The Books we read answer questions We didn't know existed . They make us wiser . They make us better.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Blues Book Review

BluesBlues by Masooma Memon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my friend Alafiya's sister , Masooma Memon's, depute . The cover and the blurb are quite tempting . I had it on my TBR for a while , but when i saw this little book on my home page again , i couldn't but read it .
The writing is so beautiful , the detailed descriptions felt so real and honest . I love the character development and the way the story progressed . Our un-named narrator is a girl who underwent a long harsh journey of self-discovery and acceptance . and though the circumstances that once were tormenting her were still the same , But what happened was a change at heart , a matter of perspective . she at some point recognized that happiness and mind peace come from with in no matter the conditions .

You may read it Here.

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Dear Jhon Book Review

Dear JohnDear John by Nicholas Sparks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual Rating : 4.5 stars

"I've learned that memories can have a physical, almost living presence, and in this, Savannah and I are different as well. If hers are stars in the nighttime sky, mine are the haunted empty spaces in between "

Another romance written by Nicholas sparks . Sparks novels are all written in an easy manner that you'd read his books in a breeze . i loved this story and actually i loved the way it presented love even more . because if for the general outline of the story its the type of thing that you may have read often , but then from the same plot you can make different stories with different perspectives .
not long ago I've read Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez , and surprisingly inspite of all the difference in the writing style , these two stories share the same concept , However , even with the fact the Marquez is great with dealing with words but his novel got only two stars from me . and for the same reason i loved Dear Jhon , i resented the other , The way it represented Love . Though i haven't written a review of LITTOC yet but i'm willing to do soon and when i do , big part of it would be criticizing how obsession and many other mutilated concepts were tucked under the veil of love . while here it might have felt better because it was flawed and realistic yet it was selfless and i think , if anything , that's the essence of love .

John's father character made a great impression on me , I just loved this character that its a whole big part of the reason me loving this novel , it was the most poignant, i cant but feel deep respect for Bill Tyree , the way he led a life that demanded too high of expectations yet still managed is so worth a veneration , the whole story had a big deal of heartache but i have to say that the only one that pushed my tears off the edge was his last days with his son , it was wounding to see his light that never shined enough yet shined always dying out .

The end was bittersweet , it was the best Sparks could have offered his story , because at some point i thought that it will end Lovy-Dovy with obstacles swept out of the way when the writer is over with the required angst of a romantic novel .But then he didn't .
Sparks is a heart breaker , yes . but he has mastered doing it so well that you wouldn't mind , the end had this undertone of extreme sorrow , but still it made me smile , i just know that it had felt right . it did make me sad and i had my share of heart ache while reading it but i like that it glorifies love and offers it the very precious trait of being "selfless " and "unconditional ".
So , the story wasn't perfect , it had few moments here and there that may have been cliche , its a romantic that many may consider sappy , i mean I would have dropped down my rating if it wasn't for the end that gave the whole story a new shade of color , if it wasn't for the father - son relationship , if not for it dealing with an important topic as autism , but you know what ? the important thing is that i didn't .
i didn't drop my rating and it means that i loved it , that it compensated and twisted every now and then to change your mind , and there were these pages that I had to re-read to let them sink in my heart .
so all in all , Its nice , it will give you warm fuzzies yet will make you cry . it carries the right message and is an easy read . Generally , it was worth the read .

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Friday, 16 December 2016

The Book Thief Book Review

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One was a book thief.
The other stole the sky."

The Book Thief is, without a doubt, one of the most unusual books I have ever read . Have patience with me , I am to write this review with careful detail .

There's a big if not an enormously huge hype surrounding this book . I , most unexpectedly , avoid these type of books in usual , not willingly though , sometimes I cant bring myself to read a book with a big hype , it scares me , the amount of high expectations . there is also this unconscious thought " the book doesn't need you (does it ?), it has too many fans , why not linger in the periphery and find some lonely forgotten books to back up ? "
Or ... maybe I simply do not like crowds .
So, when I started reading this book I was pushing myself through the lines , curiosity to know what's so admirable about it overwhelming the bookish Enochlophobia . it was a little hard to get into , maybe because of the constant distraction and the slow pace , but the book slowly would takes hold of your heart and whole being. there is much wistfulness , pain , melancholy and beauty in this novel that when you finish the last page, you’re left in pieces .

When i was a child i read books without discrimination , i read anything and everything . I mean it didn't matter if i was reading a newspaper that I've already read 3 or 4 times before , I've read political books , religional books , children magazines or even user instruction manuals that come with devices . which were all mainly my father's or things that come in handy ,When I had nothing in hand i'd read text books of previous or coming years , history , chemistry , mathematics anything , i was never picky . Like though i wasn't interested in politics , but I'd sit and read and may imagine a whole different content than that in the book , now i open these books and can hardly recognize them .
It was not about understanding as much as about reading because it still means holding a book and enjoying the words rolling in your mouth . That Feeling .
However, my reading had changed , I'm being picky now , i write book requests , i search lists , read synopses , reviews and very carefully chose every next book . An uphill or a slop down I don't know .
Now how does this relate to our book ? What i loved the most about The Book Thief is that it didn't matter to Liesel "what the book was " as much as the act of reading did , she'd read a Grave digging guide , and go on re reading it , and still enjoy it . the mere child she is , who has nothing to do with how graves should be dug .
The whole book has this general theme of an odd subtlety , How the words seem to burn one moment then they'd turn into silent nostalgic ashes , you never know which line will sink or float you , make or mar you. Which would be your next undoing. Zusak had written a story of words, He writes with love and adoration and most important of all with respect to the power of words . Books and words almost have a physical presence in here , it’s a fascinating thing to witness. Words can hurt, and conversely as we find out from The Book Thief; they have the capacity to heal and give way to hope.
A meaningful unit of language / a promise / a short remark, statement, or conversation.
Related words: term, name, expression"

The Book Thief is not a book about the Holocaust in the traditional sense Considering that all of Hitler's power rested on his ability to persuade people through words. however, this book shows how this power may be used to create friendships, preserve life, and ultimately made Liesel more courageous and true to herself . it always abolishes whatever you may think is absolute , It’s not even a book about Jews or Germans and world war II . It is a book about people, "They were French, they were Jews, and they were you." it tells how war can victimize both sides of a battle field , that lines blur and people simply die , I connected to the book because there's always a time and a place were humanity would show cruelty , its never simply "the past" , it would be listed in history under different names but they share similar essence , We have our own wars now going on in the world . People suffer and die, there are rebels, there are reborn Fuhrers , and there are martyrs. these stories seem to share the very same content making the book ageless .

And then the insane concept of having Death be our narrator makes the book quite unique , it may sound ominous but Suzak captures the death voice in poetic human way " I am haunted by humans " ,he has conscience and empathy however unaffecting to his work they might be . Death is not what we might imagine for a mental model of the word , he's a sarcastic voice sometimes with an undeniable sense of humor . and it directs the dialogue to us , the readers , Zusak includes us here , we are no mere observers , we do not linger in the death thoughts , we do not eavesdrop his conversations , he simply addresses us , speaks to us . tells us the story of a little girl that touched his very existence . like a friend telling you a story , one who's eager , indifferent to and unaware of the literary sins (giving away spoilers the greatest of them ) . and for a book to provide its own spoilers is assuredly unusual .
through out the book we get glimpses of our odd narrator
"A REASSURING ANNOUNCEMENT Please, be calm, despite that previous threat. I am all bluster— I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result"
"A SMALL PIECE OF TRUTH I do not carry a sickle or scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue"

having the story told by a character supposedly detached from humanity is eerily effective. this prospect provides the bird eye view of humanity , and this eerie feeling is due to this exact fact , the humanization of death , it has a strange, out-of-place feeling about it . In aesthetics there's whats called The uncanny valley which is the hypothesis that human replicas that appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion among some observers .

The world building was outstanding . not that it had many details but it felt too personal , a single town a single street , I felt like I was a member of the neighborhood. I could picture myself wherever the story was at: the school, courtyard, library, basement, house. The beautiful writing was the factor that made it so . Every sentence felt like it was a painting or an artifact .

At some point near the end , The Book Thief stops being just a greatly written novel , it simply becomes Great . its beautiful and tragic . How it manages wartime , death and such great afflictions and diversities with the humor and the curiosity of the youth , It’s one of those books with the ability to linger in your mind long after the final page .
The amount of the sentimentalism the End holds , this much of intense wrenching crushing and scarring heart ache ! Its an end that would tear your heart apart and rip it open . I couldn't stand reading it in one brave daring go , I had to break through every few minutes console my broken heart , manage the hot tears and then step back into the ocean of feelings that end was .
How brave should you be to step back into an ocean in the middle of a tempest ?

I loved the book wholeheartedly , and not only the book but it's characters , the way they learned to love in the face of great hatred.

I have hated the words
And I have loved them,
And I hope I have made them right.

Liesel Meminger , The Book Thief

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Passenger Book Review

Passenger (Passenger, #1)Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"But she wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life—that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment. "

Passenger is a scavenger hunt through space and time . a wholesome adventure story . the book is written from the points of view of the two main characters , Etta Spencer and Nicholas Carter . 17 years old Etta is a violin prodigy , from the 2015's New York , she is about to make her debut as a professional violinist when suddenly the night of her debut goes disarray . she encounters some strange events and wakes up somewhere else , and figures , sometime else too . Through this dilemma , on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic She crosses paths with Nicholas, a pirate from 1776 , He's dark-skinned and so experiences all of the societal issues that comes with at the time and he does handle them well . Nicholas hang up on claiming freedom and independence while Etta trying to salvage the life she had , they set out in a journey around the world between different eras looking for something that may change the time line and write a whole new history .
One of these things i admire in novels is when they hold a message , novels should not be written to merely serve as stories , they should hold a message between the lines so like this one do . passenger covers some pretty serious social issues. tells of the role of women in the eighteenth century and how different from that of the twenty first also racism and slavery . and its done in a way that it doesn't seem forced into the story . we get to see how societal issues evolve and change over time.
Etta is an admirable character , she isn't whiny which i really like, though she was a bit extra "badass" at the beginning that at some point it felt fake and unreal but then things changed , she started coming to life few chapters after . Nicholas is a fully fleshed out character where his race is only a part of how he interacts with the world .
Seriously books like this one reinforce my belief that no book should be left unfinished . Because any moment things may change and the book would exceed your expectations . this one did , it fills me with a nice feeling , i love when books do this . I cant elaborate . I mean not like i want books to put me down at the beginning , but for a book to pick itself up is like an extra unconsidered perk .

Generally Time travel maybe confusing but it always is an interesting subject to read a novel about . This novel offers an interesting take on time-travel, particularly as the time-travel within it has so many limitations. in this world one can not cross path with themselves , means if you were somewhere sometime at some point of your life you just cant revisit that year ,the passages are limited for certain times and places and it explains a lot about the concept this book is using . its compelling how through time people who were long dead can still be found in the future sightseeing as they've traveled to these years at some point of their lives , there are traveler and guardians and the whole thing is interesting . I loved the world building as it was so carefully nicely crafted .
The end is cliffhanger(ish) , twisterific , it added an extra layer of tension overall , I am interested to see how things would turn out and i expect more of the next book so Wayfarer would be one of my 2017 anticipated books .

All in all , aside from some minor issues I do like the book , of course it could do with some polishing like there definitely were some slow parts and a moment here and there that didn't feel right but the second half of the book was laudable and the book is worth the read. It just takes a while to get into . Passenger would take you through different times all over the world to America, England, France, Bhutan, Cambodia , Syria , etc . Its an interesting journey , you may want a ticket .

"I’ll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places"

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince Book Review

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."

**Spoilers Alert .

This is the only Harry Potter Book that I didn't review yet, the sole reason is that the end was marvelous, amazing , that I just didn't wait to write the review and started the deathly hallows instantly . however I loved The Deathly Hallows and didn't wait to write this book's review to express my whole ocean of feelings about it . So, somehow the review was never written , but no damage done because one of the Harry Potter perks is that not even a tiny detail is ever Forgettable .

The story starts as always with the Dursleys . this time Dumbledore has a trip for Harry before he settles in the burrow and then back to Hogwarts . as the events progress Harry is lent a potions book by Professor Slughorn, an old friend of Dumbledore's who they convince to step by their side and eventually teach potions in Hogwarts . in the book Harry finds a number of notes from it's previous owner, which allows Harry to excel in a subject he has never been more than average at. The book is marked "Property of the Half-Blood Prince". Who's this half blood prince , the potions brilliant ? Hermione is slightly suspicious but they have too many other things in mind to bother about it much . Harry is a little affronted by Dumbledore's disinterest in his doubts and fears . anyways soon we'd be introduced to what's called Horcruxes and dive in their mysteries .
I love this book , its fast paced , nothing seems safe anymore , everything is at risk even Hogwarts that has always been the safe haven . its quite dark at places . the flashbacks that tell us about Voldemort's / Tom Riddle's past is so absorbing . I always like to read the stories of the villains , I like to know what lead them to be whatever they are .
Also in this book we can notice that Rowling seems to be trying for more complicated prose and more sophisticated storytelling than each of her previous books . There are plenty of questions left unanswered by the end and We also learn a lot more about the characters, We even see whole other sides of them , maybe change our model thinking about them . Draco Malfoy is one of these .
The final plot twist , which is Dumbledore's killer identity is absolutely unforeseen even shocking {if it's not spoiled for you , off course } and Dumbledore's death overall is devastating , the one who was always been there to solve problems , the background Hero , their savior , the strongest wizards in the world's Death puts everything at stake .
His death is one of the most emotional . The only two deaths that made me actually cry were Dumbledore's and Dobby's . Though I have to admit that if I had the choice to bring one character to life that most definitely would be Fred , but when I say emotional I mean that we had time to cry , to mourn our loss . Fred 's , Sirius's , Lupin's , Tonks's . All these deaths happened in the middle of a battle , in the middle of a sentence we had no time to feel them fully at the time .But Later they'd hurt when Re-reading the books or when thinking about the whole image but while reading You'd feel Dumbledore's and Dobby's the most . At least that's what happened with me .
Yes ! off course Dobby is still alive here , also all the other characters above but I am generally speaking .
All in all , its a Harry Potter Book , That's an enough compliment , I loved it as much as loved all the other books maybe slightly more than few others .
*Peace upon your hearts You who are going to read the deathly Hallows . Get yourselves ready , you'd need self control and tissues , Yes paper tissues you'd need that *

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Dark Matter Book Review

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"It's terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, creates a new world."

At some moment I felt like writing a few words review , something like " I won't say a word , Please go find out yourself " Or "Its a book that you'd carry its hangover with you for a life time , if you're ready for the weight of it go read it " but then i couldn't fight it in me to write a review and now I am lost in this mess of rambling thoughts trying to exclude what's only useful for a potential reader .

I'm having this serious type of a book hangover . Its literally the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning , I even did extra house work today , My mother is quite pleased . I needed something to do while thinking about the book I've just read . Ladies and Gentlemen This book is Great , It blew my mind , I couldn't put it down , its brilliant , exhilarating , suspenseful , heartbreaking and gripping . It hooked me right in the first few lines . This is one of the best book first chapters I've ever read , can you imagine a book that hooks you in the first few lines and never let go of you not for a single moment ! not ever . I finished the book and its still there gripping all the attention I have . I don't know how to say it in other words but I am emotionally drained , and my mind is a continuous buzz .

So , The whole story revolve around the principle of Schrödinger's cat , the superposition , quantum mechanics Copenhagen interpretation and the theory of the Multiverse . It starts with Jason Dessen, a husband , a father , a brilliant atomic physicist who has left behind his ambitions to settle into life as a professor at a small college, sometimes it stings , sometimes he wonders about The what might have been but he is happy and by the end of the day he regrets non of his choices . He lives in brownstone house with his loving family : beautiful artist wife Daniela and teenage son Charlie.

Sent out to meet an old friend and buy ice cream one evening, Jason is abducted and drugged, and He wakes up to find himself in another universe that isn't his own: he’s not married, he has no child, and he now appears to be a rich award-winning physicist . and here starts the universes hopping journey .
This book is character driven you cant but feel for Jason , you understand his choices, your heart would break for him , you experience his desperation, and you cling to his fleeting shreds of hope . At the core , the story is about a man who loved his family too much he traveled the universes to find them , to get them back . It also discusses all outcomes of a thought process that haunts many if not all of us" What might have been " and " the path not taken " which we can figure out first thing in the dedication , the so beautiful dedication : " For anyone who has wondered what their life might look like at the end of the road not taken.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened "

Dark Matter would get your blood pumping, misshapen your vitals , the depth of raw emotion and the packed race-to-the-finish-line thriller written with break-neck speeds interlaced with sophisticated short prose and entangled with pieces of science would hold you captive .

Anyway , Ever happened to you that you finish some book and for a millisecond you wonder how the hell the world is still the same , everybody is still living their routine , hasn't an earth quake happened ? Then reality hits you and you realize how stupid your questions were . The world seems so different for a moment it seems almost impossible its only you who happened to notice .
Well if this ever happens to you , open your Goodreads , give the book five stars , add it to your forever favorite list and lie back , take a deep breath you've just read a Great book .

Seriously , I'm inlove with this book I'd recommend it for any and everyone . You love Sci-Fi or not , as long as you're a human being , Trust me , You'd love this one .

"And maybe I can let go of the sting and resentment of the path not taken, because the path not taken isn’t just the inverse of who I am. "

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Yellow Wallpaper Review

The Yellow Wall-PaperThe Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a small piece of literature that conveys a great deal .
in few words Charlotte Perkins Gilman had written a story that even so long after it was published is still a subject of further criticism and analysis . to put that much underlying meaning into a short story .

The story opens at the turn of the nineteenth century about an unnamed woman who suffers depression , most likely what is called postpartum depression . her husband John , a physician , decides on taking her in a vacation to a village house for three months as a part of a type of treatment that was used by then called "Resting Cure". The house is nice she declares , but she has a distaste for her bedroom's wall paper , yellow and repulsive as it is . Historically, The Resting Cure was a treatment prescribed specially to women who had a tendency towards hysteria or diagnosed with what is called Neurasthenia . this treatment essentially imprisoned women, isolating them from any Intellectual stimulation, such as reading, writing, drawing or excersing . they were forbidden from social contacts , our narrator is not even allowed to take care of her child . however , this once a brilliant woman who is into writing starts losing her mind , which any sane person would if placed in such an atmosphere . she tried to fight the whole thing by secretly keeping a journal but she soon gave up on it . " I did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust me a good deal — having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition." , anyway her mild distaste for the yellow wallpaper of her bedroom turns into obsession , she studies the patterns at first then sees them change day and night . When the wallpaper starts to reveal bars, it shows that she truly feels trapped and subdued. she'd start seeing women behind the bars shaking the pattern trying to free them selves which shows that she has become more mentally unstable. “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over Also as the wallpaper becomes more intricate ". at first she wants them to stop she thinks of stopping them herself but eventually she would try to free them by stripping the walls of the paper . it shows that at first she denies that she is oppressed , she'd like to believe that its all for her own good , she wouldn't want her subconscious telling her otherwise , but it doesn't take her long to start identifying herself with the woman imprisoned in the wallpaper and try to free them .
The symbolism in the story is its powerful point , first there is The Yellow Wallpaper which represents her mind or her sanity , It contains patterns that all contradict one another , change with time and the disfranchised change that is unnoticed by the husband or any other just like the deterioration of her sanity that was totally underestimated .
The room its self which is big comfortable and well furnitured but with barred windows , not being her choice to begin with and to have asked to change it represents her situation . she is trapped into a golden cage and barely can complain .
The room to have been a nursery has to do with the manner in which the narrator is stripped of her autonomy by being treated and seen by her husband as if a baby who needs directing and continued instructions . So the nursery represents the society's treatment of women as juveniles. .

The whole atmosphere of the story is eerie , creepy lets say .The choice of the first person narration and The writing is genius , skilled . I am surprised to have noticed that the writing itself is correlative to the mental status of our narrator , first it starts with long well expressed sentences and as the narrator starts to lose her sanity it fragments and the longer sentences breakdown into shorter ones . I think I am proud of this one little remark which I have Googled and found too many people agreeing with the same observation .

The powerful end in which the narrator declares "I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane." in which the husband finds his wife creeping around the room after having stripped it of the ugly wall paper .
but Then who is Jane ? It is likely that " Jane "is the name of our narrator, who has been restraining herself as much as being restrained by her husband and society and Now she is horribly free of her own efforts to repress her mind and the constraints put on her by others .

Overall , The story sheds the light on both mental illness and the role of a woman in a family in the turn of the nineteenth century . Regardless to the husband intentions which appeared to be totally benign he was causing her harm by the false treatment used by then and generally by considering her incapable of defining her own good .
All in all , this is one of the best short stories I ever read and i may recommend it to anyone who is interested in both subjects i mentioned above .

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