Couldnt resist this one!

Posted by Divya at Tuesday, March 23, 2010 4 comments Links to this post
I know my plate is more than overflowing for this year and I havent had a head start with the challenges either... But, then how can one resist the urge to read/haunt libraries/swell at the mention of new books or new genres..? So, I am joining this challenge at 'CURIOUS' level and trading two books from across challenges -

Click on picture to participate
1. Cleopatra's Daughter - Michelle Moran
2. The Splendor of Silence - Indu Sundaresan

Suggestions are welcome for the third option. I hope I can complete all my challenges this year.
Happy Reading everyone. :)

Orbis Terrarum 2010

Posted by Divya at Thursday, March 18, 2010 2 comments Links to this post
I totally loved this challenge last year. Hence taking part for 2010 as well. It is a great way to understand other nations and I would recommend taking part! And the one for this year even has an option to participate in raising funds for clean water worldwide. Even if you dont participate, please checkout the website by clicking on the picture below -

It has a few rules changed. so please read through the link before joining. Last year I chose books based on the country they were set in! And that rule is not valid for this year. I will adding a few books which I have been wanting to read and others borrowed from other challenges as well.. So here goes my list -

1. Kafka on the shore - Haruki Marukami ( Japan )
2. I am the Messenger - Markus Zusak (Australia)
3. The girl with the dragon tatoo - Stieg Larsson ( Sweden )
4. Night Train to Lisbon - Pascal Mercier (Germany)
5. Salt and Saffron - Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan)
6.The tea house fire - Ellis Avery (England)
7. The Syringa Tree - Pamela Gien (South Africa)
8. English, august - Upamanyu Chatterjee (India)

The god of small things

Posted by Divya at Saturday, March 13, 2010 4 comments Links to this post

It is my Nth read of the book and every time I get to 'naaley.. tomorrow' the last line, it leaves a cold hurting feeling inside much like Pappachi's moth. I read the book for the first time when I was seventeen and I must admit, it took me two reads to follow her pattern of writing. Back then I was more inspired by the Kerala touch to the novel, since I am from there. However over the many reads, I have come to love the book for much beyond that!

Since I unquestionably love the book, I will split my review to be as unbiased as possible :

Why the book may be loved by many -
1. Roy's writing is a new language in itself. She creates a revolution with the innovative style of using words that paint a clear picture rather than flood it with jarring vocabulary. Some of the writing that comes to mind - house with a river-sense, Christianity came in a boat and seeped in like tea from a tea-bag, fisherman with sea secrets in his eyes, the creeper hung like half-sneeze-coming

2. The story is told through the eyes of the twins and the language is suited to depict the mind of children. Almost all the writing comes directly from the way a child's mind thinks. This adds the element of wit in book and some quips and sarcasm are laugh-out-loud hilarious. This makes it easier and at the same time difficult for the reader to grasp how the little minds can be scarred with a moment's doing or words ( like the orange-drink-man incident )

3. The story in itself is not unique; if not for Roy's shrewd looming of the motif in flashbacks and falsh-forwards, I am sure the novel is but ordinary. This style of writing in itself can make it difficult for a reader who doesn't enjoy complexity. It is more suited for someone who finds clarity in chaos.

4. The story woven like a web, with details and nuances, often strewn with questions in a child's mind (Why dont birds drop dead from the sky?) only makes it more lovable with more reads; for it is like prose, you realize you learn something new every time you read it. Even though the story stays as clear as blue sky in ones mind, a second read doesn't thwart the joy of reading.

Why the book may be loathed by some -
1. The writing is rocking continuously backwards-forwards and this can easily put certain readers off if they hate to keep track of the novel and expect the novel to keep track of them!

2. The story is like any other booker-prize material, ends in tragedy, and how a single event leads to a complete collapse. For someone looking for a unique storyline you have picked up the wrong book.

3. Roy generously uses malayalam in parts, the language spoken in the southern most state of Kerala in India, where the story is set. Although it is no different from many references of hindi words in Indian author books; for a novice reader who has no clue about this southern part of India, this reference can be irksome without a guide.

4. The end of the novel is morbid, it defies all the love-laws, as Roy puts it. And this in itself can make a reader hate the book. 

5. Her ability to create a new language in the writing mostly in jointed-words, may not be appealing to the literary-strict! She tries to bring understanding into the  otherwise illogical language..

If you havent read the book, I cannot recommend it more highly; for her writing is brilliant and you will be treating yourself to 300 odd pages of prose-wonder, innocence of children and may be even  enjoy the language of joint-words.

Have you read this book? Did you love it or hate it?

Blog hop

Posted by Divya at Friday, March 12, 2010 9 comments Links to this post
It has been a year since i started this blog and since, it has been great hopping through many wonderful book blogs and learning there are many out there sharing your love for books! It is a great way to find out about books you have never heard of and read new books because of reviews, which you wouldnt have otherwise!

I found this blog-hop party in sumana's blog and decided to get hooked on! Click on the picture to participate!

Let the party begin! :)

Classics Challenge 2010

Posted by Divya at Sunday, March 07, 2010 0 comments Links to this post

I totally enjoyed doing this challenge last year. So taking part for this year and kick start my reading drive.

I will joining at the Classics Snacks level. And here is my list -
1. Kim - Rudyard Kipling
2. The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald
3. Gone with the wind - Margaret Mitchell
4. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

To participate click on the picture above!

The toss of a lemon

Posted by Divya at Sunday, March 07, 2010 1 comments Links to this post

I am in my slow-impatient-reader mode currently.  And hence the lack of new reviews.

It so happens that you raise your expectations with certain books and they disappoint you downright! It kind of stalls your reading-spirit and you take a while to recoup. 

It has happened to me with "Toss of a lemon". So this novel is set in south India; a difference from usual Indian author books, which are mostly concentrated in Bombay and above. The last book set in south-india which started off well and lost it half way through was "house of blue mangoes" by David Dravidar. Although, in that book I liked most of the parts.

Toss of the lemon had a greater appeal for it seemed to concentrate on the caste system from the angle of the brahmin family. Hailing from one, I was almost certain I will love the book! The story wound around three generations, customs, change of outlook, education giving way to broad-mindedness was all great on paper, but dragged in execution. I have no idea what mindset I should have had while reading this book to like it. Even though all the traditions, festivals and little nuances described were so familiar to me, the author had managed to create a lull throughout the book; a dark shroud over every character, nothing happy about any incident; almost painting a picture that being on top of the caste system means doom to your future generations. The story could have been told in a much gay manner. Although the events weren't catastrophic or sad, the author had managed to confer just the gloomy side of it. 

Most of the chapters moved  unmemorably from one generation to next. It seemed like she had confused  depicting boldness and rebellion spirit with sadness in her writing. By the end of the book, I was pretty vexed; I will not recommend the book if you are looking for a exciting read. The author has a lot of talent with writing. But channelizing it to tell a interesting tale is a whole different thing! Lets see. May be five years from now, I might give it a second read and might end up liking it! I usually don't give up on books. But this one I am surprised I managed to complete!

Verdict: Read the book if you are interested in being cognizant about south indian brahmin culture.Otherwise brace yourself for a long uneventful silent ride.

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