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Robinson Crusoe
Virginia Woolf, Daniel Defoe, Gerald McCann
Orthodoxy
G.K. Chesterton
"“You are still young, free.. Do yourself a favor. Before it's too late, without thinking too much about it first, pack a pillow and a blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day it will be too late.”
― Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake "
"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
"

Make Your Wish on BookLikes

Reblogged from BookLikes:

How's your BookLikes experience so far? We hope you're enjoying your time here. We're doing our best to create perfect space for readers and authors with your help, of course. Here are several information that we felt you would like to know :)

 

BookLikes lets you create your own personal webpage ready to customize and fill with your reviews and books. You can also use your own domain with absolutely no fees, to make it happen go to Settings.

 

We would also like to inform all BookLikes member who already use their domains that we've changed our DNS, please update them to new ones: 137.135.170.115 to make your site work properly.

 

Recently we've also received many messages, tweets and comments with your suggestions and requests considering further development. Thank you all! We release one new feature every Thursday and they are mainly based on requests made by our community so if you have more, bring them on :-)

 

 

The following list presents several your ideas that we'll definitely put online and start working on right now :-)

 

Exclusive Shelf - then you'll be able to shelve books on a thematic shelf without necessity of selecting reading status (read, planning to read, currently reading), e.g. Books I haven't finished.

 

Discussion rooms - they will let you create groups and book clubs to discuss your  reads.

 

Export to csv - we want you to feel safe and sound on BookLikes and it refers to your content as well. 

 

PM - you will be able to communicate directly thanks to private messages.

 

Apps - the fist one is set free and ready to be uploaded (BookLikes Scanner) and more are in progress, including Android and Widows 8.

 

Synchronization - you'll be able to sync your other platforms with your BookLikes profile.

 

There's a lot of going on right now but we promise to import all your books, shelves and reviews and to answer all your messages :-)

Reblogged from The island of misfit toys:
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

This book really touched my soul.
The characters are gorgeous, I loved them all!
And I literally cried my heart out in the last part.. Just no. 
And c'mon, how lovely was Rudy?
I can't!!
The reasons why I didn't give to it 5 stars it's because of the start, that honestly have bored me a little bit and the ending. Too much for my fragile heart. 
But it really deserved all my time.. Just read it!

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/631194833

10 Book Related Things Each Book Lover Should Have

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

 

Want to buy book lover a gift? Book is an obvious solution. Why don't you try something different? And if you like it, make it yourself, for you and your bookish friends ;-) 

 

1. Armchair, a special one. All you need to do is to sit and read.

 

 

2. Books Mug, can by any book themed, including banned books. 

 

 

3. A Pillow, all about books of course. 

 

 

4. Bookshelf on the wall. Not wooden or any other. New trend is here - you can paint your personalized shelf!

 

 

5. Book Ends - of any shape. Need to be funny and eye catching ;-)

 

 

 

6. Tissues. Necessary while reading dystopian, romance, ya, msytery ...

 

 

 

7. Make yourself bookish stairs! 

 

 

 

8. Book purse for books. 

 

 

 

9. Shakespeare Pill Box - for literary hypochondriacs. 

 

 

10. "In the Library" Perfume - yes, the scent of books in perfume bottle.

 

 

Source: http://www.bustle.com/articles/3764-10-book-related-things-to-spice-up-your-lit-themed-life

Books Are My Bag - Campaign Supporting UK Bookshops Launches in September

Reblogged from Kate says:

That's right. If you from UK, remember the date of September 14, 2013 (it's Saturday), remember to go to your favorite bookshop and buy a book to show how you appreciate your local bookstore. 

 

The campaign Books Are My Bag wants to celebrate bookshops and highlights the problems of bookstores disappearance and to work against this trend. One the the active logo of the campaign is a bag with slogan Books Are My Bag, photos of celebrities and book lovers with books of course. 

 

On their site you can read their mission statement: 

 

When you buy a book from a bookshop, you get a possession that you may well value for the rest of your life. You’ll have enjoyed the pleasure of browsing around a whole host of other books before making your choice. You’ll know how you feel about the book, by, well, feeling it. Reading bits of it…hopefully not reading the last paragraph to check the ending. You may well have got advice from someone who may love books even more than you do, the bookseller on the other side of the counter. You will have partaken in a process that is a vital part of our culture, our community and our High Street. And soon the chances are that you will also get a bag that says 


“ Books are my bag“.
That says “I use bookshops, because I value them.”
“And I want it to stay that way.”


BOOKS ARE MY BAG’ is a campaign on behalf of the bookshops of this country. (http://www.booksaremybag.com)

 

Great initiative!

World's Top-Earning Authors

Reblogged from New Books and More:


James Patterson must be pissed. He's no longed the best earning author on the whole world. Mummy porn diva, E.L. James, took over the first spot with $95 million. Touché.
 

 


Top 16 of 
The Top-Earning

Authors Of 2013 

looks like this

(ranked between June 2012 and June 2013):

 

1. E.L. James ($95 million)

2. James Patterson ($91 million)

3. Suzanne Collins ($55 million)

4. Bill O'Reilly ($28 million)

5. Danielle Steel ($26 million)

6. Jeff Kinney ($24 million)

7. Janet Evanovich ($24 million)

8. Nora Roberts ($23 million)

9. Dan Brown ($22 million)

10.Stephen King ($20 million)

11. Dean Koontz ($20 million)

12. John Grisham ($18 million)

13. David Baldacci ($15 million)

14. Rick Riordan ($14 million)

15. J.K. Rowling ($13 million)

16. George R.R. Martin ($12 million)

 

Does the wallet represent affection of fans and appreciation of readers? I think not. Or at leas not always. 

Source: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/eeji45eiffk/e-l-james-95-million

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling!

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

J.K. Rowling is 48 and Harry Potter 33 and their birth day in on the same day. Happy Birthday!

 

Is Harry Potter still your favorite series? If the answer is "Yes!", i bet you know all these quotes:

 

 

 

This is for true Harry Potter lovers. Remember!

 

 

 

Why Writers Drink And Readers Read in A Bar

Reblogged from Kate says:

Guardian's article Why Do writers drink alcohol is a true treasury of authors' writing and drinking habits. Really interesting and opens my eyes on writers who I considered as nearly saint because of their high status in literature.

 

A writer's audience is and remains invisible to him, but if he is any good he is acutely and continuously aware of it, and never more so while it waits for him to come on, to begin p.1. Alcohol not only makes you less self-critical, it reduces fear. - says Amis while searching answer to "Why they drink?" question and focusing on American writes who had written and drunk a lot and make their spot in history of modern American literature. In respect to their writings not drinking (or maybe both). The list of authors is long and famous (Poe, Hemingway, Faulkner,  F Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Bukowski...).

 

The article continues to list reasons of drinking and consequences of heavy drinking on writing inspiration. Some writers became drinking buddies, some got addicted and ended up on rehab, others made drinking protagonist in their works. For some glass of whiskey was like a grand opening and brainstorming, for others it was a disaster as they got drunk too easily and fast.

 

Writing and drinking duet has no reading nor nationality preferences, it applies to all literary genres, from poetry, though literary fiction ending on playwrites and novels and writer's nationalities from American through British and Russian. 

 

Fiction may look like the right form for alcoholics, as their dependency teaches them to be good at lying. But holding a novel in your head becomes more difficult when you're holding a glass in your hand as well. "A short story can be written on a bottle," Fitzgerald told his editor Max Perkins, "but for a novel you need the mental speed that enables you to keep the whole pattern in your head and ruthlessly sacrifice the sideshows."

 

Well, some drunk works were good, some not. Article's author sums it with a paraphrase of saying: Drank like a fish, wrote like an angel," would make a pleasing epitaph. "Drank like a fish, wrote like a fish" is more likely.

 


But are readers better? 
The New Yorker lists bar-readers as a big group of people reading in pubs with a glass in one hand and book in the other.

 

Why do we read in bars? According to author reading it’s an activity that gratifies one’s vanity: a book sets the reader apart as a contemplative figure, a person of some intelligence. Oh ;-)

 

These two stories of drinking writers and drinking readers join together as many pubs rely on literary history of a given place and openly make use of stories, anecdotes, tables and chairs that some writers were sitting by and glasses they were drinking from.

 

But there's also other connection, nearly metaphysical.  We want to be like writers we read.

 

And so the drinking must connect to the writing, either as a spark of creativity or as a release from that creativity. Or perhaps the sentimental association of drinking and writerly genius is just an attempt at forming a connection with the great authors of the past. Most of us can’t write like our heroes, but nearly every one of us can try to drink like them.

 

Reading while drinking is easier that writing and drinking. Bukowski also said, “It’s hard to write prose when you’re drinking, because prose is too much work." Some books even encourage you to choose right setting, dim light, candles, cigarette's smoke and a full glass to feel the book atmosphere even better and totally immerse in it. 

 

However the author continues with a book description that can change your reading bar preferences - the book that will make you never want to drink again

 

All quotes in italics come from the following articles: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/20/why-do-writers-drink-alcohol

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/07/the-book-that-will-make-you-want-to-never-drink-again.html

Literary Tattoos - Quotes on Body

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

Have you ever thought about tattoo inspired by literature? I don’t have enough courage to make one. And would I still love the book and the book quote in 10-20 year?

 

Well, here are several tattoos inspired by popular reads' quotes I don't have on my body.

 

 

For Twilight Fans.

 

 

Kerouac at his typewriter with the closing lines of On the Road.

 

  

For fans of The Hunger Games  Trilogy. 

 

  

From The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

 

  

Harry Potter 

 

 

Dark Edgar Allan Poe. 

 

 

Mysterious tattoo from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 

The Philanderer

The Philanderer - George Bernard Shaw A short play and quite an average one at that.

Stay Close

Stay Close - Harlan Coben Totally stunning!!... I just cant seem to love his books enough!!

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)

Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie "The murderer is with us - on the train now..."Something about this solemn line renders chills through my nerves. Anyway!!There are some things you are as sure as you can be when you pick up a Christie book without which you miss on the Christie-mystery feel. I mean, you know there is going to be a hot-shot, intelligent-brained detective by the name - POIROT, more than at least two or three couple crime suspects, round table gatherings, ponderings and suspicions, and some brilliantly amazing under-lying cause for the crime.Without these, a story is not a Christie-mystery and quite honestly, I would hate to miss that style of detective-suspect game that our lady of mystery is just so good at. This book is another grand example of the same.Hercule Poirot, Samuel Ratchett, A murder, 12 suspects, dozen fake evidences. And the Orient Express.Samuel Ratchett, the big-shot millionaire is threatened of murder. He approaches none other than our extraordinary brainy Poirot expressing as much to him about his insecurity. Poirot declines his offer to help. The same night Ratchett is murdered in his cabin with a dozen brutal stabs with some fake evidences to support the murder while the Orient Express runs into a snow-drift and halts for an indefinite period. What does that mean?"The murderer is with us - on the train now..."And begins the investigation of our beloved Poirot who will travel to world's end if he has to bring justice and evict the murderer.The story is one of Agatha's regular styles, but if you think you can even make a guess to predict what happened exactly or who the real culprit is, you can well do to put that thought to rest. Because life isn't that simple and easy, my friend and obviously not for our Poirot who in-spite taking every leap and turn to bring the case to rest with his intuitive prowess at work, must come to a conclusion that after-all it cannot be a coincidence that all the travelers on the Orient Express are Ratchett's enemies, that he is amidst of a well-planned crime that was put to action.Having said that, I'd still prefer [b:And Then There Were None|16299|And Then There Were None|Agatha Christie|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1316131101s/16299.jpg|3038872] over this book any given time in life. It just doesn't climb up that ladder as [b:And Then There Were None|16299|And Then There Were None|Agatha Christie|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1316131101s/16299.jpg|3038872] and that is the reason I feel it deserves four stars not five.Murder on Orient Express is a thoroughly enjoyable, finish-in-one-sitting, mystery read, best done Christie style, as all you Christie lovers would agree.Read this book if you are looking for a light-headed mystery that does not require much of brain-whirling attention and still manages to have you stay-put.

My Cousin Rachel (VMC)

My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier Is Rachel evil or not? Is she responsible or not for Ambrose's death? Is she innocent or guilty?The centre point of the story that is left unanswered! Philip Ashley is orphaned at an early age and is raised by his old cousin Ambrose Ashley in Cornwall. Due to health constraints, Ambrose makes a trip to Rome to spend the winter there and while traveling he meets his distant cousin and widow Countess Rachel Sangaletti, a woman Philip has never heard about before. Quite to Philip's surprise, Ambrose falls in love with Rachel and they get married. While away, Ambrose keeps writing to Philip and telling him about his whereabouts. Slowly, the letters grow infrequent and once or twice, Ambrose mentions that he has fallen sick and no matter what treatment, he does not seem to recover. It greatly concerns Philip when one such letters reveals that Rachel has somehow been involved in his degrading health, that she was poisoning him and her behavior toward Ambrose has drastically changed. Ambrose asks Philip to visit him in Italy right away as with his present condition he will never be able to return to Cornwall. By the time, Philip reaches the villa where his ill cousin and his wife had stayed, he is dumbstruck to know that Ambrose is dead and that his wife along-with an old friend by the name Rainaldi has left the house with all the belongings except for his cousin's hat.Devastated and angry at the same time, Philip is certain that this wicked and cunning cousin Rachel poisoned his Ambrose to death and is so bitter of her that he contemplates the bad nasty treatment he would favor in return when he meets her one fine day for having been instrumental in his cousin's death whom he so dearly loved. However, when Rachel visits him, he is stunned to see her in person and believe if she could've ever been responsible for Ambrose's death. This new Rachel is so beautiful, sweet and charming and still mourning her husband's death, quite contrary to what he had imagined her to be.Gradually, as the story unfolds, in spite of her suspiciously mysterious ways, Philip cannot stop but fall head-over-heels in love with Rachel to an extent of obsessive madness when he gives away all his ancestral wealth to Rachel disregarding all warnings and hints that keep coming his way about Rachel's secretive social and monetary affairs with Rainaldi.Toward the end, Philip starts to suffer with the same headache and fever pangs like Ambrose did and one fine night he discovers that Rachel has been poisoning him too. He realizes what Rachel has been doing and plans to gather enough evidence and uncover her wicked traitorous ways but Rachel dies in an accident by falling off a newly constructed bridge.********************************************************************My Cousin's Rachel is the work of a genius with the kind of intricately woven tale of mystery that it is. An extraordinary psychological thriller that keeps you awake right through the late night hours upto the early morning ones just so you can satisfy the building curiosity, the one question - Is Rachel really a shrewd woman responsible for her husband's death or merely a weak woman mourning his death?The plot is well organized and described by Miss Maurier. All the places, the countryside, characters, their psychology in different situations, and how little things can influence the thoughts of even the most headstrong individuals. The steady suspense built that keeps growing intense after every page is truly astonishing and keeps you digging through the book till the very end. Although it might appear as a traditional slow moving story but it keeps the reader captivated nonetheless with the intriguing mindly manipulations and rapturous compelling character descriptions from the silliest to the smartest.In short, it is one of those cozy books that you can read through the day sitting on the porch with infrequent sips of tea and enjoy it tremendously despite the ambiguity caused by the author.Highly Recommended!!

A Dog's Tale (1904)

A Dog's Tale - Mark Twain, W. T. Smedley "My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian." and starts the tale of Aileen Mauvourneen.How often does one come across tales that leave you asking for more, as though the book had never ended? And imagine if it had to be mere 50 odd pages? No matter how unexpected but this was that book which left me feeling rather incomplete and what do they say, speechless?Being the kind of animal-lover that I am; especially dog-lover, I am always on the look-out for books on dogs, about dogs. It took me by surprise that I had missed this short yet intriguing story all these years when I accidentally stumbled across it on Librivox. So I audio-read the book which is as short as 35 minutes and the story is done.The beginning of the story goes like this,My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large wordsmeaning nothing. My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and see other dogs look surprised and envious, as wondering how she got so much education. But, indeed, it was not realeducation; it was only show: she got the words by listening in the dining-room and drawing-room when there was company, and by going with the children to Sunday-school and listening there; and whenever she heard a large word she said it over to herself many times, and so was able to keep it until there was a dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood, then she would get it off, and surprise anddistress them all, from pocket-pup to mastiff, which rewarded her for all her trouble.and I knew I am going to be hooked to it. But only to find it ending pretty too soon.Aileen narrates her life of how she is raised by an English family and then given away to a different family. There, she gives birth to her puppy and is living her life until one day the house of her new owners catches fire. She tries to rescue her owner's baby by pulling the baby out of fire when the owner sees her and misunderstands her and hits her with a stick that gives her a deep wound. She runs for life and hides in a secluded corner for hours, all starved but starts to miss her puppy. Later, her intention was discovered and the owners praise her for her deed. A short period later, the owners of Aileen who are science experts perform an experiment on her puppy who dies in the process and is buried in the owner's garden-yard. She learns what was done and yearns for her baby over the grave with a clear intention of doing so for the rest of her life.The story is simple yet captivating, short yet compelling, sweet yet aching. Its incredible what such a short story has to offer to its readers. Its packed with humor, grief, love, greed, and much more that makes the story so impressive and long-lasting in memories in just 50 pages which most 500 some page books these days fail to do. It tugs and then pulls at your heart wanting to make you cry and pull Aileen in a hug for so adorable she is.There are few things that the story holds for us, as human beings to understand and apply. When Aileen leaves her mother's house, her mother tells her,We were sent into this world for a wise and good purpose, and must do our duties without repining, takeour life as we might find it, live it for the best good of others, and never mind about the results; theywere not our affair. She said men who did like this would have a noble and beautiful reward by andby in another world, and although we animals would not go there, to do well and right without rewardwould give to our brief lives a worthiness and dignity which in itself would be a reward.I guess there is a far deeper message for us as human beings in there. To be lot more considerate about our actions toward other beings of the eco-system and stop using other inhabitants of the planet for our purposes.There is this instance in the end that made me realize that I was reading through teary eyes.It is when the servant carries Aileen's dead puppy to bury him in the garden. She helps him dig the ground for she thinks that the puppy will grow into a handsome dog like Robin Adair(another Presbyterian in the neighborhood she loved). But she realizes she was tricked, her baby was tricked when the servant says to her, ""Poor little doggie, you saved HIS child!". And she waits for weeks at the grave for her baby to grow and come out but he never does. She is so broken-hearted and depressed with anguish and doesn't help herself one grain of food.I know I have uncovered fairly good chunks from the book but I cannot stop myself from doing so for the sake of prospective readers of this book. Its a tale of sacrifice, selflessness, love, compassion and one's duties toward others. Its about being human and I, totally respect and admire the way Mr. Twain has put it across to his readers. Strikes a cord and makes one think about each of those times when they have done or seen someone mistreat/disregard animals. I cannot say I loved the book, I mean I cannot say enough. All through the book as I read it, I felt as though Aileen was talking straight to me. I laughed a lot and cried a lot more. More than once I imagined Alfey in place of her. But I guess that's what happens when you own pets, their grief becomes yours even if its just fiction.Well, if you've really read the review till this last word, do yourself a favor. Read this book, whether or not you like animal literature.

First You Plz

First You Plz - Nisha B. Thakur This book, received as a complimentary copy was read and reviewed for the author. It was only after reading this book that I realized how much that quote from Franz Zappa stands true.So Many Books. So little Time.I think, now swear, that we should really be picky about reading only those books that deserve our valued time and not anything that comes our way. Until now I haven't much thought about reading and reviewing debut novels but this book certainly puts my perspective to question. I guess, I must have absolutely lost my mind when I almost forced myself to read this book after the author asked me to have it reviewed. I wasted, trashed, almost an hour of my time. But for once, I am thankful to the author for keeping it as short as 100 some pages. More than once, I swallowed the urge to hurl it right out of sight for the poor quality, consistent annoying grammar errors, cheap vocabulary and out-of-place tenses. I was pretty surprised how the book got published at the first place. Were the editors and publishers blind to the apparent mistakes all through the book?I know I am not shedding light on the story. Hell, there isn't a story to talk. Its just a below average tried-to-made-look-sweet love story. The dialogues made me want to be sick, and that was often. It was obvious the author tried really hard to stick the annoying characters together all the time with some super-annoying friends lurking around them to be of whatever nonsensical help they can be. I guess, I should shut up now!In my journey so far with reading and reviewing, this is first time I have marked a book a stinker review. I cant help to be otherwise.I so want to but just cannot bring myself to give credits to the author for her work. Hell, what am I even thinking? Had it been a fifth grader's work, I'd have brought myself to be understanding. I just don't think anyone deserves to waste their precious time and hence, I am not going to recommend it to anyone, not even my dog.Wait one second, did I just say my dog? Gosh, well, that's the after-read effects of a totally pathetic book.What truly mocks me is that some readers have gone so far as to rate the book five stars. I mean, were they drunk or simply stupidly being charitable toward the author?