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?

 

 

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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 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!

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.

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.

 

Reader’s Nook: QA with Anjana from The Greedy Reader

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

About Anjana: I’m a Libran and I live and love life to the fullest. I’ve got 2 kids, who in equal parts inspire and exasperate me. Blogging has opened a whole new world for me and I’m loving it. I also blog at The Greedy Reader about one of my passions, books !”
Anjana also blogs on The Glass Bangle. And I happen to love her take on life and other things on her blog 🙂 Do check it out!

  1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
  • Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
  • To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Jane Eyre – Jane Austen
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson
  • Exodus – Leon Uris
  • Sister of my Heart – ChitraBanerjee Divakaruni
  • My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
  • Far Pavilions – M M Kaye
  • NeermathalamPoothaKalam (Malayalam) – Kamala Das
  • Sheer Mischief – Jill Mansell
  1. A book that you have re-read the most

Jane Eyre. I never grow tired of reading about Jane Eyre. Such a plucky heroine and the best thing Ilike about her is her strong belief in herself. Of course the gorgeous brooding Mr.Rochester adds to the allure J

3.Favourite authors and why

Kamala Das – For creating magic with her words. For constructing beautiful word pictures and taking the reader right into them.

Harper Lee – For creating amazing characters like Atticus Finch and Scout. For giving me idols, fictional admittedly, but who I can look up to.

Jill Mansell – For having the most spunky and interesting heroines I’ve ever read about. For creating  truly delightful worlds peopled by endearing characters. How I wish I could live at least for a short time in one of her novels J

  1. Genre you dislike

Paranormal, Science Fiction

  1. Character crush

Ari Ben Canan from Exodus written by Leon Uris. He’s a Jewish freedom fighter who’s strong, principled and kind.

  1. Character you strongly identify with

There’s no particular character as such , but I strongly identify with certain aspects of  different characters. I love

  • the independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
  • the quiet strength of Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)
  • the zest for life of Zoya(The Zoya Factor)
  • the absolute belief that Scout has in her father, the way she sees him as a bastion of all that is good and moral (To Kill A Mockingbird)
  • The ability of Jennifer Parker to bounce right back with renewed vigour from the countless adversities that life hands to her. (Rage of Angels)

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

Atticus Finch. It would be great if he could be my neighbor, since I can have long conversations with him over ice-cold glasses of lemonade.

  1. What is your ideal reading space/environment?

Anywhere I’m undisturbed. Reading is a passion and so I just need a book and uninterrupted time J

  1. Must-have books in a collection

Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Wheel of Time series – Robert Jordan

Calvin and Hobbes series

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

The entire P G Wodehouse collection

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

Poring over books in the Trivandrum Public Library when I was 7 or 8. Waiting eagerly for the story telling aunty to start her stories.

  1. Weirdest book or reading experience

The brother of a best-selling author, who himself had written a book, had come to my town for a book reading. He spoke quite eloquently about himself and I had very high expectations from the book. It was a shock to my system when I actually read the book. It was such a let down!


How about taking part in this series? Contact me and I will reach out to you with the questions 🙂

We Are Readers

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

We are readers…

There are chances you will spot us. In a park, on a bench.

At the cafeteria, probably by a window.  In the tube/sub or at a quaint little street.

On rooftops in the setting sun. On rooftops in the rising sun.

In transit from one continent to another – airport lounges and mid air.

At bookstores, catching a whiff. Fillings carts with books and filling lungs with the smell of books.

In libraries, amidst our kith and kin – having lived similar lives, embarked on similar journeys through stories.

We also hide books within books to let not the world know we are ‘UP TO SOMETHING‘.

Strain eyes to read under sheets with a torch. Take our books everywhere. Even the loo.

Raise your hand, if you are a reader too!

Reader’s Nook: QA with McCallum J. Morgan

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

BIO: McCallum J. Morgan is a twenty year-old author from Bonners Ferry, Idaho. A Hole in the Ice is his debut novel, which he worked on for five years. He enjoys writing, reading, painting, sketching, sewing, watching old horror movies, and playing the occasional game of volleyball. And tea. Don’t forget the tea. Find out more at mccallumjmorgan.weebly.com
1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Predator’s Gold by Phillip Reeve, The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
2. A book that you have re-read the most
The Series of Unfortunate Events.
3.Favourite authors and why
Lemony Snicket—his wicked humor. Phillip Reeve—his world building and characterizations. Kenneth Oppel—his gripping writing.
4. Genre you dislike
Romance.
5. Character crush
Hmm…The White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia.
6. Character you strongly identify with
Frankenstein’s monster 😀
7.One character you want to bring to the real world
NOT Frankenstein’s monster.
8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
I think a window seat with a little bit of sun (not too much or the pages get blinding) and roses outside would be ideal.
9. Must-have books in a collection
Dracula, Frankenstein, Faust (by Von Goethe), A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, Metropolis by Thea Von Harbou.
10.Earliest memory of books and reading
Mom reading me the Hobbit.
11. Weirdest book or reading experience
The Hanging Woods by Scott Loring Sanders. Just unexpected and unpleasant.

These were some interesting answers! What about you? If you are interested in taking part in this series, I am just a ping away! 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Chhimi

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

Author Bio: Half Tibetan, half English, Chhimi Tenduf-La has lived in Sri Lanka, on and off, for thirty years. Educated at Eton and Durham, he runs an international school in Colombo, teaches economics and provides university counselling. His first book, The Amazing Racist, was published in January 2015 and Panther was released in July of the same year.

What I have to say about Chhimi: He is a down-to-earth persona and is extremely polite. I have interacted with him many times virtually and it is always a delight to know more about him and his work. Also, I have just read one of his books and he writes well. I will soon read and review his next work – Panther.

Here are the questions answered by Chhimi. 🙂

  1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Fight Club, Catch 22, Chinaman, The Sense of an Ending, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Of Mice and Men.

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

Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilika because I loved it and also for my own education writing about Sri Lanka.

3.Favourite authors and why

I find it hard to name my favourite authors, but I do like South Asian writers just because I live here now and it is what I am familiar with. Also I love any author who praises my books.

  1. Genre you dislike

Fantasy, but that is a bit unfair as I have not read any. I just can’t get into anything with dragons.

  1. Character crush

That’s a brilliant question but it’s very hard to answer. In real life I like good girls, but maybe in fiction I’m drawn more to bad girls, like the women I write about. So maybe Amy in Gone Girl.

  1. Character you strongly identify with

Yossarian in Catch 22. Just the way he looks at things with humour.

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

Allan Karlsson in the 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared. This is a man who tells stories about sitting the North Korean Supreme Leader on his lap.

  1. What is your ideal reading space/environment

On a sunbed by a pool, under an umbrella. With a two year old daughter, I no longer get the chance to do this. Now my reading space is with her on my shoulders.

  1. Must-have books in a collection

If not for my kindle, I would have no books in my collection. I give all the books I like to someone else to read. If I don’t like a book, I give it on to someone I don’t like (just joking). If I ever want to read the book again, I am more likely to do so if I don’t have it in my collection than if I do, for some reason.
10.Earliest memory of books and reading

I remember those books for kids where you had to choose your own ending. I loved them and I guess that is why I like whodunits now because I have to think about what I think will happen next.

  1. Weirdest book or reading experience

There are a number of books I have started that are a bit weird and I try to work out whether the author is a genius or just pretentious. It is normally the latter.  Chuck Palahniuk’s books are pretty odd. I loved that about Fight Club but some of his others are a little too weird for me even though I still really like them.


Want to feature in Reader’s Nook? Drop me a message here or on my mail ID and I will promptly get in touch with you 🙂

 

11 Reasons Why I Haven’t Read The Game Of Thrones Books Yet!

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Game Of Thrones.

I have been following the series since the past 1.5 years and I am crazy about it.

I must confess that the last time any series had so much of an impact on me was 15 years ago – and it was the Harry Potter series. But I had read the books first and then saw the movies during my Harry Potter stage. This time, it is completely different. I have NOT read the books of ASOIAF or A Song Of Ice And Fire series.

I know, I know. I can see some raised eyebrows there. I do have my reasons though.

  1. I can visualize everything just the way the HBO series has made me visualisze. Lack of imagination makes every line a tad bit lengthy.
  2. The pace. The pace. The series shows time passing in a whiff. But the books…not so much. This forms the base of my next point.
  3. GRRM writes slow. I respect him and I understand it is not easy. However, it doesn’t help my cause. I can’t wait that long. When I start a series, I want to wrap it up soonish. This is not going to happen with ASIOAF.
  4. If I purchase the books – physical books, I need to have the whole set. Buying five books in some edition and then the other two in “I Don’t Know What Happened To Good Cover Designers” is not something I am keen on.
  5. The books and the series have major differences. I don’t want to cringe and get shocks every other day!
  6. Every time I open the book, some or the other work comes up. I mean it. It is jinxed – the book. I have borrowed the first one from a friend.
  7. If I do start reading the book, I bet I will not stop. It happened with Harry Potter. I stayed up all night with a torch and a blanket and completed 3 books in a row for 3 days straight. Eating was out of question as well. But that was student life. Now I have to juggle so many things such as a full-time job and this blog. I rarely have spare time.
  8. I constantly keep comparing GOT to other fantasy series. I have called Ned Stark Boromir for a long long time. Walder Frey will always be Mr. Filch.
  9. I know it in my bones that I will like a character immensely only to find that he/she is dead in the HBO series. (Alive and kicking in the books though)
  10. Because of this guy – http://patricksponaugle.com/. He writes some freaking awesome GOT posts and I need no books for it. He is going to write posts on – Defense of Olly. AM EXCITED!
  11. I am not affected by Spoilers so I have read a lot about the series and have at least some kind of knowledge.

Is there a famous book you have not read but want to read it desperately?

Reader’s Nook: QA with Kim

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Bio: Kim blogs at – The Booklover. She is a business educator by day and book blogger during off time. She is a graduate of East Tennessee State University (BBA), Kennesaw State University (MBA), and The University of West Georgia (M.Ed. and Ed.S.).

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
2. A book that you have re-read the most
3.Favourite authors and why
4. Genre you dislike
5. Character crush
6. Character you strongly identify with
7.One character you want to bring to the real world
8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
9. Must-have books in a collection
10.Earliest memory of books and reading
11. Weirdest book or reading experience

1. Favorite books: The Orphanmaster’s Son by Adam Johnson, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, The City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw, Night Film by Marissa Pessl,  and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.
2.  I don’t really re-read books because there are too many books to read in this lifetime, so there isn’t really time to go back and re-read one.  If I were going to choose one to re-read right now, it would probably be A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.
3.  I like Umberto Eco because his subject matter is so interesting.  David Mitchell is a standout, although I don’t necessarily agree with his messaging.  Authors I plan to read again soon are Donna Tartt, Adam Johnson, and John Burdette.
4.  I dislike romance as a genre.  It is so predictable and I don’t even like romance in the story except on the rare occasion. For example, the romance really ruined A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness for me.
5.  My character crush is so predictable – Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.
6.  I strongly identify with Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.
7.  Father Peter in The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
8.  My ideal reading environment would be outside in a beautiful garden with NO mosquitos!  They eat me up.
9.  I don’t have any of them, but would love to have the entire set of Penguin Hardcover Classics with cover by Coralie Bickford-Smith.  Those are beautiful books.  I will take donations if anybody is willing!
10.  My mother was a librarian, so my earliest memories are of going to the library with her.  I loved the library in my hometown.  It was in a log cabin built in 1792, but has since moved to a larger more modern facility.
11.  The weirdest book I’ve read is The Celestine Prophecy.  It really is a waste of time.

Love books and reading? Be a participant in Reader’s Nook. I will be happy to feature you! 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Susan Tarr

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

About Susan: Susan is a very lively person, whom I came across through Goodreads. She currently resides in New Zealand and I envy her for being a part of the place where Lord of The Rings was shot 🙂 Without shameless gushing about fandoms, let me quickly give you a link of her website – http://susan-tarr-author.webnode.com/. Go through her answers for Reader’s Nook.


1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
~~ God Knows by Joseph Heller
~~ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
~~ An Angel at my Table by Janet Frame (honoured New Zealand author on mental health)
~~ Spring Sonata by Bernice Rubens
~~ Geek Love
~~ Of Mice and Men & Pearl by John Steinbeck
~~ The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
~~ And of course, anything by Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult

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

~~ I save all my favourite books, and read them all again.

3.Favourite authors and why

~~ John Steinbeck – His writing is both gentle and impacting.

~~ Louis de Bernieres

~~ Doris Lessing

4. Genre you dislike

~~ Erotica or cult

5. Character crush

~~ I don’t have a particular character crush, but there are a couple of people I wouldn’t mind crushing. The people who borrow my books and never return them. (I know, I should write a list!)

6. Character you strongly identify with

~~ In my books, Miranda and Bethany. They are part me and part my daughter.

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

~~ Both of my favourites are already in the real world. Miranda and Bethany from MIRANDA BAY & When the ROLLER COASTER Stops.

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

~~ On my bed, nestled in pillows, coffee and nibbles, and my ereader.

9. Must-have books in a collection

~~ Mine!
PHENOMENA the Lost and Forgotten Children (Historic Fiction Mental Health)
MIRANDA BAY (Gorgeous young thing attempting to build up a tourism resort in New Zealand – she hasn’t a clue! Humorous drama)
JACK just an ordinary dog in the dog house (Jack, the dog, decides to write a diary about what really goes on in a boarding kennels. Humorous dog story)
When the ROLLER COASTER Stops (Another gorgeous young thing. Medical drama. Humorous. Inspirational)

All of my books are listed here: http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/susan-tarr/

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

~~ Famous Five and Secret Seven and of course Noddy and Big Ears. These were pretty much our required reading.

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

~~ Geek Love. I admired this old book, when I wasn’t in shock!, and I loaned it to someone – who now deserves to be crushed as above. Lol.


Love the series and want to be a part of it? Get in touch with me and I will have you featured! 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Akansha Varma

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

Bio: I’m a seventeen year old Indian, extremely shy, introvert and hate social gatherings, unless initiated by me. I am interested in English literature and I want to become either: 1) a journalist 2) an author 3) an architect. I want to live in New York and travel the world and after retirement, I want to live in the English country side.  I love laying down, and am very, very, very, very lazy. My favorite movies are Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Kal Ho Na Ho. And I’m a romantic at heart. I like One Tree Hill too. I am yet to skydive, deep sea dive, bungee jump and climb the Everest. There’s a lot to be done. And so little time.
You can learn more about me and read my stuff at https://akankshavarma.wordpress.com/. Have fun, and enjoy.
1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
The Book Thief, Harry Potter series, Those Pricey Thakur Girls, Hunger Games trilogy, Marley And Me, Perks Of Being A Wallflower and A Thousand Splendid Suns are my top ones.
2. A book that you have re-read the most.
Harry Potter or Those Pricey Thakur Girls.
3.Favourite authors and why
JK Rowling because she is godess. Ruskin Bond because his characters are lively, relatable and capture the essence of what he wants to convey. Agatha Christie because she creates suspense.
4. Genre you dislike
Not really dislike but unfathomable because I don’t relate with it: Science fiction.
5. Character crush
Dylan Shekhawat from Those Pricey Thakur Girls, Fred Weasley, Gale Hawthorne and Noah Calhoun. Also Laurie from Jo’s Boys.
6. Character you strongly identify with
Jo from Little Women.
7.One character you want to bring to the real world
Um, that’s a tough one. Severus Snape, Rudy Steiner, Liesel Meminger, Dylan Shekhawat, Katniss Everdeen, Four and Hermione Granger.
8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
Mostly, I read while travelling to my school. Otherwise, it is my bed, with a warm quilt, 2-3 pillows, air conditioned room without interruption.
9. Must-have books in a collection
The Book Thief. I would have said Harry Potter but I know a few people who don’t find it endearing. They say it’s beyond their imagination. The Book Thief on the other hand, will change your perspective entirely.
10.Earliest memory of books and reading
It’s not a memory rather it is about how I started reading in the first place. I was in class 4 when I had gone to a stationery shop to buy something for a project. There, my eyes on the red Famous Five and I found it interesting. I begged my father to buy me the book. My mother resented though since she thought that as I don’t read books, it’ll be pretty useless. My father consented though, and he brought that for me. After that, there was no stopping me.
11. Weirdest book or reading experience
I would describe my weirdest reading experience to be half Fifty Shades Of Grey that I read. I could read only half of it was because I didn’t have the heart to read the entire book, let alone the trilogy. I can assure you however, my grossing-out level is so low, I regularly threw up inside my mouth. It was disgusting. And the weird thing was I coudn’t stay away from it either. I just reread the part I already had read for some time, and then gave up entirely.

How about you share your book/reading experiences in this space? Let me know if you are up for it.