I started reading this book yesterday, deciding that I was going to give myself something I had not done for a long time ~ a whole day to just sit andI started reading this book yesterday, deciding that I was going to give myself something I had not done for a long time ~ a whole day to just sit and read, and am so glad that The Miniaturist was the selection of choice. Jessie Burton's book had sold me at the bookstore with the eerie promise that a doll's house could tell the true story of the residents inside, not because the owner had chosen to tell the story, but because a doll-maker somehow knew all that was going on within. I had expected part of the tale to involve the miniaturist actually entering the house, but Burton goes one better: the miniaturist NEVER enters the house and yet knows all.
My only quibble is Burton's use of tenses. It's a mix of past and present as if somebody had come along and said to Burton, "no, it is always better to write in the present tense" and so Burton tweaks what should be 'was' with 'is'. Of course, it may well be a conceit introduced by the author to remind the reader that we are dealing with people whose first language is not English. Whatever the reason, the story and author's ability to pervade the reader's mind with the initial dark of the house, the smell of Cornelia's pastries, the weird of the miniaturist's packages ~ one cannot stop reading.
It's been a long time since I've been so thoroughly immersed in a book, wanted to know how it was going to end, yet all the while regretting the smaller number of pages remaining with each flip.
Moran's tale of the French revolution through the eyes of the Tussauds is arresting. How historically accurate it is from the perspective of the royalMoran's tale of the French revolution through the eyes of the Tussauds is arresting. How historically accurate it is from the perspective of the royals (within the palace) is open to debate, but a good read on the history of wax as an art form....more
I am now 70% of the way through Anthony Miller's book and do not care to continue, having arrived past the half way mark by skipping a multitude of paI am now 70% of the way through Anthony Miller's book and do not care to continue, having arrived past the half way mark by skipping a multitude of pages in the hopes of finding the engagement that made me download the book in the first place. I now don't care what happens to Satan or any of the other angels that might be roaming earth. That's too bad. The premise and character development at the beginning was interesting, so is the idea of Satan having amnesia, but Miller has chosen to include tangents —and characters— that make the whole thing feel like a concert where the opening band (which is not that good) continues to hang around, while the main act cuts off stage to smoke some dope... turning back up when the crowd starts booing. Satan does a little dance, creates a little mayhem and death, then disappears again. The wait for his return takes so long, people start leaving... Bye-bye....more
Last night I completed reading Suneeta Misra's Rani of Rampur, and came out of the whole experience with mixed feelings. Rife with drama and death, maLast night I completed reading Suneeta Misra's Rani of Rampur, and came out of the whole experience with mixed feelings. Rife with drama and death, making me think of the family dynamics in the series Dallas but set in Delhi —well, okay, Rampur— Misra's work is a riveting read but loses a lot of its impact by the way she mixes her tenses.
The past and present are oftentimes thrown together in a sentence, so that you have to read twice to see where the author is taking you. I am not sure if this conceit is deliberate, to give more emphasis to the fact that we are not in Kansas or London any more, but Rampur.
It works; and it doesn't.
Misra's work paints the patriarch of the family in a less than pleasant light, and as with Vidya Samson' very comic account of the dynamics of an Indian family in Indian Maids Bust Loose, the man of the house gets his just deserts.
As a read, it is just different —and engaging— enough to make the exercise ultimately broadening in one's perception of how a story should be told. The quibblers will no doubt prefer a paragraph, or chapter break, where there are none, but, ultimately, Misra's tale of Rani and her extended family keeps the reader mesmerised....more
SelfSame offers the smooth transit of time travel through sleep so that one individual can become two — Sorcha from our time becomes Enid during the ASelfSame offers the smooth transit of time travel through sleep so that one individual can become two — Sorcha from our time becomes Enid during the American revolution. Well-written and absorbing to read, author Melissa Conway's title offers up the much debated question: are we in charge of our own destiny, or is everything we do —everyone we meet— already part of some bigger plan?
It is, as the author writes: "A paradox wrapped in a conundrum."
Conway categorizes herself as a YA author (Young Adult) but I think this limits the book's depth and readership. It is a good read. Period.
Disclaimer: I became a fan of Melissa Conway's when her youtube video "The Indie-Author Lament" first hit my Facebook live feed and had the lyrics: "The only one who's read my book is a friend of a friend of my mother's..." In her case, it's not at all true. We are now acquainted via the internet's various social networks. After knowing of each other's existence for more than a year, I can say in 2013 I have read one of Melissa's books — and am glad I did.
Without bias, I can say SelfSame offers a tale that you will want to finish. Its characters have depth, the storyline is intriguing, and in the end — there are no loose threads. Kudos to you, Melissa. Thank you, too, for the new cover. The other one just could not get me to push the "buy" button....more
This book, with its gentle humour, resonates deeply with the current call for change in India in how it treats women, especially with the passing of tThis book, with its gentle humour, resonates deeply with the current call for change in India in how it treats women, especially with the passing of two rape victims. One from suicide; the other in a hospital in Singapore due to severe injuries from her rape.
Vidya Samson's book actually does deal with an incident of Eve-teasing, and even though humorous, with the current stories in the news, the reader understands the fear of the women in the story as they try to cross the road to get away from the men.
There is genuine comfort in returning to the dynamics of the Desai house because author Vidya Samson has provided characters that you want to follow, from the American cousins who adapt with little fuss to the plumbing situation, to the main character's family — headed by a Father whose accent is so well defined his brief appearances make him a highpoint; so much so, that the direction of the ending loses its momentum by undervaluing his presence.
Still... a great read, especially when it grabs you and makes you laugh out loud. ...more
Much static buzz, especially over on Twitter, as to government corruption. Could David Baldacci's fiction ever become a reality? If you hang around TwMuch static buzz, especially over on Twitter, as to government corruption. Could David Baldacci's fiction ever become a reality? If you hang around Twitter long enough, the unequivocal answer is 'yes.'
Absolute Power has come into my Baldacci collection late. This is because I saw the movie with Clint Eastwood in the starring role, and decided: well, if I've seen the movie, why do I need to buy the book?
Then I ran out of Baldacci books to read... because I'm reading them faster than he can produce them. So I didn't buy Absolute Power in a bookstore but downloaded it on my iPad for that 'rainy day,' which came this late November/December.
I discovered that much like what Hollywood did to Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a lot of liberties were taken by Hollywood in interpreting the book...
I won't spoil it by telling you what the differences are, except to say — the premise of this book is compelling. More so, when we consider what is happening at large in the United States these past four years: blanket control of the media, the new law that allows the arrest of any American citizen suspected of terrorist links — without trial. This kind of domination is not part of Baldacci's fiction. It tells you how much has changed since it was first published in 1996. ...more
See the four stars? That's for the fabulous art by up-and-coming artist Katy Leuven. The story? Princess Fartalot is not a fiction, and stinks with coSee the four stars? That's for the fabulous art by up-and-coming artist Katy Leuven. The story? Princess Fartalot is not a fiction, and stinks with conviction... Hmmm... Now waitaminit......more
This was the first Robert Munsch book purchased, and it was a delight to read out loud to children just learning to sound words. "I Have To Go!" madeThis was the first Robert Munsch book purchased, and it was a delight to read out loud to children just learning to sound words. "I Have To Go!" made such an impression on one young mind that within a week of having heard the story over and over again, she was trying to read the book herself. I love the pictures by Michael Martchenko as much as the energy Munsch's words bring to the story. It is the book I go in search for when I want to buy a gift for family who are starting mini versions of themselves, because that first moment you read this story and the person listening looks at you like, "Whut?" is priceless....more