Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - June 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (TT) is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 My teasers for this Tuesday:
After she and Juan married and began to have kids he took a job as a toquero  in Saginaw. He drove truckloads of fruit and vegetables from the farms to the distributors, and his easy translations between English and Spanish, along with his affable manner, made him an ideal go-between to negotiate wages and terms.

- p. 166, Stealing Buddha's Dinner - a memoir by Bich Minh Nguyen

I started reading this book last night and am on p. 34 out of a total of 256 pages. Hopefully I should finish this book over the next couple of days...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Library Loot: June 7 - 13, 2010

Library Loot is a weekly event/meme co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. Anybody can participate in this meme and at any time during the week. All you have to do, is to link your blog post to the Mr Linky present in Eva/Marg's blog. This weeks Mr Linky is over at Marg's blog.

This is the first meme that I am part of in the blogosphere and it's an apt one for me as most of the books I read are borrowed from the local library.

In the past week, 4 of the books that I had requested, were available for pickup and guess what.....when I went to pick them up, I was lucky to find another book that I have been wanting to read, in the library's floating collection shelf... so overall it's been a good week for me in terms of books... :) I have listed below my last week's loot:

Book Title: The Forbidden Daughter 
Author: Shoban Bhantwal
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2030-1

I read some good reviews about this book(unfortunately I can't seem to remember on whose blogs' I had read those reviews)  and decided I wanted to read it. I am reading this as part of the South Asian Authors Challenge(SAAC). 

Book Title: The White Tiger
Author: Aravind Adiga
ISBN: 978-1-4165-6259-7

The White Tiger has been on my radar for a long time now. This is the author, Aravind Adiga's debut novel and he won the "2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction" for this book. 
I had borrowed this book from a friend last year and had started reading it but somehow the book did not keep me very interested and I hardly got through the first couple of chapters before it was time to return the book.. so here I am, taking my second chance at reading this book... and this time I intend to complete the book!!  I am reading this also as a part of SAAC.

Book Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
ISBN: 978-1-56512-499-8

I discovered about this author from Jen's BEA post and I realized that I haven't yet read any of her books and so, requested this at my library. The story is set during the Great Depression and revolves around the world of Circus...I am looking forward to reading this book.... 

Book Title: The Twentieth Wife
Author: Indu Sundaresan
ISBN: 978-0-7434-2818-8

This is the first book in the Taj Trilogy and is the story of an empress called Mehrunnisa who lived during the Mughal era in India and was married to the Emperor Jahangir. The other two novels in this trilogy are "The Feast of Roses" and "Shadow Princess".

Book Title: My Name is Mary Sutter
Author: Robin Oliveira
ISBN: 978-0-670-02167-3

This is one of the latest books that have been getting rave reviews from all the book bloggers and so I had to pick it up when I found it on the "floating-books " shelf... :)

And finally I have one more book that I got at a great deal from the library's "On-sale" cart and I just couldn't resist buying it....

Book Title: The Post-Birthday World
Author: Lionel Shriver
ISBN: 978-0-06-118784-1

I had added this book to my wishlist after I read a very frank and honest review over at Devourer of Books... and now I finally have my own personal copy of the book to read.... :)

Well... those were my books for the week.... have you read any of these books??? What are your views on them???? Looking forward to hearing them...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

South Asian Author Challenge

The South Asian Author Challenge is being hosted by S.Krishna at S.Krishna's Books.

A quick look at the challenge details:

  1. This challenge is to encourage people to read books by South Asian Authors – South Asia being India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
  2. The books which qualify for this challenge should fulfill 2 requirements:
    • The author must be of South Asian descent.
    • The book must be about South Asia in some way.
  3. The time period for this challenge is between  January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010.
  4. There are 4 different commitment levels for this challenge namely, 3, 5, 7 or 10 books.
This is the first challenge that I am taking part in the blogging world and am very excited about it....I know it's a little late for me to join this challenge, but well, it's better late than never, right??? 

I have decided to go for a commitment level of 10 books for this challenge. I have a tentative list of books I plan to read for this challenge and have listed them below:

  1. The Weight of Heaven by Thirty Umrigar - I read this book last month and will be posting the review soon.
  2. In the Convent of Little Flowers by Indu Sundaresan - I am currently reading this book.
  3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - This is in my TBR pile.
  4. The Forbidden Daughter by Shobhan Bantwal - This is in my TBR pile.
  5. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga - This is in my TBR pile
  6. The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan - This is in my TBR pile.
  7. Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya - This is in my TBR pile.
  8. yet to decide on a book..
  9. yet to decide on a book..
  10. yet to decide on a book..
 S.Krishna has posted a good collection of books and authors in her South Asian Review Database that would qualify for this challenge and I intend on going over that list before finalizing on my last 3 books...

I am very much open to suggestions from you regarding books and authors for this challenge...so feel free to drop me a comment...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Book Review: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Book Title: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: a novel
Author: Beth Hoffman
Genre:  Literary Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-670-02139-0
Pages: 306
Source: Local Library

A quick look at the story:

The book is set in the year 1962. Cecilia aka CeeCee is a 12 year old girl living in a small town in Ohio called Willoughby. She has spent most of her childhood taking care of her psychotic mother, Camille while her dad has conveniently chosen the easier path and kept himself away from his family on the pretext of his sales job. One day when Camille dies in an accident, CeeCee's great aunt Tootie arrives and takes her home with her to Savannah, Georgia. The rest of the story is about how CeeCee thrives in an atmosphere filled with people (read as: Aunt Tootie, her housekeeper Oletta and Mrs Odell) who genuinely care for her and shower her with love and affection. 

My Thoughts:

I picked this book from my library after reading rave reviews about it by almost everybody in the blogging world. And I have to agree the book did not disappoint me one bit. Now who doesn't love a nice, feel-good story...  I really really liked it!! 

I agree the story is kind of predictable and does not have much of a surprise element to it but what kept me hooked on to the book was the attention to detail by the author. I loved the way Beth Hoffman has talked about and described each and every character in her story however small their role is, be it the nosey-Miss Hobbs whom everybody detests or the sweet Miss Obee who sneaks marbles in her dress. She has also portrayed relationships beautifully, such as the friendship between Lucia and Rosa Hoffman, the unspoken mother-daughter affection between Oletta and CeeCee.  In addition, Beth Hoffman has also addressed the key issues that existed in the American society at that time such as, racial discrimination, deforestation and protection of one's heritage, in a very subtle way. 

The book has lot of instances wherein Aunt Tootie and Oletta try and instill self-confidence in CeeCee but below, I have mentioned one particular line from the book which distinctly stood out for me:
My aunt's face was so serious I couldn't imagine what she was going to say. She took hold of my hand and looked into my eyes. "It's what we believe about ourselves that determines how others see us." (p.249)

All in all, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a heartwarming story and is highly recommended by me both for book clubs as well as for individual book readers. And oh...did I tell you that this book fully justifies the usage of the phrase "Southern Hospitality" !!!

I am already eagerly awaiting Hoffman's next book... In case you are interested, here's the link to her website: http://bethhoffman.net.

Did you get a chance to read this book? Please do feel free to let me know of your thoughts on this book as well as my review...

My take on this book: Highly recommended. Period.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Book Review: Quiet Strength

Book Title: Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life
Author: Tony Dungy & Nathan Whitaker
Genre: Biography & Autobiography/Sports, Memoir
ISBN: 978-1-4143-1801-1
Pages: 301
Source: Local Library

My Thoughts:

Tony Dungy takes you through his life starting as a football player and his move onto football coaching eventually leading to his team - the Indianapolis Colts' victory in the Superbowl held in 2007. Throughout the book he emphasizes about the morals and principles instilled in him by his parents and also about his christian calling and how they helped in shaping the person that he was/is today.

Overall - a very inspiring and feel-good book. And you don't have to know football to read the book - he explains pretty clearly about the various plays, people and games as and when he refers to them in the book, however I would say knowledge of the game would surely help you appreciate the book better because most of the people and incidents referred to in the book are involved with football.

The one thing I really liked about this book is that it is NOT preachy!!!

My take on this book: This is a good, inspiring book and recommended particularly for people who have even the slightest interest in American football.