Kick-start the new year with the Goodreads Challenge for 2017

This is the first post of the new year and I wanted to share my reading goals for the same.

As many of you may be aware, I was a part of the Goodreads reading challenge for last year, having pledged to read 60 books. I am proud to share that I surpassed the goal by 5 books, managing to complete 65 books in the year.

Hence, I have decided to increase that goal a little more and am pledging to read 75 books this year!

I am confident that this can be achieved and I would like to thank all you authors out there who had helped me achieve my goal last year! It is thanks to a whole lot of you contacting me for book reviews and putting your trust in me and my blog that I am here today!

Moving on from all the mushy talk, here’s to hoping that 2017 turns out to be even better than last year!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year once again!

Book Review: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

About the Book:

Scrappy Little Nobody

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).

My Thoughts:

Anna Kendrick is honest and open about her thoughts and opinions. She refuses to hide what she thinks. She takes us into her mind and shows us the difficulty of trying to keep the crazy in! 😛

She highlights the journey towards becoming an actor and reaching where she is today. In her rather quirky, different way she gives us glimpses into various incidents in her life. She extols the world of cinema as well as theater and throws the doors open to us. She takes us into her world and shows us how that world is. It’s not all easy and she effortlessly brings out the differences to us.

From starting off with theater and auditioning for them to landing a role in small films and working her way up to larger films, Anna tells us what it was like to struggle and the determination and perseverance it took. I appreciate her humility and sincerity in openly stating that sometimes fame can get to the head or at times one may feel like giving up, but she keeps a photo of her 3 year old self as a reminder to trudge on.

Anna gives us a glimpse into the film fraternity and shares with us, through anecdotes and humorous thoughts, the behind the scenes. The feeling of walking down the red carpet, of presenting an award, of acting with some of the bigger stars. It’s all there for us to read. Throw in a few photographs of some life events and she has us hooked.

Without giving away too much about the content of this book, I think this is worth a read. It will open the eyes of the reader to some form of reality with respect to the film fraternity as well as leave us in splits.

Book Review: Mrs Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna

About the Book:

Mrs Funnybones

Good morning, it’s 6 a.m. and I am wide awake because the man of the house has decided that he needs to perform a series of complex manoeuvres that involve him balancing on his left elbow. When I fell asleep last night, there was a baby lying next to me. Her smelly diaper is still wedged on my head but aside from this rather damp clue, I can’t seem to find her anywhere. I could ask my mother-in-law if she has seen the baby, but she may just tell me that I need to fast on alternate Mondays, and God will deliver the baby back to me . . . Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman—a woman who organizes dinner each evening, even as she goes to work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her Mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country. Based on Twinkle Khanna’s super-hit column, Mrs Funnybones marks the debut of one of our funniest, most original voices.

My Thoughts:

Oh my God! I definitely died of laughter!

This book will have you hooked and in splits from page 1. ‘She’s just like you and a lot like me,’ is the tagline mentioned on the cover of the book. I must admit that there is a lot in this book that I cannot relate to but have enjoyed due to the author’s self-deprecating humor, witty one liners and her colorful opinions on everything.

Each chapter, rather ingeniously labelled by a letter of the alphabet, talks about some aspect of the author’s life, her experiences, or the experiences of people around her. Narrated in her signature style, most of the incidents are mundane day to day activities. The author talks about her children, her life as a mother, the humor she derives behind the choice of her name, incidents at work among many other things. She also talks of how a person’s outlook of life changes once they have children but most of the points are based on her opinions.

An overall fun read, that can be finished in just one sitting as once started, there is definitely no putting this book down.

Review: The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna

About the Book:

The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad

A collection of utterly magical stories that will leave you crying, laughing and wholly enchanted.

A gangly young girl transforms her village with a revolutionary idea. Sixty-eight-year-old Noni Appa finds herself drawn to a married man – ‘Why do people have to define relationships, underline each word till the paper gives way beneath,’ she wonders. Bablu Kewat becomes obsessed with sanitary napkins much to his family’s horror, and a young woman keeps checking the weather forecast as she meticulously plans each of her five weddings. Funny, observant and wise, this is storytelling at its most irresistible.

My Thoughts:

 Quirky, simply written stories with a clear meaning and strong messages. The author has a distinct style of writing and there are strong morals underlying her work. Filled with fun, well developed characters whom we can relate to and stories of everyday life that we can understand, the book makes for quite a fascinating read.

It is a short book, with exactly 4 stories and can be read rather quickly. It would make a wonderful read while traveling. I think that every person should read this book as there is a lot to take away from the stories. There is much to learn and the author conveys the same without sounding preachy. Focusing on women empowerment and the important role that women play, the author has largely depicted the trials that women face in their everyday lives.

I loved all the stories and cannot pick a favorite since each has their own specialty. All I can say, without giving away much about the plot lines, is that the book is definitely a pick-me-up and worth all the time spent on it!

Book Review: Jesper Jinx by Marko Kitti

jesper jinx

Jesper Jinx (book 1)
Marko Kitti, author & illustrator
Humorous Middle Grade Fiction
Date of publication: 28th April 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
The book is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JZY5VJM (Kindle)
and http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1497458226 (Paperback)

More information about the book can be found at http://www.jesperjinx.co.uk and http://www.markokitti.net
Jesper is also on FB at http://www.facebook.com/JesperJinx

Synopsis:

Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname ‘Jinx’.

In this first book of Jesper Jinx’s wonderfully wicked adventures you’re going to meet Jesper’s family and Snowy the Cat. Also, there’s a mysterious new classmate with a moustache. And it’s up to Jesper to launch his famous Boredom Breaker. What harm would it do to have a little fun?

Contains the stories: JESPER JINX and the COLOURFUL CAT, JESPER JINX and the SPANISH SHENANIGANS and a bonus story: JESPER’S RIDICULOUSLY SHORT NIGHTY-NIGHT TALE.

 

Marko Kitti

About the Author:

Marko Kitti is a Finnish-born author who currently lives in East Sussex, England. He has been writing fiction since 2001 and his Finnish publications include two collections of short stories, two novels for adult readers and one novel for young adult readers.

His second novel Meidän maailma (Our World) was shortlisted for the Runeberg Prize in 2009, a Finnish literature prize named in honour of Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877).

Jesper Jinx is his first children’s book written in English.

My Thoughts:

This is one quirky, fun-filled book which will remind you of your childhood and of reading books by Roald Dahl. The story is about Jesper, an eleven year old boy who seems to be stuck with the worst luck ever. His main interest is in doing something to break the boredom. In this book, Jesper manages to turn the cat red and teach the new teacher some of his prized tricks. His relation with his sister and parents is touched upon ever so subtly and we are also introduced to his best friend Oliver.

The story is written in a narrative style and the reader will get the feeling that the author is talking only to them specifically. The author describes how he met Jesper and makes us sign an agreement to never reveal the existence of this book to him. The book was supposed to have been top secret after all.

The tricks that Jesper pulls off and the bad luck that follows justify why he is called Jesper Jinx. He is truly a character that all youngsters will love and even grownups will enjoy. A wonderful middle grade fiction, this book is worth a read with all it’s humor and fun.