Last summer, I got fascinated with Sylvia Plath. I read her poems, I watched the movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow who portrayed Sylvia Plath in the movie, which left me unsatisfied with my fascination for the poet. Her words to me were so soothing that, for a month I read nothing else but her poems. This never happened with me before, as I am able to read on an average at least a book a week. But Plath’s writing got hold of me more and I sank deep down in to the world her words wove around me.
Thus, after reading many of her poems, and I found only two books written by her: The Bell Jar and The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath (which is a non-fictional work). I read both in that order. (more…)
Remember me reviewing The Girl which was packed with intense action? I did confessed about my unlikelihood of paranormal romance. Madhuri, again proved my own conscience wrong of my unlikelihood.
Well The Boy just doubles the fun. Madhuri’s ‘accustom to a reader’ writing does wonders. It hooks a reader, grabs his attention just as one is on an edge of wherever he currently resides, until one is done with it. It straightway picks where the first one landed and takes a reader to another unforgettable experience. I was pulled in From the beginning and am amazed of well written and descriptive the story is. Plotting is notable and noble. Recurrence of POVs between characters didn’t affect me much this time, I guess I am used to it now. The pace is one again of my favorite part about this book. I enjoyed the second part even better. (more…)
Critics consider The Last Man is Mary Shelley‘s most important novel after Frankenstein. Since I read Frankenstein, a few months back, my obsession with the author’s writing style grew and I wanted to gradually examine Shelley’s writing by reading her other works.Thus, I picked this 500 pages long novel that explores similar thematic concerns as in Frankenstein, though from a vastly different perspective. The nightmarish story envisions the end of humanity from a ruthless and inescapable plague. Full of heart-wrenching loss, The Last Man tests the resilience of humanity, as well as its capacity for sorrow and grief.
The storytelling starts at the constant node following the timeline in a similar manner though sometimes, with deep descriptive instances, somewhere it does feel a dragging and one might feel tempt to rush through it. These instances occur only a few number of times most notably when Shelley often passed over the moments of action or character growth with a short summary, but that certainly never affects her descriptions of places or emotional states. Rest of the book does leave a similar impact on a reader as Frankenstein (only, if you have read Frankenstein). Like many other Victorian authors, Shelley felt no need to rush the plot along, nor to curtail her flood of words. Luckily, she backed them up with ideas and feelings, so it was not merely the empty deluge of words. (more…)
If Sixties was the “cultural decade”, the Seventies refer to the rise of the economies. Though revolutions, wars and disasters continued, seventies saw the development of new technologies especially in modern computing. Microwave oven, VCR, and cell phones arrived which in today’s world, in an advance form, are a big part of our lives.
Literature continued to grow as new writers with new books grabbed readers attention, then and now.
Love Story by Eric Segal, 1970
Erich Segal’s magnificent novel will grab you, hold you, and stay with you forever. You, like million others, will fall in love with Love Story.
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth, 1971
Considered as a classic among spy-thriller genre. The Jackal. A tall, blond Englishman with opaque, gray eyes. A killer at the top of his profession. A man unknown to any secret service in the world. An assassin with a contract to kill the world’s most heavily guarded man.(more…)
Before starting the review, I am going to ask you a general question about poetry, Why do we read Poetry? Or if you are a poet yourself, why do you write it? Try answering this amiable quest for yourself. Stop now, and think about it. Take a moment, describe in one (or many) word(s) as you prefer, ‘Why do you read or write Poetry?’
Okay then, I guess, you have answered the question for yourself. Now let’s see what cordial John Keatings has to say on the concerning matter,
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.
For those who haven’t watched the movie or read the book, I’ll summarize the plot: Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to make their lives extraordinary! Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society–a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, Whitman, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count.But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences.
There isn’t much to the plot and the characterization as the book takes an assumption that the reader is already familiar with them. Even though, you haven’t heard about it, and still thinking of giving it a try, go for it. It does brief about main characters.
The book raise inquisitive yet snooping questions about our teaching methods. Should the teachers must adapt the flamboyant method of John Keatings and instead of just concentrating on the text, should we let each student touch his own heart and let him experience the amiability of life? Or should students must be left alone with their texts and not let them get impressionable at such an early age? The query itself is tough one and must be given a deep thought. The answer to this query will depend from person to person and his/her methods of acceptance as there is no such thing as a perfect answer. It’s all about the words and ideas that matter and each of them have a tendency to affect the surroundings in both effective and ineffective manner.
That the powerful play(of life) goes on, and you may contribute a verse. -WALT WHITMAN
“Reading Keano’s memoir was like seeing through his mind and heart. Very candid.”
After reading a few autobiographies of players and staff associated with Manchester United, certainly the biggest premiership club in past two decades, now in turmoil, Roy Keane’s The Second Half is one of the most honest and straightforward memoir I have ever read.
For me and some might agree, keeping apart his big-mouth quality which I consider his trait as a part of being a leader, was not a “top, top player”. His peak would be the 1999 season, Champions League semi-final, scoring a header against Juventus and sending Manchester United straight to the finals. Other ups in his career, strong personality or pretended to be, supporting his players when needed, encouraging newcomers, fighting the battles on and off the pitch. Of course, I am not going to talk about his downs, for that you have to read them in his own words in which he justifies his course of actions and regret on being such a big-mouth. We all live with ghost of our pasts called ‘regrets’. He is indifferent. (more…)
Before anything, I thank all fellow bloggers and readers who spent their time here in nourishing and motivating me to keep going with the blog through their words of appreciation. Thereby, I also welcome new visitors.
Recently, due to my mind-boggling curios mind, I took an hour from everything and decided to give a look at all of my posts irrespective of the topic (though, it’s not a surprise that mostly are related to books) I have written here in the past 2 years and a few months. Starting from the first one which felt evident till the recent one. It brings a recollection of memories whether the good memories, bad memories, the frustration ones, the generous ones and most importantly the feeling of accomplishment. All of these and many others too. Every post is like an attachment to a file that consists of details matching a reality which I was surrounded by the specific course of time. It’s a like a voyage in the past and reading through your journal. It makes me feel happy, abolishes any sense of voidness and at the same time bequeaths me to continue to do what I do. To write, to explore new things about the people who visit everyday, of course, the books (how the hell can I forget them?) and myself.
Looking back, at past, is not recommendable likewise is not avoidable. It holds lots of valuable of lessons, only if we agree on becoming his pupil with good conscience.
Let’s take a look back to some posts that either, I feel, might bring back your old memories too (if you are recurrent visitor) or might generate new ones.
Kevin Thomas was born in Southern California and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He writes a 9-panel black-and-white webcomic into a book review strip for The Rumpus. Using his captivating illustrations and no more than a handful of words, week by week Thomas decrypts some of the most intriguing books of our day and now seventy-five of his favorites are collected in one volume called HORN! The Collected Reviews. His work has previously appeared in Barrelhouse magazine and on OccupyWriters.com. He lives and reads in western Washington.
Hello Kevin, and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us, a little about yourself and your background?
Hi Aman, thank you for your interest in my little book! To give you a bit of background, I come from the West Coast of the United States, I’ve lived in California, Oregon, and—above all—Washington.
What is your area of expertise as a writer/artist or an online publisher?
I have no expertise that qualifies me to do what I do: I got my degree in music (composition), so mostly I dealt with notes and rests. But I was always interested in literature and art: at the end of high school and the beginning of college I was a poet with a very modernist (like, 1910s modernist) aesthetic. But in college I related to the music people more than the English majors (for reasons that don’t merit going into, I missed out on band/choir/orchestra culture in high school) and I had a knack for music theory, so I replaced one kind of writing with another. I never took any studio art classes in college: I sampled a bit of art history, but for some reason—even though I was allowed to be a music major without much of a musical background—I didn’t feel like I belonged in drawing or painting classes. Oh well.
The connection from then to now is fuzzy, but I’ve always felt a need to do something creative—to write songs, essays, whatever—and for a long time that wasn’t happening.
Congratulations on your debut book, HORN! It has some amazing book reviews. All of your reviews are in a form of illustrated strips. How did you come up with the idea at first?
“We all know how chilling a Snowman can be. But could they be frightening?
The answer is in Jo Nesbo’s THE SNOWMAN.”
Set in the exotic locations like Oslo and Bergen, Harry Hole’s seventh adventure in the series is quite a chilling thriller. Imagine Norway in winter, certainly more chilly.
Due to Nesbo’s recent popularity due to his translated works, I decided to five him a try. Also I am a fan of crime/mystery fiction, but this year I have decided to diversify my reading and read less number of books related to aforementioned particular genre.
After reading Stieg Larsson and now Jo Nesbo, I have made an observation that Scandinavian writers have that perspective of naturalism of story telling especially in modern day crime writers. Ian Rankin and Donna Leon are two others who are not Scandinavian, and who have this ability. When they create a plot, it looks so simple yet realistic but the complexity in the plot increases as the reality fastens its grip on a human’s mind just like in the real world and this results in increase in the interest of a reader in that particular form of writing. This complexity is good and does not restrain irrelevant form of details just to bugger off a reader. Nesbo’s The Snowman is an example. (more…)
Being lost in books for whole month, September ends pretty soon for me.
The weather is moving forward in the welcome the winter and I am moving forward to read more books and welcome new book releases this month. Let’s get started. Below I include a list of five books to look out for in this month.
Pen & Ink: Tattoos & the Stories Behind Them, Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton
Based on their Tumblr blog of the same name, BuzzFeed Books editor Fitzgerald and accomplished illustrator MacNaughton team up to find the real reasons people get tattoos.
Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love For New York, edited by Sari Botton
Remember when Botton’s first collection, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, came out last fall? Now we have, essentially, the answer rap to that, the Jay-Z reply to Nas, if you will, with a series of essays from writers about loving New York. Come for the Adelle Waldman, stay for the sterling essays from the likes of Kathleen Hale, our former literary editor Jason Diamond, and Alexander Chee. (more…)