Sunday, 31 July 2016

A silent chronicle

Imagine a hot, arid desert. Imagine the feeling of hopelessness you feel as you run out of food, run out of water. This is the feeling that this book invoked in me. Chronicling the life of an un-named narrator from childhood to adulthood, the author captures the feeling of distance and aloofness that all of us often feel towards the events happening around us. The feeling and desire to do something, but somehow always falling short of it. 

With its lyrical prose you watch a young girl grow in Egypt and get to witness the Arab Spring through the eyes of a female. However, the female does not indulge much in the movement, nor does she have any ideas about it,  and that angle remains unexplored. 
I would recommend this book to those looking for a fast, yet also somewhat substantial read about a city that has lost its soul. Apart from that there is not much that this book promises.

You can find out more about the author and her other works and thoughts at;
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for review. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

T's the season to be reading

With the advent of summers comes the onslaught of read-a-thons. As I have already mentioned in a post below,  the concept of read-a-thons has always intrigued me. While trying to participate in it many times, formally and informally, I have failed, well, because of life (and my weak eyes, but that is a story for another day).

This time, when Book-tube-a-thon came around and I had nothing but a few internships going for me, I decided to jump on that wagon and drive it to the finish line. Now I am not part of the Booktube community (yet), it has helped a lot with my passion for books and helping me get creative and vocal about my interests in books.

So far, its been three days in, and may I just say its been going good? I have finished a 400 page book and read about 126 pages of another graphic novel. I am about to start another book today hopefully and will hopefully get quite a good chunk done by the end of the week. It is exciting creating challenges for yourself in your hobby, but I don't want to jinx it just yet so I will hold up on the final wrap up of the readathon for more details about how it went.

The Booktubeathon also has seven challenges going on, two of which I am almost done with!

1) Read a book with a yellow on the cover (DONE)
2) Read a book that Booktube made you read (Almost done)
3) Read a book and watch the movie adaptation for it
4) Read a book after sunset
5) Read a book by your favorite author
6) Read a book that is older than you
7) Read 7 books

The contenders for the other 5 challengers are still to be decided, but so far its going great.

If you would like to participate, visit >>

If you would like to see updates on instagram and me partake in the daily instagram challenges, visit >>

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Kind Worth Reading

So the other day I was telling my husband the story of the thriller ‘The kind worth killing,’ by Peter Swanson. I was on a complete high from that book and I think it showed in my frantic story-telling, unfortunately to be matched by my husband’s skeptic expression. Now to anyone who has have ever told a story, a skeptic expression is the last thing you want to proceed your story. And then he said it, ‘Why couldn’t you just have watched a movie like this, would have ended quicker and you would have had the same entertainment value?’

My inner voice gasped. Was what my husband saying true? Was it better in some cases to simply watch a movie and spend your two days reading something else? My whole belief system was shattered. Was the movie better than the book in some cases? After what seemed like a lifetime but was barely a minute, my inner voice calmed down and replied with a resounding, ‘No!’

Then I got to thinking. As a reader, why will I always prefer the book over the movie? Well most times anyway. 

The first is sort of obvious. It has been mentioned many times. Reading a book is a an ‘active’ activity. When engaged in it, your head has to be fully in it or else that activity ceases to happen. Not to sound too melodramatic, but doesn’t this sort of make reading a mediative exercise? Aren’t escapism and getting so lost in a book just various forms of mindful meditation? I know that is what I felt when I read The kind worth killing. I read this book for two hours straight, so immersed that after I finished I had a very splitting pain in my arm.

Following from the above then is the sense of accomplishment you get when you finish a book. I know everyone knows what I am talking about. This is the sense that I think us readers get addicted to. A sense for which we trudge through books we are not completely invested in, books that we do not completely understand, just to feel that feel of knowing that you finish something that was made of pages and words, and its pretty much amazing. 

Last but not at all the least, need I elaborate over the empathy that books invoke in me? Books allow me to detach myself from my perceptions and judgements and to step into someone else’s shoes, if only figuratively. They give me the details, help me paint a picture that movies do not allow. In a movie my imagination is never engaged, what I feel for characters seems transitory. I have experienced this feeling many times, but I felt the full thrust of it when I read Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. I was not a fan of the two main characters, but I was so invested in their story, their struggles, where they were coming from, that I could not stop reading. All I could think of was their story and even though they both had done some pretty despicable things, I empathized, if not loved them till the end. 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Less Hoarding, More Reading

So yesterday I was doing a marathon of the Lord of the Rings series with my husband. Now whenever we watch Lord of the rings, our energy levels are through the roof. We watch it, we analyze it, heck, give us a pen and paper and we will write you ten page essays on the nuances contained with the series. 

One of the themes we often discuss by the time we get to the third movie, is greed. How humans are rot with it, and how it never stops. While we were discussing this, I took a sly glance towards the many books that line our entire living room and got to wondering. Was my book hoarding a manifestation of the greed embodied by Golem and so many of the others in the series? Were books essentially my one big ‘precious?’

Don’t get me wrong, I personally believe that there can possibly be no better way to spend your money except for on books. But for a person like me, who is a slow reader and barely gets time to read, how many books are too many books? At this point, after doing an exhaustive count, I have concluded 400 for now. 

So today after placing my final large order on Barnes and Noble for five books, I have decided to do something. I am aiming for a Project Zero of sorts. Well not really zero at all. Just an attempt to tame my inner greed for books and more books. If for no other reason than to not end up like Golem (And trust me, I have had nights where the thought of going to bookshops has kept me up at nights). 

For the whole month of July, I shall be reading more and buying less. I am going to go cold turkey and not buy anything for the month of July. Just to know that my precious-es have not taken over me and I won’t start eating raw fish anytime soon. 

Check back in a month to make sure I have not bitten off any fingers in the process.