Sense & Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Fingerprint Publishers

Genre: Classic, Romance

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


Sense & Sensibility is the story of two sisters, one emotionally reserved and proper and the other emotionally volatile, as they struggle with life and relationships following death of their father.

After her husband’s death, Mrs. Dashwood with her three daughters move from their home at Norland to Barton Cottage. Elinor is sad to leave because she has become attached to Edward Ferrars, the brother-in-law of her half-brother John. At Barton Park, Elinor and Marianne meet new acquaintances. John Willoughby and Marianne courts openly, and together the two flaunt their attachment to one another. One fine day, Willoughby announces his departure to London, leaving Marianne lovesick and miserable. The Middleton’s guest, Lucy Steel informs Elinor about her secret engagement with Mr. Ferrars.

The novel follows, Elinor and Marianne travel London, living at Mrs. Jennings’ residence, knowing more about their felicitous relationships.

Quietness of manner was no longer uninteresting when she knew his heart to be warm and his temper affectionate.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • The novel has a large cast of characters, each with unique personality and varied level of likeability.
  • The Dashwood sisters have a refined taste and are far more discerning in regards to men.
  • Though the sisters have their values, faults, and approach to life; they help and look out for each other.
  • Elinor’s approach of being sensible is shown extreme. Somewhere, the balance has to be met.
  • Marianne is too self-righteous and annoying. She turns a new leaf in the end, but it comes to late to like her.
  • Mrs. Jennings’s characterization is hilarious.
  • Unlike other Austen reads, the obsession with money is vividly shown.
  • The romance is fickle and self involved.

The Namesake

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Publisher: Harpercollins India

Genre: Indian Culture, Contemporary

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Ashok and Ashima Ganguli are Indian immigrants. They novel begin with Ashima expecting a child. While they wait for the child’s official name to arrive from Calcutta, India, they name the child Gogol, after Nikoloi Gogol, a Russian writer. Sadly, the letter from India is lost in mail. Gogol begins school, and for official purpose the parents settle on a new name, Nikhil. Gogol resents to the new name until he learns about Nikoloi Gogol.

Gogol passes his graduation years in Yale. Since then, he meets and un-meets various girls, until his mother introduces him to Moushumi, a Bengali family friend. About in a years’ time, they marry in a large Bengali ceremony, in New Jersey. Time passes, conflict rise, Gogol learns about her affair, they divorce.

Ashima is to return India. Gogol flies to Pemberton road for a final Christmas Party!


NUTs and BOLTs

  • Above the story, the main theme of the book is the difficulties experienced in simultaneously living two different cultures. Gogol is tasked with living the double life – fitting in with the culture of his parents as well as the culture of his family’s new country.
  • Gogol and his relations with women appear immature and mundane.
  • It doesn’t quite end from where it all starts!

GODPLAYER

Author: a condensation of the book by David Beaty

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Genre: Medical Thriller

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Godplayer is a medical-thriller. It points at the drug addiction in doctors, the balance needed in the healthcare sector between teaching cases to educate doctors and private cases to keep the budget funded, and patients dying at the hands of the ones entrusted to care for them.

Someone is killing healthy patients at the Boston Memorial. Cassandra Kingsley and her friend Robert notice a pattern in deaths that’s doesn’t have proper explanation. Thomas Kingsley – the superstar of the cardiology ward and a surgeon of top class, wants his wife to stop, as if these deaths have a medical reason, it will bring down the hospital. Mrs. Kingsley takes upon her to catch the killer after the murder of her friend, who is murdered in the similar pattern. The discovery of the murderer leaves her spell bounded.

The book falls short on character development.

Illustrated By: Mort Rosenfeld

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Reader Digest Condensed Books – Collector’s Library Edition

Bones Never Lie

Author: Kathy Reichs

Publisher: Arrow Books 

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Anique Pormerleau, who eluded capture while on the spree in the 80’s and 90’s, is suspected for the recent killings in the US. The detectives then Dr. Brennan and Andrew Ryan are summoned to the Cold Case Unit – Charlotte. Teaming them is Slidell from CMPD, agent Tinker from SBI and many other specialists and experts. They work a solution around multiple numbers of similar murders where the victims are young girls. As the investigation picks up pace – they are frustrated with lack of evidence, suspects keep turning dead, there is friction between certain detectives.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • The technical terminologies relating to the forensic anthropology is overdosed towards the climax.
  • A single one-liner at the end of every chapter, keeps the reader guessing.
  • A highlight of the book is Dr. Brennan’s mother. Her moments in the story give a unique perspective and often time provides comic relief.
  • A reader unfamiliar with the series will absorb the flavor from page one.

80C12A67-07CB-4C94-81DA-EE518BF2199C They say a daughter becomes some variation of her mother. A different reading of an old script. A new interpretation of an existing character.

Poonachi or The Story of a Black Goat

Author: Perumal Murugan

Translated By: N. Kalyan Raman

Publisher: Westland Books

Genre: Indian Culture

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Poonachi is a weak, fragile, orphan, black and a miracle baby goat. She doesn’t know her biological mother. A mysterious man one day, hands over Poonachi to an old man and his wife. The couple is poor to feed and nurture her yet; the woman struggles to keep her alive and in the middle of all the hardships, develops a bond with her.

The story further shows Poonachi’s fights against all the odds, her life’s ups and downs, experiences of love and loss, sacrifices, being a miracle and a miracle taking her life.

Miracles and exhibitions were meant for when people were relaxing after a sumptuous meal.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • Initially the book seems like a fable for children, its only later that the reader gets the deep meaning the author aims to deliver.
  • The writer has done a tremendous job at raising some serious and political issues in a subtle manner. Touching themes like gender and racial discrimination, oppression, injustice of government, social hierarchy; keeping animals, Poonachi a goat specifically the center of the book.
  • It presents emotions of an innocent animal that undergoes exploitation by human beings for their own good.
  • The emotion of love between the animals is written with conviction.
  • The essence of being a woman in the form of a goat is nicely captured.
  • Another brilliant point is there is no character sketch of the human characters but that of the animals. That gives a strong feel that you reading about animals, but its way beyond them.
  • Personally, being my first animal take, I got to know much about animal and their emotions. Poonachi’s pregnancy period got me goose bumps.

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There were so many moments she could recall with pleasure. Why then did the mind always blow up and despair over sad events?

Persuasion

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Amazon Classic (Kindle Version)

Genre: Classic, Fiction, Romance

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Frederick aka Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot first fell in love when she was nigh teen, but he had no money, and her family objected, persuaded her to refuse him.

You are never sure of a good impression being durable, everbody may sway it. Let those who would be happy be firm.

The Elliot’s are a respected, landowning family at Kellynch, with three daughters. The youngest is married to a wealthy man, Charles Mangrove. The lavish overspend has brought the Elliot’s into a great debt, to which they decide to relocate themselves to a house in Bath, leaving their mansion to well-mannered Navy people.

Prior to moving to Bath with her father and sister, Anne visits her younger sister’s place at Uppercross. Anne finds the Musgrove family absolutely delightful and marvels the bustling household.

A recent and regular visitor at Uppercross is Captain Wentworth, a friend to Mr. Musgrove. Shortly, the Musgrove family and Captain make a trip to Lyme to their friend’s place. There Anne meets a good-looking gentleman, later to be known as Mr. Elliot, one of his cousins.

After Christmas, Anne joins her family in Bath. She is then formally introduced to her cousin, she reacquaints herself with an old school friend who makes her learn a hidden past, and the Crofts arrive with news of two engagement. Anne is overjoyed to know that Captain Wentworth is not promised to Lousia!


NUTs and BOLTs

  • The first half of the book has an autumnal feel, when Anne’s hopes and she herself is disregarded and mistreated by almost everyone around her. Then the slow, gradual return of joy and hope is seen in Anne’s life.
  • The writing is simple and quite. Even the declaration of love is done in a subdued form.
  • Austen has created the pain-in-ass characters with great perception.

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Yes. We certainly do not forget you as soon as you forget us. It is, perhaps, our fate rather than our merit. We cannot help ourselves. We live at home, quite, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You are forced on exertion. You have always a profession, pursuits, business of some sort or other, to take you back into the world immediately, and continual occupation and change soon weaken impressions.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: Contemporary

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


I allow my mind to wonder. I’ve found this to be very effective way of passing time; you take a situation or person and start to imagine nice things that might happen. You can make anything happen, anything at all, inside a daydream.

Eleanor works all week, goes home on a Friday night, heats a pizza, drinks two bottles of vodka and speaks to nobody until Monday morning comes around. Her life is clear, orderly and completely empty. She is thirty, slightly odd, scuttles away from communal enterprises, rarely says a word that isn’t about the matter in hand, and without a home life.

One night, after work, she and a coworker, Raymond whom just she met happen to leave office at the same time. Walking down they see a man in need of an ambulance. This incident ends up tying the three together and, Eleanor earns a friendship, a relation she haven’t experienced in all these thirty years.

Meanwhile she also ends up finding him, the man she is meant to be with. In order to make him notice her, she grows strong, bold, confident and weak at the same time.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • Eleanor has had a tragic past. A past that has left a scar covering half her face. The reader doesn’t find out exactly what happened until the final pages, even though it feels that the answer is about to come on the next page.
  • There are hints that the central relationship will eventually lead to romance, but the book is only about ELEANOR.
  • Eleanor is an off-the-wall character, just enough to be an absolute delight.
  • Eleanor’s behavior is more the result of circumstances that will.
  • Raymond’s friendship and gentle prying inspires the most change in Eleanor – her outlook on life and interaction with people.
  • The author balances the heavy with humor and hope.
  • When things don’t work on plan, everyone is forced to stare down at the truth. To succumb to the reality that everyone has problems and no feeling is insurmountable.

Beauty, from the moment you possess it, is already slipping away, ephemeral. That must be difficult. Always having to prove that there’s more to you, wanting people to see beneath the surface, to be loved for yourself, and not your stunning body, sparkling eyes or thick, lustrous hair.