The Girl who Reads

www.themusingquill.com

Reader since 8. Writer since 4.
Believes in keeping her nose in a book.
Her horcrux is a black pen. Her heart beats in a dog.
Found in dusty old bookshops, if not loitering in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Literary Influencers: Tolstoy, Bukowski, Lahiri, Maurier, Bond
Favorite Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Liesel Meminger, Severus Snape, Florentino Ariza, Behemoth.

First You Plz

First You Plz - Nisha B. Thakur This book, received as a complimentary copy was read and reviewed for the author. It was only after reading this book that I realized how much that quote from Franz Zappa stands true.So Many Books. So little Time.I think, now swear, that we should really be picky about reading only those books that deserve our valued time and not anything that comes our way. Until now I haven't much thought about reading and reviewing debut novels but this book certainly puts my perspective to question. I guess, I must have absolutely lost my mind when I almost forced myself to read this book after the author asked me to have it reviewed. I wasted, trashed, almost an hour of my time. But for once, I am thankful to the author for keeping it as short as 100 some pages. More than once, I swallowed the urge to hurl it right out of sight for the poor quality, consistent annoying grammar errors, cheap vocabulary and out-of-place tenses. I was pretty surprised how the book got published at the first place. Were the editors and publishers blind to the apparent mistakes all through the book?I know I am not shedding light on the story. Hell, there isn't a story to talk. Its just a below average tried-to-made-look-sweet love story. The dialogues made me want to be sick, and that was often. It was obvious the author tried really hard to stick the annoying characters together all the time with some super-annoying friends lurking around them to be of whatever nonsensical help they can be. I guess, I should shut up now!In my journey so far with reading and reviewing, this is first time I have marked a book a stinker review. I cant help to be otherwise.I so want to but just cannot bring myself to give credits to the author for her work. Hell, what am I even thinking? Had it been a fifth grader's work, I'd have brought myself to be understanding. I just don't think anyone deserves to waste their precious time and hence, I am not going to recommend it to anyone, not even my dog.Wait one second, did I just say my dog? Gosh, well, that's the after-read effects of a totally pathetic book.What truly mocks me is that some readers have gone so far as to rate the book five stars. I mean, were they drunk or simply stupidly being charitable toward the author?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake I didn't remember I had read this book until I saw the movie the other day on TV. Must have been really long ago as I didn't even remember the story(the movie recalled it for me). I need to read this again, soon.

Unaccustomed Earth

Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri Unaccustomed Earth is Jhumpa Lahiri's yet another collection of most dazzling short-stories of all times making it evident the umpteenth time the kind of prodigious skills she portrays with her art of putting together in words the distressed hearts and confused minds of her characters that are struggling in unknown lands, striving to accept outlandish ways while clutching the bag of their traditional ways close to their hearts and ending up in those neverlands where they find themselves still slightly apart in the lands where they now belong. Lahiri is an expert at writing about immigrant experiences, of people from Indian origin who have settled since some countable generations in America which I believe stems out from her personal life experience.Unaccustomed Earth is a book put together with eight short stories, each of them rich with imagination and the light tug and pull that you experience in your heart as you read through the pages so efficiently written.The stories: Unaccustomed Earth Nobody's Business Only Goodness Hell and HeavenA Choice of AccommodationsOnce in a LifetimeYear's EndGoing Ashore are all bounty rich with experiences and emphatic emotions and characters are so well developed. The last three stories are inter-linked and form one whole story of Hema and Kaushik and by far my most favorite of all the stories – about love lost and found and lost again. This comes from this story and is one of my favorites,“That the last two letters in her name were the first two in his, a silly thing he never mentioned to her but caused him to believe that they were bound together.”There is almost always a sweet-sad human touch to Lahiri’s prose and stories which one cannot stop but admire. Her writing style is utmost evocative, you almost go through the world she so carefully portrays. She is so apt with an innate caliber to put life in her characters that you aren’t just reading about them but you are in their heads, in their homes, in their lives, in all of those awkward and nostalgic situations, that you are almost living their private lives. I absolutely love the way she points out raw unsaid emotions in myriad of situations that are otherwise missed by most writers of the genre. She kind of explores that void that exists in all of us of which we never talk and that is precisely what makes the reader connect with her writing as it leaves you a little raw and empty inside, provoking the most immaculately sensitive emotions in her readers.Each word, each line is almost always soaked in her exemplary style which is simple yet most striking. The endings of her books are not explosively great or anything too grand like the perfectly happy endings type, and yet somehow, what this book offers, remains subtly in your memories longer than you can imagine.Lastly, I feel it incomplete to have ended the review without sharing this piece of her writing which is going to remain in my memories, “The sky was different, without color, taut and unforgiving. But the water was the most unforgiving thing, nearly black at times, cold enough, I knew, to kill me, violent enough to break me apart. The waves were immense, battering rocky beaches without sand. The farther I went, the more desolate it became, more than any place I’d been, but for this very reason the landscape drew me, claimed me as nothing had in a long time.”When do I get to read her next book, is a question I ask?

Tell No One

Tell No One - Harlan Coben Its been eight years. David Beck is a widower mourning the loss of his wife and childhood-love, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was kidnapped and brutally murdered for reasons known to no one.A pediatrician by profession, Beck has busied his life with kids and their medical issues. Until this morning when he receives an anonymous email that upturned his life. The email is coded with words and signs that only himself and Elizabeth had known. The email is signed - Tell No OneDoes that mean it is Elizabeth after all these years or just a scumbag playing tricks? Well, if it is Elizabeth, then where was she these eight long years when his conscience was made to believe that she was murdered dead? And if not, then how does a stranger know of their secrets and codes? And most of all, why would they play tricks with him?Begins the reverse journey of David Beck into his wife's life, digging out the past while he starts to believe that maybe after all, Elizabeth wasn't murdered, maybe she was alive. But what is in store for him will not only shake the core of him but leave him doubtful about everything he knew his wife ever was. Secrets, tragedies, incidents, lies, falsehoods, cheats, murders, truths are waiting to be unearthed as Dr. David Beck turns to the day, Elizabeth was supposedly murdered, eight years ago.But until he gets to the truth, is he supposed to sit lip-tight and follow what the email ended with - Tell No One?Totally awesome book that will hold back your breath with the suspense best done Coben style! The characters, the setting, the plot, all so perfect yet terrifying and appealing to the reader in you. Another one of those few books you will finish before you notice but you will sure notice because you will end up doing nothing but finishing the book.This book quite simply is the best in the mystery genre and needs no recommendation. Just blindly pick it, grab it, snatch it and embark on the journey laid by none other than the Master of Mystery, Harlan Coben.

Six Years

Six Years - Harlan Coben I sat in the back pew and watched the only woman I would ever love marry another man.and begins the almost heart-breaking tale of Jake Fisher.Its been Six years since that day in the church when Jake Fisher watches Natalie Avery, his love, marry Todd Sanderson, her ex. Six years since he's been struggling to live life without her, with the torturing thoughts that left him dumbstruck; when on the wedding day Natalie whispered to him - Promise me, Jake. Promise me you’ll leave us alone.”Six years later. Jake stumbles across an obituary. It is Todd's obituary. Jake cannot suppress the flicker of hope that arises on seeing the obituary. With the hope of seeing her again, he plans to pay his respects to Todd and visits his funeral. It is only at the funeral, will he know that Todd was never married to Natalie, the widow he finds at the funeral was married to Todd for over a decade. Then where is Natalie? Why did she lie to him? And the wedding? And where was she all these years? Was she alive or dead? And the promise she so forced him to make - Leave us alone, what did it suggest? Was there a deadly secret to all of this? Jake embarks on a journey where he unearths secrets dark and dangerous that start to make the whole thing sound real creepy. Everyone Jake meets, they not only lie to him but also fail to recognize him. The web of mysteries and the task of finding Natalie Avery is left for Jake alone to figure and solve.My first book of Mr. Coben. And I so loved it.

The Truth about Forever

The Truth about Forever - A simple sweet little love story!Review to follow.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

The Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy, Ronald Blythe, Lynn Solotaroff Four & a half stars!I'd have willingly rated it five stars had it not been this short.A man's journey through sickness and his reluctantness to accept the one truth of life - He is going to die. How he starts to resent his family, his colleagues and comrades all since he is about to die while they will still live and enjoy life. How he turns bitter to everything and everyone including God, for having him go through the mental and physical distress.Review to follow!

The Road Of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Childhood

The Road of Lost Innocence - Somaly Mam, Lisa Appignanesi Salutes to this wonderful lady for everything she's done and been through.

Tuesdays With Morrie

Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom Incredible!! Once in a long long time you come across books that change the way you look at life. This is one of them.

The Awakening

The Awakening - Kate Chopin Reminded me of Anna Karenina. Brillantly written. Awesomely read on Librivox.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity - Katherine Boo Speechless!

A Kingdom of Dreams

A Kingdom of Dreams - Judith McNaught And they lived happily ever after!

The Diaries of Leo Tolstoy

The Diaries of Leo Tolstoy - Leo Tolstoy 4 & 1/2 stars!I must admit how appalled I was to find this book in a blood-boiling ragged state lying strewn in a road-side bookstall. I do not know how else is one supposed to feel or react to the sight of one's favorite author's work suffering a fate like that by ignorant hands but I had to suppress the urge to throttle the stall-keeper since it wasn't totally his fault. The best or all I could do and I did, is that I bought the book right away. Surprisingly, at a unbelievably cheaper price. The best feeling a reader can go through is read excerpts from the life of the person you admire, feel inspired from and I was so delighted if not overly astonished to learn about Tolstoy's life, given he's been my literary inspiration since childhood. Okay, about the book now!This book which is about 150 odd pages is small fragments from the daily life of Leo Tolstoy in his youth days. His customary habits, his routine tasks, preferences of things, his decisions and factors which influenced those are mentioned in not-so-precise details but enough to know a little about the literary icon.I am quite amazed at the amount of time in his day that was devoted to reading and writing. Its something I am taking away from his diary. There is only so many people who might like to read this diary of Tolstoy others can suffice it to know that if you are about to read this book, do not expect to come out with immensely heartrending experience. It is just about the regular life of a man who is not the Tolstoy the world knows.

Father Sergius

Father Sergius - Leo Tolstoy Best written Tolstoy style. Fairly good and quick read for an audio-book.Prince Stepan Kasatsky experiences a disappointment with his fiance and decides to become a monk! There is a story line, but beneath it, Father Sergius struggles to find peace and, if not happiness, then at least contentment. But he is always disillusioned and ultimately unsatisfied. Only in the end does he find his way by letting go of what he struggled to attain all his life, i.e. to be better than everyone else in whatever he did, and settle for the mundane. (Credit: Librivox)

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Incredible Bits of Information for every reader. Strongly recommended.

Afterward

Afterward - Edith Wharton Mary and Ned Boyne have fled their dreary life in Wisconsin for a home in rustic Dorsetshire. But you can only run so far, and some things – some secret things – may follow you. A creepy and tragic ghost story from one of the masters. (Credit: Librivox)Nice cozy little short story. Engrossing reading on the audio-read and so is the story.You wont know until AFTERWARD. So please read it.