The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

thepictureofdoriangrayTitle: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author: Oscar Wilde

ISBN-10:  1515190994

ISBN-13: 978-1515190998

Paperback: 140 pages

The Plot:

At eighteen, the handsome Dorian Gray has his portrait painted, which prompts an admirer, Lord Henry Wotton, to declare that life is nothing without beauty and sensuous gratification.

Suddenly scared of growing old and ugly, Dorian makes the fateful wish that the painted image should age rather than himself. Then – fearless of the consequences – he launches on a life of excess and depravity.

Wilde’s cautionary tale, published in 1891, describes how every sin that Dorian commits is reflected in the portrait. The painting is banished to his attic, where the image finally becomes so loathsome that Dorian tries to destroy it.

Review:

The Picture of Dorian Gray is written by Oscar Wilde. Need I say more? I found the concept of the book intriguing and that is what made me pick up this book initially. I enjoyed the character of Henry Wotton and his sense of humor the most. The end was not something I was expecting but made the read even better.

What I loved about the book is right from the get go it is witty and charming and makes you take some time out and think. Every line is like poetry. Some sections were so beautiful that I kept re-reading them and marveling at the language. Overall I loved it and it has become one of my favourite books and so I highly recommend it!

Links:

Buy the Book From: https://www.amazon.com/Picture-Dorian-Gray-Oscar-Wilde/dp/1515190994

Find Out More About the Author: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde

Find Out More About the Movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037988/

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The Hundred Secret Senses – Amy Tan

Titlethehundredsecretsenses: The Hundred Secret Senses

Author: Amy Tan

ISBN-10:  0143119087

ISBN-13: 978-0143119081

Paperback: 368 pages

The Plot:

Olivia Yee is only five years old when Kwan, her seventeen-year-old-half-sister from China, comes to live with the family and turns her world upside down. She is bombarded day and night with Kwan’s stories from the world of Yin – romantic tales of ghosts who were once bandit maidens, strange accounts of missionaries and mercenaries from another world. Olivia just wants to lead a normal American life.

For the next thirty years, Olivia unhappily endures visits from Kwan and her ghosts, who appear in the living world to offer advice on everything from restaurants to Olivia’s failed marriage. But just when Olivia cannot bear it anymore, the revelations of a tragic, hundred-year-old family secret gives her the opportunity to reconcile these ghosts from the past with the dreams of her future…

With a sharp eye for the tragi-comedy of those whose lives are caught between two cultures, Amy Tan weaves an extraordinary and inspiring tale. In prose which blends the deceptive simplicities of fairy tales with vivid characterisation and a sly, poignant humour, she proves once again that she has no rivals – Amy Tan is the quintessential storyteller.

Review:

Another amazing book by Amy Tan. A beautify story narrated equally well with a mix of humour and emotion, it was an amazing read. Parts of it made me chuckle while parts were heartbreaking. I loved the characters, especially Kwan and her stories of distant lands and times.

As with her previous novels that I have read, ‘The Valley of Amazement’ and ‘Saving Fish From Drowning’, what I loved about this book was the way the story of the characters comes full circle, making the end all the more satisfying. A highly recommended read!

Links:

Buy the Book From: https://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Secret-Senses-Novel/dp/0143119087

Find Out More About the Author: https://www.amytan.net/

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

The 100 Year Old ManTitle : The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared

Author : Jonas Jonasson

ISBN-10 :  1401324649

ISBN-13 : 978-1401324643

Paperback : 400 pages

The Plot :

A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over . . .

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

Review :

A hilarious read! I loved it from the very first page until the end. The main characters are so distinctly culled out and make such an impression. There were moments where I laughed out loud and for the rest I was chuckling. What I loved most were the cameos by some of the most powerful political figures on the century and how well it was woven into the plot line. All in all it’s a wonderful escapist read.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/100-Year-Old-Man-Climbed-Window-Disappeared/dp/1401324649/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1441247739&sr=1-1

Find Out More About the Author : http://jonasjonasson.com/

Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

LITOCTitle : Love in the Time of Cholera

Author : Gabriel Garcia Marquez

ISBN-10 :  0307389731

ISBN-13 : 978-0307389732

Paperback : 368 pages

The Plot :

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

Review :

I have been meaning to read this book for quite some time, and I finally managed to read it and it did not disappoint. I quite enjoyed the story spread across more than five decades. The author has a very unique style of writing that makes you feel he is sitting right beside you narrating the story.

I loved the subtle humour and the plot as a whole. The characters are quirky and the story as a whole is very readable. All in all I enjoyed the book.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Love-Time-Cholera-Oprahs-Book/dp/0307389731

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1982/marquez-bio.html

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0484740/

Deception Point – Dan Brown

Deception PointTitle : Deception Point

Author : Dan Brown

ISBN-10: 1416524800

ISBN-13 : 978-1416524809

Paperback : 752 pages

The Plot :

A shocking scientific discovery. A conspiracy of staggering brilliance. A thriller unlike any you’ve ever read….

When a NASA satellite discovers an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory — a victory with profound implications for NASA policy and the impending presidential election. To verify the authenticity of the find, the White House calls upon the skills of intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic scholar Michael Tolland, Rachel travels to the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery — a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy. But before she can warn the president, Rachel and Michael are ambushed by a team of assassins. Fleeing for their lives across a desolate and lethal landscape, their only hope for survival is to discover who is behind this masterful plot. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.

Review :

Another thriller by Dan Brown, that moves at a break neck pace. The story is fantastical yet believable. This book has his trademark mix of hateful and likable characters. It is different from I his other works yet has his stamp all over it. I turn to a Dan Brown when I want to be totally immersed and lost in a story and this book was ideal for it. Overall, I loved the book. Highly recommended.

Links:

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Deception-Point-Dan-Brown/dp/1416524800

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.danbrown.com

The Hours – Michael Cunningham

The HoursTitle : The Hours

Author : Michael Cunningham

ISBN-10 :  0312243022

ISBN-13 : 978-0312243029

Paperback : 240 pages

The Plot :

Michael Cunningham draws on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters who are struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.

The novel opens with an evocation of Woolf’s last days before her suicide in 1941, and moves to the stories of two modern American women who are trying to make rewarding lives for themselves in spite of the demands of friends, lovers and family.

With rare ease and assurance, Cunningham makes the two women’s lives converge with Virginia Woolf’s in an unexpected and heartbreaking way. As the Novel jump-cuts through the twentieth century, every line resonates with Cunningham’s clear, strong, surprisingly lyrical contemporary voice.

Review :

Having seen the movie before reading the book, I had great expectations for it, and it truly lived up to all the high hopes. The story beautifully transitions between these women spread across eras. The common thread that runs through the three stories is Virginia Woolf’s book ‘Mrs Dalloway’.

For me, this was one of the rare books that had me dumbfounded and thinking for long after I had finished it. A quick one sitting read, but with such a deep meaning, this is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. Highly recommended!

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Hours-Novel-Michael-Cunningham/dp/0312243022

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.michaelcunninghamwriter.com/

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274558/

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

The GoldfinchTitle : The Goldfinch

Author : Donna Tartt

ISBN-10 :  0316055433

ISBN-13 : 978-0316055437

Paperback : 775 pages

The Plot :

Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, miraculously survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is bewildered by his new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years he clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the criminal underworld.

As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. Alienated and in love – and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey, through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph – a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

Review :

This has to be, by far one of my favourite books so far. The story is heart wrenching and hauntingly beautiful. It is written beautifully and leaves such a lasting impression. The characters are so distinct and human that you can’t help feel for them. What I liked best about the book was how beautifully it ended. There were small parts where I felt the character was rambling and could have been cut from the book but overall, I think it was an amazing read. Highly recommended.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Goldfinch-Novel-Pulitzer-Fiction/dp/0316055433

Find Out More About the Author : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Tartt

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3864056/

The Sands Of Time – Sidney Sheldon

sands of timeTitle : The Sands Of Time

Author : Sidney Sheldon

ISBN-10 : 0688065716

ISBN-13 : 978-0688065713

Paperback : 412 pages

The Plot :

Spain. A land of eternal passion and unceasing bloodshed. From the vengeance of a pitiless tyrant, four women flee the sacred, once-safe walls of a convent: LUCIA, the proud survivor harbouring a murderous secret from the savage clan wars of Sicily…GRACIELLA, the beauty still unpurged of guilt from one reckless, youthful sin…MEGAN, the orphan seeking perilous refuge in the arms of a defiant Basque rebel…and TERESA, the believer haunted by a faith that mocks her with silence. Leaving innocence but not hope behind, they venture into an alien, dazzling world, where each will encounter an unexpected destiny — and the truth about herself.

Review :

I have been a long-time fan of Sidney Sheldon and so I decided to re-read this book. It did not disappoint. As always his plot line and characters are rich and the book kept me glued to it from start to finish. A quick read, it is full of excitement. It is a classic Sidney Sheldon. A definite must read for anyone who enjoys his writing. This would indeed make an amazing movie!

Links:

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Sands-Time-Sidney-Sheldon/dp/0688065716/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/sidneysheldon/books.html

 

Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

Angels and DemonsTitle : Angels and Demons

Author : Dan Brown

ISBN-10: 0743486226

ISBN-13 : 978-0743486224

Paperback : 572 pages

The Plot :

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction. An unthinkable target. When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to his first assignment to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol — seared into the chest of a murdered physicist — he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati…the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy — the Catholic Church.

Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican’s holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair…a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

Critics have praised the exhilarating blend of relentless adventure, scholarly intrigue, and cutting wit found in Brown’s remarkable thrillers featuring Robert Langdon. An explosive international suspense, Angels & Demons marks this hero’s first adventure as it careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.

Review :

This is the first novel of the Robert Langdon series which introduces us to the Harvard professor of Symbology. Like any Dan Brown thriller, it is fast paced and very very addictive. It is what I would call a genuine page turner. It sucks you in from the first page and leads to an amazing climax. Over all highly recommended.

Links:

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Demons-Dan-Brown/dp/0743486226/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.danbrown.com

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808151/

Angel Of The Dark – Tilly Bagshawe

Angel of the darkTitle : Angel Of The Dark

Author : Tilly Bagshawe

ISBN-10: 0062073419

ISBN-13: 978-0062073457

Paperback : 304 Pages

The Plot :

LAPD Detective Danny McGuire could never forget the face of Angela Jakes and the nightmare she endured—raped, beaten, and tied to the murdered body of her elderly husband, multimillionaire art dealer Andrew. His obsession nearly cost McGuire his sanity, even after the stunning young widow disappeared without a trace. Ten years later, living in France and working for Interpol, he’s put the past behind him . . . until Matt Daley, Andrew Jakes’s estranged son, walks into his life.

Digging into his father’s still-unsolved murder, Matt has uncovered three identical slayings, and soon he is joining forces with Danny to pursue a brilliant, elusive killer across the globe. But in Hong Kong everything starts to crumble as Matt is irresistibly drawn to the most recent widow, beautiful Lisa Baring, whom Danny suspects may be someone far more sinister than just another victim . . .

Review:

Having been a Sidney Sheldon fan for some time now, I was disappointed with this book. The story was predictable yet implausible. It is a fast paced read when you have nothing better to read. Although the book starts well, the end is not at all impressive. Overall, I would say not worth it.

Links:

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Sidney-Sheldons-Angel-Dark-Sheldon-ebook/dp/B005UD1G2I/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1389576285

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.tillybagshawe.com/

After Dark – Haruki Murakami

After DarkTitle : After Dark

Author : Haruki Murakami

ISBN-10 :  0307278735

ISBN-13 : 978-0307278739

Paperback : 256 pages

The Plot :

The midnight hour approaches in an almost empty all-night diner. Mari sips her coffee and glances up from a book as a young man, a musician, intrudes on her solitude. Both have missed the last train home. The musician has plans to rehearse with his jazz band all night, Mari is equally unconcerned and content to read, smoke and drink coffee until dawn. They realise they’ve been acquainted through Eri, Mari’s beautiful sister. The musician soon leaves with a promise to return before dawn. Shortly afterwards Mari will be interrupted a second time by a girl from the Aplhaville Hotel; a Chinese prostitute has been hurt by a client, the girl has heard Mari speaks fluent Chinese and requests her help.

Meanwhile Eri is at home and sleeps a deep, heavy sleep that is ‘too perfect, too pure’ to be normal; pulse and respiration at the lowest required level. She has been in this soporific state for two months; Eri has become the classic myth – a sleeping beauty. But tonight, as the digital clock displays 00:00, a faint electrical crackle is perceptible, a hit on life flickers across the TV screen, though the television’s plug has been pulled.

Murakami, acclaimed master of the surreal, returns with a stunning new novel, where the familiar can become unfamiliar after midnight, even to those who thrive in the small hours.

Review :

This book is a look at the lives of two sisters in the span of a single night. The story is open to interpretation.

What I loved about the book is the juxtaposition of the chapters where there is action and others where we are just silent observers of a scene where our presence is not supposed to be palpable. Don’t expect the book to be action packed, for it is more of an observation of the goings on in a single night.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/After-Vintage-International-Haruki-Murakami/dp/0307278735

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.harukimurakami.com/

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

The Fault in Our StarsTitle : The Fault In Our Stars

Author : John Green

ISBN-10 :  0141345659

ISBN-13 : 978-0141345659

Paperback : 336 pages

The Plot :

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Review :

I avoided reading this book for quite a long time, mainly because it seemed like a run of the mill teen book. But once I read it, I definitely enjoyed it. I loved the writing and the humour while dealing with such a serious subject. A quick read but it stays with you a while.

This is one of the rare books where I found the movie adaptation was equally good.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Fault-Stars-John-Green/dp/0141345659

Find Out More About the Author : http://johngreenbooks.com/

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582846/

The Silent Wife – A.S.A. Harrison

The Silent WifeTitle : The Silent Wife

Author : A.S.A. Harrison

ISBN-10 :  0143123238

ISBN-13 : 978-0143123231

Paperback : 326 pages

The Plot :

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event.

Chapter by chapter, the narrative evolves from their alternating perspectives. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. The alternating voices pitch the reader back and forth between protagonists in conflict who are fighting for self-preservation, both making deeply consequential mistakes, behaving in ever more foolhardy ways, and losing at the games they are playing.

The Silent Wife is a finely wrought, emotionally charged psychological thriller about a marriage in the throes of dissolution; a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept. It ensnares the reader from page one and doesn’t let go.

Review :

Most definitely one of my favourite reads after Gone Girl. This psychological thriller about a marriage that is like a dam, ready to burst after being patched overs years. It is fast paced yet details the nuances of two people struggling to hold on to their lives.

The thing I liked most is the characterization of Jodi and Todd. They are so human in their flaws that instantly make them relatable. The language is beautiful and the story is gripping from the first page. Definitely an addictive read.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Silent-Wife-A-Novel/dp/0143123238

Find Out More About the Author : http://asaharrison.com/

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoos CallingTitle : The Cuckoo’s Calling

Author : Robert Galbraith

ISBN-10 :  0316206857

ISBN-13 : 978-0316206853

Paperback : 464 pages

The Plot :

After losing a leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his long-time girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, excitement, seduction and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Review :

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym that J.K. Rowling uses for this series of whodunit books. I have never been a fan of the Harry Potter series though I loved her style of writing then. This book brings together the kind of story I like with her beautiful writing style. The one thing that stood out most for me while reading this was that the lead character was not the traditional ‘super good looking’ guy that is oh so lovable. It brought a different kind of hero to the story and I liked that change.

The book was gripping from the very first page and I liked the pace it followed throughout. Overall I would recommend this book as a good read especially on a long flight! Looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Cuckoos-Calling-Cormoran-Strike/dp/0316206857

Find Out More About the Author : http://robert-galbraith.com/

Soy Sauce For Beginners – Kirstin Chen

Soy Sauce for BeginnersTitle : Soy Sauce For Beginners

Author : Kirstin Chen

ISBN-10 :  0544114396

ISBN-13 : 978-0544114395

Paperback : 256 pages

The Plot :

Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves her floundering marriage in San Francisco to move back to her childhood home in Singapore and immediately finds herself face-to-face with the twin headaches she’s avoided her entire adult life: her mother’s drinking problem and the machinations of her father’s artisanal soy sauce business.

Surrounded by family, Gretchen struggles with the tension between personal ambition and filial duty, but still finds time to explore a new romance with the son of a client, an attractive man of few words. When an old American friend comes to town, the two of them are pulled into the controversy surrounding Gretchen’s cousin, the only male grandchild and the heir apparent to Lin’s Soy Sauce. In the midst of increasing pressure from her father to remain permanently in Singapore — and pressure from her mother to do just the opposite—Gretchen must decide whether she will return to her marriage and her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, or sacrifice everything and join her family’s crusade to spread artisanal soy sauce to the world.

Soy Sauce for Beginners reveals the triumphs and sacrifices that shape one woman’s search for a place to call home, and the unexpected art and tradition behind the brewing of a much-used but unsung condiment. The result is a foodie love story that will give listeners a hearty appreciation for family loyalty and fresh starts.

Review :

Simple, easy and fast to read, Soy Sauce for Beginners offers a good escape for a couple of hours. The story line is not complicated and the characters are relatable. Set in Singapore and San Francisco, the story is about finding your place in the world, your true calling and discovering the meaning of family ties. What I loved most about the book were all the descriptions of the food. I also felt I learnt to appreciate Soy Sauce more since I learnt more about it than I thought there was to know.  All in all a good read.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Soy-Sauce-Beginners-Kirstin-Chen/dp/1480555568

Find Out More About the Author : http://kirstinchen.com/

Chocolat – Joanne Harris

ChocolatTitle : Chocolat

Author : Joanne Harris

ISBN-10 :  0670881791

ISBN-13 : 978-0670881796

Paperback : 320 pages

The Plot :

Try me… Test me… Taste me…

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Roche, arrives in the French little village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer’s wares as the ultimate sin.

Suddenly Vianne’s shop-cum-café means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tasted. But Vianne’s plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a ‘Church not Chocolate’ battle. As mouths water in anticipation, can the solemnity of the church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair?

For the first time here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance. Rich, clever and mischievous, Chocolat is a literary feast for all the senses.

Review :

The week of Halloween, surrounded by bags of candy, this seemed an appropriate read. To begin with, I loved the backdrop of the story set against a small French town that held fast to its traditions for years on end. It is so beautifully crafted to show how something as seemingly harmless as chocolate could be the cause of a revolution.

What I could relate to most in the story is the streak of rebellion in its lead character and her gang of misfits. Very beautifully written this is a ‘sweet’ tale of acceptance of people and change. All in all, I loved this book and would definitely recommend it for a slow cold day with a cup of hot chocolate to go along.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Chocolat-Joanne-Harris-ebook/dp/B0031RS7MW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1418792613

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241303/

The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman

The Light Between OceansTitle : The Light Between Oceans

Author : M.L. Stedman

ISBN-10 :  1451681739

ISBN-13 : 978-1451681734

Paperback : 352 pages

The Plot :

Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife, Isabel, live a quiet life, cocooned form the rest of the world.

Then one April morning, a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant – and the path of the couple’s lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.

Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day – as the baby’s real story unfolds…

Review :

The story is mesmerizing, the details and descriptions are lovely and the characters so endearing. All in all it is an amazing read. It makes you question what is right and wrong. It gives you a look at how our actions can set into motion such a chain reaction and affect so many people around us.

What I loved about the book is how the main premise of the book is about choices that we make. Some are big, some are small but that doesn’t mean they won’t have repercussions that can be so magnified beyond our imaginations. I particularly loved the ending which I found was very satisfying for such an elaborate story. Highly recommended.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Light-Between-Oceans-Novel/dp/1451681755/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408948774&sr=1-1&keywords=the+light+between+oceans

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.randomhouse.com.au/authors/ml-stedman.aspx

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules – Catharina Ingelman – Sundberg

The Little Old Lady Who brokeTitle : The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules

Author : Catharina Ingelman – Sundberg

ISBN-10 :  1447250613

ISBN-13 : 978-1447250616

Paperback : 441 Pages

The Plot :

An incredibly quirky, humorous and warm-hearted story about growing old disgracefully – and breaking all the rules along the way.

79-year-old Martha Andersson dreams of escaping her care home and robing a bank.

She has no intention of spending the rest of her days in an armchair and is determined to fund her way to a much more exciting lifestyle. Along with her four oldest friends – otherwise known as the League of Pensioners – Martha decides to rebel against the regulation imposed upon them. Together, they cause uproar: protesting against early bedtimes and plasticky meals.

As the elderly friends become more daring, they hatch a cunning plan to breakout of the dreary care home and land themselves in a far more attractive Stockholm establishment. With the aid of their Zimmer frames, they resolve to stand up for old-aged pensioners everywhere. And that’s when the adventure really takes off…

Review :

It’s been a while since I read a book like this. The story is simple and the characters loveable. A gang of oldies decide to live life by their own rules and to do that they need money and so they decide to be just like Robin Hood. The plot was gripping and with every page I turned I had a big smile on my face. I loved the way the plan and plot keeping in mind their shortcomings (they can’t walk to fast, they are not too steady on their feet, they can’t carry weight etc.) and playing to their strengths (people never suspect old people to be criminals).

Overall I enjoyed the book thoroughly. It kept me glued from start to finish and in my opinion that makes for a wonderful read. Highly recommended for anyone with an afternoon to kill and looking for a good laugh. I wish they make a movie based on this book and Betty White would make an amazing Martha!

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-little-lady-broke-rules/dp/1447250613

Find Out More About the Author : http://catharinaingelman-sundberg.com/

Saving Fish From Drowning – Amy Tan

Saving FishTitle : Saving Fish From Drowning

Author : Amy Tan

ISBN-10 : 034546401X  

ISBN-13 : 978-0345464019

Paperback : 528 pages

The Plot :

Twelve American tourists join an art expedition that begins in the Himalayan foothills of China – dubbed the true Shangri-La – and heads south into the jungles of Burma. But after the mysterious death of their tour leader, the carefully laid plans fall apart, and disharmony breaks out among the pleasure-seekers. And then, on Christmas morning, eleven of the travellers boat across a misty lake for a sunrise cruise – and disappear.

Drawing from the current political reality in Burma and woven with pure confabulation, Amy Tan’s picaresque novel poses the question : How can we discern what is real and what is fiction, in everything we see? How do we know what to believe?

Review :

This is the second book by Amy Tan that I have read and so far I have loved her style. It is a marvellous story narrated posthumously via the all-knowing tour leader of the group. The characters are rich and diverse and the locales are exotic. You come to connect with each of the characters as if you have known them all your life. You care for each and every one of them. The best part about the book that I liked was the way it ended. Amy Tan has covered all bases leaving out nothing. The final chapter of the book talks about where each of the characters is now and gives you a feeling of closure.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the 500 plus pages. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking forward to a gripping story and memorable characters.

Links :

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Fish-Drowning-Amy-Tan/dp/1441839860

Find Out More About the Author : https://www.amytan.net/

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

The Lost SymbolTitle : The Lost Symbol

Author : Dan Brown

ISBN-10: 1400079144

ISBN-13 : 978-1400079148

Paperback : 656 pages

The Plot :

The third book in the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, ‘The Lost Symbol’ is a fast paced thriller set in Washington D.C.

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is invited to give a lecture at the United States Capitol by his mentor, Peter Solomon, who is the head of the Smithsonian Institution. He requests Langdon to bring a small, sealed package which he had entrusted to him many years ago. When Langdon arrives at the Capitol, however, he learns that the invitation he received was not from Solomon, but from Solomon’s kidnapper, Mal’akh, who has left Solomon’s severed right hand in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda.

The kidnaper then contacts Langdon, charging him with finding both the Mason’s Pyramid, which Masons believe is hidden somewhere underground in Washington D.C., and the Lost Word, otherwise he will execute Solomon. Langdon is then met by Trent Anderson, head of the Capitol police, and Inoue Sato, the head of the CIA’s Office of Security. Sato claims that Mal’akh poses a threat to the national security of the US, and that his capture is more important than Peter’s rescue, although she refuses to elaborate.

As Langdon deals with the events into which he has been thrust, Mal’akh destroys the Smithonsonian-sponsored laboratory of Dr. Katherine Solomon, Peter’s younger sister, where she has conducted experiments in Noetic Science, in the process ambushing and almost killing Katherine in a cat-and-mouse chase, but Katherine manages to escape and meet up with Langdon. Together they try and find the Lost Word in time to rescue Peter Solomon.

Review :

Overall the story is amazing and impossible to put down. The book is gripping from the very first page to the very last. It takes the reader through a journey across Washington D.C. in a race against time. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for a fast action packed thriller. If you liked the Da Vinci Code you will love this book.

Links:

Buy the Book From : http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-Symbol-Dan-Brown/dp/1400079144

Find Out More About the Author : http://www.danbrown.com

Find Out More About the Movie : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1422137/