Monday, 30 April 2012

Z is for Zero

Z is for Zero, Zilch, nothing or sunya. Zero is a great number, isn't it? On its own it has no value but add to the end of the number, the number increases in value by ten times. More zeroes more value. How did somebody come up with something to represent nothing? Indians have invented this great number to represent void or vacuum. I like the shape of this number too, never know where it ends or where it begins. Something like T S Eliot's In my beginning is my end. I love this number, do you?

Last post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Y is for Yeats

Y is for W B Yeats. I read this poem in school and I liked it because of its simplicity and beauty.

When you are Old
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Friday, 27 April 2012

X is for X

Sometimes while reading news or watching a movie or by something else I remember about some book I read. Sometimes it's just the particular instance in the book or I remember the full story but I cannot remember the name of the book. For example, you read about Plagiarism and you remember about the book where somebody killed somebody else because of Plagiarism. You remember this bit, but cannot place the book. You wonder what book it is. X is for the unknown book.

Has this happened to you? Have you wondered where I have read this before?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

W is for Wodehouse

I like Wodehouse characters, plots and everything. I like his turn of phrase. Jeeves, Wooster, Lady Constance and Lord Emsworth are few of my favourite Wodehouse characters. Sometimes we meet Wodehousian characters in real life too. I was reading Wodehouse's Summer Lightning sometime back and couldn't help laughing at the introduction."A certain critic—for such men, I regret to say, do exist—made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names'. ... he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have outgeneralled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy."

Who is your favourite Wodehouse character?

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday is a fun weekly Meme hosted at Reading Between the Pages.

This weeks theme is Yes, Okay, Sure.

I am posting from A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow

“Okay?” she said in a voice more gentle than he’d heard in fourteen months.
“Okay,” he said. She smiled at him, and his eyes widened. “It walks, it talks, it smiles,” he said his voice marveling. “It might even be human.”

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

V is for Valli

That's me! V is also for Jules Verne. Jules Verne is considered the Father of Science Fiction along with H G Wells. In Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, Verne takes us on a voyage under the sea in a submarine before the invention of a submarine. In the Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Verne creates a fascinating world beneath the Earth with fascinating creatures.

Do you read science fiction? Have you read anything by Jules Verne?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

U is for Undertow

U is for Undertow is the title of the 21st book featuring Santa Teresa female Private Investigator, Kinsey Millhone authored by Sue Grafton. U is for Undertow is also my 21st post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This post is not about this single book in this series. It is about the entire Alphabet series by Sue Grafton. While there is a continuity, you can pick up any single book in the series as a standalone. I have read all the books in the series, but not in order. I never felt lost. Latest book in the series is V is for Vengeance. I don't know what title Sue Grafton is going to come for the letters X Y and Z. I don't know what I am going to do for these alphabets in this challenge. Let's see.

Have you read Sue Grafton's Alphabet series? Have you decided the post for X Y and Z alphabets for your A to Z Blogging challenge?

P.S I am jumping up and down in joy! This is 21st post for this challenge, meaning I am almost at the finishing line. Hopefully, so are you!

Monday, 23 April 2012

T is for Tagged

Bev @ My Reader's Block tagged me a long time back. Never got around doing it. So here I am playing along, at last.

All games have rules, so here are the rules for this game of tag:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag
5. Let them know you've tagged them!
On with the fun...

Eleven (Fun) Facts About Me:

1. I played Gabriel at School Christmas Play. I was the only one with talking part. And it wasn't funny.
2. I won first prize in Literary Fancy dress competition. I didn't expect to win, as I was competing against Lady Macbeth, Three Witches, Hamlet and other literary characters with period costumes. Just some patches on my shirts and ill fitting trousers with mud smeared here and there with an overall untidy look and a spirit of adventure. I played Huck Finn.
3. I can speak four languages fluently.
4. I wrote lyrics for a music Album my friend was making. I don't remember the lyrics or what happened to the album.
5. I don't have a favourite colour. I love all colours.
6. I always sing, even though I can't sing in tune.
7. I taught myself to do crochet recently. I was never good at crafts in school. My sisters and mother did all my craft projects.
8. I love puzzles- Cryptic Crosswords, Sudoku, Codebreakers, any number, logical or word puzzles. As an extension, I love whodunits. Yes, Maths was my favourite subject in school.
9. I love playing games. That is computer games. Age of Empires, Zoo tycoon, Plant Tycoon, Sims 2 are few of my favourite games. Yes, very old games, but I still love them though haven't played them in ages.
10. I had so many blogs, that I couldn't remember the blog url. So finally decided to use my name as blog url. Hopefully, I will not forget it.
11. I am the quintessential (oh! I love the word) gadget lover.

Bev's Questions for the me:

1. Favorite childhood book-related memory?
I love my School library that gave me access to wonderful classics. We were allowed to borrow one book a week and not every week. We can't sit in the library and read, only borrow books during the prescribed hour. I read most of my favourite books borrowed from this library. Between the ages of 10 (under ten's were not allowed to borrow books) and 13 (I changed school then) I read most of these classics- The Mil on the Floss, Pride and Prejudice, Crime and Punishment, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Black Arrow, Great Expectations are just a few I can remember the title. Now sometimes while reading a book I realise that I had read that book before. I know when I read it and where I borrowed it from- my school library. I could go on and on about my school library.

2. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
To the Arctic to see the Northern Lights

3. Best present you ever received?
Swiss Knife with my name engraved and Ipod touch. Tom Sawyer spoiled me for knives. I am always fond of showing my various collection of knives. But Swiss Knife bought in Switzerland with my name engraved is the best. I use my Ipod to read, browse, blog, take photos, check email, play games, watch videos, and yes listen to songs.

4. A song that you could sing the lyrics to right NOW.
Twinkle Twinkle little star- which I sing as a lullaby for my little boy.

5. Who was your first friend? Are you still friends?
I remember my first friend in Kindergarten, no I am not in touch with her. But I am still in touch with my nursery school friend.

6. Do you collect anything? If so, what and what got you started?
I download all the free Ebooks available in Gutenberg, Amazon, Manybooks, Feedbooks for the day when I would have nothing to read.

7. What is the title of the book that is closest to you right now?
Alanna Knight's Quest for a killer. I am not reading this at the moment, just closest to me.

8. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night owl!

9. Do you live in the city, the suburbs or the country?

10. Have you ever met somebody famous? Who?
No, I would like to meet Ruth Rendell. But what I would do after meeting her, I would be tongue-tied to speak anything.

11. What would a perfect day be like for you?
Wake up late, go for a long walk, read until day breaks and sleep in the small hours of the day and wake up late again.

The rules say I have to tag 11 people. I am not going to do that, if you are reading this, and want to play along you are tagged. Leave your link to the answers, I will stop by and check your answers.

My Questions for you

1. Which is the fictional character that you most identify with?
2. How did you come up with your blog name?
3. Do you admire the writing style of any particular author? If so whom?
4. Which is your favourite colour?
5. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
6. Which is your favourite food that you can cook?
7. If you could time travel, which age or era would you prefer to live or maybe go have a peek?
8. Who is your favourite author and why?
9. Do you collect anything?
10. Your favourite vacation place?
11. Who is your favourite actor?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

S is for Stevenson

S is for Robert Louis Stevenson the author of my favourite books, Treasure Island, Black Arrow, Kidnapped, the strange case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde and Ollala. There are very few books that I have reread more than twice. But I have visited the Treasure Island in the company of Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver, Pew, Ben Gunn, Captain Flint during all my school holidays. I was also fascinated with Stevenson's Olalla that I read it many times.

Have you read any of these? Who is your favourite RLS character?

Friday, 20 April 2012

R is for Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell is my favourite Crime fiction writer. I like both Inspector Wexford books and her standalones and also her more psychological books written under the pen-name Barbara Vine. If Agatha Christie is the Queen of Plots, Ruth Rendell is the Queen of characterisations. I am fascinated by her characters. Though a crime fiction writer, Ruth Rendell books deal with societal problems. The problem of isolation and loneliness had been a concurrent theme in her books. One of the reasons why I like Ruth Rendell books is that they never fail to surprise me. There is always the twist in the end.

Have you read any of her books? Which is your favourite Ruth Rendell book?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Q is for Question

Have you ever pondered about the meaning of life? Is there any meaning to life? How has the universe formed? Where did life come from? What is time? Has the future already happened? Can we travel back in time? Is what we think the beginning is actually the end? And does all this begin at the ending?

Are you ready to know the answers for the ultimate question? If not, stop now. Don't read any further!

If you are ready, the answer is ...

Read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

On a serious note, The Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking helps you ponder on these questions. The last two questions on beginning and end is inspired by T.S.Eliot.

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday is a fun weekly Meme hosted at Reading Between the Pages.

This weeks theme is No, Don't, Negative.

I am reading my little niece's book, The Witches by Roald Dahl and posting from it.

Little boys have to go to school. Mice don't. Mice don't have to pass exams. Mice don't have to worry about money. .......... When Mice grow up, they don't ever have to go to war and fight against other mice. Mice, I felt pretty certain, all like each other. People don't.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

P is for Private Investigators

In Ruth Rendell's The Vault, Inspector Wexford muses that in detective fiction most of the PI's are cleverer than the police. I agree. Do you agree? Who is you favourite fictional Private Eye? Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey, Father Brown, Albert Campion, Kinsey Millhone, Myron Bolitar, Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade or someone else?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

O is for O Henry

I am not a short story person. If you want to know what that is, it is simple. I love my stories to stay with me for sometime, so longer (and interesting) the better. I enjoy short stories of a few selected authors and O Henry ranks the first place among them. O Henry actually spoiled me. If there is no twist in the end, it is not a short story for me. There should be some twist.

Do you enjoy short stories? Have you read anything by O Henry? Do you also look for the twist in the story?

Monday, 16 April 2012

N is for Nancy Drew

If you know me, you already know that I love mysteries. My first brush with mysteries was with Enid Blyton's Famous Five. Then I read the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I loved Sherlock Holmes so much that I read other books by Conan Doyle which includes The Lost World. Then I read Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and went on to read his other books. It was much later that I discovered Agatha Christie. From then on I was a devoted mystery reader. Ruth Rendell, Val McDermid, P D James, Harlan Coben, Sue Grafton are some of my favourite writers.

Where does Nancy Drew come in all this? She doesn't. I have never read a Nancy Drew mystery. As a teen, I did not have an opportunity to read Nancy Drew mysteries. Now I feel, I may find them childish. I love a fair play whodunit.

Have you read a Nancy Drew mystery? Do you think I should give it a try?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

M is for Metamorphosis

You read books, books and books. But once in a while you chance upon a book that completely blows you away. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is one such book. You can read my review here. My book reading has been entirely random. Once upon a time, I would go pick up a random book from my school library and read it. If I enjoyed it I sometimes remembered the author and picked up some other book by the author. I had chanced upon some really great books this way. Now I just go to the Crime section and pick a book.

I downloaded this book from Planet Pdf and read it. I had vaguely heard about Kafka and had no idea what this book was about. And not knowing anything about it, it completely surprised me.The Stranger by Albert Camus is another great find for me.

Have you read this book? Or did any other book completely blow you away?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Friday Memes

This week I am posting from my next read, Alanna Knight's Quest for a Killer

Friday Book Beginnings is a weekly meme where we share the opening line of our read. Book Beginnings is hosted by the Rose City Reader.

Autumn 1899

That sunny morning, as I stood at my kitchen door in Solomon's Tower, surveying the peaceful little garden, the swallows had left their ancient nesting places and another sound obliterated the raucous cries of corbies, eerie black shapes forever haunting the lofty crown of Arthur's Seat.

Friday 56 hosted @ Freda's Voice is a weekly Meme where we share an interesting snippet from page 56 of our current book.

And that, as fate would have it, was closer than I ever expected.

L is for Lord Jim

Lord Jim is one of my favourite books written by Joseph Conrad. Lord Jim tells the story of Jim, a romantic boy who dreams of adventures in a ship, of rescuing people from a shipwreck and becoming a hero. In reality faced with similar circumstances as his dreams, he fails to become a hero. This inability haunts him all his life. Years roll by he becomes a Governor of an Island but his failure haunts him. I absolutely love this book.

Have you read this or any other book by Conrad?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

K is for Keating

K is for H R F Keating the creator of Inspector Ghote series set in Mumbai, India. When I read Agatha Christie or other mystery authors set in London, I always wondered how detective stories set in India would be. H R F Keating whetted my appetite with his Inspector Ganesh Ghote set in Mumbai fighting against both the bureaucracy and criminals. I haven't read all the books in the series, maybe three, but I enjoyed all of them especially, The Perfect Murder. I plan to read all the books very soon.

Have you read any books by H R F Keating?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

J is for Jane Austen

Originally I was planning to write about three of my favourite James for J. Henry James, P D James and my last year find Peter James. I have changed my mind and I am now writing about Jane Austen.

Jane Austen is one of my favourite authors. I went through a Jane Austen phase and read all her books. Though I love all her books, I like Sense and Sensibility more than Pride and Prejudice. I don't usually reread books but maybe one of these days I will reread one of her books.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I is for Inspector

I love mysteries and detective stories. There are inspectors and inspectors. There is the poetry writing Inspector Dalgliesh, crossword crazy Inspector Morse, classic lover Inspector Wexford, Inspector Bosch, Inspector Rebus, Inspector Macdonald, Inspector Alan Grant, Inspector DeKok and many others.

Do you read mystery books? Who is your favourite Inspector?

Monday, 9 April 2012

H is for Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn is one of my favourite characters. He first appeared in Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He went on to have his own adventures, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn later. I found Huck Finn more fascinating than Tom Sawyer. Have you read these books or any other book by Mark Twain?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

G is for Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is one of my favourite books. It tells the story of Pip who is fascinated by Miss. Havisham and her protégée Estella. Pip is in love with Estella and she is cruel and incapable of love. Pip has a unknown benefactor. Will Estella reciprocate? Who is the benefactor? I love this book. Pip is one of my favourite characters.
Have you read this book? Or any other book by Charles Dickens?

Friday, 6 April 2012

F is for Friday Memes

This week I am posting from Harlan Coben's Stay Close

Friday Book Beginnings is a weekly meme where we share the opening line of our current read. Book Beginnings is hosted by the Rose City Reader.

Sometimes, in that split second when Ray Levine snapped a picture and lost the world in the strobe from his flashbulb, he saw the blood.

Friday 56 hosted @ Freda's Voice is a weekly Meme where we share an interesting snippet from page 56 of our current book.

Megan looked into Agnes's frightened face. Agnes had been so sharp just a few years back- funny and cutting and wonderfully ribald.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday is a fun weekly Meme hosted at Reading Between the Pages.

This weeks theme is Foolish/Stupidity

This snippet is from Gladys Mitchell's Tom Brown's Body

I am not so foolish as to suppose that you and Mr Merrys murdered Mr Conway, even if you did go out on Mr Loveday's bicycle.

E is for Eliot

E is for George Eliot and T.S.Eliot

George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss is one of my favourite books. After reading an excerpt from The Mill on the Floss in my school English reader, I read this book. The Mill on the Floss tells the story of Maggie Tulliver from her childhood, her escapades as a kid, her relationship with her brother, and about a man who loves her and another whom she loves.

I had to read T.S. Eliot's Family Reunion for my degree and I didn't like it. What is this thing about Eumenides haunting you? Can the sins of your fathers haunt you? What is thing pain being joy? But as days go by Eliot along with his Eumeides come to haunt me. I think if I don't like Eliot Eumenides will take their vengeance on me.

If I tried to explain, you could never understand;
Explaining would only make a worse misunderstanding...

Accident is design
And design is accident
In a cloud of unknowing.

Have you read anything by these Eliots? There is one another Eliot, an author I will write about later. Have you heard about the other Eliot?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

D is for Dostoevsky

D is for Fyodor Dostoevsky, the Writer of three of my favourite novels Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karmazov and Notes from the Underground.

Crime and Punishment is the story of Raskolnikov who plans and executes the murder of an elderly pawnbroker. He believes that criminals get caught because in the moments (the moments of crime) when they need to be level headed and logical they become heedless and emotional. So if one is level headed one can get away with it, the question of right and wrong doesn't come into it. But will Raskolnikov get away with it?

Have you read this or any other book by Dostoevsky? What do you think about it?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

C is for Coben

C is for Harlan Coben, the Edgar award winning thriller writer. He writes Myron Bolitar series featuring a sports agent detective who investigates murders. When I first read a book from this series, I wondered if all the books would feature crimes in the sports field. Bolitar has diversified, now he is not just a sports agent but also a PR agent for Musicians, actors, writers etc. I love the wisecracks and twists and twists and twists in his books. Coben also writes standalone which are better than his Bolitar books. His latest standalone Stay Close is out in shops. Can't tell you how it is, as I haven't read and I am not reading any reviews good or bad before reading the book.

Before reading Coben, I was looking out only for authors who write like Agatha Christie. Now I also look for authors who write like Coben. If you are also on the lookout Linwood Barclay comes close.

Have you read any of Coben books? If you haven't, and want to try Tell no One is a great thriller.

Monday, 2 April 2012

B is for Blyton

B is for Enid Blyton. One of my favourite authors as a kid. I immensely enjoyed her Famous Five books, Secret Seven, Malory Towers, and of course the bed time stories and other fantasy books that introduced me to a world of Goblins, Fairies, Pixies and Elves.

Have you read any of her books? Do you think kids today will enjoy her books?

A is for .......Agatha Christie

A is for Agatha Christie, unrivalled Queen of Crime Fiction. I love all her books. What I like best about Agatha Christie books is that she mostly plays fair, there are clues all along and you can play the detective, yet be surprised at the ending.

Christie's Mousetrap is the longest running play in the world! It is still running in St.Martin's theatre in London. I had the opportunity to see it and absolutely loved it. I also saw Spider's Web in Theatre Royal in Newcastle.

These are my favourite books!

Mysterious Affair at Styles (her very first book featuring Hercule Poirot)
The Murder of Roger Ackyord
And there were None
Endless Night
ABC Murders

The list would go on ......

Did you read any of these books or any other books by Agatha Christie? Did you find out 'whodunit'?

2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge

I am signing up for this challenge!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Bloggiesta-Finishing Line

I was able to do all the items in the To do list. I wasn't very ambitious in my to-do list and I am happy that I am able to do all of them.

Connect my Blog feed with my Twitter account -which I did following instructions by Katie using
Connect my blog feed with my blog page in Facebook using Networked Blogs.
Learn a few things from other Bloggers
Created Pinterest account and use pinterest to promote my blog!
Created a Pinterest Pin for all my posts.
Organise my posts- Added labels to some old posts
Participate in some of the mini-challenges - Done
Update my Reading Challenges post- Done
Do a quarterly post on this years progress- Done
Connected Goodreads with Facebook.

It was fun participating in Bloggiesta doing some work on my blog with many others.

Quarterly Update

I was planning to do a monthly update! But was not able to do it! So atleast a quarterly update.

Books Read

1. Amendment of Life by Catherine Aird
2. The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill
3. The Black Tower by P D James
4. The Book of Crime by Elizabeth Daly
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
6. The Burning Court by John Dickson Carr
7. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
8. Death Comes to Pemberely by P. D. James
9. DeKok and Murder on Blood Mountain by A.C. Baantjer
10. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
11. Fate by Amanda Hocking
12. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
13. I Could Murder Her by E C R Lorac
14. An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
15. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
16. The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey
17. The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell
18. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
19. The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Felix
20. Ocracokes Curse- The Mystery at Teach's Hole by Mark Duffey
21. The Problem of the Wire Cage by John Dickson Carr
22. The Retribution by Val McDermid
23. Shroud of Darkness by E C R Lorac
24. The Sorceress of the Strand by L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace
25. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
26. The Vault by Ruth Rendell
27. V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
28. Water-Blue Eyes by Domingo Villar


Total Books Read: 28
Total Ebooks: 13
Library Books: 15
Books Reviewed: 17
New Authors to me: 16
Mystery/Crime Fiction Read: 24
British Books: 16
Classics: 3
Young Adult: 1
Challenges Complete : 8 (Reviews Pending)
Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge (24/12)
Criminal Plots II Challenge(6/6)
Borrowed Book Challenge (10/10)
British Book Challenge(16/12)
E- Book Challenge 1(10/10)
E- Book Challenge 2 (10/10)
New Author Challenge (16/15)
European Reading Challenge(5/5)