May- A Monthly Recap

This post is all about what was posted this month on Confessions of a Readaholic.

Book Reviews

                        

Guest Post

 Mrs P’s Journey by Matthew Ruddle

Book Lists

Five Dystopian Novels to Read

Five Anthony Trollope Books You Should Read

BOOK REVIEW: An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

Bipolar disorder is a complex disease. It is a peculiar virtue in the nature of human beings that we accept any physical illness with our open hands but many discard the idea of mental illness. Some just ignore them whether they are the sufferer or not. The society we live in lie to us that everyone is mentally healthy. Everyone of us, at some point in our lives, does distress from a mental malady as we do from a cold or a cough. Those with that peculiar opinion are not ready to accept that a human being can suffer as much as from mental disease as from the physical one. In some cases that mental suffering might be more gruesome than the physical one because it is in the ‘mind’ of that person. However, my opinion is that there is an equal probability of getting healed and healthy in both the cases.

AN UNQUIET MIND: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison examines bipolar illness from the outlook of a healer and a healed one as she herself an American clinical psychologist and suffered from manic-depression, in her book. An Unquiet Mind is a powerful book and a must read if your curious about this disease.

Manic depression consist of many moods. An effortless of well-being, confidence and energy of hypomania, the uncontrolled on and off state of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity. Kay Jamison makes an excellent case, through her own experiences, for the need to treat manic depression with both medication and psychotherapy. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison”

BOOK REVIEW: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I had a long debate in my mind before writing this review. Shall I really write the review. I guess, half of the world must have read it by now. What about the other half? Well, it seems they have seen the movie. Well, whatever. If you are already familiar with the story of Gone Girl, I hope this post amuses you and bring back some relating memories, otherwise keenly read this.

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn is all about toxicity in a marriage between two virulent characters. Those kind of characters which will serve the our literature needs for quite a time. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife Amy Dunne goes missing. Yes she is the Gone Girl. Their front door is open, the coffee table shattered, books scattered. Nick calls the police but there’s something off about his reactions. He keeps referring to Amy in the past tense, and then catching himself.  And he is not quite worried enough about her disappearance but defends by calling himself a ‘laid-back’ guy. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media as well as Amazing Amy’s fiercely doting parents, the boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter, but is he really a killer? The book is set in Carthage, Missouri.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn”

GUEST POST- Mrs P’s Journey by Matthew Ruddle (A Book Review)

Book Review: Mrs P’s Journey

by Matthew Ruddle

IMG_9432Mrs P’s Journey by Sarah Hartley

Phyllis got lost in London. We’ve all been there. Lost in a big city, trying to find that little, hidden gem a friend told us about, going around in circles, walking down the wrong side street, and ending up in a dead-end. We retrace our steps, double-check the street names, and somehow, accidentally, find our destination. Finding your way around an American city, for example, isn’t too bad, due to the way the streets are set out in a systematic grid system, but in older European cities, like London, the streets are unpredictable and haphazard, with complete disregard for logic or common sense.

These days, help is readily at hand; we can check our phones, use sat nav, or click on a website and find the way to our destination in a matter of seconds. However, Phyllis Pearson didn’t have the technologies of today when she got lost in London in the 1930s. There wasn’t even a street map available to help her.

Phyllis, who? I hear you ask. Well, she had an unremarkable name, but lived an extraordinary life, and founded one of the UK’s most famous and recognizable brands. Continue reading “GUEST POST- Mrs P’s Journey by Matthew Ruddle (A Book Review)”

BOOK REVIEW: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

On reading Murakami’s works I realised that sometimes some writers’ works aren’t meant to be good books or bad books, there are some exceptions. Haruki Murakami is that exception in the contemporary world. When reading any of his novel, the vulnerability of reading a bad book is reduced drastically. His words, the structure, the flow of text, the plot, and the characters together make a mesmerizing mesh for a reader to experience. When I first read Murakami’s first published book, Hear The Wind Sing, I was astonished by how a writer can maintain the calmness throughout the text and let the reader feel that calmness in similar or almost the same manner it is written, while reading the text. There is never any hurry in Murakami’s books, and that is what I like most about him.

KAFKA ON THE SHORE is a story of a runaway 15-year old boy named Kafka Tamura from Tokyo and his sculptor-father who kills cats to make flutes from their souls. Kafka winds up in the provincial city of Takamatsu on the smallest of Japan’s main islands, Shikoku. Here the cross-gender librarian of a private library, Oshima, and its enigmatic owner, Mrs. Saeki, provide the runaway boy an employment and a place to live. This odyssey gets more attentive simultaneously when Nakata, an aged man, who considers himself ‘not very bright’ but has a power to converse with cats. Alternating chapters for each character, Murakami follows two seekers who seem to have nothing in common until they are brought together by fate or by prevalence.

Meanwhile, Tamura begins an affair with his employer Mrs. Saeki and starts realising that she might be his mother who renounced him when he was four. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami”

BOOK REVIEW: The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis

THE MONK by Matthew Gregory Lewis was first published in 1796. It is an early gothic novel and despite being written over two hundred years ago, now considered under the classification of classic, it is a real page turner. Matthew Lewis has described the story in an effective manner, and this book is a good display of his story-telling. Previously read a few books related to the specific genre: Gothic, I am very much fascinated by the writings, the display of the words, and different type of plots. And by other books I mean Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I don’t know if Dracula by Bram Stoker is a true horror or can also be considered as a part-gothic but it does give the similar experience and produce similar set of feelings inside me.

The book is set in a monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid, Spain, and the overall plot is mesh of three stories appended together and sharing same set of characters. The story starts with the Monk, Ambrosio, on whom the title emphasise. He is one of the most respected abbot both in the monastery and in Madrid. He never leaves the monastery except once a week, to deliver his sermons that attract a large amount of crowd from all over the city. He is dedicated to his vows and is almost considered a saint by the few. But being a human, he is duped by a young woman called Matilda in to breaking his vows. He is then driven by a passion of lust and sexual temptation. After failing to resist his newly discovered fervour, he continues to commit one crime after the other, each worse than before. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis”

Marcel Proust on Reading and Dying

Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life? tries to find an inspiration and explore various themes out of Proust’s essays, letters, and his fictional work. So far, it succeeds to achieve its goal, it’s a clever book with an amusing  and an evoking title. No prior knowledge of Proust or his epic, seven volume novel In Search of Lost Time is necessary in order to read and enjoy this book but after reading it, half of you will go for the first volume of In Search of Lost Time if you haven’t read Proust’s work before.

In summer of 1922, a French newspaper formulated an elaborate question for its contributors. Marcel Proust was one of the contributors. The question asked was:

An American scientist announces that the world will end, or at least that such a huge part of the continent will be destroyed, and in such a sudden way, that death will be the certain fate of hundreds of millions of people. If this prediction were confirmed, what do you think would be its effects on people between the time when they acquired the aforementioned certainly and the moment of cataclysm? Finally, as far as you’re concerned, what would you do in this last hour?

Reclusive Proust sent the following reply to the French Newspaper: Continue reading “Marcel Proust on Reading and Dying”