A beautiful flier created exclusively for CROCUS 2010 is attached for your convenience. Please feel free to send them to your friends and family. Sit back, relax and watch the CROCUS bloom! As we gear up to celebrate fourth anniversary of our children’s book blog, are you ready to join us in this exciting odyssey?
book review, books, Chandru Bhojwani, Greg Mortenson, journey of om, lisabeth slander, Millenium Trilogy, review, stieg larsson, the girl who kicked the hornets nest, the girl who played with fire, the girl with a dragon tattoo, three cups of tea
Its been long since I have done book reviews here. Not that I haven’t been reading just that I have been very busy… So here are some of the books I have reading
There are three books in the series The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest and I read all three like a mad person… not keeping them down for anything… Finished them in record time and after I finished the series I had Slander withdrawal symptoms 🙂
Slander in case u are wondering is the main lead in all three books… “The Girl”… a girl who has had a bad childhood, is under guardian ship and is raped by her guardian, is a superb hacker, has a photographic memory and a way with numbers… The series takes us through her association with a go getter journalist Mikael Blomkvist who will do anything to uncover a story and is a born flirt with an infamous relationship with his co editor Erica who is BTW happily married
The series keeps one glued to see whats happening next as one scam after the other unfolds as things like sex trade, religious fanatic psychopaths and events of Slanders past which could be a national scandal unfold… A good thriller after ages…The third one got a little boring but on the whole a series that I really enjoyed reading
The author has weaved a brilliant tale and what a misfortune that he is not alive to see the success his books are making, infact as a matter of fact the books have been published post his death 😦
And yeah I hear there is a movie being made of it too
Last Words : A excellent gripping thriller after ages and that too with a female lead what else could one ask
Rating : 3.5/5
A book that was recommended by my dear friend D again and again but I somehow could locate only young readers edition where ever I asked… and than one day while shopping with her she found it for me… and I am so glad she did because this one surely has to be one of the best books I have read in the recent past..
Three cups of tea is a true story of a man, a man who starts from US to fulfill the dream he has long nurtured, the dream to conquer the second highest peak in world K2, he fails to reach the submit, gets lost and is badly injured and barely alive when the inhabitants of a small village in Pakistan take care of him, bring him back to life both physically and emotionally as there he finds a new motive for life, a new dream after failing the one he was living for, a dream to build school for that village…
Its an amazing story of a man who doesn’t have enough money to rent an apartment for himself and just with the drive inside inside him yearns to build a school in a far away land… Its an amazing tale which shows how it is indeed possible to brave against all odds and do what u want to.
The book is full of adventures, of mountain stories and jeeps rides, of how Greg survives a kidnapping and fatwa of sheer will and ofcourse some local friends he has made. And in the end he makes not one but many schools (the current count is I think 55)
Incase u are wondering about the tittle of the book… this pakistani proverb is behind it
“The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family…”
A proverb I loved too… And I love the cover there is something about those three girls in it, the fact that Greg is making education accessible to these girls makes me doubly happy
Last Word : A very very heartwarming account of a very brave and noble soul which truly makes one believe in life and motivates one to do that little extra. A must read for everyone.
Rating – 5/5
The Journey of Om by Chandru Bhojwani
The journey of Om is what it truly the tittle suggests the journey the central lead “OM”… The book starts with a scence in which Om is about to surprise his girlfriend on her birthday and is surprised himself to find another man in bed with her… The betrayal of the girlfriend and the break up leaves him shatteredbo
He turns to his friends Mona and Arun for support and turns out that both of them are tied up in problems of their own… Mona somewhere in her 30’s and still single chances upon a man she thinks could be the one she can spend her life with… travels all the way to HongKong to see a different reality… Arun who is steady with a girlfriend of many years suddenly finds his relationship rocking because of a sudden incident and the family involved..
Its a tale of three friends who derive strength and support from each other during testing times… Though all this might sound pretty depressing but the book surprisingly manages to lift your spirits and has quite a lot of its funny moments too… The book is surprsingly good and engrossing for a first time author… no literary masterpiece but than I am sure the author didnt want it to be 🙂
My only complaint with the book was the cover… doesnt tempt me to pick up the book at all 😦
Last Words : A good fast read about relationships, friendship and love
Rating – 3/5
Coming soon are some more reviews…
1. The Great Depression of the 40’s : A novel by Rupa Gulab
2. The case of the missing servant by Tarquin Hall
3. Go Kiss the World by Subroto Bagchi
And a post on Books Ojas loves to read
Finally I do my long pending reviews… Feb was a month where I read a lot (ok Smitha we are not competing with u and neither with u smitha 😀 gosh do all smitha’s read so much or its only our two 😉 ) ok so I read about 6 books in 28 days which is good enough for me 😉 but I never got around doing any reviews for them… kept thinking of doing. There are about 5 drafts for these books in my folder and then I thought its high time I finish them and then publish as one single post… phew finally I hope this post sees the light of the day
A book so unlike me, so unlike the books I usually read… I am usually not the one reading a lot of spiritual material or spiritually inspired books. So much so that when I read Eat Pray Love India’s part was what I liked the least but when someone gifted me this book I was forced tempted to read it and I am actually so glad I did. It showed me a new face to India. It made me think about the India I don’t know at all, a India I am so ignorant of its existent . The book as the name suggest is about nine lives… nine lives of nine Indian people who take up the spiritual path. I loved the way William captured their lives maintaining a fine balance between becoming preachy and stating the spiritual facts so well.
The characters here of course go extreme in their devotion their thinking clouded by their faith but yet they are happy or rather they are peaceful. The story about the dalit jailor and well digger who transforms himself to a God like status two months a year during Theyam (of which I knew nothing before reading this btw, I mean I knew there exists a dance like this but I didnt know the history)… a Buddhist monk who picks up a weapon to fight against China and then turns to making prayer flags, a Jain nun who gives up food slowly to embrace death.. the characters have been brought to paper beautifully.
According to me a very very good read
Book Nine Lives
Authors William Dalrymple
Price Rs 495/-
The second book by the author who gave us the brilliant (atleast I loved it) Time Traveller’s Wife. So since it is out I have been wanting to read it but I have said this before that how on some books I suddenly become kanjoos 😀… (I am strange very strange sometimes) so when I saw this in the library I picked it up… As usual like her previous book this is a very very different book, a book about ghosts. I don’t even remember when was the last time I read a book about ghosts.
Its a story of two generation of twins – identical twins. The two main girls Julia and Valentina find themselves in the London apartment of their dead but still existent as a ghost Aunt whom they had never met all their lives because of some their moms didn’t want to keep the relation going between them for reasons that are not known to anyone.
When I started this book I was mighty excited about it, loved the author the subject was juicy enough – two set of twins, ghosts. Did the book stand up to the expectations – I would say mostly yes.The book deals with its subject pretty nicely and I think if I write anymore I would give in a lot for a review 😉
But all in all a book I recommend too… may be not as good as TTW but a decent read
Book Her Fearful Symmetry
Authors Audrey Niffenegger
Price Rs 570/-
When I read The Pallace of Illusions it left me wondering why has this modernization of the Ramayan not yet done (yeah call me dumb I didn’t know about the existence of this one 😦 ) and after some research and talking to fellow readers I got to know about it this one and damn I am cursing myself of why I didn’t know of it before. WHY? Its a brilliant book, loved it from the starting to the end
The way Banker has dealt with the ancient text and almost converted it into a modern piece of sci-fi fiction but yet handled the sensitivities of us Indians for their scared texts is amazing.
I have always wondered (like him as he mentions in the preface of the book) that how do people of this generation read the Ramayana. I tried picking up an English translation long ago but its not just the language which is a binding in reading it, its the whole way its written, I never got around finishing that one and I think I have found my answer in Ashok Banker’s series.
A must read for everyone interested in Ramayana. I am surely picking up the next volume soon.
Book Prince of Ayodhya
Authors Ashok K Banker
Price Rs 570/-
Aah after three nice books I do have a right to tell you about a bad one isnt it? 🙂 Ok not really bad but a okie tokie read (not a literature material basically)… I think its the one which tries to step into the desi chicklit category again only thing is doesn’t succeed as well as Zoya Factor. No actually let me change my mind here, this takes on making a new leauge.. Desi Mills and Boons 😉
Its a love story between Aditya and Nandini which are kids of a family which are really close to each other who fall in love and out of it and then like all good old romantic movies and books are back together.
The book is a fun ride I would admit and if you are into a fast pace time pass reading it won’t disappoint you and if u are a die hard 16 yr old romantic at heart u might even like it a lot :)…
Book Right Fit Wrong Shoe by
Authors Varsha Dixit
Price Rs 95/-
How are u?
Kaise hain aap?
Ideally I would want to be able to speak all of the above comfortably and so would I want Ojas to but unfortunately its not to be… and BTW if u are still wondering whats that its How are u in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Telegu, Tamil and Kannada and I so hope I have got it right
Ever since Ojas has been born I have been thinking how to make him pick up his native languages… And then utbt did this series of posts on languages which made so much sense to me and at the same time came Tullika’s blogathon about the same. So I am going to take this up for clarity of my mind and sharing some thoughts.
How different are the written and spoken forms of your first language?
Well my confusion starts at the very fact that what is my first language.. so to speak I am a punjabi a proud one at that 🙂 but my pride just melts away when someone asks me if I know punjabi… I was born and brought up in Delhi the number of visits to Punjab being easily countable on fingers. So does this make Hindi – the most common language in Delhi my first language? or Punjabi still remains my first language? or is the language that the child picks up first really called the first language? What do you guys think about this?
Anyways coming back to the question that Tullika raised. I really can’t answer it for Punjabi as I can just about understand it and barely manage to speak, reading and writing is a far of thing.. if any of u can throw light on it. I will be delighted. Roop? Mampi?
Coming to Hindi, spoken Hindi and written hindi are almost the same. Just as spoken and written English is almost the same. There are differences but minor and subtle. So if u know the script of the language and can speak decently well I guess u will manage to write it as well.
As far as it comes to Hindi I can fairly say I am confident in the language (but I still prefer if u don’t me my marks in Hindi in school I choose not to disclose that 😉 )… I can speak, read and write… though its been ages I have written anything in Hindi. I am going to pick up a notebook and write something anything post I finish this post
If you want children to become familiar with their first language, which form would you look for in children’s books – formal or informal? Why?
Aah here comes the biggest confusion of life… I am confused on what my first language is – Punjabi or Hindi? And the hubby his dad was from Tamil whereas the mom from Telegu (he know to speak and understand both but can’t read or write anyone of that) so as a result we are going to pass on four native languages to Ojas… Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu and by the sheer fact that he is actually born in Karnataka I would say that Kannada becomes his native too but even if we leave that aside… its a huge challenge for us to decide what to teach him and what not.
I ideally want him to pick all 5 languages but when I was discussing this with my sil the other day she mentioned that why burden the child so much? Are all these languages actually needed? And she does have a point. Picking up a language is not easy (atleast for me, I know there are some people who have such a good knack of it) but even if its not very difficult, I am sure learning five languages is surely confusing for a small child.
On the other I strongly believe that if we don’t pass our languages to our children they will slowly die to think of which is truly heartbreaking. The number of kids who understand their native languages is already on the decline. (Did I tell you that I curse my mom so much for the fact that she didn’t teach us Punjabi) And when I think of I realize the precisely what we face. Multicultural marriages.
Quite a lot of the couples around us have multicultural marriages and most of the kids from those speak primarily English but yes I have seen the kids of the same cultural marriages pick up their native language so beautifully.
At home, because everyone understands English and Hindi the conversation is by default in Hinglish. And that is what Ojas is picking up, that is what he speaks.
Coming back to the question that Tullika raised. If I want him to understand and learn the native language would I prefer a formal or an informal method?
Here my personal choice would be informal. I understand that what we can learn this way may not be grammatically correct but frankly does it really matter? If they do get interested in language slowly they can always pick up the grammar. Plus I strongly believe that kids learn the best in a informal way. So I would love Ojas to pick up the rest of the languages in just the way he is picking up English and Hindi. By talking and us reading books to him.
Currently we have both Hindi and English books for him and some bilingual ones by Tullika. I even had a Kannada bilingual which my maid used to read to him.
However there is a problem here.. that can’t be done for all the languages as its only Hindi and English we can read as a couple. So may be for the rest of them we’ll do a formal way for him and we too learn along 😉
Do share your thoughts on this? What does ur child speak more so if u have a multicultural marriage?