100 Happy Days: Day 75/22

Oh for the love of books! It’s been a pleasure to read for the past 3 years. I have not bought a single book because I get to borrow even the latest ones from the library. It used to be pretty easy in Chicago – the library was swanky, filled with books and all magazines and plenty of online ones too. Only once we shifted here did we realize that not all libraries are so updated. The library here is quite old, has plenty of books but not the latest ones and surprisingly no magazines. Oh, there is Rachel Ray and Healthy cooking and something on Guitars and Oprah – you get the idea right? The books are old, like 2016 copies are still stacked and there are not enough copies either. It’s kind of disappointing. Online too the wait lists are long but I still get them faster online than the actual book.

One really sad thing is that none of the libraries stock Enid Blyton! I wanted Sam to start with the famous five series because he enjoyed the Magic Faraway tree, but I have not been able to get the all the books of Magic Faraway tree and none of the famous five ones. I really want him to read those books. The books that I enjoyed reading, the books that first taught me what cucumber sandwiches are and the joy of picnics with cousins πŸ™‚

Like I tell the husband, I come cheap -Given a choice between a movie, mall and library – I will gladly choose the library any day πŸ˜€



100 Happy Days: Day 40

I woke up to this πŸ‘‡

And by 7am it was like this, all nice and white. A good start to the day.

It continued to be a decent day, I finished another painting and read the latest Robert Galbraith book. Had anyone else read them? I read all 3 now but I find the books too drawn out. I feel it could get a lot crisper with shorter descriptions. I found certain things repetitive.

Sam came home with 11 smileys out of 12 today. So the father and son watched Lagaan on Netflix as a treat. He is now reading at level R and I feel its quite complex with asking kids to write mission statements and explanations in comprehension. It takes a lot longer than 20 mins but I wanted him to finish 1 book listen, read and quiz which he did without much tantrum though it did go past his bedtime. 

Becoming a soccer mom

Hello there again! I know its been 3 months since I came anywhere near this blog, but what can I say? I have just been lazy or busy devouring books from the library. Have you read “The Girl on the Train” or the “Book Thief” or “Me before you?” – go read them. I enjoyed them all.

But that is not the reason for this post. I thought I have to document these happenings somewhere because I am slowly becoming what they call here “a soccer mom” – in my understanding is a mom who drives her kids around for all their various activities and kind of dedicates her life to them?

a. Last week on Wednesday, Sam had a school field trip to watch a live show of ‘Madagascar’ at a theatre near by and we got the chaparone slip home the week before. I kept thinking if I should take a half day off and do it (I chaparoned last year in NJ when we went to the Crayola factory – and I see that I have not documented here! tsk, tsk) Β or not. Sam came home on thursday and said “Amma, tomorrow last day – did you give that pink slip saying that you will come?” There, that did it. I sent the slip with a warning to Sam saying that its last minute and its going to be a lucky draw so I might not be selected and he shouldn’t be disappointed. In less than an hour of school opening on friday, I get an email from his class teacher saying that my name was drawn out of the hat! So, we went, sonny boy and me – all happy happy, sitting next to each other in the bus and at the theatre and it was a half day well spent.

b. Hubby has been travelling for the past 3 weeks and had to be at work on saturday too. So, all the driving Sam to classes Β has fallen on me. I managed the 1 mile drive to ice-skating and the 1.5mile drive to the swimming pool on saturday and sunday and still went along with a friend for the evening swim lessons. However, this past saturday, Sam had soccer from 10am to 11am and ice-skating from 11.05am and the soccer field was a good 4-5miles away. I panicked. I told hubby to ditch soccer and ice-skating I can manage. Huh! Which husband listens to his wife? 😦 Nothing doing, he said. So, I packed ice skaing clothes, water,coat etc; got Sam ready and off we went driving all the way to the soccer match. I left home 10mins early, just so that I don’t panic while driving. Once his soccer match was done by 10.50, I told him, he needs to strap himself and then change clothes in the car while I drove. Surprise, surprise! the boy who is always lost day dreaming managed to get his cleats,long tight socks, shin guards and change from soccer shorts to fleece pants and regular socks and managed to drink the juice – all in the 10mins it took me to drive from the soccer field to the ice-skating class!

I was thrilled, I felt so happy and confident that I wanted to dash off this post on saturday, but I felt silly too. So many moms do this on a regular basis when the husbands travel. So, I slept over it, mulled over it, but it still feels like a personal achievement for both Sam and me! Now, I can say I can drive the kid to all his classes without sounding fake! yaay! I can drive! *wait wait-I am still not going to drive to walmart though πŸ˜› *


Day 30- Books recently read

The best part of living here are the amazing libraries. Even more so, the online access – I can sit at home and take books on loan for 14days. Even those that do not have a hard copy available yet. I have finished all the latest Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber.

One that I recently read was Jeffery Archer’s last book of the Clifton Chronicles – This was a Man. – Definitely not as fast paced as the previous ones but I think it had to slow down by the time the hero’s life ended too – right?

For Sam, after reading Sangi’s post, I picked up Joy Berry Wilt’s books on – Whining, interrupting and being forgetful as these are the issues that we are facing every single day. There are more on these behaviour issues that I intend to pick up the next time around. Thanks Sangi!

I also picked up Guess how much I love you – which Sam read within a few minutes and also made his Dad read it for him πŸ™‚ and Free to be You and Me. Problem with Free to be You and Me is that it has more poetry that Sam could not relate to. One look through the book and reading a couple pages and he said he did not want to read that anymore.

I finally picked up The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton to start Sam with more chapter books with lesser pictures. We read 1 chapter every night and I am glad that he seems to be looking forward to it and talks about it. I hope this helps him with the comprehension issues that he teacher has been talking about in class.

Next in list is Diary of Wimpy kid that a friend graciously has lent. Said her son who is Sam’s classmate reads and enjoys them.

I read a few more books the last couple of months but I am unable to recall them right now 😦 I also have the following books placed on hold from the library:

a. Harry Potter and the cursed child – I STILL haven’t been able to get my hands on this book!

b. Me before you – after reading at many of your blogs

c. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseni

d. the Spy by Paulo Coelho

1 each of Nora roberts/Danielle steele and Debbie Macomber. There are plenty of Jodi Picoult too but each time I get it until checkout and drop it in fear that it will affect my mood. However much I love her books, i kind of get depressed or it gets too heavy for me to read it all at one go. And I am not ready to get more depressed than I already am what with this lousy weather and not going out anywhere.

One thing I really miss in these libraries are the Indian Authors and the historic fictions. I should hoardΒ them the next time I go to Bengaluru.

Finally a sort of book post

Finally a Book Post

Thanks to blogging and book reviews, I got inspired by the reviews written by TGND and Maya and read a few books from their recomendations. With too many things happening, couldnt actually read a lot though this year.

Books by Michelle Moran – Started with Nefertiti that TGND had highly reco’ed and then couldnt resist buying Cleapatra’s daughter and the Heretic Queen. Totally loved these books – transported me to a different Era. The view points in Nefertiti, the politics, how young girls think of powerplay – I was astonished and shocked! Really? A 13 year old can plan and plot so much?! Loved the love story of the sister and then partial continuation of the clan in Heretic Queen. Cleopatra’s Daughter comes as a much later date but that again was kind of an eye opener about the Roman empire. For someone like me who likes history but cant read it because its very dry and boring – these books like those of the Taj Series were a good insight into history wanting me to read more.

The Krishna Coriolis Series by Ashok Banker – This is a series of only Krishna stories that as the author himself mentions, has been gathered from around the country-most stories that we know and some that are very local and interesting to read. Ofcourse, the series hasnt ended yet and after finishing reading the 7th book, Im now waiting for the next part of it.

Not the best series like the Mahabharatha but still good timepass reads.

That reminds me – anyone reading his MBA series? I wonder when the next book will be out.Β 

Ramesh Menon’s Ramayana – I had read Ramesh Menon’s Mahabharatha and loved it, and since Maya keeps talking about Ramayana – I picked that up too. I liked the story telling but didnt convince me of Rama as God again – sorry Maya! But what I did like about the storyline was that it never wanted to preach about Rama being God-which is acceptable to me and so finished the whole series though it took me nearly a month of night reading to do so.

I also caught up on some of my regular Nora Roberts and JD Robb fixed along with reading some of the other books by Indian authors that I’ve forgotten-so totally not worth mentioning here.

Currently, started reading Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama- like it but its not giving me that urge to read and finish. Maybe I need to mentally re-adjust and tell myself that it IS a book to slow read and assimilate.

This year, post april, I think I will be sitting at home for atleast 3-4 months and I need a lot of books to keep me occupied-so please, put plenty of book reviews that I can pick up later… Sooo looking forward to those days πŸ˜€

Books on my bedside Table-2

As a New Year gift to ourselves, the hubby and I went and splurged on some books at Blossoms and now very voraciously reading. Here are some that I read recently:

Winners by Danielle Steele – I am a fan of Danielle Steele for a long time.Her english is very simple and I like the way she takes the story forward. Winners is one of her latest about how 17year old who is training for Olympics has an accident and how she overcomes it to live her life to the fullest. There were places where I could relate to some incidents in the book and even had tears in my eyes. But sadly the book is a little too slow for my liking. Some parts of it where the book could be better edited.
My Reccomendation – Read if you like simple writing and can enjoy everyday drama.

Treachery in Death and Calculated in Death – These 2 books are booksΒ  37 and 38 in the In Death Series by J D Robb/ Nora Roberts. Again, being a fan of Nora Roberts, I began to read the In Death series that she writes in the name of JD Robb. The stories are set in the future – 2050 to 2060 and I love the fast pace and mystery behind it. The protagonist is the lady Eve Dallas with her partner Delia Peabody are a part of the NYPD Homicide squad and each book is about how they crack the murder mystery. Packed with action and some bits of romance between Eve and her hubby Roarke, each book is unputdownable to me.
My Reccomendation – DO READ! Atleast one to see if you like it…

Sita by Devdutt Patnaik – Just finished and I am yet to respond to Maya on this one πŸ™‚

More to read:

Ramayana by Ramesh Menon – Its too huge a book and the very size has been putting me off it. Need to start once I finish this Calculated in Death.

Mercy by Jodi Picoult – Liked the excerpt at the back of the book, so picked it up. But I always find Jodi Picoult very emotionally heavy. It tends to leave me drained out and depressed for a few days, so this would probably be the last book I will read in my list.

Elizabeth Nobel’s The Girl Next Door – I think I read a review of this book at TGND and wanted to read it since then.

Indu Sundaresan’s The Mountain of Light – Read Maya’s review and since I enjoyed her Taj Mahal Trilogy, picked this one up though there was no discount anywhere.

The Partisan’s Daughter – A random pick that I did at blossom’s because the name of the book caught my eye. Thought will experiment with a new author I have never heard/read before.

The Woods by Harlan Coben for the husband which Im sure I will read too – a murder mystery about 4 missing teenagers one of whose body is found 20yrs later…

And oh! I also picked up War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy because I think I might have now grown up to read this – no? No?!! Let me see, its one big, fat book and just looking at it makes me think – Ah! Now I have this very popular book that I can showoff and say I read – but honestly – give me my JD Robb or Nicholas Sparks, Sidney Sheldon and I will be a happy girl πŸ™‚

What are you all reading now? Any more reccomendations for me to read?

Books on the bedside table

I wrote the previous post on the Mahabharatha books I read and now I thought will just put up all the books/Authors that I’ve read recently or are on my bedside table right now.

Marian Keyes – The Charming Man – My friend F picked this one up at the airport on the way to Hyderabad and said its a good read. So have just begun this and am already feeling its going slow.

The Promise by Danielle Steele-Remember the hindi movie ‘Yeh Waada Raha’? This is the story. Within a few pages I realised it was this story but still couldnt put it down. I need to admit I like Danielle Steele.

Truly Madly Manhattan by Nora Roberts – 2 novels M&B style-light and romantic read. I love reading such books before going to bed – gives me happy dreams πŸ˜‰

The Angel in the Dark – Tilly Bagshawe (Sidney Sheldon)-Starts off well but the suspense doesnt remain for long. About 40-50 pages into the book and you get to know the story. I picked this one up only because the story line was Sidney Sheldon’s

David Baldacci – husband is hooked to David Baldacci and everytime I run out of my books I pick one of these. Thrilling read and complete time pass.

The Secret Wishlist by Preeti Shenoy – I ordered this on Flipkart along with Ashok Banker’s Seeds of War. Ok-Ok read. Predictable storyline and very much on the surface of things. Doesnt actually go deep into any character and kind of seems frivolous.

Midnight’s children by Salman Rushdie – Borrowed it from Deepsi but she said that she couldnt read beyond a few pages and somehow I havent begun it either. Want to read atleast one of Salman Rushdie to see what the hoopla is all about – any inputs?

The Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh – Been wanting to read this for a long time and finally picked it up at blossoms a couple of weekends ago. Anyone read this?

The Time Traveller’s wife – Have been reading good reviews on this on the blogsphere (I think Bride put this up) and so I picked this up though Im yet to begin.

Books on the wishlist:

Ramesh Menon’s Ramayana
Ashok Banker’s Krishna Coriolis series
Couple of Nora Roberts latest both as Nora Roberts and as JD Robb ( I LOVE her Indeath mystery series) Unfortunately didnt get them in Blossoms and am planning to buy them on Flipkart.

What are you all reading?

Mahabharatha in Books

As a child I remember my Grand mother telling me stories of Mahabharatha. During summer holidays, I would sleep next to her in the afternoons and ask her for stories-even when I was in college and she would tell me some ‘Upakathe’ from the Mahabharatha. I had always been fascinated about it and always thought that I should read it sometime – sometime according to me was when I had grown old and was ready for parayana πŸ™‚

Then I began to blog, began to read SnS (Im not getting that exact book review link 😦 )and her reviews of the Mahabharatha books she read began to inspire. So,I asked her and began to look out for the Mahabharatha books. I got hooked on to them so much so that the Husband has begun to tease me that I can write my own books with the amount of ‘research’ Im doing on Mahabharatha πŸ˜€

Here’s what I have read so far:

a. Jaya by Devdutt Patnaik -Easy read, not too much text and some explanations given here and there on the rituals. Still some phrases like “Put his seed in a jar” are quite jarring and kind of go back to unexplained territory. For someone who cant read too much text, this book about sums up entire Mahabharatha.

b. Palace Of Illusions – Chitra Banerjee Diwakaruni- First book on Mahabharatha that I read and to say the least-I LOVED it. Draupadi’s view is very refreshing and some stories there area completely new.

c. The MBA series (The Forest of Stories and The Seeds of War released now) – Ashok Banker – Slow read and sometimes I find that there is too much detail on so many rishi munis who might not be actually connected to the main story that it gets kind of boring.

d. Mahabharatha – Ramesh Menon – Best of the lot – 2 big books full of information and extremely interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and there were so many small stories that I remember my Granny having told me and more new ones. I just couldnt put it down until I finished and when it did finish I wanted more! Too good…

Any more suggestions on the Mahabharatha books? Ofcourse Im going to read all the MBA series and also thinking of picking up the ‘Krishna Coriolis’ series from Ashok Banker next.

Next big read – Ramayana – This again, Im no great fan of Rama but SnS has convinced me that its worth reading and so am going to pick this one up.

Blogger Book Review-The Krishna Key

Well, I had requested Blog Adda for this book and then didnt check my mail for quite a long time. But then Harish of Blog Adda dropped me a second mail asking me if I wanted to review it and I grabbed the opportunity. And by the time I came home last Friday-the book was at my doorstep! πŸ˜€

Having read The Rozabel Line and Chanakya’s Chant, I was expecting the book to be as good. Especially I had enjoyed reading Chanakya’s Chant and recommended it to all. So I just ripped the book cover and began reading immediately.

The amount of research that has gone into this book is amazing! And to sell the fact th

at Krishna was not a mythological character but a reality and part of history and the linking of Brahmastras to today’s weapons-those thoughts can only come from a very fertile mind and imagination!

I liked the current story line but somehow couldnt relate to the Krishna story running in parallel. I mean-ofcourse that is Krishna’s story but how were those specific snippets in those exact places related to the modern story-I couldnt understand-maybe I just need another read? Im not even sure if they *need* to be related.Like in Chanakya’s Chant – the 2 stories always ran in parallel-but here I couldnt get the connection. (Yes, I am comparing because they are both from the same author with history interwoven with the story).

The story couldve been more (pardon my lack of English language) Crisp or more gripping. I found that I really didnt feel the need to read it at one go. And I also felt in couple of places there were editing issues-

Page 301-after the Krishna’s snippet about Arjuna being overwhelmed by the Kaurava army- the first paragraph talks about Radhika and Saini’s rescue by the Sherpa Dorji.And then immediately the next paragraph instead of Radhika – there is mention of Priya and Saini together –Priya had then been lowered from the base of the mountain from where she had been carried by Sherpas and Saini to a small helicopter”. – Isnt this an editting error? I got confused for a minute,went backward, reread the piece where Priya and Taarak escape and then concluded that it must’ve been Radhika that was saved…

Page 389-Β Saini and Radhika are discussing about the Radha Govinda temple by Raja Man Sigh in Vrindavan when Taarak comes. The sentence is “Priya and Radhika put their hands up in the air and slowly turned around from the table to face Taarak Vakil” – That should’ve been Saini actually instead of Priya-here again, I went back to check if I skipped some sentence mentioning Priya in the conversation…

Such small mistakes kind of let me down from the expectation I had on an Ashwin Sanghi book 😦

Finally-Is it a good read – Definitely a good read-especially the scientific explanations and the knowledge on history.

Rating-3/5 – because of the above mentioned reasons.