2015 Reading Challenge – Book #7 – The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Book #7 – A popular author’s first book – The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Genre: Murder Mystery/Crime
Published: 1920
Country: United Kingdom
Book to TV/Movie Adaptation: Adapted for TV in 1990 and subsequently for BBC Radio as well as several touring plays.

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What do I say about the Queen of Mystery and Crime? She has set the bar so high for me, that I have yet to read a mystery that can match her level of ingenuity and simplicity. Her characterizations, settings and plots are so deceptively simple yet so clever in their detailing, it is impossible to not be able to imagine them in your mind’s eye. The picture she portrays is crystal clear.

This is her first novel and set in the middle of the First World War. We are introduced to Arthur Hastings, a young man of about thirty years who has been given a month’s leave from the Army to fully recover from an injury he sustained a few months ago. Having no close relations, he is unsure of where to go when he runs into an old friend John Cavendish. John invites Hastings to spend his leave at his home in the village of Styles St. Mary in Essex county, an invitation which Hastings accepts. On the way, John tells Hastings about his old stepmother’s recent remarriage to a much younger man who is disliked by everyone in the house. Hastings senses the hostility towards Mr. Alfred Inglethorp, Mrs. Emily Inglethorp’s younger husband and within a fortnight of his stay, witnesses several arguments in the household. A tragedy occurs when Mrs. Inglethorp is violently killed a few days later by way of strychnine poisoning.

The local police and Hastings unofficially employ the help of trusted friend Monsieur Hercule Poirot, a very famous Belgian detective now seeking refuge in Styles in his old age. Poirot loves a good mystery to exercise his little ‘gray cells’ and is a neat freak who likes order in his surroundings and thought. Despite several odd eccentricities that he is prone to display, Poirot is a very clever man who lets no small detail or information escape his mind.

Hastings is a man with much emotion yet little imagination. He is often baffled at the way Poirot’s overactive mind sees details that no one can see.  Poirot is a man with a method to his madness that only he can understand. Together, the two attempt to solve the mystery that has even got Scotland Yard involved.

The pairing of Poirot and Hastings is akin to Holmes and Watson, indeed the inspiration for the two has been derived from Doyle’s novels, but Christie’s writing style is her own. Her language is uncomplicated and timeless and her insight into human psychology makes for very interesting characterizations, each possessing their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. In fact, body language and expression play a very strong role in her novels.

What I love about Agatha Christie’s writing is her ability to keep the mystery alive till the very end. All the facts of the case are straightforward and laid bare on the table, making you think deeply along with the characters in the book. However, there is a purposeful enjoyment she derives in leading her readers astray. You think you have figured it out but the ending completely shocks you and you realise how far you had been thrown off track. This is a charming characteristic I have not seen in most mystery writing.

Despite my amateur attempts at sleuthing, I definitely did not guess the mystery right as expected, but I also wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending of this one. I have absolutely enjoyed her subsequent novels more than this first attempt. Having said that, I will definitely recommend anyone to read this book, just to get acquainted with Poirot and Hastings and see if they can solve the mystery.

Book Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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2015 Reading Challenge – Book #6 – One Night at the Call Center

Book #6 – A book you own but have never read before – One Night at the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 2005
Country: India

One Night At The Call Center by Chetan BhagatOne of my resolutions this year is to read more and more books by Indian authors which I am ashamed to say, I hardly read. Chetan Bhagat’s One Night at the Call Center, that had been lying unread in my bookcase for the longest time, was my first pick. Bhagat’s books have taken India by storm. But, let me just prick the Bhagatian bubble and say it. I don’t understand what the big hype surrounding his books is about. Admittedly, this is my first read by this author and might not have been the ideal choice to start off with but still.

Though, I must say, some of the movies based on his books have been better translated on screen. I enjoyed watching Three Idiots based on Five Point Someone, Bhagat’s first novel. The 3 Mistakes of my Life was converted visually into Kai Po Che which was a good film. Also, 2 States based on 2 States: The Story of my Marriage was kind of fun to watch, albeit dragging in some bits. The first two had good empowering story lines and I just might see myself reading these books to see if the movies were better or the books themselves.

However, Hello based on One Night at the Call Center was just an absolute disaster. The premise of this story goes through incidents that happen in one night at a call center. Six people who work in the night shift of a call center in India are all going through problems of their own. One particular night, they receive a very unusual phone call…..from none other than God Himself.

I don’t know where to really begin with reviewing this book. I really have mixed or rather, no feelings about this one. I liked how Bhagat started off before the beginning of this book by asking the reader to list one thing that a) you fear, b) makes you angry and c) you don’t like about yourself. I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I think this book is going to be interesting.”

The story highlights the problems that the youth of India working in call centers (or BPO’s) face – low wages, irate customers, greedy political bosses, no prospects of growth et cetera whilst also tackling issues that are predominantly increasing like arranged marriages with a “rich, well-settled NRI boy in America”, infidelity, casting-couch syndrome, ill-effects of globalization, the MTV pop-culture that has taken over the world, loss of nationalism and how Westernization has made everything about brands, elaborate lifestyles, eating unhealthy food, corruption of languages et cetera.

I wasn’t convinced entirely by this book. I didn’t like the way racism was tackled. Sure, it’s a fact that perfectly decent, hardworking people in call centers have a very tough time from their Western callers who often indulge in shameless name-calling but that just didn’t make it justifiable to retaliate and vent out in the same way.

This pity-party went on for 214 pages until God called and decided to intervene. This was a very interesting element but not cleverly written. It could have been a life-changing, moving experience causing you to rethink your own existence but it wasn’t. Sorry, just didn’t feel it.

I felt the rest of the book was a typical masala mix (a mixture of Indian spices). The sudden burst of courage that the six churned up to speak up against their evil boss and save their dying company from doom using some blackmail, some good ol’ fashioned Bollywood thappads and mukkas (slaps and punches) and then turning their own lives around for the better and proving themselves- all within a matter of a couple of hours aptly at the rise of dawn.

Again, this book didn’t do much for me. I wish the Indian empowerment element was handled in a better way. I would have loved to be inspired, to put down the book and think about it deeply afterwards but this was sadly lacking.

However, the good parts of the book were:

1. “You close your eyes for three minutes. Think about what you really want and what you need to change in your life to get it. Then, once you get out of here, act on those changes.”

2. “For once you taste failure, you have no fear.”

3. “The voice is easy to ignore – because you are distracted or busy or just too comfortable in life. Go on, ignore it – until you get tangled in your own web of comfort. And then you reach a point like today, where life brings you to a dead end, and there is nothing ahead but a dark hole.”

Book Rating: 2 stars out of 5.

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DayZero Project

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Have you heard of DayZero? It’s a neat little online community where you can set yourself 101 goals and challenges to accomplish in 1001 days. So that’s about 3 months short of 3 years to accomplish 101 goals that matter to you, no matter how infinitesimal or absolutely crazy they maybe.

I discovered it last November and set myself some goals from the prompts and suggestions provided and of course, promptly forgot about them. I remembered that the clock’s-a-ticking only a couple of weeks ago. I sat myself down and revised my goals list to things that really matter to me and that I can realistically achieve.

I keep looking at the list of 80-something goals I have set myself on DayZero (some very much achievable in the near future and some that I am absolutely not sure HOW I am going to accomplish them) but my job is not to worry about the how, it’s to set the wheels in motion. I’ve already started working on some of them. I’ve already spoken about using the law of attraction and the importance of creating a vision board to achieve your desires here.

I do not claim to be an expert in goal-setting at all, in fact I am going to be outright honest by saying that most of the goals I set out to accomplish in my 27 before 28 list are still pending but I will not give up. I have a good feeling about DayZero though, I think it will be a fun experience especially knowing that there are so many other like-minded goal setters on the same platform who you can follow and get some inspiration from.

I also like the fact that you are not under an immediate pressure to try to accomplish everything,  you have 1001 days and you can prioritize your list from the most important to the not-so-important.

Here are just a fraction of my goals I plan to achieve in the next 926 days (that’s how much time I have left to complete them, yikes!):

1. Blog at least 4 times a month.
2. Write letters to at least 5 people who inspired me in some way.
3. Watch 10 movies in French.
4. Go on a road trip.
5. Karaoke, at least once!
6. Write a letter to myself to be opened when the 1001 days are over.
7. Grow something from a seed.
8. Send a message in a bottle.
9. Refurnish my room.
10. Write a personal mission statement.

If you haven’t tried DayZero yet, do it. It’s so much of fun, maybe you just might end up changing those “Things you want to do someday” into “Things you have done”!

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2015 Reading Challenge – Book #5 – Attachments

Book #5 – A book with a love triangle – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Chicklit / Romance
Published: 2011
Country: USA

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I have never read anything by Rainbow Rowell before, not even Fangirl, the book that everyone is gushing about. But I sure wasn’t going to pass up any opportunity to read a light-hearted chicklit romance to remove the aftertaste of the previous book I’d read.

Attachments is set in Nebraska, in 1999, the year where every one was preparing themselves for the impending Y2K bug that was threatening to shut down the world. Our bashful, introverted hero Lincoln works the night shift at a daily newspaper in the IT department. His job is to read flagged down intra-office emails to check for offenders who might be sharing emails against company policy and issue them warnings. He really doesn’t like his work and the only bright side of his night is reading daily email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer, two daytime editorial staff, who share many details of their personal lives through emails.

Now Lincoln is not a creep taking advantage of his position. He is a genuinely decent human being who feels that he is a) getting paid to do nothing and b) invading people’s privacy through reading their mails. He thinks that reading bits and pieces about the girls’ lives is not only immoral but also not justified but he cannot seem to stop himself because he find two friends in Beth and Jennifer, two really funny, witty and yet kind and gentle souls, who he hasn’t met at all. Lincoln is also conflicted because he finds himself falling deeply in love with Beth who has been steady with her musician boyfriend for many years. He cannot see himself having an honest relationship with a girl he has never met before since he knows so many personal details about her already.

I loved this book. It had so much heart and dealt with a lot of emotional attachments (hence the title) – a mother-child relationship, a relationship between best friends, relationships between lovers and various other things as well.

You cannot help but but fall and feel for all the characters – every character seems real and flawed in so many ways. Lincoln is still bruised from a breakup that happened nine years ago and lives with his mother. He has trouble meeting new people due to the odd hours he works and lacks ambition and goals in his life, or even finding things that he is really good at.

Jennifer and Beth both have their fair share of problems too, which are cleverly mentioned in their humorously worded email exchanges. Jennifer’s husband wants to start a family but she wants nothing to do with kids and Beth doesn’t see any prospects of marriage and children in the future because of her emotionally unavailable boyfriend.

Now, I am a self proclaimed expert in the genre of chicklit/romance and would definitely recommend this book to anyone – lover of chicklit or not. This book is a great winter read, perfect for curling up with a hot chocolate and some soft music. I loved the use of clever metaphors and references of some of my favorite movies and actors. The book had me keeping up at night, wondering, “Will they? Won’t they?” and I couldn’t rest until I had read till the end. I was almost wishing that this gets made into a movie someday.

Some parts I loved from this book:

1. <<Jennifer to Beth>> At last? October is half over. And what’s in  October anyway?

<<Beth to Jennifer>> Not “what’s in,” what is. October. My favorite month. Which, by the way has only half begun.

Some find it melancholy. “October,” Bono sings, “and the trees are stripped bare….” Not I. There’s a chill in the air that lifts my heart and makes my hair stand on end. Every moment feels meant for me. In October,  I’m the star of my own movie – I hear the soundtrack in my head (right now, it’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”) – and I have faith in my own rising action.

I was born in February, but I come alive in October.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> You’re a nut.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> A hazelnut. A filbert. October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins.

O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!

2. <<Beth to Jennifer>> I think he just gets like this sometimes. Like he needs to pull away. I think of it like winter. During winter, it isn’t that the sun is gone (or cheating on you with some other planet). You can still see it in the sky. It’s just farther away.

3. <<Jennifer to Beth>> Oh, I love period dramas, especially period dramas starring Colin Firth. I’m like Bridget Jones if she were actually fat.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> Oh….Colin Firth. He should only do period dramas. And period dramas should only star Colin Firth (One star upgrade for Colin Firth. Two stars for Colin Firth in a waistcoat.)

<<Jennifer to Beth>> Keep typing his name, even his name is handsome.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> I think we’ve discovered the only guy we’d ever fight over at an airport bar. 

4. “So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”

 Book Rating: Definitely 5 stars out of 5.

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2015 Reading Challenge – Book #4 – The Five Red Herrings

Book#4 – A book with a colour in the title – The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers
Genre:
Murder Mystery/Crime
Published:
1931
Country:
United Kingdom
Film/TV Adaptations: Adapted for television in 1975. Available for viewing on YouTube.

The Five Red Herrings

The plot is deceptively simple – an unpopular town artist is murdered and suspicion falls upon six of his artist peers with whom he had several unpleasant encounters previously. Five of them are red herrings (or distractions) to keep the authorities from finding out who the real murderer is.

The setting is breathtaking. The adjacent towns of Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse of Fleet and Newton-Stewart with quaint cottages, rolling hills, ramshackle castles and rocky creeks which are part of the Galloway countryside in Scotland provide the handsome premises of the story.

In the beginning, we are introduced to a very drunk and arrogant Campbell in a local pub who provokes a fellow painter, leading to a physical brawl. Several other townsfolk who also find Campbell insufferable, bear witness to this disagreeable situation. Among the people present, is also Lord Peter Wimsey, an Englishman and a fairly newer member of the Galloway community.

The next afternoon brings some unfortunate news. Campbell is found dead by the river Minnoch, in the hills near Newton-Stewart. Luckily, a good old-fashioned mystery is right up Lord Peter Wimsey’s alley and he sets off gleefully in his large Daimler Double-Six to assist the local authorities in solving this case.

Despite the straightforward scenario, the book is utterly maddening, infuriating and exhausting to say the least.

Many difficult elements in this book made for a very laborious read. Too many things were happening at once, creating a tangled web of confusion. Train schedules and routes were so excessively mentioned that it became apparent that the author spent too much time at railway stations poring over train timetables rather than creating a lucid plot. Coupled with that were sudden disappearances of five of the six suspects and quite a few bicycles that dragged the story unnecessarily to the point of sheer frustration.

In fact, the author too shares the same opinion when a dialogue is shared between Wimsey and his faithful manservant.

“Bunter,” said Wimsey, “this case resembles the plot of a Wilkie Collins novel, in which everything happens just too late to prevent the story from coming to a premature happy ending.”

The heaviest use of Galloway slang and accent, although very intriguing in the beginning, slowed down the reading process considerably and I found myself reading these dialogues aloud (in what I considered to be a very good Scottish accent) to get the gist of the conversations.

Like an overcooked melange of conflicting textures and flavours, the involvement of too many characters than was crucial to the plot, completely spoiled the broth.  These included Wimsey, seven official investigators, six suspects and their families, friends, housekeeping staff, neighbours and several other witnesses. It seemed that the whole country was involved in this village mystery.

What was absolutely the last straw was when each official would reconstruct the crime each time a small clue was found and endless possibilities and theories were made to be proved. This must have easily happened at least 15 times in the whole novel. In the end, all seven of the officials and Wimsey gathered to tell their own versions of the sequence of events. It was like swimming through a muddy river with nothing in sight.

Sayers mentions in the beginning of the book that every place described is real (even the irksome train schedules). When Wimsey finds out about the murder, he sets off in his car to the scene of the crime, which is some distance away from the towns. His journey is through a beautiful part of the countryside but it was difficult for me to picturise it due to the overly-described sceneries to the point where I felt like a lost tourist. I felt it was necessary for me to be acquainted to some degree with what was being described about. Google came to my rescue and I found a blog post where the blogger had actually followed Wimsey’s journey in person and posted pictures of the same. You can find the blog post here. 

This book took me the LONGEST time to get through and to abandon it held a strong appeal. Several times I had the urge to press delete (since I was reading an ebook version) and start reading another one. However, since I had publicly declared it on Instagram that this would be my next read, I was determined to see this book through even though it literally put me to sleep each time.

This book is NOT an exciting page-turner in my opinion, in spite of the beauty of the locale and the plot. Google also tells me that many Dorothy fans share the same opinion that this wasn’t her best work.

Some of my favourite parts of the novel, including a lovely typically English breakfast description are:

1. It was a marvellous day in late August, and Wimsey’s soul purred within him as he pushed the car along. The road from Kirkcudbright to Newton-Stewart is of a varied loveliness hard to surpass, and with a sky full of bright sun and rolling cloud-banks, hedges filled with flowers, a well-made road, a lively engine and the prospect of a good corpse at the end of it, Lord Peter’s cup of happiness was full. He was a man who loved simple pleasures.

2. ‘It depends on how clever you are,’ replied Wimsey, coolly. ‘You remember Poe’s bit about that in The Purloined Letter. A very stupid murderer doesn’t bother about an alibi at all. A murderer one degree cleverer says, “If I am to escape suspicion I must have a good alibi.” But a murderer who was cleverer still might say to himself, “Everyone will expect the murderer to provide a first-class alibi; therefore, the better my alibi, the more they will suspect me. I will go one better still; I will provide an alibi which is obviously imperfect. Then people will say that surely, if I had been guilty, I should have provided a better alibi. If I were a murderer myself, that is what I should do.” ’

3. After a further interval came a large and steaming tea-pot, a home-baked loaf, a plate of buns, a large pat of butter and two sorts of jam. Finally, the landlady reappeared, escorting the ham and eggs in person.

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2015 Reading Challenge – Book #3 – My Point…..And I Do Have One

Book#3 – A memoir – My Point…And I Do Have One by Ellen Degeneres
Genre:
Memoir/Humour
Published:
1995
Country:
USA

My Point...And I Do Have One

Before I start writing this review, let me begin by saying how much I love Ellen. No scratch that. I ADORE her. To bits.

But then, who doesn’t? She is such a lovable human being with an amazing positive vibe, always doing so much for everyone and encouraging kindness and compassion in others by honoring them on her show. She really is “Ellen The Generous”.

And that is why when I came across Ellen’s memoir while researching for other memoirs, I figured “Why not?”. She is the most fun-loving and interesting celebrity in the industry and her first memoir would probably give me some inspiration.

Though once I started reading it, I changed my mind. It seems that there was really not much point to the memoir and it is Ellen’s sarcasm at her best when she titled it the way she did. The book is really about nothing in particular. It is simply a product of her over-imaginative mind. You know how when you wake up in the morning and remember last night’s dream, only the dream made no sense because it wasn’t sequential, had no coherence and was a mishmash of jumbled dialogues, random people you know and all put together in an improbable and weird situation? Well, that pretty much sums up this book.

Also, you know when you have random thoughts jumping around in your monkey mind with incessant chatter going in your head and sometimes you even talk to yourself? Yeah, well, this book is exactly that.

Ranging from psychics to talking birds and their psychiatrists, this book is a complete goofball. Actually, none of the jokes in the book (and the book is all about the jokes) are that funny on paper, they would have translated better on stage with Ellen’s comical expressions. So basically, this book is just a stand-up comedy script that accidentally got published.

I had to take so many breaks and at many points, felt like abandoning the book but I felt I should at least give it a chance for the sake of the reading challenge.

I know that it wouldn’t be fun if the book was too serious but I would have liked to draw a line somewhere between imagination and reality. It would have been nice to find out more about her background, and the scanty little there is has been shrouded in a very thick veil by more comedy.

Although, in brief instances, she made complete sense. I loved the chapter on how a person has to look a certain way because of societal pressures and that no one in the whole wide world has the right to tell you how you should look. Also, bits of the chapter on animals and how much she loves them and doesn’t condone animal testing are great.

I am no one to judge a person by the book they’ve written though. There could be thousands out there who must have loved it. Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I still stand by what I said earlier – I love Ellen. No scratch that. I ADORE her. To bits. She is my favourite (celebrity) person and from what I see, everyone’s best friend. No airs about her, just a wonderful ability to make people happy and brighten up their days with her twinkling blue eyes and wide smile.

I guess the whole point of the book – the one she did have – was that life is definitely not to be taken too seriously. Look at her, she made a whole living by taking hers with a pinch of salt.

A few quotes from the book:

1. Cures for Hiccups: While holding your breath (or the breath of the person standing next to you), swallow three thousand times. Immediately shampoo your hair, but don’t use conditioner. Repeat.

Hold a kitten on your lap and pet it gently on its little head while singing any song by Air Supply (except from their first album).

2. I remember once, I met a guy while I was camping and we got along great. We were married two years before I realized he was a grizzly bear.

3. I do believe, though, that most animal testing is improper. If you want to test cosmetics, why do it on some poor animal who hasn’t done anything wrong? They should use prisoners who have been convicted of murder or rape instead. So, rather than seeing if some perfume irritates a bunny rabbit’s eyes, they should throw it in Charles Manson’s eyes and ask him if it hurts.

I am not sure if I am quite ready to read her other two books yet. Maybe I’ll leave them for another day.

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Of Books and New Year Resolutions

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2015 is here and the first week of January is already over. Why is time in such a hurry?

This year, one of my new year resolutions is to expand my horizons and get out of my comfort zone. In every way possible that I can. I remain resolute to saying YES to life’s various experiences and not limit myself in anyway possible. After all, this is my year. I can already feel it.

One of the challenges that I have undertaken upon myself is to read a variety of books that I wouldn’t ordinarily read. I am not proud to admit that I have been reading all the wrong kinds of books all these years. They have been safe, comforting, repetitive and not very imaginative. I haven’t even read the unabridged versions of so many classics that I love. But there you have it, I have even set a boundary for myself in terms of my imagination and where it can take me. Not what the doctor ordered at all.

So trashy books, step aside. Here is the 2015 Popsugar Reading Challenge that will hopefully empower me with more meaning in my life.

2015 reading challenge

I haven’t decided on all the books that I will read from this challenge and will definitely want recommendations from anyone who can help me decide. However, so far I have come up with the following:

1. A book with more than 500 pages. The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

2. A classic romanceLavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed

3. A book that became a movieI Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. I have already seen the movie adaptation before and you can find my review of the film here.

4. A book published this year. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

5. A book with a number in its titleThree Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

6. A book written by someone under 30. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (This book is in my list despite the fact that it is ghostwritten by someone else.)

7. A book with nonhuman characters. Watership Down by Richard Adams

8. A funny bookThe Man With Two Left Feet and other stories by P.G.Wodehouse

9. A book by a female authorCarrie Pilby by Caren Lissner

10. A mystery or thrillerThe Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri

11. A book with a one-word titleDracula by Bram Stoker

12. A book of short storiesIn a Little Town by Rupert Hughes Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

13. A book set in a different country. 

14. A nonfiction bookNo Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh

15. A popular author’s first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K.Rowling)

17. A book a friend recommendedFifty Shades of Grey by E.L.James (NOT looking forward to this one but Nicole this one’s for you! 🙂 )

18. A Pulitzer Prize-Winning book – The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford

19. A book based on a true story. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer 

20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list. There’s a Hippie on the Highway by James Hadley Chase

21. A book your mom loves. Since my mom doesn’t read books in English, I’m going to take up a book that my dad loves which is The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

22. A book that scares you. 

23. A book more than 100 years oldAnne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

24. A book based entirely on its cover. My Nine Lives by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Poor Little Rich Slum by Rashmi Bansal and Deepak Gandhi

25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

26. A memoirMy Point…..And I Do Have One by Ellen Degeneres

27. A book you can finish in a day. Just William by Richmal Crompton

28. A book with antonyms in the titleNight and Day by Virginia Woolf

29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit – The Aspern Papers by Henry James

30. A book that came out the year you were born – The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler (1985)

31. A book with bad reviews.

32. A trilogy.  The Perfect Trilogy (Almost Perfect, Just Perfect and Too Perfect) by Julie Ortolon

33. A book from your childhood.  The Three Investigators – The Secret of Terror Castle by Robert Arthur

34. A book with a love triangle. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

35. A book set in the future. All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

36. A book set in high school. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

37. A book with a colour in the title. The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers

38. A book that made you cry. 

39. A book with magic. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis

40. A graphic novel. Blankets by Craig Thompson

41. A book by an author you’ve never read before The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie by Alan Bradley

42. A book you own but have never read.  One Night at the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat

43. A book that takes place in your hometown. I have been looking high and low for a book that is set in my hometown or broadly even in my state but alas, without success! So for this category, I decided to select a book set in my country (haha!). Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

44. A book that was originally written in a different language The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

45. A book set during Christmas. 

46. A book written by an author with your same initials. Surrogate by Tim Adler

47. A playThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

48. A banned book. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

49. A book based on or turned into a TV showPride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

50. A book you started but never finished. Goals! by Brian Tracy

The books I’ve mentioned in the list above are all I have never ever read before. I have been reading books in no particular order from this list. So far I have finished two of them and now onto my third. I’ll be posting reviews to keep up with the exciting challenge. 52 books (the two additional ones are part of the trilogy!) in 365 days. Let’s do this!

Update: Any titles that have been stricken through are books I no longer wish to include in my challenge. Replacement titles will be added.

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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So Sorry!

Wow, its May and my last post was in August 2013!! I have been neglecting this blog completely! My time has been taken up maintaining my other Vegan and GlutenFree blog Desperately Vegan and I feel really bad about neglecting this one!

In about a month’s time, I shall have finished my Masters education and will be free to be more regular at posting things, getting into some sort of workable lifestyle routine for myself and hoping to complete all the goals which I set for myself last year around this time ! Yikes!!

I shall utter a word no more.

Cheers!

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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