Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Top Ten Books I have read so far in 2015

“I have finished To Kill a Mockingbird. It is now my favorite book of all time, but then again, I always think that until I read another book.” 
                                                                   ― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Importance of Being Honest by Oscar Wilde
  • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
  • Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Have you read any? . What are your favorites so far?. 

P.S. Do suggest me a few new releases you loved reading. I plan to read them from September. 

P.S.S.     'A Court of Thrones and Roses' and 'The Girl on the Train' are already in my list :)).

Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

A Gripping Story Opening in Literature

'Discover A Treasure In What You Read ', Sounds exciting huh?. Yes, It is the theme of an interesting link-up by Heidi Peterson of Sharing The Journey. All you need to do is find an extract or dialogues from movies/ books related to the theme of the month and write a blog post on it.

Last month's theme was Violet, my favorite color. Lavender, Lilac or whatever you call, I love all shades of it. Now, you know why I named my dear blog 'Lilac Diaries'. It is so unfortunate that I missed May's blog post. I could have made a number of entries on 'Violets'. For June, Heidi has chosen the topic as 'A Gripping Opening in a Literature'. I am sharing an opening extract from 'Under the Lilacs' by Louisa May Alcott, the author of 'Little Women'.

Charming story!. Reading it was like watching a beautiful movie inside my mind. A Delightful read!.
"The elm-tree avenue was all overgrown, the great gate was never unlocked, and the old house had been shut up for several years. 
Yet voices were heard about the place, the lilacs nodded over the high wall as if they said, "We could tell fine secrets if we chose," and the mullein outside the gate made haste to reach the keyhole, that it might peep in and see what was going on. If it had suddenly grown up like a magic bean-stalk, and looked in on a certain June day, it would have seen a droll but pleasant sight, for somebody evidently was going to have a party. 
From the gate to the porch went a wide walk, paved with smooth slabs of dark stone, and bordered with the tall bushes which met overhead, making a green roof. All sorts of neglected flowers and wild weeds grew between their stems, covering the walls of this summer parlor with the prettiest tapestry. A board, propped on two blocks of wood, stood in the middle of the walk, covered with a little plaid shawl much the worse for wear, and on it a miniature tea-service was set forth with great elegance. To be sure, the tea-pot had lost its spout, the cream-jug its handle, the sugar-bowl its cover, and the cups and plates were all more or less cracked or nicked; but polite persons would not take notice of these trifling deficiencies, and none but polite persons were invited to this party.
On either side of the porch was a seat, and here a somewhat remarkable sight would have been revealed to any inquisitive eye peering through the aforesaid keyhole. Upon the left-hand seat lay seven dolls, upon the right-hand seat lay six; and so varied were the expressions of their countenances, owing to fractures, dirt, age, and other afflictions, that one would very naturally have thought this a doll's hospital, and these the patients waiting for their tea."
Liked it?.Find a free kindle copy here from Amazon.

Have a Lovely Day!

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Musing Mondays (June 22)

Musings Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. It can be done by answering one of the following prompts .

I am currently reading...
Up next I think I'll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week...
I'm super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I'm really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can't wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ____, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week….

I am currently reading...

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee      *** feeling 'Why did I wait this long to read this amazing book' ***
  2. A Love That Never Tires by Allyson Jeleyne ( Got a free kindle version from Amazon. :D )
  3. Far From a Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Becoming a Thomas Hardy fan )

I can't wait to get a copy of...

  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee 

I blogged about ____ this past week.

This week's Random Question is  Is there a bookshop you absolutely adore? Or, perhaps one you’ve always wanted to visit? What is the name of it, and where is it located?

Nope. Its just I am fond of books, not bookshops. 

(*** thinking ***) I love the bookshop 'THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER' from the movie 'You've Got a Mail'. I would like to visit it, If I get a chance to visit US someday :). 

Was that a real shop? Do you know anything about it?.

Blessed Monday!!!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

A Room with a View by E. M. Foster

“It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”
A Room with a View tells the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young English woman. She meets George Emerson, a young man of lower class in Floreance, during her visit to Italy with her uptight cousin and chaperon, Charlotte Bartlett. George seals her lips with a kiss during an expedition. Unable to realize the budding love inside her, she leaves Italy that night. Back at home, she says 'yes' to supercilious Cecil's proposal, as it appears to be a socially acceptable marriage. When George moves to England with his father, Lucy is caught between her engagement to a man she doesn't love and her growing feelings towards George, who is ready to accept her as she is. 

Published in 1908, E. M. Foster's 'A Room with a View' contains elements of developing love and feminism. Lucy, unaware of her feelings for George ends up in a tangled situation. She does not understand that her longings for freedom from the laws and customs of society is because of her wanting to be with George. She tries to run away from the problem instead of facing it. But Mr. Emerson's words on his son's affection and love for her encourages Lucy to stand up for herself and to open her the doors of heart for George, the man she trusted and loved. Lucy's feminist side helps her to call off the engagement with Cecil, who believed that men are better than women. Foster attempts to mock at the social customs of Edwardian era are visible throughout the novel.

I liked Mr.Emerson's role in this novel.He is a man of profound wisdom. His sage advises shows his immense knowledge and understanding of human nature. Loving,caring and kind too.Though the novel has funny and interesting incidents, I wasn't intrigued by it. I took almost two weeks to read it. I found it dull and dragging sometimes, because it was hard for me to visualize the beauty of Italy through his words.However, the second part of the novel was enjoyable.You will enjoy it well, if you have visited Florence or any part of Italy. I liked the movie(1985) better. It is a very close adaption of the book. 

What I learnt
We, youngsters tend to muddle up a lot of situations in daily life. We are trapped in troubles sometimes, because of our unwise judgement and thoughtless actions. At the end, when we let elders know about it, they solve it wisely with their experiences and knowledge. A bit of their meddling can make things right and put our muddled life in order.

Have you read this book ?. Did you like it?.

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

My Top Five Favorite Books

A Favorite book can be read and enjoyed umpteen times. Do you agree?. Each time we read the book, it delights us and gives the butterflies in stomach feeling. We rant and rave about the book to all. Have your ever wondered what makes you read it over and over again?. Is it an excellent story line or the amazing characters?. My answer lies in the following quote...
“We don't need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They're always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.”
                                                                                                                ― Lloyd Alexander 
A Few of my favorite books...

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice tells the story of five unmarried young girls living in Meryton, Hertfordshire. Mrs. Bennet is concerned about her daughters and is trying to find suitable partners for them. When a rich gentleman, Mr. Bingley moves into their neighbourhood along with his friend Mr. Darcy, she tries her best to introduce eldest daughters to them. Mr. Bingley forms an attachment with Jane, the eldest daughter, where as the protagonist Elizabeth Bennet has a difficult time in getting to know Mr. Darcy. Though they go through many misunderstandings and clashes, finally they find love for each other.

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gable is a renowned children's novel which tells the story of Anne Shirley, a eleven year old orphan who is talkative, intelligent, adventurous and imaginative. Anne is sent to live with a family of a middle aged brother and sister, Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert mistakenly. Anne's charm and innocence make them drop the plans to adopt a boy and welcome her as family member. The book is all about her relationship with Cuthberts, her bosom friend Diana Barry and her classmate Gilbert Blythe, with whom she develops a special attachment.

Memoirs of a Geisha

Chiyo is taken away from her poor family and is sold to an okia, a geisha house in Kyoto. There she meets Hatsumamo, pumpkin and mother,who runs the okia. She is given geisha training under Mother, but Chiyo's unsuccessful escape plan degrades her into a 'maid'. She meets a kind man on the street during an errand and decides to become a geisha in the hope of meeting that man again. Chiyo's dream come true when she is chosen by Mameha for the training and becomes a beautiful and talented geisha called Sayuri ; despite of the chaos in her life due to the world war II. 

The Help

Skeeter has returned home after graduation and aspires to become a writer. She becomes suspicious after her beloved maid Constantaine's disappearance and wants to know the reason why she left her. It leads her into realizing the truth of being a colored maid in the society with the help of a black maid Aibileen and her friend Minnie. They work together to publish a book to expose their difficulties and worries in daily life. Finally, they succeed regardless all the oppositions they had from friends and society.   

P. S. I Love You

Holly is struggling without her husband Gerry, who suddenly dies of a brain tumor. One day, her Mom comes to meet her with a package of ten letters. Gerry had written those ten letters, one for each month with an encouraging message to her. Each letter ends with " P. S. I Love You". It brings back a load of good memories they had together and also helps Holly to rediscover her life.                                                            

Tell me about your favorite books. I would love to read them too.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Musing Mondays (June 15)

Musings Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. It can be done by answering one of the following prompts .

I am currently reading...
Up next I think I'll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week...
I'm super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I'm really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can't wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ____, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week….

I bought the following book(s) last week...

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Wish List by Jane Costello
  3. Austenland by Shannon Hale
  4. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Thank You Amazon :).

This Week's Random Question : Do you have a favorite book from childhood? What is it?.

I was a big fan of Cartoons and Graphic Novels in my younger ages. Super heroes, fairies, Disney princesses and all the other Disney Characters were my favorites. In short, I was a hard core Disney fan. Still, I do enjoy them. Among all of them 'Cinderella' had a special place in my heart. I can still read 'Cinderella' again and again (Doesn't that mean it is my favorite?).

"If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true." - Cinderella 

If 'Cinderella and her Glass Slipper' story does not count in as a book, then it is definitely 'The Famous Five' series by Enid Blyton.  Dick, Julian, Anne, Georgina and Timmy, the faithful dog were the best then. They meant the word adventure to me.

Have you read any of these books?. Did you like it?. Do tell me.

Blissful Monday!!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

10 Books of Summer 2015

10 Books of Summer is a Reading Challenge hosted by Cathy at  746 Books. It asks you to read 10 or 20 books you choose.It runs from June 1st to September 4th , 2015. You can read more on this challenge here.

Listed below are the books I'm planning to read before September 4th,2015.
  1. A Room With A View by E.M. Foster --> completed on 18/06/2015
  2. Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee --> completed on 26/06/2015
  4. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell  --> completed on 04/07/2015
  6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  8. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  9. Austenland by Shannon Hale completed on 06/08/2015    
  10. Midnignt in Austenland by Shannon Hale
Yes! I have included Austen books too as I am planning to participate in Austen in August by Roof Beam Reader. I will be posting my reviews when I finish reading a book. Looking forward to read the books from my list ;).

I'm late already!

Are you participating in 20 10 Books of Summer 2015?. Good Luck then!.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Musing Mondays ( June 8)

Musings Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. It can be done by answering one of the following prompts .

I am currently reading...
Up next I think I'll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week...
I'm super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I'm really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can't wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ____, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week….

This Week's Random Question is : What book would you currently recommend to someone? why?

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenA must read book for all book lovers. I just recommended and gave my copy of the book to my cousin yesterday. If you want to know why, please read it. I promise that you will be immersed in the story and will forget what's happening around you. A story which will stay in your heart always , story of a Giesha named Sayuri working in Kyoto. It was hard to believe that it was just a historical fiction after finishing it. A beautiful story of a beautiful woman !.

I am currently reading...

A Room With A View by E.M. Foster

A beautiful, classic love story of Lucy Honeychuch and George Emerson set in Florence, Italy. Sharing a snippet from the book below :).

She was correct as usual. He tied the horse to a tree, kicked it to make it stay quiet, dusted the carriage, arranged his hair, remoulded his hat, encouraged his moustache, and in rather less than a quarter of a minute was ready to conduct her. Italians are born knowing the way. It would seem that the whole earth lay before them, not as a map, but as a chess-board, whereon they continually behold the changing pieces as well as the squares. Any one can find places, but the finding of people is a gift from God.

He only stopped once, to pick her some great blue violets. She thanked him with real pleasure. In the company of this common man the world was beautiful and direct. For the first time she felt the influence of Spring. His arm swept the horizon gracefully; violets, like other things, existed in great profusion there; "would she like to see them?"

"Ma buoni uomini."

He bowed. Certainly. Good men first, violets afterwards. They proceeded briskly through the undergrowth, which became thicker and thicker. They were nearing the edge of the promontory, and the view was stealing round them, but the brown network of the bushes shattered it into countless pieces. He was occupied in his cigar, and in holding back the pliant boughs. She was rejoicing in her escape from dullness. Not a step, not a twig, was unimportant to her.

"What is that?"

There was a voice in the wood, in the distance behind them. The voice of Mr. Eager? He shrugged his shoulders. An Italian's ignorance is sometimes more remarkable than his knowledge. She could not make him understand that perhaps they had missed the clergymen. The view was forming at last; she could discern the river, the golden plain, other hills.

"Eccolo!" he exclaimed.

At the same moment the ground gave way, and with a cry she fell out of the wood. Light and beauty enveloped her. She had fallen on to a little open terrace, which was covered with violets from end to end.

"Courage!" cried her companion, now standing some six feet above. "Courage and love."

She did not answer. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth.

Standing at its brink, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone.

George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her.
Have you read or seen the movie version of this classic love story?. If yes, Share your views. I would love to read them. Don't forget to check out the original post here.

Blessed Monday!!!


Thursday, 4 June 2015

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

What Katy did is the story of a twelve year old girl Katy Carr. She has three younger sisters and two little brothers. Katy lost her mother and father is a Physician, who is away from home most of the time. They are being taken care of by Aunt Izzie, father's sister. The naughty and careless Katy always get into problems in whatever she attempts to do and her bad temper makes her forlorn too. Katy wishes to be protective to her siblings and longs to be loved by them. She dreams to do something great, but did not know what and how.Everything changes when Katy meets with an accident and learns her lessons from the 'school of pain' with the help of her invalid cousin Helen, who becomes a great support and inspiration in Katy's life.

'What Katy Did' is the first book in Carr Family series, written by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey under her pen name Susan Coolidge. I had not even heard of it before my cousin chose it randomly from the bookstore last week. She was in a mood for lighter books. She chose correctly, I think. I did finish it within three days. It was quite simple and fun to read. Katy Carr reminded me of my childhood. I was the naughtiest girl in my school and was always annoyed and sad whenever I was scolded for mistakes ;) . Katy loved to read and make up new stories. So did I :D. She was the center of attraction whenever they had small gatherings and fun games. Katy was also good at inventing new games for her siblings. I shall be surely trying the 'Kikeri' and river game with my younger cousins on next vacation.

Cousin Helen also has an important role in this story. Helen becomes invalid after an accident, which shattered her dreams completely. When she realizes the agonies of her family, she tries to be glad and joyful for them ; which eventually gives her happiness and a contented life. Helen describes her sorrowful days as 'school of pain'. Later, she helps Katy to be patient and kind to her family and helps her to build confidence in herself. As we know, Experience is the best teacher. Those dismal and toughest days mold them strong and give them a better persona. That was the part I liked the most in this book.

What Katy Did is a coming of age story which can be enjoyed well by children. This story also reminded me of Pollyanna. The story was finished even before I knew it. Seems like Susan Coolidge was rushing to wrap it up so quickly. Anyhow, I have no intention to read the remaining books in Carr Family series as the story failed to impress me. It was like reading a story I have heard before as the ending was predictable. Recommended for children alone :).

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Top Ten Theme Songs

Lists again :D. I read Lois's Top Ten Theme Song List on her site You, Me and a Cup of Tea. You know how much I like making lists. So I did decide to steal it from her just like she did :P. 

Here is my list... ( This is my first tag.. A stolen tag ;) ).
Lord Of the Rings and The Hobbit - The Shire

Hmm.. Soothing. Isn't it?.

Downton Abbey

I love period dramas. This is just one among many ;).

Harry Potter 

Peter Rabbit

There is something magical about this song. Do you think so?.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Musing Mondays(June 1)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm.

I am super excited to tell you about :

I was delighted to read the article 'Page Turners' on yesterday's newspaper. The article by Supriya Sharma shared news on upcoming books and a summer reading list 2015. I am super excited to tell you that Harper Lee's much anticipated Go Set a Watchman is out in July. Harper Lee is the author of Pulitzer Prize winning novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. 'Go Set a Watchman' is the sequel of this famous novel.

I have not read the book 'To Kill a Mockingbird' yet though :P . It was always on the bottom of my TBR list for some unknown reasons. I will be reading it soon to find out what made many book lovers adore Harper Lee and her novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you have different genres for different seasons? For example, do you choose lighter reading material for the summer, and chunkier books in the winter?

No. I usually choose books based on their reviews and publicity and read them whenever I wish to do  so.

What are you reading this week?.Do you have any musings?. Please do share it. Don’t forget to check the original post if you enjoyed this.

Blissful Monday!!!