Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mondays come so fast!

Musing Mondays (BIG)Do you buy books as gifts for children – either your own or those of friends or family? Would you buy books for all children, or only children who are already practiced readers?

I have lots of nephews and nieces and I always gift them books, no matter what occasion along with other stuff. I have gifted many copies of Alice in Wonderland, all the fairy tales and of course Enid Blytons. I also buy classics for them. In recent past, I have been buying YA literature as all have grown up and are between 12-23 years of age. In a way, their reading habits have developed due to me. Nowadays, they come and simply pick up what they like from my bookshelves. I seldom forbid it. Yes, I do tell them to return it to me if they pick something I like to keep. Otherwise, I am pretty cool. No wonder, they adore their aunt!

I prefer to buy books as gifts for any kid. Most kid like that!


Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia, In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and New Crayons is hosted by Color Online. Check all three which are related to books you receive in the past week.

I received 3 books:

Judah's Lion by Anne Caston, 2009, Toad Hall Press

Anne Caston 's first collection of poems, Flying Out With The Wounded, was awarded the 1996 New York University Press Prize for Poetry. Juda's Lion is her second collection of poems.

Alvor by Laura Bingham

Erin and her twin brother, Bain, never expected to find that the cabin in the woods near their home is actually a secret entrance to a magical world. Surrounded by pegasi, dragons, and fairies, they discover new powers within themselves and a secret they have unknowingly been preparing for: they are training to become elves. Now they are faced with the decision to stay in this dream world or return home to the life they knew.

Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak

Not long after his own mother's death, sixteen-year-old Samuel discovers a set of deformed triplets hidden behind closed doors in his sleepy Georgia community. The babies—whose shut-in mother believes they were immaculately conceived and whose menacing brother is a constant threat—take control of Samuel's every waking and sleeping thought. His only escape, he realizes, will be to save the monster children. But to do so, he must rein in his darkest impulses as he undergoes a profound transformation from motherless boy to self-defined man—because sometimes the most terrible monsters are those that live inside us all


It's Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event hosted by J. Kaye of J. Kaye's Book Blog, "to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week."

I read the following:

Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher

Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak

Magdalene & the Mermaids by Elizabeth Kate Switaj (poetry)

Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson

I am currently reading:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevesky (only half way through!)

A Song in Stone by Walter Hunt


Faces in the Fire by T L Hines

T'Aragam by Jack W Regan

Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher

Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher

On his knees, Dennis cries out. But it does no good, and never will.

Title: Ghostwriter
ISBN: 978044650558
Publisher: Faith words/2009
Pages: 348

Dennis Shore is a writer who specialises in spooky writing. He has always enthralled his readers with his writing which deals with the dark..ghosts, supernatural elements and the deep dark sides of human mind. After his wife Lucy dies and his daughter leves for college, he finds himself alone and with a writer's block. With massive medical bills and deadline of his book coming up, he does the unthinkable. He publishes an unclaimed manuscript in his possession as his own and gets lots of praise for it.

And from there his trouble start. Cillian Reed, the writer of the book turns up, stalking him at every step. Uncannily, Dennis finds himself in the midst of nightmares like the one he created in his own books. At times, it seems as if the characters he created in his own books have come out to play with his mind. Dennis almost loses it all, his reputation, sanity and of course his life. Yet, he can't talk about it in fearof getting caught for his plagiarising someone else's work. However, when it comes to his daughter, he knows he has to do something to protect her.

Cillian Reed teams up with a serial killer to scare Dennis Shore. That serial killer is someone who has never left any clues, never got caught and kills people with impunity, showing no mercy. When Dennis tries to find out more about Reed, he hits a dead end. It seems exactly like one of his books where there is no apparent explantion for ghostly presence, supernatural elements and horror. Dennis Shore, the creator of spooky novels doesn't believe in those elements. And here, he is forced to believe in those very elements. I really liked Dennis friend Hank, who might be a bit thick in the head but is always there for his friend.

It is my first book by Thrasher. I am going to look out for more books by him. He can totally captivate the reader. The mystery element is throughly maintained along with the right amount of intrigue needed for such novels. Dennis' thoughts are so palpable that they come out of the pages. Hope that makes sense!

Thanks Marcia of printed page for this book. She sent it to me as here June Read I Forward book!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weekly Geeks : I collect books not titles!

This week "Weekly Geeks" question is:

Do you have a collection, of one particular book title? If so, what's your story?
Or perhaps you dream about starting such a collection. What title would it be and what would it take for you to get motivated to start collecting?

Or maybe it's the works of a particular author you collect (or want to collect) instead a certain book title?

I am not one of those to have a multiple copies one single title. If ever any of my book duplicates, I simply give it away. I need the space for my other books.

I am more into authors. I own almost all the Enid Blytons, Agatha Christies and the Perry Mason Series by Erly Stanely Gardener. My middle brother used to collect Alistair MacLeans which have ended up with me along with the Robert Ludlums. I have all the Ayn Rand books and I also own most of the classics.

Now I am in a collection spree of poetry books. Mostly new contemporary poets as I already own works of the great masters like ShakespeareWordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Browning, Burns and many, many more including Frost, Plath, Neruda, Sandburg, Parker etc. etc.. Being a poet myself, I am intrigued by the poetic minds of poets. I post here covers of three very contemporary poetry books:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Finds: Mijeong by Byung-Jun Byun

Mijeong by Byung-Jun Byun

Product Description

In Chinese, Mijeong means pure beauty. In the cold city, young people's lives cross and spark for brief moments in this remarkably drawn graphic novel; Wounded characters, squashed by the daily hard realities of urban living whose destinies take sudden unannounced turns but their inner flames shine bright and wild, even for a brief time. From the girl who deals sensitively with an older man obsessed by youth to the group of friends who find their friend has committed suicide but feel they might get implicated, this engrossing collection of stories will transfix and move you deeply.

T'Aragam by Jack W. Regan

Title: T'Aragam
Author: Jack W. Regan
ISBN: 9781442114593
Publisher: Sweatshoppe Publications/2009
Pages: 286

Max Ransome, a 13-year-old, all of a sudden is left alone when his father is killed by the evil Wizard Zadok, who wants to control T'Aragam. Max barely excapes with his own life and is plunged into a series of adventure, which he doesn't really wish for.

Somehow he knows, he has to save T'Aragam from Zadoc and his evil workers, the phantors taking over. And he also knows he can't do it alone. He finds friends in the form of weird characters who are only too eager to help him. A Medgekin named Gramkin, two monsters Gloom and Doom and also an equuraptor who is named Dresden. These are all there when he needs them. They save his life at many points. Then there is Lord Stench, who too is evil, Captain Baggywrinkle, a mercernary...they are make the novel interesting.

With wit and humour, it really moves forward rather well. Max shows character and grow up fast too, taking the leadership of T'Aragam in his hands in no time. This book is targeted for 9-13 year olds. So it does work for that age group. However, I thought it needed more adventure and Max needed some magical powers.

Thanks to the Author, for the copy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Booking through Fluff

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What’s the lightest, most “fluff” kind of book you’ve read recently?

How does on define fluff? Light reading? As I do serious reading, I could only manage to find the following two books in my archives of 2009. You can read my synopsis by clicking on the titles or covers.

1). A La Carte by Tanita S Davis is a sweet book which does not need much thinking while reading it.

2) The Perfect Bride by Brenda Joyce is a romance novel. Need I say more?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Readers Imbibing Peril IV: September 1st - October 31st 2009

Hosted by Carl V at Stainless Steel Droppings.

Dark Fantasy.

Peril the First:
Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

Peril the Second:
Read Two books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

Peril the Third:
Read One book of any length, from any of the subgenres listed earlier in the post.

Short Story Peril:
In Carl's words:

More than any other time of the year, R.I.P. season brings out my desire to explore the short story genre. We will again do Short Story Sundays, for those of you who read R.I.P. related short stories any time during the week and want to write about them. I know I have Lovecraft, Poe, and Angela Carter waiting in the wings for my short story reading.

I am very bad at completing challenges. Therefore, I don't do many challenges, maybe upto three. However, I am joining in again this year.

I have a few mysteries/suspense/thrillers lined up.

And I read Faces In the Fire by T L Hines couple of days back and adding it to my reading count for the RIP IV, as I posted the review yesterday! Carl did say, we can break the rules.

My tentative list:

Faces In the Fire by T L Hines (already read!)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak
A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (Re-read)
Last Last Chance by Fiona Maazel
Theft of the Master by Edwin Alexander
The Likeness by Tana French
Alvor by Laura Bingham

Wednesday: Wondrous Words/A-Z Wednesday


Wondrous Word Wednesday is hosted by Kathy of BermudaOnion

This week too, I take words from Prince Rupert's Teardrops by Lisa Glass

1) existentialists (page 202): We are all alone; existentialists know it, we all know it in our heart.

existentialism: A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.

2) Crystillery (Page 203): She is here at the crystillery...

Where crystal objects are created from glass


A-ZWEDNESDAY A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach


Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Leo Demidov is a believer, a former war hero who loves his country and wants only to serve it well. He puts contradictions out of his mind and carries on. Until something happens that he cannot ignore. A serial killer of children is on the loose, and the State cannot admit it.

To admit that such a murderer is committing these crimes is itself a crime against the State. Instead of coming to terms with it, the State's official position is that it is merely coincidental that children have been found dead, perhaps from accidents near the railroad tracks, perhaps from a person deemed insane, or, worse still, homosexual. But why does each victim have his or her stomach excised, a string around the ankle, and a mouth full of dirt? Coincidence? Leo, in disgrace and exiled to a country village, doesn't think so. How can he prove it when he is being pursued like a common criminal himself? He and his wife, Raisa, set out to find the killer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Faces In The Fire by T. L. Hines

The dead man's shoes spoke to Kurt long before he wore them. He expected the shoes to say something, of course; Kurt had hundreds of articles of clothing from dearly departed, wardrobe of wearable ghosts that fueled his existence.

Title: Faces In The Fire
Author: T. L. Hines
ISBN: 9781595544537
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 354

Faces In The Fire is my second T L Hines novel, The Unseen being the first. He writes what is known as noir fiction. I liked The Unseen very much and in Faces In The Fire too, Hines doesn't disappoint us.

Kurt, a truck driver turned sculpture, can hear the dead speak. He has no memories of his own past although he tries his best to know who he is. Corriene, an e-mail spammer has got cancer, which isn't getting any better with treatment. Grace has left her family, and has invented a new existence as a tattoo artist and finally there is Stan, who is hit man, with a gift of killing.

Each one is different from the other and are not acquainted with each other. Yet, their lives converge at one point with symbols, numbers and inklings, which helps each one to know their inner power. This power can destroy them or redeem them. It is their choice to get around that power, that unknown force which comes into their path.

With mysterious elements, and a small layer of supernatural, suspense works very well. Kurt might be able to listen to the dead but he does nothing to help them. And how is the catfish and the numbers going to help him, when he doesn't even know who he is? Corriene is compelled by a spam to order something for herself, which might make her lymphoma disappear. Grace too thinks that the number she holds on to, is lucky and gives it to Corriene when she learns of her cancer. Stan and Grace's life to merge and how oes it change for both?

T L Hines writing is so beautiful that one is kind of compelled to read through it. His bizarre settings makes sense while reading it. Maybe because, we too expect miracles to change our lives, to make everything right. The twisted ending is just right for this book, which is funny in a dark way, which seems real even while it is weird. The characters are endearing even though they are dark. Hines manages to show us their white sides too. Each has a talent for something. And is able to use that talent to redeem others and the self too. Those who like something different, I recommend it.

Thanks to the publishers for the copy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mondays: Whats up?

Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia, In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and New Crayons is hosted by Color Online. Check all three which are related to books you receive in the past week.

I received 3 books:

Last Last Chance by Fiona Maazel (from the author)

Theft of the Master by Edwin Alexander (Won from Caribousmom in the Mystery Readathon Giveaway)

A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker (from the author via Pump Up Your Book Promotion)

Update: I was unable to access Marcia's blog for a few weeks but today I could. Thanks Kathy, for posting it for me last monday!


It's Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event hosted by J. Kaye of J. Kaye's Book Blog, "to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week."

I finished the following:

1). Faces In The Fire by T. L. Hines

2). T'Aragam by Jack W Regan

I am in the midst of reading:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevesky (taking a long time!)

Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher


The Reincarnationist by M J Rose

A Worthy Legacy by Tomi Akinyanmi


Musing Mondays (BIG)
Do you prefer to read stand-alone books, or books in series? Do you stick with a series the whole way through or stop after the first instalment? Are there any particular series you enjoy?

I won't say I prefer either. It depends. Sometimes one can read a book from a series as a stand-alone. I am not exactly hooked to any series. I can begin from any and go either way. In fact, I read the Harry Potter that way starting from 4, going 3, 2, 1 and 5, 6 and 7! And that series out to be read in a serial. I must say, it didn't make much of a difference on my reading. Maybe, it is just me. Reading good books, good writing is all it matters to me. However, one series I wish to read is the Discworld. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

TSS: A Worthy Legacy by Tomi Akinyanmi

Title: A Worthy Legacy
Authour: Tomi Akinyanmi
ISBN: 9780615211169
Publisher: Tommie Books/2009
Pages: 101

Book Blurb

The Harmattan wind scorches across Nigeria, and an old man lies dying. His community gathers to pay its respects; their haunting songs echoing in the warm twilight. Around his bed his family is gathered and they listen as he speaks his last words. Yet in the face of death this old man doesn't talk of regrets, neither does he talk of petty grievances, instead he talks softly about life; how to survive, how to be happy and how to achieve self-respect.


The words of the dying old man makes an impact on his grand daughter even after he is gone. When she comes back after one year, she finds a Journal that her grandfather had written for her. By this time the family has drifted apart, with petty quarrels, yet the grand daughter returns to the village. Maybe to look out for her legacy and finds it in that journal.

A Worthy Legacy is not at all preachy or is a self-help book in any way. It speaks about simple acts, and how to find happiness in those acts. With insights in the form of poetry, we find spirituality in there, which tells us about simple pleasures, acceptance of ones self. This books isn't preachy and that is what made it a good read. Much to think about and follow too, if we want to. For myself, I really loved the poetry in it. Not surprising as I write it myself!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Reincarnationist by M J Rose

Title: The Reincarnationist
Author: M J Rose
ISBN: 9780778325765
Publisher: Mira/2007
Pages: 491

While Josh Ryder is taking photographs, a bomb explodes almost killing him. He survives but he has flashes of memories about the start of early Christianity. These thoughts trouble him as he cannot understand what those mean. Most of these memories are about a woman, he remembers as Sabina and violent end to his near and dear ones. He is unable to understand how the past is related to his present.

Meanwhile Gabriella Chase has discovered a small tomb with the skeleton of a woman and some stones, which is somehow related to Josh's past. Now those stones are wanted by almost everyone, those so called upholders of Christianity and also those who can go to any length to get hold of those memory stones, even kill, which they do. Josh can feel the dead call out to him and protect something or someone but he has no inkling of that. He tries his best to understand the past and how it is connected with his present but he can't fathom the depth of his flashes.

Going back and forth, the reader is taken into ancient Rome as well as present and wishes to know about Sabina and her relationship with Josh, in their past lives. M J Rose has made a work of fiction so much realistic that we believe Sabina existed. And Josh has been reincarnated through the ages, saving and protecting anyone who needs his protection. And we also want the memory stones to work so as to bring the dead from the past communicate with us.

We are left with questions like can it happen, this reincarnation over the centuries. As a Hindu, I do believe in it and the book made sense to me. This works so well as mystery and a historical novel. The romance might not be in the present times but Sabina and Josh/Julius's love transcends time in terms of centuries. And I thought the ending is befitting too.

Weekly Geeks: Why haven't I read this yet?

This week, tell us about a book (or books) you have been meaning to read. What is it? How long have you wanted to read it? And, why haven't you read it yet?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Synopsis from Amazon:

The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism.

This novel is on my TBR pile for the last three years. I have been meaning to get to it since the day I bought it but somehow never done so till date. I like Marquez's writing and have devoured all his short story collections.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Finds: Judah's Lion by Anne Caston

Anne Caston 's first collection of poems, Flying Out With The Wounded, was awarded the 1996 New York University Press Prize for Poetry. Juda's Lion is her second collection of poems.
Judah's Lion, 2009, Toad Hall Press
"Judah's Lion"
"Irony is beyond a boy like mine. As is symbolism.
Allegory. Metaphor, too. All is literal with him
though that doesn't rule out a wildebeest,
the one he meets each morning in the fallow field
beyond our yard, the one who lies beside him
each night now in the dark......"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BBAW Nomination: Most Concise

Someone has nominated my blog in the Most Concise category. It kind of describes my blog to a T.

I am supposed to send five blog posts which depict the category. Let me see...

Now how concise can one get?

Booking through recent best

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What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

In July I read only seven books. But out of those I read three very good books. These are:

Click on the covers to read my reviews.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday: Wondrous Words/A-Z Wednesday


Wondrous Word Wednesday is hosted by Kathy of BermudaOnion

This week I take words from Prince Rupert's Teardrops by Lisa Glass

1). Empyrean (page 13): like pagan under the silver sky that arcs above him - a summons to the empyrean


    1. The highest reaches of heaven, believed by the ancients to be a realm of pure fire or light.
    2. The abode of God and the angels; paradise.
  1. The sky.

Of or relating to the empyrean of ancient belief.

2). Encopresis (page 151): ...and sent her running: attacks of laxity, of encopresis.

Encopresis is defined as repeated involuntary defecation somewhere other than a toilet by a child age four or older that continues for at least one month.


Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!
To join, here's all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments
If you've already reviewed this book you can the review also.
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.


Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell


Meet Peter Brown, a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past that is just about to catch up with him. His morning begins with the quick disarming of a would-be mugger, followed by a steamy elevator encounter with a sexy young pharmaceutical rep, topped off by a visit with a new patient - and from there Peter's day is going to get a whole lot worse and a whole lot weirder. Because that patient knows Peter from his other life, when he had a different name and a very different job. The only reason he's a doctor now is thanks to the Witness Protection Program-and even they can't protect him from the long reach of the New Jersey mob. Now he's got to do whatever it takes to keep his patient alive so he can buy some time...and beat the reaper

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesdays: Teaser/Whereabouts

I am with four people unknown to each other. One a trucker with no memory, second a e-mail spammer, third a tattoo artist and fourth, a hit man. All are going to meet at point but they don't know that as yet.

~Page 13, Faces In The Fire by T. L. Hines



"Instead he focussed on a woman's thin wail emanating from a storage container on the bottom level. He slid away the four containers stacked on top of it, then removed the lid."

~Page 13, Faces In The Fire by T. L. Hines

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mondays: Mailbox/whereabouts

Musing Mondays (BIG)
How do you react to movies made of your favourite books (or even not-so-favourite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?

I mostly avoid movies made of novels. Somehow those take away the pleasure of reading from me. I have been disappointed after watching the movies made of books. I prefer reading books to watching a movie based on the book.


Note: I am unable to access Marcia's blog for a few weeks now. But I still do post for the mailbox. Would someone be kind enough to post my link there? Thanks!

Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia, In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and New Crayons is hosted by Color Online. Check all three which are related to books you receive in the past week.

I received 3 books:

Magdalene and the Mermaids by Elizabeth Kate Switaj (poetry) (from the author)

T'Aragam by Jack W Regan (from the authr)

The Essential Keats: Selected by Philip Levine (From Stacy)


It's Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event hosted by J. Kaye of J. Kaye's Book Blog, "to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week."

I finished the following:

1). Prince Rupert's Teardrops

2). A La Carte by Tanita S Davis

3). The Reincarnationist by M J Rose

4). Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

5) A Worthy Legacy by Toni Akinyanmi

I am in the midst of reading:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevesky

The Mercy Seller by Brenda Rickman Vantrease


Kill For Me by Karen Rose

Prince Rupert's Teardrops by Lisa Glass

Best Intentions by Emily Listfield

A La Carte by Tanita S Davis

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TSS: A fruitful week after a long time

In the beginning, August weather was hotter than ever. And long power outages didn't help. In school too, the situation was aggravated with no water. It was kind of hell all around. How does one read in the midst of all this? So I thought I would be going the July way where my reading slowed down. But The Second Reading Readathon helped. I read more than two books for it in 12 hours. The rains happened. Now the weather is fully conducive for reading. I have read 7 books till date and on my 8th, which I intend to finish today. (I did!) I wouldn't call it bad reading, now can I?

The Reincarnationist by M J Rose (to be reviewed)
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (to be reviewed)
A La Carte by Tanita S Davis
Best Intentions by Emily Listfield
Prince Rupert's Teardrops by Lisa Glass
Kill For Me by Karen Rose
Tommy Gun Tango by Brant Randall/Bruce Cook
Mare's War by Tanita S Davis

I have also been writing a lot of poetry. And creativity is a great thing, isn't it? What about you? How are you spending your sunday?

TSS: A La Carte by Tanita S Davis

Title: A La Carte
Author: Tanita S Davis
ISBN: 9780375848155
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf /2008
Pages: 278

Lainey, a seventeen year old girl has only one dream, that to be a world class chef. She occasionally helps her mother run her gourmet restaurant and also swears by St. Julia Child. Even though she still is in school but dreams of making it big.

Her one time best friend Simeon borrows $500 from her and runs away. He has some drug problems and has even manipulated others for it. Lainey finds it difficult to face this about him and her mother too diapproves about her lending money to Sim.

When Lainey faces the truth about Sim's character, she thinks of her relationship with him over the years. When he does come back, Lainey knows how to deal with him. And also the fact that her cooking has been paying. She also finds new friends.

This is a growing of age book. With lots of hand written recipes, it was a pleasure to read this book. At places, it does sound a bit out of place and Sim's character should have been clearer to Lainey much before this, But considering Lainey is 17 year-old, it makes sense too. Overall, it is a pleasurable read, not serious but a light one. And YA readers will love this book.

And I recently read Mare's War by the same author and loved it. That is an entirely different from this.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Weekly Geeks : Second Chance

Have you ever changed your mind about a book or author the second time around? Have you ever given a book or author a second chance?

One book that immediately comes into mind is The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I had liked the The Handmaid's Tale very much but The Blind Assassin just couldn't hold my interest. I started it but I abandoned it after 100 pages and when I picked it up again after six months, I didn't put it down until I finished it. I consider it one of my best reads till date and don't know why I couldn't get to it first time around.

Fairly recently is Kill For me by Karen Rose. The premise somehow put me off reading the book. I was even thinking of giving it away when I picked it up again for The Second Mystery Challenge. Once I started I just couldn't put it down. With complex characters and nail biting pace, this too completely took me in. So much so that I am going to read more novels by Karen Rose.

I have abandoned The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff after reading 1/3 of the book. Not because I didn't like it but because at that time I had some personal issues and couldn't concentrate on the book. I will pick it up again and finish it at one go.

There are many more but for now, these three are enough, don't you think?

How about you? Do you give books/authors second chance?

Best Intentions by Emily Listfield

I lie in bed watching the numbers on the digital alarm clock click in slow motin to 6:00 a.m., 6:01. My right hand, curled tightly beneath my head, is cramped, but I don't want to risk moving it.

Title: Best Intentions
Author: Emily Listfield
ISBN: 9781416576716
Publisher: Atris/2009
Pages: 338

I had won Best Intentions in The First Mystery Readathon and read it for The Second Mystery Readathon.

Lisa Barkley 39, is happily married to Sam and they have two beautiful daughters. They also seem to be moving in the right circles. But with the economic slide down, everything seems to change. Her job is in jeopardy and after listening to a voicemail in Sam's cellphone, she thinks that her husband might be having an affair. Her world is crashing all around her and she can't do anything about it. However, Deirdre, her best friend of long time is supportive of her. When Lisa tells Deirdre that Sam might be having an affair, her best friends tells her, it can't be.

Meanwhile, Deirdre is having an torrid affair with a photographer Ben, and both don't wish for any kind of long lasting relationship. When Deidre's old flame Jack turns up, everything seems to go topsy turvy for all involved. Lisa is forced to acknowledge some unpleasant truths about her husband. And she can't even trust Deirdre now. Before she can confront either, Deirdre is murdered. There are four suspects: Sam, Ben, Jack and Lisa.

As a women's fiction, this book works well. Lisa and Deirdre are really good friends, who meet almost every week for breakfast. Sam is not too fond of Deirdre but he doesn't come in the way of their friendship. Jack had wanted to marry Deirdre long time back but she had refused. Now he was married but still wants her. Ben has a complex relationship with her although Deirdre has no complaints about that. Lisa does have reasons to kill Deirdre.

I started it, thinking of it as suspense/mystery as the way it is pegged by the author. However, the murder happens too late and I could truly guess the murderer. Therefore, there was no surprise. I felt the book is a big let down for suspense and gets repetitive too after 3/4 mark. As a mystery it fails completely. It definitely is not a book for diehard Suspense/Mystery/Crime fiction readers.

I must say, if I had not read it assuming it as Suspense/Mystery, I might have liked this book.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prince Rupert's Teardrops by Lisa Glass

Mary could never have been expected to guess what was to come, because there was no precursor, no warning, nothing indicative of a change.

Prince Rupert's Teardrops
Author: Lisa Glass
ISBN: 9781906120153
Publisher: Two Ravens Press/2009
Pages: 217

Mary 58, lives with her 94-year-old mother Meghranoush, who is a seamstress. Mary is taken for a mental case by most people and is on an enforced medical leave from work. She has fights with her mother, who speaks English mixed with Armenian. Meghranoush is a survivor of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish army which took place in the eary twentieth century. Hence her memories are interlaced with those horrifying times.

One day Mary's mother disappears. And Mary can't go to the police as she is taken for a nutcase. Her biggest fear is that, everyone would think she killed her own mother. So it's on Mary to find her. She finds glass birds, her mother's thimble and so many small clues and suddenly knows the worst.

Meanwhile, there is this serial killer, who specialises on killing elderly people. He is a glass blower, who burns the bodies in his furnace and uses those ashes to colour the vases he makes. He too has some childhood issues.

In her search, we get to dig into Mary's mind, her complex thoughts, her confused state and her relationship with her mother. Mary might be 58 but she needs her mother. She knows she has to take revenge if something happens to her. We also get to know about the killer's way of thinking and Meghranoush's terrifying memories. While we are inside Mary's mind, it at times gets difficult to differentiate the real from the imaginary. We too understand Mary's compulsions in finding the killer. And how the genocide which took place long ago, has power to get hold of one's entire being.

The suspense is maintained throughout, the finish is befitting and Mary finds her peace. Expecially what I liked about this book is the surreal aspect and usage of really beautiful words. Each page has something new for us. Initially Mary does seem weird but she does endear herself in the end. It is not a book for everyone but those who like good prose, a sustainable suspense and like to delve the minds, I would recommend it highly. A mystery worth reading.

Added this bit after Kathy's comment:

The drops of melted glass are known as Prince Rupert's drops. With high temperature those can cause grave hurt, if not handled carefully.

As explained in the book:

"that wee curvy bit of glass may be called Rupert, but she is a female, definitely a female, and she's ticking time bomb just waiting to go off."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kill For Me by Karen Rose

Monica Cassidy felt a flutter in her stomach. Today would be the day.

Kill For Me
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780446510301
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing/2009
Pages: 416

This is my first novel by Karen Rose and certainly not the last! Although it is supposed to be last of a trilogy, it stands alone too. I have had this book for a while now, thanks to the author but somehow I never got around reading it until now.

Monica is a survivor out of six girls who have been brutally beaten up. All others died. She is one of those teenage girls who are lured via the chatrooms and are sold to the highest bidder. As she is the only one who can help reveal the villains, she is kept closely guarded. However, she is not safe even in a hospital. The murderes can go to any length to wipe her out.

Susannah Vartanian has personal scores to settle with those murderes. Along with Luke Papadopolous, she dwelves into her murky past in order to save innocent girls. Internet crimes are common and young teenaged girls are easily lured, brutally used and then sold off. When Luke comes to know of her secret, he cannot fathom how she survived this long. Each murder, each crime committed against the young girls, becomes a personal vendetta for him. He has to get into the bottom of it, no matter what.

With complex set of peoples, intricately built storyline, which is so very real, the novel keeps us totally involved till the end. The writing style is good too, as it ought to be for a crime fiction.

As I teach teenaged girls, it freaked me out too. I had a little chat with them about chatrooms and internet crimes.

Booking through recent worst

btt button

What’s the worst book you’ve read recently?

In July I read One Scream Away by Kate Brady which is pegged as psycho thriller. I found it rather predictable. I won't call it the recent worst book but one of the recent ones not to my liking. Going through my archives of 2009, I find I have been more selective lately and that keeps me from reading really bad books.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday: Wondrous Words/A-Z Wednesday


Wondrous Word Wednesday is hosted by Kathy of BermudaOnion

Today I take words from Tommy Gun Tango by Brant Randall/Bruce Cook

Bindle (Page14): He had his sandwich tied in a bindle.

Bindle is a term used to describe the bag, sack, or carrying device stereotypically used by the sub-culture of hobos.

Miscegenation (page 100): ..she was pissed off about the disappearance of negro race due to miscegenation..


  1. The interbreeding of different races or of persons of different racial backgrounds.
  2. Cohabitation, sexual relations, or marriage involving persons of different races.
  3. A mixture or hybridization: “There was musical miscegenation at a time when segregation was the common rule”

Obstreperous (page 221): He was quite obstreperous.

  1. Noisily and stubbornly defiant.
  2. Aggressively boisterous.

[From Latin obstreperus, noisy, from obstrepere, to make a noise against : ob-, against; see ob– + strepere, to make a noise (of imitative origin).]


A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicki of Reading At The Beach

To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.).

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment. (We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.


Here is my "A" Title:

A LA Carte by Tanita S Davis

Seventeen-year-old Lainey has an uncommon dream: to be the first African-American celebrity vegetarian chef. She shows promise, helping out in the kitchen at her mother's Bay Area restaurant and concocting mouthwatering dishes in her spare time. Cooking is her salvation; she turns to the kitchen when things aren't going well, particularly in her precarious relationship with Simeon Keller. While she cares for him as a friend, she overlooks the way he uses her. When he runs away from a bad situation at home, she offers him brief sanctuary in her home, giving him $500 and food before he jets out of town. Lainey's mom hounds her for details about his disappearance, details that she withholds for weeks. When Sim returns, months later, she's more self-assured and certain of her own plans for success.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesdays: Teaser/Whereabouts

I am with Biblical Mary Magdalene and have entered her thoughts. For most part, I am a mermaid and talk of love, betrayal and loss of my legs. It can be anywhere but mostly takes place near the oceans or in the oceans. The voices might seem strange but the sentiments are universal. My movements in the poems are eternal.

~Magdalene & the Mermaids by Elizabeth Kate Switaj (poetry)



"Couldn't make me what you wanted
Couldn't make
................what you wanted
........No matter you forgot

condoms. Not even force
..could make.....what you wanted"

~ Page 31, The Sacrifice, Magdalene & the Mermaids by Elizabeth Kate Switaj