Let’s Talk Embroideries

No wait. It is not what you think it is.

Embroideries need patience. In fact, tonnes and tonnes of it. And I don’t have that reserve of patience in me. What I am talking about is the book of the same name by Marjane Satrapi.

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Image Source: Amazon.com and I hold no rights to it.

It is not a book per se, but a graphic novel and a fine one at that. A quick read, you can actually finish this brilliant piece at one go. On a flight, on a long drive or on a day when you want to take a break from everything and need a change. It is rib-tickling and there are moments that would make you laugh out loud. Really LOUD.

I am afraid of giving away spoilers and hence, I steer clear of penning down more words and not including any quote. You have to enjoy it one word at a time. All I can say is that the book is a masterpiece and this is only the first of her many books that I have picked up to read.

I have targeted her book Persepolis next as a friend highly recommends the same to me.

Have you read Embroideries? What do you like about the book/graphic novel?

 

 

I Never Read Non-Fiction, Almost…

Non-fiction is the dark sheep of my reading expeditions. Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, self-help books etc. are never picked up by me from the shelves, apart from gifting purposes.

Not that I never tried reading them, or haven’t ever read them. But beyond a few pages, I start yawning and can’t seem to focus. My heart and soul wanders away and I long to pick up a work of fiction as soon as possible.

Such is my condition.

Till date, the only non-fiction works that I read (and remember) are :

  • You Can Win by Shiv Khera
  • Who Moved My Cheese
  • The Diary Of Anne Frank (Read it numerous time)
  • Timepass by Protima Bedi
  • Letters from a father to a daughter
  • Ogilvy on Advertising

And I guess that’s all.

I am still figuring out the WHY of non-fiction aversion. And I have concluded that it is because of the fact –

  • If I can learn it from a story, why read someone else’s account?
  • Self-help never motivates me and I find it to be a bit “preachy”. I don’t like being “preached”.
  • I feel lost. Every single time I pick up a non-fiction work. Sometimes, I feel I am losing my identity and questioning everything when I read excerpts. Whereas, I am overall a very optimistic person who never compares and contrasts her life with others. So, no.
  • I can’t visualise anything when I read a work of non-fiction! I can’t imagine a scenario where person X and person Y meet at an office and then person Y becomes the bigshot and blah. No. Not happening. Give me names! Give me imaginary setups please.

Having said that, I believe that I have learnt more from Harry Potter or The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants than from a Men are from Mars. I learn more from Jodi Picoult and Jhumpa Lahiri than the who’s who of non-fiction world.

I know I am biased, but this is how I function. Hopefully, I do aim to read more non-fiction in the coming days (one book is already shortlisted), but I am not promising that I won’t wander off! 😉

What about your equation with non-fiction works? Suggestions are most welcome.

 

 

Giveaway on Goodreads: Myth by Erin Ritch

Hello folks!

I have news. Erin Ritch, the author of Myth is hosting a giveaway on Goodreads. If you are interested, then head straight to Goodreads and enter the giveaway! You can always get lucky! 🙂

The Giveaway ends on October 12th, so hurry up!!!!! And don’t forget to tell me if you win! 😉

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Myth by Erin Ritch

Myth

by Erin Ritch

Giveaway ends October 12, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Guestpost: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Review by Nam H Nguyen

About Nam H Nguyen

Nam H Nguyen is a Melbourne based freelancer. His publications can be found online at The Australia Times magazine and on his personal blog, Scratches and Scribbles. An Australian by birth, Nam is a major in Creative Writing and English literature. He can be found perusing Melbourne’s many laneways blanching at the prices of tea.

Do visit his blog to read more write-ups: www.scratchesandscribbles.com


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 We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves By Karen Joy Fowler

Published 30th May, 2015, by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

ISBN 0399162097 (ISBN13: 9780399162091)

310 pages

Man Booker Prize Nominee (2014)Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2013)PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (2014),California Book Award Gold Medal for Fiction (2013)John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominee (2014)

Specsavers National Book Award for International Author of the Year (2014)

“In the phrase ‘ human being,’ the word ‘being’ is much more important than the word ‘human.’ ”

Imagine if your father operated your childhood as a social experiment. That is the life of the younger Rosemary Cooke, a life of the apathetic notes and scientific assertions. Now older, her twin sister, Fern has disappeared and her older brother, Lowell, has run away – leaving her with only her mother and father. Weeks after having finished the novel, I still stare at its cover and her voice still echoes with her grief.

Awkward and lonely, Rosemary hides from many things in life, but she doesn’t shy away from everything – and it’s with this determination, that she won’t lose her parents, or herself too.

Author of the 2004 critically acclaimed Jane Austen Book Club, now a film, Karen Fowler has again brought to us a modern work of art.Interspersed with her natural charm, Rosemary Cooke makes for an endearing protagonist. With such talent that couldn’t be done otherwise, she comes too readers as isolated, and then ordinary – and suddenly she leaves you unique and profound. Now older, her voice she echoes with youthful jubilance, and her intelligence and wit leaves you with observations that you can take with you for life.

It’s this complexity –Rosemary’s voice and Fowler’s skill that reshapes your typical family drama into something more relevant today. Readers would forgive the authorsdiscourse, only because it integrates so seamlessly into the structure of the narrative.

What happens when you remove the word human from human being? That’s what half the people I knoware today. Humans or beings, both aspects are important to the modern representation of humanity. Fowler’s greatest achievement is not her innovation on family drama itself – but rather how she sets about asking questions which otherwise are so heavy handed.

Ultimately, the narrative asks us to accept the reality of the world which we live, but leaves us with emotionally charged knowledge to decide our own.

 “I didn’t want a world in which I had to choose between blind human babies and tortured monkey ones… that’s the sort of choice I expect science to protect me from, not give me.”

It’s through novels like these, where we can ponder a little bit, and put the word ‘human’ back where it belongs – right beside the word ‘being’.

 

The Umpteenth Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review (No-Spoilers)

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The title is a spoiler. But the post is not.

I am going to review Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and it is the gazillionth review that is going to be written about the book ever since the release of the play/book.

To begin with, I didn’t have much expectations from the book. I mean, the story ended with book 7 and so, what could possibly be in a play that claimed to reveal what we already know about Mr. Potter Junior and his universe?

Also, I never read those fan-fictions as I wanted to preserve my memories. Of reading the novels under the sheet with a torch hours past the bedtime, of rushing to the library and nearest stores to get a copy, of being the first one to read it and later, brag about it in the friend circle…and I digress.

Let me put in points what are my thoughts on the book/play.

The bad

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begins in a familiar yet unfamiliar universe, where the original trio are middle-aged. Nope. I couldn’t imagine them being middle-aged and all “parenty”. They were still teenagers for me.
  2. It was in a play format and very very difficult to read. Acts/Scenes…not my cup of coffee to be honest. Nope.
  3. At one point, the plot was very confusing. I didn’t know what was happening.
  4. Some of the plot twists, twisted my stomach because I couldn’t make myself to accept them. Nada. Scarred for life. Childhood ruined forever. Logic went for a toss.
  5. It was much ado about nothing really. But like I said, I didn’t have any expectations, so there.
  6. Favourite characters missing.
  7. Too much emo-moments happening. No thrills really.

The good

  1. It still had the essence of the original books to a certain point. Loved the sorting ceremony.
  2. Return of favourite characters.
  3. The entire idea of traveling back and forth in time.
  4. Scorpius ❤
  5. Draco ❤ ❤

That’ll be all.

I wouldn’t give a thumbs down to the book, but it didn’t add to the legacy of Harry Potter. It can fall in the category of additional books like Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, but not as the 8th installment of the series.

Would I recommend it? If you are a Potter fan, hell yes!!!

Book Review: When Darkness Falls and Other Stories – Ruskin Bond

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When Darkness Falls and Other Stories is my first ever Ruskin Bond book.

Although I have grown reading his stories as a part of my English curriculum, I don’t exactly remember what took me so long to pick up the book for my shelf. Needless to say, it was the right decision.

A collection of stories based in the hills, the book seems to be semi-autobiographical in nature (Mr. Bond grew up in the hills). I love the hills too, more than beaches (beaches be blah, no offence). And when I was reading the book, it was about 40 degrees C in my city. So, it gave me a respite, an escape from the scorching sun. Although virtually. But who’s complaining?

A short book, it is not a short read. You have to read each word, turn each page slowly so that you can absorb everything, including the witty lines, the characters and even the smell of conical trees that grow in abundance in the hills.

Once you read the book (or any other Ruskin Bond book for that matter), you’ll know why reading a Ruskin Bond book is something you’d want your kids to do before they grow up. The book belongs to another era and ‘gen-tech’ may not exactly be able to relate to it. But it is a book that should definitely be on their bookshelves.

As opposed to the name though, there is nothing dark about the book. It simply contains stories, anecdotal in nature, which will never lose their charm.

It shouldn’t take you long to grab a copy. 🙂

The Reading Update – July-August

  1. Maus 2 – Arthur Spiegelman
  2. House Rules – Jodi Picoult
  3. When Darkness Falls and Other Stories – Ruskin Bond
  4. The Room on the Roof – Ruskin Bond
  5. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Hello there!

We meet again. The current month and the previous are very hectic for me. I barely get time to sleep, let alone blog. This is because I am learning a new language! Nevertheless, I managed to squeeze some time for the most awaited book of the year – the 8th installment in the HP series.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts! Cheers.

 

 

Reader’s Nook: QA with Kimsiang

Image Source: Flickr.com

Image Source: Flickr.com

Kimsiang is all of 15 years and dreams big already! She aspires to be a fashion designer, travel the world and of course, read as many books as she can! She blogs at The Spines Breaker. Show her some love, will you?! 🙂 Here’s what she has to say.

 


Most favourite books/series
HP: Like of course ;D
Throne of Glass: It’s my new obsession. I never thought I would pick up the first book even but to these days I have been nagging everyone around me to pick it up!
The selection: I’m a real sucker about royalties, prices and princesses. I know many people didn’t really like this series because the MC is annoying and I agree to that point, but I read this book solely because of the love story and it was amazing!
The Lunar Chronicles: This series has come to a close recently and I can’t stop fangirling. This series have one of the most amazing set of characters that I can’t help but love.
Anna and the French Kiss (and the other companion novels): It’s one of the first books that got me into the YA community and as cheesy as they were, I love each and everyone of them with all my heart! My favourite tho is Lola & Cricket’s story.
A book that you’ve reread the most
Anna and the French Kiss (about 5 times) 😉 Told ya I love it
Favourite authors and why
I haven’t read anything else by J K Rowling (or Rovert Galbraith) other than HP, but I’m gonna go with her anyway, because she is amazing and a genius. Also Morgan Matson and Stephanie Perkins, the queens of contemporary. Also Sarah.J.Maas!
Genre you dislike
Non-fiction, I find it too boring.
Character Crush
  • Etienne St.Clair
  • Cricket Bell
  • Dorian Havilliard
  • Maxon Schreave

and more…XD

What is your ideal reading space/environment
my bed is my small comfortable nook and also cafe but can’t have too many people :-/

The Reading Update – June

  1. Maus 2 – Arthur Spiegelman
  2. House Rules – Jodi Picoult
  3. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  4. When Darkness Falls and Other Stories – Ruskin Bond
  5. Malgudi – R.K.Narayan
  6. House of Cards – Sudha Murty
  7. The Color of our Sky – Amita Trasi
  8. Toba Tek Singh – Sadat Hasan Manto
  9. The Room on the Roof – Ruskin Bond
  10. The one and only Ivan – Katherine Applegate
  11. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

 

Now that I am confident and got my reading mojo back, how about taking up more books 🙂 Most of these are Indian classics, which I ought to have read during my school days. But better late than never.

The books in bold have less pages and consist of short stories. But they will need time as the stories are rich and every word counts. No skimming there!

Let me know what you think of the list. 🙂 Au revoir!

How To Lose Friends By Reading Books!!

Call this insane. But I have seen this happen with my own two eyes. You can lose friends by reading books. Not that you SHOULD. But I digress. Here is how you tend to lose friends as you read books:

  • Books on your to-be-read list outnumber the friends you currently have in your life.
  • You’d rather curl up in your bed or couch with a comforter, book, torch and coffee/tea than go out with friends on a weekend.
  • When someone attempts to snap you out of your reading phase, you mentally cut them off, even if its only for that very instant.
  • You love the smell of books – old and new, more than you love the smell of people!
  • You don’t dream of matching curtains and bed covers. You dream of a room full of books and reading nooks.
  • You gravitate towards people who are as obsessed with books as you are.
  • You often judge people based on your current read or a book you read in the recent past. This doesn’t go down well with them I suppose!
  • Nobody can understand bookspeak.
  • Books are your BAE. Period.

Currently Reading

  1. Maus 2 – Arthur Spiegelman
  2. House Rules – Jodi Picoult
  3. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling

These are on my reading list. To be honest, the reading list is long. But I have just started again, living my life through books. So here you go.

What are you reading?

9 Valuable Tips For Turning A Non-Reader Into A Reader

A classmate of mine was a non-reader. For a long, long time, he had aversion to the world of words. One day, he discovered the joy of reading and there was no looking back for him. He was in his mid-twenties when he started.

Takeaways?

A. It is never too late to begin reading.

B. With the right books, anyone can become a reader.

So, how do you make the transition? How do you go to the other side of the fence and have all the green grass? Maybe, these points will help you.

  1. Physical book vs Ebook. And the debate rages on. I would suggest you to opt for the former. But if you are more comfortable reading on a screen, invest in an Ebook reader such as Kindle, for distraction-free reading. But if your will-power is strong, then you can always read on a tab or any other device.
  2. Become a member of a local library. This way, you can get access to each and every genre of book without spending all your life’s savings!
  3. Or read online. Archive.org, Project Gutenberg and a number of other websites allow you to read books or sample chapters online for free. Go for them!
  4. Choose a reading nook. Where no one can come between you and your book. Just saying! 😀 Any place where you can comfortably sit and read at a stretch will do.
  5. Dedicate a time of the day for reading. Go for a digital detox and  indulge in reading. Even if it is for fifteen to twenty minutes, dedicate yourself for reading completely. Over the time, you can always increase the duration.
  6. Choose a book by its cover. If dull and drab book covers don’t make you feel interested in reading, switch to books with a lovely cover design. Or maybe, you can switch to a different edition of the same book with a different cover design. Hey! Cover designers get paid for this! 😉
  7. Read books based on movies. This will get you interested, somewhat. Goodreads has a list and so does Listchallenges. Take your pick.
  8. Read fanfics. Reading fanfics is a fan-tastic exercise. It gives you a fresh perspective and answers a number of ‘what-ifs’ you always had in mind. Best part is, you can read them online for free!
  9. Read books that have lesser number of pages. When you complete a book, you get a sense of achievement. So, why not begin with books that can be completed easily?  Here are some lists:

Want to add to the list? Be my guest.

The Captain Didn’t Abandon The Ship

Yes. I know. I know.

It has been ages and this blog is gathering dust and cobwebs and all that.

But trust me, I was busier than the busiest. Still am.

The Captain didn’t abandon ship though.

Stay tuned for a revamped site with a new twist.

That’s all folks.

🙂

 

 

Reader’s Nook: QA with Jody

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

About Jody: I have been a keen reader since as long as I could remember. I was a late bloomer when it came to learning to read. Once I did, I ate books for breakfast. I spent the first thirteen years of my life on a tiny island in the Shetland Islands, so our school only had about ten students and that was across all year levels for primary school. We had a very limited book collection there, no actual library, but I would regularly borrow from there and I spent all my pocket money on books. I am also a keen artist of many mediums and I began to illustrate from my dreams and imagination, and from there stemmed a vast collection of books I have written that has only grown with time.

I am hoping in the future to publish all the books I have written, but I expect it to be a few years before these can hit the shelves as my kids are still young and I need the time to be able to write long into the small hours of the night otherwise I lose my mojo!

I currently live in a remote area of Western Australia, which is in the middle of a desert. I live next to the biggest open pit mine in the world (I think!), and in summer temperatures can reach over 50C and winter, you can see frost on the grass!


 

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

This is a tough one! my fav books are in no particular order

1 Dietland

2 The Way We Fall

3 A Year of Marvelous Ways

4 Shamsuddins Grave

5 Mango Girl

6 The Bone Collector

7 Einstein’s Beach

8 The Immortal Empire (it’s a trilogy)

9 Priests of Mars

10 The Lovely Bones

2. A book that you have re-read the most

Earthsong would have to be the most re-read book I have, I read it when I was very young, and I read it again recently.

3.Favourite authors and why

It’s hard to pick my fav authors, there are so many! Kate Locke, Kylie Chan, Jacob M. Apple are some of my favs though.

4. Genre you dislike

I haven’t yet found a genre that I haven’t enjoyed, it really depends on the author. There is always the potential for even the best genre to be awful if it isn’t written well.

5. Character crush

Character crush? It has to be Vex from the immortal empire trilogy.

6. Character you strongly identify with

I think most of the main characters in books I have read, I have been able to identify with in some shape or form. The older I get the more life experience I collect, so I always find a piece of myself in characters.

7.One character you want to bring to the real world

Too many to be able to pick a single character.

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

Best reading space is the hammock on a nice spring day after dosing myself up with coffee.

9. Must-have books in a collection

All my favs I’ve listed, and then some 😀

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

I remember being the only kid at my school of 10 kids (I was raised on a small island in Scotland) that liked reading as much as I did. I was always borrowing from our limited collection, and would spend all my pocket money on books, Animal Farm was my fav series. I used to record all the books I read, and today, we have goodreads to do it for us! I wish I still had that list!

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

Forty Bibles and Forty Dictionaries. Absolutely bizarre, made no sense and I never finished reading it.

Reader’s Nook: QA with Edvin

Image Souce: Flickr

Image Souce: Flickr

Bio: I’m a young guy from Sweden, running the blog As the oatmeal swell, and I publish posts about things I find value in. I devour simple and granted things and make them complicated and long, and the opposite. I post social criticism and paintings. I philosophise about things I’m not sure about. Why? Because I think that nothing exist. And, I call myself an artist, and my works focuses on delivering something in a ‘raw’ way. Or something completely different. I dream about doing performance art!


Name 5-10 of your most favourite books.

Thank you so much for allowing me to choose more than one. You know bibliophiles well! Stoner (novel), Capital, Silmarillion, The Tolkien reader, Momo or the Grey gentlemen, Power Systems, Goya and Anders Petersen (1966-1996.)

A book that you’ve reread the most.

Darn… I don’t reread, because I have a good memory, but Silmarillion.

Favourite authors and why.

J.R.R. Tolkien, because he made a very large impact on me; his stories has engraved themselves in my heart, and they are intertwined with many things I do, John Williams because he can embrace the reader and create a bond between them and the story and Noam Chomsky because he delivers his messages in an upright and clear way, while also complicating them in a way that is challenging for everyone.

Genre you dislike.

Horror. I’m scared shitless out of those things.

Character crush.

I really don’t know.

Character you strongly identify with.

Niggle. He is and artist valuing loneliness, and above all his art. People in his surroundings takes distance from him, and it seems like he is not of the world. It results in sad things happening to him, but he still shrugs his shoulders; he knows they have no importance. Niggle finds comfort in himself!

One character that you want to bring to the real world.

Master Secundus Minutus Hora. He is a very interesting man, because he has seen the roots of time, and since he doesn’t have the , he can delve deeper into other things, and he values thinking and waiting.


Like the questions? Why not participate in it? I am all up for it 🙂 Just drop me an email.

 

Reader’s Nook: QA with Cherrie

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

There is something about Cherrie 🙂 And you can read it in her bio:

I live in the centre of Amsterdam, with my husband, a 9-year-old daughter, a cat, and about 600 books. I work in IT, but my real passion is travelling (a passion I share with the family) and books. If I’m not travelling, sailing our own boat, or busy making plans for upcoming trips, I will be sitting somewhere reading. I have always been a reader, and I read for the same reason I travel; they satisfy my curiosity about the universe, while at the same time let me escape into other places and be in other people’s skins.  When in need of some excitement, I enjoy a bit of adrenaline rush doing rock climbing, bungee jumping, sky diving, go on a tree top zip line, or hang upside down doing some aerial yoga. I just love the sensory feeling of being higher than the grounds, which is probably a compensation of me being short.

If I won the lottery, I would spend the money to sail around the world, build a library (or two) somewhere in the world that needs it, and buy designer chairs for my house.

I write about my travels in my travel blog: https://deliciouslydoingnothing.wordpress.com


  1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

This is a hard question for me, but in no particular order:

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

The Hunger Angel – Herta Müller

Battle Royale – Koushun Takami

Hideous Kinky – Esther Freud

The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters – Matt Ridley

  1. A book that you have re-read the most

The Shrinking of Treehorn, by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Edward Gorey. I picked it up from a library when I was 3, not even yet able to read. We never returned that book to the library (I’m such a criminal!), and I love to the book so much, rereading many times after I could read, even into adulthood when I’m able to get more from the story and the underlying dark humour. This book was also the reason Edward Gorey became my favourite illustrator and later on led me to discover his other, more grown up works.

  1. Favourite authors and why

The thing is, I don’t have a favourite author because for me, limiting my reading to favourite authors is like travelling to the same place over and over while there are many other destinations to go to. I tend not to seek out a book from the same author even if I loved their books (with the exception to series). But if I have to choose a favourite author, it will be Frank McCourt. I can’t help getting drawn into his words, his genuine personality that shone through all his books, and the Irish charm that makes me want to invite him over for tea.

  1. Genre you dislike

Romance, because I find it mostly boring and formulaic. Self-help and inspirational books, because, well, I don’t like being told what to do.

  1. Character crush

I thought long and hard about this question, but the truth is, I never had a character crush. Perhaps because the best books I’ve read tend to have flawed characters, which make for great storytelling, but not so much as a crush.

That being said, I wouldn’t say no to a date with Mark Watney from The Martian. An intelligent, cool headed and resourceful man is always sexy.

  1. Character you strongly identify with

Emily the Strange. I could really relate to this brooding introverted girl with poker face and her anarchic tendencies. In fact, I had the exact same hairstyle as a kid.

  1. One character you want to bring to the real world

Pippi Longstocking. It would be interesting to find out what kind of adult she grew up to be (even though I always imagine Lisbeth Salander as a grown up and darker version of Pippi).

  1. What is your ideal reading space/environment

I can read pretty much anywhere, from a noisy public transport to a secluded beach, but nowhere is as comfortable as my own bed.

  1. Must-have books in a collection

When I was 8 or 9, my grandmother gave me this huge Random House College Dictionary, and I thought it was the best book ever. Not only it contained word definitions, but it also includes illustrations, diagrams, the full periodic table under ‘element’, a language tree of Indo-European languages, and several different alphabets from around the world. In the pre-internet days, it became my go-to resource for a lot of things. Today, whenever my kid asked me the meaning of some words, I told her to look it up in the dictionary even though she could also Google them. There is something about searching for a word in a physical dictionary and along the way found some other beautiful or weird words that you haven’t known to exist before, and there is always something to discover. Mine is an old one now, and you wouldn’t be able to find more modern words in it, but I think every household should have at least one very good quality physical dictionary on the shelf.

  1. Earliest memory of books and reading

My parents took me to the library as a toddler, and I always loved the library and I would pick books I found interesting for them to read for me at home. And that was how I came to my answer for question no.2

  1. Weirdest book or reading experience

I love reading weird and random books! From Alice in Wonderland, a book narrated by a bowl (The Collector Collector – Tibor Fischer), the story of the invention of currywurst (The Invention of Curried Sausage – Uwe Timm), the history of the screwdrivers (One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw – Witold Rybczynski), a hyper-detailed narration of a game of Go (The Master of Go – Yasunari Kawabata), to a book containing 99 identical stories told in various writing styles (Exercises in Style – Raymond Queneau). The weirdest of all was probably The Curious Sofa by Edward Gorey. It was supposedly written as a satire to The Story of O, in the truly wicked and bizarre Gorey way.

Reader’s Nook: QA with Kritika

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Bio: Hello, everyone. I am Kritika Vashist from the blog, From the Soul to the Nib of the Pen. I am from India and an economics graduate. I am a lost soul finding a purpose and my pen is helping me in this journey.

Someone asked me once, “What would you choose; writing or reading?” My answer was, “There is no writing without reading. If you don’t stimulate your brain with some reading, how will your thoughts ever grow or how will you ever think? I will read and then I must write, for without it I feel incomplete and worthless.”

I was much surprised when Sucheta told me that she wants me to be a part of her Reader’s Nook. I haven’t been invited for something like this before, so I was excited and nervous at the same time. I want to thank her for inviting me and giving me an opportunity to share my thoughts and likes on books and reading.

We all have a different taste and perspective and that is what makes us explore more about books. My journey with books, reading and writing hasn’t been normal. They all have entered my life at odd times, yet I feel that anytime is perfect and right when it comes to reading and writing.

There are a lot of books that I haven’t read and haven’t known. Life seems too short when I think about it. However, I try to live a moment in all those books that I have and I can read. The number of books to read and to buy is quite high and I won’t mind if you add one that you think I must read. Thank you very much.


 

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
Ans: My Journey by APJ Abdul Kalam
Rumi: Bridge to the Soul
White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
2. A book that you have re-read the most
Ans: White Tiger By Arvind Adiga.
Rumi: Bridge to the Soul is that one book I have re-read while reading it for the first time.

3.Favourite authors and why
Ans: First is Rumi because as I say he is mystical. He digs deep into his soul and his words and metaphors give me Goosebumps. If one hasn’t read him yet, they must, right now or after reading this.
Second would be my true inspiration, APJ Abdul Kalam; he wasn’t a writer by profession, but I love how he manages to attract his readers with his simple yet motivational words of wisdom.

4. Genre you dislike
I don’t have a dislike for any genre. If I am enjoying reading a book, I will continue to read, even if it is a horror (because I usually avoid reading horror.)

5. Character crush

Ans: Leo from The vow

6. Character you strongly identify with

Ans: I don’t think I have come across any. However, I remember reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and a couple of lines made me go like, “Hey, that is so me!”

7.One character you want to bring to the real world

Ans: Hermione Jean Granger. Do I need to give reasons? I think Harry Potter is more about her than Harry. She is the real hero and heroine as well.

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

Ans: I can read while I am travelling by a bus or train. The ideal reading environment would be silence, pen and a notepad or my phone (that has a Memo) I have a habit of writing down lines that I love or would want to read again and jotting down few notes of my own.

9. Must-have books in a collection

Ans: All that I mentioned under my favorite books.

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

Ans: I had Panchatantra, little books about fairytales, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and Tom Sawyer; these are books that are still with me, safely and neatly . There are also lots of children magazine.

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

Ans: I was once reading a book completely unaware of its genre and storyline. I was experimenting with myself. The book was Valentina by Evie Blake. I was in the metro and reading it, and if my memory serves me correctly, after chapter two I realized that it was an erotica. It was weird because people were staring, and I was reading an erotic novel around 8:30 in the morning while heading to my college! I wanted to attend the lectures with all attention, so I closed that book, and never again thought of experimenting.


How about giving Reader’s Nook a try? Get in touch with me and I will feature you here 🙂

 

Reader’s Nook: QA with Michael Noss

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

About Michael: Married, four children, grew up in Idaho, currently a contractor living in Colorado, former officer in USAF, first time author who challenged myself to simply see “can I actually write a full-length novel” as part of the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2013; completed a year later as part of NaNoWriMo 2014, published this past April. Originally wasn’t going to bother getting published, just have a copy for myself and my mother (avid reader who inspired a love of reading in me), but wife’s online friends begged for copies of their own so I went through CreateSpace to self-publish. Very limited sales thus far (~55), but very positive feedback from those who have read it.

My novel is a fantasy novel about a human girl who discovers she is descended from dragons. Now her draconic blood will allow her to travel to Draco Keep to help stop a war from breaking out between dragons and the rest of creation. Along the way she has to learn about her dragon heritage, but ultimately it’s her humanity which helps to save the day.

Dragon Born is available on Amazon or at dragon-born.com.

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Ender’s Game, Armor, Starship Troopers, Magic the Gathering: Arena, Elfstones of Shannara, Time/Test/War of the Twins (trilogy), and of course Dragon Born (my novel) 😉

2. A book that you have re-read the most

Scions of Shannara.

3. Favourite authors and why

Terry Brooks and RA Salvatore. Beyond their characters, their style of writing is less like a college professor giving a one-way lecture, and more of a round-the-campfire storyteller. I modelled my own writing after their styles.

4. Genre you dislike

Mystery — it’s such a copout when the author reveals a crucial detail just pages before the end of the book to conveniently explain something which you, the reader, couldn’t possibly have known all novel long.

5. Character crush

Drizzt Do’Urden and Raistlin Majere (not romantic, just my favorite characters of all time).

6. Character you strongly identify with

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin.

7. One character you want to bring to the real world

Professor Xavier.

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

Living room, late at night, single light on in house.

9. Must-have books in a collection

Trying to complete my collection of Shannara books by Terry Brooks, since I recently agreed to read his prequel series as well.

10. Earliest memory of books and reading

My grandfather worked for NASA, he once visited with some junior astronomy books when I was very young. He read them with me, all the excitement of wonder in his voice, and I was hooked on both reading and astronomy (got my degree in astrophysics).

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

I forget the title, but as a fan of both Star Trek and X-Men, I once found a novel which had the two worlds join together for an adventure. Let’s just say I think I prefer the two separate.


Found the questions interesting enough? How about you answer them? Feel free to drop me an email for the same at sucheta dot scribbles at gmail dot com.

 

7 Reasons Why ‘Buying Books’ Wins Over ‘Buying Makeup’ For Me

Nope. I am not against those who buy makeup and love it to the core. It is just that they are a different species and I am a different species. And after buying makeup with a friend, for the friend, I have come to a definite conclusion and that is – I rather invest in books than makeup. My reasons would be:

  1. Makeup has a poor shelf life. 3 years max. Books, well no such limit on them!
  2. Spending a grand on a makeup fetches you maybe a handful of products or just one product. Spending a grand on books, can fill up your entire shelf (if you purchase from sales and book fairs).
  3. You need to practice with a steady hand – how to apply makeup. No such skills are required to read a book.
  4. Can you multitask while applying makeup? I bet you can’t. Books allow you to multitask in more ways than one. 😉
  5. Makeup trends change with season and time. Books refuse to do so. That is why we have classics.
  6. You cannot inherit makeup products passed down several generations. With books, it is a possibility.
  7. Precision is a must for makeup. But books let you be an oaf.

These are my excuses of not investing in that perfect Marsala lipstick or the latest eye liner. I would rather have a rare copy of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, plop on an unshapely bean bag and start reading it nonstop.