Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Find: So Cold the River by Michael Koryta

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta

It starts with a beautiful woman and a challenge. As a gift for her husband, Alyssa Bradford approaches Eric Shaw to make a documentary about her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old millionaire whose past is wrapped in mystery. Eric grabs the job even though there are few clues to the man's story—just the name of his hometown and an antique water bottle he's kept his entire life.

In Bradford's hometown, Eric discovers an extraordinary history—a glorious domed hotel where movie stars, presidents, athletes, and mobsters once mingled, and mineral springs whose miraculous waters were reputed to cure everything from insomnia to malaria. Neglected for years, the resort has been restored to its former grandeur just in time for Eric's stay.

Just hours after his arrival, Eric experiences a frighteningly vivid vision. As the days pass, the frequency and intensity of his hallucinations increase and draw Eric deeper into the area's dark history. He discovers that something besides the historic resort town has been restored—a long-forgotten evil that will stop at nothing to regain its lost glory.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Booking through Restrictions

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God* comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre–period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.

What genre do you pick, and why?

I will choose to read only mystery books. Those keep me hooked and there is a lot of sub-genres in mysteries. Thrillers, Suspense, Cozy mysteries etc etc. Infact there are historical mysteries, romantic mysteries, kitchen mysteries, to name only a few. One can safely say that mystery genres have everything in them. They don't get repetitive!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon

Title: The Language of Secrets
Author: Dianne Dixon
ISBN: 9780385530637
Publisher: Doubleday/2010
Pages: 258

What does one do when one discovers that the life one is having shouldn't be happening as one has been dead for a long time now? How would you feel if you found out you had tombstone for youself? Justin faces it and doesn't know how it came about. He is very much alive, has a good job, a beautiful wife and a toddler son.

All his memories are somewhat disjointed and he only remembers an address in California. He has come back to it to find it being occupied by strangers. No one knows him at all. One of his sisters slams her door on his face. Now he has to find out about that tombstone of his. When he starts unravelling the past, he finds a betrayal unheard off. By a father, which in a way breaks apart a mother's heart. Not to forget the little boy.

The book goes back and forth from 2006 to the early 70s. From his point of view to his mother's. Told poignantly, it is a man's search for his identity and facing the painful past. Although Justin never gets to know his mother, the reader feels her pain, her sadness and the life she led without her son. It touches us at places that we can't fathom.

This novel breaks our heart at places. Justin might have had a very painful childhood but he managed to do good for himself. This books takes us on his journey to find himself, his family, his past and only then he can come back to his present.

I recommend this to everyone who wants to explore issues beyond the normal. I simply couldn't put it down.

Thanks to the author for the Bound Galley.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

She shoved the taser into his crotch and fired off 50,000 volts, holding the electrodes against him for at least twenty seconds. Nieminen was transformed into a vegetable.
~Page 526

Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire
Author: Stieg Larsson
ISBN: 9781906694159
Publisher: Maclehose Press/2009
Pages: 649

As everyone knows, The Girl Who Played with fire is the second book of the Millennium Trilogy, the first book being, The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. When the book opens, we find that Salander has travelled a lot after the first book. Here she buys a luxurious apartment, furnishing it with the best of everything. And no one is aware of that fact. She gives her old apartment to one of her friends' and receives all her mail there.
In this book, we get to learn a lot about Lisbeth Salander's past. How the system is responsible in crushing her, which includes her teachers, doctors, lawyers and media. Everyone is insensitive to her and ill treated her at one time or the other. Only three people seem to care for her, the owner of the Millennium, Mikael Blomkvist, and Armansky, her past employer and Palmgren, her previous mentor/guardian.
When three murders occur in a single night, Salander is suspected of those as her fingerprints are found on the gun. However, no one can find her anywhere. Blomkvist comes into the picture as two of those who have been murdered were going to write a big sex-trafficking, which was to be one of Millennium's big expose.
When Blomkvist sets about finding out about the murders, he is horrified to learn about the ill treatment of Lisbeth since she was 13 years old. Somehow the trail leads to something which connects to Lisbeth's past. The reader is just as horrified as Blomkvist.
It is a long book, which explains a lot about Lisbeth, her past and her present. The way she deals with issues. Nothing scares her. She is a genius in hacking and uses that to her advantage. She has fought the system for the last 10-12 years and has survived. The author created an unforgettable character in Lisbeth Salander. One might forget the story but not her.
I look forward to read the third book.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Musings/It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Rebecca of Just One More Page..

Are you a reader of war books? And if so, do you have any favourites?

I do read war books. Mostly about WWII. That too about the holocaust. I think every book that deals with the holocaust has to be read by all, however painful it might be. We have learn the history and knowledge gives us the power to prevent such atrocities. Ignoring an important part of history does not help in any way. At least not to the human kind. Here I recall only a few of what I have read:

1) Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
2 Man's Search for Meaning by Victor E Frankl
3) The Diary of Anne Frank


Hosted by Sheila of Bookjourney

I finished:

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Taste Of Cherry by Kara Candito: Poetry
The Journey Home by Michael Baron
Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen

I am in midst of reading:

The Memorist by M J Rose
O' Juliet by Robin Maxwell

I posted reviews of:

Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami--A repost
Taste of Cherry by Kara Candito: Poetry
Greater Love by Robert Whitlow
Open Country by Kaki Warner

I have scheduled reviews of:

In the Wake of Boatman by Jonathon Fuqua
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Cutting by James Hayman

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mailbox Mondays (26th April)

Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia.

I received the following three books:

1) The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Gone with the Wind is turned inside out in this tragic, page-turning novel in which a white indentured servant girl lives and works with black slaves.

2) The Journey Home by Michael Baron

Joseph, Antoinette, and Warren are three people on different searches for home. How they find it, and how they connect with one another at this critical stage in each of their lives, is the foundation for a profound and deeply moving story

3) Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen

During the summer of 1968, Shenandoah Carmody's mother disappeared. Her twin sister, Woody, stopped speaking, and her once-loving father slipped into a mean drunkenness unbefitting a superior court judge. Since then, Shenny-named for the Shenandoah valley-has struggled to hold her world together, taking care of herself and her sister the best she can. Shenny feels certain that Woody knows something about the night their mother vanished, but her attempts to communicate with her mute twin leave her as confused as their father's efforts to confine the girls to the family's renowned virginia estate.

As the first anniversary of their mother's disappearance nears, her father's threat to send Woody away and his hints at an impending remarriage spur a desperate Shenny to find her mother before it's too late. She is ultimately swept up in a series of heartbreaking events that force her to come to terms with the painful truth about herself and her family.

TSS: Greater Love by Robert Whitlow

Title: Greater Love
Author: Robert Whitlow
ISBN: 9781595544506
Thomas Nelson/2010
Pages: 400


Book Description

The Tides of Truth series follows one lawyer's passionate pursuit of truth--in matters of life and the law.

As the storm clouds gather, Tami does her best to weather the growing turbulence in every area of her life.

She's just accepted a job with a law firm but now wonders if she made the right decision. She has two strong men vying for her heart--and is about to lose them both if she can't determine which one is right for her.

And Tami's new case is anything but simple. When she first meets her prospective client, she immediately knows the rough young teen is lying, guilty...and utterly terrified of something beyond the charges she's facing. What she doesn't realize is just how far reaching the effects of the case will go. Or how close to home the deadly results will hit. For by the time the storm breaks, someone close to Tami will have paid the ultimate price.

Through it all, Tami will experience greater sacrifice, greater friendship, and greater love than she's ever known.


Greater Love is a legal fiction with strong Christian elements. If one ignores the religious part, it makes a fine read, although love and sacrifice are very universal and only limited to just one religion.

Not a very easy book to review as revealing the story would spoil it for the reader. Right from the beginning I knew which one of her Beaus, Tami Taylor, would choose. Not difficult considering her mindset.
Her relationship with the young Jessie is very beautifully brought out. Jessie who has suffered so much in life to comes to trust Tami and her older friend, Mrs Fairmont, who comes love Jessie as her own.

There is this suspense element, where there are people looking for Jessie but that is overshadowed by the romance element, which kind of slowed down the book. The legal point of view should have predominated but it didn't and that seemed like a let down.

What didn't gel well with me is the fact that Tami, a Law graduate is always turning towards her family for advice. She ought to have been able to take her own decisions regarding her personal life. Professionally she seems to do fine. The sacrifice of Sister Dabney is the Greater Love.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for my review copy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weekly Geeks: Reading Globally

I am book blogger based in Delhi, India. In a way most of my reading is global. I try to read books from all parts of the world. Most are based in US or UK but I do read books based on Middle East, Africa, Australia, China, Japan to name just a few. I don't do challenges but I try to incorporate as much as I can about countries those are not very well known. I have read a lot of translated works.

I only know very few Indian book bloggers. That means most on my network are settled all over the world, majority being from US. I too have Global bloggers visiting me all the time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Poetry Book Review: Taste of Cherry by Kara Candito

Title: Taste of Cherry
Kara Candito
ISBN: 9780803225237

Publisher: University of Nebrasaka Press/2009
Pages: 66

The following poem hit me hard when I started to read this short book of poetry. Even though I have never been to an ancient city, I connected to the feelings depicted here:

POSTCARD / I’ve Been Meaning to Write --

because it’s August in an ancient city and I want to
tell you about this heat that hangs like the mind

of a landscape in which everything is still and irritable
as the stray cats that nap on the ruins of Pompey’s theatre.

Because the man whom served my espresso this morning
looked like you. In a certain light, I peered through

the bronze keyhole and saw the Basilica framed by fire.
Because I miss you even as I try to efface you,

like the lunatic who smashed David’s genitals with a hammer.
Beauty is an anesthesia here. It dulls the brain. I write;

it’s called memory, then story. It never resembles the real
things I want to say when the wind is still and fountains

rush around the night. My apartment is dark and laundry
hangs in sad heaps on the balcony. There are chicken bones

in the sink. Below, in the Piazza, a gelateria. At night,
families arrive – men holding their sons high, like props;

women blowing smoke in imperfect circles and whispering
behind manicured hands about their husbands’ affairs.

So many minor betrayals (the urge to sleep through church bells).
The Triumph of Galatea, on the reverse, is short and coarse.

Recall that it ends in bloodshed. I think Raphael understood
that no one wants to be Polyphemus, the one who sees

her eyes as little spurs in his sides and suffers and hides.
We all want to be Galatea, laughing sidelong, smirking

over her shoulder at a suitor’s clumsy song. Such a small
offense. And doesn’t it make her beautiful? So, grief becomes

the punishment for ridicule and justice is its own rapture –
a boulder hurled, a river pounding a hollow cave in the head.

I can’t forget your studio, the one on the side street,
with sealed windows. Everything inside cheap and new

or abandoned and broken. On the wall, a still life of overripe
fruit in a wooden frame. How you envied the voluptuous grapes,

the way they burst over the rim of the bowl –

I loved the titles of the poems. Those only enhanced my reading pleasure. As a poet I believe that titles are important and should be such that they suck the reader into the poem in its entirity. Candito has done just that and I was totally enthralled by her titles. You can see for yourself by these examples: "Self-Portrait with an Ice Pick", "Notes for a Novice Flaneur", "Floristic Elegy for the Year I Lived with You in Coconut Grove", "Girl in the Grass", "Barely Legal: Upon Finding My Father's Porn", "He Was Only Half as Beautiful," and "On the Occasion of Our Argument During a VH1 Best Power Ballads Countdown". These simply jump out and the imagery is too good to be ignored.

These poems are so beautiful despite sometimes speaking of harsh things. My mind rolled with her tapestry of words. In Taste of Cherry the poems take place in ancient cities to very modern ones, taking us into a journey beyond imagination.

Every poetry and every poet ought to get a copy of it. It is well worth it.

Thanks to the poet for my copy of Taste of Cherry. This one is a keeper.

Friday Finds: The Last River Child by Lori Ann Bloomfield

The Last River Child by Lori Ann Bloomfield

In the summer of 1900, a meteorite lands on the day of Peg Staynor''s baptism, barely missing the small church in rural Ontario. This, along with Peg''s almost colorless eyes, is enough to resurrect a local superstition that will haunt Peg and her family for years. Many believe Peg to be a "river child," taken over by an evil spirit from the Magurvey River that winds its way through the town.

Feared and shunned throughout her childhood, Peg is blamed for every misfortune, from drought to ailing livestock. When her mother, her fiercest protector, dies suddenly on the same day WWI is declared, young Peg must face not only the mistrust of the villagers, but of her father. His grief has driven him to take solace in drink and old superstition, leaving Peg with only her head-strong older sister, Sarah, for support. It will take the terrible reality of World War I to shake off the grip of old world beliefs. As the town''s young men begin to return mentally and physically damaged, or not return at all, the sheltered atmosphere of the town is broken. A bright flame of change will sweep through everyone''s lives, leading Peg into the future.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Booking Through Thursdays: Earth Day

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It’s Earth Day … what are you reading? Are your reading habits changing for the sake of the environment? What are you doing for the sake of the planet today?

What I enumerate here is what I have been doing for a long time to save our earth:

1) I always write on both sides of paper. If one side has print on it, I use the other side to jote down lists, thoughts and so many other stuff.

2) I try re-using envelopes, paper clips, files and folders.

3) I clean the AC filters once a week.

4) I also clean the refrigerator regularly.

5) I make use of low wattage CFL to light up my rooms.

6) I use jute bags to carry stuff.

7) I turn off electrical appliances when those are not in use. That includes my PC too!

8) I email instead of writing paper letters.

9) I am a member of a car pool, which saves on the fuel.

10) I water my plants early in the morning or late in the evenings.

The list is, in no way, exhaustive...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Title: Kafka on the Shore
Author: Haruki Murakami
ISBN-10: 1-400-7927-6
Publisher: Vintage International/2005
Pages: 467
Rating: 5/5

One can call this novel a metaphysical fantasy fiction, with dream and logic going hand in hand. Where dreams starts or logic ends or vice versa do not have clear-cut demarcations. Where the inner us meets with the outer us are not separate either.

Kafka Tamura runs away from home on his fifteenth birthday to look out for his long lost mother and sister. Moreover, to escape an oedipal curse by his father. Another parallel story about Nakata, an old man of sixty plus years, a simpleton who had lost his ability to read and write due to some war affliction follows the main one. Most people take him to be dumb. He has been abandoned by his family and lives on Govt subsidy.

On this journey, Kafka meets many interesting characters like Sakura, Oshima and Miss Saeki. Similarly, Nakata too meets Hoshino, a truck driver who is drawn to this simpleton and quits his job to be with him. Nakata has strange compulsions he does not understand. He knows that his path is taking him somewhere towards a boy he has never met. In this metaphorical tale, cats can talk to Nakata, fishes and leeches rain on his whim. Spirits can travel beyond time and space to make love or kill.

Kafka is a self-sufficient boy. He can survive under any circumstances. He adapts easily. However, he has to find himself. How does he do it? What is his relationship with Miss Saeki? How does Oshima affect him? What does he finally find? Why is he lured towards a painting of boy in a beach? What is the entrance stone referred to in the lyrics, Kafka on the Shore?

Oshima, Miss Saeki and Nakata are all different from the normal and just as fascinating. Hoshino is a normal young man. Still he is drawn to Nakata and sticks to him. Thus, he discovers himself on the way. This novel asks many questions, takes us into different directions. In a way, it tells us to find the answers in the all the signs, symbols and metaphors. We learn about world philosophy, great writers and beautiful quotations. A must read.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays: Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner

Holding his shirttail over his nose and mouth, Brady bent over Sancho's twisted, smoking body to see if he was still alive.
He was. Barely. His face looked melted. Hip lips were gone, his teeth showing in a ghoulish grimace.

~Page 342

Title: Pieces of Sky
Author: Kaki Warner

ISBN: 978-0425232149
Publisher: Berkley Trade/2010
Pages: 432

Prim and Proper Jessica Abigail Rebecca Thornton, a milliner, is running away from her brother-in-law John, when she meets rough and tough rancher, Brady Wilkins on a stagecoach ride. He is her exact opposite. But he too has some issues of the past, which have to be dwelt with. By quirk of fate, Jessica ends up in his ranch and it is discovered that she is pregnant and can't be moved from there. She is stuck there till she gives birth. Initially she does not like it there but slowly she and Brady fall in love with each other. That's when vengeful ex-con Sancho Ramirez turns up with his half brother to tear their lives apart. The ranch had initially belonged to Ramirez's father.

First of the Blood Rose trilogy, we get to know the Wilkin brothers and the story behind their feud with Ramirez. Brady has the responsibility to protect his family, no matter what and Ramirez is totally evil. Despite being emotional, this book is not cloying and speaks of human endurance in the face of evil.

One of the memorable characters of this book is Ramirez's sister Nina, who is the opposite of her brother. She has lived with the Wilkins family for so long. And she shares a beautiful relationship with Brady.

Thanks to the author for sending me this book along with the ARC of Open Country, the second one in the series.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mondays: Mailbox/Whereabouts

Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia.

I received two books:

1) The Cold Room by J T Ellison

Homicide Detective Taylor Jackson thinks she's seen it all in Nashville—from the Southern Strangler to the Snow White Killer. But she's never seen anything as perverse as the Conductor. Once his victim is captured, he contains her in a glass coffin, slowly starving her to death. Only then does he give in to his attraction.

When he's finished, he creatively disposes of the body by reenacting scenes from famous paintings. And it seems similar macabre works are being displayed in Europe. Taylor teams up with her fiancé, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, and a New Scotland Yard detective named James "Memphis" Highsmythe, a haunted man who only has eyes for Taylor, to put an end to the Conductor's art collection.

Has the killer gone international with his craft? Or are there dueling artists, competing to create the ultimate masterpiece?

2) Greater Lover by Robert Whitlow

As a result of her first-rate work as a law clerk, Tami Taylor's been offered a coveted position as associate partner in one of Savannah's oldest and most prestigious law firms. Though her strong faith and convictions are valued by the firm's partners, Tami struggles to discern if God's will for her career is elsewhere. Meanwhile, Tami must protect a young client named Jessie who is on the run from some shady characters, which puts Tami in mortal danger.

In the past week:

I finished:

Greater Love by Robert Whitlow
The Cold Room by J T Ellison
Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons

I am in midst of reading:

The Memorist by M J Rose

I posted reviews of:

Lethal Experiment by John Locke
Fireworks Over Toccoa by
Jeffrey Stepakoff

TSS: Summers, Reading and Computer woes

The  Sunday

April is truly cruel. We are having very hot days, where the temperature hovers around 42 °C to 44 °C, that is 117-112 °F. Delhi had such temperatures in April only in 1958. What with hot winds and dust, it is hellish kind of existence. The schools have not closed for the summers and power outages are the norm.

I am staying in after I get back from school and only go out when it is absolutely necessary. Evenings are hot too. A perfect excuse to read and I am doing just that. This past week I read three books and and in the midst of a few more.

My brother took pity on me and has given me his spare computer until I get a new one. This one works perfectly well and I am happy with it. Although my older nephew had given me full access of his laptop, I was not very comfortable with it. I only used that to check my emails. Problem is, I need an external mouse all the time!
Hopefully my computer-less days are gone as of now.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weekly Geeks: saintly mind gets lubricated

Weekly Geeks: Poetry Month

As most know, I am a poet too apart from being a reader. Here I post one of my recent poems.

brash words on that message board
crash to the ground
like a saint you stand there
listening to the reverberating sound
it is your doing or undoing
(have it your own way,think what you like)
one by one, everyone walks away
you stand there alienated

if only you had lubricated your mind
you wouldn't put those words out there
and suffered because of it

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Booking Through Story Ends

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In general, do you prefer the beginnings of stories? Or the ends?

I like a good beginning with a great ending. To a certain extent, both matter to me. I think certain books have horrible beginnings but beautiful endings. And vice versa. Given a preference, I would go for a good ending. Because that is what stays within the mind long after finishing a book. The ending should be such which even though unexpected, ought to enhance the story, not take away from it.


Computer problems:

There has been no end to my PC woes. I desperately need a new one and looking for the best offer. Until then my appearances would be sporadic. What else can you expect, when I am using my nephew's PC! Until I get a new computer, please bear with me. I will make my rounds to your blog as soon as I can. The good thiong about not having a PC is that I am reading like crazy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Title: Fireworks Over Toccoa
Author: Jeffrey Stepakoff
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books/2010
Pages: 272

Book Blurb:

Lily was married for just days before her husband was sent abroad to fight in WWII. Now, he and the other soldiers are returning, and the small town of Toccoa, Georgia plans a big celebration. But a handsome and kind Italian immigrant, responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned, captures Lily’s heart and soul. Torn between duty to society and her husband, and a poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a love she never knew and a commitment she'd already made.


The story takes place during WWII, where Lily Davis Woodward, is awaiting the return of her husband Paul. Married very young, the couple only had two weeks together before Paul had to go. Lily, her family, friends, and the whole town of Toccoa, Georgia, are ready to welcome home their soldiers, including Paul. Jake Russo, a handsome, dark-haired Italian, is using his skill as a a pyrotechnics specialist to put together a fireworks show, the best one ever. Lily stumbles upon him and falls in love with him, days before Paul is supposed to return.

The novel is about the conflict in her mind, what she would choose. The characters are plausible and realistic. Narration and dialogues are good. The novel does tend to be a little trite at places but has beeb written well enough to hold interest, what with a pyrotechnics, the art from coca cola glass. It brings the place to life. The writer gave it the right ending although it might disappoint a few readers. This book has its moments and good for a readathon or afternoon read as it reads very fast.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lethal Experiment by John Locke

"You've been lying in this bed, unresponsive, for..." he consulted a chart. "Three years, two months and five days."
"You'are shitting me."

~Page 169

Title: Lethal Experiment
Author: John Locke
ISBN: 9781440196249
Publisher: iUniverse/2009
Pages: 264

Back cover:

Donovan Creed, former CIA assassin, is a smart-aleck tough guy who can't resist a noble cause. Despite a ton of baggage and a penchant for call girls, he always finds a way to beat the bad guys. In this sequel to Lethal People, Creed is forced to choose between his thriving contract-killer business and his desire to live a normal life with the beautiful Kathleen Gray and her newly-adopted daughter, Addie. Before that can happen, he has to take care of some lethal business involving a former lover. Lethal Experiment is a breezy, fun page-turner, featuring grisly humor, outrageous characters and sexy dialogue.


"Lethal Experiment" is a stand alone novel even though it is the second one of the Donovan Creed storyline.

In "Lethal Experiment", the best question asked is, "Would you take money, in this case $100 large, with the only stipulation that someone would be murdered?" It is a hard question to answer. The offer is great and the temptation is high. What would one do? Donovan Creed has the ability to surprise us all. His ways might be outrageous, but his intentions are good.

The quirky characters grow into us and we look forward to reading all the Creed novels. There are three in all and I have read all. Locke has created a memorable character in the shape of Donovan Creed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday: Mailbox/Musings/Whereabouts

Musing Mondays2
What elements do you think lands a book in that ‘best’ category? Think of your top 5 best books and tune in next week to see the collated list.

For the best book category, there has to be some criterias. I think, great story line, good plotting, wonderful charactisation and plausible settings are essential. It has to hold interest till the end and also long after reading it.

I like to talk about good books to anyone who can listen to me. Mostly perfect strangers. It gives me high if someone buys a book on my recommendations.

I don't believe I can list 5 best books. I have too many in my list. However, in the recent weeks, I read the following great books:

The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Mind you these are only two books out of too many!


Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia.

I did not receive anything this past week.

In the past week:
I finished:

The Cutting by James Hayman
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

I am in midst of

I posted reviews of:

The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

TSS/Read-a-thon: End of Event meme

Reader Readathon ButtonHere comes the End of Event meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

The last four hours were daunting for me. I couldn't concentrate at all.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Crime fiction works great. So do graphic novels. I think the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson will keep one hooked till the end. I ought to have saved those for the readathon!

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I think the present format is great.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Cheerleaders, I think. However, I don't think I had many cheerleading me! Me being a veteran, maybe they thought I didn't need cheering! *grin*

5. How many books did you read?

Two. Both Crime fiction.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

The Cutting by James Hayman (Pages 326)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Pages 436)

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

I liked The Cutting Better.

8. Which did you enjoy least?


9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?


10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I will come back for it next time around and as a reader!

My thoughts:

I called it a day at 2 pm my time, 3 1/2 hours before finish as I simply couldn't concentrate on what I was reading. This time I couldn't read more than two books but I liked both the books I read. Both kept me hooked despite being somewhat heavy books. Most important is, I had fun. I wanted to visit fellow readers but somehow couldn't. I did take part in a couple of mini-challenges though. I did not win any prizes, but that's ok.

Read-a-thon: Hour 20-21

Reader Readathon ButtonIntend to read:

The Likeness by Tana French

Books Finished:

The Cutting by James Hayman Pages 326
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith Pages 436

Total no. of pages read: 762

Thoughts on the event:

Both being heavy crim fiction novels, my pace is not so fast. However, I am satisfied with my reading. I intend to finish another book. Let's see how I fare.

I have not been visiting anyone but make up for it after I finish the Read-a-thon. Now I am only concentrating on my reading.

Read-a-thon: Mid Event Survey

Reader Readathon Button

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

Child 44 by Tom Robb Smith

2. How many books have you read so far?

One. The Cutting by James Hayman. 326 pages

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

The Memorist by M. J. Rose

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

Not really.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Yes, I had as I had to go out. My reading is slow because of it but it doesn't matter.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

The many participants and mini challenges.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I think it is great the way it is.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

I will read romances. They finish fast!

9. Are you getting tired yet?

No. I woke up refreshed.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

Read fast paced books. They help finishing quickly!

Read-a-thon: 2nd Update at Hour 7 and drabble challenge

Reader Readathon ButtonFinished reading:

The Cutting by James Hayman

No. of pages read:

Time spent reading:

5 hours

Thoughts on the event:

Glad I could finish one book! I also did the Feed my Seymore challenge. You can see that in my previous post. And now I can call it a day. It is 1:26 AM and I can barely keep awake now.

Drabble Challenge hosted by Kate of midnight book girl

It was just my luck. I was in nowhere land. I don't know how I had landed up there. Only material possession I had, were the clothes I was wearing. I looked around and saw some fruit trees. And a clear stream flowing some distance away. At least my hunger and thirst would be satisfied.

I fell on my knees and tried to focus. I saw something glint, a short distance away. I walked there and found it to be a wreckage of an aircraft. I climbed into it gingerly. And hit a jackpot. A loadful of books spilling over..

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Read-a-thon: 1st Update and Feed me more Seymour challenge

Reader Readathon Button

Currently reading:
The Cutting by James Hayman

Time spent reading:
three hours

No. of pages read:

Thoughts on the event:

I started almost two hours late. I was out most of the day and too tired to start at 5: 30 pm my time. I began reading around 7:15 pm and going a bit slow. But thats ok. I think I will read until the wee hours and only then I will call it a day.

Hope all of you are having a great time reading. I better get back to it too. Have fun, folks!

Feed me Seymour! Challenge hosted by
Nicole of Linus's Blanket.

"I am starved," he murmered.

"Me, too," she said, pulling away, but you'will have to settle for chicken breasts." She picked up the bags and headed for the kitchen. She looked back. "You may get a chance at mine later. If you're lucky."

Page 160, The Cutting by James Hayman.

March 2010 Wrap up

Reading wise March was a great month, even though I have had personal problems along with Computer woes. Maybe that contributed to my reading. I finished 17 books and I have already read 3 books in April. Despite my problems, my reading has made me happy!

I am yet to review 6 books. 3 for March and 3 for April.


33) The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (CF)
32) In the Wake of Boatman by Jonathan Fuqua
31) Open Country by Kaki Warner


30) Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
29) Fireworks in Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

28) The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
27) Sinai Tapestry by Edward Whittemore
26) The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie
25) The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (CF)
24) A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
23) Dead Floating Lovers by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
22) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie--Graphic Novel (CF)
21) the clouds roll away Sibella Giorella (CF)
20) Venom by Joan Brady (CF)
19) Lethal Experiment by John Locke (CF)
18) Lethal People by John Locke (CF)
17) Zan-Gah A prehistoric Adventure by A. R. Shickman

16) Devil's Food Cake by Josi S. Kilpack (CF)
15) The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris (CF)
14) When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge

Friday, April 9, 2010

Read-a-thon Plans

I don't really have specific plans for what to read. Other than reading crime fiction. I have a lot of those and I will pick and choose.

1) The Cutting by James Hayman
2) The Memorist by M. J. Rose
3) The Likeness by Tana French
4) Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

If I am able to finish any three of the above, I would be happy.

Friday Finds: Vanished Smile by R.A. Scotti

Vanished Smile by R.A. Scotti

On August 21, 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s most celebrated painting vanished from the Louvre. The prime suspects were as shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young provocateurs of a new art.

The sensational disappearing act captured the world’s imagination. Crowds stood in line to view the empty space on the museum wall. Thousands more waited, as concerned as if Mona Lisa were a missing person, for news of the lost painting. Almost a century later, questions still linger: Who really pinched Mona Lisa, and why? Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the puzzling case that transformed a Renaissance portrait into the most enduring icon of all time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Booking Through Plotting

btt button

Plots? Or Stream-of-Consciousness? Which would you rather read?

I do read both. It depends on my mood.

Long time back I used to prefer Stream-of-Consciousness novels. I liked to dwell inside the minds of the characters. Many a times it deviated from the main story yet I didn't mind it much. One good thing about such novels is that one can leave it for some time and get back to it anytime.

Now I like to read plot driven books. It keeps me more focussed on my reading. I like the fast pace and action. And it keeps me hooked till the end.

I like stream-of-consciousness poetry. Thats because I write it myself.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

"Mama lay on the floor. Blood dripped on the green and brown linoleum."

The Murderer's Daughters
Randy Susan Meyers
ISBN: 9780312576981
Publisher: St. Martin's Press/2009
Pages: 30

It is a touching novel about two sisters, whose father has murdered their mother and also had stabbed Mercy, the younger sister. Mercy survives and it falls upon Lulu to look after her. None of their relatives are keen to take them in. Both are sent to a home for children, which is not really a good place to live. By being good, they are taken in for foster care by a good family. But can't belong to that family. Both realise that they onlyhave each other to fall back on and no one else.

Lulu, the older sister, doesn't wish to have any kind of connection with their father, who is in the prison forlife. But Mercy can't stop herself from visiting him in the jail at regular intervals. It has some effecton their relationship but they choose to ignore it.

Told in the alternate voices of both the sisters, it reaches out to us, touching us to the core. Having lost both parents, one forever, other in prison, they can't fulfil that void. It affects their relationship with other people too. When after three decades, Ther father is supposed to come out, both are scared in their own ways.

Everyone wishes to know why did their father stab Mercy, who was only five years old. A crime of passion destroys a family. And is it easy to overcome it? It is oneof those books which lingers in our mind. We feel for the sisters and the stigma of being a murderer's daughter stays on. Although they try to hide it from the world.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I am back after a week!

I had computer problems from last tuesday. Hence no posting and no visting. I did check my emails from work but no blogging. However, I spent the time away from PC by reading a lot of books. I read 7 books in six days. Not bad, eh?! Maybe, we need to get away from the PC more often!

But it sure feels good to be back!

What do you do when your PC or net is down?

Musing Mondays: Read-a-thon

Musing Mondays2

Are you planning on participating in the upcoming readathon? Why not tell us a little about your plans: reading solo or with a partner/group? How long to do plan to read? Do you have your books chosen? If not reading, do you plan to be a cheerleader?

As in the past, I do have plans to participate in the read-a-thon. Unless something unavoidable comes up. I am a solo reader. I need only myself and books to be in commune. No one else. I plan to read for 10-13 hours. More if I can manage. I have not chosen my books, but I will concentrate more on crime fiction. Those are fast readers and sustain interest for longer periods. I was planning to read romances but I don't have any right now and don't plan to buy any either! Although officially not a cheerleader, I will go around visiting readers to encourage them. As I like visitors, I think I ought to reciprocate!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mondays: Mailbox/Whereabouts

Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia.

I received the following four books from authors and/or publicists:

The Murderers Daughter by Randy Susan Meyers
Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff
Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
Open Country by Kaki Warner

And I bought:

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
In the past week:
I finished:

The Murderer's Daughter by Randy Susan Meyers
Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jefferey Stepakoff
Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
Open Country by Kaki Warner
In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathan Fuqua
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

I am in midst of
lot of books

I posted reviews of:

Sinai Tapestry by Edward Whittemore