someday ill be in company of all....

Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review: The burning of Isobel Key by Jen McConel : Blog tour @ RABT

Title:The burning of Isobel Key
Author: Jen McConel
Publisher:Bright Fish Press
Pages: 286
Price:$9.54
ISBN:0615684688
Genre:New Adult/ historical
Rating:4.5 out of 5
Source: Review copy @RABT


Buy The Burning of Isobel key from amazon.com

Summary:

When Lou travels to Scotland, she’s a mess.  She’s twenty-six, unemployed, and unsure of herself.  It doesn’t help that she’s traveling with Tammy, her best friend, who is everything Lou is not.
At first, the trip pushes Lou towards the brink of depression, but then she meets Brian, a handsome local tour guide.  When Brian tells the tourists about the countless witches burned in Scotland, Lou starts to listen.  And when she discovers information about Isobel Key, one of the victims of the seventeenth century, Lou finds renewed purpose.
Lou has begun exploring the Neo Pagan faith, a dramatic shift from her wealthy Catholic upbringing.  Despite her fears of being too “hocus pocusy”, Lou turns to her new faith as she struggles to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Isobel Key.  But faith or not, Lou must face her demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.


Review:
Thanks to my participation in blog tours that are bringing in these genre which I have been hesitant to pick otherwise..The lives of Isobel from the early age and Lou come to a cross road in the most unexpected circumstances..
 Isobel is a caring and a kind midwife/healer who lived in the late 17th century..Brought up in a family filled with love and warmth...She is only too glad when she has a baby sister but by twist of fate and horrible choice she spends the rest of her life all alone in a cottage away from the town on her natural talent of healing and being a midwife...With her sister's second pregnancy(both she was not allowed to assist) and her subsequent death ,everything seemed to blur away.. This eventually coincides with the witchcraft being banished by the royal family..But Isobel has nothing to worry about or that's what she thinks...But what if none believe in her innocence..
The other part of the novel is about Lou who has no plans in her life..Quitting her job as a cashier in a bookstore her life looks bleak with nothing around her to push her forward.That is until her best friend takes her to Scotland for New Year..There she meets Brian a handsome guide and the flame ignite and they live happily ever after..Haha no no !!!! I just just kidding the happily ever tale after has to wait until our Lou who has developed an interest in the life after death and her fascination for orbs take her to the story of burning of Isobel Key.. Lou finally finds a purpose in her life a renewed reason to her otherwise dull life...
The book swings from Isobel's life to the present day,though Lou's part had Brian and the picturesque highlands , I loved Isobel's era and her part more..I didn't mean that I skipped Lou's but I rushed through to know what happened to Isobel..
I just loved each and every character of the novel, what appealed to me was the other characters were just as memorable as the main character..Tammy was ever vivacious loving friend who complemented the otherwise shy Lou..When time strikes to take someone with her for an official trip to Scotland,Tammy didn't have to think twice on her choice...Brian the charming and handsome Scottish came along as a soft breeze gentle yet strong..Lou's mother a bossing character who plays a cameo also came as an amusing character...McConel had created a perfect set to stage the lives that gets intertwined after sometime ..The character developed slowly in front of the reader's eye that created a bond between them..Romance too slowly developed and I was thankfull to the author for not overdoing it...I loved it and finished it in a single row..I am already looking out for the sequel..I would definitely recommend to the people who are deep into New adult genre..

About the author



Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also an active reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.
Twitter @ProDeaWriter 

Disclosure
I am a member of the Reading addiction blog tour and I received a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion..

Upcoming Releases

It's been a while I have browsed any online sites for shopping though I wouldn't buying myself books until I clear my stack the following allured me..

With many things happening around after BT's death there is one thing that would capture anybody's interest, his rise from ground zero to such a prolific stage..

BAL THACKERAY & The rise of the Shiv Sena by Vaibhav Purandare

How did a quiet, unassuming cartoonist at one of Indias leading newspapers transform into the fire-breathing chief of a militant political outfit? How did his essentially sons-of-the-soil movement take Mumbai by storm in the 1960s with its demands for the Marathi peoples employment rights and attacks on South Indians and the Communists? How did he make the shift from an aggressive Maharashtrianism to strident Hindutva to become one of the major players in Indian politics? What explains his control over Indias financial capital, his capture of power in Indias industrial powerhouse, Maharashtra, and his ability to win over the minds of millions and to strike fear in so many hearts? How did he and his Shiv Sena establish sway over the multi-crore film industry and, with its longstanding alliance with the BJP, become a subject of intense curiosity all over India and even in Pakistan?

This book tells the complete story of Bal Thackeray and the rise, fall and split of the Shiv Sena. It examines Thackeray the person and his intriguing political personality, his partys militaristic methods of operation, its controversial role at major junctures, the fight between Thackerays nephew Raj and son Uddhav, the end of an era in Maharashtra politics after his death in November 2012 and the future of the Shiv Sena without his imposing presence. A must-read for an understanding of contemporary Indian politics and the rise of the Hindu nationalist phenomenon.

I am a great fan of Dalrymple's work I was only too glad to see this one

Return of a king: The battle for Afganisthan by William Dalrymple
 
The story of the First Anglo-Afghan War, with striking parallels with what's going on in our neighbourhood and the world today.
A book full of literary treasures, it's even richer grander history than his bestselling The Last Mughal and The White Mughals. This is storytelling at its best, with an unforgettable cast of characters: Ranjit Singh, Shah Shuja, Dost Mohammed ... and features jewels like the Koh-i-noor, among others.
In the spring of 1839 the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the passes and re-established on the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk.
On the way in, the British faced little resistance. But after two years of occupation, the Afghan people rose in answer to the call for jihad and the country exploded into violent rebellion. The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain's greatest military humiliation of the nineteenth century: an entire army of what was then the most powerful nation in the world ambushed in retreat through the high mountain snow drifts, and there utterly routed by poorly equipped Afghan tribesmen.
The west's first disastrous entanglement in Afghanistan has clear and relevant parallels with the current deepening crisis; there are extraordinary similarities between what NATO faces in cities like Kabul and Kandahar, and that faced by the British in the very same cities, fighting the very same tribes, nearly two centuries ago.
History at its most urgent, Return of a King is the definitive analysis of the First Afghan War, told through the lives of unforgettable characters on all sides. With access to a wide range recently discovered sources - including crucial new material in Russian, Urdu and Persian from archives in South Asia, and using for the first time in English nine previously untranslated full-length contemporary Afghan accounts of the conflict, including the autobiography of Shah Shuja himself prize-winning and bestselling historian William Dalrymple's masterful retelling of Britain's greatest imperial disaster is a powerful and important parable of neo-colonial ambition and cultural collision, folly and hubris, for our times.

November wrap up post

image source
I can't believe its December already..I still remember gearing up for New year last year , it just seemed like yesterday..For some unknown reasons December is the favorite month of the year though the spirit of Christmas is low around this part of the year with not many holidays, still the fogy nights and a cool Dusk welcomes me everyday into another year...On the blog front this month has been great, I am slowly learning the art of finding time for my books and blog even through hectic schedule...with just one month to go this is the status of my reading challenges..

Goodreads -117/100
South Asian Reading Challenge 28/30
New Author challenge -12/10
Jule's short story reading challenge- 4/4 to6
TBR pile reading challenge-11/11 to 20
Book Blogger's recommendation challenge-1/10

With  another month to go I hope for a wonderful month ahead.. Enjoy the holidays ahead too

Book Review: Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby

Title:Bohemia
Author: Veronika Carnaby
Pages:192
Price:$9.99
Genre:Fiction
Rating:4 out of 5
Source: Author
Buy Bohemia from amazon.com



Summary
In her debut novel, Veronika Carnaby picks up where the Beat Generation left off. Set in 1960, Bohemia chronicles a group of twenty-somethings who defy the "ideals" of a mid-twentieth century society to seek creative fulfillment. In the process, they spotlight the creative path that artists of all mediums tread, all the while depicting the challenges faced by youth in the decade that changed the world. 

Review
This novel fondly put forward the gone by era of hippies through Valene Freed-Val, Emmaline Tovski- Emm, Lester Evans and Jimmy Ray..High spirited Val and Emm are allured by the freshness of rug and tan of Lester and Jimmy taking off with them for a life of hippies leaving behind home and family a...This gang has a motto to live for the moment and never worry about tomorrow,they never settle down in a place , they call a place home  till monotony grabs them to move over to another place for a fresh beginning....Their first hub in a dark corner of New york city at "The ladybug" a piano bar,Val and Emm dance while Lester and Jimmy serve drinks... For them the performance gives quiet a adrenaline pump rendering a sense of freedom..Waking up at noon, having breakfast at 2 pm, then leaving for work at 4pm returning past midnight tired drunk on ice cream soda was their life..When monotony drives them banana they take off to Nashua where a sense of peace surround them but somehow the gang fall apart with different thoughts and ideas cris- crossing..Roxford a friend of Val's had kept in touch from her former place pops up taking her with him introducing her into a new world of writing, dance drama music....Moving on to Chicago, the book moves ahead, while Val gets back to  her friend Emm sadly finding her to be changed but then what happens at the end well read to find out... The novel narrates us the spirit freaking out , smoke, rock n' roll and an attitude of I don't care...

What clicked  me most was the free spirit of the gang that included venturing any place, accepting any odd job and living to the fullest..Though the book appealed to me in the beginning for its freshness, but it somehow fell apart after mid pages..I felt Lester and Jimmy the cool dude were shunned away too rudely by the author.. I liked the way she created an aura of hippies of sixties to early seventies a life of nomads..The slang was just perfect, the nicknames ,start of gas (oh yea!!) were well done..I only wished that the characters were equally developed just as that of Val's because I grew fond of Emm, Lester, Jimmy too..Roxford had his share to play well ...Val was the one who came out well through the novel as a winner..I recommend this book for people who want an easy breezy read of the freaky timeline of hippie...
 

My support to help a child to study!!!!!!!!!

Activity: Help A Child to Study sponsors the higher education of meritorious underprivileged students, supporting them to achieve dreams of a better future. We sponsor all formal courses above 10th, including 11th and 12th, diploma courses, degree courses, B.E., M.B.B.S. and Postgrad. Through education our students are able to escape the cycle of poverty through their own talents.

Details: We are very proud of our students - who are the children of labourers, small scale farmers, weavers and other families with low incomes. These students have enormous potential to succeed and only need financial support to do so. We are thrilled that today some of our graduates are placed with large companies such as Mahindra Tech, L&T, and TATA Consultancy Services.

Support: Education, higher education, sponsorship of students.

Note: We are looking for financial donations to support the higher education of our students, most of whom live in rural areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit http://www.blogadda.com/bsr/ and support the NGO's.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book review: Delhi 101 by Ajay Jain


Title:Delhi 101
Author:Ajay Jain
Publisher: Kunzum an imprint of TCP media Pvt Ltd.
Price:Rs 395
Pages:145
ISBN:9788190600767
Genre:Travel/coffee table
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Publicist


Buy Delhi 101 from flipkart.com
Buy Delhi 101from amazon.com

"The city has been abused like every ruler's mistress, but was often rewarded with palaces as befits a Queen..It shed tears evrytime it was ravaged by those within and from far beyond, but given reasons to smile whenever peace followed."

India has been a traveler's delight  a  hub for various travel writers. From historian's like William Darymple to not so famous others love the country for its diversity and various shades of colors...Right from time immemorial Delhi has been a thing of beauty and power for invaders and rulers alike..Destruction and revamp have been a part and parcel of Delhi, Dilli whatever you choose to call...From being Mughal capital to being the capital of the country this city has seen a hub of commotion like no other..For this particular reason. writing a book on Delhi is easy and difficult at the same time...Easy for the reason that lot of research has been done already, and this reason affects in a negatively too..Now what can a writer tell the reader new about the known city to gain interest... Delhi 101explores 101 hotspots of the place, some famous and some not so famous to give a sense of wholeness to anyone who plan to visitin the future..Apart from describing the history and importance of the place, as a bonus to the reader there are tips given in a coloured box towards the end of the place of description..The book doesn't have a separate chapter dedicated for its history on the other other hand it opens up with Quwwat-Ul-Islam mosque, Jain let the place speak for itself discovering the history..There are known historic facts described in the book and Jain hasn't wasted much of the space in elaboration, he has put in a very comprehensive way that a newbie would get an idea while others don't get bored..Suggested things to do at India Gate may be found in any book but "Colouing tongue purple with Jamuns" is Delhi 101's special treat...
From book lovers to writer's who aspire to be published, from shopping freaks to wanderers, there is something for every category of people..From coin collectors to mud wrestling the unique blend of story  makes take you beyond a coffee table read... If you love the city you are definitely going to treasure this book..Don't take me wrong for all the good things I am putting forth, this book is definitely a wonderful read...
Jain's love for the city comes strikingly as you read through..His research and his deep affection as a traveler also appealed me..Like someone rightly points out when you travel one has to wear the hats of a traveler to see the real face of a place..The book has wonderful pictures to match the description making the read even more delightful..Had I laid my hands on this book before my visit to Delhi I would have enjoyed it even more...99th place is a way of discovering people of Delhi in its natural way,vendors to street dwellers and  few offbeats photos  are all bundled here..100th is the possibility of exploring Delhi through hot air balloon and the final 101 is dedicated to Kunzum travel cafe where you can meet fellow travelers and exchange your experiences..It also talks about club Kunzum and its travel deal, interested people can find more details here..
This book is published by their publishing house..For more details about their books visit their site...If you want to explore Delhi in taking a different path exploring the heart and soul of the city I highly recommend this book..

Disclosure
I was given a free copy in exchange of honest opinion, I am in no way affiliated to them..

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review:The Ordinary Princess by M.M Kayne

image source
Once upon a time, there lived a girl who was the sweetheart of her father and princess of her mother, growing up as the darling of the house, she came to love stories, fairy tales in particular, every night her father would read to her the lovely illustrated fairy tales or just recall some random tale from his memory..Though she had not picked up the ability to read the, she always knew how all the story began even before her father started them she would start initiate as "Once upon a time", the bedtime stories became a pleasurable routine of the father daughter duo,the daughter looked forward to a new tale every night, at time she would request for a same tale over and over again..Cindrella, Snow White, Sleeping beauty, Beauty and the beast became every night guest taking her into the wonderful world of angels and fairies where everyone lived happily ever after...Her eyes would sparkle full of awe whenever The Prince killed a dragon and took the Princess home..She would laugh with sheer pleasure when good triumphed over the bad..Giggling, tears rolling were all part of the night with Moon and star watching over...After the story father always made it a point to emphasis on the moral of the story , slowly shaping her thoughts for the world beyond wonderful fairies and castles she was not yet ready...Finally when the cool breeze kissed the little girl goodnight she was already too sweetly mesmerized into colorful dreams... Through these tales slowly and steadily she learnt the importance of honesty, friendship, family and integrity, the love for books and tales was strongly rooted in her at a very early age, now that she is quite grown up she is fondly recollecting the tale she shared it with her father..Oh yea by now you would have guessed it right, That's me!!!!!!!!!!

The Ordinary Princess is one of my favorite tale though next to Cindrella...I am again asked to pick a fairy tale for my niece and here I am choosing this illustrated tale of The Ordinary Princess..After reading an ebook of it, I though of sharing it with all..
Long time ago in a far away land there lived a kind hearted King and Queen in a prosperous country with wonderful people.. To make everyday meaningful they were blessed with six beautiful, angelic princess whom they named after precious stone...When it was time for the seventh Princess the country was all eager , as they knew that the best was yet to be..As expected a beautiful, sweet little angel was born with golden curls,deep blue eyes with a twinkle..The baby instantly became a darling of all..When it was time to christian her a grand event was organized , invitations were sent far and wide, every single fairy was invited (with initial reluctance of the King)..Fairies bless her with good health, charm, grace, wit.. But alas!!!! the most powerful fairy god mother in her bitter mood bless or curse with her with with Ordinariness thus taking away the curls and beauty of the princess once for all..Though she was christened as Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia  Anne, she came to be known as Princess Amy Ordinary..But this became a boon in disguise to her, she was far away from the strict regime of  a royal upbringing, she enjoyed all happiness away from castle running through the meadow, walking in the woods filled with much more life..But then there came a time for her to get married , unfortunately none could look beyond the pain looking princess..Whoever came left unimpressed with her looks...Finally the King comes up with a grand plan of trapping Prince..Unable to bear all of this Princess Amy runs away from her castle to a far away land finding a job of as a maid in the kitchen in some castle, and there she stumbles upon Peregrin, a striking young boy just an ordinary like her..She has a secret to hold on and so does he..How everything culminates into a happily ending tale is enchantingly told The Ordinary Princess...

When I look at this tale , I see how Kayne spun everyday elements to live by in this one story..The importance to look beyond the physical appearance and how beauty shields away other important traits of a person is cleverly spun through The Ordinary Princess..Kayne  points out that though beauty might appeal  a person initially but its the person within the looks that really matters..Its a must read for middle grade and for those whose carry around the spirit of childhood...What else would you suggest??

Short story: Lady Susan by Jane Austen

Lady Susan is a short story or a novel and one of the less acclaimed works of Austen..Though it was published posthumously , it was written before  the prime of her career...Before reading her letters I thought of giving a try to this...This book is an old version of gossip girl series...This work is unique because of the protagonist Lady Susan, young widow in her mid thirties, she is involved with a married man, yet plotting her way to marry yet another young man manipulating and seducing him with her beauty, charm..She is also on the hunt for finding a suitable boy for her daughter Fredrica who would soon be off marriageable age..She is ready to get her married against her will without real love from her side..Lady Susan got me interested by her way of flirting with wealthy young man, and her feeling of despise and hatred towards her own daughter...She is selfish, egotistic, overbearing, proud, scornful yet honesty flaunts them without any guilt or second thoughts...Reignald De Courcy is lady Susan's new kill who is unable to see through Lady Susan and her real character..Catherine Vernon Lady Susan's sister in-law is all set to save her brother Reignald from Susan..But in between Lady Susan has to compete with her daughter to marry Reignald..Catherine is also determined to save Fredrica from her oppressive mother..The story revolves as an exchange of letters between all these characters and many other additional to the above, and it took me some time to get the hang of it..But after awhile the story went about Lady Susan and Alicia Johnson with whom Lady Susan confides all her secrets..Mrs Johnson is like the other side of the coin who enjoys the plots and Lady Susan's plan..

The novel was an interesting read for me , unlike Austen's other Protagonist Lady Susan didn't come across as a loveable character, yet she appealed with her self assertion...I also liked the oppressed character of Fredrica who is portrayed in all innocence...Catherine who dislikes Susan is all set to save Reginald from her falseness, she eventually writes letters to her mother, Reignald and letters travel back and forth...The handsome , warm, kind Reignald looked dumb most often..This book is a must read for all Austen fan, others might skip or give it a try for the sake of curiosity ..

Book 11 for TBR reading challenge 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: A world lit only by fire by William Raymond Manchester

Title: A world lit by fire:The Medieval mind And the Renaissance: Portrait of Age
Author: William Raymond Manchester
Publisher: Back Bay books
Price: Rs 894
Pages:336
ISBN:0316545562
Genre: History through Age
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Borrowed

Buy A world lit only by fire from flipkart.com
Buy A world lit only by fire by amazon.com'

Summary
From tales of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial by ordeal, no era has been a greater source of awe, horror, and wonder than the Middle Ages. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his extraordinary gift for narrative history, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering on the brink of collapse to the grandeur of its rebirth-the dense explosion of energy that spawned some of history's greatest poets, philosophers, painters, adventurers, and reformers, as well as some of its most spectacular villains- the Renaissance.

Review:
I came across a list of Best Unappreciated Books in goodreads that really got me curious, One of the books in the list was A world lit by fire..William Manchester its author is a controversial author in his own right who is often labelled as a storyteller than getting his facts right, before plunging into this master piece, I didnt have to find twice... This book is a wonderful window to European Medieval age and Renaissance.. From page one I was deep into the historical chronicle..From the decline of Roman empire to Inquisition every dry topics are presented in such a delightful way that  you get engrossed completely into it...The book is divided into three parts, The Medieval mind,Shattering, One man alone..The first is my very favorite which explores the psychological aspect of thought processing and the behavior, and the way of life, religion that has various categories of superstition and spirituality that got mixed in between, confusing and misleading people.

"The ethnic code then settled in its conquered lands and darkness descended upon the devastated, unstable continent.. It would not until forty medieval generation had suffered, wrought their pathetic destinies and passed on .(p-5)
"Dark Age" that saw extreme level of fear in the mind of people, who thought twice before traveling across countries ..The society was adulterated by dark magic polluting thoughts and actions... Robbers, crooks ruled, normal life was disrupted more than often.....

Reading through Shattering is all about the darker side of Catholic Church , reading is like browsing through the pages of a fictional suspense thriller involving, sex (oh yes sex), treachery, murder, horror, betrayal everything a Church preaches against..Though there were expected ways of events, yet some of them were real scandalous...There are shocking information of pope's take over and their succession the circumstances that led to Protestant reformation till the time of Martin Luther King...Do not miss Erasmus through the curiosity to read further.. The final part is One Man Alone, about Ferdinand Magellian, his expedition failures and the idea that was revolutionized is given in an ever entertaining narration....Though he has reserved his personal opinion upon most of the events, there are few instances where his cynicism comes across evidently...Though this book went onto become the New york bestseller, professional historians have shunned this book..You love it or hate it, but you may not really come across a better historical entertainer...

Book 10 for TBR 2012 reading Challenge

Teaser Tuesday (6)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by should be reading ..Anyone can play along!!!!!! Just do the following :



  • Grab your current read
  • Open a random page
  • Share two (2)  "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the books for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants  can add the book to their TBR  Lists if they like your teaser !!
Shades of love: An Anthology of short stories



They say he walks the wild in the high winters, over the thick sheet of snow, They say he might never die but he walks along with generous strangers, lending his hand at will.. They say they have seen and trod beside him but none can remember his face... They often say that he lives by the holy lake high up in the dusty plains but none can recall his voice..None can...(p-120)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Review :The Grace Murphy series Volcanoes by Nicole Hamlett: Blog Tour

Title:Volcanoes
Author:Nicole Hamlett
Price: Rs 235.12
Pages:268
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:3.5 out of 5
Source: Review copy @ RABT
Buy Volacanoes from amazon.com
Buy A Grace Murphy series from Barnesandnoble


Summary
When we last saw our heroine, she'd watched her faithful pet rip off her new best friend's head to save her son's life and Atlantis was rising from the depths. Now, Grace Murphy is back in the third installment of the Huntress series, but this time she's facing an all-out war. It's critical that Nyx (and Atlantis) stay buried, but her psychotic brats will do most anything to get her back.

With Hypnos invading her dreams, Dylan caught up in the throes of his "change" and juggling her relationships with Drew and Heph, to say Grace's hands are full would be an understatement

Review
This book is the first in the Urban Fantasy genre for me, and I am only glad I gave it a try..Volcanoes is the third book in the series of Gracy Murphy series, since I was told that it was a stand alone book, I gave it a shot..Truly this one could be enjoyed without reading the earlier books in the series..Grace recalls her odyssey in the last series thus giving the reader an idea of the story so far time and again..We are introduced to Grace who is trying to control her mind and focus to build a wall to avoid the sea gushing in..She does it very easily, there appears Nyx with sparkling glow that taunts her..Okay, so its Nyx, Atlantis she has fight from rising form the ocean.. When we think that is all for Grace to fight on, she is hit by parenting issue with her kid , even her relations...As a final touch there is Hypnos, a nemesis that stalks her in her sleep..Now she has no time to rest, as expected she has to save the people she loves with all this going on..

I liked the equation that Grace shares with her mother, its a deep and a warm bond..Every one has their part demarked even Scooter her adorable dog...The plot is engaging and moved at a reasonable pace , but what put me off was Grace's somber way of dealing things, she gets too irritating at time dealing with her household issues, I know this for sure because I am currently reading the second book in the series where Grace is more in control of herself.. Hamlett has been successful in building an aura for fantasy with care..I also enjoyed the sense of humor that Grace carries around all through, her self contemplation is also engaging...Its a tale of a woman on whose shoulder tonnes of troubles rests along with her everyday troubles, she tries her best to deal because that is the only option left to her...Do give it a try for the sake of Grace..


 About the author

Nicole Hamlett is a single mother from Colorado Springs, living in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not writing books she enjoys reading, cooking and video games and can often be caught enjoying indie alternative music

Excerpt

Fingers of dread curled around my stomach. The last time it had been this eerily silent, I'd nearly died.
Quietly, I pushed back from the desk and crept to the window to peek outside.  The rabbits that lived in the bushes outside my window were sprawled out like drunken sorority sisters sleeping off a weekend bender.  I closed my eyes and whispered, "Shit."
This would have been a good time to have the ability to teleport, to have super speed or reflexes or even – hell – the ability to materialize my weapons.  I may have not been able to do much with the weapons, but just having the comfortable grip of the kukri in my hand would have made me feel better.  I took a deep breath, put on my brave face and headed toward the front door.
"Dylan!"
"Yeah, Mom?"
"I want you to head to the basement.  Call – I don't know who. Call someone in Olympus and tell them that Hypnos is here.  Stay in the basement. Do not come out under any circumstances. Do you understand?"
He bumped into me as he came rushing out into the hallway. His eyes were wide with fear. "What are you going to do?"
I gave him a quick hug and replied, "I don't know yet.  Keep him away from the house as long as I can. Start the call now. Okay? I love you."
"I love you too, Mom," he replied quietly.

Disclosure:
I Received a review copy in exchange of  an honest opinion...I am no way affiliated to any third party in any way  

Shorty story: U.F.O in Kushiro by Haruki Murakami

I received a copy of this from a friend who is a great fan of Murakami's works..With Murakami, either you love his work or you don't...
The story derives its thread from the Kobe earthquake in 1995..The country is hit by an earthquake  devastating lives, disrupting normality...Away from Kobe in a calm household of Komura, his wife is stuck to the television for five days straight watching the live telecasts of debris and ruins of the natural calamity..Komura is unsure if his voice reaches her, she seems to be frozen in that position, nor she eats...On the sixth she leavs him for good with a note ..She states that Komura might have been a handsome and a good husband but living with him is equivalent to live with "a chunk of air"....He is taken aback, he never expected such a thing in his wilder dreams,he was quite a charmer while his wife was plain..But her absence shatters him, he decides to take a break from his work.. Komura's friend suggests him to take a trip to Hokkaido to his sister Keiko so that he could deliver a small parcel in person..He takes up the journey as he doesn't know what else to do... At the airport of Hokkaido Keiko receives him along with her friend Shimao.. From there on its a story of self realization of that "chunk of air" in Komura..

Like all Murakami's works there are flakes of hypothetical, impalpable elements that has to be studied beyond the superficial converstaion and plot of U.FO in Kushiro...The conversations between Komura ,Keiko and Shimao carries the essence of the whole story...It is here he is told
"You need to lighten up and learn to enjoy life a little more. I mean, think about it: tomorrow there could be an earthquake; you could be kidnapped by aliens; you could be eaten by a bear. Nobody knows what's going to happen."
Murakami's work never appealed to me highly, though I liked them I have been a fan of his works..I tried reading Killing the mocking bird  few years back and gave it a try later because few of my friends were raving about it...But for me it never was a personal favorite..This short story is like a prologue to another work of Murakami called After the quake..If you love this one you would definitely go for it..

Book 4 on short story reading challenge

Sunday Post: Reading an intergral part of me

 

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer..It's a chance to share the news...A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received  and share news about what it is coming up on the blog  for the week ahead...

Is reading important?? in short what's the whole fuss about reading!!!
For me my kinship with books goes back to the young me ,to whom my dad had to narrate bed time stories no matter who tired he was,later he read them to me from illustrated books, slowly inculcating  the habit...I loved the fairy tale where everyone lived happily ever after...The heroes who would always conquer the bad..It was only later that I realized everything don't come in white and black , there are shades of grey too..Being that said for me, I am never alone with books...It is a sort of  window that opens me to various countries, multifarious cultures,varied people and their lives  above all their thoughts, that in turn me a  better way of looking at things..I am sure movies, internet also gives you that angle through characters but for me I always came back to my first love that is books... Personally I have felt that reading a book needs a lot more focus and concentration ,while reading on internet is easy with more more information, going by key words not only narrow down the search but also the source of reading....I am more distracted with the possibility to browse other things and the occasional pop ups..I do agree that advent of internet has improved the horizon of reading but there are certain books that dates back to century back that it only available in hard copy..Nothing really matches the age of fragrance of books...People read for many reasons, some read to show off to their colleagues and friends, some do it stand out in a crowd while others do it for the sheer pleasure of reading, though all are valid reasons, only a deep love for reading can stand the test of time... I will not go into good and bad reading, this time but I would emphasis on the importance to choose books wisely...Some might point out that reading literature and classic is a waste of time and energy for a person who is not in the same arena of profession, but I feel that reading can never be categorized.. Classics has a way of slowly enveloping you in the warm comfort and change the reader for good..I also believe that thoughts and the way of life through Biography can influence a reader that no other means can do...Haven't you felt that reading always gives an edge during a conversation providing one with loops to carry forward a conversation with confidence???To close my thoughts I would add that our brain is designed to think, its better to provide it food for sensible thinking ,else it would choose its course, making it a typical of a devils workshop....So why not read!!!!



I had a good week with consistent blogging and reading..

Review
Mistress by Anita Nair 
Blood of flowers by Anita
Tamarind city by Bishwanath Ghosh
Bankster by Ravi Subramanian


Blog tour
All I want for Christmas by Lisa Mondello 
Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush

Weekly meme
Monday mailbox
Tuesday teasday



Random Musings
Top 50 reads


There were no shopping hauls as I have made up by mind not to buy any new books until I am done with my blog posts on the existing stack..Do have a great week ahead...Happy reading...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Top 50 reads..

I came across Top 50 favorite novels novels at Booker talk initially posted by Book riot on their site as popular votes from their readers ..I love list organizing and re organizing makes my day, but following it religiously is a long battle I fight..Anyways here is the list..
  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I haven't been much a fan of this one no matter how many times I read it, now I have given up on this)
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen  (ahem ahem)
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (This is undoubtedly my favorite)
  4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (love the first liked till go
  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  6. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien (Couldn't read it fully somehow it never gripped my interest)
  7. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell ("Frankly dear I don't give a damn" I don't think anyone could have better immortalized this quote)
  8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (read my review here)
  10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (should read it again)
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (loved this and his other love in times  of cholera was surprise to know that Fidel Castro edits his works)
  12. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (TBR)
  13. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Dry and slow with loads of complexities)
  14. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  15. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  16. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  17. The Stand by Stephen King
  18. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  19. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  20. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  21. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  22. The PIcture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  23. The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  24. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (TBR)
  25. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  26. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  27. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger(surprised to find this one)
  28. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  29. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  30. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  31. 1984 by George Orwell
  32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  33. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  34. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  35. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  36. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  37. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams
  38. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  39. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  40. Ulysses by James Joyce
  41. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  42. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  43. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  44. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  45. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  46. Dune by Frank Herbert
  47. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  48. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  49. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  50. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (TBR)
I am so elated to find that I have read many in the list, but I also confess that I haven't even known some...What do you feel about list???

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Book review: Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush : Blog Tour

Tittle: Reconstructing Jackson
Author:Holly Bush
Price: Rs166.01
Pages: 191
Genre:Historic Romance
Rating:4.5 out of 5
Source: Review copy @ RABT

Buy Reconstructing Jackson from amazon.com


Summary:
1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them...Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle's courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

Review:
The novel opens with Reed Jackson's sour spirit and a contagious aura of despair..Slowly I realised that he has every reason to feel dejected, he has lost his leg in the civil war, considered as no good nothing by his father, worse he not only loses his family inheritance but also his bride-to be to his younger brother...Worn out and utterly disappointed he moves to Fenton, Missouri to gather up the pieces and start all over again in the wild part of the country ..But he is quite taken aback by the warmth of his cousin and his wife right from day one...He starts his life at his cousin's hotel The Ames hotel..His cousin Henry and his wife Mary Allen come across as a wonderful couple , understanding about Reed's mood, they take every care to keep up his spirit light...They are quite friendly with the negro staffs dine with them and share a wonderful relationship with them...War had a terrible effect on Reed , he loses his older brother, his leg and everything around that took his life from being normal...Thus he contemplates

"His thoughts of family were as muddy and murky as the bayou, filled with pride, resentment and the undeniable knowledge that he may have done the same things under the same circumstances. Maybe, just maybe, his mother’s encouragement to begin a new life elsewhere came from the heart. And maybe she was right. He had best try and forget the hurts and the wrongs of the past and make something of himself in a new land..."

Enter Belle hardworking, family bound, earnest and loving daughter and sister whose feelings are never taken into consideration by her family,she washes her father and brother’s clothes, cooks the meals, tends the garden and manages to keep their meager farm operating. But nothing was enough, she was treated like a dirt by her father and brother, her brother has plans to marry her off as a part of bargain, in exchange of money to buy a horse...Belle is on the edge of life ,until she meets Reed, she discovers a spark in him that some way ignites her path of darkness, in spite of his physical disadvantage she sees him as a complete man...
Slowly as the silent relation progress there is stark and clear change in the stone man Reed.. His layers of complexities unravel exposing his true self of a kind and a warm person..He is drawn to Belle but holds back because of his physical state..He is cripple and how can he think of saving the girl from her trouble, but he also knows that she is the sole hope for a life with love...How can Belle collapse the wall that Reed has built for himself and free herself from her brother's iron fist trying to cage her...
Starting as a melancholy man, Reed's personality was something I really liked among all...
The result of civil war with freedom to Negros taking roots is written well...Their lives their good, not so good, and bad relationship with their white masters and employees are portrayed well..Set in an age where things are moving towards a life of equality Bush has set the stage just fine for reflection...The soft charm of the countryside with heroism and villainy is the best part of the novel...Prejudice, hope, loss, anger, despair, anguish love are all mood of the book in different stage in different proportions...I would definitely love to read more of the author's work...


About the author
Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out.  Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject. 
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Twitter - @HollyBushBooks
Disclosure
I received a review copy in exchange of honest review from Reading addiction blog tours...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Review: The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

Title: The Bankster
Author: Ravi Subramaniam
Publisher: Rupa Publication
Price: Rs 250
Pages:364
ISBN:8129120488
Genre:Thriller/ suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Review copy from bloggadda.com


Buy The Bankster from flipkart.com
Buy The bankster from amazon.com

Summary
Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive?

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

Review
The dedication page of the book says "To all the banksters out there, playing a game with customer's trust"  ,I knew  there would something unique about the book and I was on a power packed thriller right from the beginning..The novel begins in Angola in the diamond mine alluring people into the trap of big money in less time swirling around but then suddenly the novel comes down to Kerala with an alleged reports of Ivory smuggling, then swiftly turns to Mumbai in a Bank office of GB2 with Vikram a ruthless, manipulative corporate slave who wants to be ahead of the crowd by taking any path, with no sense of honesty and integrity...Then there are murders in a row which is taken up by Karan Punjabi, an investigative reporter from Times of India he happens to be an ex-bank employee , but he soon realizes that the murders hold a key to deeper secrets interwoven across the globe with power packed mafia working under cover involving the big names in the world...

Subramaniam has played with a very unusual plot and he is quiet comfortable with it (with his banking background)..He has played well in creating a thrilling plot with suspense plus subplots running parallel  that holds key to the larger picture...While there are ruthless character like Vikram there are characters like Krishna Menon and Jayachandran who are down to earth  fighting for larger good...Subramaniam has created realtime characters like Zinaida, Tanuja, Indrani who give the story a touch of reality with various shades of human life...Though Vikram's entry solving the mystery in about 48 hrs was a bit too much for me, yet his sense and sensibility with a way of dealing things appealed to me...

The book swiftly transported across  the globe starting from Angola moving on to Kerala then to Mumbai  and places like middle east, US, Austria, Germany like a jet setter swishing away...Subramaniam has kept the subject upto date dealing with Nuclear power station and its effect on people, though not digging things in detail...My only let off was that the characters lacked depth, there were too many of them throughout that Subramaniam couldn't do much to develop and highlight them...

Through the novel Subramaniam has explored the darker side of the corporate banks, their working style that questions about the work ethics and principles..I haven't read Subramaniam's earlier work, and this one was a very refreshing read for me..Everyday Hinglish spread throughout the book was amusing at places...Interesting storyline with a good suspense,thriller makes it for a wonderful read...Read it for the feel of an Indian suspense thriller...

Book 27 for SAC
 

Disclosure
This review is a part of book review program at blogadda.com, Participate now to get free books..

www Wednesdays (2)

It is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be reading ...To play along , just answer three (3) questions..
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you'll read next?
My current reads are the re-reads for the 2012 Book Blogger Recommendation Reading list-though these books will not be added towards the completion of the challenge, I felt like reading them all over again....

Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen
Though I am not a PP fanatic, this was one of the earliest book I started with ,I love it as Austen had portrayed the female protagonist with substance and style and oh yes I liked Darcy too...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone by J.K RowlingI I was completely all over Harry Potter like any other high school graduate when it released The Sorcerer's stone ,the first among the  Harry Potter series  is my top favorite of all the books in the series, though I read all of them, my love for the series ebbed away after Goblet of fire..


The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
I have had a love hate relation with Paulo Coelho's work..There are a few that I am absolutely in awe for while there are others that I totally dislike..While The Zahir takes the middle path..I have had mixed feelings about this one ...

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books of all time...From the young Jane till she finds love in odd circumstances everything about Jane Eyre is a masterpiece to me..Re-reading was an absolute treat for me...

Recently read
If you love art and history then this one is for you...Just grab it and relax, slowly you'll be transported in to the  gone by era of course do not miss the fantasy of time travel ...

Future read...
I haven't made up my mind though there are many books that I have left unfinished because of my frequent travels..I guess I'll grab some from my old stack...

How are your days coming up????

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