Archive for October, 2009

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Book : Letters From A Father To His Daughter

Author : Jawaharlal Nehru

Publisher: Puffin Books

Pages :154 pgs

Category : Non Fiction, History

My grandfather was a very avid reader. He was the one who recommended books to me when I would spend hours just surfing bookshelves in our local library. It was through him that I got familiar with the works of Tolstoy , Pearl S Buck , Charles Dickens and some great Indian authors like Mulk Raj Anand , K.M.Munshi and Jawaharlal Nehru. I had read Glimpses Of World History by Nehru and loved it but somehow never read this beautiful little collection of letters Jawaharlal Nehru sent his 10 yrs old daughter Indira ( later known as Indira Gandhi ) when she was spending her summer at Mussorie , a hill station and Nehru himself was busy working in his home town Allahabad.

This set of letters he sent , tell the story of creation of Earth and its evolution. Nehru covers them chronologically with letters on First Living Things , Early Men , Civilizations , Trade, Great Cities and many more. Such is  the lucidity of his writing that at one point I felt , wish all books were written in this way.

Another intresting  point to be noted is that Nehru didnt spoon feed his daughter with all  the facts . He just told enough to make her curoius , so that she was initiated in to the quest of knowing more about them. Now, that is what process of learning is all about.

Here is my fav part of the book

Boys and girls, even grown ups are are often taught history in a peculiar way. They learn the names of the kings and others , and dates of battle and like. But surely history does not consist of battle and few persons who became kings and generals. History should tell us of the people of the country , how they lived , what they did and what they thought .It should tell us of their joys and sorrows , of their difficulties and how they overcame them..

 

With some really great illustrations , it makes a wonderful read not just for kids but also for adults. I can say its a refresher course on things we should know but hardly make an effort to think about..

Highly recommended..

 

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I completed the last review for my Young Adult Book Challenge 2009.. I guess I am the last one to finish 🙂 None theless one  challenge officially completed and here is the wrap up post .

YAchallengeChallenge Host : J. Kaye

Books Read for the challenge :

1. Lock And Key – Sarah Dessen

2. The Goose Girl – Shannon Hale

3.  Are You There God ? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume

4. Geek High – Piper Banks

5. Story Of A Girl – Sara Zarr

6. Before I Die – Jenny Downham

7. Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

8. The Forest Of Hands And Teeth – Carrie Ryan

9. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

10.13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson

11.Percy Jackson And The Olympians :Lightning Thief -Rick Riordan

12.Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Sea Of Monsters – Rick Riordan

I read some really good books through this challenge. I discovered Percy Jackson through it. Thanks to the wonderful J.Kaye for hosting this challenge.

sara zarrBook : Story Of A Girl

Author : Sara Zarr

Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages : 208 pgs

Category : Young Adult

My Rating : 4 out of 5

Summary ( from Goodreads) :

When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother’s best friend – Deanna Lambert’s teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of “school slut,” she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.

My Views:

As a teenager Deanna has endured much more than her friends . She has to live with the fact that the whole school knows that she was caught in the back seat of  a car having sex with Tommy, her elder brother’s best friend. Different takes of this event are circulating in her school ,where people have given her some nasty nicknames . Tommy himself has fueled some of these rumours .She could have tolerated all that if her father too hadn’t given up on her. She hasn’t had a decent conversation with her dad since . Her life revolves around her 2 friends  and her  baby niece. When Deanne takes up a job in summer ,little does she know that Tommy is going to work with her. If life seemed difficult before , it isn’t getting any easier for Deanne.

Deanne is one of those few characters who touched my heart. She isn’t perfect. She has made some really wrong choices . But don’t we all?  But  the price paid by her is too heavy. When she handles her problems we see her hurt  , we see her need to gain acceptance. Need to be in a place where she isn’t judged by her previous mistakes. Need to see people whom she cares about ,understanding her. Her effort to attain financial independence so that she can get out of the town where people see her for not what she is but what her past follies are.

Deanne was a strong voice , though sometimes a confused one . I liked her for her honesty and also persevering in conditions , when most other teenagers would have broken down.  I am sure she is one character I am going to remember for a long time.

This is my first Sara Zarr book and after finishing this one I decided that I did want to read her other books. The main reason being ,her ability to bring out emotions that are completely honest without pretensions.

Awards:

2007 National Book Award Finalist

ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults

readathon5Woo!!Woo!! I did it !!! I can’t belive I completed more than I had contemplated and the urge to read is still persisting though the readathon is complete ( I ended my reading 30 min early ) .This event was so much fun and helped me reduce some books from my TBR pile ..

Final Report

Total No. Of  Books Read: 14 books

List of Books Read:

Emma Vol 1 by Kaoru Mori

Emma Vol 2 by Kaoru Mori

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Wake by Lisa McMann

Charlotte’s Web by  E.B.White

Enna Burning by Shannon Hale

Forget About It by Caprice Crane

Emma Vol 3 by K.Mori

The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve

Folk Tales Of South India

Adventures Of Suppandi

Moving Day -Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls by Meg Cabot

Re Read – Love Story  by Erich Segal

Tales Of A Drama Queen by Lee Nichols

Total no. of hours spent reading and blogging : 20 hours nearly

Total no. of hours spent sleeping: 3  hours( to be precise 2 hours  40 min ) 🙂

Total no. of pages read : 2754 pgs

No. Challenges participated in: 3

Prizes Won : None..Hey wait , I got a box my fav chocolates  from dad 🙂 So I won something 🙂

I know for sure that I am participating in the next Read-a-thon and I will find some fellow book fanatic friends  to do it along with me , to make those 24 hrs more exciting..

I would like to thank all the organisers and also all the wonderful cheerleaders who made it such a fun event.Congratulate all those wonderful readers who read and read and read..

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Last 1 hour  was most daunting , I kept blog hopping to stay awake

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Her Fearful Symmetry ( I am just a few chapters into it but I have a feeling that it’s going to be great )
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I think , its wonderful as it is. I loved every single minute of it. Though I wish I had been lil more enthusiastic about the mini challenges .
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

The cheerleading and also the great mini challenges

5. How many books did you read?

14 books
6. What were the names of the books you read?

Emma Vol 1 by Kaoru Mori

Emma Vol 2 by Kaoru Mori

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Wake by Lisa McMann

Charlotte’s Web by  E.B.White

Enna Burning by Shannon Hale

Forget About It by Caprice Crane

Emma Vol 3 by K.Mori

The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve

Folk Tales Of South India

Adventures Of Suppandi

Moving Day -Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls by Meg Cabot

Re Read – Love Story  by Erich Segal

Tales Of A Drama Queen by Lee Nichols
7. Which book did you enjoy most?

I enjoyed reading Wake and Coraline and most of all the graphic novel Emma -A victorian Romance
8. Which did you enjoy least?

Though I liked all the books my least fav would be Moving Day..
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I wasn’t a cheerleader  but I did quite a few commenting rounds on various blogs 🙂
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I am 100% sure of participating next time and might take up cheerleading officially next time round .