Posts Tagged ‘Review’

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Book : Oliver’s Story by Erich Segal

Category : Romance ( Not exactly)

Protagonist: Oliver Barrett IV

Summary of the book : from the dust jacket of the book

Oliver Barrett IV found the love of his life in Jenny Cavilleri. And though the time they spent together was brief, it was enough to last a lifetime. Or so Oliver told himself. Living without her for two years now, he still believes he will never love again. Until the day he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman, and suddenly the future seems very different than Oliver thought it would be.

Things I liked about this book: ( Can’t say I liked any thing so I am just giving my views )

I wanted to like this book , I really did . I had absolutely loved Love Story ( ya,ya I know , the tear jerking romantic story ) I knew this book couldn’t be as phenomenal as Love Story. Some books have that kind of impact but I had definitely expected something atleast close to the first book.I was throughly disappointed.

The book fell short on reasoning and realism. As a reader I just couldn’t identify with Oliver’s decisions. He was too much in love with his first wife Jenny  , granted .But he doesn’t want to take a step forward in to a new life. He doesn’t realise that not every person is alike  and not every girl is Jenny. Oliver just couldn’t handle the fact that Marcie has different prioroties in life. All he does is try to find her  in Marcie. I would have left the book within a few pages , had it not been for the curiosity of knowing what happens to Oliver eventually.  Wrong decision Shona. Should have left the book at the time I thought I had enough of over the board romance and cheesy emotions  🙂 Take my advice , go read Love Story and forget that the book has any sequel . Ok?

On my rating scale : 2 out of 5 ( I would have said 1 but Erich Segal is one of my fav authors)

Challenges for which the book is listed : None

Source : Personal Copy

rilke

We read numerous books in our lifetime but a select few stay in our memory as fresh as it has been read this day itself.  Each of us has these all time favorites . I too have a few and I made an addition to that list when I turned the last page of Rilke’s Letters To A Young Poet.

It’s a slim volume but never go by looks. These 10  letters were Rilke ‘s response to Franz Kappus , a new  recruit to the  military academy in Germany , who had sent his poetry to Rilke to ask for his opinion. The senior poet starts the first letter with his honest opinion and goes on in his subsequent correspondence in to the depths of creativity , imagination and  its utilisation . It’s not just about poetry but also some very important lessons in life that these letters address to. He doesn’t preach , just tells the young man who is seemingly confused and dejected in life due to his failure in the field of poetry , to take heart , to learn new things and try to find satisfaction in his work not for the sake of others but for his inner happiness.

Reading this book is kind of experience in itself and I know I would want to read it again , very soon. Not because I  would have forgotten the matter , but because it has certain things which we constantly need to remind our selves .

I will leave you with a few lines that  I loved :

It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginners in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn.

So you mustn’t be frightened, dear Mr. Kappus, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.

This would make an ideal gift to  students who are just finishing school and are  about to step in to the world . Even other wise this would be a great gift to anyone who loves reading.

Highly recommended.

My rating 5 out of 5

9780373250110

A Fancy Affair Bridal Salon

Forest Hills, Queens

“Did you know that one of your hips is higher than the other?” the seamstress asked me in a totally conversational tone.

“I didn’t,” I said. “I never knew that. But I’m glad you told me.”

The seamstress had the decency to look embarrassed. She ducked her head back down and continued pinning.Perhaps that had been the reason why Blind Dates One, Two and Three hadn’t been interested. It wasn’t the smoking, after all. It was my Hip Issue. And just my luck that Blind Date #4 was with a doctor, whose business it was to notice such deformities.

See Jane Date will speak to singles everywhere. At once warm and witty, this look into the life of 28-year-old assistant editor Jane Gregg, screams, “You are not alone!”

Case in point: See Jane . . .

– Endure two months of bridesmaid hell for her younger cousin’s wedding

– Brilliantly dodge being fixed up with Grammy’s next-door neighbor by fibbing that she, um, already has a boyfriend

– Date . . . like crazy to find one suitable guy to bring to said wedding

Okay, find one suitable guy to love. Was that so much to ask?

 

Review:

If a book can cheer you up and make you laugh and feel good at the end , it was totally worth the time you spent reading it . I loved the book from page 1. I was still laughing when I started this review 🙂

Jane is an assistant editor at Posh trying to make her way towards Associate Editor and in desperate need of a boyfriend because her YOUNGER cousin Dana is getting married and she doesn’t want to be pitied by her family and mocked at by Dana for attending the ceremony without a date.

To make the matters worse her school mate  Natasha (whom she absolutely hates ) is back in her life and Jane has been entrusted the job of editing the memoir that Natasha is writing , a tell-all about her affair with a hot shot movie star. She cannot let Natasha know how pathetic her life is and that she is just an Assistant Editor . But she can do something ? Yes ,of course. She can find a guy , make him her boyfriend and take him to the wedding. Seems easy huh? To do that, she has to date guys and survive the dates. So she dates and she dates and dates big time!!!

From one guy to another , while juggling her work pressures (read Natasha’s memoir ‘not yet started dont know when she will finish the first chapter memior’  ) and being there at her cousin’s pre-wedding events (which seem to be never ending) Jane does it all.To tell u the truth, I didn’t like Jane in the beginning. Not the typical chick lit heroine u connect to instantly or even think about fondly. She was cold, non self assured , distant but as the book progressed and I saw her emerge from her hilarious date sequences and got to know her better I started liking her and pitying her too.

Melissa Senate  brings out humour so well that I was really having a hard time keeping a straight face while reading it. A great take on the social life of a working woman and also today’s dating scene.

Give this book a try. It might surprise you. It surprised me:)

pinkseOk, I  have returned to reviewing books in my usual format now. It’s more fun this way :)Though I might occasionally go back to those quick reviews when I am too far behind in writing reviews. 😉

I love reading YA books , a habit I picked up after I started blogging ,even though I am well past the age for YA .Its a pleasant change as a spacer when I am reading classics or some heavy-duty textual stuff . I had this book with me for quite some time now but it was never picked up but when I finally got to it last month ,I finished it straight in one reading.

Secrets Of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita revolves around teen actress Kaitlin who feels that she deserves a chance to see how a normal teenager lives. With the help of her friend Liz Mendes she transforms herself into this totally non glamorous looking British girl and joins Liz’s school. But wait ,it can’t be all that easy. Not the least when you are a major Hollywood celebrity and have rivals who can do anything to spread a wily bit of rumour to shatter your career.

The best part of this book is Kaitlin Burke herself. She comes out as an adorable teenage girl, who loves Star Wars enough to fill her room with memorabilia of the movie but star enough never to reveal it in public ( she is the teen of the year after all !)

Her nemesis Skylar is another character you will enjoy reading about though not in a like able way. She is a total opposite of Kaitlin and can go to any extent to dethrone Kaitlin. Its been a rivalry she has carried on since their first day on the sets of their prime time soap opera Family Affairs ,where both girls play sisters.

Though the other characters like that of her parents are not that well detailed ,it never hampers the story. It is a right mixture of glamour , fun and innocent romance that makes it such a great read. I will have to pick up the sequel to see what happens next.

If you looking for a book to cheer you up and bring a smile on your face ,grab this one.

My Rating : 4 out of 5

 

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Book: Girl With A Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier

Category : Historical Fiction

Protagonist: Griet and Vermeer

Summary of the book : from author’s website

One of the best-loved paintings in the world is a mystery. Who is the model and why has she been painted? What is she thinking as she stares out at us? Are her wide eyes and enigmatic half-smile innocent or seductive? And why is she wearing a pearl earring?

Girl With a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a 16-year-old Dutch girl who becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Her calm and perceptive manner not only helps her in her household duties, but also attracts the painter’s attention. Though different in upbringing, education and social standing, they have a similar way of looking at things. Vermeer slowly draws her into the world of his paintings – the still, luminous images of solitary women in domestic settings.

In contrast to her work in her master’s studio, Griet must carve a place for herself in a chaotic Catholic household run by Vermeer’s volatile wife Catharina, his shrewd mother-in-law Maria Thins, and their fiercely loyal maid Tanneke. Six children (and counting) fill out the household, dominated by six-year-old Cornelia, a mischievous girl who sees more than she should.

On the verge of womanhood, Griet also contends with the growing attentions both from a local butcher and from Vermeer’s patron, the wealthy van Ruijven. And she has to find her way through this new and strange life outside the loving Protestant family she grew up in, now fragmented by accident and death.

As Griet becomes part of her master’s work, their growing intimacy spreads disruption and jealousy within the ordered household and even – as the scandal seeps out – ripples in the world beyond.

Things I liked about this book:

Reading about art has always fascinated me . Though it is  historical fiction set in the 17 th century  ,author has done full justice to Vermeer , his muse and his painting. I loved the way the story of the ‘girl’ was woven in to Vermeer’s life.

Griet , is a very sensitive person who gets pulled into Vermeer’s life and art  when he decides that she is going to be the subject of his painting. But as eccentric and self involved as artists can be , Vermeer does not realise that choosing this girl can lead to a upheaval in her already difficult life in his house dominated by his wife Cornelia and his tyrannical  mother in law who have no respect for servants .  As the book is from Griet’s point of view , we get to see the social stratification of the period , the prejudices based on religious beliefs  interwoven into the tale of one of Vermeer’s most famous painting.

Griet’s narration holds you from the first line and it does not stop being interesting at any point. Some really good description of the Dutch life  and Vermeer’s painting style makes it a must read book  for all art lovers.

A well researched and a well written book. Highly recommended.

Things I disliked about the book : None

On my rating scale : 4.5 out of 5

Challenges for which the book is listed : Centuries Challenge 2009

Source : Personal Copy