Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Best reads of 2014!

So, this year, my Goodreads challenge was not as huge as I would have liked it to be, because I came out of my reading slump in about May, so these are the books I have read since then, and a list of the top ten books in the list!

1) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
2) A confederacy of dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
3) The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
4) Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.
5) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger.
6) 1984 by George Orwell.
7) 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.
8) Me before You by Jojo Moyes.
9) Days of Blood and Starlight (Second book in the Daughter of smoke and bone trilogy).
10) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Nusrah has completed her goal of reading 30 books in 2014!
What were your top ten reads of this year? Leave them in the comments below!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

"Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

Me before you by Jojo Moyes. 

Update: After reading a heartbreaking blogpost from a person who gets to experience and live with disability every single day, I have realized that Jojo Moyes does not get to write this book. What sort of a message does she give with the ending that she does? So what you read below, may have been what I felt at one time, but it has drastically changed now.

Have you read 'Me Before You?' was one of the questions that I had started hearing all of a sudden. It seemed everywhere I went (bookstores, mainly. Then again, those are usually the only places I go.) people were talking about this book. I was intrigued.
So I got this book on my kindle.
And I was hooked.

Let me mention why that is something extraordinary. Having bought the kindle about a month ago,  I had never actually gotten around to reading anything on it, mainly because I love the feel of a book in my hand and it was just a purchase to appease my husband that I would buy less of physical books now. *Looks gravely at the fourteen new books sitting on the shelf* So for me, the fact that a book had me reading it, even though it was not even in the paper form, is a pretty big achievement. Look at me, Ms. I am all that.

Now to the plot. It is set in the financial crisis of 2007-2009, (Something I have become too familiar with, thanks to my International Relations textbook) around the protagonist Lousia Clark, who has just lost her job in a cafe she loved working for, and has to get what comes in order to support her family. Times are tough, and seems like everyone is doing what opportunity they get. So, Lousia goes to interview for a rich family namely the Traynors applying for the post of a caretaker for their handicapped son, William Traynor. And then the story takes off from there, telling a tale of lives changing forever.

When you read the plot, it seems like a typical chick-lit type of novel, the kinds which Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes excel in. But, this book, for me, gave a whole new perspective to the things you can do with a plot and the simplest of writings.

I don't claim to be a literary critic, so what I write about books is actually only relevant to what I felt about those books. Just thought, I should get that out of the way.

Now back to the book.
The characters in the book. Aaah. Nothing makes me happier when reading a book, then when I can empathize with the characters. When I can actually feel their distress, their confusion and their utter lack of hope. This book did that with the characters. It made me gasp and it made me smile, every time something bad or good happened. In that order, I am not a person who laughs and cries at inappropriate times.
What I thought was an achievement in itself was how Moyes incorporated humor into the writing, since the writing dealt with some pretty serious subject matter.
There were no big words to wrap your head around, or no Wikipedia-ed information about the place it was set in. Just a simple story to woo you away.

If you like a well developed plot and good characters, along with a nice, good-paced read, pick this book up for sure. It will redefine the genre of chick-lit for you, among so many other things.

Have you read Me before you by Jojo Moyes? If you have, then let me know in the comments what you thought about it, or e-mail me at

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

'When falsehood can look so much like the truth, who can assure themselves of happiness?'

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Genre: Gothic/ Horror/ Science fiction of sorts.
Good reads rating: 3.71/5.
My rating: 5/5.
Character Development: 4.5/5.
Plot: 5/5.
Setting: Switzerland, Germany, UK, Ireland. 
Verdict: You have NOT read it yet? What are you waiting for? Read it, right now! 

May I just begin by saying how much I loved this book? I had premonitions about this book, thinking it would be too depressing or not my taste, but was I wrong or what! It was a beautifully written book, it made me want to just shut the book every time I finished a page, and linger on what she had just written.

The story is about a scientist, who is named Victor Frankenstein, whose unchecked ambition for fame and success lead him to conduct an experiment which he regrets for the rest of his life. 

Well, that is what the plot is, but this book, this book is so much more than that. It is about the monstrosity of man, of how people when faced with someone/something that is different become inhumane, out for the kill, and it incites a very important realization and question as to whether all of us are really monsters?
This book was about the human hypocrisy. When we as people are threatened by misery, ill-health, hunger and greed, we resort to whatever measures necessary to do what we must, but when someone else, even of our own species does it, we label them as monsters?

This book is about loneliness, about the misery that being alone can inflict. Frankenstein will make you feel all sorts of emotions that you could not perceive.

At the end this book raised a lot of questions for me. What makes one a monster? Where does the line between good and bad fade when there is no line in the first place? What does it truly mean to be lonely?

Oh, this book made me sigh and cry inside. Being beautifully written, at a wonderful pace, and surprisingly easy to comprehend, this book being one of the masterpieces of classic literature, is a must read.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

10 book list challenge.

I was nominated for this book challenge by one my best friends.

So I have to list ten books that have stayed with me in some way, they do not have to be works of literature, but just books that have stayed with me. I am going to add little descriptions along with all of them, because if there is something I completely adore doing is, talking about books. :D

1) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Aah, sometimes I feel I do not talk enough about this book. This book was so much pure awesomeness, a little biased, but still so wonderful. After I finished reading the book, I immediately watched the movie, which I do not usually do, but I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to all the characters! This was downright the best book about war, that I have ever read. Clark Gable, swoon!

2) To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee. 
Do I need to say more about this already said book? I remember reading this book in grade 7 and trying to hide it because its back preview had the word 'rape' in it, but this book made me realize that you are never too young to know about the realities of life because you never know when you might be faced with them. Totally not what the moral of the book was, but regardless.

3) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 
The fact that I have read this book seven times should in itself be a witness to how much I adore this book. I remember never going on long trips without this book, and another book just for the heck of it. This book was my proper introduction into the genre of classic literature, of how the classic stories usually unravel; slowly and beautifully. Also, the Keira Knightley version of the movie was love!
4) Harry Potter series by You Know Who.
Until now I have not read a single book list which did not include this book as one of the ten books that have stayed with them. And can you blame them? We owe our childhood to the harry potter series, not a child did not know his name! I shall love and adore this series, forever and always. (Taylor Swift reference, what what.)
Only if J.K.Rowling would let us go and stop trying to get the spotlight back. Not cool, JK, not cool.

5)Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. 
This book just stayed, it did. It painted a picture of someone I wanted to become. May I shamelessly add, check out the full detailed review of this book on my blog.

6) Of mice and men by John Steinbeck.
I first heard of John Steinbeck East of Eden when I was really young, and never got around to reading the book, mainly because the language looked too how shall I put it, probable to fly over my head. So I thought maybe I would start with something smaller, and I did, with this book. This was a short book, about survival, about life, and making hard choices.

7) The third summer of the sisterhood of the traveling pants by Ann Brashares.
Why did I just skip to the third? Because I actually started with the third. Again, I was really young when I read this, but this was a book about friendship and there are only a few things more precious to me more than friendship.

8) The fault in our stars by John Green.
Go on, roll your eyes all of you. I liked this book, it is no work of literature,it is  no classic, but I liked it. The story was not cliched, death is a reality and sickness is a reality, and having to leave your loved ones before you want to, that is a reality too, so take out the stick in all your wrong places and appreciate a good story when you read one. (This is for those people who think like John Green is too mainstream, there is nothing wrong with not genuinely liking the book)

9)Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind. 
This up till now is the best fantasy book I have read till now. What got me to read this book was watching the series, which is again, another first. But, I remember running all over bookstores to find this book, and Oh! the glorious moment when I did find this book. This was a perfect balance between gore and the magic needed to make up a fantasy book.

10) Charlie and the chocolate factory by Roald Dahl.
I owe Roald Dahl, alot. Charlie and the chocolate factory was my introduction into the world of books, the magic they held and all the places they could take you. Thank you, Mr.Dahl, for writing treasures like this one and Matilda.

I challenge all of you, to write down the ten books that have stayed with you in the comments section.

Happy Reading, everyone! :)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

One Empire, five generations, will they be able to master the game?

Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon.

Genre: Suspense/Thriller.
Goodreads Rating: 4.07/5.
My rating: 4/5.
Character Development: 5/5.
Plot: 5/5.
Setting: South Africa and United States.
Verdict: Read it. Most definitely. If you like; romance, suspense, mystery, either of these three or all three, read it!

Whenever the name of the author Sidney Sheldon comes to my mind, two things always come to my mind; First, 'WHAT? He is a guy?' And second, 'OOH! Smut!'
If you are one those people who think the second thing too, then don't anymore, well, in regard to this novel anyway.

This novel revolves around a lot of things; The Diamond Craze in South Africa, the World Wars, the building of an empire, relations and manipulations, legacy and most of all, hunger for power.
The novel time frame spans around five generations which started with their ancestors risking it all for wealth, and diamonds.

If I reveal more of what happens, I will reveal a lot more than any of you would like to know, but I will try my best to keep it all to a minimum. Who ends up with who? What happens to the bad guy? Who IS the bad guy anyway? So many questions will go through your head while reading this, and you will want to stay up and answer each and everyone of them.

It starts off with Jamie McGregor, who leaves his home in Scotland for South Africa to mine for diamonds. Once he is there he goes through betrayal, desperation and finally what he wanted the most; victory.
Continuing his legacy is his daughter, Kate who is faced with the brink of the responsibility of the empire established by her father and takes it to new levels of success.
Following her is her son, Tony, who unlike the rest of his family does not thirst for power, but wants to follow his passion. Driven to madness by his own mother for pursuing something other than the Kruger Brent Ltd. (Which is the name of the empire) he is followed by his twin daughters, Eve and Alexandra.

This novel made me a fan of Sidney Sheldon, if you have never read any of his work, I suggest you start with this novel. This is unlike any other of his works, not that I am familiar with many of his works, but from what I am familiar with.

Have you read Master of the Game? If you have, let me know in the comments section what you thought of it or email me at and if you mention something I haven't already mentioned then I will add it to the review and give credit where credit is due. 

Friday, 18 July 2014

"Why fit in when you are born to stand out?"

Star girl By Jerry Spinelli.

Genre: Young Adult.
Goodreads Rating: 3.73/5.
My Rating: 4/5.
Sexual Content: Almost none.
Character development: 4/5.
Plot: 3.5/5.
Setting: United States.
Publisher: Scholastic. 
Verdict: Read it. You just might become a better person.

Many of the people I have been following on Goodreads recently seemed to think highly of this book, and so suddenly without no plan whatsoever I went out and got this book. And I am glad.

The title quote encapsulates the theme of Stargirl perfectly. This is a story about a girl who did things for others more than herself and that made her happy and befuddled the others. This is a story about a girl who was what she was - herself. This is a story about a girl who shone just as bright as all the stars in the sky.

The plot of this book isn't very complicated and neither is the writing. Stargirl is a story about a girl named Stargirl (tautology overload) who has been home schooled for her whole life and now is pushed into the self-inflicted version of 'Hunger Games' arena that is high school. A place where everyone is comfortable being labelled in groups and everyone has lost in touch with themselves, but refuses to believe so, in particular a boy named Leo, whose eye Stargirl catches and the other way round too. 

The best bit about Stargirl is she makes me wish I was more individualistic. She makes me question do I care about what people say up to an extent where I am not even happy being me anymore? These questions won't last long because you gotta do what you gotta do, but just for a little while, this book gives you hope, that one day you will wake up and you will not be so afraid anymore.

Have you read Stargirl? If you have, let me know in the comments section without giving out any spoilers what you thought of the book or e-mail me at and if you mention something I did not mention, I will mention it and give credit where credit is due.

Friday, 27 June 2014

A Memoir not worth Remembering.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

Genre: Non-fiction.
Goodreads rating: 3.45/5.
Nudity/Sexual Content: Some, not a lot.
Settings: Italy, India and Indonesia.
My rating: 1/5
Publisher: Riverhead Books.
Verdict: Do not read it. Even if you read for fun and do not look for good writing, do not read it. If you treasure your time, do not read it. Just do not read it.

Ever since the day I read about this book, I wanted to read it,that is probably the reason why I bought another paper back version of this book,  although the fates had spared me the torture and misplaced my previous incomplete copy. Oh well.

Eat Pray Love is a novel, a memoir actually of a woman who has just hit rock bottom after her messy divorce  and decides to re-define the meaning of life according to her and not the pre-defined notions by the people around her (mainly her sister, her friends, her ex-husband) as she quotes from the Bhagavad Gita, 'It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life perfectly...' She accomplishes, or believes to have accomplished these feats by travelling through three countries - Italy, India and Indonesia, or the 'Three Is',' as many of her acquaintances frames it. 

That is basically the plot. I cannot elaborate further without disclosing parts of the book.

Now let me go to the real reviewing, I will be going from country to country, just like Elizabeth, or Liz did. Or did she?

Italy:- The trip through Italy was a good read. She described it well, and since it was the beginning it was easier to sympathize with her. Sure, she had a rough while and she deserves four months of gluttony, learning a new language and useless ranting, its only fair.

India:- But, then she went to India. About ten chapters in, I had had enough! (The chapters are really short, so don't think of being able to make through ten chapters as a good thing) She visits an Ashram in India where she hopes to achieve enlightenment in a period of six weeks and then parade around India to complete her four month cycle in every country.
Oh the torture! The way she ranted on and on about how undisciplined she was, and how her cuckoo maniac brain kept exaggerating little twists and knots(Hello? Ever heard of cramps?) to make her believe energy was actually flowing through her. I don't know much about Yogic traditions, but being able to achieve spiritual enlightenment when one is so engrossed in worldly traditions at the same time just sounds plain bogus.
You get through this too, though. If you are a reader, at this point, you just want to know how is it going to end. How after this is she going to meet her love?

Indonesia:- Cue in Indonesia. She arrives in Indonesia because an old man had told, rather predicted for her that once she would come back to Indonesia and then become his disciple. Yes, while all of us our struggling in life to pay our tuition fees she is able to sell two houses, pre-sign a book deal and travel all across the three Is' to Indonesia just because some old guy told her so. There she also meets the love of her life and makes a friend by the name of Armenia who she helps financially. And then it just ends with her uncertainty clouding the whole book so she could leave scope for another book.

Oh these money-hungry authors. 

The best bit for Elizabeth though is, it is a memoir so no one can really question the strange number of coincidences and unrealistic happenings of this book. Good for her, bad for us.

Have you read Eat, Pray, Love? Let me know what you thought in the comments section or e-mail me at and if you raise a point I did not mention, I will mention it and give credit where credit is due.