Informative and Refreshing, this Book is the Best Food for a Nature Lover’s Soul
The Seed Underground… is a non-fiction book inspired by the author’s personal experiences and those she came to know in her journey to save the food revolution. This book is all about saving earth and humans and other beings that inhabit it by saving seeds- the very foundation of life. The author, through her narrative, offers a solution to the increasing issue of climate change. Through this book, the author plants a seed in the reader’s mind about saving food through practical and straightforward methods.
Written by naturalist, activist and poet, Janisse Ray, this book highlights the importance of saving crops for the future generation through awareness and action that needs to start right now. She introduces the readers to plants and flowers with properties that make one feel they are, for a while, reading a fairy tale.
Providing immortality, having knowledge of good and evil, having the ability to flower when sown in a barren land, these are some of the mysterious qualities of nature that is all around us yet so pitiably neglected and destroyed by us.
Ray takes the reader on this magical journey of plants and the need to protect and preserve them through her poetic and conversational words. She recounts her childhood, where she learned to save seeds and see them grow after planting them herself. She describes tales from the lives of other such passionate people.
Thus, through this informative and delightful read, Ray wants to encourage us to make a difference in our small way and appreciate what’s available to us, thereby reducing wastage. She even lists things to do to make the difference, such as eating organic, grow your food, save the seeds, among others.
- A great amount of information about plants and how to sustain life through them
The exciting narrative by the author
- Some parts don’t offer as much information as one might want
This book deserves an excellent 3.8/5 star rating. It is a light read and can be picked when out traveling. It is recommended for both experienced and beginner gardeners and all those who are worried about the fate of this planet and its inhabitants, both present and future, and want to do something about it.
The Stranger (The Outsider) is a French novel is about a man who is a part of a society and yet an outsider or a stranger to it. Albert Camus aims to bring some serious questions to the table through this novel. It seeks to force the reader to think about specific issues for a very long time after finishing it. Society, religion, justice, morality, are some of the sensitive topics the author touches through this novel.
The book, published under 2 titles- The Stranger and The Outsider is about a French man Meursault. It is set in the times of French colonization. The story revolves around his simple life and his unconventional and ruthless behavior towards it. The book starts with him being informed about his old mother’s death and ends with him being subjected to an unsettling court trial.
Albert Camus gives Meursault the pen to write the story in his words. The writing style is thus simple, direct, unemotional with an informative sensory touch, just like the character narrating it. This connects the readers with Meursault in a more profound way. You will find yourself involved in his life and experience his tribulations more than you expected. The writing of the book is, therefore, one of its strongest points, more than the story itself, which is a little weak in some parts.
The book is divided into two parts- the before and after that precede and follow the central incident in the story. It is a short book, merely 120 pages, which you can quickly finish in one sitting. The book has been translated thrice in English by Stuart Gilbert, Joseph Laredo and Matthew Ward. While Stuart Gilbert’s version is a classic, younger readers might prefer Matthew Ward’s version because of his smart replacement of old words with much simpler and modern ones.
- Simple, no-nonsense writing style
- Slightly boring story plot
- The apathetic nature of the protagonist might put some readers off
For all its shortcomings, this book deserves nothing less than 3 stars. The Stranger/The Outsider is not the book that you will want to go back to again. But it is worth a read for its introspective, informative and robust messaging.
A Journey of Charm, Insight About Life, and Laughter Mixed with Tragedy.
When we think of author John Green, the 1st and, in most cases, the only book that crops in mind is The Fault In Our Stars. This book, published in 2012, has won several accolades, including the New York Times number 1 Bestseller tag. It has also been adapted on the big screen with the same name. This review is for those who are yet to explore the world of Hazel and Augustus and are unsure whether they should give it a try. So let us start with the story plot, don’t worry, no spoilers ahead. 😊
This is a story about teenagers Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. Their terminal illnesses become the reason for their meeting. The Cancer Kid Support Group is where these two terminally ill patients first set eyes on each other. But the first meeting is not at all what you would think, the tried and tested love at first sight kind. Their story is not at all lovey-dovey but an unusual one that touches depth as it moves forward.
But this love story too gets punctuated by fate. While these teenagers have a dream of a beautiful future in mind, their stars don’t agree with them. If you are a quote collector, get ready to be mesmerized by some of the most beautiful lines on love spoken by the main characters.
John Green narrates the story through the voice of Hazel Grace. Green has given her an engaging tone, which makes the plot even more interesting to read than it already is. For a book that is about loss and tragedy, the writing is very positive, funny and even chirpy. There is a life lesson here- Your life may seem unfair and depressing at times, but you can live life with positivity and happiness. The Fault In Our Stars moves you and makes you see life in a new light.
Another best thing about this book is its central and supporting characters. You will fall in love with Augustus Waters, with his wit and carefree attitude and at parts a positive approach towards things. Hazel will charm you with her view of things, people and situations. The friends of the two will provide that dose of laughter so needed in this emotional story. The author makes the parents of the teenagers impactful, too, by giving them memorable scenes and emotional depth.
- Connectable characters
- Moving and believable storyline
- The engaging writing style
- Over usage of the word, ‘okay’ shared between the main characters is annoying after a point.
I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. Once you start reading, you will find you are unable to stop. It is among those books that grip you right from the 1st sentence. Overall, this book is unmissable! Even if you have seen the movie, do take out time to read the book, it’s a lot more detailed than a 90-minute film can cover.
Horrifying, Adventurous and a Teacher of Some of Life’s Important Lessons
For mystery/horror story lovers, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a treat. This New York Times best-selling zombie thriller is written by Carrie Ryan. It is about a girl who must learn to live amidst the dead. This spine-chilling novel has also been adapted on the silver screen.
The storyline of the book is fascinating. This book impresses with its strong characterizations and shocking turn of events. The efforts of Mary, the protagonist, and her companions to escape the dead yet alive beasts of the Forest of Hands and Teeth offers an adventurous and nail-biting read. The story is narrated by Mary and starts with her talking about her simple life in a village surrounded by the dangerous forest.
The only thing that keeps Mary going in such horrendous surroundings is her dream of living by the ocean, in a world which is not infected by undead beings. But her life turns upside down when her brother throws her out of her house and forces her to join a religious group called Sisterhood after her mother’s death.
What follows next is a tale of chilling adventure that will leave readers asking for more. Mary and her companions together have to fight the zombies and create a better world for their people.
But beware! If you flinch even at the thought of violence, this book is not for you. If you can skip the gory parts, you will find this novel to be a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. This novel also lets you take away some valuable lessons about life, like possessing courage in the face of danger and unwavering hopefulness.
- The pace of the narrative- it really builds excitement and suspense of what would happen next
- The message of staying hopeful no matter what and fight for a better world
- Too much violence may not make it suitable for the weak at heart
The Forest of Hands and Teeth deserves 4 stars out of 5. This book is aimed at teenagers, 14 years and up. It is an unputdownable tale that youngsters can enjoy tucked comfortably in bed with a warming cuppa giving them company.
Beginning with the cover of the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, I would like to rate 5/5- as a dog lover, the cover passed the first test of choosing this book from a collection of others. Though a book must not be judged by its cover, I confess that I did in this case and I’m glad that my judgment didn’t fail me.
Speaking of the title combined with the book cover, it sounds like a sad tale of a dog, but the story is much more profound, layered and very emotional in a positive way.
The plot revolves around a simple family who is going through a rough phase in life – it might sound simple. Yet, the significant difference is that the narration is from the viewpoint of a dog member of the family. In a way, that’s very refreshing, as it is a new concept rather than an normal person ranting about his life.
The author, Garth Stein has penned wittily in such a way that it is incredibly humorous, engaging and heart-warming to the extent that many people have passed on the book to their friends and family members, who in turn have circulated the same furthermore – all credits to the excellent storyline that emphasizes on emotions and how to be more humane in waking life. Interestingly, the book has inspired a lot of kids to read books in this era of being glued on their mobiles or computers.
I loved the way how the author has spoken on the unspoken aspects of a dog’s feelings, especially the warmth he has towards the family members, how they too understand what’s really going on, how they try to be an emotional support to the family and especially how innocently they think and act all for the sake of unfiltered, pure love! It won’t be an exaggeration when I say that this book is a treasure to a dog parent like me and my friends who have lost their fur babies recently. Many noted that this book warmed their heart and lightened their pain.
The language employed is straightforward and therefore, it is to follow, with not much need of a dictionary.
The book has a compelling storyline in spite of being set in an ordinary background set up of a family drama. Personally, I loved the book and I particularly cannot put my finger on any aspect or chapter as my most favorite or my least favorite. Really a sweet book with a lot of life meaning and philosophies; I would be a lie if I say I didn’t like anything about this book.
- The overall flow of the book is extremely fast-paced and I finished the book in a day.
- The characters are very relatable.
- The author has put in a great deal of effort in understanding racing cars — commendable job there!
Speaking of the overall book, I would like to rate The Art of Racing in the Rain, a whopping 5/5 and would recommend for all age groups, but preferably for young adults who can understand the complexity of emotions involved.