Home Blog Page 3

Mad Love (French Modernist Library) – Book Review

0

Mad Love is a French novel by surrealist and poet Andre Breton. It is translated into English by literature professor and author Mary Ann Caws. The book is a part autobiographical account of love and lovers. It is the study of the complex emotions and irrational behaviors love induces in the people whose hearts it has captured.

The Story

Mad Love or L’Amour fou in French is, simply put, a case study on love. The book explores the idea, emotion and the impact of love from the eyes of the author. Andre Breton is fascinated about how love manifests from things like poetry, relationships, objects, etc. and how it affects the person deeply so much to change his or her life completely. He also writes about his relationship with artist Jacqueline Lamba and his infant daughter in this novel.

In short, this novel is all about the expression of love, how it develops, through what it manifests, how it affects people and their relationship and their conscience. Explore the complex emotion of love and find why irrationality takes over the conscious as it starts experiencing love through this book.

The Writing

Reading about love being scientifically explained was very delightful. Mary Ann Caws has done a marvelous job of translating the original work. The writing is mostly poetic that beautifully draws the reader in.

Verdict

Mad Love is a book to fall in love with! Though many people would not want to read about the study on love and experience it, this novel is recommended for all, more so the die-hard romantics. We rate it 4/5 stars.

Athanasius: The Life of Antony of Egypt (Classics in Spiritual Formation) – Book Review

0

Athanasius: The Life of Antony of Egypt is a classic in the spiritual formation genre. It is written by Albert Haase, a popular name in spiritual writings. He has authored many other books on the subject like Becoming an Ordinary Mystic, Coming Home to Your True Self and Living the Lord’s Prayer.

The Story

Athanasius tells the story of St. Antony, one of the most influential church fathers. It explores his early life and his retreat into spiritualism and the battles he faces in the spiritual path. The life story of St. Antony teaches us a lot about spiritualism and of ways to make it a way of life.

Readers who enjoy this genre will be delighted to read such an in-depth, inspiring and enlightening account of one of the most renowned saints in the history of Christianity. The book also includes some lesser-known and found pieces of Athanasius’s writing, such as Letter to Dracontius, Festal Letters 39, among others.

Verdict

We rate this book 4/5 stars. Spiritual books may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is recommended for everyone to gain an insight into your true self and know the actual meaning of existence. Athanasius: The Life of Antony of Egypt should be read widely to understand the life of the Christian saint and learn things about the self and God.

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy) – Book Review

0

C.S. Lewis. The name is enough to instill excitement and the urge to pick the book and start reading immediately. Out of the Silent Planet is a science fiction novel, the 1st book in the series of Space Trilogy. Planning to read this book? Go through our review before that. No spoilers, promise!

The Story

Did you, as a kid or as an adult, ever wondered about whether there is life on other planets? This book answers your questions through the imagination of Lewis. He creates a highly innovative world on another planet, which gives wings to your own vision about the world.

This story is about Dr. Ransom, who gets abducted and transported out of space to Malacandra or Mars. The reason he has been kidnapped and brought to this planet is his captivators want to sacrifice him to the creatures lurking at Mars. But that is not what the creatures wanted. The captivators assumed that the Mars people were asking for a human sacrifice to be able to give them all their wealth. They completely misunderstood what was being said! So they abduct the first person they see on earth and bring him here. But the captivators’ dream of returning to earth loaded with riches is busted as Dr. Ransom escapes, starting a series of exciting adventures.

The story then takes a philosophical turn apart from adventurous as Dr. Ransom gets to know the people who inhabit the planet and learns about their lives and eventually his, in a way he never imagined.

The Writing

Out of the Silent Planet feels so fresh and new, even though it is an old book, initially published in 1938. It was written way before the man went out of space in reality. C.S, Lewis’s writing does a great job of transporting you to the other world and making it all, the place, the aliens and the adventures so much real.

But since this is an old book, the language is quite ancient and might seem slow for today’s readers who are used to fast-paced books in this genre. This novel demands to be read very slowly because of the philosophical meaning attached to most of the lines. So you might find yourself going back to the lines you have read to fully understand what is being said.

Verdict

We rate it 4.5/5 stars. We took half stars because of the slow reading and outdated language. Other than that, there is nothing in this book that is not likable. We highly recommend Out of the Silent Planet. Continuing this fun, insightful and adventurous space journey are the other books in the series named Perelandra and That Hidden Strength.

CIRCE (#1 New York Times Bestseller) – Book Review

0

CIRCE is a 2019 published novel by acclaimed writer Madeline Miller. The book, since its release in April, has garnered the attention of both critics and readers alike. It has already been named as the book of the year by The Guardian, Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Goodreads, People, Amazon and many more. It is also New York Times #1 Bestseller. Here is our review of what we thought about this highly praised book.

The Story

CIRCE is an offspring of the gods. But unlike her powerful and dangerous parents, she has none of the qualities that make her belong to the world she is a part of. This results in her being shunned from all those she calls her own. But Circe has an unusual power that is dark and can threaten the power of the Gods. Sensing this, the Gods send her off to the island of Aiaia, where she is left on her own.

Now all by herself, Circe starts practicing her craft, casting spells, collecting unusual herbs and controlling wild beats on the island. She slowly gains expertise in her craft and garners the strength and power that can easily compete and even defeat the men and gods. On the island, she comes across many characters from the mythological world, including Odysseus.

This impactful story then follows the journey of how Circe realizes her relationship with God and herself. It is about how she lives her life on her own rules, challenging all those (men) who think it in their authority to tell her how to live her own life.

Madeline Miller takes the witch from the classic Odyssey and gives her a life of her own. She, through the protagonist, gives voice to the significant issues faced by women today and tells it is possible to live your life on your terms without the need to be guarded or looked over.

Writing

Madeline Miller weaves magic with her words that makes the book hard to put down. There is a charm in her language that pulls the reader into the mystifying world with every word. Her characters, especially Circe, are memorable.

Verdict

Circe gets 4.5/5 stars from us. We loved the new approach to the mythological tale. This one is a must pick for readers who have never ventured into the old Greek mythology classics. This new rendition will appeal to the generation of today, giving them a taste of the old stories with a contemporary touch.

Blue Boy by Rakesh Satyal (eBook Review)

0

Blue Boy is unlike any book you might have ever read. This novel by Rakesh Satyal is a coming of age story about a boy who is having difficulty fitting in. We have reviewed the book below being as discreet as we can without spoiling the plot for you.

The Story

This is the story of 12-year-old Kiran, an only son of an Indian-American immigrant couple. The starting chapters take us through Kiran’s journey of facing rejection from everyone, his unusual habits and his sense of never feeling normal. His difficulties are all because he is unlike the boys of his age. He not only looks different than other Indians because of his parentage but also behaves in a different manner expected of a young boy. He loves to sing and dance more than mindlessly running and chasing a ball towards a goal in the field.

Kiran knows his secret but guards it carefully. He is intelligent and funny and spiritual. As he takes his religious discourse, he slowly feels a close connection with Lord Krishna. On one such discourse, he experiences the revelation that he may be the incarnation of the deity. That explains the title of the book- Krishna was known to have blue skin.

Kiran starts living like a lord, the way he did when he came down on the earth- eating butter, playing flute, among other things. He gets so involved in Krishna that he feels his skin shade will also turn blue. He is practicing to stage the unveiling of his true identity through the annual elementary school talent show.

The character of Kiran is hard to put into a category. You like him one moment while you hate him the next. His tribulations and struggles to be himself in a society that expects you to be of a certain way are worth sympathizing with. But there are shades of grey and negativity to him that’s disturbing at times.

But that being said, it’s a book worth reading for its unusual approach towards a tabooed subject. And for the lesson it gives us, accept everyone like they are without being judgemental or pushing that person into being someone else.

Verdict

We rate Blue Boy 3.5/5 stars. It is recommended for everyone who likes unusual tales about people facing an identity crisis.

Robicheaux (Dave Robicheaux Novel) – Book Review

0

From the acclaimed crime writer, James Lee Burke comes this another thrilling novel, Robicheaux (Dave Robicheaux Novel). Robicheaux is about the famous detective who is also the hero of 20 novels by the author. This time, it’s not a case that the detective is handling. It is him proving his innocence for a crime committed by a dead criminal.

The Story

Detective Dave Robicheaux is mourning his wife’s death by drinking excessively. She was taken away from him and murdered brutally. In and out of his consciousness, he once wakes up to find bruises on his hands, knowing nothing about how they came to be there. Then he receives the information that the man who murdered his wife has been found dead by a cop.

Robicheaux visits the crime scene and eventually puts two and two together. His bruised hands and the killing of the murderer may be linked. His life is in danger because the circumstances are proving him to be the killer of the man.

Now the detective has the task of proving the killer’s whereabouts; otherwise, he will be suspected and charged for his wife’s murder. Read the journey of how the detective proves his innocence and what horrors lie in his path.

The Writing

The writing style and language of James Lee Burke will make you fall in love with the mystery genre. He makes the thrilling story more compelling and engaging with his rich vocabulary and description of situations. The characters always stand out in his mysteries and it is true for this one too.

Even if you haven’t read the previous Robicheaux titles, you should go for this one. This thriller doesn’t follow the previous ones and is a standalone novel.

Verdict

Robicheaux gets 4.5/5 stars from us. The book is a thrilling, spine chilling novel that will keep you hooked for hours at a time. This novel is for anyone who likes murder mysteries and those who are fans of James Lee Burke’s works.

Book Review: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

0

Does the name of the book bring an epic bedtime story to memory? It did to us as we picked this novel by Helen Oyeyemi. is a retelling of the classic fairytale Snow White. Apart from this title, the author has written many other books based on famous folklore and fairytales like Gingerbread, Mr. Fox and White is for Witching, among others.

The Story

Boy Novak is the name of a 20-year-old girl! Yep, that’s where the strangeness of the book begins. Boy lives with an abusive father, a rat catcher, in New York’s Lower East Side. She doesn’t know anything about her mother, and her father refuses to divulge anything about her. When her father threatens to treat her like one of his rats on her repeated questioning about her mother, she does the thing that everyone facing adverse circumstances does. She runs away. The hideout is Flax Hills.

There, she finds a best friend in Mia and gets introduced to a man named Arturo Whitman. Whitman is a widowed father living with his daughter Snow, a beautiful white-haired child. Boy doesn’t love Whitman but is fascinated by his pure soul and charming goodness. And she has taken a great liking to his daughter, mostly because she too, like her, is motherless. So, Boy and Whitman get married and soon become parents to a daughter whom they name Bird. But after her birth, the story reveals deeply put on masks of some of the characters.

The story then takes you on a magical journey with talking spiders, secrets, mirrors that don’t reflect some people. Through this story, Helen Oyeyemi wants to convey what drastic effects discrimination based on skin colour, gender, etc. can cause. The basic idea of the whole story is how looks and appearances can fool us.

Boy, Snow, Bird is mostly led by strong women characters, which is the highlight of the book. Helen Oyeyemi narrates the story through different characters. This gives the story a newer, fresher feel. Boy, Snow, Bird is a brilliant retelling of a much-loved witch tale.

Verdict

We give Boy, Snow, Bird 4/5 stars. This book is recommended for all those who like reading about magic and folklore.

Latest Post

Three Little Words: A Memoir – Book Review

0
https://www.amazon.com/Three-Little-Words-Ashley-Rhodes-Courter/dp/1416948074/?tag=inkwb-20