendations and some of them are from teens of 13 - 15 year old and there moms - I really like that :) ! Now if I was a mom of a teen and see these sweet recommendations, I would definitely pass this on to him/her without thinking of reading it - won't you?!

So what's up for you this Monday?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shorty Talks: The Tower Room by Nicola Slade

**Updated with author notes!!!**
The Tower Room by Nicola Slade
It is as if I am stuck with this author right now! So after reading and enjoying My Dear Miss Fairfax which was an early Victorian love story told through letters, I went ahead and read The Tower Room by the same author. Though not in the same format as the former one, this story comes with a note from the author, which says...

Is it a ghost story ? Or a love story ? You decide…

That message and this image on the right are enough reasons why I had to read this one as well. The story's opening lines do not fail to intrigue...
Emily Martin was pleased rather than dismayed when she found that her bedroom was haunted. It added a certain spice to life, she decided, something a little out of the ordinary.
Emily Martin came to live in a sheltered flatlet [old age home] and fell in love with the tower room, which no one told her was haunted. There was nothing about the room, that did draw suspicion in her except for the fact that she saw dreams of India every night. But to her, this was not abnormal, and she felt really good in that room.

After ten days she realized that far from stamping her personality on the Tower Room, the room was actually altering her, softening her, smoothing away the angles and breaking open the glossy shell she had constructed over the years.

When the portrait of the benefactor of the sheltered flatlet, returns to its rightful place after being away for repairs, Emily feels disturbed and inquires about the room from a resident there.

I actually enjoyed this stroy a lot and I can say I liked this one better than My Dear Miss Fairfax! Yes! It is not just because it has Indian element in there... but something about Emily and the way she was... attracted me to her. I really liked her and her reasoning and thinking.
It is amazing, that this was Nicola's first short story attempt. I wouldn't believe that if she wouldn't have said this on her site.
Think we might have our wires crossed a bit: this wasn't my first story, but it was first published in a UK women's magazine back in the 90s, so it was an early one, as I wrote for children before that. It's almost the only occasion when I've sat at the computer with nothing in my head - and found a story flowing out of my fingers! (This happens sometimes, with short passages, but never a whole story, so this one is very special to me).
-Nicola in the comments!

It is so great that the author came and commented and corrected me! I am so happy and moved!
At 6 pages, it is a short, quick and amazing read.
Is it a ghost story ? Or a love story ? You decide…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cover Attractions!

There is something really vintage about this cover that really is attractive! I love this cover a Lot!
"Each morning, Bhima, a domestic servant in contemporary Bombay, leaves her own small shanty in the slums to tend to another woman's house. In Sera Dubash's home, Bhima scrubs the floors of a house in which she remains an outsider. She cleans furniture she is not permitted to sit on. She washes glasses from which she is not allowed to drink. Yet despite being separated from each other by blood and class, she and Sera find themselves bound by gender and shared life experiences." "Sera is an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage. A widow, she devotes herself to her family, spending much of her time caring for her pregnant daughter, Dinaz, a kindhearted, educated professional, and her charming and successful son-in-law, Viraf." "Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. Cursed by fate, she sacrifices all for her beautiful, headstrong granddaughter, Maya, a university student whose education - paid for by Sera - will enable them to escape the slums. But when an unwed Maya becomes pregnant by a man whose identity she refuses to reveal, Bhima's dreams of a better life for her granddaughter, as well as for herself, may be shattered forever." Set in modern-day India and witnessed through two compelling and achingly real women, the novel shows how the lives of the rich and the poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and vividly captures how the bonds of womanhood are pitted against the divisions of class and culture.
Some other covers of the same book that caught my attention are:

There is a great review of this book all around the blogosphere!Here is a review from Shona, see if this does not make you want to read it :)
I have added it to my wish list as well!! What cover a re you attracted to this week?!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wisdom Cookies!!

I was searching the net for information on books by Agatha Christie. I have read her a lot during school, but I can't just remember what I read and the title, I came across this article about the Guinness records held by the celebrated author was discussed, on a site named Agatha Christie
She has a record for -
**the biggest selling fiction author in the world.  
**the longest continuously running play in the world – The Mousetrap.
But did u know there was a 3rd one also?!
Here is an excerpt from the article which I found both funny as well as Intriguing to say the least about her 3rd record -
Well today, she has achieved it with The Complete Miss Marple – a single volume of 12 novels, 20 short stories and 43 murders!  Broken down that gives us 12 poisonings, 6 strangulations, 2 drownings, 2 stabbings, 1 burning, 1 death by an arrow and 2 people pushed to their deaths - all solved by a spinster from a small village in England.  Rather remarkable by anyone’s standards.  On top of this there are 68 crimes, 59 red herrings, 22 false accusations all of which are washed down by 143 cups of tea.
As we were trawling through the books in search of facts, highlighters in hand, we were reminded of why fans of Christie are so passionate about her work.  There is something unbelievably compelling about guessing who the killer is – though more often than not it seems that Christie can still outwit us.  I for one have yet to guess correctly though I live in hope.
Read the article here!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Short Story 23: MY DEAR MISS FAIRFAX by Nicola Slade

**Updated the Links! Thank You Suko, for letting me know that the links were not working!**
Short Story 23: MY DEAR MISS FAIRFAX by Nicola Slade

I read a review of this story at The Book Mine Set, who by the way has a great repository of great short story reviews. In the review, John points out that the story had been already read and reviewed AND liked by 2 other new-to-me bloggers. This info triggered my interest in this story and another fact, and let me tell you the main reason for me reading this one had to be that this was written in epistolary format -- just like Daddy-Long-Legs! This format has suddenly become my favorite and any books/short-stories written in this way, will definitely land up in my wish list :)

This was a great read. It is about a Mr Ambrose Rogers, a plantation owner in the West Indies, writing to Lady Steyne in London, seeking her help in finding a wife for himself who was ready to come and settle with him in the West Indies. As it turns out, Lady Steyne knows someone and introduces them through letters. What follows in best left for you to discover and let me tell you it is a good story with a really nice, cozy and happy ending!
Another thing I noted was the enjoyable view of life and styles of people in 1840s. It is really wonderful, that the author was able to pack in so much in such a short story and deliver it with simplicity and grace!
Highly recommended with a cup of warm tea!
Read online now

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Attracted to Oranges!

Totally love this book cover! With oranges and that color combo works well. But I sure feel the author's name could have been in the orange yellow and would have looked much better... but I am looking past it for now!

What say you?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Hans Christian Anderson

I recently started read Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875) and I am delighted to find another author that I really like.
This month all I have wanted to do is read happy or funny stories and this author has written so many tales that I am sure I will read to my kids someday!

While reading about this author, I also found this little gem of info...
At Odense City Museums we are constantly at work digitization the Hans Christian Andersen collections.
- Ursi's Blog 
There you can also see a wonderful picture book which is the last one handwritten by the author on May 9th, 1874...the poet wrote...

"In the last [couple of] days I have made a Picture Book for little Charlotte Melchior, mostly pasted on coloured pictures and written verses next to each. The Book is being sent to her today."

There is one more digitalized version of his work on this site! And it is so WONDERFUL to find such resources on net! Ain't this priceless!
There is another MUSEUM of his works [ this site is in Dutch, please use Google translate to see it ] !!

Now over to some Fairy Tales...
Available ONLINE

Long time ago there lived an Emperor who was excessively fond of clothes. He splurged like anything on clothes! Two swindlers having heard of the King's extravagant spending on clothes decided to play a tick and make some bucks and fool the king. And they did ti quite successfully.
It was a fun read with a message for all of us, go read and find out if you still like tales like these.