Book Review – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith


(My Rating: 3/5)

In The Cuckoo’s Calling, which is the first of the Cormoran Strike detective series by J.K. Rowling writing under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, Strike is hired to investigate the apparent suicide of a supermodel who has fallen to her death from her apartment balcony in Mayfair.

I generally prefer to watch TV shows such as Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, Miss Marple and the like, rather than read Crime/Mystery novels, so this is a new area for me. I enjoyed it and I think it’s a good genre to intersperse my usual reading with.

It was a very readable novel, paced well enough that you want to know what happens next, yet it does not hurtle along so fast that you’ve forgotten what happened five pages ago. I felt that the attention to detail Rowling paid while creating the wonderful magical world of Harry Potter for us is here translated into meticulous attention paid to creating numerous interesting characters and their interactions, a good plot and a well rounded story, that doesn’t cut corners just to make it go faster. And of course, as we already knew, she writes well and knows how to tell a good story!

I would definitely read more Cormoran Strike.

And finally, amidst getting all caught up in the story and eager to find out whodunit, there was a paragraph towards the end of the book that made me stop and re-read it a few times. I thought it was so true and so distressing, because it was so true:

“How easy it was to capitalise on a person’s own bent for self-destruction; how simple to nudge them into non-being, then to stand back and shrug and agree that it had been the inevitable result of a chaotic, catastrophic life.”


Thursday Doors – A Tiny Door in Varanasi, India


This was taken in 2009, in one of the unbelievably narrow alleyways of Varanasi, India.

In response to Thursday Doors by Norm 2.0

Book Review – The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


(My Rating: 5/5)

This is only the second children’s book I have read since I reviewed The Railway Children by E. Nesbit some months ago, and I loved it for SO many reasons, that I am sure I will forget at least a few while writing this review!

At the beginning of the story, which was first published in 1911, we are introduced to Mary Lennox, a little English girl who has lived in India for all of her life, but now, under tragic circumstances, she is sent to live with her brooding, elusive uncle in England, in a large mansion on the Yorkshire moors.

Mary, who is a spoilt, fussy, difficult child soon realises that her new house and occupants seem to be hiding many secrets. She slowly begins to uncover some of these and undergoes a transformation in the process. She gradually discovers the joys of childhood that she knew nothing about before. Due to her interaction with some very kind and caring individuals – mainly the house help – she begins to grow healthy, less churlish and even considerate of others. From this point on there are more wonderful secrets she uncovers and more wonderful people that come into her life and she ultimately plays a vital role in restoring a damaged relationship.

I read this book during a time I was going through something very sad, as well as emotionally and physically draining. A story that inspired hope, spoke about the goodness of people transforming one’s life and about the possibility and joy of turning a seemingly hopeless situation into something beautiful, through determination, care and love, was just the sort of of story I needed to read. It reminded me, in the midst of my sorrow for something I had lost, to stop and notice the beauty that already exists, right now, in my life. Once again a book came into my life at just the right moment, and in a way, helped save me. Continue reading

All Together Now!…OR…One By One?

I wouldn’t be surprised if that ambiguous title has you confused and you’re wondering if I have rightly categorised and tagged this post under ‘books’.

So let me quickly say that I am indeed talking about books; in specific, about how you like to read them. Do you simultaneously juggle two or three books or do you prefer to give all your attention to just one at a time?

What do you feel are the pros and cons?

When reading a long and ‘heavy’ book I sometimes like to read something light (and perhaps frivolous) alongside, just to give my mind a break. I do however find that this can come in the way of getting completely absorbed in a book and half the joy of a book, in my opinion, is about being transported to another place, time or situation. So I try not to do too much of that, especially when it comes to reading fiction.

I think reading more than one book works fine if only one of those books is fiction and the other(s) is/are non-fiction. Somehow I find it easier to switch off from non-fiction and not get emotionally attached to the book, as is usually the case for me with fiction.

So what works for you? I would love to know!

2016 Reading Challenge – Completed!

Dear Reader,

I am very happy to report that I have completed my 2016 Reading Challenge, which, for those of you who don’t know, was to read 15 books that I owned at the end of 2015 but had never read. Many of these I have had for 10 or even 15 years!

After my son was born, my habit of reading had waned for a couple of years, but joyfully, around this time last year, the reading bug seemed to have caught up with me again. I thought 15 books might be a stretch, given that I hadn’t read anything in so long, but guess what, I actually completed the challenge at the end of August, 4 months in advance!

Not only have I read 15 ‘old’ books, but I have also read a number of books that I acquired over this year. (I’ll give you a re-cap of those at the end of this calendar year.) I thought I would struggle to finish 15, so as you can imagine, I am feeling rather chuffed with myself! And with 4 months to go till 2017, perhaps I’ll even be able to surpass the challenge by a book or two, who knows!

For now, here are links to the reviews I’ve written for the 15 books I read for my challenge:

  1. My Sainted Aunts by Bulbul Sharma
  2. The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
  3. The Mousewife by Rumer Godden
  4. Words of Freedom (Bhagat Singh)
  5. Hindu Gods: The Spirit of The Divine by Priya Hemenway
  6. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
  7. Golden Rules by Wayne Dosick
  8. The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
  9. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  10. The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
  11. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  12. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  13. Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons by Gerald Durrell
  14. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
  15. Persuasion by Jane Austen

Happy reading to all you book lovers out there!

Weekly Photo Challenge:Edge

I have 3 photos for this week’s photo challenge – Edge


At Boca do Inferno, Portugal


At Boca do Inferno, Portugal


At The Palace of Versailles, France