Life After Life

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson Liked it? Really liked it? I loved the central story mechanics - born again, die again, born again, die again. And each time, I'd let myself flood with worry about who's going to die, who'll stay alive, and what new glimpse into their lives you get. But the diversion (as I see it) of that long chapter on the war took me out of the seesaw and the push and pull of the "life after life". In another book, I might have loved this section. Here, I was just impatient for it to get over.

But I'll go with a four, cuz at the end of the day, I fairly devoured the book and was thinking about Ursula even when I wasn't reading the book.

The Folded Earth

The Folded Earth - Anuradha Roy

Started out so well. The promise of a good story, strong narrative style, excellent writing. But 150 pages in, and my eyes were glazing over yet another description of the hills and the cows and the flowers. While I won't fault a book if I see the (final) twist(s) coming, it needs to build up to it logically, with some foreshadowing or clues strewn about the place. To sum up: a bit of a letdown.


Leela - Leela Naidu;Jerry Pinto This short article = way more interesting!

How to Be a Woman

How to Be a Woman - Caitlin Moran

It was a fun, entertaining read, even when I didn't agree with her.

American Gods

American Gods - Neil Gaiman "I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen--I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's butt. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in true love in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon blood, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle,that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says there is no love just hasn't met the right person. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it." - What I loved most about this book.

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel - M.L. Stedman I give this book four stars because it completely swept me along with it. I got entangled with the lives and choices of these characters. But my dear lord, some of them were so infuriating. While I may not have empathised with the main characters, I have never more wanted to grab a person by their shoulders and yell at them!

The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes So many interpretations - so many possibilities to the ending! GAH!

Hello, Bastar - The Untold Story of India's Maoist Movement

Hello, Bastar - The Untold Story of India's Maoist Movement - Pandita Rahul Have not starred the book - because how do you rate a book of facts about a subject you know next-to-nothing about? I have followed Pandita's byline and I have found him to be more or less, objective and impartial. Which is quite admirable when dealing with a subject like this, on which so many people have such set-in-cement opinions.

Good read. Must-read.


Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

I really enjoyed this book - quick, fun, light read. And a huge crush on Lincoln.

Gillespie and I

Gillespie and I - Jane  Harris 3.5 - kept me engaged and turning pages quickly, even though you know what's coming.

Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity

Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity - Sam Miller Very well-written, funny, informed, (relatively) unbiased. I love how he draws (imaginary or not) lifescapes about the people he meets and how he frets and worries about them.


The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen There were moments when I really enjoyed this book - his ability to define relationships, the lengths to which they are stretched, the expectations, the missteps (oh, so many of them!), the hope, and how even a functional, happy marriage need not be a healthy one.

Then, there were moments when I wanted to throw the book across the room. Do I need to plough through so much about railroads or share transactions or medical breakthroughs? And then the Lithuanian detour! I obviously missed the point and the larger metaphor and a whole bunch of other things. Books like this leave me feeling so stupid.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn More a 3.5, but I loved how dark it was. That really swung it for me, I guess.

Tamarind City: Where Modern India Began

Tamarind City: Where Modern India Began - Bishwanath Ghosh The writing was a tad uneven, but learning so much more about a city I have very fond memories of, nudged this into the four-star range.

The City & The City

The City and the City - China MiƩville Was a little disappointed somehow.

American Wife: A Novel

American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld Like EVERY other reviewer, I felt the book really flag in the last quarter. I almost loved the first three parts and it was well on its way to a four-star rating. But, sigh, I didnt know what the fourth part was trying to say. Made me feel preached to and a little stupid.