Book Reviews

What I’ve been Reading

I haven’t been reading much. There, I said it. I’m ashamed to have said it but it’s the truth, especially coming from me – a person who used to finish 2-3 books per week with consummate ease. 

To clarify, I haven’t read too many novels this year. But to compensate, and because I’m writing 1 short story every month as part of the Short Story Challenge, I’ve been gobbling up fiction and essays from literary magazines everywhere, mostly online. 

At the rate of 1 short story a day, I might have easily read as much as 2-3 books a week! 

Despite that, I craved my novel fixes. So I got back in the game with two of the most talked about books that have recently been made or are going to be made into films. 

 

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I came to the Divergent party a little late, because I didn’t know how much I could stomach. I was also worried that it would end on a cliffhanger and I’d be forced to read the sequels just to know what happens next. 

Luckily I’m pleased to report this was not the case. I enjoyed reading the book. It ended on a note that surely promised a sequel, but it is no loss if you choose not to. 

Though I found it very exciting, the premise felt a little too derivative to me. The sorting of people into factions reminded me of the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter, and the violence between adolescents brought to mind The Hunger Games. I understand the appeal, of course, but I’m happy to see the sequels solely on screen, with my niece serving as my guide to plot lines that I may not follow. 

Here’s the trailer for Divergent:

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If you haven’t read the book already, then there’s nothing I can tell you about it. I knew that there was a halfway plot twist but I didn’t know what the twist was. Briefly, all that I can tell you about the book is this: 

On Nick and Amy’s 5th wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Nick is the prime suspect – because, almost always, it’s the husband that did it. The book is narrated alternately by Nick, and Amy’s diary entries. 

Now that I know the twists and the endings, I can safely say – please read the book if you haven’t already!

The film is out in October. The trailer is brilliant, as is the casting for the movie:

 

Right now I’ve started on The Silkworm, written by Robert Gilbraith aka JK Rowling. So far, all I can say is, JKR is JKR. She hasn’t lost her touch, or her sense of humour, or her writing skills, one teeny bit.

 

What have you been reading lately?

Book Reviews

Book Review: Room by Emma Donaghue

I’ve wanted to read this book ever since the buzz broke about it, even before it became shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2011. 

One reads many of these news items about women and young girls being held captive for years on end and even forced to bear the children of their tormentors. I skim over these articles usually, as I cannot bear to think about the ordeal these women suffer. 

However, I steeled myself to read this book. Its USP, as you might know by now, is that it is narrated by a five-year-old boy called Jack. Incorrect usage of words pepper the story. Plenty of instances of ‘I runned’ just like my daughter says. I like how he refers to his mother as Ma throughout and we never know her real name. He simply refers to her name as ‘her other name’. 

I squirmed while reading the parts where the captor visits her in the night and Jack sits in the cupboard and counts the creaks of the bed. Equally tension-inducing were the parts where they planned their escape. 

Jennifer Weiner conducted an interview with the author which made for very interesting reading. Overall, the book is as brilliant as it is promised to be, and very thought-provoking. 

Now that Room is off my reading list, I still have the following gems to tackle: 

My TBR Pile:
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
There but for the by Ali Smith
Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith
Meltdown by Ben Elton
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
The Dog who came in from the Cold by Alexander McCall Smith

What books have you read recently?