Re-Engaging the Reader

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source: novelpathways.org

Reading has always felt like an emotional biography. Whether I am reading a mirror-to-my-life sort of book, a serious preaching to the choir book or a cotton-candy sweet and fluffy book, all of them reflect my emotional state at any given point. My reading habits, if studiously mapped out, would reflect the ebbs and flows of my life. While, generally, I prefer books that engage my mind to the point of debates the presence of light hearted fluffy books indicate a need to disengage and escape from overthinking.  My 2015 reading has become one of the most erratic reading years I had to make, while my goodreads account would probably tell you I have read less than 60, in fact I have read more which I am too lazy to track even on an app. Continue reading →

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I Never Thought I’d Read a Romance Novel: Accepting a Challenge

image from source

image from source

Long overdue.

I have been meaning to write this a while back, but life, as you may also know, doesn’t always cooperate with ones plans. Without further introductions, let’s talk about Romance Novels.

Yes, you read that right. I did say Romance Novels. Now, this is, by no means, my cup of tea. I have avoided romance novels as much as I avoid chic lit and best sellers (please refer to my post of being a book snob here). I never seem to care much about love stories no matter how sweet or hot they are. Once I discovered literary fiction, I found myself completely absorbed by it, ignoring anything that fell in a predictable genre. But, I am no longer a book snob. I have, through the years, tried out different genres and have grown appreciation for particular genre-based literature. But Romance Novels? Continue reading →

2015 Reading Challenge

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In the bookish corner of the blog world the start of the year marks the start of Reading Challenges. There are quite a lot out there, but I decided to choose one that 1) was varied, 2) allowed me to tackle my TBR, 3) expanded my reading, and 4) was feasible (something that I can deal with given my rather packed schedule). I decided on joining Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.

The challenge involves 24 tasks, averaging 2 book a month. It’s goal is to:

“inspire you to pick up books that represent experiences and places and cultures that might be different from your own. We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. ”

Below are the 24 tasks and the books I hope to read. Some of the books are quite long, but I have already began reading. Majority of the books are from my TBR pile with a few I have to purchase. I hope I stick to the list and get through reading them all. I’ll try to update the blog on how I’m doing in terms of the challenge and the books. I might review some or simply write a reaction towards it. Continue reading →

A Year in Books: An Informal biography of a Reader

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With 2014 coming to a close, I look at my life and reflect on the journey that was. There was death, grief, failure, unexpected illness,and personal demons. My life has always been filled with reading, but 2014 was the year I read less and savored words more.

I have found that every year the books I read stand as an informal biography of my life. The gems in the list often tell the emotional journey I took in the course of the year. It is this same principle that made me believe that books come to me at its perfect time. Today, I look at the list of books I read and allow them to re-tell my story. Continue reading →

Dmitri and Fyodor: On Love, Capriciousness and the Brother Karamazov

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I have been reading The Brothers Karamazov since September. I took a break from it in October when life got too hectic for any thing long. But I’m back at it again and 600 pages away from finishing it. The moment I decided to read this novel, I have made up my mind to savor it and read it with the eyes of a student, painstakingly copying quotes, and making note of scenes as well as my reaction to the novel.

As I have reached page 176 and finished the whole of Part 1, I mull over the characters of Dmitri Karamzov and his father Fyodor Pavlovich. I think of them, their actions and the idea of love. As I finished book three of Part 1, I initially thought how so much better a person Dmitri was to his father, while both indulge in the capriciousness of life in almost a very impulsive manner one can see the struggle within Dmitri. It is this tension within him, that fragility so present in his interactions that made me feel, his are actions that were born out of pain while his fathers are those of pure darkness of heart. Yet, as book 3 comes to a close, I came to look at these characters and the questions of ‘how do we love?’ and decided that maybe even the most seemingly depraved humans seek love and know love. Continue reading →