This post is all about what was posted this month on Confessions of a Readaholic.
Spock Must Die by James Blish is the first book in the Star Trek Adventure series originally published by Bantam. The world of Star Trek is humongous. There are different series in which this enormous world is divided. For a week I was confused to start reading which series or any particular book. My previous knowledge of Star Trek world is limited to the two movies which have came lately and are directed by J. J. Abrams. I know what an enterprise is, I knew the main characters and of course the Klingon race. I haven’t watched the original telly shows but I was confident enough to start an expedition.
The first original Star Trek novel was published by James Blish in 1970, Spock Must Die. My experience with science fiction is limited and I have read some Star Wars books before. One thing I did not like about Star Wars is that the story is limited only to the adventure which star wars try to possess, the story of the twins, the father-son relationship. What I mean to say is that there is little science in that fiction. I think it should be considered more of a fantasy series and less of science fiction. One excellent reason to read Star Trek is that a reader will find similarities to metaphysical quandaries and concepts of physics and philosophy at the same time. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Spock Must Die! by James Blish”
When it comes to football, especially when it comes to books on football, David Peace’s The Damned United. Football is not only just a game, it is world’s most watched sport. It is not just a game of ninety minutes and between twenty-two matured men running after a ball of 8.65 inches in diameter, it is a lot more than that. It is excitement, sportsmanship, glory, emotions, and history.
The tale of The Damned United is a bit more exciting than the game itself. It is about Brian Clough’s time as a manager at Leeds United. Forty four days. In 1974, both the club Leeds United and the football manager Brian Clough were famous and achieving a lot in the game, sometimes overachieving, but both were eccentric in their own ways. David Peace writing makes this book a passion both for himself and the readers, as he represents this sport passionately.
The book is split into two distinct sections which run side by side throughout. One follows Brian Clough’s transition from the end of his playing career, cut criminally short by injury, via Hartlepool and through to turning Derby County into a domestic and European force. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Damned United by David Peace”
At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien
(post by Emmie)
How would it feel to be a literary character?
I’ll admit, At Swim-Two-Birds wasn’t an easy book to read. The first time I tried it I only got halfway before I gave up. I hardly understood a word of it. Nevertheless, I would like to argue that it is an amazing novel. It took me a very thorough second attempt (differently coloured pencils in hand) to unravel the ways in which this book plays with literary conventions, crosses intertextual boundaries and blurs different layers of reality.
At Swim-Two-Birds is a novel of many levels. It begins with an unnamed student who enjoys inventing stories. He creates the author Dermot Trellis. Trellis then starts writing a story of his own, for which he creates his main villain John Furriskey. Furriskey, however, also has a life outside of the story that Trellis writes. He lives in a cottage with the woman he loves and isn’t a villain at all. Trellis orders all of his characters to live with him in order to keep an eye on them, but they drug him so he falls asleep and they can do whatever they want. The story folds upon itself even further when one of the characters begins to write a story about Trellis… Continue reading “GUEST BLOG- At Swim-Two-Birds by Emmie”
I am too fond of reading books in an electronic format. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Hermen Hesse’s Siddhartha, My Inventions by Nikola Tesla, and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking are some of the books I have managed to read on my smartphone using an ereader application this month. I have been in the habit of reading books on a smartphone since my teenage days and I find it quite portable and accessible at the same time. Major reason being I am carrying my phone almost everywhere and when I get time, I can sneak in a chapter or two anytime.
In recent days I have been thinking of buying an E-Reader, a proper one. The reason being is that, since I have started working, I have developed this habit of checking emails, getting notifications and checking them at the moment and these things usually leads to a distraction and many a times I lose my focus over the text. It is happening in a vigorous frequency in past six months such that I am unable to cope with my reading time. I have tried putting my phone on airplane mode, but since it is the only mean of communication I have, I have realised that I cannot do that for more than an hour a day. Anyone’s calling at any time and there is something to lose sometimes. Continue reading “Buying an EReader, Worth?”
Notes From Underground is not doubt one of the most challenging books I have read in years. It needs a reader’s attention from the page one and till the last page. It must be read when you aware that you are conscious and you are reading the book. This book needs time absorb in a reader’s intellect. It has the power of to kick you in your guts straightaway from the first line of the book. The narrator introduces himself as a man who lives underground and refers to himself as a ‘spiteful’ person whose every act is dictated by his spitefulness. Many people would say that Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella marks the beginning of the modernist movement in literature. Gustav Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis are some other contenders.
It is a two part novella and addresses the reader directly. First person narration is contributed by a forty something man, a retired mid-level government bureaucrat, who ruminates in his poor apartment. If somebody remember reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, they will some similarities between both of the work. Both works manage to share a solitary, restless, irritable protagonist and a feeling for the feverish.
This narrator is portrayed through Dostoyevsky’s words as a sensitive, intelligent, idealistic and morally paralysed. In the first part of the novel the protagonist, after introducing himself, complains about everything: industrial capitalism, scientific rationality, and any sort of predictive, mathematical model of human behaviour. He points out that some people love things which are not to their best advantage. His objection continues that the scientific trend is trying to define a way for a society that will function for man’s best advantage and the theory will prove a man to be a rational being and in this utopian society not a single man would need to suffer but the narrator argues that without suffering there will be nothing left that of a man’s desires. With the scientific way, the freedom to choose life in one’s own way also subsides. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky”
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some instructions on writing and life is among my favourite books on writing. It’s both practical and profound, light- reading, witty, and humorous at the same time. Published in 1994, this book still has a lot to offer to anyone with a creative pursuit and I consider it as timeless and a valuable piece of written words, exhibited rationally.
Lamott starts on considering writing as a sense making mechanism:
One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.
Lamott, throughout the book take into consideration that who ever reading this book is a part of her class or a workshop and pursue this type of narrative throughout the book, till she has dismissed the class. She begins her class by advising her students on where to focus when starting to write:
‘I don’t even know where to start,’ one will wail.
Start with your childhood, I tell them. Plug your nose and jump in, and write down all your memories as truthfully as you can.
Start by writing down every single thing you can remember from your first few years in school. Start with kindergarten. Try to get the words and memories down as they occur to you. Don’t worry if what you write is no good, because no one is going to see it. move on first grade, to second, to third.
Write down everything you can remember about every birthday or Christmas or Seder, or Easter or whatever, every relative who was there. Write down all the stuff you swore you’d never tell another soul.
Scratch around for details: what people ate, listened to, wore—
Tooth and Nail is the third novel by Ian Rankin featuring Inspector John Rebus. Rebus is sent to London to help detectives hunt a serial killer dubbed the Wolfman by the press. In the previous year, in some reviews and an essay on John Rebus, I have talked about Rebus a lot. My love and hate relationship with him and his actions and why he is to be considered as one of the most proficient detectives written in the contemporary world.
Rebus arrives in London just as news of a new victim of the serial killer begins broadcasting over the news. Rebus goes directly to the scene of the crime and is shocked to see the brutality first hand of a case he has only read about. Rebus attends the autopsy and spends some time with the lead detective, uncomfortably aware that this detective seems to think he is some sort of expert based on one case Rebus worked several years before.
Meanwhile, he is as usual vulnerable to some aspect of the story. He is new to London, despise it, and his ex-wife and teenage daughter live in London and a visit with them reveals that his daughter is dating someone who is not the kind of person a copper would choose for his daughter. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Tooth And Nail by Ian Rankin”
In the previous post, The World of Crime Fiction, I talked briefly about the origins of crime fiction. In this post I present you a list of detectives around the world.
Ian Rankin’s John Rebus books set in Edinburgh are engrossing tales of a misanthropic policeman who solves crime ordinarily or extraordinarily committed.
Set in Reykjavik, Arnaldur Indridason’s Inspector Erlendur novels have the bleak setting, social realism and gentle pacing associated with Scandinavian noir. Continue reading “A Glimpse of The World with Detectives”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a book full of quotes. It is the book, in which the lines must be quoted and not para-phrased. I remember first picking up this book when I was fifteen but never finished. Until last year, when I finished the book. Charles Dickens has been a very important personality in my life. I got to know him when i was thirteen when I remember reading Oliver Twist which had an impact over me at that time.
Dickens characters always has never failed to amaze me but A Tale of Two Cities is all about the storyline which is set during era of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. It is a story of love, betrayal, courage, and of sacrifice and redemption. A Tale of Two Cities begins with Miss Lucie Manette and Mr. Jarvis Lorry make a trip to Paris because they believe they’ve found her father. Dickens describes their venture as on their, “way to dig someone out of the grave.” After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter.
Years later after Doctor’s release, Lucie and Dr. Manette take part in the trial of Charles Darnay, who is found innocent, and Darnay seeks Lucie’s hand in marriage. When revolutionaries learn that Darnay is related to an evil aristocrat, they imprison him the next time he is in France. Sydney Carton determines he can bring value to his life by rescuing Darnay. The novel successfully cover the theme of self-sacrifice and self-worth. It also provides social commentaries on British and French culture and politics. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens”
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