Sunday, May 26, 2013

William Walker's first year of marriage a horror story by Matt Rudd

Reminded me a lot of Bridget's Jones' Diary but only a male version, it's William Walker telling the story. A total chick flick but since it's a guy's story I'll call it a dick lit. Some of the one liners and jokes are funny enough to make you laugh out loud, the story is well written in the beginning, gripping enough to make you want to read it till the end. Yet somehow by the end leaves you with a feeling of it being not only a dick flick but a shallow one as well ( unlike Bridget's Jones' Diary), the book leaves a sort of not-so-good after taste in the mouth. It might soar high in the Chick literature category but not anywhere else (unlike Helen Fielding's book again, although to be fair her acclaim also came from being the first of it's kind). It's too bad because in the beginning I really enjoyed it and couldn't wait to finish it. You can see right through Alex's game who is the main antagonist, you can foresee that his lamps are more then just that. This was it's loss being far too predictable although we do expect everything to be resolved in the ending. A happy ending doesn't exclude a good journey. Recommended only if you are looking for some light reading.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Unless by Carol Shields

I started reading this book even though Sam had told me it's below average. And well according to my low expectations, it was a lot better. The problem with the story is that the character of the mother, who is the narrator is just not believable enough. You can just feel the falseness of it. The story is good in parts but what really troubled me is that the whole story is only in the book, you cannot imagine it for one second to be real. You can't get lost in that world. You just know the story is just a story , that all the efforts the author puts in to make the story look real are just efforts. She doesn't manage to make the reader believe that this story could have actually happened. Pity because I think the story could have been great now it's just average. I'm not sorry I read this book just for the small passages that touched me. I don't really recommend this to anybody.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Set in Baltimore about 2 families (one American, the other Iranian) who adopt Korean babies: Jin-ho and Susan. The families meet at the airport and become friends.
It talks about routine life, about the character's interactions with each other, a lot about family and it's importance. A certain debate on Americanisms and Iran-isms  One of the things that struck me was the similarity between Iran and India, seems to me all Asian cultures put a lot of emphasis first on family then food. Both our women produce such a variety of labour intensive dishes for each meal. Worries me that I might have to spend as much time in the kitchen later in life.
Anyhoo, light and easy read.

I read A Patchwork planet by Anne Tyler as well but it's not as good as the above mentioned one.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mercredi au Parc by Ayelet Waldman, original title: Love and other Impossible Pursuits

This book is a one time read. It'as about a Jewish girl Emilia who loses her new born baby and how she finds it difficult to reconnect with the world and most importantly  to love her husband's first child William.
William is a pre-schooler who is rejected  from the Collegiate, Trinity, Dalton, UN International School & Riverdale County. The supposedly best schools in New-York, he gets really upset (he's only 5 years old) so this is what Emilia, his step-mom says to him: " C'est une très grande ville William. C'est une ville immense Collegiate est un petit point minuscule. C'est un minuscule petit point insignifiant. C'est une ville immense et tu vas avoir une vie immense, alors je te promets que Collegiate ne veut rien dire. Qu'importe ce qu'il se passera , tu dois juste te rappeler  a quel point tout est grand"

A passage that really resonated with me.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende

Good book, the summary at the back of the book is terribly wrong . They just talk about the last chapters. This book is like an interesting history lesson. It's about Aurora Del Valle, she talks about her grandmother, her parents, then about her life. Set in the early 20th century. It's quite interesting the way she talks about her marriage, her lover, her memories. Well written, finished it in 3 days. Praise:It is an intimate examination of the inner lives of a woman and the canvas of Chile and San Francisco. A family epic described through the eyes of Aurora (because she was born at dawn), full of eccentric characters.

Good book but I'm also sure that are other novels by Allend that are even better

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Palace of illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Gifted to my by Ridhi on my 24th birthday last year, Palace of illusions is a novel based on Mahabharat, Draupadi's version. Sort of historical fiction, actually more like mythological fiction or novelised mythology. It's well written and told me a lot about Mahabharat, I knew it in bits and pieces but not the whole thing, so that was nice.
One thing I really liked was that Divakaruni doesn't dwell too much on the biggest and most famous parts, so there's no feeling of being repetitive and boring. The book starts of very well. Interesting and refreshing & for me very informative on mythology. This book actually started my trend of reading mythology. Draupadi comes across as a strong character. This I feel largely stems from the fact that she is not portrayed as a super sweet, beautiful, self-sacrificing and obedient woman. That alone makes her  interesting and real. She has definite choices, likes and dislikes, anger and love. Makes Draupadi a character we can relate to. One of us, just set in ancient times.
I think Divakaruni had a very good plot to begin with, her descriptions and her narrative style is very good. It's hard to tell such a famous story in a new way. A way which makes it more compelling for women. Who ever thought of Mahabharat from Draupadi's perspective, she was always a side character who makes the story go forward. Just a tool, not someone you think about too much. But this book changes that, you actually see her emotions, she is human.
Now that I have praised book enough , I have to say that this book doesn't go into my favourites book list. Somewhere near the end of her book she loses steam. The writing doesn't hold your attention as before. The intensity wanes. There are a few other points I can't remember as I read this book last year.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Plains of the Wolf by Con Iggulden

Plains of the Wolf by Conn Iggulden is the first book in the Conqueror series. It is about the journey of Genghis Khan.

It's a good book, slightly slow on the pick up but carries on to become very interesting and engaging. If anything I would describe it as an almost page turner, almost like Sidney Sheldon's books, with the exception that this book has a soul, it has depth. It's historically quite accurate, all the more reason to like it. He writes well, crisp, to the point and never overly verbose unlike Christopher Paolini in the last books of the Inheritance Cycle. Clearly a much more seasoned writer, and a stronger story to tell. That would be the advantage of writing historical fiction, you don't need to invent worlds and a true story is usually the root or inspiration of our imagination. There is only so much we can imagine, if we imagine a dragon it is mostly what we already know about a dragon. Exception exists but many literary fantasy worlds lose their steam after the first book itself. Historical fiction takes you to a part of ourselves, of our history that is now alien to us. Terribly captivating. After my Philippa Gregory phase about the Tudors and Plantagenets, it seems this could be a new obsession. I would recommend this to everyone who likes adventure books. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This blog still exists

Now might be a good time to change my blog name from Irregular Ramblings to Once-a-year Ramblings.
What can I say in my defense  Nothing except that i's hard to write without a PC and internet and even harder when you don't know what to write.

My resolve for this year is to write as much as I can and not really bother about how it sounds. This part is of course easy as I have built up my readership to a steady zero.

Words that flow out my mouth are not always poetic or insightful they are sometimes thoughts stemmed from boredom but as I now endeavor to write something people might want to read, I would want something genuine and honest if not always gripping posts.

So to all my future readers or existing readers (if they still exist or if I manage to force people to read this blog :p), kindly share your thoughts on how to keep blogging.

Hasta la vista baby