Friday, August 28, 2015

French Literature Recommendations


Hi, everyone! Today, I have decided to recommend to you a few French books that I read while pursuing my Masters in the language, with literature as my specialisation. I consider myself very lucky to have come across and read some literary marvels during my studies of two years. All the books mentioned are not necessarily French. Some of them are books I used for reference and sometimes even for light background reading. Whatever the case, I will be sharing both, the French and English editions of the books as I believe our blog readers majorly fall read in the latter category. Also, these are just few books. If you'd like to take a look at more French books, you can check out my Goodreads French Literature shelf to know all the French books I have read either as part of my course or otherwise. Here is my list, in no particular order: 

En attendant Godot or Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett- 
 

Wow. This play speaks volumes about human nature and it speaks of hope. Beckett has written a lovely play that will make you laugh and cry, all at once. 


L'étranger or The Stranger by Albert Camus- 

My review of the book can be found here

L'étranger came to me at the perfect time. It was very easy for me to relate to the protagonist Meursault, who does not just represent a man of the 20th century war stricken world, but also each and every one of us, in some way or the other. Camus is a true genius and the way he has crafted Meursault is admirable and real. 


Neige or Snow by Maxence Fermine-  
 

This is the prettiest book I have read. Fremine's writing is absolutely magical, especially when you start paying close attention to all the minute details. Neige will make you fall in love. On top of all that, this is a weekend or day/ night long leisure read. 

Je l'aimais or Someone I Loved by Anna Gavalda- 
 

Gavalda's contemporary writing paints a cracking picture of the modern French woman. The book has been adapted into a movie as well. So if not the book, I would definitely recommend watching the movie which is quite similar to the book. 


 

La petite fille de Monsieur Linh is a wonderful story that didn't appeal to me at first, but that has found a place in my heart. This is one of those books that make you appreciate it more every time you think of it. It is so good that it can bring tears to your eyes. 


Incendies or Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad- 
 

The. Best. Play. Ever. And. The. Most. Mind. Blowing. Story. Ever. This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It will shatter you to pieces. It will break your heart. It will tear you apart. And when a book does all that, it is bound to be a gem that's to be preserved. 


You can read my review of it here


Andromaque by Racine- 

Racine's writing is so beautiful that he makes Greek tragedies sound like the most melodious poetry you've ever read. I was awestruck by the beauty of his poetry as well as the interesting tale that is Greek mythology. 


Orientalism by Edward Said- 

Said's realistic, intellectual and powerful thesis makes for a very interesting read that contributes to some major thought-process. This book changed the way I look at the world. It is an absolute must-read. 


Le deuxième sexe or The Second Sex  by Simone de Beauvoir- 



I haven't read the whole book; I only read those parts that were pertinent to my work. But from those few parts alone, I can confidently say the following: Simone de Beauvoir's discourse on feminism is so brilliant that it acts as the basic level or beginners course for the field. There is so much of truth and passion in this book that it is to feminism or womanism what the Bible is to Christianity. 

I really hope this was helpful for you, and I also hope that you consider reading some or all of these books. If you do, make sure you let me know your thoughts as I'm always up for bookish talk. 


Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review- Pawn by Aimee Carter

Summary-

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Review-

I have read a number of young adult dystopians but I cannot say that it is my all time favourite genre or anything. Pawn looked like an interesting read and I picked it up because I got a great deal on it. Pawn for me, was a good read because I had absolutely no expectations out of it. It didn't blow my mind away nor did it make me want to throw the book across the room.

Kitty Doe is our heroine. In Kitty's world everyone is classified according to a number in society and each number has a particular job to do. When Kitty's turn comes she is a 3 which is not good at all. So begins her journey and how she gets entangled up in politics and a rebellion, so much bigger than she could have ever imagined.

I found Kitty to be an okay heroine. I didn't completely like all her actions but I could see why she was doing it. Kitty also soon gets Masked, that means she is fully changed to look like a member of the most powerful political family. I found this whole process to be a bit unreal and it went way too fast in the book. Kitty adjusted too quickly and again, I didn't find it quite believable.

There is no love triangle in Pawn but there are some hints of it. The book does not focus on the romance but it is going on in the background. I found nothing great about either of the guys so they were pretty average. What I did find interesting was the Hart family. That family was messed up big time and it was interesting to see the lengths people will go to, to stay in power. 

I liked the few twists we got. They could be a bit expected but they still pushed the book forward and kept it from being the same old. I did read Pawn because I own it and though there is a lot left unsaid at the end of the book I cannot say that I will pick up the next book right away. It didn't reel me in that much. Pawn was an okay read.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #135

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Summary-

In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…

Some things you just believe in, even if you've never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It's out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she's got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph's eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick's self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he's knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she's building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can't walk away. Not when she's the only one who's ever made him wish for forever . . .
 

I have been following this series religiously and I am curious to see Nick and Stephanie's story.
What are you waiting on? :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #59

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: 

top ten books that would be on your syllabus if you taught ya contemporary 101

Here's my list-

  

  

  

  

  

What are your picks? :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review- None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Goodreads Summary:

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?


REVIEW:

None of the Above sounded very interesting to me when I first came across the book. A devotee of stories with LGBT characters, I started reading the book without much expectation, and I was pleasantly surprised. None of the Above turned out to be a really good and fresh story that I totally devoured. What struck me as most wonderful about None of the Above was the importance it gave- and in tune, the awareness it created- about gender issues. It created a deeper understanding about the problem that essentially leads to someone being called intersex or hermaphrodrite or transgender. 

None of the Above is the story of Kristin, who lost her beautiful mother to cervical cancer at the age of ten, and lives with her strong and sweetheart father. She is a runner and for her, running is breathing. After having a severely painful experience the first time she and her boyfriend get intimate, she books an appointment with a gynaecologist. What is revealed to Kristin there changes her life forever. 

Krissy was a well developed protagonist from whose point of view the entire book goes in first person. Her journey to discover her identity and find herself was such a pleasant ride, filled with emotion. From a popular, fun-loving and sweet girl, she goes on to become the subject of ridicule at her high school, simply because no societal definition of normal is good enough to describe her. What was best about Kristin that author I. W. Gregorio absolutely nailed (along with her fantastic writing) was some fabulous character development. 

The secondary characters in None of the Above were just as beautifully portrayed as Krissy. Each person had flaws which only made them realistic. Every one of them has an important role to play in making the story more about family, friendship and love which actually help one come to terms with oneself in any case, and that was an outstanding feature about this book. A surprisingly good read, I really enjoyed this book that doesn't just recount a story, but leaves one thinking about the issue that gender is made to be. 
RATING:




Friday, August 21, 2015

Feature Follow Friday #65


Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

This week's question is: 

If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you pick? Fictional ones count too!

My answer:

I do not remember of a time when we did not have a pet dog at home. I love pets and we currently have a pet dog whom I love immensely. 

I have no idea how my real pet would react, but if I am to add more pets to the list, I'd love to have an owl, a white wolf and an unicorn. I know. I dream big, but that's the whole point. *winks* 

 



What pet would you like to have? Link me up to your posts in the comments. Happy Friday, and happy reading, everyone! 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review- Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover

Summary-

Welcome to the Point

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realise that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

Review-

I have read Rule and Jet by Jay Crownover and they were pretty average for me and that is the reason I didn't bother picking up the rest of the series. But then recently I had been hearing a lot of buzz around the Welcome to the Point series by Jay Crownover so I decided to give her books one more chance. I am glad I decided to read Better When He's Bad because I enjoyed it.

So Shane Bax, our hero has just gotten out of prison after a five year stint. He is one of the bad guys and not in the sense that he has good inside. He is hard and has always been on the wrong side of the law. At first, I didn't like Bax at all. I felt he was too reckless and stupid. But after he meets Dovie and we start seeing what she sees in him we kinda start understanding him. Bax kinda grew on me by the end of the book.

Then we have Dovie. Dovie is Bax's best friend's half sister. She is a girl who knows all about the hard life but still she works hard to meet ends meet. Despite all the bad surrounding her Dovie has remained untouched and innocent. I really liked Dovie. Though she was portrayed as the good girl she was brave and not afraid to stand up against Bax. 

Bax and Dovie could not be more opposite if they tried. I have to admit I was not very convinced of them in the beginning. I was not entirely convinced of the book in the beginning, but soon I liked their chemistry. Things really started moving for me after about 30% and that's when I started rooting for Dovie and Bax.

I also really liked meeting the myriad of characters which make up the Point. Each one is broken because of the world surrounding them but we still get glimpses of good once in a while. While I cannot say Better When He's Bad was an exceptional read, I enjoyed the start of the new series and I hope to read more from Jay Crownover.