Book Review : Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell

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My Rating : *3.5 Stars*

If you want to read something funny and want to entertain yourself read this.

This book is a quick and light read and it made me laugh from page one.

It is a collection of the actual conversations between the booksellers and customers in bookshops.And what all weird and funny things people say in bookshops.

Few of them were really good I laughed out loud, few of them I thought were just made up to show the stupidity of people(people are often stupid but not that stupid,I believe).

There are few of my favorites:

Customer: Hi, I just wanted to ask: did Anne Frank ever write a sequel?

Bookseller: …..

Customer: I really enjoyed her first book.

Bookseller: Her diary?

Customer: Yes,the diary.

Bookseller: Her diary wasn’t fictional.

Customer: Really?

Bookseller: Yes…She really dies at the end- that’s why the diary finishes. She was taken to a concentration camp.

Customer: Oh…that’s terrible.

Bookseller: Yes it was awful.

Customer: I mean, it’s such a shame you know? She was such a good writer.


Customer: Would you mind if I photocopied this recipe?


Customer: Do you have books signed by Margaret Atwood?

Bookseller: We have many Margaret Atwood books, but I’m afraid we don’t have any signed by Margaret Atwood,no.

Customer: I’m looking for a birthday present for my wife. I know she’d really love a signed copy. You couldn’t fake a signature could you?


 

Customer(Drops an old, expensive book on the floor by accident): Great Shot!

Bookseller: (glares)

Customer: I mean…sorry.


Customer: I’m always on night shift at work.

Booksellers(jokingly): Is that why you’re buying so many vampire novels?

Customer(seriously): You can never be too prepared.


Customer: I don’t know why she wants it, but my wife asked for a copy of The Dinosaur Cookbook.

Bookseller: The Dinah Shore Cookbook?

Customer: That must be it; I wondered what she was up to.


 

I have heard people saying weird things. However not as weird as they are in this book.

Sometimes few conversations were annoying but other times I laughed out loud. So I can recommend this book to everyone who needs a good laugh.

On a very different note there is this one situation which I guess we all come across when we go for shopping and there are shop assistants who do everything to annoy customers by asking questions like

Can I help you?

Are you looking for anything?

Or just stand right next to you while you shop.

A similar situation is quoted here in this book…


 

(An old lady approaches the till)

Customer: Yes? What do you want?

Bookseller: Erm, I rather thought that I might be able to help you.

Customer: Don’t be ridiculous. Do I look like as if I need your help…?


 

 

Book Review : Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

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My Rating : *4 Stars*

‘Never love a wild thing, Mr Bell,’ Holly advised him. ‘That was Doc’s mistake. He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can’t give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they’re strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That’s how you’ll end up, Mr Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.

‘She’s drunk,’ Joe Bell informed me.

‘Moderately,’ Holly confessed…..

Holly lifted her martini. ‘Let’s wish the Doc luck, too,’ she said, touching her glass against mine. ‘Good luck: and believe me, dearest Doc- it’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.

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This is a novella of only about 100 pages and mostly focus on the main character Miss Holly Golightly.

I’m really indecisive after reading this book and I really don’t know what I want to say about this book.

But I still have things to say but before saying anything else I would like to say that I really liked the book(never watched the movie).

Miss Holly Golightly, have a really vibrant character, she is kind of a woman whose presence can’t be avoided. She is quirky but not very likable but instead she is a seriously flawed woman. I would say a badass main character.

I liked her and I hated her.

Her character is associated with feelings of loneliness, despair, depression, struggle to find the sense of belonging and at the same time not wanting to be caged or tied down. I think this part of her made me like her because I can relate to those feelings and I know what it is like.

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”

On the other hand I didn’t like how she lived on the kindness of other people and how she abandon people who trust her and care for her. In sort her character actually made me sad though she had both good and bad side.

“You’ve got to be sensitive to appreciate her: a streak of the poet. But I’ll tell you the truth. You can beat your brains out for her, and she’ll hand you horseshit on a platter.”

Her story felt unfinished. But I really enjoyed every minute that I spent reading this book. I liked the tone of the book. At times this book turned out to be funny, I mean the dialogues. Over all I liked Capote’s writing and his characterization and I would like to say that the character of Holly seeps deeply into the tone of the book.

It’s a short book and I highly recommend it, it’s dark and it’s believable and won’t take much of your time even if it disappoint you.

Miss Holiday Golightly, Travelling

 

Book Review : Dubliners by James Joyce

“For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.”

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My Rating : *4 Stars*

I’m not a good writer but who really cares. Writing is fun and everyone can’t be James Joyce. But I do care about me being a good reader and I definitely like to form opinions about the text I read. So bear with me.

For a very long time I wanted to read this book for two reasons.

  1. I’ve this fascination about Ireland and Irish culture(but whatever opinions I had earlier were totally based on the movies that I watched, until I read this book).
  2. I love James Joyce writing and I loved Ulysses.

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Dubliners is a collection of short stories, all these stories are unconnected. These stories form a picture of Dublin, its people, and their life in the early 20th century.

Joyce present us with the tragedy and comedy of  life. This book begins and ends with death and in between there is life.

Sometimes this book turned out to be disturbing, depressing and even saddening. Few stories were dull and dramatic at the same time and for me all the stories had some kind of darkness in them. But  Joyce literary spark of great writing left me stunned.

All the stories are unconnected and every single story introduce you with a new character and leaves you with an open ending and since none of these stories have a singular emotion associated with them which makes it difficult for me to comprehend my emotions for each one of them.

The biggest theme of this collection is how we are not able to change situations even when we desperately want to, how we try to find completeness in our life but couldn’t find it  because we are always wanting more(never satisfied), and how we are stuck.

Joyce also tried to include epiphany in most of his stories, where the characters experience a sudden realization and this also helps in understanding a situation or a problem from a new and a deeper perspective. I liked these epiphanies a lot.

I also have few favorite stories from this collection and I guess I’m gonna hold on to them for a very long time. Eveline, The Dead, An Encounter, A Painful Case, and of course Araby, they touched me.

“The Dead” which is unarguably the most famous short story out of this collection is beautiful and it also makes Dubliners worth reading. The ending brings me to a place of deep loneliness every time I read it and it is pleasurable for me.

In this story Gabriel present us with an anecdote about his grandfather and his horse, who worked in a mill, which forever walked in circle even when taken out of the mill where it worked.

Here he tries to tell us about the human nature that how we get stuck in certain types of habits and how these are so difficult to break.

Not just this there is more to this story.

It is hard for me to recommend this book, but I’ll leave you with one of my favorite passage from this book.

He stretched himself cautiously along under the sheets and lay down beside his wife. One by one, they were becoming shades…

 

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. I was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.