THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH by Allison Bartlett
MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Sir Alex Ferguson
THE BOOK THIEF
by Markus Zusak
The extraordinary New York Times Bestseller for 230 weeks must be on your reading list this year. This book is a treasure, a modern classic I would say. Set during the time of Nazi Germany and World War II, it tells the story about a foster girl, Liesel Meminger with a fine and an extraordinaire narrative by Death. The narration was one of the reasons I picked this book due to the immense curiosity, I can say I am completely satisfied and I have read after along time, a totally satisfying book. It leaves with a mysterious thrill which is hard to define in words and can only be experienced if you read it. The book is very well structured. It seems all perfect due to the intensive narration of the Death’s perspective. Markus Zusak is impressing in this one.
The narrative, Death, in not some kind of boring grim reaper with a scythe. He’s a jolly character, tries to enjoy himself and is always indulged in his work. His role is a strong one, and in some ways he makes himself a slave of humans – dealing with the impact of their wars and atrocities as he is always haunted by humans. A reader’s imagination also has a serious part in coping up with the characters. The other characters of Liesel Meminger, Hans Hubermann, Rudy Steiner, and Max Vandenburg are some perks of the book. Each character has its own story as always. I could not find myself falling for one character ( just like The Great Gatsby) which is a good thing as I could maintain the transparency of my readership towards the book. Though The Book Thief succeeds on the most post-modern of levels, its impact on the reader is as much due to superb old fashioned plot and characterization as anything else. It is, afterall, simply a beautiful and painful story of a young girl as she deals with an important and tragic point in history.
There is no doubt that you are not going to enjoy this story. It is one hell of a story. The story wraps itself around you. Your mind and your heart will be stolen as it did mine. It won’t disappoint you, that’s for sure.
FATHERS AND SONS
BY IVAN SERGEYEVICH TURGENEV
Set in Nineteenth Century Russia, Fathers and Sons by I. S. Turgenev takes us the estates and agricultural fields – among the rural gentry and their peasants. It portrays two different sons and fathers deal with the changes happening around them. The book starts when Arkady returns home from school with his friend Bazarov, who is a nihilist, to the home of his father, Nicholas. His uncle Pavel also lives there. Nicholas is trying to stay with the times and has set his serfs free, but his estate has fallen into disrepair. He also has been having a relationship with a former servant, Fenichka, and has fathered a child.
My experience in Russian Literature is quite less vast as I have only read Dostoevsky and Chekhov before. So I also wanted to try a new author and I was in a mood of reading something different so I went for it. The book has a good plot, goes monotonous a bit clumsy in the middle but a good ending. The story evolves around the times where ideologies as Materialism, Nihilism and Marxism just were “infants” and clashed with the old aristocratic thinking. That’s why I felt Turgenev could have written Fathers and Sons without any mention of Bazarov’s nihilistic beliefs; it doesn’t strengthen Bazarov’s argument for the welfare of the serfs, and makes him an easy target for Arkady’s uncle Pavel Petrovich to dismiss him as arrogant, flippant and egoistic, characteristics attributed to youth and not the workings of a man of wisdom.
I can’t write more about it as it has nothing much in it but I feel is essential book to read of you’re reading Russian Literature.
My favorite quote from the book: “Every single man hangs by a thread, a bottomless pit can open beneath him any minute, and yet he still goes on thinking up unpleasantness for himself and making a mess of his life.”
On an early August morning, wandering alone on the crispy and crumby dead leaves I felt sharp rays of sun appearing betwixt the naked branches of trees. The trees appeared as some broken mannequins, their faces totally blank in aspect to show an expression that if ever a brainy mind ever groom in them or do they have brainless mind already? I felt even if I stand all day long and just stare them, they will still be blank just like the current state of humanity. People don’t react on the consequences and events they should but they do overreact on when they should show least of the interest.
Squirrels were hovering hither and thither trees to hide themselves beneath the shadow of leaves. And they failed to find any. Just like those sinners who try to hide behind someone as if to blame him of their own sins and feeling of guilt. Do sinners even have the feeling of guilt, I wonder? It’s an odd habit among us humans and an old one too, which the with ages being passed, we, humans have to failed to change in ourselves despite how drastically we have changed materialistically.
This lonely path was unclear and far away had a blurry glimpse of what might come but still I wandered barefooted just like the humanity is living through centuries. With the every step I took, a monotonous effect of sound came from crumbling of the dead leaves. I usually encountered some small pointed pebbles which would pinch right through the skin like through the soul, only to make it hard and to suffer from severe pain for an instance. I wondered, humanity is like this only. No matter how many centuries we had endured we still are unable to omit small-small negative notions in our society and day to day living which eventually effect us in bigger sense. They are nothing but pain in vain.
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
by THOMAS HARDY
The more I read, the more I realize that a book should be wrought with a special physiognomy but also it should be astonishing. Far From the Madding Crowd is one example of the aforesaid. This was my first book of the author Thomas Hardy, his poetic way and his way of portraying a scene gives a reader the feeling repletion. Many a times, the reader would be astonished by the way of illustrations Thomas Hardy provides in this particular title. The way he pulled images, I was bewitched by his art.
Far from the Madding Crowd is basically the story of Bathsheba Everdene and how her three suitors affect her life. Looking at the protagonist Bathsheba Everdene, considering her wit and intelligence how she ends up choosing to marry the worst of the three suitors is hard to imagine. But that’s what drives the plot forward. Otherwise, this book would have been ended in just two or three pages. Following the protagonist made me think about how little we know about that special someone we marry.
The book provides few little queries at some point or other and it is necessary to understand the motive and think for an answer to it. Especially, that point where he talks about ‘how woman may be treated in bitterness’. Also, there is a lot of psychological insight about human nature and how we often make the wrong choices based on superficiality.
The characterization is thorough and well maintained till the end. Hardy clearly shows how even a small character can define and refine the plot. Even the titles of the chapters were well written and make a huge difference on how the plot is advancing fashioning up the curiosity of reader to read more.
I would say the book was not much of a heavy read, is enjoyable to read when you are in the mood for a classic or some pastoral mayhem.