Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book 2: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Paperback: 496
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published Date: January 25, 2005
My Rating: 4 out of 5

It was sometime last week when I was at Hyderabad airport to catch my early morning flight to Bangalore. That was when I saw this book in the Fiction section. I already knew Nags was reading the same and curiosity built since then. Out of habit, I read the excerpt behind the book and found it very intriguing. For the next 15 mins, I found myself completely engrossed in it and almost miss my flight. Here is a jist of what is it all about:

"Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'Cemetry of Forgotten Books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles. To this library a man brings his 10-year old son, Daniel on one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book and from the dusty shelves pulls The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. But as Daniel grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind".

The point that intrigued me the most is how the author managed to bring Julián Carax's and Daniel's characters to life which follow very similar trajectories, where one ends in tragedy and other in happiness. As you turn each of the pages, you can almost feel & smell the streets of Barcelona and how lives of many innocent people were shattered due to the war. Yet, there is every fathomable human experience one can think of in this book - love, friendship, compassion, lust, eccentricity, fear, hatred, jealousy and above all the gripping suspense which will make you want to read further. A true page-turner, I must say..

If there is anything I would rather change about this book is - it is just too long and sometimes the narrative can be slow. Nevertheless, the author manages to weave an intricate story and you will instantly fall in love with its rich language and vulnerable characters.

until next time,

Previously Read:

Book 1- India: In the Convent of Little Flowers written by Indu Sundaresan 
Book 2 - Spain: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Book 3 - Botswana: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book 1: In the Convent of Little Flowers by Indu Sundaresan

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Atria Books
Published Date: December 16, 2008
Amazon Kindle Edition
My Rating: 3 out of 5

As many of you already know, this year I have taken up a challenge to travel around the world through atleast 24 books. I chose In the Convent of Little Flowers written by Indu Sundaresan to be my first one. In short, the book is a collection of short stories (to which I am a great fan of) with each story set against different parts of rural and urban India. It touches many sensitive issues such as sati, domestic abuse, homosexuality and revolves around  marriage, friendship, death, betrayal etc.

One thing about this book is that - it slowly grows on you and draws you into it, atleast that's what happened to me. I just wanted to give up after reading the story "Three and a Half Seconds". Simply put, I felt so sad by its ending to continue further. I had to take a day break, come back and resume reading. On the other hand, "The Key's Club" is shocking. "The Most Unwanted" is heart-warming as you can feel what Nathan goes through and also with Parvati, who displays an innermost strength which is rarity in such circumstances. Even after completing the book, I still don't get the plot of "The Chosen One".

All in all, it is a good book.

A little plea to all indian authors out there -

"Please do write stories that are inspiring, make the reader feel happy inside-out rather than just stories that portray tragic lives with even more tragic endings. There is happiness and joy too, you see and am waiting to know and experience all of them. Thank you!"

Up Next - The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

until I finish my next book, signing off for now..

Previously Read:

Book 1- India: In the Convent of Little Flowers written by Indu Sundaresan 
Book 2 - Spain: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Book 3 - Botswana: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 New Year Celebrations at Vaidehi Ashram, Hyderabad

Spent my first day of 2012 in the most amazing way possible at "Vaidehi Ashram" here in Hyderabad. It is home for about 108 girls who have no parents or a single parent who can no longer take care of them. By the end of the day, my heart swell with warmth and happiness. I am going to write about them in detail on my blog soon, so that you can experience, what I experienced and help them in whatever way you can. :-)

In the photograph - the youngest of all kids: [L-R] Vasavi & Samatha