Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro

Only few writers have a peculiar calmness and soothingness in their narrative voice. Kazuo Ishiguro is one of them. I thought my fascination with Japanese writers ended a few months ago, when I read Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. But then I found Kazuo Ishiguro. His narrative voice, as I observed in Never Let Me Go and A Pale View of Hills, is mild and relaxing to a reader’s mind.

A Pale View of Hills tells the story of Etsuko, a Japanese woman now living in England. Dealing with the recent suicide of her daughter, Etsuko attempts to reconstruct events and figure out what happened by dwelling on her past and the time when she was living in war-torn Nagasaki. She recounts being pregnant with her daughter, living with a cold, domineering husband, and her strange friendship with a mysterious woman and her young daughter.

This book is a short read, you won’t even know when it might get over. That’s exactly what happened with me. I read it in one go. I have already told you about narration. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro”

Guest Post

GUEST POST- Gun Control by Richard Rensberry

Time flies, doesn’t it. Well, this the 12th and the last guest post of the Guest Post program I started earlier this year. Next year, I won’t be conducting this ones a month activity. But if anyone is interested in writing as a Guest for Confessions of a Readaholic, drop an email.


Gun Control

by Richard Rensberry

The recent developments on the gun control front have me scratching my head.  Those who will be violent will be violent whether that have a gun or not.  Gun control is the wrong target when it comes to lessening acts of violence, it only serves to create its counterpart; unchallenged and unrestrained violence.  Just look at the unrestrained violence that happened recently in Paris as proof of the illegitimacy of gun control.

The byproduct of gun control is arms only being in the hands of the violent offensive front, be it criminals, terrorists, drug cartels, governments, you name it.  This end product is the complete opposite of what should be stressed.  What should be stressed is the ownership and skilled use of guns by responsible citizens who would then have the capability to curtail the the irresponsible governmental and criminal elements.  The bad guys will always retain or manufacture weapons no matter if all guns were labeled illegal and taken away from the general citizenry.   Continue reading “GUEST POST- Gun Control by Richard Rensberry”

Book List, Non-Fiction

3 Non-Fiction Books I read in 2015

Some times fiction isn’t enough to get accustomed to a subject deeply. One has to read non-fiction book and yes there are some non-fiction books which are written with quality writing and posses good amount of knowledge on a specific subject.

Zero to One by Peter Theil. You just have to read this though provoking book.

My Rating 5 out of 5

In The Plex by Steven Levy- Steven Levy is one of the best non fiction writers. This time he tells us the working of our daily lives one of the biggest asset: Google.

My Rating 4 out of 5

Leading by Alex Ferguson & Michael Moritz. Even though this book is written from football point of view, it’s good book to learn something or the other about being a leader. Managing a football team such as Manchester United is like managing a big organisation in itself. This book is all about Leadership.

My Rating 3 out of 5

Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews, sports

BOOK REVIEW: Pep Confidential by Marti Perarnau

In life there are times when one is exhausted by what one loves to do. It is when one is out option and monotony of daily routine becomes an unbearable case. This monotony is necessary and in other words called hard work which to find success, has to be in consistent with. Similar was the case with Pep Guardiola, in the middle of 2012 the Barcelona coach, after winning each and every trophy or championship by rallying his troops of 11 men on a grass field consistently for four years. He was the inventor of a new phase a football in this second decade of 21st century, the dominance of one team. But then he needed a new challenge, and took a year off and went to Bayern Munich, another european giant with success in its bloods.

To fill the pages of Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich, the Spanish journalist, Marti Perarnau, was given access to chronicle Pep’s day to day thoughts, methods, and the new challenge he’s has taken himself.

The book consists more than Pep Guardiola’s first season in Germany. It is the complete portrait of one of the greatest football coaches of 21st century. It consists the philosophy by which Pep works everyday and the functionality he adopts at Bayern Munich in 2013. His methods, tactics, philosophy, his emotional touch to the game and his obsessiveness for the game of football. Perarnau was granted access to all team meetings, training sessions, locker room, face to face over a coffee with Pep at times, his left and right hand men, the players and has done a good job by accounting that much in sheer 488 pages. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Pep Confidential by Marti Perarnau”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones by Michael Connelly

When it comes to cold cases, we love one of them. We, humans, are designed in a way that digging up the past is not only a hobby or an option for some but it is rather an astonishing state of affairs for everyone. Even the crime fiction writers, such as Michael Connelly.

This is though not my first experience with Connelly’s books. Previously, I read his The Lincoln Lawyer which I thought was an average book and looked better on the big screen with tanned up Matthew McConaughey and his southern accent. After getting much annoyed on listening his fans chanting his name through and through, not wanting to turn a Connelly hater but wanting to explore the world of crime fiction, I decided to give Harry Bosch a chance this time.

Detective Harry Bosch come across a twenty year old murder case, when the bones of a twelve-year-old boy are found and scattered in Hollywood Hills, Bosch’s own territory. With media attending already on the case, the pressure on Bosh grows as he uncovers the story and life of the dead boy. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones by Michael Connelly”

Book List, Crime & Mystery

5 Crime Fiction Novels I read in 2015

I love reading Crime Fiction novels. They are intriguing, a dynamic pace is maintained by most of the authors in their works and they are often surprising.

Hanging Garden is Rankin’s complete novel and is 9th John Rebus novel, and becomes more fascinating.

My Rating 5 out of 5!

It’s winter and what will be better, if not be in Russia. At least Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44 can take us there. Stalin’s Soviet Union, a paradise in books but not in reality. This thrilling novel is the first of Leo Demidov’s trilogy.

My Rating: 4 out of 5  

Another gripping novel, full of thrill and after reading it, there will be some amount of adrenaline rush left inside you. Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

My Rating 4 out of 5 Continue reading “5 Crime Fiction Novels I read in 2015”

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Escaping Psychiatry by Olga Nunez Miret

There are some things in life which we want to get over or don’t want to dow any more with but the webbing of situations is done in such a way at that time that we are forced to do or take actions that we are not consciously admiring them to be. However, I believe in these times, if we take actions in the favour of situation and not us, it is still our decision to do so, subconsciously we do want to do the things which we earlier claimed we don’t want to.

Similar is the situation with Escaping Psychiatry’s protagonist, Dr. Mary Miller. After doing her PhD, she tries to focus on her writing career rather than her background of psychiatry. The book contains three situational stories: Canned Fodder, Teamwork, & Memory, in which the protagonist is situational forced to choose her background. All three stories are filled with liable characters and share the same protagonist and some recurring characters.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Escaping Psychiatry by Olga Nunez Miret”

Interviews

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Mat Guy

Q- Hi Mat, congratulations on the publication of your new book, Another Bloody Saturday, and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

Well Another Bloody Saturday is my first book, and was written alongside my day job at an independent cinema in Southampton, so things have been very busy for quite some time! I am 43 and this was my first attempt at writing about the sport that I love. I was quite nervous about it, as football is such a large part of my life, but I found that I really enjoyed writing about matches, the people at those matches, and memories of games long gone.

Q- You are quite experienced with blogging for your blog “Dreams From Victoria Park” is literary heaven for a football fan. When did you decide to write a book on lower league clubs? Was it specifically for lower league football?

To be honest I started writing the blog as a simple diary of my travels through football, but the characters that I met and their stories soon made me think that it could make a good book. Thankfully Luath Press thought so too – as it is very hard for an unknown writer to get anywhere – something I learnt from my years of writing fiction, so getting a book published is very surreal!

I was quite content with writing the blog, and having people read it and enjoy it, and it wasn’t until a journalist suggested that I try and get a publisher interested that I seriously thought about it, and then actively sent extracts out to people. My reasons for writing it in the first place stemmed from the team my grandfather and I supported, Salisbury, folding last summer. It left a huge gap in my life, as non league football had always been my way of connecting to what I call ‘real football’, where it’s soul can be found.

Premier League football is all well and good – but it is so expensive that it is now no longer a league ‘for the people’. Lower league and non league football is, and I wanted to explore it to help me reconnect with it now that my team had gone.

Q- The idea behind a ‘spiritual’ football club is what attracted me in your book. Your love for Accrington Stanley proves in what I always believed that a man can love two different football clubs for altogether different reasons. Is it more than the spirituality in watching lower league football? What attracts you the most?

Clubs like Accrington offer the fan a real sense of belonging, of community, where you can meet your heroes, the players, where you can get involved in your club and actually be a part of it. Premier league clubs cannot offer that anymore – the players are too distant from the fans, and the fans are often seen as nothing more than customers to the club.

The lower leagues are more a reflection of how football was when I was growing up, where even top flight teams had a real community feel – where players earned a little more than those that watched them, but not a lot more, lived on the same streets as the fans.

Accrington Stanley survive because of a small band of dedicated fans and club officials, who pour their heart and soul into it. It is powerful stuff and easy to fall in love with when you see it first hand.

This is what football is all about for me, clubs are a reflection of the people that love them – they represent their community, and when it is done well as in Accrington, it is a magical thing.

Q- I really enjoyed your book Another Bloody Saturday. Every chapter is unique and tells a different tale. How about the craft of writing? How do you approach your writing?  Do you have a writing routine?  Continue reading “AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Mat Guy”

Book List

5 Classics I read in 2015

To know what an ultimate pleasure sometimes a book written at least a hundred years before, or more, is known only to those who read them. There is a reason why these books are still surviving, generations after generations. Thus, here are five classics book that I read this year and I think are worth taking a look again.

Middlemarch is George Eliot’s magnum opus. The 800 page novel, it took me almost 9 days to finish reading it. Eliot’s writing is witty and sublime. This book examines multiple themes such as the role of education in the lives of characters and how it affects them. And as Virginia Woolf said, “The magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.”

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is an intriguing tale.

My Rating 4 out of 5

The semiautobiographical Martin Eden is the most vital and original character Jack London ever created. Set in San Francisco, this is the story of Martin Eden, an impoverished seaman who pursues, obsessively and aggressively, dreams of education and literary fame.

My Rating 4 out of 5 Continue reading “5 Classics I read in 2015”

Books, Fiction, Reviews, sports

BOOK REVIEW: Another Bloody Saturday by Mat Guy

Football is not just a game of 11 vs 11 bodies of flesh exhausting themselves physically and mentally for straight ninety minutes after a ball. There is football we watch on television, alone or with known ones, watching a nineteen year old whose market value is almost equivalent to the eleven players of opposition who are trying to get the ball off from his feet. At front of that television set we all are football pundits for ninety minutes. There is no denying in that.

If you are football fanatic, in ninety minutes you are going to feel each and every emotion inside us- anger, ecstasy, astonishment, aversion, admiration, vigilance and yet one game is not enough. Similarly, Mat Guy in the title Another Bloody Saturday expresses himself through the beautiful game in various anecdotes collected over his famous blog Dreams Victoria Park.

Football isn’t about the Premier League or the El Classico. Though that’s all we can watch on television but the world of football is much more vast than that. It’s a whole universe in itself. There are teams which are part of the sport for the passionate people who love it. Such teams and green fields are explored by Mat Guy in his book. He tells us about his experiences and match telecasts of teams such as Welsh Bangor City and Icelandic UMF Stjarnan. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Another Bloody Saturday by Mat Guy”