Title: Kane & Abel
Author: Jeffery Archer
Engrossing read about the story of two men Kane and Abel born on the same day in two opposite parts of the world- one to a powerful Boston millionaire and the other being adopted by poor polish family.
These two men are driven by their aspirations, money and fame, hunger for power and dreams to establish their own empires that they leave no stone un-turned to destroy each other, by pursuing their vendetta against each other for more than thirty years, hurting everyone and everything they love in this pursuit; only to realize at the end that one of them had selflessly helped the other one anonymously during his time of crisis.
Title: The Lowland
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
“The Lowland” by #JhumpaLahiri A captivating story of two brothers Subhash and Udayan set in the 1960s during the rise of naxalite movement in West Bengal. Even though Subhash and Udayan resemble each other, they have conflicting personalities. Subhash is silent and subdued; while Udayan is rebellious and demanding. Udayan is against the agrarian culture and is attracted by egalitarian ideologies. He becomes deeply drawn and becomes active member of the uprising naxalite movement and CPIM in Calcutta. Subhash on the other hand, leaves to US for his further studies.
Tragedy strikes their family, when Udayan is killed by paramilitary forces, in front of his parents and pregnant wife Gowri, for his involvement in naxalite movement.Subhash visits India trying to pick up ramshackle pieces of the tragedy that just ripped their family apart. He feels sorry for Gowri and entrusts himself with the responsibility of providing her a good life, by marrying her.
Back in Rhode Island, USA, Subhash selflessly strives his best to provide a great life to Gowri, and her new born daughter Bela, only to be abandoned selfishly by ungrateful Gowri to take up a teaching job in California.
Story emphasizes on Subhash’s sacrifice and selfless life which revolved around providing a great life to woman, who was his brother’s wife; a daughter and grand-daughter who weren’t his.
Title: Still Alice
Author: Lisa Genova
A heart touching story of Alice- a highly accomplished Harvard professor of cognitive psychology who get diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s at a age of 50 and how her life changes with the diagnosis !!
Title: The Old Man and his God
Author: Sudha Murthy
“The Old Man & his God” – a collection of short stories beautifully woven around Sudha Murthy’s real life experiences with people belonging to various walks of life viz: beggar, cook, maid, postman, security guard, blind man, street vendor, students, best friends, colleague, team mate, doctor, engineer, businessman, philanthropist et al.
Her experiences with them reinforces her views on basic essence of human values like unconditional love, affection, compassion, peace, content, empathy, selfless love and service, trust, gratitude, thankfulness , good attitude, great friendship, simplicity, modesty, honesty, mother’s sacrifice, philanthropy and other virtues which restores faith in humanity!
Title: Malgudi Days
Author: R.K Narayan
Collection of short stories depicting events unfolding in the fictional town, “Malgudi”!
Didn’t live up to my expectations.
Some stories were good, some ended abruptly.
This book is an agglomeration of short stories from his other two works:
1) An Astrologer’s Day
2) Lawley Road
But,the TV series was an agglomeration of short stories from:
1)Swamy and friends
2)vendor of sweets
3)An Astrologer’s Day
4) Lawley Road
Maybe, that’s the reason, the book didn’t live up to the hype that Girish Karnad’s TV series “Malgudi Days” had created!!
Title: The Vacationers
Author: Emma Straub
Review: This is a perfect read for the “beach” or during any “vacation”. The story begins with the Posts family all set for their vacation to Mallorca along with their friends. Jim and Franny are celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary. Their son Bobby arrives to vacation with his girlfriend who is 10 years older to him. Franny’s best friend Charles is a happily married to Lawrence and are gay couple. Jim and Franny’s daughter Sylvia is all set to go to college. Her current goal is to lose her virginity. The story starts with DAY 1 and ends with DAY 14 of their stay in Spain. Each chapter, a new secret unfolds. Starts off as a happy vacation, but as secrets of everyone begin to unfolds paving way to dysfunctional relationships. Jim, despite happily married to Franny had sex with an intern at office,(who is almost the age of his own daughter). This illicit relationship has already caused a wreck in his marriage, which he fears it will end. Franny’s best friend Charles has been on her side during her good and bad times, and still on her side supporting her to make a good decision over her wrecked marriage. But Charles has a secret of his own! He also had an illicit gay relationship with another guy before he became serious with Lawrence. Charles and Lawrence are all set to start a new family and are looking for adopting a baby to complete their family. Sylvia is all set to lose her virginity and has a secret crush on her Spanish tutor Juan. Bobby is not sure about his relationship with older girlfriend Carmen, and also cheats on her at the pub in Spain. Bobby has a debt of $158,000 which is hesitant to ask his family’s favor for. Carmen is a personal trainer at gym and is serious about her relationship with Bobby. She does everything under the sun to impress Bobby’s family, but all she gets in return is “rolling eyes”, scorns, hatred etc.
Jim finally makes up with his wife and saves his marriage. Carmen summons courage and breaks up with Bobby. Sylvia loses her virginity to Juan the night before they return to New York. Charles and Lawrence complete their family.
Book: And The Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaled Hosseini
My Rating: 4/5
Review: One Amazing read, which talks about everlasting bond of love,friendship & affection between a brother & a sister; their tryst with destiny; how they seek answers; & finally,how fate mocks at them !!
Plot: Poverty leads to separation of affectionate brother and his baby sister during their childhood. They suffer their life in separation. Different people in their lives help the brother and sister to come together. But, destiny has it’s own plans!! 😉
P.S: This is the first ever e-version I read on my iPad (being a hardcore fan of ‘paperback’ version) and I absolutely loved it!!
P.P.S: This is the first ever book that I read of Khaled Hosseini, and I was so impressed that I immediately downloaded his older book “A thousand splendid suns”!
Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Review: A heart wrenching story about the plight, and never-ending suffering, sorrow, misery & painful life endured by women in Afghanistan !!!
Plot: Mariam, a girl born out of wedlock is treated as a ‘harami’ by her own mother, who she succumbs to suicide. After her mother’s death, Mariam seeks shelter at her father’s house. But her father lets her down, by getting her married to a man twice her age, at a tender age of 14 years, in order to save himself from shame and embarrassment. Her painful journey continues with her marriage. Later in her life, she meets another girl named Laila, who has lost her family to bombings in Afghanistan. Mariam sees Laila as her companion, friend in need and confidant, due to the fact that have their sorrow and painful lives running in parallel.