Book Review : The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

“Love requires sacrifice, but it’s worth it.”

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My Rating : *3.5 Stars*

This book was one hell of a long read, indeed The Longest Ride. I read it continuously for 14 hours followed by the movie,ya.

I bought this book few years back(from a second hand bookstore), but I couldn’t make myself read it. I mean 450 pages of romance are you kidding me?(that’s quiet a lot).

But let me be honest with you, I saw the movie trailer and then I saw Scott Eastwood playing Luke. Well, that made me read this book, beauty can make you do anything.

 

Two stories separated by time, connected by fate.

In this book two stories are told concurrently; one of Sophia and Luke and the other of Ira and Ruth.

I liked both the love stories, and let me tell you they both were totally different, but Sparks tried to tie two storylines together and he did that very nicely and neatly.

But in my opinion, I liked the movie better.

The story was nice, not perfect or the best out there. However I still enjoyed it and there were few aspects that I really liked.

The ending? Just fine.

I wouldn’t say this book is my favorite. However I can say I really liked the movie,it made me cry and it was beautiful. Worth watching.

I also liked the movie much better because there were few scenes that reminded me of few of my good memories, like the scene when they go on their first date and few others. So ya for me the movie turned out to be something more.

I know it’s a book review, but I’m just saving your time. Go watch the movie.

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Book Review : Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

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My Rating : *5 Stars*

Wow! this book is just wow. I remember, in 2014 I watched this short film called Wanderers, and you know I loved it. I have read few more books by Carl Sagan, but I got to know about this book after watching this video.

 

And after reading this book, I can say that it was my favorite book of the year 2015 and I’m very happy that I ended my year with this book.

If I talk about Carl Sagan, do you know what separate him or distinguish him from other brilliant people out there? His excitement and enthusiasm with which he express himself. You can feel it in his writing. And I liked how he can explain things with such simplicity, while maintaining the beauty.

I would say this book is glorious and it makes me wonder, it illuminates me, through a light on the significance of our lives, and how special we are.

He quoted in the book:

“The Universe seems designed for human beings. It’s difficult to contemplate these circumstances without experiencing stirrings of pride and reassurance. The entire Universe, made for us! We must really be something.”

In this world, as of now we are the only living, thinking beings and we should really be happy with all that we have and all that surrounds us!

Pale Blue Dot refers to the Earth in the great vastness of the Universe. However small it may appear from that distance, but it is so much more to us. For us it’s our world,the only known world which harbors life, sustain life, and it’s our home.

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest.

     But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. In it everyone we love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being, who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam…

…The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

Think of how fucked up we will be, if we destroy this planet.

You know when ever I feel sad or depressed, I always listen to him, watch those videos that are available on YouTube and for some reason after listening to him I feel good, there is certain hope that he instill in me and then I just feel wonderful.

I love him and I’ll always remember him, for he made a huge impact in my life. He is truly irreplaceable.

These are few other quotes that I really like:

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, out willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”

“The Universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.

“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.”

“Imagination will often carry us to the worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”

“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together .”

“If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserve to be destroyed by the truth.”

“In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.”

And there are many more…

So the conclusion is, read this book and then read his other books, and then watch those videos that are available on YouTube and then just enjoy the Universe.

Read it, you won’t be disappointed!

Happy Reading!

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.

Book Review : The Rosie Project(Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion

“If you really love someone, Claudia continued, you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons.”

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My Rating :*4 Stars*

This book was a fun read, I loved it.

This book says “Nerds need love too”, and for me this was an addictive read, I read it in just one sitting. And to tell you I just like nerds and a story that have this combination of a nerd and romance, how can I miss it.No way!

This book comes under the genre of romance, so romance haters I want to tell you this is no traditional romance, and I guess if you’ll read it, you’ll love it. This is actually Sheldon Cooper romance(if you can understand what I mean!). But this book is also perfect for romance lovers. I liked the romance aspect of this book.

Don Tillman, the protagonist, I loved him. He is an Associate Professor of genetics at the university of Melbourne. He lives a life of measured value, with few friends and his perspective is fresh and logical. Here in this book he is trying to find a wife, to do that he basically design a questioner and call it “The Wife Project”.

Then he meets a girl, Rosie, and she doesn’t clear the criteria of being his wife, since Don have very high standards and normal people can’t just qualify them. But in this book you’ll see how Don actually fall for her even after having so many differences.

This book actually show us how a person who lives a rigid life can just change and accommodate himself according to someone he love.

          

     “Love is a powerful feeling for another person, often defying logic.”

I found Don to be a really cute character, he made me laugh. Well this book made me laugh and I would say this book is a fun and quirky love story, with some really intelligent and interesting people.

Book Review : The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

“He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”

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My Rating : *4.5 Stars*

Review:

Well I would say I loved this book, really loved it and why I loved it maybe because I consider myself a wallflower, maybe, maybe I’m. Yes, I’m!

I completed this book today itself, so it’s still fresh in my mind and again I literally loved it.

When I started reading it, to me Charlie’s character was so much relatable, not in a way that I did drugs, or smoked or because I got free books from my teacher(because I’m autistic, no I’m not, talking about free books I don’t even get them on my birthdays, poor me :/) or not even that I saw people having sex in front of me when I was 15, no, not really. No such opportunities I came across.

But what I thought was relatable to me, were his thoughts, they were so pure, true, and unadulterated and then this book had these situations that we all might have come across during the time when we were growing up, when we were exploring things, trying to fit in and developing, that made me like this book so much. 

This book speaks to people and I was amazed while reading this book, that how often I had same thoughts, I liked how writer talked about every possible sphere of teenagers life: family drama, friends, first date, first kiss, complicated relationships, fights, not being honest about feelings, then hurting people, loving people, siblings(their love, hate relationship), parent’s family, cousins, teachers, university, cheating, masturbation, sex, drugs,getting stoned, football, graduation, books, movies, songs…what not, everything.

I liked the character of Charlie, such a sweet boy, and I liked how he improves throughout the book, learns to write more skillfully and how he was always there for his friends, I liked it, a lot and then how he noticed everything about everything, how he was good at listening to people and then how he had so many questions to ask, all the time, so many thoughts, how much he loved his family. I liked that he made tapes for people,made tapes according to mood, how he gifted people the things that mattered to them the most and how he put those complicated thoughts into words(yes,I know the writer did) but seriously I liked everything.

I liked his friends as well, good people. Like it happens in the case of friendships, here as well there was this downfall, but then there was love between these people, which brought them closer and stronger than before.

The reason I liked this book so much, because it was about a wallflower, an outsider, which I always consider myself since my childhood. And this book got me, it actually touched me in a very subtle way, that I can’t explain.

I also liked how music, and books were well discussed. I love reading, I love making tapes according to moods and seasons and well all this was there in the book and I appreciated it a lot.

I even got a playlist, these are the songs they talked about. 😀

Landslide by Oh Wonder

Asleep by The Smiths

Blackbird  by The Beatles

MLK by U2

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (Okay this was actually the landslide song, charlie talked about, but I liked the above one as well :P)

Gypsy  by Suzanne Vega

Daydreams by The Smashing Pumpkins

Dusk by Genesis

Time of No Reply  by Nick Drake

Nights in White Satin  by The Moody

Dear Prudence by The Beatles

Vapour Trail by Ride

Scarborough Fair  by Simon and Garfunkel (I just feel this song is quiet dark)

The Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum


There are also few quotes that I really liked!

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

“I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.”

“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

“I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset.”

“I just need to know that someone out there listens and understand and doesn’t try to sleep with someone even if they could have. I need to know these people exist.”

“I just want you to know that you’re very special…and the only reason I’m telling you is that I don’t know if anyone else ever has.”

“It’s just hard to see a friend hurt this much. Especially when you can’t do anything except ‘be there’. I just want to make him stop from hurting, but I can’t. So I just follow him around whenever he wants to show me his world.”

“I put head under my pillow and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be.”

 And there are many more…


In the end I would say, I enjoyed it and by the time I finished it, I felt infinite. I really did 😉

I recommend everyone to read this book!

Happy Reading!