24 June 2009

Library loot

Todays library loot includes :
  • The English patient , Michael Ondaatje - I have been meaning to read this since long and I finally ordered it from the lib...Ive read Ondaatje's Divisidaro and though a very unstructured novel, I quite liked the feel of it..and 'The English patient' is his most famous one I think...hope I enjoy it..
  • Fear and Trembling , Amelie Nothomb - I dont remember where I picked this reference from..maybe one of the blogs I wander about or some book news site..Its described as "Alternately disturbing and hilarious, unbelievable and shatteringly convincing"  - looks like a good riveting read !
  • Purple Hibiscus , Chimamanda Ngozi - I have a distinct feeling Ive read this one already but Im unsure...does that happens to anyone else ?? Sometimes I read reviews, excerpts too many times and start believing that I have read the book too ...In any case, I liked her 'Half of a yellow sun' and thought I will check this one out..If it turns Ive read it, out it goes...
  • Evening is the whole day, Preeta Samarasan - I cannot resist a Desi(being an Indian ex-pat) novel..some chick-lits are intelligently written and some not...lets see what this turns out to be..
Happy Reading !!

13 June 2009

Friday Movie watch - Gran Torino (*****)

Yes...thats 5 stars...out of 5 and I would happily dole out more !! 
Clint Eastwood is a great great director , he has created an endearing movie with endearing characters - Walt, Wally , Mr Kowalski whatever you call him...and Sue and Toad and Yum Yum :)
This man is pure genius I think ! He is 79 years old and he still surprises us with the strength of his performance..just awesome..and Im so surprised he didn't notch the oscars...all awards are a lot of hooey !!!

Im sure all those adjectives are not going to give any idea on what that movie is about (if you dont already know) , but everyone should just go and watch it...bossy...ain't I ;)
What Im going to do here though is list out all the Clint Eastwood movies, mark the ones that I've seen and rush off to get those which I havn't , so here goes (Boy, there are a lot many, but Im gonna try...and update as I do ) :

Actor credits :

Director Credits

06 June 2009

Revolutionary Road (****)

Its a story of a couple living on 115, Revolutionary road in an American town in mid 1950s ..a picture perfect couple..2 kids...a picture perfect family..everyone says so too..
But we know nothing is picture perfect...April is a failed artist with an unknown yearning in her heart..Frank is someone who made her laugh once...a regular guy who is aware of his responsibilities and is fulfilling them through a mundane job..he once had some vague dreams and smart mouth...but not anymore..its all lost in the boring job and if there is some dissatisfaction with life, a casual lay here or there takes care of it..

April's yearning keeps getting stronger ..she doesnt knows what she is looking for..but this is not what she wanted in her life...afterall they are unique, they are here to fulfill a destiny..
One day she remembers Frank saying that he had never felt more alive than when he was in Paris...maybe thats the answer...moving to Paris...realise Franks dreams...find a purpose in life !
Frank is made amenable of the idea and things start moving...tickets are purchased...house put on sale...smiles appear on faces and happiness creeps up the eyes...you can feel the energy and joy of new beginings...

You know though - ironically , Frank is 'discovered' by the Big boss and offered a more creative role and better money..he gets tempted...April finds out she is pregnant...putting a damper on their plans...Frank takes it easily, a bit relieved that he doesnt has to find out what he wants to do in his life....
It seems like end of a dream...end of life for April...Frank cannot understand what April wants...why is she not content 'playing house' ...he doesnt realises the depth of her despair and the ending is something that we can predict now, but maybe not in those times...

After the movie , I felt thankful to be living in 20th century where I will not be labeled 'insane' if I want a personality apart from what my family defines me..I wont be called abnormal if I want to develop my interests, pursue my dreams...
We should remind ourselves time and again that all the things in life that we take for granted were all fought for by countless men & women before us...all of them...we have come a long way ahead....and there is longer to go..........

05 June 2009

Book ToDos

Since ages Ive been trying to find like-minded readers, some one to share and talk about the books that I read , love , dislike and it was not happening..
Last month things started falling in place and I found a bookclub which meets every month..very near to my house too..
I also found some online reading groups which are inviting commentary, discussions all openly..
Suddenly , I find myself trying to keep track of books to read, comment upon,review upon - which is all very good but I think I might slip or not really be able to contribute..I think I need to pick 2 of them , track them and contribute to them and then maybe expand.. So Im tracking it here :
  • I shall be reading 'Motherless Brooklyn' for my book club meeting on June 16th - I have it in my hand already and I think I have next weekend to read and take some notes (which Ive never done before)
  • I want to contribute couple of reviews at The Orange Prize Project , I have asked for and recieved the membership already. First one I have in mind is 'We need to talk about Kevin' , which inspite of reading before almost 2 years still lingers on in my memory , not concretely but as a vague dream.. I might reread one of the books or pick one from the list ..Im still deciding on that..
How does everyone deals with all those different reading and review deadlines and keeps track ??

02 June 2009


With Orange Prize for fiction being announced shortly, I cannot very well put this off longer..This is the list floating around on literary blogs, list of all Guardian longlist books from 1996 - 2009...I have striked out the books that Ive read and it seems very few , i.e 29 (lot of books to add to TBR pile.. yay !).. Some of them I distinctly remember as having loved  - Bel Canto , Half a Yellow Sun , We need to talk about Kevin ; some left me cold - Ice road, Gilead (which I didnt complete..life is short !) ; some forgotten , with some obscure memory - When we were bad etc ; some left me questioning - why should a tribute(copy) win an award ??  ..neway...enough books to add to my TBR pile too...

Neway here is my list : (I found this great blog of readers group for these books ...looks interesting..I shall explore more..)

A L Kennedy Everything You Need
A L Kennedy So I am Glad
Ajay Close Official and Doubtful
Ali Smith Hotel World - shortlist
Ali Smith the Accidental - shortlist
Alice Greenaway White Ghost Girls
Alice McDermott Charming Billy
Alice Sebold The Lovely Bones
Allegra Goodman Intuition
Amy Tan The Bonesetter's Daughter
Amy Tan The Hundred Secret Senses - shortlist
Andrea Barrett The Voyage of the Narwhal
Andrea Levy Never Far from Nowhere
Andrea Levy Small Island - winner
Anita Desai Fasting, Feasting
Anita Desai The Zigzag Way
Anita Rau Badami The Hero's Walk
Anita Shreve The Weight of Water - shortlist
Ann Patchett Bel Canto - winner
Ann Patchett The Magician's Assistant - shortlist
Ann Weisgarber's The Personal History of Rachel DuPree
Ann-Marie MacDonald Fall on your Knees
Anna Burns No Bones - shortlist
Anna Quindlen Black and Blue
Anne Donovan Buddha Da - shortlist
Anne Michaels Fugitive Pieces - winner
Anne Enright The Gathering
Anne Tyler Digging to America
Anne Tyler Ladder of Years - shortlist
Anne Tyler The Amateur Marriage
Audrey Niffenegger The Time Traveler's Wife
Barbara Ewing A Dangerous Vine
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible - shortlist
Barbara Neil A History of Silence
Bella Bathurst Special
Bernadine Evaristo Blonde Roots

Beryl Bainbridge Every Man for Himself
Beryl Bainbridge Master Georgie
Carol Shields Larry's Party - winner
Carol Shields Unless- shortlist
Carrie Tiffany Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living- shortlist
Catherine Chidgey In a Fishbone Church
Catherine O'Flynn What Was Lost
Célestine Hitiura Vaite Frangipani
Charlotte Mendelson When We Were Bad
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Half of a Yellow Sun - winner
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus - shortlist
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni The Mistress of Spices
Chloe Hooper A Child's Book of True Crime - shortlist
Christina Koning Undiscovered Country
Christine Dwyer Hickey Tatty
Christine Pountney Last Chance Texaco
Clare Allan Poppy Shakespeare
Clare Clark The Great Stink
Cristina Garcia The Aguero Sisters
Crystal Wilkinson Water Street
Curtis Sittenfeld American Wife
Curtis Sittenfeld Prep
Danzy Senna From Caucasia, with Love
Deborah Robertson Careless
Debra Adelaide The Household Guide to Dying
Deirdre Madden One by One in the Darkness - shortlist
Deirdre Purcell Love Like Hate Adore - shortlist
Dinah Lee Küng A Visit from Voltaire
Donna Tartt The Little Friend- shortlist
Drusilla Modjeska The Orchard
E Annie Proulx Accordion Crimes - shortlist
Edna O'Brien In the Forest
Eilis Ni Dhuibhne The Dancers Dancing - shortlist
Elizabeth Knox The Vintner's Luck
Elizabeth McCracken Niagara Falls All Over Again
Elizabeth Strout Amy and Isabelle – shortlist
Ellen Feldman Scottsboro
Elspeth Sandys River Lines
Emma Richler Sister Crazy
Esther Freud Summer at Gaglow

Esther Freud The Wild
Gail Jones Dreams of Speaking
Gillian Slovo Ice Road - shortlist
Gina B Nahai Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith
Gina Ochsner The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight
Haven Kimmel The Solace of Leaving Early
Heather O'Neill Lullabies for Little Criminals
Helen DeWitt The Last Samurai
Helen Dunmore A Spell of Winter - winner
Helen Dunmore House of Orphans
Helen Dunmore The Siege - shortlist
Hilary Mantel Beyond Black- shortlist
Hilary Mantel The Giant O'Brien
Ingrid Hill Ursula, Under
Isla Dewar Keeping Up with Magda
Jackie Kay Trumpet
Jacquelyn Mitchard The Most Wanted
Jamaica Kincaid The Autobiography of My Mother
Jane Gardam Old Filth - shortlist
Jane Hamilton The Short History of a Prince - shortlist
Jane Harris The Observations - shortlist
Jane Mendelsohn I Was Amelia Earhart - shortlist
Jane Rogers Island
Jane Rogers Promised Lands
Jane Smiley Horse Heaven - shortlist
Jane Smiley Ten Days in the Hills
Jane Urquhart The Underpainter
Janet Davey English Correspondence
Jayne Ann Phillips Motherkind
Jeanette Winterson Gut Symmetries
Jeanette Winterson The PowerBook
Jennifer Clement A True Story Based on Lies
Jhumpa Lahiri The Namesake
Jill Dawson Fred & Edie - shortlist
Jill Dawson Watch Me Disappear
Jo-Ann Goodwin Danny Boy
Joan Brady Death Comes for Peter Pan
Joan Didion The Last Thing He Wanted
Joan London Gilgamesh

Joanne Harris Five Quarters of the Orange
Joolz Denby Billie Morgan - shortlist
Josephine Humphreys Nowhere Else on Earth

Joyce Carol Oates Middle Age
Joyce Carol Oates Rape A Love Story
Joyce Carol Oates The Falls
Judy Budnitz If I Told You Once - shortlist
Julia Blackburn The Book of Colour - shortlist
Julia Blackburn The Leper's Companions - shortlist
Julia Darling Crocodile Soup
Julia Leigh The Hunter
Julie Otsuka When the Emperor was Divine
Karla Kuban Marchlands
Kate Atkinson Case Histories

Kate Grenville The Idea of Perfection - winner
Kathryn Heyman The Breaking
Kathy Page The Story of My Face
Kira Cochrane Escape Routes for Beginners
Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss - shortlist
Kirsten Bakis Lives of the Monster Dogs - shortlist
Kitty Aldridge Pop
Laura Fish Strange Music
Laura Hird Born Free
Laurie Graham Dog Days, Glenn Miller Nights
Laurie R King With Child
Leila Aboulela Minaret
Leila Aboulela The Translator
Leone Ross All the Blood is Red
Lesley Glaister Now You See Me
Lesley Glaister The Private Parts of Women
Leslie Forbes Fish, Blood & Bone
Lily Prior La Cucina
Linda Grant The Cast Iron Shore

Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs
Linda Grant When I Lived in Modern Times - winner
Lindsey Collen The Rape of Sita
Lionel Shriver We Need to Talk About Kevin - winner
Lisa Moore Alligator
Lissa Evans Their Finest Hour and a Half
Liz Jensen Ark Baby
Liz Jensen Egg Dancing
Liz Jensen War Crimes for the Home
Lori Lansens The Girls
Lorraine Adams Harbor
Louise Welsh The Cutting Room
Louise Young Baby Love
Lucy Ellmann Dot in the Universe
Lucy Ellmann Man or Mango?
M J Hyland Carry Me Down
Maggie Gee The Flood
Maggie Gee The White Family - shortlist
Maile Meloy Liars & Saints - shortlist
Manda Scott Hen's Teeth - shortlist
Margaret Atwood Alias Grace- shortlist
Margaret Atwood Oryx and Crake - shortlist
Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin - shortlist
Margaret Forster Over
Marianne Wiggins Eveless Eden – shortlist
Marilyn Bowering Visible Worlds - shortlist
Marilynne Robinson Gilead
Marina Lewycka A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian- shortlist
Marly Swick Evening News
Mary Kay Zuravleff The Frequency of Souls
Mary Morrissy Mother of Pearl
Maureen Duffy Restitution
Meaghan Delahunt In the Blue House
Meera Syal Anita and Me
Meg Wolitzer The Position
Melanie Finn Away From You
Melanie Wallace The Housekeeper
Michele Roberts Impossible Saints
Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog
Michelle Huneven Round Rock
Michelle Lovric The Remedy
Miranda Hearn Nelson's Daughter
Miriam Toews The Flying Troutmans
Monica Ali Brick Lane
Nadine Gordimer The House Gun
Nancy Huston Fault Lines
Nani Power Crawling at Night
Naomi Alderman Disobedience
Nell Freudenberger The Dissident
Nell Leyshon Black Dirt
Nicole Krauss The History of Love - shortlist
Nora Okja Keller Comfort Woman
Nora Okja Keller Fox Girl
Oonya Kempadoo Buxton Spice
Pagan Kennedy Spinsters - shortlist
Pat Barker The Ghost Road
Patricia Ferguson It So Happens
Patricia Ferguson Peripheral Vision
Patricia Wood Lottery
Paulina Simons Red Leaves
Pauline Melville The Ventriloquist's Tale - shortlist
Penelope Fitzgerald The Blue Flower
Philippa Gregory The Constant Princess
Preeta Samarasan Evening is the Whole Day
Rachel Cusk Arlington Park - shortlist
Rachel Seiffert Afterwards
Rachel Seiffert The Dark Room
Rebecca Gowers When to Walk
Rose Tremain The Colour - shortlist
Rose Tremain The Road Home
Rosina Lippi Homestead - shortlist
Rupa Bajwa The Sari Shop
Sadie Jones The Outcast
Samantha Harvey The Wilderness
Samantha Hunt The Invention of Everything Else
Sandra Benitez Bitter Grounds
Sandra Cisneros Caramelo
Sarah Hall The Electric Michelangelo
Sarah May The Internationals
Sarah Waters Fingersmith – shortlist
Sarah Waters The Night Watch - shortlist
Sena Jeter Naslund Ahab's Wife
Shauna Singh Baldwin What the Body Remembers
Shena Mackay Heligoland - shortlist
Sheri Holman The Mammoth Cheese - shortlist
Shirley Hazzard The Great Fire - shortlist
Siri Hustvedt The Enchantment of Lily Dahl
Siri Hustvedt What I Loved
Sonya Hartnett What the Birds See
Stef Penney The Tenderness of Wolves
Stella Duffy State of Happiness
Stephanie Grant The Passion of Alice
Stevie Davies Kith & Kin
Stevie Davies The Element of Water
Sue Gee The Mysteries of Glass

Sue Miller Lost in the Forest
Sue Monk Kidd The Secret Life of Bees
Sunetra Gupta A Sin of Colour
Suzanne Berne A Crime in the Neighbourhood - winner
Toni Morrison Love
Toni Morrison Paradise - shortlist
Tracy Chevalier Girl with a Pearl Earring
Trezza Azzopardi The Hiding Place
Tricia Wastvedt The River
Valerie Martin Property - winner
VV Ganeshananthan Love Marriage
Xiaolu Guo A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers - shortlist
Zadie Smith On Beauty - winner
Zadie Smith The Autograph Man - shortlist
Zadie Smith White Teeth - shortlist
Zoë Heller Notes on a Scandal