Friday, March 30, 2012

Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters


Once you get started on a series, you get hooked!!

This is the fourth book of Amelia Peabody that I'm reading and I am loving it (as the advertisement goes!)

Even the cutie Ramses has grown on me. Though I disagree with her parenting skills. I don't think it is right to keep criticizing your offspring so much, no matter how precocious he may be!!

I also like the series because it tells you a bit about the ancient culture of Egypt - beyond just the pyramids. You learn about Ramses, Sethos, archaeology, Sneferu. I believe all the sites written about in the books are real. For example, a place called Dahshur with the Black Pyramid actually does exist. So do the Mazghuna pyramids.

I hope to go to Egypt one day and see these pyramids. It would be SO AWESOME!!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This is the third installment of the Hunger Games.

And it is amazing!!

There is a lot of depth in what she writes. It may appear to be a love story, a rebellion, a gruesome gladiator game.

I sat up till 11:00 last night, after my baby fell asleep, reading the last hundred pages of the trilogy. It was worth all the effort and the time taken away from sleep!!


Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal

I normally avoid the business section of any bookstore. It is dreary, full of management jargon, bordering artificiality. There is always a gimmicky three liner that strives to catch your attention. I feel that in all these types of books, one chapter is more than sufficient. Why even bother having more to read?
Stay Hungry Stay Foolish is different. Quoted from Steve Jobs, this book looks at inspiring stories from IIM A graduates who chose a different path. They sought to become entreprenuers and there stories are quite amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved reading through it! I would recommend that all business students, entreprenuers and aspiring "anything" read this book!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

It took me around a week to finish this book.
I borrowed it from the library because it was a Booker Prize winner (1984). So I thought let me expand my current reading horizon and pick up something a little off-beat in terms of writing.
First and foremost, the writing is prose. There are some pages that you can read over and over again.
What really strikes you is the keenness with which the character analysis has been done in the book. You really get to know the characters - particularly the main protagonist - Edith. You begin to empathise with her character. Her loneliness.

The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters

Yes, Yes Yes
I know.
I have become addicted to the Amelia Peabody series.
This one is the third in the series. Ramses has become older (7) and is now accompanying his parents to Egypt to work on a new site. But there are sinister beings around.... an antiquities gang led by the "Master Criminal" is on the prowl!!
This series is actually available at my library downstairs. That's why I'm reading so much of it. And I already have so much to read!! In fact at home I have two bookshelves full of books waiting to be read!! I can't afford to get hooked on a series like I've gotten hooked!!
7.2/10 for this one. I didn't quite get into it like the first one.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Curse of the Pharoahs by Elizabeth Peters

Set in Egypt, this second book in the Amelia Peabody series takes us to Luxor, where we meet a mommy and daddy archaeologist recruited to excavate a newly discovered tomb, with a curse and everything. Already there has been one death and one disappearance. Amelia Peabody has her own theories, none of which her husband agrees with.
There are clues in the mystery that reveal who the killer is.
4/5 - A good read. LOL in some places. Pure entertainment.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

It is the second installment of the Hunger Games, and it too, keeps you on your toes.
Gale and Katniss are together again. But the Capitol will not have a rebel like Katniss getting what she wants. The rules of the Hunger Games have changed and now the victors will have to participate in a duel till death. Katniss vows to protect Peeta, Peeta vows to protect Katniss.
May the odds forever be ever in your favour!!
One thing I wanted to do after reading this book was become more active. Ever since I've had the baby I've become less active. I don't do as much walking as I should. I hardly go out. That has got to change.

The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

Amelia Peabody is not to be messed around with.
She has just inherited a fortune (almost $30 million dollars) and is armed with a parasol and a bundle of wit. After having taken Italy by storm, she is now in Egypt, being accompanied by a young Evelyn Forbes, who she has rescued and taken under her wing.
They both meet the Emerson brothers and the story progresses with a number of twists and turns.
It's not your usual Miss Marple style of detective story. But it is pure entertainment. I once read that adults do not LOL - laugh out loud. This was one book that made me laugh!!
On reviews of the book one person had commented that they could read and re-read the books in the series... and I agree!! I'm so glad I picked this one up at our library. It was a good choice and I can't wait to start on the next one!!
I can't say whether the series will appeal to men though.... but definitely if you are a woman/ female reader, do pick it up!!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My sister recommended this book to me, and I'm so glad she did! I am hooked!

It tells the story about a brave young girl called Katniss, who lives in District 12. It is set in Panem, which has arisen from what used to be North America. They are ruled by the Capitol, and have to abide by the law set down, which includes offering two tributes every year from their children for the Hunger Games.

You will not be able to put the book down once you start reading it. It's not that there is much character development - but its fast pace and excellent story line make it well worth the read. Also well worth the Rs 250 I paid for it!!

Online shopping people - that is the future of the book trade I think!! Why would anyone pay full price for a book when they can get it cheaper!!

FYI: The movie is also going to be released soon!! Hopefully my baby will get on the bottle by then so I can go drag my husband to see it with me!! That is, if they release it in India alongwith the world wide release!!

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

I read this book recently this year. And I was inspired. I thought so highly of Greg Mortenson and the power of the individual. How one idea can lead to a mini revolution. How one person can change a life.
I even wrote another blog about it - you can see it on facebook on the Timeless Books page, if you get time.
That's why I was surprised when another person I admired - Jack Krakauer, has criticized Greg Mortenson and the Central Asian Institute and accused him of lying. Of fabricating most of the story in order to sell books.
I love the mountains and I love trekking. I wish I could do more for the mountains. I wish I could trek more.
I think I'll get the full story by reading Three Cups of Deceit, written by Jack Krakauer. In that he documents his findings and arguments. That will be an interesting read.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I loved this book. I have been recommending it to people LEFT RIGHT AND CENTRE!! If there is one book you should be reading - it is this one!! Without a doubt!!
I don't think everyone should have a project - I just think that the book gives you a lot of time to think about your life, your priorities. One of my favourite quotes from that book is: The days are long but the years are short. How true that is.
My baby doesn't give me time to read much, but I manage a few hours here and there. This book is quite a fast read, and I think the author has done a great job by incorporating her own personal accounts in it. What I liked about it was that the book really resonated with me. I don't have much in common with Gretchen - I'm from India and live in Delhi, I have had an arranged marriage and I work in a salaried job. New Delhi doesn't offer the same charms as New York does. But still there was so much I learned. It just goes to show that you can still learn, no matter what your age.
One common factor between the author and me though was that I too love to read. I keep reading - and I keep talking about what I've read. I'd started this blog to discuss the books I read. I tried to start a book group but was not successful. Ah well, not all of life is success!!

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Set in the backdrop of World War I, this book explores the lives of a set of individuals in Europe and America. It has everything - a love story(ies), politics, intrigue, war, battle, sadness, mirth. I was quite taken in with the romance between a young German diplomat and a British feminist. I never really thought about what would happen to relationships across borders if the countries went to war.
We live in peaceful times, so it gets difficult to understand what happens in war.
This book is the first book in the century trilogy. It is interesting now how authors are publishing books in parts. And the intrepid reader must read all of them! Thankfully we have a library in our housing society, so you don't have to buy the book - you can just borrow it! Having a library is such a great idea and such a great way to use money. I donated all my Agatha Christies that I'd accumulated over my childhood to the library. I also gave all my Kathy Reichs to them. I actually felt better when I'd done that!!