Posts Tagged ‘literature’

The Graveyard book byNeil Gaiman”The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman is imaginative tale with a fable like quality. This is my first book from this author and I totally fell in love with his writing style. This may seem like a children literature or middle grade  book but I feel there is a lot more than that in the story. When I picked up this book I was clueless about whats inside, my guess was pointing towards ghosts and spirits as the title suggested. But I was surprised to find a whole different world of fantasy inside.

When a family is murdered by a mysterious killer except one- a young, diapered boy, who had wandered off just before the crime took place. But the killer needed to complete the job so he starts searching for him. Fortunately for the boy, he was taken in by the residents of a nearby graveyard. And when the spirit of his newly deceased mother asks for their help, the residents agree to raise her son. He is given to the care of the Owens couple and named “Nobody,” Bod for short. He is raised by a group of ghosts and was kept inside the gates, unknown to the outside world. The murderer takes off after failed attempt  of searching. Bod starts his studies and adventures inside, if he leaves that place then he has to  face the danger waiting for him outside.

My rating: 4 out of 5. This book is inspired by ‘The Jungle Book’ if you see closely you can compare the characters. Like Mowgli was raised by a group of wolves, here Bod was raised by a bunch of ghosts or spirits. Sher Khan has been transformed into the man Jack,  and Bhaloo and Bagheera into Silas and Miss Lupescu the werewolf who are protectors of Bod through out the story. Bandar-log in Jungle book were a bunch of silly monkeys causing trouble and here in this book we can compare them to mindless ghouls. I recommend this book to everyone who likes to read a good piece of literature.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness”A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness is a perfect modern fairytale but not a Disney one with princess and birds. It is cruel yet kind, beautiful but  terrible at the same time. A achingly beautiful story of a young kid who is struggling to adjust with the sudden changes in his life.

Conor is struggling with his mother’s sickness. The result of which leads to him being the target of bullying and losing close friends. He tries to keep away from everyone but this results in a monster’s entry to his life. This monster is very old and different from the monster which visits him everyday in his nightmare.This monster will tell Conor three stories to help him and in return Conor will tell a fourth story – one deadly truth.

Here writer had well portrayed the pain and the aching of a fractured kid. It is well illustrated and the story is hauntingly beautiful. There is nothing fake about this book, the pain feels so natural. My rating: 4 out of 5. I recommend this to everyone who is interested to read a good book. I have no more words to describe this book, other than excellent!

The devil and miss prymI have been reading a lot of young adult novels lately and my blog looks like purely YA book reviewing blog. I am on the quest to finish as many series as I can so that I can read other books in peace. I regret for starting so many series but glad that I am slowly finishing it. I picked up one of my favorite authors- Paulo Coelho’s book for a change and enjoyed as usual. What I like about his book is that he presents ideas more than the stories. I absolutely adore his writing style and philosophical view.

The basic premise is that a stranger comes to a small town. He speaks to Miss Prym, the local barmaid and tells her his plan. He wishes to offer the villagers enough gold to last for generations. All they have to do is murder one of their own. How the villagers choose will answer for the stranger whether people are basically good or basically evil. But Miss Prym is in dilemma here because she can’t accept his proposal and become a murderer but she can’t keep people away from this proposal becuase if they come to know that such an opportunity is gone from their hands they are surely going to blame her.

This story is perfect to understand the evil and good and which way today’s humanity is heading. Even though I wanted to give 4 I ended up rating it 3 after completing the book. Its a must read for Paulo Coelho fans.

amelia anne is dead and gone”Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone” is YA fiction. It is a well written book with small town setting and parallel character development. The story goes around a murder case but if you think its just another crime novel, you are wrong.

Becca is a small town girl with her big ambitions to break free. But  discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends everyone including Becca into into a tailspin. Becca’s summer and the last chapters from dead girl Amelia’s life are woven in parallel manner.

This book’s title and cover are captivating, despite my desire to like this book, it just fell short of every expectations. But have to agree with wonderful writing of Kat Rosenfield. But I personally did’t feel closer to any character. There was no love in relations and the characters were just twisted according to the plot. The ending was unbelievable and unsatisfying. Main story and sub story was tangled and at some point it lots its sense. Everything was so convoluted. My rating: 2 out of 5. I gave this rating by keeping the story in mind.  But personally I feel that Kat Rosenfield is a gem of a writer and her writing skills are amazing but just this story didn’t make sense to me.

Battle RoyaleFrom a long time I wanted to read this book and never got a chance to read. ”Battle Royale” is a Japanese novel written by Koushun Takami, later translated to English by Yuji Oniki. I picked it up because somewhere I read a review of Hunger games complaining that the story line is adapted from Battle Royale.

Battle Royale starts with a bus filled with 42 students, going for a school trip. Bus is hijacked and students wake up in unknown place filled with gun holding heartless people. Soon they realize that they are picked by Government to compete in a deadly survival competition on a deserted island. But the competition is not easy, they are forced to kill their classmates and friends and only one person can be announced as the winner and he/she can go out of the Island alive.

Whenever I think of this book I wonder how author came up with so many ways of killing people in his story. It takes more than guts to write a book like that. Other than the concept of the competition this book is nothing like Hunger Games.

Difference between Hunger Games and Battle Royale:

  • HG was more into teenage drama and YA fiction where BR is into political drama and violence.
  • In HG you will know the background story of only Katniss and Peta from district 12  but BR somehow manages to tell the story of almost all students. Its like you know their story when they are dying.
  • In HG people do not know each other its easy for them to kill other than that one person from their District and in BR 40 students knew each other well, they were in same school, some had crushes and serious relationships so it is kinda more difficult to kill.

Its very difficult to remember all those Japanese names, but as 85%  of the students die as soon as possible without much significance to the story you don’t have to worry about remembering all their names. So totally Battle Royale is a good read if you are ready to read some adrenal pumping, gut shaking violence and bloodshed. My rating: 3 out of 5. I wanted to give 4 after reading the excellent climax but how the story ended left me hanging in the middle so I had to change my mind and give it 3.

the forty rules of love

“If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven’t loved enough.”

-Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love

I don’t have words to express how much I love this wonderful, fantastic and amazing book. I couldn’t control myself from giving 5 out of 5 for this book. Oh God, can anyone write this well? This is follow-up to this authors 2007 novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, which I didn’t get to read till now. But I am definitely going to read her other books soon.

Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married with a man who has affairs outside the marriage and children who don’t appreciate for what she does.  When she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent, her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Even though she is in no mood to read something when her personal life is falling apart and her own people are drifting away from her, soon she finds herself involved in the book Sweet Blasphemy. Where she learns about the encounter and transforming love between Rumi and the wandering dervish Shams i-Tabriz in 1240. And slowly she starts loving this man who wrote the book.  As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi’s story mirrors her own and that Zahara—like Shams—has come to set her free. She realizes the forty rules of love.

Sufi's dancing

                                                                                                        * Image : from Internet

Sufi story in the background is pretty amazing. I was not aware of interesting facts about Sufi’s inside the Islam religion but because of this book I did a lot of research on Internet and got plenty of information. I felt strange happiness after reading this book which I usually get after reading Paul Coelho’s books. Something divine, spiritual and inspiring. I highly recommend this book.

Like-Cat

The Zahir”All you have to do is to pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step”

-Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

Another novel by Paulo Coelho, my favorite author. This book was nothing like I expected. I was expecting a lot of inspiration and new thins to learn from this book but unfortunately I was disappointed. End was not that fulfilling and I was not connected to the main characters like how I usually do with the main characters of Paulo Coelho’s books. The Sufi concept mentioned in this book was good and as I already did my small research on the subject while reading ”The Forty Rules of Love”  by the author- Elif Shafak, it was easy to understand. It is a new concept but usual Paulo Coelho thing was missing from this story.

The narrator of ”The Zahir” is a best selling novelist and enjoys his life. While he is busy enjoying his life with money and celebrity status, his wife of ten years a war correspondent disappears with her friend Mikhail. Was she kidnapped, murdered or just escaped with lover? no one knows. But one day narrator finds out this Mikhail and the door to whole new truth about his wife opens.

It is good read, but I personally did’t like it much. May be I was expecting too much from this book. My rating: 2 out of 5. As a hard core fan of Paulo Coelho I have decided to read his all novels so one ‘not that good book’ can’t change my decision.

Palace of IllusionsI was always fascinated towards Mahabharata and Ramayana stories, two epics with great religious value. I grew up listening and reading sub stories related to this two great books. I was attracted to  few characters like Krishna, Panchali, Pandavas, Karna and Kauravas.  ”The Palace of illusions” is mainly about Panchali’s view of Mahabharata. Totally narrated by her, where she shows all her hidden emotions and feelings to the  readers.

The book starts from Panchali’s birth in fire along with her brother and goes on with her marrying legendary brothers Pandavas. She stays with them when they were cheated out of their father’s kingdom. Panchali unknowingly drawn to their quest and becomes a reason for civil war which sweeps out thousands of kings and soldiers. Even though she is born with a great reason she is a human after all. She feels love, revenge and anger like normal human being does. Her duels  with mother-in-law, hidden love for Karna who is her husbands enemy, complicated friendship with Krishna adds more to the story. Panchali is a fiery female who is a mere toy in hands of fate. Who’s palace of illusions caused only destruction.

While reading this book I kinda felt bad for Panchali. Her birth was unexpected and she was neglected by her father, then she had to reject her love for Karna against her wish and marry Arjuna. Then when she came to accept her fate and started to like Arjuna she was forced to marry all Pandavas to keep her mother-in-laws words. I could feel Pachali’s love for Karna in my heart and first time I understood the life of Panchali as a helpless but a strong woman who can change everyones life. I felt her frustration, disappointment and struggle trough out the book. If I ever write a story I would like to write about Urmila ( Laxmana’s wife) a character from Ramayana, whose sacrifice is not highlighted like other characters in the story.

Jugari Cross of KPPTKannada language is the first language I learned to speak as a baby. And its the first one I learned to read and write. Even though now I don’t read and write much of it, I always have a warm feeling towards this language. Because this language is close to my heart and more than anything its mine. I have read lot of novels in Kannada, in fact first novel I read was Kannada novel ”Navilu Thota” (Meaning: Peacock Garden) which was translation of some Hindi or Urdu novel I don’t remember now. There are lot of famous novelists like Kuvempu, S. L Bhyrappa, Girish Karnad, Triveni, K. P Purnachandra Tejaswi.

This novel Jugari is written by K.P Purnachandra Tejaswi. Jugari Cross is for real, it is actual place in Karnataka. I have never been there so I hope geography mentioned in this story is also real. It is a super suspense thriller woven around the  incidents that occur with an ordinary  couple’s life. But if you think it is going to be a romantic novel then you are wrong. It has philosophy, literature, the principles of global economies and also about Mafia gang. Suresh and Gowri are couples who are about to sell cardamom in market. But instead of getting few thousands they get Lacks for their Cardamom which is quite unbelievable. Till then everything is slow moving but after that it is run for life. There are people following them but not sure for what. Meanwhile on his run with his wife, Suresh meets his college friend Rajappa who  mysteriousely bumped into him with a book which has more than what a normal person should know. Now Suresh knows whats happening around him.

I liked Suresh and Gowri’s character because they are way cooler than what I expected them to be. Sometimes it is funny how Gowri is so careless. I totally enjoyed reading this book. I read it with in 2 days, actually I could have read it in a day but then I was at my parents place and I was visiting my patents after a year so had lots to talk to them. This book was lying in my mom’s bookshelf and couldn’t resist 🙂 It is really a wonderful read.

My rating: 4 out of 5. This book is translated to English, if someone is interested in wonderful thriller can buy this book from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=1450573525

Jugari Cross English

Eleven Minutes ”I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.”  – Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

I am totally in love with Paulo Coelho’s books. He takes simple subjects to write a book and once you are done reading you know you have different prospective towards the same simple subject. philosophical and inspiring thoughts with simple yet interesting story line is his specialty.  I have read 6 books from this author till now including this book. All are wonderful master pieces, I should say for some books I might have rated less, but it depends how you like the subject in the book.

”Eleven minutes” is a story of young Brazilian girl Maria, who is heartbroken over first innocent crush. And then she believes that she will never get her true love and decides that love is a terrible thing which will make you suffer. In Rio on her first real vacation she meets this man who gives her chance to go to Geneva for work. But this work which will make her rich is prostitution. She has 2 choices, one to go back to her village and live as if nothing happened and marry this gentle man who said he will wait for her to come back, even though she is not in love with him. And the second choice is to live the life here make money by giving sexual pleasure and go back to village after making enough money to buy a farm and be happy with her parents.  Yes, she chose the second one, it may seem easy but it is not. Maria meets this 2 different people while she is in Geneva, who wants to show her 2 different ways of pleasure.  One is pleasure by pain and sex and another one is pleasure of sacred sex, but the choice is Maria’s weather to search pleasure in pain or pleasure in finding the inner light.

This is quite different topic. I would not prefer this book for young adults. Even though it is lacking lot of inspiring things I kinda liked this book. But some philosophies are good to read but not to follow. As they say everyone has their own way to explore their life and take chances, this is a different way of knowing the ups and downs of life and finding the love. My rating 3 out of 5.