my read shelf:
Surbhi Ahluwalia's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Open by Andre Agassi, J.R. Moehringer

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"The scoreboard says I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn't say 
it is what I have found. Over the last twenty-one years I have found loyalty: 
You have pulled me on the court, and also in life. I have found inspiration:
You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments. 
And I have found generosity: You have given me your shoulders to stand on,
 to reach for my dreams - dreams I could have never reached without you. 
Over the last twenty-one years I have found you, and will take you and the memory 
of you with me for the rest of my life."

I came across this book reading an article about self-development books,
 which was mentioning Open as an inspiring and motivating lecture. I couldn't agree more.
This is one of the most amazing autobiographies that I have read,
 a captivating life-confession that I have enjoyed until the last word. 
Even though I didn't know much about tennis I was fully engaged in each and every match described. 
I could feel all the emotions: the dedication, the anxiety, the fury, the happiness, 
the disillusion. One can identify with this destiny, as we all are struggling throughout our 
lives to find out who we truly are and what we truly want to do with our lives.

I have a lot of respect for Andre Agassi and for the courage
 it must have taken to write this memoir in which he revealed his tough
 upbringing and unhappy childhood. I admire the way he was so open and
honest about his life and this book has to be one of the best autobiographies 
I’ve read yet. Furthermore, I was touched when I read the passage 
in which he dedicated his book to his children and confessed that 
he was late in discovering the magic of books and he hopes that 
his children avoid the same mistake he made. As an avid reader, 
this brought a smile to my face!
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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A Walk to Remember is my second book by Nicholas Sparks the first  being  the Notebook . The book is about two teenagers who fall in love with each other in-spite of different  of personalities. 

The book helps you realize so much about life. Jamie Sullivan the daughter of the pastor Herbert.
No one really likes Jamie at school they think she is not "normal" she is very quite a sweet to            everyone no matter how or what they say to her.She is very religious. She helps everyone in need.
Landon young man who attends the same school as Jamie he never talks to her. But the day comes when he has class with her and even asked her to the dance. After all the laughs he got from his friends for asking her he was ashamed he didn't even want to talk to her anymore.
A play Jamie was doing was coming up she asked Landon if he would play the main part of the play, Landon didn't want to but he owed her an apologie from the other night when she was very sweet.
He did the play and during spending time with Jamie he fell in love with her. He told her how he felt but Jamie told them that he could like her.He was confused. later on he found out she has Lukima. He was scared of losing Jamie. This was a test for him. He saw how she went through so much pain but he was always beside her.  Landon and Jamie got married, but after a few moths she passed away it was hurtful to Landon.He learned to love her even though she wasn't there by his side.It is a quick read that will have you smiling and in tears all at the same time.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Title:Namesake
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Paperback: 291 pages
Publisher: Mariner Books; First edition (September 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0618485228
ISBN-13: 978-0618485222


Synopsis:
Ashoke and Ashima natives of Calcutta move to United States after their arranged marriage in India.Ashoke is a PhD student at MIT , soon after Ashima gives birth to a son .They are undecided about theirs child’s name , ultimately relying on a postal letter from Ashima’s  grandmother but letter is lost somewhere in transition, and they are forced to choose  a name for their son before his release from Hospital. Ashoke decides to name his son “Gogol” after Russian Author  Nikolai Gogol and in memory of a tragic train accident of his past.
The Novel revolves around the life of Ashoke , Ashima and their son Gogol .The cultural differences and the generation gap between parents and kids. Gogol’s struggle in search of his own identity and his embarrassment that surrounds his name. Ashima's loneliness in a new country and how she adjusts and make it home.
About the Author: Born in London to Bengali parents, Jhumpa Lahiri currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. Her debut work of fiction, a collection of short stories entitled Interpreter of Maladies, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She is currently a member of the U.S. President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Her novel The Namesake was also made into a 2007 film
My Thoughts on the Book: I picked up this on the thought that I would like reading it and was not least bit disappointed. Lahiri’s writing is poetic and descriptive she is able to very well describe the lives of Ashoke , Ashima and their family as Immigrants in USA although a bit slow at times.The book is also made into a movie which I had seen many years ago before reading it.I liked the movie as much I had liked the book. All in all the book is expectedly excellent and a must read.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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Title :Memoirs of a Geisha 
Author : Arthur Golden
Paperback: 434 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: B002LAYWEC 
Publisher: Vintage; Vintage contemporaries ed edition (November 9, 1999) 
Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc
Language: English

Synopsis : Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is a book about Geisha ( Japanese women entertainer ) who sing, dance , talk and keep men company in order to entertain them.Chiyo (Who is known as Sayuri when she becomes Geisha )  is sold to a Geisha house in Gion after her mother's  death , she does odd jobs there like cleaning and house chores .Later on she is enrolled in  geisha school where she learns singing , dancing and more .An elder Geisha  Hatsumomo is jealous of Sayuri and so her hope of becoming a Geisha comes to a stop until she meets a elder Geisha Mameha who eventually trains her to become Geisha and a successful one at that . Sayuri's life changes after second world war when the man she has always loved becomes her Danna ( A wealthy man, sometimes married, who had the means to support the very large expenses related to a geisha's traditional training and other costs.).

About The Author : Arthur Golden  is an American writer born on December 6, 1956) .Golden was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, grew up on Lookout Mountain, Georgia, He spent his middle and high school years at the Baylor School  in Chattanooga, graduating in 1974. He attended Harvard University and received a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980, he earned an M.A. in Japanese history at Columbia University, and also learned Mandarin Chinese. He currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The novel Memoirs of a Geisha was written over a 6-year period during which Golden rewrote the entire novel three times, changing the point of view before finally settling on the first person viewpoint of Sayuri. Interviews with a number of geisha, including  Mineko Iwaski  provided background information about the world of the geisha. It has sold more than four million copies in English and has been translated into thirty-two languages around the world.

My Thoughts on the Book:This novel is an amazing read that brings to life, vivid and colorful characters. Being narrated in the first person, the reader feels a sense of reality to the story. Golden’s ability to create clear imagery makes the novel all the more spectacular. The novel uses many different jokes and situations that will make the reader laugh and cry. It also broadens the view of society on geisha and ancient tradition. Being informative, hilarious, and inspirational, Memoirs of a Geisha is a well written book and It's one of my favorite.
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami

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"Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits" by Laila Lalami provides a view on a different world. This book narrates the struggles of four Moroccans who attempt the 14-kilometer journey across the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain, to find better employment and better conditions for themselves and their families. I like the way Lalami structured her book, providing glimpses of each person's story both before and after the crossing.

The book opens with the treacherous journey and focuses on Faten, Noura, Halima and Aziz, then moves backwards to the events that brought them there The story follows their lives as they struggle to make their way in a strange land.

 A very short, easy read--definitely recommended!



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Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Sculptress by Minette Walters

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The Sculptress by Minette Walters  is surely one of the best a fascinating psychological crime thriller.It's been a while I read this book but I still remember that  I was unable to put it down It is so engrossing that I kept on  turning pages as to know what will happen next.

The book is about Olive Martin, a huge obese woman who was found with the dead bodies of her mother and younger sister, she pleaded guilty to murder at her trial. Journalist Rosalind Leigh accepts a commission to write a book about Olive, she finds herself wondering what lies behind all these facts that everyone knows. When Roz first visits her in prison, she finds that Olive is not quite what she expected. Roz is repeatedly warned - Olive lies about almost everything, then why did she confess so readily to two hideous murders? Roz may well wonder. The deeper she is drawn into the shadowy, disturbing world of the Sculptress, the more firmly she is convinced that Olive is hiding something 


One of the best mystery novels I've read.
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Swami and Friends by R.K. Narayan

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Swami and Friends by R.K. Narayan is simple to read book set in pre Independence days of India  in a fictional town Malgudi.The author's style of writing is simple , humorous and subtle still so real.
It took me back to my childhood memories of school where in little things used to look like huge problems.
The story narrates events in life of Swami and his friends Rajam and Mani  as how they became friends their mischief at school , strolling in hot afternoon sun , playing games, forming a cricket team and so on.
A must read book.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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The Help  is an amazing first  book by Kathryn Stockett , it was quite engrossing , I loved reading it till the end as the story developed.
The book is about black maids in  Jackson, MS in the early 1960s where the Civil Rights movement was getting  heated.Skeeter Phelan, is a young white woman just graduated from college and wishes to write. She wants to create a novel based on interviews with the black maids .No one wants to cooperate because it's an extremely dangerous task. Soon, Aibileen and Minny,  maids of Jackson, come together to help Skeeter with her project. It turns into something so much bigger than any of them expected.  
This book is one of my favorites and I recommend everyone read it as its  It's complex, deep, entertaining, funny, depressing,  inspirational and well written.Kathryn Stockett manages to make characters come to life with her descriptions.


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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Fall by Ryan Quinn

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First of all I would like to thank the author for hosting a Giveaway on Goodreads and for sending me the advanced e reader copy.

The Fall by Ryan Quinn is story of three friends at University in Florence.
Haile wants to break free of her controlling mother and find out what she really wants from life and ability to make her own decisions. 
Ian is a film buff who is struggling with being comfortable with who he is and who he thinks others expect him to be, his father  is a leading football coach. Ian not only has dropped football, and moved away but has also taken up tennis.
Casey is a football jock who seems like the average guy with a girlfriend and who is studying medicine as a backup.


I would have liked for the characters to have had more of a connection. I didn't feel they interacted in a close enough way to justify their friendship and eventual relationship(Casey and Haile) .
Overall it's and easy read and probably you can give it a shot if you like the description.
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity

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A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity by Susan O'Doherty is a self help book especially for women who are experiencing  barriers to their creativity.
In This book Susan takes you through stories of 5 women and herself and tells you how to liberate yourself and find creative side of your personality.
The book starts with the positive and negative comments we get from our family from early years and impact it has on our creativity.In order to unblock your creativity she says you should analyze your life and embrace your shadow self.She conveys the  importance of having a role model in life so as to guide you in your creative pursuits.Art is not always something which can adhere to norms of the society it needs to be original and with alignment of ones self belief then only it is a true expression of art.She takes you through the journey in a women's life where in she has to manage her creativity and motherhood and how her new role makes her more strong and at the same time so vulnerable.
I found the content of this book both inspiring and helpful and it can certainly motivate a person to find their creative side and pursue it no matter where and what age they are in.

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