Friday, May 27, 2011

My pre-Kindle story

The birthday has come and gone. As usual, H came up with out-of-the world surprises. Not of the parachute flying or fireworks display type, but making the birthday girl go around the house like she were on the 'Amazing Race'. The clues were no simple, they were these ultra-mokkai, rhyming tamil verses. When at last I got to the last clue, I had to rummage through my own handbag for the gift.

This time, however, a week before my birthday, H really had to discuss the gift with me. He was planning to get the Kindle reader and was not completely convinced if I would prefer reading from an e-book reader. I immediately said no. No matter how advanced technology can get, I still love and cherish reading from the printed book. I simply can't resist touching the crisp pages and watching my bookmark travel from the first page to the last. It's a feeling that no e-book reader can replace.

"Just imagine", H went on that night, trying to lure me into his trap. "There are so many advantages with the Kindle. You would get to read those fat books, that you cannot stuff into your handbag. You can own every one of them."

"Yeah, but then what do we put on our must-have book shelf?" I retorted.

He knew it was coming.

"That's exactly the point, let's make space for a nice big home theatre system instead. How about that?" He said, with a solid ear-to-ear grin.

As much as H loves to read books and infact, is open to reading a lot more authors than I am, if you put a book and a movie DVD next to each another, his hands would snatch the DVD, no matter what language. So, after some research (read 'googling') H decided to wait for the next version of Kindle and hopes that he would have enough time to convince me for the budget allocation.

This apart, one of my new year resolutions for 2011 was to read atleast one book a month and to start blogging again, something that I had taken for granted and been lazy to do. I have been keeping an account on Shelfari and today, I realized that I have already added 13 books into my 2011 list. Finally, here is a new year resolution that I have sincerely stuck to. I hope I keep up the momentum.

Some books have been amazing, some not-so-good. Here are my reviews and ratings, in decreasing order.

Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen

This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. There is this magic that some books have - they get you so connected to the characters, that when you turn over to the last page, its like you are at the departure gates of an airport. "Water for elephants" certainly did that to me.

Sara Gruen has done excellent homework for this book. By transporting you to the world of the circuses, animals and the performers, she has proved to be a master story-teller. As soon as I read the first chapter, I realized that this is perfect material for a motion picture.

*spoiler alert* I really wish there was a sequel to this book portraying Jacob and Marlena's life together after they left, but now I can only hope for the motion picture.

A soul crushing story. A page-turner!

My rating : *****

Diary of a wimpy kid
by Jeff Kinney

A very funny and light read. If not as good as the ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ series, this book still has that mischievous element to it.

The Chirag Gupta trick in ‘Rodrick Rules’ is so simple, yet funny, I can’t wait to try it on someone.

Ultra cute and ‘ROTFL’ quality.

My rating: ****

An Equal Music
by Vikram Seth

For music lovers and incurable romantics, this is a great read. It took close to a month to finish. The book does that to you. It takes it own time, giving you the intricate details and leaves you in no hurry to turn over to the last page. The surprise element strikes itself only when you are halfway through the book, and here, by surprise, I really mean surprise.

*spoiler alert* Neither does it start with "Once upon a time...", not does it have the "...and they lived happily ever after" ending, but still there is something in the story that keeps you glued.

For long, I've been wanting to read Vikram Seth's "A Suitable Boy", but I simply don't have the energy to hold such a gigantic book during my bus journey. An Equal Music gave me a head start to mesmerize myself in Seth's style of prose. Of course, his love for poetry peeks in at many occasions.

Overall, a tender and touching story.

My rating: ****

Sister of My Heart
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Divakaruni is a wonderful story-teller, with unimaginable metaphors tossed throughout the book. This book stands proof that English is one language where simple words when stringed together with passion, can add such beauty to even the ugly. The author has hidden the biggest secret between such masterfully crafted lines, so much so that, I was really taken by surprise at the end.

The two protogonists, Sudha and Anju, share alternate chapters to narrate the story and that's what adds an amazing personal touch to the whole story. Even though Sudha believes in fairy tale endings and shooting stars, the author emphasizes to her readers that life is no such fable. The ending was the only let down for me because, in an attempt to give an open ending, it seemed like Divakaruni ran out of pages and had to draw the full stop.

Finally, this book is by a woman, for the women and about the women caught in the world of men.

My rating: ***

The Mistress of Spices
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

After reading Divakaruni's "Sister of my Heart" and "Palace of Illusions", I could hardly believe this work to be hers. For me, it was a total let down. The magic is no make-believe and the story hardly starts until the very end.

This book of spices was very bland.

My rating: **


rsubras said...

good one :) Kindle(d) memories :)

Book review could have been a seperate post...dont ya think so?

diary + literature review both in one post irukkumbothu i skipped the review part :D

Priti said...

Preethi! Had no idea you were still blogging! SO SO cool. How's Bangalore treating you? email me!

logic said...

Hi Pritz do you agnize me you used to follow my back after a very long time(6 years) do pop in when u find time..

logic said...

Hi Prithz..
Not sure if i commented here earlier.
Hope u Agnize back to bloggin after a very long time :)