Little women

By Louisa May Alcott

I came across this book accidently in a book fair. The cover contained 4 ladies of different age groups dressed in 16th century simple clothes. The next thing I did was to go to the library and issue this book. I also came to know that Louisa May Alcott is one of the classic American authors.

The story is about 4 sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. All have different individual personalities and dreams. They come from a simple family. Their parents Mr and Mrs March try to bring up the sisters with best values yet give them the freedom to follow their wishes. Jo is the rebellion of the family. The story shows how a middle class family overcomes its problems by staying togather. The togatherness which makes every event special just makes one realize the importance of staying close to family. The family also faces the tragedy of losing one of the sisters as Beth falls sick and dies. Again coming out of such an event togather is something most of us can relate to. There are other characters like the rich boy in their neighbourhood Laurie. His attraction towards Jo shows infatuations of adolescence. How he gets motivated from the upbringing of the four sisters shows the influence of positivity. The way the sisters change as they mature is brilliant.

On the whole this is a beautiful story and the language is simple. Most of us would relate to one or the other sister. There is something to take for everyone. Even a movie has been made on it. It is a must for everyone from the age group of 11 years and above. So if you are going for a long journey then this is just the right book. As its a classic, it will also make an amazing gift.

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Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson

If there is one book which can keep an adventure loving reader hooked, it has to be Treasure Island by R.L.Stevenson. As the name indicates it is based on a voyage motivated by presence of treasure. The whole story is narrated by Jim Hawkins who is an important part.

Jim Hawkins runs a seaside motel “Admiral Benbow” with his father. One fine day a mysterious sailor comes to stay at their place. He keeps on speaking about his mates and some tresure. Within a few days some sea pirates come looking for him and threaten him which leads to his death. Jim finds a map in his belongings and takes it to the magistrate. They realize its a treasure map and that leads to a voyage in the hunt of the treasure. They get a ship Hispaniola. The interesting part happens when the different members of the ship enter the story. Most memorable is Long John Silver. He is very tall, one legged with a large face. He is described as a merry man. The author has added further life to him by his language in which he keeps on singing “fifteen men on the dead man’s chest, yo ho-ho and a bottle of rum”. They reach the island and a new struggle begins where many die.

The story has all the elements like treachery, murder, backstabbing, greed, honesty which makes a thriller. One has to pay more attention when the sailors speak as their dialect is different but that makes the book even more interesting. This is one book which you cannot leave if you start reading so if you are planning to read while travelling to and from work, think again. If you are going for that long journey this is the best companion. It is also an amazing story to tell your kids. This book will also make a great gift to anyone. So the next time you see it on the shelves of the library just get it and start reading.

Underworld

By Catherine Macphail

There is a saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but sometimes there is something in the title and cover of the book that I can’t resist reading it. Luckily these books often turn out to be interesting. This same thing happened when I came across this book in a shop. The cover shows a man standing in a cave which gave a glimpse of some mystery and adventure. It is an adventure in a school outing.

The story begins with a description of a normal day in a school. It describes all the central characters like the bully Axel, Fiona with a sharp tongue, ideal prefix Zeshan, smart yet silent Liam and the chubby ever smiling Angie. At any normal time these people would hardly come togather without any friction which is a major problem to the teacher Mr. Marks. The author has nicely displayed the reason for their dislike for each other which is a result of their secret admiration. The story takes a turn when they go to a school outing in a cave and a landslide occurs while they are inside. They unite inspite of their differences for the ultimate goal survival. The events that follow keep the reader at the edge of their seats. The story nicely shows no one is perfect and everyone has personal problems. Also it is not always the phisically strong is the hero.

The fonts are large which makes the book readable at any place. Infact I got so engrossed that I was unable to leave it even for meals. This book is fine for all age groups above 12. It can be read on a long journey as well as while travelling to and from work. So if you are looking for a nice adventure on a lazy sunday afternoon, this is the choice.

The New Life

By Orhan Pamuk

It is said that the author’s biodata often influences a reader’s choice. This definitely happened with me when I ended up buying this book. I bought this book because its written by an author who is a nobel laureate.

This is a story based in Turkey. The central character Osman gets a book because he sees it in the the hands of a girl Janan, he felt attracted to. His life changed the moment he started reading it. He is unable to concentrate on anything. It seems that the book engulfs Osman as he reads it. He follows the girl to different places she goes. Janan in turn is in love with someone else and starts following him. They move through different towns. In theri journey they meet people who lament on the closure of local brands due to competition from international ones. The description of the places has been done nicely. The book ends on a pessimistic note.

The language is simple but the sentences are too long. Also the narration is slow hence the attention of the reader is often lost. For an average reader who reads for amusement, this is not the right choice. Same is the case for those who read while travelling to and from work as well as for long journeys. Also it may not be a good gift. But yes if you read to enhance your vocabulary then this can be considered.

The magic of thinking big

By David J. Schwartz

This is a self help book which i found in my mother’s collection.The cover page is nicely designed with the keyword “BIG” highlighted in the title. It is this cover which got my attention and got me reading.

This book is based on identifying weaknesses in oneself and working towards getting rid of them. It also deals with the subject of preparing oneself towards attainment of goals. The book begins with the definition of success and then moves towards generating a positive attitude to achieve it. It then proceeds to identify the factors which deter a person like giving excuses, blaming luck, etc. The author has given a number of exercises to generate a positive attitude. One thing which remained in my mind was the fact that the book also mentioned about failures. In spite of positive attitude, perseverence and hardwork one may fail, yet one should not give up but take lessons from failure and move on. The author described it as a detour.

The author also stresses for a need to have future plans and work towards them. These plans need not be only for work but also family.The book has nicely mentioned that a goal can be achieved only if the family also supports it thereby emphasizing the importance of giving time to ones near and dear ones. Its a self help book so I would suggest that you should take it only if you wish to change the monotony of present. Its a great gift appropriate for all age groups. This may not be a very good choice for a long journey but rather if you are planning any competitive exam then this is the choice.

SomeOne Like You

By Nikita Singh and Durjoy Datta

I was looking for light fiction when I came accross this book. The cover, with its cream colored heart on a green background, itself says its a story of a girl. The story revolves around a small town girl Niharika.

Again like most urban authors, she too joins an engineering college. Here I liked some of the jokes like the best icebreaker among first year students is their IIT preparation. She has been a bookworm all her life and her sister transforms her into a beautiful girl just before starting college. She wishes to have a nice boyfriend like her sister. In her pursuit she falls for the wrong guy. The authors have given nice descriptions of her friends Tanmay, the small town football loving guy and Pia, the sophisticated rich girl with a golden heart. She also comes accross Karthik who is a senior. Her experiences in mess and hostel are hilarious. She goes through a lot of events and ultimately finds her true love.

This is the story for nice spicy serial. The characters are few and well defined. I was expecting the authors to give more towards the end of her engineering studies. After a hard day’s work, if you are reading for entertainment, then this is the book. The language is simple and the fonts are large. It can be taken on a long journey. This would be good for a library but not as a gift.

The Diary of Anne Frank

By Anne Frank

This is the diary of a Jew girl, Anne Frank, who died during the Second World War. This is one of the most famous books on war. It was in a Radio broadcast that Anne heard diaries of World War II victims will be published and she seriously started writing this diary.

Anne belonged to a Jew family of Germany. Her father Otto Frank, was a businessman. During world war her family moved from Germany to Holland. Again when Germany invaded Holland in 1940, Otto Frank foresaw the risk to Jews and so found a place to hide with his family. It was at the top and back of a building that served as a warehouse. His wife and two daughters Anne and Margot, best friend Mr. Van Daan, Mrs. Van Daan and their 15 year old son Peter. They also invited a dentist Albert Dussel. The diary mentions the daily issues when people come to stay togather, the effect the fear of getting caught has on them and the trauma of giving up everything to save one’s life. Also her feelings towards Peter displays the feelings an adolescant faces. The book ends on a sad note when they are found.

It is true Anne didn’t survive to see the ultimate success of the book but she will always live through her work. In fact her school is known after her and there is an Anne Frank Foundation which works towards future by helping to promote better understanding among young people from every part of the world. Anne had made a wish “I want to go on living even after my death”. Her wish has definitely come true. The takeaway was never to give up on your dreams no matter how big they are. The writing style is simple yet effective. It is an amazing book to gift. This can be read anywhere from a long journey to daily travelling for work.