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What's the Color of Magic?
Rating : 4 of 5 Stars The Discworld is a wonderful satire of our own world in many ways. The Color of Magic is the beginning of this hilarious journey and as Terry Pratchett quotes, “There are no maps. You cannot map a sense of humor”. It’s an imaginary world. While Tolkien was brutal and murderous with his Middle Earth, Discworld in contrast represents the dark comedy to fantasy....
Frankie Silver, Your Ballad Was Sad.
Rating : 3 of 5 Stars The endearing part of this book was Frankie Silver’s plight. She was a real person, convicted of murdering her husband, had a rather botched up court trial that no lawyer wanted to take on for fear of damaging their esteemed reputation and the people of Tennessee lawfully hung a woman. This was an era when family name and association to those who hold court in high...
The Baskervilles Hound
Rating : 4 of 5 Stars It’s 2012 and I finally read a Sherlock Holmes novel! To top that, it’s also my first by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is a classic and everyone connected to literature either from a scholarly perspective or from a pure reader’s pleasure would vouch that, works by Sir Arthur is a “must read”. I am happy that I’ve now accomplished that rule of thumb. The Hound of the...
Jingo is a Real Word!
Rating : 4 of 5 Stars jiNGo – I thought, was a word that had no real meaning. However, the word is an actual one and was an apt title for the book’s story and the literal outcome. ‘Jingo’ by the way, (if you didn’t know already like me) means ‘a person who professes one’s patriotism loudly and excessively, favoring vigilant preparedness for war and aggressive foreign...
About Lawsuits and Bad Pills
John Grisham was at his usual best and element with The Litigators. I admit I haven’t read much of his recent work lately but after, The Testament, The Partner & Runaway Jury, I’d put this book among my favourites of Grisham’s. The trademark fast paced no-nonsense prose and plot making was all there. These were always the main draw, that I liked most about Grisham’s books and The Litigators...
An Universal Comedy with a Guide to Boot?
Title : The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide Author : Douglas Adams Genre : Sci-Fi Fiction Rating: 5 of 5 stars How do I describe a book of this size? It’s dense, it’s funny and it’s fictionally brilliant - more precisely; an absolute babble. Everything about The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide (TUHG) commanded my attention. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to pay as much. I just bobbed...
I don’t really think that writers, even great writers, are prophets, or...– Angela Carter
Rat Salad - The Black Sabbath Classic Years
Rat Salad - Black The Classic Years by Paul Wilkinson Black Sabbath were a phenomenon. No other band in the 70s and early 80s conjured up dark and devilish images from a musical artist standpoint than Black Sabbath did. Their music was by no means easy listening stuff and although the band members have repeatedly denied any literal dabbling in the occult, the general perception was that...
Outliers - The Story of Success
Outliers - The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell Rating : 4 of 5 Stars In the wake of finishing ‘Blink’ I settled right into ‘Outliers’. I just felt it was the logical thing to do after the ‘Blink’ episode. I craved that added ‘Intel’ on mind and behaviour to help me understand my ‘success’ as ‘Outliers’ so plainly outlined. By now everybody knows Malcolm Gladwell also authored...
Blink: Snap Judgement & You
By Malcolm Gladwell Rating : 4 of 5 star In ‘Tipping Point’ Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the world around us and how we understood that world. Now in ‘Blink’ he explains how we make snap judgements in our everyday living in that same world. According to him, our inner self has that wonderful ability to aid us decide - if we pay close attention to it that is. I think, he seems to know what...
Did Your Hear About a Priest Named Frank?
Father Frank by Paul Burke My rating: 4 of 5 stars I am a great fan of books written about life in the UK; even more so if they were Irish and Scottish ones. Thus, when I came across Paul Burke’s Father Frank I read it earnestly. The book was gloriously funny and enlightening. This was a life of an Irish boy growing up in England, in the 70s, which eventually led to his Catholic priesthood....
Smart Retail Tips by Hammond
Smart Retail by Richard Hammond My Rating: 4 of 5 stars I like business tips and know-hows based on simplicity because they grab the better attention. This 3rd Edition did just that; without any management jargon and complex hullabaloo. Richard Hammond’s ‘Smart Retail’ explained retail business the correct way – easy and uncomplicated. All throughout, Hammond emphasised, that retail...
The Incredible Life of Pi
LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel My rating: 4 of 5 stars Life of Pi was in my ‘must read’ list for 10 years before I finally got around reading it just now. And you know what…..? It was well worth the 3650 days wait, every Ringgit spent and the 850 minutes that it took to finish the book. Simply marvelous. I felt profoundly lifted in spirit and thoroughly in awe of Yann Martel when...
Order of Drakulya
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova My rating: 2 of 5 stars In 2005, this book was an international bestseller - so claimed. I read it with great interest in those three weeks and thought that the story was fabulously intriguing and wonderfully told then. I still do to some extend, to be honest. However, when some fellow readers in my book club discredited it as unworthy of its acclaim, I...
Web Copy in a Week
Writing Copy for the Web in a Week by Nigel Temple My rating: 3 of 5 stars Nigel Temple’s relatively short 96 pager on writing copy for the web is very useful indeed. The popularity of blog platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Joomla etc. have given millions of people around the world an easy and affordable way to get themselves published online today. Nevertheless, this 2007 edition is worth its...
Disordered Minds by Minette Walters My rating: 3 of 5 stars Minette Walters has the uncanny ability to turn a simple plot into an intrinsic and complex one with as little characters as possible - not that it’s any bad, that’s just the way I have come to look at her writing style after reading two books of hers now. Within the context of ‘murder mystery’ genre,...
Anne Rice's Angel Time
Angel Time by Anne Rice My rating: 1 of 5 stars I am a big fan of Anne Rice but compared to her Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches saga, Angel Time was extremely subdued for my liking. I recently learnt that Rice denounced Christianity. As such, the feeling that I got was that she wrote Angel Time to confirm her sentiments about Christianity and the Christians in power who contributed...
Chairman Mao - the Leader and the Revolution.
Mao Zedong by Jonathan D. Spence My rating: 4 of 5 stars Very good and concise biography of Mao Zedong though you need to have read other Chinese Communist history to understand this book better from Mao’s perspective. Major policies set by Mao and the failings of them like ‘the great leap forward’ & ‘the cultural revolution’ were significant events mentioned...
Priest by Ken Bruen My rating: 4 of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining. The storyline was simple and direct but the writing style was what I enjoyed the most. The self examining narration of Jack Taylor and the two-way dialogue between the many characters he connects with were funny and brutal at the same time. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book like Ken Bruen’s. This was...
Well Lookie 'ere, It's Huck Finn.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain My rating: 4 of 5 stars When it comes to good entertainment there isn’t anything much better than a good old Mark Twain classic. ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ (AoHF) has been the quintessential American novel to many people and quite rightly so too. Mark Twain’s funny yet compelling story telling that’s rooted in...
It’s difficult to keep updeat when nothing seems to give. I’ve...– a yearning soul
How delightful are the pleasures of the imagination! In those delectable...– How delightful are the pl, Marquis de Sade | Dictionary.com
Prowlers in the Yard!
Fatalis: A Novel by Jeff Rovin My rating: 3 of 5 stars I have read this book twice now and without doubt the first reading was more exhilarating than the second. Not that Jeff Rovin isn’t a good action-horror writer; by all means he is. It’s just that his ‘Fatalis’ failed to bring the kind of scientific logic required to make this re-emergence of the extinct carnivore,...
Lebanon - the Unwitting Conflict Bearer
Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East by David Hirst My rating: 5 of 5 stars Beware of Small States is an immensely absorbing and thoroughly researched book on Lebanon’s critically turbulent history which unavoidably evolves into the history of Middle East’s Arab - Israeli conflict. The author David Hirst, explains how Lebanon endured seemingly endless...
Captain Bullen's War
Captain Bullen’s War - The Vietnam War Diary of Captain John Bullen by Paul (ed) Ham My rating: 4 of 5 stars It was a fun read from a non-war perspective if anything. The Vietnam War was terribly brutal by any means while Captain Bullen’s Diary puts it like it was an inconvenient vacation for the Captain. Can’t blame him when the war did not hit him as savagely as it did for...
The Shape of Snakes
The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters My rating: 4 of 5 stars ‘The Shape of Snakes’ is an apt title for the book though in all fairness to the creature, the reference to its instinctive nature to human behavior is somewhat unfair. Nonetheless, ‘snakes’ we are when we lurk in the crevices of our disposition only to strike at the opportune time to inflict harm and...
The world isn’t as small as you think when you aren’t big and...– a yearning soul
'Redemption Falls' by Joseph O'Connor - Tedious or...
Redemption Falls by Joseph O’Connor My rating: 3 of 5 stars ‘Redemption Falls’ was one of the hardest fictional novel that I had to finish. This is in no part the fault of the author, Joseph O’Connor. His immense knowledge of the English language is beyond doubt as he weaves a grand tale of intricacy and detail to make the reader eventually learn the core of the...
Thinking of a Writing Career? Here's a Handbook!
How to Start a Home-Based Writing Business, 4th by Lucy V. Parker My rating: 4 of 5 stars Lucy V. Parker explains the requirements, the challenges and the rewards of a home-based writing business in an easy, logical and insightful manner without overwhelming the reader in any way. Her crisp, clear narrative is very enjoyable to read while the real-life profiles of successful freelance...
To Lead...No Title Required?
The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life by Robin S. Sharma My rating: 1 of 5 stars I generally avoid ‘Self Help’ books. However, this book captured my attention because Robin Sharma decided to write LWHNT as a story of a man (Blake Davis), gaining leadership wisdom from 4 people that he meets within a day! The 4 people, incidentally...
Five Battles - Four to Win and One to Lose
The Harsh Cry of the Heron: The Last Tale of the Otori by Lian Hearn My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book was a Christmas gift and I didn’t realise I had it until late 2009 I think. Anyway, I was browsing my book shelve for a new unread book (I usually have two to three like these stocked up) when I stumbled upon ‘Harsh Cry of the Heron’. It was my first introduction to the Otori Tales and I...
The root of all evil is in the heart of a black soul. A force that has lived...– Slayer - Lines from ‘South of Heaven’
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.– Mary Wortley Montagu
Black Death of Wonders
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks My rating: 5 of 5 stars What a marvelous book this was. I have so many good things to say about it that I need more time to articulate them properly - the book deserves that. All I’ll say at this point is “two thumbs up!” I will write a proper review of the book in a bit. View all my reviews
The Ignorance of Blood
The Ignorance of Blood by Robert Wilson My rating: 3 of 5 stars To be honest, the story did not enthrall me. However, the plotting by Robert Wilson was engaging enough to keep me interested in the book as was the pace and writing style. I liked it for that. It’s a plain detective novel that has parts entwined from an earlier book to add to the intrigue. The writer did a good job...
A Harmonious Silky Tale
The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw My rating: 4 of 5 stars Tash Aw brilliantly tells this riveting and absorbing tale through the perspectives of three people who had close personal relationship with the main character; Johnny Lim. The way the book starts with Johnny’s son, Jasper, narrating the story of his father based on background research and memory; then abruptly turning to...
Had he fashioned it out of a faith that was hard and certain? Or had it been a...– Geraldine Brooks- Year of Wonders , page 87
As I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I feel no fear. What I fear is...– Max Cavalera (Cavalera Conspiracy) - ‘Killing Inside’
Open you eyes, husband, and look at her, said Aphra. You’re the only man...– Geraldine Brooks - The Year of Wonders, pg 7