The Bloodstone Papers

This was one of those books that I didn’t exactly ENJOY, you know, but that I couldn’t put down nonetheless. (Or is that just me?)

This isn’t the kind of book that I usually read but the storyline and the mode of narration piqued my curiosity and I read it anyway.

It’s basically about a lonely middle-aged Anglo-Indian whose primary obsession is a book that he’s writing about his family history. It’s a story that starts with a bloodstone ring that his father gets swindled out of. The story is quite arresting and we get to experience the charm of India in the 1940’s, not from an Indian or a British perspective, but a wholly new one, in the bargain.

I think my favourite character in the book is his mother. She’s a character who develops fascinatingly, though she actually developed backwards. She starts off dull, a stereotypical mother, if you will; and then we discover her past. It’s a symbol of how mothers force the essence of their personality to the background and live through their children. It was hard for me to reconcile, to be honest.

Overall, it was a good book.

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower

This book first interested me because it was featured on a list of the 10 most controversial books of all time. It was the only book on that list that I really felt was worth my time.

     I just googled it. It’s being made into a movie! With Emma Watson in it!

The book is written by Stephen Chbosky. And it’s brilliant. It deals with a lot of sensitive themes like sexual abuse, physical abuse, homosexuality, and he still makes it work.

I felt like the protagonist, Charlie was writing his letters to me. (Except his name isn’t really Charlie. He explains in a letter that he’s changing the names to protect his own identity and the identity of his friends and family.) He’s a shy misfit, who reads a lot, and he seems ordinary and dull, but he isn’t. He’s got a crush on an older girl, he gets into fights with his siblings, and he worries about his schoolwork, but there’s something so profound about his thoughts and revelations. The  crux of the story is in his psychological troubles, owing to a traumatic childhood experience that absolutely broke my heart. But there’s so much more to it.

Charlie is such an endearing character. He’s clever, a genius, really, but his total lack of awareness about this fact is beautiful. I can identify with him on some levels, which always adds to the pleasure while reading a book.

Please please read this book. Unless you’re not comfortable with the themes that I said it deals with. In which case, don’t read it.

Through the course of the book,  Charlie reviews books for his teacher, and I’m planning on reviewing all of those books on this website.So, this is the most important post on here.

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

My favourite books are the kind that turn me into a hodgepodgejellybrain for a while. The books that make me think, and don’t let me sleep till I finish reading and some time after.

This book is a classic example of the above.

I actually read this 10 days ago, so my post is a little late.

It’s written by Umberto Eco and the original book, in Italian, is called La Misteriosa Fiamma della Regina Loana. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

I fell in love with the protagonist, Yambo; womaniser or otherwise. Collector and seller of rare books, pacifist, avid reader and ex-poet. The “sterile genius” , in his own words.  What’s not to love?

Plus, he loses his memory and his only remaining memories are excerpts from the books he read. (Admit it, readers*, you all want that right now, just a little bit.)

I loved how the book developed, and Yambo developed with it, though the middle was a little slower than I would have liked. In all fairness, I imagine that the recovery of over 50 years of memories would take quite some time.

The end astonished and devastated me. It even scared me a little.  I still haven’t recovered completely. I still get goosebumps.

THAT, dear readers, is talent.

My favourite quote in the book. (Conversation with his wife, Paola)

“I have so many books. Sorry, we do.”

“Five thousand here. And there’s always some imbecile who comes over and says, my how many books you have, have you read them all?”

“And what do I say?”

“Usually you say: Not one, why else would I be keeping them here? Do you by chance keep the tins of meat after you’ve emptied them? As for the five thousand I’ve already read, I gave them to prisons and hospitals. And the imbecile reels.”

*Readers in this context means readers of books and not readers of this blog .Conditions apply.