Books

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY 2013

Still 39 minutes left as I am writing this post. I am much obliged to a lot of things this year that I am not going to waste the precious time listing them. But most precious things to me are books. And yes, each and every I try to read more and more, and I try to learn and explore new things through them. And till now I have been successful. It is fun that this year that I set a target of reading 100 books but could not achieve it, still I manage to read 78 of them. I am also hoping to overcome this number next year with reading more and more.

I also learnt a lot in the art of buying books. Yes, buying books is an art. And to perform that art, you have to buy books. I read more than 50 % of books I read in e-book format. But reading in paperback has its own pleasure. The aroma of those yellow pages when reaches those two nostrils is stronger and beautiful than a the fresh morning and hits harder than the smoke.

For next year, my intentions are to read more than 78 books, read at least 20 new authors I haven’t read once and yes write more and more. First thing when the next year starts, I am going to set a target on Goodreads.

Thank you all fellow bloggers and friends for appreciating me and motivating me to write more and more, for spending your time on reading my words, I wish you guys a Happy New 2014!

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Books

LAST DAY BUYS

LAST DAY BUYS

Last day of year 2013 and some more books!

Books

CURRENTLY READING

CURRENTLY READING

A TALE OF TWO CITIES by CHARLES DICKENS

Books, Essay

365 DAYS, 77 BOOKS! NOW NEW RECOMMENDATIONS

The year 2013 is ending pretty fast for me. Only two days and 40 minutes left. Earlier this year, from day 1, I set a target for myself. Target to read 100 books in 365 days. But I guess, I could not complete it. It was a battle against time, and only a time lord could have won. I am no time lord. But I am happy also, as I could read 28 more books than the last year. So somehow, it is an achievement for me too. This year has been a wonderful reading year for me. I feel I have grown as reader, as my knowledge and my ability to understand and grab literature has grown. Reading is beneficial, always. And I got to realize the fact a lot more this year when I took my writing seriously, I was kind of fortunate to my reading habit. Oscar Wilde once said, “There are only good books and bad books”, and I’d like to add something to this wonderful and truthful saying, ‘It’s essential to read a book, and then only you can judge if it is good or bad. It is also essential to judge a book good or bad to develop a strong ability of understanding and expressing your judgment. With knowing the difference between good or bad only, you cannot decide (especially if you’re a writer) what is good or what is bad’. I do read some badly written books. Some of them do have good plot and structure, but then they lack something here and there. Few of them, I dislike, because the unorganized plot. But the good books, well they are good, plot development is one reason or characterization development is good, et cetera. Do become a better reader, a reader must have the experience of both good and bad and reading

Here is snapshot of number of books I read this year. Of course, this does not include the number of text books I read!

Goodreads

 

I might complete the current book I am reading, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, but I am not sure. It’s a classic, and alongside reading it, I want to enjoy each and every word written by Dickens. So the number can increase to 78, I am not sure.

Thus, I’ll end this post in Charles Dickens’ words to describe my reading year in one line,“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

Any recommendation of books to read, would be appreciated.

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: THE NAMESAKE by JHUMPA LAHIRI

The Namesake, was on top of my Christmas holidays book-shopping. I have been waiting for a long time to read it. I haven’t read much of the South Asian origin’s authors, but I certainly did enjoy Jhumpa Lahiri. Her command of the language is amazing. The fluency of her writing clearly shows how effortlessly she must have wrote the book. Her captivating manner of writing is what enthralls me.

In a nutshell, the story starts in the form of an immigrant experience. Ashoke and Ashima are first-generation immigrants to the US from India, and they do not have the easiest time adjusting to the peculiarities of their new home and its culture. Gogol, the protagonist, is their son who is tasked with living the double life, fitting in with the culture of his parents as well as the culture of his family’s new country. Simultaneously experiencing two cultures is not always easy, and this is the main theme of this book.

The Namesake is titled because Gogol is named after a Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. Gogol, though a famous namsake, lives his early life disliking it. I felt that this conflict was the main necessary of developing of relations between the characters and furthermore, Gogol and his negligence of his own home. The culture exploration is defined uniquely in the book and that was also a part which enthralled me.

Lahiri, a Pulitzer prize winner, for her short-story collection Interpreter of Maladies, has a magical talent for scribbling. Her near perfection writing is cherishing, and the book is a calm read.

4.5 out of 5 it gets from me. Highly recommended.

Books

NEW BUYS- HOLIDAYS SPECIAL

KIM BY RUDYARD KIPLING
THE NAMESAKE BY JHUMPA LAHIRI
AN UNACCUSTOMED EARTH BY JHUMPA LAHIRI

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

I have been trying to read this books from past five months(when I first heard about it) and this weekend, I finally took a step forward. When I am reading a good book, it doesn’t take much time for me to finish that book. The Fault in Our Stars, beautifully written, light-read and fast-paced book, by John Green. This is my first piece of John Green’s writing and I must say I am impressed by his style and lightness of the book. The book’s about Hazel Grace Lancaster, and how a book about a cancer sufferer which brings two sufferers close. The other sufferer being Augustus Waters.

But there is some fault in the characterization. John’s characters, Hazel Grace and Augustus, sound more like 25 or 30 year old adults then 17 year old teenagers.  The character of Augustus is more very mature according to his age. But then the wit John has used in his characters is wonderful to read. The sarcasm is outstanding. This made the dialog conversations between the main characters is realistic and fun to read. I could imagine the characters in front of me conversing to each other. It was that clear. Also, the book is for a quodophile(i.e. me). I also feel, John develop these mature characters as the book also targets young adults and which I feel is a very good thing. The young adults could add something new to their vocabularies and learn some small-small morals which this book provides and make a good impact on their attitude and personality through their whole life. This effort, of the author, I appreciate.

There was also one more fault with the book is that in the end it becomes too much emotional. And that aspect I certainly do not like. But hey, I am not the author, John Green is, and he has full rights to write whatever he wants. Also, he being a male writer, wrote the entire book in female teenager’s point of view. And I feel, he did a good job. Never once, I felt that something was too manly about his female characterization.

One thing is for sure, I ‘d like to read him again, and he is certainly one of the best new authors I read this year.

3.5 out of 5 from me.

Books

BOOKS ON THE SHELF

I’ve got four new books on my bookshelf right now. Which to start is getting hard for me right now.

Books, Essay, MyWorks

‘SOME’ SORT OF FICTION

“You cannot be a good writer of serious fiction if you are not depressed.”
 Kurt Vonnegut

Don’t worry. You don’t have to be depressed right now. ‘Cause Fiction does not have to be serious all the time. It can be of ‘anything’. It has many kinds too. But only two general kinds of modern fiction are recognized as: Category or Genre Fiction and Mainstream Fiction. Category fiction includes science fiction, suspense, mystery, erotica, Gothic and writers like Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain were two category fiction writers. Mainstream writers like Ernst Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that kind of fiction which does not fit comfortably into one category fiction. Best example of mainstream fiction is Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.

A newbie writer would and must try to master one or at least two categories of category fiction such that then he would be able to to write a well-told mainstream fictitious story. For every reader wants to read well-told story and a writer who doesn’t enjoy each of word while writing then how can he make others like those words? Also, most modern day readers prefer category fiction such as mystery, fast-paced suspense, erotica, etc. Less reader prefer mainstream fiction. This can be confirmed by looking at any bestseller list in which 70-80% is category fiction.

So what makes a category fiction. Well there are four basic elements:

  • Plot
  • Protagonist and Anti
  • Background
  • Motivation behind

Plot, as we all know, is the basic body of any story. If a story does not have a plot there would be no story. Ever Shakespeare’s plays have plots. Plot, depends all on writer’s imagination, and of course they way he develops it.

Hero/Heroine and/or Anti-Hero/Villain are the basic characters. A story need to have a hero and in any fiction this is essential. A writer can never write about a character without not focusing on it. Even that character might be a bunch of hair stuck in the drain. The writer will have to analyse and has to spotlight that bunch of hair as to focus on it. That spotlight would be on main character. Having an anti-hero/heroine or a villain is not necessary. I mean to say, not necessary in human form but a villain can a situation or a problem which the hero/heroine has to face in order to complete the plot. There can multiple villains but there cannot be more than one hero. The protagonist can always have a ‘side-kick’ or a supporting character or more than one.

Background is an essential part of a story especially if you are writing like science fiction. In science fiction a writer need to set some background for the plot is constructed in the future from the present time. Background needs to strong such that a reader will believe in it. Sometimes, due to background a reader can stick to the whole story thus just to know what lies in the future. Thus, background has a similar functionality of a glue.

Motivation behind the plot and character building always result in a good story. The characterization is always a requirement but the story should not be sacrificed for the sake of a character study. Don’t spend too much time on analyzing the character to the reader. Get-along with story. Motivation certainly have some further bullet points which I’ll be discussing in a future post.

So, stay tuned.

Books, Essay, MyWorks, Reviews

TOP TEN TUESDAY- TOP TEN AUTHORS OF 2013

With Top Ten Tuesday meme, I going to discuss Top Ten Authors I read in the year of 2013.

I’ll start with number 10MA JIAN, which I picked up randomly and was impressed by his style and the structure and organization of the context, though the length of the book, The Dark Road, was quite extensive. But in the end, I was glad I picked him up, and his style is unique and might seem satisfying to a reader if he reads Jian for the first time.

The number spot, I’ll give to GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, whose books I was trying to avoid from quite a long time but couldn’t resist anymore so I surrendered and I must say the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is an impressive epic fantasy and I quite enjoyed them. The length of the books were quite a challenge and thus I had fun conquering it  and I ended up reading all five books which constitute the series till current date.

8th spot goes to PATRICK ROTHFUSS, recently read The Name of the Wind, which is more satisfying and his style and plot-writing is slightly better than George Martin, in some way, but hey, I am not saying Martin is bad or something. It was pretty hard for me to choose between the two and I decided Rothfuss should go above Martin as Martin disappoints me in the length of his books but hey, he is ‘good’. So is Rothfuss and both are great icons of the epic fantasies.

Number 7 is considered an iconic in the football (soccer) club I prefer to follow, many good players have worn that number during their time at the club, created history, and crafted memories which are unforgettable and became legendary. Such is PETER CUNNINGHAM, an award winning Irish novelist. His historical fiction, The Sea and Silence, introduced me to a new level of writing. The level is simple, unique and touches a reader’s head as well as his heart. It’s a powerful novel, I would say and I expect him that he continues to create such cherishing novels in future. That’s why I gave him number 7, he has the potential.

6th spot goes to, GEORGE ORWELL, for writing an exceptional novel based on truth which turned out to be very realistic in future. In our time, and the coming future, the idea his novel, 1984, implies is a fact, implemented today if not fully, well it will be someday. The way higher authorities want to control people, this novel describe it beautifully also with some thrill. Orwell, I salute you for writing such a novel.

Halfway through the list, and here comes the 5th author. IAN RANKIN, my all time favorite crime fiction writer in modern day writing. His style, character building and plot structure are all better than others of his own field. I won’t say their names, but when you read him and then you read them, I am sure you will be able to tell the difference. A Scottish, which, a few years back, I picked out randomly has turned to be one of my favorites. His words mysteriously provides me the motivation to explore more and more and to continue to read.

The number 4 is SCOTT F. FITZGERALD, one of the American classicist of the jazz age. He flatters me by the philosophy he is uses behind his words and the way he keeps his characters such the the reader will remain, no matter what, neutral. That feeling is something new and unique to experience which only Fitzgerald can give you.

Now comes the podium holders:

3rd is astonishing MARKUS ZUSAK, whose exceptional book, The Book Thief, made me crazy about him. The only thing I admire in his writing is the way he creates the plot. And after creating the plot he develops the character such that they will fit into the story like they are it’s own offspring’s. Hats off to the guy who stayed in New York Time Bestseller for 230 weeks. He’s one of those five out five ones.

2nd is FRANZ KAFKA, who he is just ‘Kafkaesque’. Powerful, knows how to drag the reader in a motion without letting the reader to realise, and leaves a reader, impressed. He is one of the best European Writers I have ever read. And believe me, he’s not over-rated.

And the 1st, I have to say, I admire her, her writing, her beautiful mind, she is SYLVIA PLATH. The first work I read of her was The Bell Jar, which was disappointing and I told myself, that’s not Sylvia Plath. Then I read many of her poems, and her Unabridged Journal which made me fell in love her. Through her poems I could  clearly see the way she used her imagination and how she settled down the words.I could read through her poems and imagine her writing which just feels like reading another book. I seriously felt in love with her writing, and had a fantasy of meeting upon and having a dinner.

So here completes my TOP TEN AUTHORS of 2013.  I am still exploring some new and reading those old classy writers. As this year is coming to a warm end, next year, I intend to read more and many new authors. So tell me, What are your favorite authors or any new author you read and he just blew your mind ?