Sunday, October 26, 2008

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

From the mountaintops, the ocean looked like a crumpled blanket in turquoise with stains of dark blue..

I was skeptical before reading this book and kept putting it off for so long, because I didn't know what to expect by reading the memoirs of a prostitute, for that is what I thought a Geisha is!!

I was so mistaken, it starts with a 9 year old girl torn from her family and sister to be raised in a foreign city with complete strangers.. The horrors she faces, the hardships she endures, the practice she works hard on, to emerge as a Geisha. And not just any Geisha but one of the most successful and popular one too.

It was so passionate, so close to your heart you can't not love this girl and feel for her all the way.. It's like she is talking to the reader.. I felt for the poor girl and it was like she is talking to me and pouring her heart out.. It was just so hard to put down.. I always wanted to know what will happen next!!

It was so captivating, for me it was by far one of the best I've read this year and is added to my favorite list.. I'm sure to recommend it to anyone who listens.

I saw the movie.. and I was disappointed.. it is so unlike the book.. the emotions and turmoil is not evident.. it was way too fast, things are different .. even the end in the movie seems like an open end although the ending in the book is not.The movie does not allow you to understand the cultures, traditions and superstitions in Japan those days which are explained in detail in the book.. it nice to learn new things and I certainly did with this book..Some pictures from the movie..

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My 50 Book Challenge for 2008!!

I've started this list on the 1st of January 2008 for the 50 book challenge to see it I could reach my target of 50 books for this year.. and to see how many pages I read !!

So far this is what I accomplished..

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (400 pages)
2. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (319 pages)
3. Love-slave to the Sheikh by Miranda Lee (192 pages)
4. Along Came a Spider by James Patterson (448 pages)
5. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (640 pages)
6. Honeymoon by James Patterson & Howard Roughan (416 pages)
7. Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella (329 pages)
8. The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants by Alexandra Marell (40 pages)
9. The Other Boleyn Girl By Philippa Gregory (672 pages)
10. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis - The first book from the Chronicles of Narnia. (224 pages)
11. A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer (195 pages)
12. A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuseby Richard B. Pelzer (272 pages)
13. 1st To Die by James Patterson (432 pages)
14. The Cat From Hell by Stephen King (short story)
15. The Cursed Expedition by Stephen King (short story)
16. Never Look Behind You by Stephen King (short story)
17. The Thing At The Bottom Of The Well by Stephen King (short story)
18. The Man Who Loved Flowers by Stephen King (short story)
19. I've Got To Get Away by Stephen King (short story)
20. Hotel At The End Of The Road by Stephen King (short story)
21. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton (320 pages)
22. The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family by Dave Pelzer (250 pages)
23. Prince Caspian by C S Lewis - The second book from the Chronicles of Narnia. (256 Pages)
24. The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks (239 pages)
25. Lunch At The Gotham Cafe by Stephen King (60 pages)
26. Testing Jayla by Angela Knight (60 pages)
27. Taming Jack by Angela Knight (60 pages)
28. The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory (464 pages)
29. One For The Money by Janet Evanovich (334 pages)
30. The Rocky Road to Romance by Janet Evanovich (272 pages)
31. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Wedding by Stephanie Bond (32 pages)
32. Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Book 1) by Laurell K. Hamilton (368 pages)
33. Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans by Jane Green (384 pages)
34. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice (272 pages)
35. The Quickie by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge (384 pages)
36. In The Midst Of Death by Lawrence Block (272 pages)
37. Vampire Dreams 1: Tempting Amanda by Angela Knight (21 pages)
38. Vampire Dreams 2: Night Bites by Angela Knight (35 pages)
40. Eight Million Ways To Dies By Lawrence Block (384 pages)
41. Atonement by Ian McEwan (368 pages)
42. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (256 pages) (heard it audio about 2 hours)
43. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (292 pages)
44. Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (144 pages)
45. Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris (304 pages)
46. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (512 pages)
47. 2nd Chance by James Patterson (400 pages)
48. The Complete Poems of Sarah Orne Jewett by Sarah Orne Jewett (85 pages)
49. Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson (310 pages)
50. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (896 pages)
51. Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas by James Patterson (304 pages)
52. Many Bloody Returns by Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, P.N. Elrod, Tanya Huff, Rachel Caine, Christopher Golden, Jeanne Stein (Anthology) (368 pages)
53. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (291 pages)
54. B Is For Burglar by Sue Grafton (320 pages)
55. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (288 pages)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Date Published: 2001
368 pages

2 stars

I had high expectations for this book, but I can't say they were fulfilled!

It's a story set in England during WWII, Briony a 13- year old girl accuses her sister's lover of a hidious crime which he pays for, and eventually ruins his life and her sister's for that matter.It didn't help her either because years later she felt guilty and tried to atone for this crime/accusation..

I couldn't relate to any of the characters, Briony was a selfish brat of a girl thinking she's a know it all, her sister's love story is not the main event so not enough details for me to feel anything for the lovers, part 2 of the book was basicly the horrors of war which i'm not interested in reading.. It was a VERY slow read for me.. I had to drag myself to read it just to get points for the LIO challenge.. pathetic, right ?!

Anyways now I know 1 less author for me to read for.. I can't say I hated the book, at times it was ok but mostly it was slow and boring!!

If your in favor of open ended/war/lost love stories.. then indulge yourself with this book

Then I saw the movie and I was amazed how enchanting the movie is, you can feel the characters and hate Briony even more, if that is even possible!!

Here are some pictures of the movie..

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Year Published: 1977

My Rating: 5 stars

144 pages

A tale about friendship and how it changes your life and character.. Jess the young 10 year old boy meets Leslie the 10 year old girl who has just moved in the farmhouse close by.. becomes his classmate and then his best friend and queen.. together they set on adventures and create a wonderful imaginary secret world ..

Then tragedy strikes and they are torn apart but that summer encounter will live with Jess all his life

Very touching story that engulfs you to the very end.. In 1978, Bridge to Terabithia won the Newbery Medal.

Other points of view about this book:
Things Mean A Lot
Rhinoa's Ramblings
Musings of a Bookish Kitten
Nothing of Importance
She Reads Books
Stuff as Dreams are Made On
A Fondness for Reading

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice

It's a new way for presenting the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, from the beginning till the end it is quite different; the only similarity is that the prince awakens Sleeping beauty from her 100 year slumber.. how he wakes her and what happens next is a completely different story.
It's a quick read since you don't need to think or analyze or solve anything, the idea is that this prince and his mother the queen take in princes and princesses from around the world to discipline them in self control, they are either given to them by their families or won somehow. They are returned after serving a couple of years that is determined by the queen. Their "disciplining" is harsh and cruel although they keep saying it is out of "love".
As a fiction it's a fun read but to imagine anything remotely close to the torture happening is unthinkable, but they never do any real "damage".It was an interesting book.. I never read anything in this genre so it was quite new to me.. but I would like to read the other 2 books to finish the trilogy and know what happens to Beauty out of curiosity.

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Books Read In 2007

  • PS, I Love You by Cecilia Ahern
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
  • Where There is Evil by Sandra Brown
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block
  • Time to Murder and Create by Lawrence Block
  • Drop Dead Sexy by Elisa Adams