Confessions of a Readaholic

Reviews | Interviews | Giveaways | Recommendations | "I'm Mad About Books"

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Month: January 2014

SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE by IAN RANKIN- A BOOK REVIEW

SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE by Ian Rankin
Series: Inspector Rebus #19
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Detective
four-stars

There is no doubt why Ian Rankin is one of the best crime fiction writer in all over Britain. And Certainly John Rebus is the “Sherlock Holmes” of modern crime fiction. Or I should say in clear words, certainly the best detective of modern crime fiction. The enigma which surrounds John Rebus is the essence a reader reading Rebus must feel. And Ian Rankin maintains that enigma, that aroma of mysteriousness consistently. He is doing for past 19 books. Not one Rebus I read, and felt discomfort. This is an art and Rankin is the master of this art of consistency in storytelling.

I was once disappointed and sad when I read Exit Music which was once the last book of the John Rebus. I almost cried as I would not be able to read such excellent stories. But when Standing in Another’s man Grave came out, I was more jollier than the word jolly can be defined. Recently read, Saints of the Shadow Bible which is the 19th book in the John Rebus series. This book brings back John Rebus in the force, not as DI(Detective Inspector) but as a demoted DS(Detective Sergeant). The story combines several investigations and Rankin also takes the reader back into dark and hollow past of detective John Rebus. He tries to unfold the mysteries originated 30 years back and let us look more into the closet of John Rebus soul. Rebus tries to solve ongoing investigations but his past also haunts him and there some dust of mysteries left in that 30 year old closet which needs to be clean. Thus, with help of DI Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox of the Complaints, the trio investigates in co-operation.

Characterization Rankin has done is hyper realistic. I have said earlier, he is the master of storytelling. In some other book, another writer might have overdone it but Rankin is just a finesse finisher. It’s a pity he’s going on a holiday and won’t be writing for some time.

This one is one of those which are hard to keep down in between. I’ll give it 4 out of 5 for being an avid reader of Rankin’s books, I could manage to solve few of the mysteries on my own. Otherwise, it’s a very well written book.

four-stars

BOOK REVIEW: UNACCUSTOMED EARTH BY JHUMPA LAHIRI

UNACCUSTOMED EARTH by Jhumpa Lahiri
Genres: Fiction
four-stars

I must say I do not enjoy reading short stories. Especially, a collection of short stories, otherwise if they are properly dramatic and structured, I would read only one or two stories from it. Rarely do I finish a whole book of short stories and this time I did. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri is the collection of eight stories which proves that she indeed is a better writer than the other Indian Authors I have read in my lifetime. She understands the experience she wants a reader to enjoy while reading her words. Her writing style is very natural and effortless and the way she care about each and every character she makes is one thing to be learn from her writing. A reader without much effort can indulge him/her-self into the imaginary world she weaves with her words and the experience in that neverland will be unforgettable.

My favorite story from the book is Year’s End which in itself is a part of trilogy of three short stories. You can also say they make a novella. But that’s not for me to decide. Year’s End is a first person narrative and the second part in the trio. All three stories revolve around two characters: Hema and Kaushik. The essence of this particular story, Year’s End, The emotional touch Lahiri has given in the story. On reading, some might find the story a bit too emotional but I say that a bit too emotions are necessary to continue the story forward, thus a big part of the plot. It is good to read emotional stories sometimes, only if they are properly written as Lahiri has done. This story in which Kaushik tells his part of the story. The way he and his father’s awkward relationship is portrayed  as after one incident is the way of showing how can vulnerable and sensitive is human life. One whole incident can make the surrounding change so fast and you’ll end up fighting a paradoxical war with yourself.

It is still one of the best collections of short stories I have read. Lahiri credits William Trevor with being one of her inspiration. This is quality stuff. It is a book you will keep on your shelves and return to time and time again.

four-stars

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE MAGAZINE: GRAFFITI

GRAFFITI COMING SOON

Hello! Fellow Bloggers and Writers,

We (Graffiti Team) are coming out with a magazine by the end January 2014. Though Graffiti was just a college magazine, few years before, and is one of longest running magazine of NIT(National Institute of Technology) Kurukshetra, this time we are going online. We are not just a college magazine anymore and our intended audience is the whole world. We will be publishing not more than 300 copies in paperback for the internal  publicity through our college and nearby places but we are also publishing online. This will be our first online issue which will be free to download. Our magazine is intend to be literary. We are covering fiction, poem, comic strips, book and movie reviews. Also we have a column for  fan art including sketches and comic strips. Thus, we want submissions on the following topics:

  • Fan fiction
  • Fan-art
  • Comic Strips
  • Erotic Fiction

The word limit must not exceed 500 words.

All the submission must be e-mail to us at graffitimag@outlook.com having the title Submission and must contain author details and his blog link (if he wishes to). The content for the magazine can either be an attached .doc or .docx file and for fan-art .jpeg or .png. Or the content can directly be in e-mail. The deadline for submission is 27 January 2014 by midnight.

You will be given full copyright of your content. You will also be emailed a copy of the issue directly to your mailbox when the magazine is out.

You can also follow us for the latest updates on our FACEBOOK page at: https://www.facebook.com/grafthemag or search for Graffiti The Magazine

Thank you all!

Me and Graffiti Team


CURRENTLY READING

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri


BOOKS ON THE SHELF

    DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER by Jeff Lindsay

BLEAK HOUSE by Charles Dickens

 


BOOK REVIEW: SOCCERNOMICS

Soccernomics Genres: Sports, Nonfiction
three-stars

Soccernomics

by

Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski

Anything interesting to read comes in the market about football(or soccer) and being a football fan, it’s like a love at first sight. Soccernomics is the first book that tries to data-mine most of the haughty topics in football. Two authors tries to pair football and statistics and seem very fond of proving themselves by applying some methods which in the end might turn out (or in some case did turn out) right. Majority of the book focuses on big events like FIFA World Cup and European Football Championship.

The book is framed chapter by chapter in the form of multiple questions. The authors then to answer these questions, use game results, demographic studies, attendance statistics, and other statistical stuff to prove their predictions and shows the fans of football a new way to think about the world’s most ‘beautiful game’. Though some fans might not agree with the book and still like to believe in that anything can happen in the game, still it’s good to read the book. Football is a game of numbers after-all, the history, the number of trophies, the money, the fans, the attendance of the stadium everything is in the form of a number.

The authors discuss why England, the creator of soccer, isn’t dominating the field. They illustrate penalty kicks as a psychological treasure trove for the study of game theory. Then they explain about where the word SOCCER comes from, about how relocating a player from one country to another can affect his career. There’s a chapter that discusses how hosting a large sporting event, such as the 2016 Olympics, can be economically damaging to a country but a boon to the happiness of its inhabitants. They also explain how can why the US, Japan, Turkey, Australia, and Iraq can become the kings of the world’s most popular sport. 

I though, do not agree with them over the last point and their ideology of expressing everything in football through statistics. I still believe anything can happen in those ninety minutes. After all, ‘Football, bloody hell’.

It’s good book and a must read for any football(or soccer) fan for it spotlights some amazing facts and shows a new perspective of the game.

3/5 from me.

three-stars

FRIDAY FICTION: CURRENTLY READING

WOMEN BY CHARLES BUKOWSKI

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