My Childhood Was Shaped By Enid Blyton

NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

The day I started blogging on WordPress, I have been meaning to write about Enid Blyton. The famous English children’s author was introduced to be by a dear friend. She gifted me a book of stories and then the Enchanted Wood – the first book in the Faraway Tree series. Two books were not enough to satiate the budding reader in me. I yearned for more and more. I borrowed them from friends, libraries, bought them and did whatever it took to absorb the finesse with which she used to write the books.

My British vocabulary developed rapidly and I was always confused as to why people around me did not speak in the same English as to what I read in the books! Why Dinner was not Supper  and how come little kids were packed Tea for picnic!! Also, why Cross was a word used instead of Angry? Why why why? It was quite a hilarious affair, now that I look back at it 😀

I loved to read her St.Clare’s and Malory Tower series. Based on boarding schools, these books made me value my friends, school and teachers even more. I laughed with the books and I was immensely inspired to work hard like the girls did, to come up with good grades year after year. I also loved her Five Find Outers series more than the cliched Famous Five or Secret Seven!

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Even now, when I visit bookstores, I discreetly comb through the kids section to check out some of her work and give a quite hi5 to the child in me 😀 It is really soothing to touch the spines of books in person although the new editions make me cringe!

I am really sorry for the children who miss out on her epic collection and stay afar from the joy of reading one of the purest forms of children’s literature. I am sure that there are parents, uncles and aunts and even teachers, who keep the tradition alive by introducing her work to kids. But on a large scale, many of them have no clue as to who she was.

To me, she will always be one of my first English teachers – albeit, virtually 🙂

Here is a guest post by Adi talking about her love for the author and her books.

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Utterly Nonsensical Reasons Why I Refuse To Read Some Books After Page 1

NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.


Dear Writers Of Books I Wanted To Read But Couldn’t,

I am a reader. I want to be an voracious reader once more and I do have the potential in my bones you know. But I can’t. I can’t just go beyond page #1 even though I try hard to !!!! I will not blame you because I do understand. This is why, it is I who is on the wrong side of things. The reasons are nonsensical.

The names seem fake: Some authors (I won’t reveal) love naming their characters as if they are going to name their future brood of kids. Exotic names. Really really exotic names. Now it can be understood that some names do suit the character and the setting. But puhleeeseee….sometimes they just stick out like a purple tongue. Okay, if the name is short and fairly simple, I can still proceed a bit. But lengthy names with cropped idiotic shortened nicknames…I am sorry. I can’t relate to your story at all.

Beating round the bush: Of late, I tend to close a book the moment I find that the author is doing nothing but beating round the bush. Unnecessarily. I read this book in train while going to Chennai and because I had no other backup option to entertain me, I had to struggle through it. The author was just going on and on about things that kicked me into a different universe every now and then. Bumpy ride. Ouch!! Brain-hurt alert!!

Bad endings: I am kind by nature. I happen to finish some books if I really go beyond page 1 through 30. Only to find that the author has stabbed me at the back with his/her pen ruthlessly. How? By penning a bad ending. Not cliffhanger kind of endings you see. But confusing, meaningless endings. Sometimes the endings seem to be torn out of a totally different book! What hurts more is that I lose hope of reading another book of the same type in the future.

Desperate Indian writers: Taking a cue from one of the so called bestselling authors, some Indian writers have totally gone berserk in churning out “Bestsellers” or you can say, cheap novels that cost about a hundred INR or so. I occasionally pick one or two up out of curiosity and to check how similar they are in terms of plot line and language. They never disappoint me. These are the books, I gladly give away to Fans of such Literature. Here is an article that will speak more than I can in ten such write-ups.

Not doing justice to the genre: A crime novella that looks more like an Indian daily soap’s sob story. A horror story that tickles the funny bone on a dark and stormy night. A story about bromance without any signs of the same. A supernatural creature novel that gives you goosebumps and cold sweats by thinking how could this trash get published. Brr….

Parting note –  I have taught school kids of grade 3 and 4. They are better writers.

Which Book Has Inspired You/Changed You And How?

NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.


Was going through Buzzfeed, where there is a list of books that have changed people’s lives. Now I wonder which of the books have changed me as a person or have inspired me.

I would say that in my case, books are 99% inspiration/motivation and 1% agents of change 😉 So, here is my list of books that have made me what I am today:

  • Enid Blyton Malory Towers and St.Clare’s. Made me work hard at school and taught me lessons in friendship.
  • Harry Potter. A no-brainer and a staple in all book lists. It was the connection to me and my two besties. We speak in Harry Potter you know!! (Check this post I couldn’t resist placing here)
  • The Diary Of Anne Frank. Still makes me think. 😦
  • The Boy In Striped Pajamas. Makes me numb in knees. Its a recent addition, but had a real big impact on my psyche.
  • Pride and Prejudice. Made me read more of Austen and the Bronte sisters and thus, improved my English.
  • Oliver Twist. I realised that I can’t stand injustice of any sort.
  • Kusum. It was an NBT book and taught me about child labour. A must-read to know the nuances.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns. I read it first and then the Kite Runner. Followed by the Mountains Echoed. But it will be one of the books I can read from any page. And fall in love with it over and over and thought that if the protagonists could, I could too.
  • The Penultimate Safari. Nadime Gordimer’s story took me to Africa and the civil war torn nation. Made me thankful for living in much better conditions.
  • A Gathering Light. All those pseudo feminists out there…read this.
  • Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants. Made me realise that characters are based on real life people such as my besties 😀
  • A Golden Age and The Namesake/The interpreter of Maladies/Unaccustomed Earth. Made me feel more Bengali than anyone else could.

Special Mention: Shitty Indian Novels. Made me realise if they can exist, I can always be the second worst writer 😛 Hahahha

You tell me, which books have left their imprints on you?

10 Young Adult Books That No One Believes I Have NOT Read :P

And the list is:

  1. The LOTR triology + Hobbit
  2. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
  3. Lord Of The Flies
  4. The Fountainhead
  5. Catcher In The Rye
  6. The Fault In Our Stars
  7. Alice In Wonderland
  8. Hercule Poirot series
  9. The Devil Wears Prada
  10. Song of Ice and Fire series

Have you read all of these?

This One Is For You Booklovers – Shoo Those Monday Morning Blues :D

 

10 Books You Must Dedicate To Your BFFs On This Friendship Day

This is dedicated to you my besties…in no particular order 🙂

The Tin Fish – Sudeep Chakravarti

The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants – Anne Brashares

A Gathering Light – Jennifer Donnelly (also available as A Northern Light)

Malory Towers series  and The St. Clare’s Series – Enid Blyton

A Golden Age – Tahmima Anam

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Bridge To Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

Harry Potter – J K Rowling

Swami and friends – R K Narayan

P.S. Most of you already know a lot about these books. But someday, I intend to do a post entirely on ‘A Gathering Light’, which I don’t think is that widely read. It is one of my most favorite reads (along with  ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’). If you can grab a copy, do read it. You won’t be disappointed.