Romance Month at Tasha’s (Heidenkind) – Hathaway Series by Lisa Kleypas

Tasha is having a Romance month in December and becaus I love Romance I thought I could take part too. If you haven’t visited Heidenkind yet, you should.

When I think of Romance, I think of Nora Roberts as she was one of the first I read. But Lisa Kleypas was someoene who introduced me to Historical Romance. It’s not that I hadn’t read any before but her books were the first that made me want to reach out for other Historical Romance books.

For today, I would like to tell you about one of my favorite series by Lisa Kleypas – The Hathway Series.

I was introduced to this series and Lisa Kleypas when I won the second book, Seduce me at Sunrise, in the Hathway series. I loved the book (I’ve even reviewed it here) and was surprised by how witty and funny the book was. Needless to say I looked up the series and bought the first and the third book from the series which I ended up loving as well. (The review for Mine till Midnight is here). I recently bought the last 3 books in the series and gobbled them up.finished them in a couple fo days. Thats how much I love this series.

The Hathaway books are about the Hathaway family that consists of 5 members – Amelia, Luke, Winnipen, Beatrice and Poppy. This family is very different from other families in the sense that they are very eccentric, don’t follow social norms and are generally unconciously set out to break every rule out there. Each of the characters have a distinct personality which in turn also shapes the story of the respective books. I was very surprised over how independent and strong each of the women in these books are. The dialogues are witty and there is not a single boring moment in any of the books. Of course, I like some books better than the others, but overall I simply love this series.

I won’t go into the plots of all the books but suffice to say I have ever followed a series and made it a point to buy and read all the books. So that definitely says a lot.

Uncategorized 6

TopTen Tuesdays: Top Ten Books I Want To Give As Gifts

This weeks Top Ten Tuesdays is Top Ten Books I Want To Give As Gifts (and to who…even if you won’t actually give them!)

Not many people in my life read books but I’m going to write this list as if they did.

1) Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery: to a young girl in my family or maybe a friend’s daughter.
2) 3 Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts: to someone who likes to read books on magic or witches with lots of romance in them.
3) The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls : To someone who loved memoirs.
4) Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts: To someone who loved a masala book, that is a book which has all the elements.
5) Any YA Fantasy book : To my little sis, she loves everything to do with fantasy and witches and magic.I do pass on my books that meet this category to her already so I can’t think of any that I want to give to her at this moment. But if I have to gift books to people she’ll definitely be on my list.
6) The Complete Calvin and Hobbs series: To my darling husband. He loves Calvin 🙂
7) A Hundred and One Days, A Baghdad Journal by Ă…sne Seierstad: For someone who enjoys books written by journalists on real events.
8 ) Nefertiti by Michelle Moran: For someone who likes Historical fiction and who likes it to be super entertaining.
9) Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater: For someone who loves reading Travelogues.
10) Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: For someone who loves reading sweeping sagas filled with family secrets and hidden gardens.

For the Love of a Son by Jean Sasson

Title: For the Love of a Son
Author: Jean Sasson
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: Personal Shelf
Set in: Afghanistan, America and Jeddah
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

My thoughts:
I love books by Jean Sasson. The first time I read on of her books I was in 11t Grade and it was probably my first non-fiction book. I have been a huge fan of hers ever since. I think her writing is simple but the stories in her books are heart wrenching. I remember I cried a lot when I read her book Mayada. She writes about women in the Muslim World. She writes about their oppression at the hands of those they love, oppression by their government and because of age old beliefs that are hard to shake even in this century.

This book is no different. For the Love of a Son is the story of a woman from Afghanistan called Maryam. Jean Sasson begins by telling us about Maryam’s grandmothers forced wedding to a man much older than her and the brutality she faced after he died. Maryam’s father was a very kind man in comparison to most of the Afghan men. She grew up under the loving protection of her much liberal parents and was, in a way, naive about the world around her. She saw them suffer abuse and thought them weak for not raising their voices.

But her perfect world came crashing down when their family had to flee Afghanistan after the Russian invasion. Their family immigrated to America where she thought she would be free from the sanctions imposed by Afghanistan government and their society. Maryam’s father married her off to a fellow Afghan who turned out to be a very violent and abusive man. When she had a son, he fled with him to Afghanistan.

This story is mainly Maryam’s but it is also the story of all the women who have suffered tremendously because of their government or their culture. This book tells us about so many such woman whom either Maryam knew personally or had heard about. I feel sad knowing there is so much cruelty against women, that their father’s, brothers and uncles who are supposed to love and cherish them, push them into a dark world and leave them without hope or self respect. It’s unbelievable how strong these women are even if it’s for the sake of their family, their children or themselves.

I will remember Maryam’s story for  along time to come and I hope more people read this book.

Note: That’s Maryam on the cover by the way. Also, it’s surprising how much history of Afghanistan is covered in this book which was a plus point for me.

Booking Through Thursday: Thankful

What book or author are you most thankful to have discovered?
Have you read everything they’ve written? Reread them?
Why do you appreciate them so much?

I could name so many authors that I have come to love over the years but I would really like to mention the ones that got me into reading. My picks are very common and popular authors but it is what it is.

Nora Roberts: For introducing me to the romance genre. I used to read her books in one sitting when I was in college. Although I can’t claim I have read all her books but I have read many.
Sidney Sheldon: I’ve read all his books and it’s because of his books that I started trying other books in the mystery genre.
Robin Cook: I never liked Science Fiction or medical mysteries until I read his books. Even now he is the only author in this genre that I love the most.

I have mentioned this many times on my blog but I’ll say it again. I never read much as a child. I started reading only when I was in High School. And if it weren’t for these authors I probably still wouldn’t have read much. So yes, I’m definitely thankful.

The Night bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

Title: The Night Bookmobile
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts; First Edition edition (September 1, 2010)
Source: Library
Rating: 1 out of 5

My thoughts:
I was excited when I saw a graphic novel written by Audrey Niffenegger at the library, so I immediately checked it out. Unfortunately I was really disappointed with the book. The graphics were normal, not bad , but nothing to talk about either.

The Night Bookmobile is about a young woman who finds a night bookmobile when roaming the streets one night after having a fight with her husband. She is surprised to find all the books that she has ever read in her life in the bookmobile. I wont tell you what happened because it’s a small book and it would probably spoil it for you. But suffice to say that I didn’t like what happened after that.

It’s one thing to love books, even to be passionate about them but I found this to be too much. I believe everything is good in moderation, until it doesn’t overtake the other aspects of your life. The blurb by Neil Gaiman on the back cover of the book says “a cautionary fantasia for anyone who has ever loved books“. Even though I’m obviously a book lover this doesn’t really ring true for me. Also, I felt it was too short a book to connect with any of the characters, I finished it in less than half an hour.

In short, there is nothing that I really liked about this book except the concept of stumbling across a library that will hold all the books you’ve ever read in your life. I feel like I should have liked this book but maybe I missed something. It definitely wasn’t for me.

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

Helloooooo All!!!

I came back from my month-long vacation in India on 5th Nov itself but I’ve been so lethargic after coming back. It took me 1 week only to unpack.  I have also been looking for another job since my old job contract got over but it being year-end and all job requirements are few.

Anyway enough of that. I have been reading  lot, mostly YA. I hope I’ll review almost all if not all the books I’ve read. I have started reading Mockingjay now and I loved the previous 2 books. I have around 5-6 review copies but I’m in the mood to read something other than that but hopefully will be able to finish them soon too.

How was the October Readathon? I really wanted to take part but I was home at that time so couldn’t. Hope you all had fun.

I had a nice break from my blog which sometimes is necessary. Even after I came back I thought I’ll start blogging only when I feel like it. And now I’m completely refreshed and realized I miss my blog and bloggers. So here I am.

That said I’m kind of bored of my blog theme. Do you think I should change it?

I guess that’s enough for now. I have a couple of reviews in drafts which will be up soon which will give me some time to finish up the reviews for the new books I’ve read. How have you’ll been?

Diwali Holidays and a whole lot of random stuff!!!

My job contract with the company I was working with ended in September and since then I’ve had some time on my hands to read, blog and do other things. But mostly I find myself doing is watching YouTube videos and catching up on all the chick flick movies. I have been a little better at reading and blogging too I think.

I finished The Hunger Games 2 days back and absolutely loved it. I cannot wait to read the next 2 books.  I have already ordered Mockingjay and will be buying Catching Fire once I reach Mumbai because it so happens that Landmark has a sale that will go on till the end of October and since Landmark is my most favorite bookstore and their sale my most favorite sale ever. I can’t wait.

We are leaving on 8th October, we’ll be spending some time in Mumbai and then at my home in Pune. I cannot wait to meet my family and friends and spend time in my favorite city. I can’t wait to shop too without feeling guilty about spending too much.

I am yet to start packing which I happen to hate. Since we also have a lot of Diwali gifts to carry back home I’m not sure how I will fit everything else. So not looking forward to it.

Me and my husband celebrated my birthday on 5th October. We went to 1-Altitute for Dinner and drinks which happens to be the world or Asia’s highest Al Fresco Bar. It’s on the 62nd floor and the view is awesome.

My husband also bought me a book and a bookmark. He wanted to buy more but I don’t shop books for full price in Singapore. They are way too expensive. But I have been searching this book for some time and glad I found it.

I’ve tried to finish all the review copies I have before leaving but I still have 3-4 books left and I don’t think I can finish reading any by tomorrow. So I’m not going to stress myself over it. I’ll just finish them when I come back.

I wont have internet access till 26th while I’m at my mother-in-laws place but I do have a connection when I go to my parents place. I don’t think I will blog but I will definitely reply to all the emails and stuff.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. My Camera is usually very good but I don’t know what went wrong this time.

The Mist by Stephen King

The Mist by Stephen King | Source: Library | Genre: Horror/ Mystery | Rating: 3 out of 5

My Thoughts:
The Mist was first published in Dark Forces Anthology and then in Skeleton Crew as a novella. I picked this up from the Library because I loved Carrie and kind of liked The Eyes of the Dragon and I wanted to read more by this author. But The Mist seems like a wrong choice now. Not because it was bad or anything but because it was forgettable. I finished this novel just yesterday after taking almost 20 days to read it in parts. It was interesting but not unputdownable and definitely not anything unique. Probably if I had read this book some years back, maybe 30 years or so, it would have been very different. But wait, I wasn’t even born then. Wait, even the book wasn’t published then. Never Mind.

Anyway…lets see if I can explain the plot in short. David and his 5 year old son are stuck in a supermarket when a Mist like thing suddenly engulfs everything outside the store and strange things start happening. There are weird creatures that come from the mist and eat those who are within their grasp. Nobody knows what these things are and from where they originated. There are hints of some government project gone horribly wrong but obviously nobody is really sure.The rest of the book is basically how they struggle to stay alive and try to figure a way out of the supermarket.

I believe there are too many Hollywood movies out there with a similar theme. So the novelty of this concept was lost on me. It felt like an age old formula for a gross story. There were a couple of times I was really scared, especially at the end but mostly I was pretty meh with the whole horror factor.

The Mist was good for entertaining for a few hours but I’m not sure I’ll recommend this. You might as well buy Skeleton Crew and get a few other stories with it instead of buying this separately.

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

Title: These Old Shades
Author: Georgette Heyer
Source: Personal shelf
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Reprint edition (July 1, 2003)
Rating: 4 out of 5

My Thoughts:
There were so many times when I picked up a Georgette Heyer book and left it after reading 2 pages. I think it was wrong timing. but when I bought These Old Shades from the library sale and read that it was a romance story, I decided to give it a try.

These old shades is about a duke Justin Alastair, also known as Satanas and a very young but spirited boy called Leon, atleast until the Duke discovers that Leon is in fact Leonnie. One night Justin happens to meet Leon when he is running away from his cruel brother Jean. He takes Leon home with him and makes him his Page. Justin does not do it out of pity, he does it because Leon holds a striking similarity with his enemy of 20 years and with whom he still has to settle the score. When Justin comes to know that Leon is in fact Leonnie, he transforms her into a girl and decides to adopt her thereby introducing her to the society.

Honestly, I was a little bored by the first half of the book. It was too slow for me. But the second half was amazing, filled with adventure and romance. I cannot tell you much about the second half without spoiling the story but suffice to say I couldn’t keep the book down. There were too many characters which sometimes confused me but by the end I almost got them all straight. Leonnie was such a fun, adventurous character. Sometimes she was too young but sometimes she was much wiser than her age which made her more appealing to me. Georgette Heyer’s prose is sharp, witty, mature and yet fun and easy to read.

I recommend this book to those interested in fun historical fiction and those who are looking for a good escape story.

Teaser Tuesdays: Cannibals

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

I’m reading 2 books at the moment The Raising and Cannibals. This teaser is from Cannibals by Jimmy Lee Shreeve.

This could be what happens with cannibals, both when they kill and when they raid mortuaries and graveyards to gratify their need for human flesh. They could be responding to a primal memory – embedded deep in their unconscious or DNA – of a time when cannibalism was acceptable or even the norm as part of funeral rites. (Pg 8 )

This book is definitely turning out more interesting than I thought it would be.