September- Monthly Recap

Book Reviews:

         

Author Interviews:

Shweta Taneja

Essay:

Reading Books in the Digital Age

Guest Post:

How Numbers Can Tell Stories by Aubrey Leaman

Book Lists:

5 Books to Feed Your Brain

Five Books to Read in Gothic fiction

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

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GirlSpidersWeb_Poster_F_OPT copyA few critics are claiming the new addition in Stieg Larsson’s famous Millennium Trilogy, The Girl in the Spider’s Web as controversial. Written by David Lagercrantz who previously had two titles named under him: a non-fiction and a fiction, both translated in English language. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is a huge success worldwide and adaptions are already out there. The previous three novels are gripping, rich in thrill, and intelligent. One who has read any of the three, knows very well what I am trying to express here. And he must be excited about this new addition.

There were no pre-review copies or excerpts of this novel, The Girl in the Spider’s Web. It was released earlier this month. Like countless readers, I have been waiting to get my hands on it, find out myself the standard set by Larsson, will it be matched? Of course not! Stieg Larsson’s writing is exceptional. The way he conveyed his ideas in those three books, only he could do it. Though, as a writer of this book, David Lagercrantz does a good job in maintaining those characters, putting some more insight which continues to make the Millennium trilogy interesting.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web looks deeper in the world of hackers as it is all about them. It share a similar starting point as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Mikael Blomqvist’s is in search of a story, a cover story, and the situation is an intense one. From the previous three books, we learned that the pierced Lisbeth Salander was a formidable hacker, and in a world of warring hackers, she is the unquestioned genius. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz”

GUEST POST: How Numbers Can Tell Stories by Aubrey Leaman

How Numbers Can Tell Stories

by Aubrey Leaman

So let’s talk about math! I know, I know…as readers we tend to hate math, right?  But Francie Nolan (from Betty Smith’s novel, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”) has a passion for both words and numbers and in fact combines the two in creative ways: 
 
“When Francie added a sum, she would fix a little story to go with the result…The figure 1 was a pretty baby girl just learning to walk, and easy to handle…Each single combination of numbers was a new set-up for the family and no two stories were ever the same.”  
 
When I read this passage (of which I’ve only quoted a small amount here), I was blown away by the wonder and magic of it all.  In effect, Francie is like a Victor Frankenstein who imbues life into the meaningless, dead conglomeration of body parts around him.  Now those numbers that were once “dead” are living and breathing people who have unique personalities and ways of life!
 
Then when she adds these numbers/people together, depending on what numbers she’s using and what number she ends up with, she imagines a story: “If the answer was 924, it meant that the little boy and girl were being minded by company while the rest of the family went out.”  The whole thing is a lot like the joke that asks why 6 is afraid of 7 (because 7 8 9)—but on steroids.  

Continue reading “GUEST POST: How Numbers Can Tell Stories by Aubrey Leaman”

Five Books To Read in Gothic Fiction

Gothic Fiction is struggles and conflicts. It may be largely dominated by its sub genre, Gothic horror, but this genre is equally dominated by romanticism. The name Gothic refers to the medieval buildings in which many of these stories take place. This extreme form of romanticism was very popular in England and Germany. I exhibit a list of books down here in this genre I think you should take a look.

Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

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.  This book has many typical elements of Gothic Fiction, and is a daring tale written accordance to time in which it is published due to the themes of murder, rape, incest, violence, torture, and can be a reason why Lewis was charged for blasphemy.

Continue reading “Five Books To Read in Gothic Fiction”

BOOK REVIEW- The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

The Pale King is David Foster Wallace’s posthumous unfinished book, first published in 2011, still hard to find a paperback copy. It is set in an IRS (Internal Revenue Service) office in Illinois, America. The book is about boredom or how the meaningless rules and regulations in an organisation, added up with monotonous and dullness, fills a person’s life with boredom.

After reading Infinite Jest, I was impressed by the writing nonetheless it was a bit disappointing as the whole book. The Pale King on the other hand is altogether a different book. Not only the versatile writing, the in-depth knowledge on the topics such as IRS, the description and build of various characters and their personalities, the tedious routine of the IRS employees is defined exquisitely by Mr. Wallace.

The book will take some commitment from the reader to continue reading it and I think reading books like this, one should prosper in providing such commitment. Many people say, they left Infinite Jest after picking it more than twice, but I would say to them only one thing which though I had not realised at the time of reading Infinite Jest: commitment. Commitment towards the extraordinary mind of Foster Wallace. His writing indeed is rich with ideas.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW- The Pale King by David Foster Wallace”

5 Books To Feed Your Brain

There are different ways to simulate one’s brain. Reading books is one. Reading books about your brain is another. These books listed down below will help you understand your own mind, some might help to understand your brain better and others might help you to make it function better. I love reading books about our brain and in a specific way they do make me understand the working of my brain better. These books are entertaining in their own way.

The Power of Habit

 Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

Incognito

David Eagleman’s book takes us to a voyage into the inner cosmos includes stopovers in mate-selection, synesthesia, beauty, free will, infidelity, artificial intelligence, visual illusions, dreams, and the future of criminal law. Eagleman helps us understand how our perceptions of ourselves and our world result from the hidden workings of the most wondrous thing we have ever encountered: the human brain.

Continue reading “5 Books To Feed Your Brain”

BOOK REVIEW: The Color of Water in July by Nora Caroll

I did not remember how I stumble upon Nora Caroll’s The Color of Water in July. I think it was featuring in the kindle application which I had downloaded recently. But I clearly remember reading it. The smooth and calm beginning. Some might consider it under the genre Romance, but I think it will be a fit under Historical Fiction.

The story is about Jess, a young woman who returns to a place where she spent the summers of her youth. She finds herself remembering her childhood memories and along with them a twisted and knitted family secret that changes everything, including her own self.

The narration is quite exquisite and as the story progress the reader will understand and realise the calmness offered by the writer in her words. One can never be sure of oneself, and that is what a reader will realise after reading this book. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Color of Water in July by Nora Caroll”