mybookjournal

Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty More like 3.5

The plot of Liane Moriarty’s novels always include a ‘incident’ and the story is built around it. This was no different.
So here the story stars revealing layer by layer of an incident which took place on a weekend. What actually happened is what we will find out much much later provided we have the patience. Since i had i truly am not guilty of leaving this book in the middle. So yes patience is a must for this novel otherwise it will be really difficult to move forward.

The problem with ‘Truly Madly Guilty’ was the build-up which was given to the whole story about an incident which took place, which should have helped the plot, but actually didn’t. The whole thing seemed a big exaggeration so much so that, that “something” which happened on that day seemed just an unlucky accident , not something you should brood or feel guilty about over and over again. Just my opinion.

But having said that I still loved the authors writing style and her characterisation of characters. The characters were simple yet complicated in their own way and there was a love/hate relationship between me and the characters, well they all seemed very real to me. The revelation of each character’s positive part and negative was outstanding. The whole idea of the story was to shows how an incident can affects a human’s relationship and also how it can change a persons perspective towards a person and towards life which according to me was the best part. All i can say is I would have missed a good novel if i hadn’t read this one. So i definitely don’t regret reading this at all.

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By Susan Elizabeth Phillips What I Did for Love (Reprint) - Susan Elizabeth Phillips 3.5

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield 3.5stars

When I started the book initially i had a feeling that this was going to be a definite 5 star read for me especially because this book was about books and I thought i might like Margaret Lea as a character . But then as the story progressed Vida Winter came into picture and I forgot about Margaret Lea. The initial impact which Margaret had on me was gone in between the narration of Vida Winters’. Also in the middle it was kind of dragging and Margaret’s past story, her twin, her mother not being there for her and all that stuff seemed forced to the story so that part did not interest me much. Even the connection between the stories (past, present) and the thing that in the end it was Margaret who got all connection right was just a bit too perfect to believe.
But then again there are thing that i really enjoyed about this book too. I loved the authors writing, her imagination and the suspense in the story was great and above all i loved the way how all the characters talked about books, and their love for reading and of course there were some beautiful quotes which I read again and again, especially the below excerpt from the book.

“I have closed my study door on the world and shut myself away with people of my imagination. For nearly sixty years I have eavesdropped with impunity on the lives of people who do not exist. I have peeped shamelessly into hearts and bathroom closets. I have leaned over shoulders to follow the movements of quills as they write love letters, wills and confessions. I have watched as lovers love, murderers murder and children play their make-believe. Prisons and brothels have opened their doors to me; galleons and camel trains have transported me across sea and sand; centuries and continents have fallen away at my bidding. I have spied upon the misdeeds of the mighty and witnessed the nobility of the meek. I have bent so low over sleepers in their beds that they might have felt my breath on their faces. I have seen their dreams.
My study throngs with characters waiting to be written. Imaginary people, anxious for a life, who tug at my sleeve, crying, ’Me next! Go on! My turn!”

Anne of the Island

Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery If life were a person, I want it to be like Anne Shirley.

The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead - Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand With illogical-ideology, impractical-philosophy and a bunch of unreal & robotic characters’ this book was 700 pages of crap.

Pyre

Pyre - Perumal Murugan When i first read Perumal Murugan’s ’One part women’ i knew i had found another marvellous Indian author. So as soon as i knew his second book Pyre was translated i grabbed a copy immediately.

I am not sure what my feelings are for this book right now. I feel as though i am flooded with so many emotions - sadness, frustration, helplessness and what not. I felt as if everything was happening in front of my eyes but i was unable to help anybody. Thats the beauty of good books right, which tells you the story of people and their miserable situations just so we know how they suffer without any mistake of theirs'.
Saroja a simple girl from uptown elopes and marries Kumaresan and goes to his village hoping for a better life hardly knowing the harsh, ruthless reality which she was entering into. Saroja’s struggle was heart-wrenching though she chose the right person to lead her life with yet fate was not by her side.

I loved the way how realistically the author has handled two different female character here, Saroja and Marayi (Kumaresan’s mother) both were totally opposite to each other yet at one point we tend to pity both the characters. Before i reached the ending i had to stop reading it for a while and pull myself back as i was not ready to accept the tragic ending which i was about to witness, thats how deep this book was for me. I am sure this story is going to stay with me for a while now.

Pyre

Pyre - Perumal Murugan When i first read Perumal Murugan’s ’One part women’ i knew i had found another marvellous Indian author. So as soon as i knew his second book Pyre was translated i grabbed a copy immediately.

I am not sure what my feelings are for this book right now. I feel as though i am flooded with so many emotions - sadness, frustration, helplessness and what not. I felt as if everything was happening in front of my eyes but i was unable to help anybody. Thats the beauty of good books right, which tells you the story of people and their miserable situations just so we know how they suffer without any mistake of theirs'.
Saroja a simple girl from uptown elopes and marries Kumaresan and goes to his village hoping for a better life hardly knowing the harsh, ruthless reality which she was entering into. Saroja’s struggle was heart-wrenching though she chose the right person to lead her life with yet fate was not by her side.

I loved the way how realistically the author has handled two different female character here, Saroja and Marayi (Kumaresan’s mother) both were totally opposite to each other yet at one point we tend to pity both the characters. Before i reached the ending i had to stop reading it for a while and pull myself back as i was not ready to accept the tragic ending which i was about to witness, thats how deep this book was for me. I am sure this story is going to stay with me for a while now.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Novel (Flavia de Luce Mystery)

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Novel (Flavia de Luce Mystery) - Alan Bradley As much as I wanted to read this book in the end it did not meet my expectation. I loved the language, the setting and Flavia too but still I did not like this book. The story was very slow, dragging there was so much not-so-necessary talks that it made me want to scream and say 'ok now what next? come on Flavia get going!!' Another thing is Flavia was literally UNBELIEVABLE character...no i really loved her but still it was hard to accept a 11 year old girl to be that smart! I am not sure i would continue with the series but would love to meet Flavia again, if only the books were not above 300 pages i would have tried.

Appointment with Death (Hercule Poirot, #19)

Appointment with Death (Hercule Poirot, #19) - Agatha Christie Enjoyed this cozy mystery immensely. Though the story started a bit slowly the initial discussion and character analysis of Boynton family by Dr Gerard and Sarah King the psychologists, was very interesting to read. And of course yet again I failed to guess who the actual murderer is. Hercule Poirot you’ve done it again!

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

— feeling amazing
Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier

This is my third book by Daphne du Maurier and yet again it was a delightful read!
When Mary Yellan after her mother's death comes to stay with her aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn, she is shocked see her ‘once cheerful’ aunt now terrified & lifeless but Mary is curious and determined to find out the truth about her aunt’s behaviour and about the strange place where no visiter comes to stay.
I loved Mary’s character she seemed very real to me she was simple, innocent yet strong-willed at the same time. She knew what she wanted from her life and what she would get. Although the story was predictable at times but it really never bothered me because of the writing.
Daphne’s writing brings the whole dark, spooky place alive. You could feel the chillness in her description and imagine the darkness of Jamaica Inn and that feeling was great! Another thing that i loved about this book is the ending it was clearcut with no loose ends. Looking forward to read more books by her.

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier This is my third book by Daphne du Maurier and yet again it was a delightful read!
When Mary Yellan after her mother's death comes to stay with her aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn, she is shocked see her ‘once cheerful’ aunt now terrified & lifeless but Mary is curious and determined to find out the truth about her aunt’s behaviour and about the strange place where no visiter comes to stay.
I loved Mary’s character she seemed very real to me she was simple, innocent yet strong-willed at the same time. She knew what she wanted from her life and what she would get. Although the story was predictable at times but it really never bothered me because of the writing.
Daphne’s writing brings the whole dark, spooky place alive. You could feel the chillness in her description and imagine the darkness of Jamaica Inn and that feeling was great! Another thing that i loved about this book is the ending it was clearcut with no loose ends. Looking forward to read more books by her.

Strangers to Ourselves by Shashi Deshpande

Strangers to Ourselves - Shashi Deshpande

The moment I saw the review of Shashi Despande’s latest book 'Strangers to ourselves’ in ‘Times of India’ i had to buy it immediately. There has never been any promotions whenever her books are released but thank god I could get hold of it sooner.

The story is about Aparna an oncologist and Shree Hari an upcoming singer and their complicated relationship. But thats not it there is a lot more in this story than just that. There is Jyothi a cancer patient whom Aparna is treating. And how Aparna gets personally involved with Jyothi and her whole family which she never intend to do. Also the whole story moves forward and backward mostly revolving around Aparna. How her parent’s perfect marriage broke in the later years, what went wrong with her own marriage which ended in divorce and how in turn it affected Aparna and Hari’s present relationship leaving Aparna fearful of any commitments. There are lots of past digging in the story which reveals secrets and so much more which makes the whole book intriguing.
Basically, this book explores more about human emotions, agitations, the logical and illogical part of human mind. As the titles says, yes we are 'strangers to ourselves' at one point of time. Our personalities changes without our knowledge, there is one personality which relates to our past and the other which is our present, come to think of it both are totally different yet same in a way. Aparna and Hari were too going through this confusion and chaos.

Like Despande’s other protagonist, Aparna too was a complex character but some how i could not relate to her as i did with the others. That was bit disappointing for me. Although, i must say it was nice to meet so many interesting, bold and talented characters in one book. I really cherished the time spent reading this one. Somehow 322 pages weren’t enough for me and i wanted it go on and on something which is impossible!

About Shashi Deshpande’s writing i have already praised her so much in my earlier reviews (http://my-book-journal.blogspot.in/search/label/Shashi%20Deshpande

that i have nothing more to say except she is my inspiration in many ways.

An interesting quote from this book…

“ A Writer is like a bird building a nest. You pick up facts, ideas, stories, all kinds of things- and then knit all these together with your imagination.”

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

— feeling crazy
Maybe This Time - Jennifer Crusie

I've always enjoyed Jennifer Crusie books she is one of my favorite authors and I prefer reading her books while on a holiday because it makes sense. As her books are funny and enjoyable this one was too, initially. I started it on the first day of my vacation but it took me almost 30 days from there on to finish it. Yeah after reading this one now I know why some of my friends get irritated with her characters because this time i did too Andie first and foremost and all the other characters except North.. oh yeah this also includes the so called 'living ghosts' created a hell inside my brain and i wanted to get rid of them all ASAP which I finally did, thank god! That doesn't mean i'll not go back to Cruise! :)

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck

Usually before starting any book I make sure to read the blurb or at least few reviews. But for ‘The Good Earth’ i didn’t even try to read either, which actually turned out to be a plus point for me because if i had read i wouldn’t have picked it up for sure. I picked it on a friend’s recommendation, i wanted to read a good book with good writing and she promised me it was one of those and she was absolutely right. Now I am glad for having read this.

This is a simple book on a simple man, but what makes it special is the way the story has been told, which instantly connects and binds the readers to the story and all the characters.
The story is about a poor farmer Wang Lung who marries a slave from the big house, O-lan. Wang’s love for his land was pure. All he ever wished was to work on it, earn money, buy more land and stay happy. But life was not as simple as he thought it would be. He had his share of difficulties which he over came with the help of his wife. As time passed with his efforts he became rich his family grew, he had more mouths to feed including his father’s brother’s family.
But as he grew richer the problems in his life became bigger and more complicated. When he was poor he was satisfied with food and shelter but his richness bought him unnecessary wants in his life and a different kind of problems which only people with money could have.
Personally i loved Wang’s character until he became rich, not that i hated him afterwards but i did not like the way he treated his obedient wife as nothing more than a servant in his life. Suddenly he started ignoring her, married someone much prettier than her, without even knowing how she felt. But finally when he realised her value in his life it was too late.
Also, this book brings out the generation gap between Wang and his sons, wherein the good earth (his land) plays a prominent role. While he respected his land never even thought of selling it even when he was poor but whereas his sons never bother about it at all because they were well educated and their mind worked differently. They also thought about selling the land even though they had enough money, forgetting all the richness that they enjoyed throughout their life came from this good earth. Likewise, there are few situations in this book which makes one think about what money can do to a human being if it is in abundance and not spent meaningfully.

On the whole i loved this book. The beauty of this book more than in story or characters lies in the way it has been conveyed by author Pearl S Buck.

The Good Earth

The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck 4.5
Usually before starting any book I make sure to read the blurb or at least few reviews. But for ‘The Good Earth’ i didn’t even try to read either, which actually turned out to be a plus point for me because if i had read i wouldn’t have picked it up for sure. I picked it on a friend’s recommendation, i wanted to read a good book with good writing and she promised me it was one of those and she was absolutely right. Now I am glad for having read this.

This is a simple book on a simple man, but what makes it special is the way the story has been told, which instantly connects and binds the readers to the story and all the characters.
The story is about a poor farmer Wang Lung who marries a slave from the big house, O-lan. Wang’s love for his land was pure. All he ever wished was to work on it, earn money, buy more land and stay happy. But life was not as simple as he thought it would be. He had his share of difficulties which he over came with the help of his wife. As time passed with his efforts he became rich his family grew, he had more mouths to feed including his father’s brother’s family.
But as he grew richer the problems in his life became bigger and more complicated. When he was poor he was satisfied with food and shelter but his richness bought him unnecessary wants in his life and a different kind of problems which only people with money could have.
Personally i loved Wang’s character until he became rich, not that i hated him afterwards but i did not like the way he treated his obedient wife as nothing more than a servant in his life. Suddenly he started ignoring her, married someone much prettier than her, without even knowing how she felt. But finally when he realised her value in his life it was too late.
Also, this book brings out the generation gap between Wang and his sons, wherein the good earth (his land) plays a prominent role. While he respected his land never even thought of selling it even when he was poor but whereas his sons never bother about it at all because they were well educated and their mind worked differently. They also thought about selling the land even though they had enough money, forgetting all the richness that they enjoyed throughout their life came from this good earth. Likewise, there are few situations in this book which makes one think about what money can do to a human being if it is in abundance and not spent meaningfully.

On the whole i loved this book. The beauty of this book more than in story or characters lies in the way it has been conveyed by author Pearl S Buck.

Waiting For The Mahatma by R.K. Narayan

Waiting for the Mahatma - R.K. Narayan

I make it a point to start my year by reading a book by an Indian author and i couldn’t have asked for a better book than ‘Waiting For The Mahatma’ by R.K. Narayan. I have always enjoyed his satiric writing.

Set in the same place ‘Malgudi’, this book revolves around Sriram a young aimless boy, who is smitten by a girl named Bharthi and goes after her blindly leaving his granny and finds out that she is one of the volunteer who works for Mahatma. Sriram joins the group in a jest to impress Bharthi and his meaningless life takes a different turn from then on.

But even after finishing the book i am not sure whether Sriram really did find his aim in life or, what all he did and went through was it just because he had no other choice? Because he was such a fickle minded and complicated character that it was difficult to say what and how he would think in a particular situation. Sometimes he would act wisely and I would almost believe that finally there is some maturity reflecting in this character but the next moment he is the same old foolish guy, who would say or think something stupid. Having said that i really enjoyed reading this book and simultaneously got frustrated with Sriram and found myself helpless in some situation. I think that explains the beauty of R.K.Narayan’s writing. His sense of humour and his keen observation which he brings out in his simple writing is always a delight to read.

Currently reading

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Karen V. Kukil, Sylvia Plath