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book review

Now Brewing

mother of 1084

her son is dead, she is alive. the endless agony of this careens through an entire day: morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening. now keening, now wretched, now rending, always there, almost a central player. on a day like none other, a day perhaps of reckoning. hajar churashir ma, the mother of 1084, mahasweta devi’s stunning indictment ultimately of a whole way of life even as she grieves with sujata, the protagonist, and senses, elicits, and enunciates her every thought and…

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Literature

The Mortal Instruments

mortal instruments review

**Lots of spoilers but better to be prepared** I have invested so many days into this 6 book series, The Mortal Instruments, and have come out severely disappointed and angry at how wasteful the experience was. What is Good? Jace and Clary. 1st book only. He has this frenetic energy and a daredevil death wish that for the length of the 1st book is appealing to my YA angsty hero loving self. Premonitions of a dark and hopeless future for these…

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Literature

The James Joyce Murder

James Joyce Murder Book Review

The James Joyce Murder (A Kate Fansler Mystery) by Amanda Cross is unabashedly literary. Imagine an Agatha Christie bucolic setting complete with the aristocratic rich, the scandalous young and evil lurking close. Add to it, P. G. Wodehouse like whimsical sentence construction and a wholesome disregard to practicality. Most important to the novel, is a Jasper Fforde confident love for literature. I personally, have not read James Joyce, I blame that on my literary ignorance and not the high-handedness of Amanda Cross. If…

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Literature

The Broken Empire

the_broken_empire_book_review

Mark Lawrence has become one of my favourite fantasy novelists thanks to his riveting revenge fantasy series The Broken Empire. I picked up the first book in the series, Prince of Thorns, based on its cover and its prominent place on the fantasy novels shelf in the Amazon bookstore. Judging a book by its cover could have never been so absolutely right. Mark’s writing flows like beautiful poetry. Gripping. Dark and defying prediction.  The pace of the first book, Prince…

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Literature

The Vesuvius Club

vesuvius club review

I selected Vesuvius Club as my next read based on the recommendation that readers who like P. G. Wodehouse (an author I absolutely adore) would enjoy this novel by Mark Gatiss. The recommendation promised a whimsical spy novel with dry wit. While settings in P. G. Wodehouse’s make believe British universe remain chaste and refined, Mark Gatiss delights in the crass and grotesque. Vesuvius Club wastes no time in setting the stage for hero Lucifer Box. Painter by day and British secret…

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Literature

Gift of the Phoenix

gift of the phoenix book review

Gift of the Phoenix is 574 pages of fantasy, magic, valour and love. It is a splendid read, specially if you like the epic genre. The prologue starts off in a faraway place and time where a magical phoenix is about to regenerate. The wizards of the land have a ceremony for the regeneration which takes an unexpected turn because the dying phoenix brings 3 magical stones instead of its usual offering of ash with magical properties. Hundreds of years later, an…

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Literature

Clockwise

clockwise book review

Clockwise is different. In an enjoyable unforeseen way. A young adult novel that is not about a dystopic world that needs shaking and saving is novel in the young adult genre. Clockwise steers clear of futuristic societies instead, bringing along some baggage from the past. Time travel back into the 1800s! Casey Donovan is not considered cool in school. Which suits her fine since she has other things that need her attention. For example, her tendency to jump back into time…

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Literature

My Best Loved Stories from The Wind in the Willows

best loved stories wind in the willow

I have hazy recollection of onscreen adaptations of The Wind in the Willows where furry rodents in warm fuzzy coats sat on wicker chairs in open grassy river banks. Kenneth Grahame’s book featuring talking animals, their friendships and a cozy natural habitat is a children’s classic. I read and found out why this straightforward story continues to remain a favourite. The simple storytelling, pristine wilderness and beautifully thought out characters prepare us for what’s to come in life. Here are my favourite stories…

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Literature

UnEnchanted

unechanted book review

UnEnchanted, by Chanda Hahn, is book 1 in the An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Young Adult series. At the beginning, it felt like a grown up was writing about teenagers. A disaster for a young adult book. It is expected that rooms be dirty and crushes pined after. But, the writing and story got more captivating with time. Grimm’s fairytales have been central to such a vast majority of fantasy fiction that is always fun to see what a writer has…

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Literature

Were you Prepared for We the Living?

we the living essay

Having first read Fountainhead followed by Atlas Shrugged, We The Living came as a tragic jolt I was entirely unprepared for. Ayn Rand believed in the strength of man and his ideals. It was inevitable that Howard Roark and John Galt would survive and succeed because of who they were and who they refused to be. I expected a similar journey in We The Living and that was my undoing. “Andrei, did you like the opera?” “Not particularly.” “Andrei, do…

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