Wednesday 15 November 2023

I Capture the castle by Dodie Smith

 #27 of 54 BBC Big Read

This reminded me of Little women and bit like Pride and Prejudice. This family lives in a crumbling castle. No one is earning anything except for the servant boy who contributes to the household income. Father an experimental writer the forerunner to our James Joyce who has written just one book and refuses to write another spends his time reading detective novels. Step-mother who was a famous model but currently no source of income. Not sure if I missed out on what educational qualifications Rose has and what she intended to do if the landlords of the castle with two eligible bachelors do not come visiting. Our Narrator Cassandra, a teenager who loves writing. The story is written in a lighter vein. Some of it funny in lines of PG Wodehouse. 

They all knew the reality of the situation that they have no money. Why does no one goes and gets a paying job. Rose decides to take the easy route marry the rich man and escape poverty. And what Rose and Thomas do to make their father to start writing again is preposterous. Who in their right mind would do what they did? Anyway, alls well that ends well.

Tuesday 31 October 2023

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

I picked this up on a holiday last Christmas. I would say this is undoubtedly the most travelled book. I took it to every holiday I went this last year. But somehow only now actually read and finished it. It is funny and after a point was so confusing.

Whose body was it they discovered? There were so many different versions that so many people come up with I finally lost track. Retirees in a Retirement village start the Thursday murder club to discuss cold cases. While cold cases could do for Bosch or Bolitar. At the Thursday murder club we have hot cases, fresh off the oven. People getting killed. Will our Murder club discover the murderer and would they be brought to justice forms the gist of the story. 

Monday 2 October 2023

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

  #25 of 54 BBC Big Read

Third book in His Dark Materials Trilogy. Zeppelins, gyroptors, dragonflies, sceptres and ghosts all come together for a spectacular finale. Good vs evil, God vs human, who will twin the epic battle? 

“The intentions of a tool are what it does. A hammer intends to strike, a vise intends to hold fast, a lever intends to lift. They are what it is made for. But sometimes a tool may have other uses that you don't know. Sometimes in doing what you intend, you also do what the knife intends, without knowing.” The idea that a tool doesn’t have any intentions and it acts upon the intentions of those who use the tool is questionable. Every tool has some inherent qualities that makes it what it is. 

What is the answer to all world’s problems? How to end all wars? It is really a simple answer. Answer we all know. Answer that children teach us again. 

Tuesday 26 September 2023

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

 #24.66 of 54 BBC Big Read

The Shell Seekers is the story of a mother and her 3  grown children. Nancy is a snob, married with kids living beyond her means. Olivia is an independent single working woman and Noel, less said about him the better. Penelope is the mother of these children. She is also the daughter of a famous artist who is in vogue again and his art is worth thousands. We get the story of each of the characters. Olivia is Penelope’s favourite and she is painted in a warm colour by the author. 

In a romantic book, there are certain things you would expect. I was expecting certain things about certain characters. But it didn’t happen like that. Am I happy that things didn’t turn out as expected or was I disappointed? Not sure why I look for twists in the end in almost every tale. There were no twists.Nothing I was expecting. 

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

#23.66 of 54 BBC Big Read

Second book in the His dark Materials Trilogy picks up from where the first left off and we are in alternate worlds. How does one travel from one world to another. How many worlds exist? Is it good vs evil all over again and who will win this war. What is this Subtle knife? Will the good find it or the evil? I think there were more questions then answers here. Hopefully the last book delivers and ties up all the loose threads.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

 #23.33 of 54 BBC Big Read

Not sure if I read this as a kid. Probably did read it. I remember reading lots of books about pixies, goblins, gnomes and what-not by Enid Blyton. Looks like Secret Seven and Famous Five books have survived the time along with the Magic Faraway tree. Like most of these books kids have lots of fun with minimal interference from parents. Either they are not well or busy with their jobs. Kids go exploring magical lands. Land of Toys, Land of Presents, Land of Take it all you want (?), land of sleep, land of spells, Land of Tempers. Oh what fun! Just close your eyes and imagine a land. Nice little adventure. 

Cold comfort farm by Stella Gibbons

# 22.33 of 54 BBC Big Read

Well, some books are not for me. Within a few pages I knew it. But still managed to read it. Not sure why this was written and who found it funny. But I didn’t. Should give myself a pat to have plodded through it and not have abandoned it. Is it just dated? Maybe if I read this a 100 years before, would I have loved it? Or maybe tolerated it. Maybe not getting the parody thing as I haven't ready any of the stuff that this was supposed to be parodying it. But then I learnt it was a parody after I explored world wide web why this book was in the list. I saw this one compared to ‘Three Men in a boat’. Haven’t still have a clue why people liked Three Men in a boat or why I couldn’t make sense of it either. Looks like this parody business is not to my taste. Anyday give me Ruth Rendell, P G Wodehouse or Harlan Coben then this!