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Norweign Wood


“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami

About the Author

Haruki Murakami , born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. Murakami’s most notable works include A Wild Sheep Chasee (1982), Norwegian Wood(1987), Kafka on the Shore(2002), and 1Q84 (2009–10). It is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the “recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness” he weaves into his narratives.

Blurb of the Story

The story is about Wantanbe be who loses his friend at the age of 17 and is in love with Naoko. She was girlfriend of his best friend who he lost. The loss of person has had deep impact on the lives. Watanabe understands that death isn’t opposite of life but a part of it which we can’t run always from. Both Naoko and Wantanbe attend their respective universities in Tokyo. Naoko leaves college to join in a sanatorium to take of her mental health. Meanwhile Wantanbe meets with a girl from his class Midori and they start to like each other. Will he able to his future course ? Will be able to come out of the conflict with the past he stuck with and the future who will change his life.


I really like you, Midori. A lot.”
“How much is a lot?”
“Like a spring bear,” I said.
“A spring bear?” Midori looked up again. “What’s that all about? A spring bear.”
“You’re walking through a field all by yourself one day in spring, and this sweet little bear cub with velvet fur and shiny little eyes comes walking along. And he says to you, “Hi, there, little lady. Want to tumble with me?’ So you and the bear cub spend the whole day in each other’s arms, tumbling down this clover-covered hill. Nice, huh?”
“Yeah. Really nice.”
“That’s how much I like you”

When Naoko went to sanatorium to recover from her depression and loneliness, Wantanbe was there for her as a constant support to help her recover and his love for her. Meantime he meet Midori who feel in love over the course of their friendship. She was the one to propose to him and eventually he had to accept his feeling for her. The condition of Naoko was deteriorating and had to be sent to Mental Hospital for further and proper treatment. Although it seemed she was recovering, only to come back to sanatorium with the decision to suicide. Her sudden death affected Naoko and Rieko her roommate. Toru Watanbe drifted from the world and went about travelling wanting to forget what happened to him. He had seen two deaths in his life, one his best friend at age of 17 and other Naoko at the age of 21. He couldn’t his past with her and couldn’t dive into his future with Midori who was alive and living in the in the present

Opinion and Rating

His struggle and confusion between the past and future is what made his life difficult. He is faced with in numerous question with his own life. As reader, it leaves them with lot of unanswered questions. There is not clear clarity with happens with Watanbe and Midori. But it raised question between life and death and it makes us understand that life and death are not two separate entities. Death is part of life and we should ready to eventually face it

Thus I would rate the book 3/5

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Barack Obama- Dreams of my Father

Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a White Mother and black father. His father Barack Obama Sr is from Africa was a foreign exchange student in University of Miami and he met Ann Dunham. He left his family when Barack Jr was just 2 years back to his hometown to fight for his country. Barack have always heard stories about his father from his mother and grandparents and they usually gave a nicer picture to him. They also never revealed why he left the family and never there for him. He was born at a time when kids out of mixed marriage was banned. His mother and grandparents never believed in racism. They believed in treating every human being in most decent way possible. These mental maturities was due to their exposure to living in places where blacks were mistreated and they were mistreated for interacting with the blacks. I sometimes feel Barack himself has some fear in him due to his color as a child. Over a due course of time Barack’s mother got married for second time to Lolo who was Indonesian by origin. Barack along with his mother has to live in Indonesia for three years. Lolo was good natured, Well Mannered, amicable and pleasant person to be with.

Then on his return to US, he finished his school, graduated from college. It was then realized that he wanted to be community organizer and wanted to work for the needs of the people. Although he initially started his career in a corporate , he later got a job to work as community organizer and hence he was working with Marty. A new chapter of his life began in Chicago, where he had actual life lessons and grooming his leadership skills.

In Chicago he went to work as community manager and understood the grass root level problem of the people there, worked along with them to improve their lives. For him, this part of his life has definitely enhanced his leadership skills. He left to work work better, it is necessary to understand other intricacies such as the how the negotiations work, functioning of law and how the world of politics impacts the life of people. He therefore went ahead applied for Law in top universities and get admission in Harvard. Yet he was looking for answers to his questions that has been troubling him since childhood and thus soul searching still continued

I could understand his identity crisis that he has in his childhood and the his initial growing days. He couldn’t identify with any one particular group, race and other all other things that dominating the society. He always has questions about not only his identity, but also about sense of belonging in the society where race, color played a role. He also has question about his roots, his father whom he met only once in his life

He finally went to his father’s place, Kenya. He definitely did get answers about things he has been searching for, but he had questions and his quench for answers was never over. Probably it was this nature and looking for questions and look out for answers made him achieve what he have today apart from the moral support

As I read the book and got deeper and deeper, apart from identity crises and sense of belonging in world, emotions of people were also relations. The struggles that people has to go through, Africans under the rule of Americans, loss of the authenticity in their culture, polygamy, patriarchy. The impact of patriarchy and polygamy on women and burden that they had to suffer. The children are known after their father and mother is removed from the picture thus giving her no value or important. Such is life isn’t ?

I would rate the book 4.5/5

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Selected Diaries -Virginia Woolf

Selected Diaries by Virginia Woolf
By @vintagebooks @penguinukbooks
The first read of the year and the first book that I haven’t finished reading and have given towards the end
The book is collection of the journal writings of the author Virginia Woolf. A women who has done an amazing work in the field of literature,but has had a depressing life. Despite having a amazing career, husband and social life with people of same intellectual calibre, she had tonight depression, nervous attacks, headache. This led her to suicide in the year 1941

My opinion

I found this book very depressing because despite doing what she was s passionate about, leads my an amazing life with beautiful husband and amongst amazing intellects and authors she did suicide. She wasn’t happy and felt that there was void in her life. She was person who had to endure depression, nervous and migraine attacks spending most of the time in bed. She maintained an active social life which I find it missing in my life, yet she could find the happiness in her life. Sad isn’t ??

I would rate the book 3/5

#qotd Name the book which you were unable to finish reading or given up reading ?

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Frankenstein – Mary Shelly

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is my last read of the year 2018. Mary Shelley  was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein or , The Modern Prometheus. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the romantic poet and philosopher  Percy Shelley.

Victor Frankenstein, is the eldest son of the family and was brought in amazing backdrop of Geneva. Elizabeth was adopted into the family and both her and victor were grown up with fact they were to be married when age and time are deemed proper for it. After a age gap of 7 years of Victor was born william was born.

When Victor was of age 16, his mother died due an illness and he was sent of to college. he pursued his interest in science and specialised in natural philosophy. His passion and drive for the subject motivated him to learn more quickly. His interest then went to other aspects such as anatomy and inspired him to create a life from the dead. He did create one who was 8″ monster after 2 years of effort and hard work. After the success of his creation, Victor realized the impact of his creation who was nothing but a monster

The monster did bring terror in his life by killing the love of victor’s family-william and their servant Janice. But the sadness that did come into the family didn’t stop there. Victor failed to fulfill his demand of creating another life similar to the monster. This made the life of victor worse and thus losing his entire family

A story of person leading a life of misery, guilt and suffering in the hands of monster,his own creating and losing his beloved ones. A small act started out of passion for the subject did turn into a tragic one

I would rate the book 4/5

Fiction

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

 Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American fiction writer, whose works helped to illustrate the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz. The Great Gatsby is a written by him that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922.

The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for Daisy. Nick Carraway stays next to Mr.Gatsby and also cousin of Daisy. Daisy is married to another wealthy person Tom Buchanan. Gatsby had dream of living a life of richness and becoming a billionaire since his childhood. To his luck he did meet the right person at right time and this brought the change in his life.

He brought an amazing house and did keep amazing parties in the hope of meeting love of his life, Daisy. Both of them were in a serious relationship when Gatsby was nothing in his life and she fulfilled him. He worked for the army and had to go for the war, just to lose her to Tom whom she married because he had the money and power. Both Tom and Daisy did have a child. Tom also had extra marital relationship with Mrs.Wilson

Nick met Jordan a golf player when he gone for lunch in daisy home. He had a liking for her despite the fact that she is older than him. He attended one of the parties by Gatsby and met Jordan there as well. He was introduced to Gatsby through her and had a lot of rumors through people in the party. The friendship between both the friends bloomed there. He came to Nick with a request to arrange for a meeting with Daisy. It is the first meeting between them makes the rest of the story.

Both Daisy and Gatsby met after 5 years and the emotions that they had for each other was visible. They started to meet more frequently and were reliving their old days. The truth did come out when Tom, Daisy, Gatsby , Nick and Jordan met for a lunch and were spending a quality. But all this effort taken by Gatsby to get his dream girl back into his life were in vain, only to lose his own life

The story goes to show how the need for money , power and ambition to achieve in life takes or overpowers the emotion of love between people. The relationship between people were no more based on emotion such love , trust etc rather based on the materialistic needs of a person and status in the society

I would rate the book 4/5

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Disrupt and conquer – Review

“It’s never enough to start a business on a great idea, the implementation has to be monitored” – T.T.JAGANATHAN

T.T krishnamachari started the business in Chennai in 1928. They initially started distribution and marketing of various products like kellogs, brylcreem and many others that are part of our life. Later on he went on to become politician handling profile’s such finance. His son narasimhan took over the business at a early age of 16-17. He had great ideas and working on them and setting up infrastructure. But he did lack at looking into small details and day to day implemention of the business and it went to bankruptcy. He then asked T.T. Jaganathan to take over the business and ensure all the loans are paid off. The book is the journey of an accidental businessman who took over the company at ruins and turned into amazing cogglermate is inspiring

TTK prestige are pioneer in healthcare, insurance and pressure cooker and cookware. They are household name and and part of every one life. There has very good stronghold and market share in the home and cookware industry and healthcare as well. They are into various other industries as well

It is important to first identify the problem and then fond solution to it. When running a business we have take of implementation, looking into small intricacies and problem that arises in the operations. Thus if the ideas are not implemented effectively, then entire business would be in ruins. A mere application of common sense and logic also plays a very vital role.

I am an aspiring entrepreneur and looking forward to reading books that inspire me. This is the first book that I read which inspired me. The book gives us brief insight on how to handle business, crisis management, innovation can help in running a business and being a successful entrepreneur

I would rate the book 4/5

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The Mystery of Three Quarters

Hannah is also the author of a book for children and several psychological crime novels. Her first novel, Little Face, was published in 2006 and has sold more than 100,000 copies. Her fifth crime novel, Lasting Damage, was published in the UK on 17 February 2011.Kind of Cruel, her seventh psychological thriller to feature the characters Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer, was published in 2012.

Christie’s first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published in 1920 and introduced the detective Hercule Poirot, who became a long-running character in Christie’s works, appearing in 33 novels and 54 short stories.

Miss Jane Marple,introduced in the short-story collection The Thirteen Problems in 1927, was based on Christie’s grandmother and her “Ealing cronies”. Both Jane and Gran “always expected the worst of everyone and everything, and were, with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right.Marple appeared in 12 novels and 20 stories

Hercule Poirot returns home after lunch only to find a angry woman Sylvia Rule waiting for him. She has been accused of murder of Barnabas Pandy and received a letter for the same from a person disguising Hercule. There were three other people who did get a similar letter of accusing them of murder. One is John Mcrodden , Hugo and Annabel who is the granddaughter of Barnabas Pandy.

Who has sent this letters? Was Barnabas Pandy death a murder or accidental? Who is the mastermind behind? Why send these letter under Hercule signature?

The four people in the story were directly or indirectly linked to the family of Barnabas Pandy or have in contact with them. Lenore lavington is the sister of the Annabel and has two kids Ivy and Timothy. Lenore had visited Mrs rule regarding abortion of her second child.  John and Lenore has short  romantic relationship and still in their heart have love for each other. Timothy was studying in school where Hugo was the housemaster.This establishes the relationship of the people with Lenore.

Lenore is mastermind behind this work. The reason for her to set and work on this plan make the story a great read…

Fiction, Thriller+Mystery

Deliver Me by Karen Cole – Review

Deliver Me -Karen Cole

Deliver Me is a debut Novel of the author Karen Cole. Thriller is one of my favorite genre and I  picked up a book in this genre after a long time. In Fact, Deliver Me is a perfect book in this genre and good thriller novel after a long time. Hence I would like to than @quercususa publication for giving me  the review copy

Abigail the protagonist visits the doctor Dr. Rowe only to receive the shocking news of her life, that she is 2 months pregnant. She hasn’t been any sort of relationship for a year, only to realize that something fishy did happen to her in the New year party of her only friend in town. She doesn’t remember anything from the party making it difficult for her pinpoint who was responsible for this. She confides this situation to her friend Danny asking him for help. 

To add on, she receives gifts, written and text messages as well. Her day to day activities and movements are kept track off by the culprit and continue’s to receive taunting messages from him as well. Not only is Abigail shaken by her pregnancy, but also by the mad and psychotic behavior from a person she doesn’t know at all. 

Finally, she tells about her pregnancy to her sister Ellie and Rob(Ellie’s Husband) who take the news as a bit of a shock and finally go along with her. Her sister has been helpful to her until she was denied the adoption of the baby by her own sister. Abigail starts to doubt on every person who did attend the NYE party and reaches a high point, only to realize she has been looking in the wrong direction. She finds pictures of her and few others in nude and odd positions in Ellie and Rob laptop. This was misleading again causing her to doubt on Rob as well

Her sister Ellie goes missing and it during the search she finds out who got her pregnant.  It was none other than Dr.Rowe, who is responsible for her sister’s death. Ellie was murdered for finding out the truth about him and what he did various women. Pictures in the laptop were the evidence found by Ellie on Dr.Rowe system 

The book also talks about sexual abuse and how it affects the lives of various women. The antagonist in the story has also been responsible for the pregnancy of a schoolgirl as well. Drugging the girls and using it his advantage to get involved with him and get the girls pregnant. Abigail had gone for biopsy, who was sedated for the process and in that duration, she was misused. Culprits like this do deserve death as their punishment

I would rate the book 4/5

Fiction

The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan – Review

The GOAT THIEF

Perumal Murugan is an Indian author, scholar and literary chronicler who writes novels in Tamil. He has written six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry to his credit. Three of his novels have been translated into English: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show and One Part Woman. He was a professor of Tamil at the Government Arts College in Namakkal.

The Goat thief is my second read of the famed author Perumal Murugan. This book is a collection of 10 stories set a village background in India. They are stories which representing the slice of lives of various characters. The stories are very simple, relatable but there wasn’t any take-away from them.  The short stories talked about various facets of life.  A goat thief who gets caught in his act and is chased by the villagers who want to kill him. It is shame on the thief having learned the job from his dad who is a pro in this.

A night-watchman who ran from his home started after working in so many places, landed a job in a farm. He falls in love with a ghost of a raped woman only to almost lose his job.

A story of old farmer who is jealous that a young man Murugesan whose age is that of his sons, driven to do thing fast in life somehow struggles and finishes constructing his home. The farmer overcomes his jealousy by ruing a part of the latter’s finished home. 

These stories are just of glimpse of the stories in the book. Although there is not much of a take from them, the book is apt for the ones who need to read something lite or deviate themselves from a serious read. The book didn’t meet my expectation that I had for the book given the hype surrounding the book.  

I would rate the book 3/5 

Fiction

Ponnachi or The Story of a black goat

Ponnachi or The Story of Black goat by Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan is an Indian author, scholar and literary chronicler who writes novels in Tamil. He has written six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry to his credit. Three of his novels have been translated into English: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show and One Part Woman. Ponnachi was one of the shortlisted books for JCB Price List 

One fine evening, when an old man who was with his herd of goats to help them feed encounters a mysterious strange person with a day old goat kid. He was given the kid for free and the goat itself was a unique one. In the day’s black goats are a rarity, this is one was full black goat kid which set it apart from others and it also came from mother or lineage per se who has a capability to deliver 7 babies at a go. She became the center of attention for the couple as their daughter was aways and they considered her to be one. Also, the kid was very fragile and needed care and attention.  During her childhood days, she gets all the attention only to lose it once puberty hits. She is domesticated like others, she litters 7 kids in her first pregnancy, starts to have a feeling for another goat who happens to live in the woman’s daughter house. The little pleasure that she gets is what she lives and clings on to it. The events that unfold in her life makes rest of the story 

This is my second after  ” Animal Farm” which revolves around the life of animals as the protagonist. It is sad little pleasure and to space, they get to breath are just between the life and death. Their lives are in the hands of the humans who supposedly own them and they get to decide whom they get to sleep when to have babies when they need to slaughter. All these animals expect is love from them and which we as humans fail to give and use it for our selfish needs 

I would rate the book 4/5