Tuesday, August 31, 2010

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge V

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril V Challenge

September 1 to 31 October 2010, hosted by Carl V of Stainless Steel Droppings.

You can choose from multiple perils. Do check out his blog to learn more. Even watching movies count! What are you waiting for?

Read/Watch movies from any or all of the following genres:

Dark Fantasy.

Mostly I will be reading Mystery/Suspense/Thriller. However, I have already read a modern gothic novel and added the link to the RIP review site

Read and reviewed another one:

I might read:

Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
Bones of Contention by Jeanne Matthews
Blood Harvest by S J Bolton
Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt
Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul
Four Past Midnight by Stephen King (744 pages, very small font!!) OMG, that in itself is horrifying.

and more....

The Tale Of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

"I just want to be sure. If you think you know who the ghosts are, it helps. Whenever possible, it's best to try to contact specific people on the other side."
~Page 277

Author: Wendy Webb
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9140-3
Publisher: Holt/2010
Pages: 326

It is modern a Gothic story which has all the right elements to sustain the interest of the reader. When Hallie James discovers that her mother was very much alive after three decades, she doesn't know what to believe. He dad is lost to her as he has Alzheimer's. Now both her parents die within a few weeks of each other. So she has no answers for all her questions.

She travels to an island in the Great Lakes to seek answers for her questions. However, the islanders are antagonistic towards her for what her father had seemingly done 30 years ago. Hallie doesn't believe that her father could do anythibng wrong. And she knows that she has to unravel the truth. And only the islanders can help her in that. She moves into her mother's house, which she has inherited and finds herself seeing small girls calling her to play, her mother's hug engulfing her and certain visions she can't understand.

When an old housekeeper Iris offers to tell her family's story, she is only too eager to learn it. And then in the midst of her narration, finds herself having clear visions of what happened.

Now she has an inkling of her father's reason for taking her away from the island and also knows that it is her home and she has come to stay. And only she can help the ghosts to leave the house.

With a setting in a island in Great Lakes, amongst old house, graves, ghosts and witches, the reader is completely enthralled by the narration. And is as eager to know about what propelled Hallie's father to leave the island along with Hallie, that too, by meticulously planning their own demise, and then getting a new identity for both of them. . Especially when we see him being a loving father, who doesn't ever remarry, as he still loves his wife, Madlyn Crane.

We are as pleased as Hallie when she is finally accepted by the islanders and also finds a love, which she had not expected. The best part is, suspense is maintained throughout. Once I started it, I simply couldn't put it down.


My telephone lines were down for two days, due to which my internet wasn't working. Hence, I couldn't visit anyone in the last two days. Will try to remedy that soon. My Google reader is overflowing!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

TSS: Just my thoughts about certain book blogs

For some reason, I can't fathom, I was going through a reading slump. Then I picked up a historical romance, Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan and simply breezed through it. Maybe at times, we all need such easy reads to sustain us. I don't know. I do read romances once in a while. Sometimes in between reads, sometimes, I am in a roll!

Today I got up at 4:30 AM and finished another historical romance, Swept Away by a Kiss by Katharine AsheIt too is a historical romance and finished pretty fast. I also signed for the Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon, which is on October 9-10, 2010. I am thinking of signing up for being a cheerleader too.

What do I read next? Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee seems like a good option. Will start it after sometime and intend to finish it today only. It being a sunny day, I don't think I will go anywhere.

BTW, I had talked about Raksha Bandhan, a festivals for siblings, in my last SS post. I have posted pictures of it on facebook. You can check those out there, http://www.facebook.com/gautami. But first you have to connect with me as I don't have it open for all.

Some days ago, I wrote that I followed 546 via my google reader. Even I was amazed to see so many. The next couple of days I spent checking out my reader and culled those blogs which did not interest me. I found a lot of YA/Paranormal/Chick Lit blogs. And removed those. I removed 238 blogs. And added a few too. Now my reader is manageable and I don't have mark everything read! Now I am able to check out each post.

I made some interesting observations. You may or may not agree with me. These are my viewpoints and no one has to agree with me.

I found that those blogs which have lot of blinking stuff almost always belong to YA bloggers. Some of those take ages to load and when they finally do, many of those hurt the eyes to read.

And those blogs which have substance are mostly uncluttered. They really don't need distractions. The content is enough to hold our interest.

I also found that eclectic is a misnomer! Book bloggers are using it to describe their blogs which contain, YA/Paranormal/Romance/Chick Lit/Contemporary fiction....otherwise known as YA of all those genre!

Is it just me? Feel free to discuss. But do stop short of abusing me!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Geeks: Who Do You Connect With?

Weekly Geeks: Who do you read with, if you don’t read with anyone –WHY NOT?

In my younger days, I loved to read with my dad. He and I just sat next to each other with our respective books and read. If we wished to share something, we did. Rather I did and my dad indulged me. There were times when my dad taught me Physics and Mathematics. I was the only one amongst we siblings who was taught by our dad. My brothers did their own studying but I was very close to my dad and loved those teaching/studying time. And the subjects he couldn't teach, he used to sit with me.

When I joined college, those stopped. I studied by myself or with my friends. And I did share reading with my friends. However, I spent my holidays reading next to my dad.

When my brothers had children, I was (still am) the indulging aunt. I bought them their first books. And used to read aloud, whenever I got an opportunity. I still buy them books.

Now I don't read with anyone. Sometimes I wish I did. I miss my dad sitting next to me, reading. I cherish those priceless memories. Maybe that is the reason, I don't want to read with anyone else.

Now, the book blogging world doesn't let us feel alone. We are all connected with each other because of our love for books.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Blogger Hop/Follow me/Book Beginnings on Friday

Every Friday, join the Follow Friday, hosted by ParaJunkee and Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jennifer (Crazy-For-Books), and follow/hop to some new blogs.

Jennifer asks this week: Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

I don't use rating system at all. I don't think rating can affect a book. Some great books have low ratings and trash get higher ones. It is all very relative, isn't it?

What about you?

ParaJunkee asks: What is the first book that you remember reading?

Goldilocks and Cinderella. I loved thumbing through both.

BTW, I found quite a few good eclectic blogs via blog hopping/follow me. I have added those to my google reader. That's the way I follow blogs. Feel free to explore my blog.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Becky at Page Turners. Share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

Here I share the opening sentence of Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee

It wasn't a routine event, something so normal and habitual that she was lulled to sleep by dozens of previous repetitions.

Friday Find: Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan

Author: Kira Morgan
ISBN: 9780446548182
Publisher: Forever/2010
Pages: 384

It is a historical romance, set in the beautiful Scotland. When Florie Gilder, runs to escape the clutches of the law, she is not expecting to be hunted for a deer. Rane McAllister, a huntsman, too doesn't expect that he would be shooting at a female instead of game. When he comes over Florie after his arrow hits her, he is horrified to see what he has done.

He has no other option other than taking her under his protection. He picks her up, takes her to a abandoned church and tends to her wounds. But she resists as she hates being touched. He is surprised by her response as he is not used to being resisted by any female. They are only too happy to let him touch their person.

However, she is a wanted woman and he unwittingly becomes a party to her doings and makes some enemies. She being in church can't be taken prisoner for forty days and he is ordered to guard her day and night. All the while she claims that she only took what belonged to her. She needs it to claim her legacy from her unknown father.

Florie Gilder is goldsmith and too good at it. However, she needs to know her past to be able to have a future. Rane McAllister is but a poor huntsman but rich in his skills and of course looks. And they have sparks flying between them in no time and only by uniting can they escape the enemy.

With a Viking as a hero, and a spunky heroine, it makes a fast breezy read. Both find their nemesis in each other. Florie is fiercely independent woman who knows what she wants and has all her priorities right. Rane, although, irresistible to most women, and used to take his pickings, somehow can't do the same with Florie. Their sparring leads to their attraction and finally, love.

I was going through a reading slump. This book kind of broke it. Nothing like an occasional romance to do that! Thanks to the author, for sending me a copy!

Booking through Giving Up

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If you’re not enjoying a book, will you stop mid-way? Or do you push through to the end? What makes you decide to stop?

Some years ago, if I started a book, I plodded through it no matter what. There were exceptions though. I could never read Ulysses by James Joyce beyond a few pages.

Now, if a book doesn't work for me, I stop and move to the next one. I might come back to it later on. Sometimes certain books need a certain sort of mood. However, if a book does nothing to my mind and doesn't touch my mind, I don't pick it up again.

I tried reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I will not pick up the former but will definitely finish the latter one of these days.

Frankly, why do I need to finish a book which does nothing for me? There are lot more to choose from....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: The Wolf of Tebron by C S Lakin

Author: C S Lakin
ISBN: 9780899578880
Publisher: AMG Publishers
Pages: 272

Book Blurb

A young blacksmith must undertake a perilous journey to the four ends of the world to rescue his wife, who is held captive by the Moon. Along the way, he befriends a powerful wolf who encourages, protects, and ultimately sacrifices his life to save his human friend. A stirring allegory of Gods love in classic fairy tale tradition.

My views:

Currently I am reading it and surprisingly, liking it too. Will post my review soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays: The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

"Perfect father? That's quite a description, considering the man is a murderer who took you away from your mother and made sure everyone thought you were dead."

~Page 91

A young woman travels alone to a remote island to uncover a past she never knew was hers in this thrilling modern ghost story.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mondays: Mailbox/Whereabouts/Musings

Started by Marcia, this August, Monday Mailbox is hosted by Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit.

I received the following two books (Click on the image for larger picture), thanks to the authors/publicists:

Everything seems in order when nine-year-old Sarah Trainor is picked up for her first away-from-home summer camp: a Camp Arno van arrives with an appropriately clad counselor bearing parental consent forms. But when another Camp Arno van stops minutes later at their Westchester home, Lena Trainor discovers that her daughter and three other children have been kidnapped; a $1 million ransom is eventually demanded. It seems a well-executed scheme, with no single perpetrator having all the critical information, until the inevitable mistake is made. First-novelist Magee has an intriguing premise here, with his narrative alternating between the children in the wilderness of the Adirondacks and their desperate parents fending off the media as they unite to take action.

Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, but now it's up to a new curator Grace Wheaton and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers to protect dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets-and sour grapes out for revenge.

In the past week:

I finished:

Literally nothing!

I am in the midst of reading:

The Prince of Tebron by C S Lakin

I posted reviews of:


If your house was burning down –and you could SAFELY grab a book on your way outside to safety– what book would you make sure you ‘rescued’? Why?

Firstly, the very thought of my books burning is unthinkable. I would want to rescue each and every one of those. However, to 'rescue' only one, I would pick all my poetry collection. These include Robert Browning, Robert Burns, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, e e cummings, and lot more. I can't think of leaving those behind.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

TSS: Blog Cleaning, Reading and this that

On Friday, I found out that I had subscribed to 546 blogs on my Google Reader. (I prefer the reader any day. I don't really use the Google connect.) Now, 500+ blogs are too much, especially when I usually read 50-70 blogs a week, and most of those are my regular blogs. Those include book blogs, poetry blogs and a few random blogs.

Yesterday I made up my mind to check out my reader and decided to clean it up. I found many bloggers who have not posted for the last three months or so. And then I found that there were a lot of blogs which only dealt with YA/Fantasy/Paranormal/Kiddie books. Then there are some which only did Book tours/Author Interviews/Guest posts. Those were first to go under the scanner! I can live with memes....I take part in a few but I do the memes in my own way, posting book reviews for those. And only of books that I have read over the week.

I culled all those blogs (YA/Fantasy/Paranormal/Kiddie books/Book tours/Author Interviews/Guest posts, along with sleeping blogs) out of my Google Reader and now I have 308 blogs. Un-subscribing 238 blogs was daunting but I did it. Most of those were book blogs, which did not interest me any more. I know I will cull more blogs over the next few days. Next time I go blog hopping, I will only add eclectic blogs, those blogs which contain wide range of genres and are well written.

Coming back to reading, I have not been reading much. I have not read anything this past week. Today I plan to finish The Prince of Tebron by C. S. Lakin.

Also I have to go out and buy stuff for my brothers for Raksha Bandhan, (a festival celebratiing the sibling bond between brothers and sisters), which falls on 24th of August. I will write about it next week, along with pictures!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekly Geeks: Reading from the Decades

This week's Weekly Geeks is about examining a book (or books) which were published in your birth decade. Tell us about a book that came out in the decade you were born which you either loved or hated. Is is relevant to today? Is it a classic, or could it be? Give us a mini-review, or start a discussion about the book or books.

Here I mention the following three books:

The book details the brutal 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, a wealthy farmer from Holcomb,Kansas, and his wife and two of their children. When Capote learned of the quadruple murder before the killers were captured, he decided to travel to Kansas and write about the crime. He was accompanied by his childhood friend and fellow author Harper Lee, and together they interviewed local residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes. The killers, Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith, were arrested not long after the murders, and Capote ultimately spent six years working on the book. It is considered the original non-fiction novel, although other writers had already explored the genre, such as Rodolfo Walsh in OperaciĆ³n Masacre.The book examines the complex psychological relationship between two parolees, who together commit a mass murder, an act they were not capable of individually. Capote's book also explores the lives of the victims and the effect of the crime on the community where they lived. In Cold Bloodis regarded by critics as a pioneering work of the true crime genre.

Three young women share a London flat. The first is a coolly efficient personal secretary; the second an artist. The third interrupts Hercule Poirot’s breakfast of brioche and chocolat insisting that she is a murderer – and then promptly disappears.Slowly, Poirot learns of the rumours surrounding the mysterious third girl, her family – and her disappearance. Yet hard evidence is needed before the great detective can pronounce her guilty, innocent or insane…

Millions of pounds in gold bullion are being pirated in the Irish Sea. Investigations by the British Secret Service, and a sixth sense, have bought Philip Calvert to a bleak, lonely bay in the Western Highlands. But the sleepy atmosphere of Torbay is deceptive. The place is the focal point of many mysterious disappearances. Even the unimaginative Highland Police Sergeant seems to be acting a part. But why? This story is Alistair MacLean at his enthralling best. It has all the edge-of-the-seat suspense, and dry humour that millions of readers have devoured for years.

All three were published in 1966 and even now can be read as they were then. Anything, crime related, can never become dated. I read In Cold Blood recently (yet to review it!). But read the other two, Third Girl and When Eight Bells Toll when I was in school and college. Agatha Christie has always been one of my favorite authors. And I used to devour Alistair MacClean too.. The latter was in my middle brother's collection. I inherited the lot from him!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Blogger Hop/Follow Me/Friday Find

Every Friday, join the Follow Friday, hosted by ParaJunkee and Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jennifer (Crazy-For-Books), and follow/hop to some new blogs.

Jennifer asks this week: How many blogs do you folllow?"

I mostly follow blogs via google reader, except for a handful that are via google connect. Today I found that I follow 546 blogs! That is a very big figure. These include mostly book blogs, poetry blogs and a few random blogs.

However, out of those there are only around 60-70 blogs that I interact regularly. Not daily though.

BTW, I found quite a lot of blogs via Book Blogger Hop/Follow me, and expect to find more!

This past week, I wrote a few poems, which I posted on my other blog, rooted. You can check those out:

I also found the following book, which I added to my wish list:

Afrikaner Zatopek "Zet" van Heerden, a former cop, is slipping fast into drunken dissolution when a colleague pulls him up and gives him an opportunity. An attorney, Hope Beneke, needs a private investigator fast to find a missing will. An antiques dealer, Johannes Jacobus Smit, was recently found burnt with a blowtorch and shot execution-style, the contents of his walk-in safe, including his will, gone. Beneke and van Heerden have only seven days to find the document before Smit's considerable assets revert to the state, leaving his common-law wife destitute. It doesn't take long for van Heerden to discover that "Smit" wasn't the person whose papers he carried, and that someone very important, quite possibly the state itself, wants to hide his true identity. Meyer keeps the suspense moving throughout the third-person narrative, alternating back and forth with van Heerden's own first-person account of his past.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Booking through meme of reading questions

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It is too long a meme, with 55 questions. So I have answered the ones, which interested me. We can choose, right?!

Favorite childhood book?
Cinderella. I simply couldn't get enough of her!

What are you reading right now?
Never Wave Good bye by Doug Magee, The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb, River Rising by T P Jones

Do you have an e-reader?

Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I start several books at a time, a poetry book, a crime fiction and other random ones

Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I am reading books I otherwise wouldn't have. It has helped find some great authors.

Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
I have been selective in my reading. I liked all the books I read this year

Favorite book you’ve read this year?
There are so many that come under favourite. Right now I can only recall The Likeness by Tana French and Stolen by Lucy Christopher.

How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Frankly, I don't really understand this. I can read anything, anytime!

Favorite place to read?
My living room couch!

What is your policy on book lending?
I am happy to lend my books but expect those to be returned! But I don't really worry about that either. Books are for reading, and circulating!

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English, which is foreign language for me

20. What makes you love a book?
When it stimulates my mind, touches my heart

What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I love it, I recommend it!

Favorite genre?
Many that includes, Crime Fiction, Literary fiction, Historicals, Travelogues, Human interest

Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Fantasy, Sci-fi

Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes, one or two but I don't think I will read any more

Favorite cookbook?
Indian cookbooks by Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor

Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Buried Alive by Roy Hallums

Favorite reading snack?
Any type of crispies! And tea!

Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
If I don't like a book, I do say so but also cite reasons for not liking it.

Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
War and Peace

Favorite Poet?
Robert Browning

Favorite fictional character?
Sherlock Holmes

Favorite fictional villain?

Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Crime Fiction

The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A month..

Name a book that you could/would not finish.

What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Nothing really! Or maybe phone..

Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacClean

The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Once I spent half my monthly salary!

What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
If it does nothing to me

Do you like to keep your books organized?
Not really

Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I keep some, giveaway some. It depends

Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Yes, there are book I have avoided till date....like Koontz novels. I find the covers laughably horrendous!

Name a book that made you angry.
Any racist book or book with child abuse makes me very angry

A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Any romance novel by Brenda Joyce and Diana Palmer

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: The Journey of Om by Chandru Bhojwani

Title: The Journey of Om
Chandru Bhojwani
ISBN: 9788122310917
Publisher: Cedar Books/2010
Pages: 287

When Om's girlfriend betrays him, he is devastated. His whole world falls apart around him and he is unable to cope. It takes a toll on him physically as well emotionally. Getting drunk seems to be the only option. He is on the verge of becoming an alcoholic.

In desperation Om turns to his friends, Mona and Arun. They do try to help him but they too have their own set of problems. And each one has to deal with it alone. All this time, Om is pining for Preeti, unable to let go of his thoughts about her.

The Journey of Om actually speaks about everyone's journey. Each one of us has gone through heart breaks, at times feeling we can't recover from it. It touches us at some level. Om can't get over Preeti, Mona desperately wants to marry and settle down, Arun too betrays Rakhi, the girl he loves, in a fit of rage and drunken bout. Here we see Om's conflict, to support his friend or tell Rakhi, all about Arun's betrayal. Om, Mona, Arun and Jim's lives are all tied up in some way or the other. How does Om cope? For that matter, Mona and Arun?

I liked Bhojwani's way of writing. His prose is very readable. The chapters go back and forth but I didn't have any problem about continuity. He has shown the complex and conflicting emotions flitting in our mind very well. The pace is good too, and the ending....well, it is on the reader to think what he wants. With wit, great narration and told in simplistic language, everyone one will connect with the characters. So much so that I wanted to hurl the book at one point. Because I felt the author is a voyeur of our minds!