April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
..for book recommendations.
I love reading. Everyone knows that. And I love telling people what to do. Most people know this too. But I really don’t appreciate being asked for book recommendations. Not because I don’t want you to read good books, Oh No. If I see you reading CB book, my first reaction is definitely to recommend a better book (well, any book to be honest). But because, I find it annoying. Here’s the list why it is annoying
- I don’t know what you like. Books are like perfume oils. Same perfume oil smells differently on different people. Some like it. some hate it. So while I might like certain book, you might not.
- Fact that you do not have a long TBR (to-be-read) list makes me wonder about your reading habits.
- I have a bad memory recollection. Even though I love a certain book, I won’t be able to recall its name.
- Joy of discovering new books. I want you to feel it. Whether it’s by browsing an online site/blog/twitter, you come across an awesome book or by looking at it in a bookseller’s shop. Or better in a garage sale or second-hand bookshop. Nothing beats this joy.
- You really do not want to move out of your comfort zone. You have a favorite genre, you want to stick with it. I read 5 different genres at any given point. How am I supposed to know what you like?
- If I liked you enough, I would’ve gifted you a book already which would be my recommendation.
That said, Some of my favorite books are recommendations by friends (few were actually forced on me, some were gifted)
So best solution is go on goodreads, perv on your friend’s reading lists. Join groups/book clubs. Read reviews. Because when you don’t like something recommended by a booknerd, God kills a kitten. Do not put God in such a position.
March 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
Farseer Trilogy: Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest
Verdict: One of the must read for fantasy fans
How do you know you have stumbled onto something great? When you spend 7 hours reading, so you could know the whole story. And then you spend rest of the day just thinking about it.
This is what Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb did to me. Not in the beginning, mind you. It was good, of course. It was engaging, no doubt. But there was a slowness to it. Then I read next one in series. It’s end only meant that I pick up last one immediately and immerse myself in it. And by the end of it, you are a fan. Of the series. Of the Author.
While it has all the common fantasy elements – medieval world, Royalty, Court intrigue, Magic, loyalty, war, sibling rivalry; it still managed to be different. War is just backdrop to the story. Magic, just a tool. It’s characters in the series who shine out. It’s their story, told by the illegitimate child of prince. As a Hero, he’s not perfect. He stumbles and falls. He refuses to heed advice given by his mentors. But that’s what keeps you engaged. It’s the imperfectness of people that one identifies with. They are human and they make mistakes. Til the end. Of course, there are times when you want to yell at them about obvious stupid choices. And it’s only by the end, you realize how each of those choices developed those characters, gave them the strength to be what they should be. You feel their pain and the triumphs. This is what makes it such an interesting series.
Book begins with bastard child of king-to-be brought to the castle, which is ruled by one shrewd King (and that’s his name too). His kingdom includes 6 duchies which bicker amongst each other. On arrival of this child, his father abdicates his claim to the throne and leaves child in care of his stable master. This child catches eye of the king who decides to train him as an assassin like his own bastard brother. New king-in-waiting, his uncle, likes him but next heir in line of throne detests him. This child, apart from skill magic of farseer line also carries old blood magic known as wit. Wit allows him to bond to animals and skill lets him talk to his uncle using mind. This wit also causes people to mistrust him and even his death and eventual resurrection.
Throw in King’s murder by his own son, real king away on a quest and declared dead, war brought by enemy from far, lost love and you have a trilogy. Engaging read and somewhat dark. End was very much a surprise. And you should be reading the series to find out what it was.
January 30, 2009 § Leave a comment
Note: Copy-Paste from Jun 07
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Verdict: Must Read for 2 hours of unparalleled fun.
What happens when Angel and Serpent become too cozy in their earthly lifestyle and apocalypse is near, threatening an end to this comfortable life? Do they simply resign themselves to their fate and help God and Satan in final war or is there a way out of it? This is what we read and explore in ‘Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch’ by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Some of you would already be familiar with Neil Gaiman, courtesy Sandman. For those feeling bit left out, Neil Gaiman is author of many science fiction novels, comics and graphic Novels. Terry Pratchett is a fantasy author too, more known for his Discworld series.
Moving back to Good Omens, Book starts with angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley, both of whom are representing God and Satan respectively on earth and are quite used to life style on earth. Crowley is proud owner of Bentley whereas Aziraphale has his books collection, quite rare ones at that. Apocalypse is near and son of Satan has been born (omen, anyone??). Both angel and demon realize that if final war happens, they would have to leave all materialistic things behind and would have to go back to heaven and hell. For them, this is beginning of life full of boredom. Now, after centuries of working against each other, they have developed mutual respect and are good friends. So, together they decide to thwart the war with plain logic of “freedom of choice” given to humans. Their plan, very simple, influence son of Satan with both good and evil. So, he doesn’t turn out to be fanatic for either side, cannot decide on a side and in the end postpone the war. Just one small glitch, the boy they had been watching wasn’t son of Satan. Due to small mix up in hospital, they ended up focusing on wrong kid. Result, son of Satan had a very normal life uninfluenced by both good and evil and unaware of his powers. Now, time has come for him to gain the throne. Add to this, 4 horsemen of hell (War, Famine, Pollution (Pestilence having retired in 1936 following the discovery of penicillin), and Death) searching for boy to serve him, and you’ve got perfect recipe of roll-on-floor-while-laughing book.
Oh, did you ask why Agnes Nutter in title? Well, because she wrote the prophecies leading to final doom day which are very accurate And it’s up to her descendant to figure them out. Slightly confusing you see
January 30, 2009 § Leave a comment
Note: This was written in Aug 07. Just copy/pasting it again
E by Matt Beaumont
Final recommendation: a good read
Being in IT industry, if there’s one thing which I know how to do is to send Emails. Infact all of my colleagues will agree to this. I cannot imagine a world without email and yet I could’ve never dream a novel based on it. But then again that’s the reason I’m where I’m and Matt Beaumont is where he is.
When I started this novel I was little skeptic. Its easy to have a conceptual novel but tougher to carry it off. But from the moment I started it til I finished it I was spellbound. There were so many characters I thought I knew. The office politics (esp the use of CC, BCC and attachements) is just real. We all have witnessed this rat race. But somehow it never seemed so hilarious.
It is set in advertising agency which is trying to land Coca-Cola campaign. In background, office politics is at its funniest best. Everyone trying to save their own job and land the higher position. Colleagues gossiping, leaking news, spying and even cat-fight makes it an interesting read. My favorite bit was CEO accidentally copying all his mails to another region’s CEO who would send advice in return.
Do give it a shot to take breaks from all heavy readings…