Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite comfort books. It never fails to give me a good laugh. I like all the characters in the book. My favourite is, of course, Mr. Darcy. It was my ardent desire to know what goes inside that arrogant head of his, which led me to this interview.
I reached for the interview at Pemberly a bit late. It was not my mistake. I got lost in its lovely gardens and water fountains. Mr. Butler showed me into Mr. Darcy’s study. It was grand. The walls lined with leather bound books. Some were first editions. Mr. Darcy sat behind a large table. It was dark and masculine. But, there were some pretty curios and photo frames on his desk. This was most certainly, a touch from Elizabeth. Continue reading
The digital age has exploded the resources available for a reader. A decade or so ago, we had limited choices. We would know about books through word of mouth, or the small limited columns in newspapers. Piracy was rampant. Choices were limited to paperbacks only. The Internet has been a great leveler here. And so are the apps and websites. A reader is never deprived of his read, even if we forget to carry our paperbacks, or the Kindle.
Here are some of the Android apps/Websites I use as a reader.
- Kindle App – For reading all my Kindle books. Also, the innumerable resources available online for Kindle readers like newspapers, magazines, free Kindle books.
- Wattpad – This is an app which is for the reader and also the writer. It allows me to write my own stories. We can read stories written by others. They can vote for our stories. It has a social media like feel with having followers, news updates from followers and even weekly and monthly writing contests. It has some great reads for inspiration.
- Pocket – If you have no time to read or is not having sufficient net connection on the phone, use Pocket to bookmark your reads. You can get to it later. Here also, you can follow other people and see what they are reading. You can also recommend reads to your friends who follow you.
- Instapaper – This one is similar to Pocket but with the whole social networking thing. It lets you book mark and read it later. I love this better than Pocket for its clean screen and no-nonsense interface.
- WordPress – WordPress needs no recommendation here. I use it to do pretty much everything we can do on the WordPress website. It is simple, easy to use. It lets you see comments, respond to them, read new blogs. It is a must have for a wordpress blogger.
- Feedly – Feedly lets you follow blogs across WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or anything else. You can create groups for bloggers like we can do in Twitter. It lets you see the unread blog posts of a blog. You can surely not miss another entry from your blogger friends. I have created groups for BookBloggers, MomBloggers, Writing, Prompts. Easy to segregate and use with a neat interface.
- Bloglovin – This one is similar to Feedly but with slightly more social interaction wherein you can follow other bloggers and have followers for you. The webpages open with a Bloglovin overlay. It is good but I find it a bit complicated as it keeps reminding to follow others and the overlay is a turn off. I love Feedly more.
- Audible / AudioBooks / Librivox – If you are a fan of audio books, then these are some of the apps to use. Audible is an Amazon entity and comes with the might of Amazon behind it. Audiobooks is also good. Librivox is free audiobook app with the reading done by volunteers. It has mostly classic books whose copyrights have expired. We can also download from Librivox and listen to the clips later. It is my go to website/app for classics. For Hindi audiobooks, there is ‘Suno’.
- Goodreads – Another Amazon product. I keep track of the books I read on the app. It provides recommendations of similar books. I can also see what others are reading and if they liked it or not. It is the Facebook for readers. The app is a bit on the heavy side, but useful to keep track of your reads. I mostly access Goodreads website.
- Netgalley – This is one of the best websites I discovered through some other readers. Netgalley gives you ARCs for free. All you have to do is, read them and give your feedback. The more consistent the feedback, higher your chances of getting more ARCs. It has the latest and some of the best books. They give out Kindle, Nook, PDF copies. Create an account on Netgalley, browse for books in the genre you like and apply for them. The publisher may /may not allow you the ARC. But using Netgalley, I have read some famous books like Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Currently, I am reading a Salman Rushdie book called ‘The Golden House’ whose publishing date is 5th September.
Do you use these resources? Which is your favourite resource? Is there a resource if you want to share?
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6.
Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has been getting mixed reviews. And there are some reviews where the author is blasted, but doesn’t look like the reviewer has read the book. With the plethora of reviews giving all the details of the plot, characters, editing, fiction, non-fiction, anger, nothing much is left to imagination.
I had read The God of Small Things (GOST) atleast a decade ago and I had forgotten how good Arundhati Roy, the writer is. I was reading an excerpt of her story in the book ‘Where the Rain is Born’ and am amazed at her use of words. She paints a vivid picture with her minimal words. I think I should read this book again. But here are a few lines for you to sample and decide on. She writes so beautifully, I have put in multiple lines. It was difficult for me to choose the best lines. Continue reading
A non-fiction book is perceived as boring, just facts explained in a dry manner. So, I was not sure what I had signed for when I agreed to review ‘Kissing the Demons’ by Amrita Kumar. It is a self help book for Creative Writing. Its directly mentioned in the tagline as ‘The Creative Writer’s Handbook’. It pulled me in with its first two lines. I instinctively knew I would love this book. Here are it’s first two lines.
Among all the miseries heaped upon my generation was a fat squat book with a shiny red faux leather cover titled High School English Grammar and Composition. It was the stuff of nightmares and it was authored by two men, Wren and Martin, who for some inexplicable reason I imagined as Laurel and Hardy with bowler hats and walking sticks.
During my school days, I did not own one while our English teacher used to spew the virtues of the book. I borrowed it for a few days from a friend to understand what it is. A decade or so later, as soon as my son reached school, I promptly bought a Wren and Martin for him. Alas! it laid there unused for years till I gave it away to another child.
Women have always pulled down other women. Personally, never seen men do such things. The world would have been a much different place if we were more united and supportive of each other.
The lines below are from the book ‘Pyre’ from one of my favourite authors, Perumal Murugan. The hero, Kumaresan elopes with Saroja and has an inter-caste marriage. A newly married couple full of dreams and love go to live in Kumaresan’s village. But Kumaresan’s old mother Marayi is not happy about it. First, it is an inter-caste marriage, second she is from a city and doesn’t understand village life of farming and third, there was no dowry. Marayi feels Saroja is as useless as a pretty picture hanging on a wall. She is just good to look at.
One of the visiting women gossiped, ‘As soon as he got a wife, he made an enclosure for her to bathe in. All these days, he had a mother. She never got a private spot like this.’
‘Can a mother and wife ever be equal?’ retorted another woman.
The book is translated from Tamil (Tamizh) by Aniruddhan Vasudevan. He had also translated Perumal’s award-winning book Madhurobaagaan into English. Perumal’s writing is rich with regional accents and simple in its narration but complex in highlighting the nuances of mundane lives. Have you read his books?