(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
“Books have saved me more times than I can count; and probably more often than I know.”
-Gitanjali Singh Cherian
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!
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:
- My Sainted Aunts by Bulbul Sharma
- The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
- The Mousewife by Rumer Godden
- Words of Freedom (Bhagat Singh)
- Hindu Gods: The Spirit of The Divine by Priya Hemenway
- How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
- Golden Rules by Wayne Dosick
- The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
- The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
- The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
- Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons by Gerald Durrell
- Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
Happy reading to all you book lovers out there!
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
(My Rating: 3/5)
I am disappointed that I am unable to give this a higher rating than 3 stars, because I thought I was really going to love this book. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood when I read it!
Anne Elliot, who was being courted by Captain Wentworth, was persuaded by a close family friend, Lady Russell, not to marry him, as she didn’t think it a suitable match, mainly because they came from different social backgrounds.
The book begins eight years later, when the two former lovers are brought into each other’s company once again. Now Captain Wentworth is courting someone else and Anne, wisened by the interim years, begins to examine the reasons that her relationship with him did not go any further. The reader now begins to wonder whether there is a chance that they will get back together again. Continue reading
(My Rating: 4 /5)
I had skimmed through this book when my father bought it for me about 8-10 years ago, but now, inspired by my reading challenge for this year, I thought it deserved a thorough read.
Lynne Truss, an expert in English grammar and punctuation, is a journalist, broadcaster, author and novelist who has written this book in an attempt to educate people about the dreadful punctuation mistakes they commonly make, while blissfully being unwaware of the grammatical atrocities they are committing.
Each chapter is dedicated to a particular punctuation mark, listing out the rules (with examples) for using each. This is interspersed with her lamentations on the woeful situation of punctuation today, the history behind the various punctuation marks and the often hilarious examples of bad grammar and punctuation she has personally come across. Continue reading