Oh Mr. Rushdie! You have such a way with words! It's no wonder beautiful women flock to your feet!
okay Regine, let's be serious now
Haroun and the S...moreOh Mr. Rushdie! You have such a way with words! It's no wonder beautiful women flock to your feet!
okay Regine, let's be serious now
Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a book that Rushdie wrote for his estranged son after the fatwa. Rushdie gives us his own version of Wonderland, Kahani. He writes about a world where stories are made, and a boy trying to rescue his father.
Rushdie gives us a book that is imaginative, enchanting, and heartfelt. Usually when a "great author" tries to write a children's novel, they sacrifice their style, and dumb themselves down so that children can appreciate the book. Not so with Rushdie. Although his style is simplified, you still get the taste of Rushdie. The imagery is still lush, and the prose pleasantly purple.
I was so captivated by the characters, especially Rashid and Haroun. I have such a close relationship with my father. Like Haroun, many of my fondest childhood memories are of my father's stories, and his jokes. Reading this book was actually quite an emotional experience for me. I can't imagine how emotional this must have been for Rushdie, who had to write the book when he was in hiding.
If you've never read Rushdie, this would be a good introduction to his work. If you've already read him, put this on your tbr list. (less)
There's very little in life that gives me more pleasure than reading Jane Austen. Emma is no exception to this rule. In this story, we're taken to the...moreThere's very little in life that gives me more pleasure than reading Jane Austen. Emma is no exception to this rule. In this story, we're taken to the quaint little countryside of Highbury where our title character resides with her father. Being well-settled in life, Emma isn't dependent on any man's fortune for her future well-being. So instead, she plays Cupid to the people around her. Her attempts at matchmaking, although well-meaning, have disastrous, but hilarious results. This spoiled, yet kind-hearted matchmaker make for one of Austen's most memorable characters.
When I talk to other people about this book, I think that the main concensus among them is, " I loved this book, but I hated Emma", or "God, I couldn't even finish this book because Emma was so annoying". Pffft. Okay, so she's a little bit spoiled, maybe she was somewhat manipulative, and okay, yeah, she did tend to think a little too highly of herself. But, to put things in perspective, Emma was quite ahead of her time. She was clever, well-educated, and completely independent of marriage. She had so many reources, but she didn't know how to employ them, and what's worse is that she lived in such a constrictive society; Her father was an invalid, bordering on senility, her best friend had just been married off, and she was constantly in the company of country bumpkins and high society snobs. Emma Woodhouse just simply worked with what she had. And, unlike another famous literary Emma, she didn't have to resort to prostitution or arsenic to escape the banalities of her life. Furthermore, I think what's most important is that the Emma that we read about at the end of the book isn't the same woman we started off with in the beginning. She comes to the realization of her flaws, and seeks out to improve herself. See, isn't that what growing up is all about?
This is the fifth Austen book that I've read, and out of all of them, it contains the most social commentary. When you think about the time period that Jane was writing in, you realize, "Wow, that was a really shitty time to be alive." There were wars being fought overseas, slavery, colonialization, and oodles and oodles of poverty. But you never really get a sense of that beyond the parlour doors of Pemberley or Longbourne. Now, I'm not saying that this book was a testament to the cruelty of mankind, but there is definitely more exposure to the world outside of Georgian high-society. We were given a glimpse of poverty in the form of Miss Bates and her mother. We see the disdain that the rich have for anyone of lower-class or illegitimate birth in Harriet Smith, and through Miss Fairfax, we also see Austen's take on slavery and the governess trade. Of course, some of these little tidbits are lost on Emma and Harriet's silliness, but pay attention, this book just screams SOCIAL COMMENTARY.
5 big, booming, stars.
And, on a side note, if Austen were still alive today, I would beg her to release a spin-off book bout Jane Fairfax... jus' sayin!(less)
I saw the movie adaptation of Everything Is Illuminated a few years back. I was unaware it had ever been a book. The movie was beautifully done-- clev...moreI saw the movie adaptation of Everything Is Illuminated a few years back. I was unaware it had ever been a book. The movie was beautifully done-- clever humour, endearing characters, and BEAUTIFUL cinematography. There's a particular scene that refuses to escape my mind: the characters are walking in a field covered in fully bloomed sunflowers towards an old,rundown, cottage. After I'm done gushing about the movie, you can just imagine how excited I was when I found this book listed in "1001 Books to Read Before You Die."
As enjoyable as the film was to watch, it just didn't do justice to the book. The movie focuses on one plotline, which is the Jonathan's search for Augustine, a woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather during the war.
The book is told in three parts:
1) Alex's letters to Jonathan-- this is where he talks to Alex about his life after the search, and writes about his aspirations to become a writer
2) Alex's narration-- Alex's retelling of the journey that he, Jonathan, and his Grandfather had embarked
3) Jonathan's narration-- he writes about the magical history of his ancestor's shtetl in Trachinbrod
Foer's critics have called him gimmicky and pretentious. Okay, he does use somewhat unconventional writing devices-- such as writing really long run on sentences that go on and on and on sometimes he uses charts and excerpts from books within books sometimes the book might get confusing for some readers because it is told in three different sections FOER ALSO USES ALL CAPITALS TO EXPRESS REALLY STRONG EMOTIONS-- but this isn't anything new. Anyone who's ever been exposed to modern literature has also been exposed to unique, more expirmental writing. If The language is straightforward, and easy to read. Foer does name "the hero" after himself-- but instead of presenting Jonathan as a knight in shining armour, he's this clueless, bumbling, sometimes condescending, vegetarian tourist lost in Ukraine.
My favourite character is Alex. Alex is just-- hilarious. When you get into the first half of the book, it will be hard to restrain yourself from laughing out loud. He is writing in English with a very thick accent. He tries to improve his writing by replacing every third word with the longest synonym that he can find in the thesaurus. This often leads the reader into trying to decipher what Alex is trying to say. Alex is first portrayed as a materialistic character, who longs to live the American Dream. Later on in the novel, we find out the real depth that the character has.Jonathan's narratives are also interesting to read. We learn about the magical lives led by his ancestors. The fusion of magic into everyday life makes his narrative very reminiscent to Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I think that the book went a little down hill for me in its second half. Alex becomes more philosophical and contemplative. There is almost a complete absence of his humour,which took away some of the novel's charm. It's also interesting to see how Alex's writing skills start to surpass Jonathan's near the end of the novel.
When I was a child, I had a little obsession with fairy tales. I would devour books by the Brother's Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen. I would lose...moreWhen I was a child, I had a little obsession with fairy tales. I would devour books by the Brother's Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen. I would lose myself in these magical worlds where armless maidens would eat pears from the king's orchards, and step sisters mutilated their feet to fit into a tiny pair of glass slippers. It's only natural that i felt a little bit of nostalgia as I whipped through the pages of Howl's Moving Castle .
The story takes place in Ingary "where seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist". It starts off like many other fairy tales-- a widower with a daughter of his own marries a woman with two daughters of her own-- except it's nothing all like my childhood books. For instance, there aren't any damsels in distress, and the Prince.
Diana Wynne Jones creates such a stunning, imaginative world that makes you want to jump into the book, and try on a pair of seven-league boots! The characters, although far from being Disney Perfect are all loveable.
There's an ongoing battle between Jane Austen fans about which novel is her greatest work. While my heart will always belong to Mr. Darcy and Liza Ben...moreThere's an ongoing battle between Jane Austen fans about which novel is her greatest work. While my heart will always belong to Mr. Darcy and Liza Bennet, and Pride and Prejudice will always be my favourite book, I think that Persuasion is Jane Austen at her best. The book encompasses everything we love about Austen: witty dialogue, breath-taking romance, and a satiric glimpse of Georgian society. However, this novel has more depth and maturity than any of Austen's previous work.
At the centre of the story is the beautiful romance between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. Although eight years earlier they were passionately in love, Anne rejects Wentworth because she is persuaded by a close friend that she could make a better match. She never does. At the ripe age of 27, nearing the age of spinsterhood, Captain Wentworth re-enters her life. Even though Wntworth is courting another woman, Anne hopes that their love might be rekindled.
Persuasion, perhaps more than Austen's other novels, is bubbling to the brim with social commentary. Anne's family is shallow and materialistic. I remember laughing out loud at one point when her father complains about how many unattractive women there are in his neighborhood.
Anne is what every young woman should aspire to be: she's kind-hearted, strong, intelligent, and fair. It's very easy to sympathize and fall in love with this character as she reflects upon and learns from her mistakes. She is often overlooked by her own ridiculous family because she doesn't share their values of wealth and beauty, and she has come to accept the limitations of being an unwed woman. Her romance with Wentworth was the summer of her life, and this decline, this sense of longing and regret, is her autumn.
However, as in all of Austen's novels, the good are rewarded, and the bad are (mildly) punished. Captain Wentworth writes the most romantic letter you'll ever read. I'm actually contemplating getting a line from the letter tattooed on my body: