Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

Consider this book for what it is - the transcript of a play, based on one of the most popular fictional storylines to have ever been written. And yet, it does not live up to that expectation. Of a play.
I'd like to think of myself as part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter. Physically, I mean not just in terms of reading. The character itself is actually older than me, but I was only a few years older than Harry when I read the Philosopher's Stone, and 21 when the story ended. Supposedly.
When the Cursed Child was announced, it not only took me by surprise but also filled me with a certain apprehension of how much to expect from rehashing a story that ended on a note of closure. I was in England the day the book was released and having pre-ordered and picked it up at Hatchard's (with the nerd in me doing cartwheels), I settled in - with cupcakes and wine - to read this much-awaited sequel to the series that was the means of introducing me to my now best friends…

1Q84 - Ichi Kew Hachi Yon

"It feels like I'm experiencing someone else's dream. Like we're simultaneously sharing feelings. But I can't really grasp what it means to be simultaneous. Our feelings seem extremely close, but in reality there's a considerable gap between us." - Aomame
Had I known, before I borrowed the book, that 1Q84 was approximately 920 pages, I might not have read it. I would have, in all honesty, picked up the Lord of the Rings again in preparation for The Hobbit. But I had already checked it out and I obviously could not put it away.

[Writing out a quick summary of this novel is going to be quite a task for me because there are so many details in it that I would love to include. I must, however, try and keep it short, so I will simply restrict myself to sharing my thoughts and opinions of the book].

The plot of the novel is quite large though it essentially boils down to a love story that persists through 20 years of time and finds closure in the alternate real…

Vampire Empire - Books 1 and 2

My mind, the part of it that appreciates a good book, was rather wary and numb of mainstream portrayal of vampires and their kin. It's too much glitter and falling into arms of an immortal one who will protect the helpless heroine for all eternity going on there. It may be what makes them read by all and produce a senseless fan gathering, but it has not allowed imagination grow. Therein lay my mindset when I picked up Vampire Empire by Clay and Susan Griffith. The blurb on the back ofbook set my expectations - as simple as it seemed. I was so pleasantly taken in, hooked and surprised.
This trilogy, titled Vampire Empire, written by Clay and Susan Griffith, begins with the premise that the Great Killing of 1870 pitted the entire world into a horrifying war. A plague, if you will, of vampires. Millions of humans died at the hands of the parasites while the aftermath ensured the death of more. Empires were brought down and humanity driven to the edge of despair. Vampires settled int…

Mildred Pierce

It occurred to me that I have been ignoring this blog for way too long even though I have been reading constantly. I must admit that I have fallen back on my schedule - 10 books behind last week now reduced to just 5 books - but I've been working my way through it. I have made remarkable progress in my attempts to include American authors, straying away from my comfort zone of British writers. Ray Bradbury and F. Scott Fitzgerald being the two I finally crossed off my list. While I loved their writing and found salient features in both, Farenheit 451 and The Great GatsbyJames M. Cain's Mildred Pierce, the most recent book that I've put back on the shelf, has brought me back to this blog. Why? Because I read through this unputdownable book with a grimace.

Mildred Pierce is a middle-class housewife of a cheating husband, Bert, and mother to precocious and arrogant Veda and unassuming Ray. Set during the Great Depression, and at a time when Mildred finally decides to get he…

Pride & Prejudice - The Play

I love my books and I like good adaptations of them as movies, plays, musicals, television series, etc. So, when my Deutschlehrerin casually told me that she was going to watch Pride & Prejudice I went, literally, berserk. How could I have not known about it?!
A little theater company called the Lifeline Theatre was putting up a two month production of Pride & Prejudice - the third in its history. Naturally, I didn't care where it was (just a half-hour ride on the CTA Red Line, so that was good) or how much the tickets cost (a reasonably priced ticket actually), I looked for a weekend when I would be able to attend, not even bothering to consult the guests I was supposed to be hosting last evening, and got my tickets. I was excited, but a bit subdued. No use getting my hopes up only to be disappointed, I told myself. This is, after all, my most beloved book ever. Nothing else that I have read in the thirteen years since has compared to Miss Austen's writing. North &am…

Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen

This is not exactly a review - because I don't know the language well enough to write a German review, but I will, in due time. Reviewing the Harry Potter books would take its toll on me because of the details in it - the same goes for the Lord of the Rings. Maybe if I'd  reviewed them as I read them it would've made it easier but...
Anyway. Harry Potter in Deutsch. I'm re-learning the language - signed up for the A1 level once again because I haven't retained what I learned three years ago. I can understand random words and simple sentences and make wild guesses at what the more complex sentences convey, but I would like to know the grammar, the structure and the foundation of the language so that I may indulge in German literature. These being my baby steps towards reading Goethe's Faust in German.
I thought I'd start with something simple. Fairy tales, not so much, so I picked up a book that I know very well - Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen - whi…

The Painted Veil

If I recall rightly, one of Guy de Maupassant's short stories, I forget which, that led me W. Somerset Maugham's writing, his short stories in particular - Footprints in the Jungle, Rain and several others that appeared in his collective works. I never went back to reading either of their novels until now. I've known the story of The Painted Veil for a long time, having read excerpts of it here and there and watched the trailer to the movie adaptation starring Edward Norton (sigh) and Naomi Watts, and finally bought the book just last week on a whim - I haven't yet watched the movie.
It is the story of a young, silly girl named Kitty who marries Walter Fane, a bacteriologist working in Hong-Kong, soon after her younger sister announces her engagement to a man with a title. While in Hong-Kong, Kitty has an affair with assistant colonial secretary Charles Townsend, a selfish man who believes Walter would rather forgive his wife and continue to live in assumed ignorance …