Monday, September 28, 2009

Review: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

After reading a lot about Mahabharata, Mughals and some serious fiction as well, I picked up "Remember Me?" because I wanted to read a quick one this time and something light. Knowing Sophie Kinsella, I was pretty sure I would be able to finish it off quickly. And yes, I did complete it in 3 days straight (and those were weekdays!).

Why I picked up this book?
  • Because I have read all of Sophie Kinsella's books and find them absolutely hilarious
  • Because this was the only book, apart from the latest "Twenties Girl" that I had not read
  • Sophie is the queen of chicklit
What’s the book about?
The book has an interesting plot wherein Lexi Smart wakes upto a perfect life – a perfect body, perfect teeth and a perfect husband. Lexi meets with an accident in her Mercedes, and when she wakes up in the hospital, three years of her life are erased from her memory and she goes back to the day when she had a fall, 3 years back, on the street. So she does not remember anything that happens to her after that. From here starts Lexi’s journey of discovering her last 3 years and her life, because she does not identify with the new Lexi at all.

How is the book?
Though a fat book, it is really a fast-paced one. You don’t get bored. You would want to keep moving. Though it does drag at some places, but you still want to move on to know how Lexi puts together bits and pieces.
There are some places where you do feel certain things difficult to digest, but you let it pass.

My verdict
I will give it 8 out of 10. It is a good pick for all chicklit lovers. May be it is not quite in the league of "Confessions of a Shopaholic" but the plot is quite engaging. Sophie Kinsella's first book was truly outstanding and none of her other books really ever matched upto the novelty of that. I think it happens with all the writers because the first books are generally the most passionate ones. After that you just keep on trying to match the brilliance of your first book.

Image source: Amazon


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Books on my shelf ;-)

This month I have gone super-crazy. I have bought books as if there is no tomorrow. But anyways, I did manage to grab some good ones.

  • Remember Me? By Sophie Kinsella (Landmark)
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar (only book which I actually bought on Sale at Landmark; rest all ended up buying in usual price)
  • Tamas by Bhishm Sahani (Landmark)
  • Divya by Yashpal (Landmark)
  • The Strike by Anand Mahadevan (Landmark)
  • In the Country of Deceit by Shashi Deshpande (one of my favourite authors; Landmark))
  • 3, Zakia Mansion by Gouri Dange (from Crossword Sale)

That's about it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reading: The Waiting Room by Anupa Mehta

Right now I am reading "The Waiting Room" by Anupa Mehta. Considering the limited time I have everyday, I picked up this rather thin book, so that I can complete it in 1-2 days. It gets frustrating to go on reading same book for weeks. It just kills the joy of reading completely.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Review: Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

The vibrant and attractive cover of this book and a good review in one of the magazines, made me decide that I surely wanted to check out this book. It also helped that one of my friends had bought it by chance.

Mr Ali is the main protagonist. After retirement, both he and his wife feels that rather than whiling away his time and interfering in the matters of household, opening a marriage bureau could be a great way to keep oneself engaged. A Marriage Bureau appeared to be a good business option because it hardly requires any investment and does not need too much of physical work or running around either. This book is a slow read. You can read it at your pace because for a long, long time there is no gripping story. The book is based in Vishakhapatnam and paints a beautiful picture of the city and the life there. This book is a clear winner in illustrating the sights and sounds of Vizag or for any small Indian city quite beautifully. More than the story, what stands out is the writer’s eye for detail and the pain he has taken to re-create the place and its life through his masterful words. When I read about this book, what caught my attention was the “marriage bureau” angle. It sounded like a very interesting background for any story. It can present an opportunity to explore the interesting facets of how an Indian marriage takes place.

There is a plethora of characters that walk in and out of the story, and eventually we are led to the story of Aruna, Mr Ali’s assistant, and her marriage. But frankly, there’s no “once upon a time” or “…and then one day” moment. I kept waiting for the “real” story but the characters come and go and they do not become key characters of this book.

The book does not work for me atleast; I don’t like fiction that does not tell a story. I will give it 5.5 or maximum 6 out of 10 only for the writer’s efforts in understanding the nuances of ‘true’ India and crafting the daily life in absolute detail – what with the troubles of a lower class house maid, to the dynamics of a retired couple, to the trials of a lower middle class young girl and the even the ordinariness of daily life in a quaint Indian city. It is also interesting to see the mirror of a person’s prejudices and expectations in the partner one is looking at.

It is not a page-turner but it keeps you interested in a different kind of charm that spells ‘India’. May be you can try this book when you have read a couple of heavy duty books and want a slow read. 

Image credit: Amazon

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Books on my shelf

I buy books practically every week. So, not having bought any book for a couple of days, I was itching to get some. But can’t just pick up anything, so I visited Smita’s Blog and hunted for my kind of books. Right now, after having read serious stuff like about Mahabharata and Mughal dynasty, I wanted to read some god chiklit or anything refreshingly different.

I finally zeroed in on the following books:

  • The Waiting Room by Anupa Mehta
  • Time Stops at Shamli by Ruskin Bond (can you believe it, I have never read a Ruskin Bond!)
  • The Cradle Snatcher by Tim Stimson
  • Faking it by Amrita Chowdhury

I have already lined up the following books for my next binge:

  • Remember Me? By Sophie Kinsella (‘Twenties Girl’ not available yet)
  • Dreams Die Young by C.V.Murali
  • Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reading: Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

I first came across this book in one of the magazines, and it definitely aroused curiosity. As luck would have it, one of my friends picked it up. I have just started it, so review will come later but the beginning had that warm, familiar feeling of everything Indian. That is the best thing about Indian English fiction, you totally relate to it - no pan-cakes, no divorces at the drop of the hat, no frivolous dating!