Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book review: Midori by Moonlight

Title: Midori by moonlight
Author: Wendy Nelson Tokunaga
Genre: Multicultural fiction

First sentence reads: Midori Saito received the following warning from her mother right before she left Japan: " Running off with a foreigner will bring you nothing but trouble," she said.

Rating: 5/5

I just finished reading this book today and this is my second time reading Wendy Nelson Tokunaga's work. It's absolutely delightful. The author has a wicked sense of humor, delightful word play and smooth story telling. Just the right combination to create a delightful story.

Midori Saito doesn't fit in with the typical Japanese norm. She rebels and wants things which are frowned upon and considered not mainstream. Midori is passionate about 3 things; learning English, marrying a gaijin (foreigner) and pastries. She meets Kevin, an American guy who proposes to her and off she goes to America under her fiancée' s visa.   There she is jilted by him  and is stranded without much money and no job but she refused to be deported. Her poor English is of no help either. Lucky for her, she meets her ex-fiancées friend Shinji who is also a Japanese who like her did not fit in in Japan. Shinji proves to be of great help he has a  room for rent but its up to Midori to find a job. Without a green card the going gets tough but the tough Midori proves she is up to the challenge and takes a 'under the table' job at a Japanese lounge as a bar waitress. She survives and indulges in her passion of baking, making desserts and improving her  English ingeniously through television drama. Her determination to get a green card is intense and utterly funny. In this light and fun story we see Midori's progress as she gains friendship and falls in love with non-other than her moon gazing housemate Shinji. Delightful read.

favourite quote
She closes her eyes. She is truly a chicken with its head cut off. No, that isn't it. No, she is pure chicken feed. No, not that either. Wait. She has chickened out. Yes that's it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book blogger hop

Book Blogger Hop

Its Friday and it's time to find other great blogs out there courtesy of Jennifer from Crazy-for-Books. This weeks question comes from Elizabeth who blogs at Silver's Reviews.

When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

My answer: I prefer to write the review after reading the book as I can give a much better picture of the content and the writing style. I do not jot down or make notes while I'm reading though but I can see a lot bloggers do that. I might try it so i could easily remembers quotes from the books and add it to my review.

Book review: Mirage

Title       : Mirage
Author   : Soheir khashoggi
Genre    : Multicultural fiction

First sentence reads: The studio in which Barry Manning taped his radio show-a show that Jenna Sorrel disliked on principle but on which she was to be the guest in an hour-was in a renovated warehouse on commercial street overlooking the Boston harbor.

Rating: 4/5

Don't let the very long first sentence from stopping you reading this book. I'm pretty averse to long, twister sentences which don't hold my attention. I picked up this book as I've been wanting to read more on middle eastern fiction and have seen this book on several occasion. Recently, when I saw this book again I decided to just buy it and I'm not disappointed with it. Its a moderately fast paced story set in exotic Al-Remal, Egypt. Amira, the protagonist is utterly lovable, brave and loves her brother dearly and she carries out a dangerous mission on behalf of her brother, Malik. It's heartbreaking to read the way women are treated, punished and denied education. Amira is lucky as she managed to convince her traditional dad to hire a tutor for her. As a eager student she learns and learns and gains a diploma. Her life takes a sharp turnround when she is betrothed to the crown prince. Amira will never be the same again. However, the brave girl befriends french physician Philippe, which is the best decision she has ever made and saves her life later on. Her husband, the crown prince is not what he seems to be and Amira will be forced to flee to america where she starts a brand new life, with a brand new identity. Family ties are broken, history is erased and future is taken one day at a time. I felt the story dragged on with some unnecessary details towards the end and I would have liked the book to have much shorter ending. All in all its a good book. the author's writing style is pleasant and the character development is very good. i would catch other books by this author again.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A picture speaks a thousand words

Brown lizard said to me telepathically: Can you see me? I'm basking under the sun beneath the pretty yellow hibiscus. I'm too lazy to pose for a picture though. Catch me if you can. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday post

This is the second time I'm gathering my thoughts on a calm Sunday evening. I can't say the same for my mind though, it seems there are non-stop buzzing, alarm bells going on in my head. The reason is simple enough, time is running out, thesis is not ready yet. Welcome to a MSc student's life, where chaos rule and calmness goes out of window. Its long holiday here for eid mubarak. What did i do? I went shopping books and came back with 2 new books, Sophie's World by  Jostein Gaarder and Mirage by Soheir Khashoggi. Both are new authors for me since I have never read their work before. 

A gentle warning if my post today is a tad disjointed, its all due to random thoughts racing around looking for empty ports.

Firstly, this morning I happened to notice a new miniature pinscher at the front neighbour's porch. He's got two dogs already and here I am, still trying to get one for myself. The poor pinscher has been going crazy, barking at every single thing that moved beyond his cage. This seemed to irritate the housebound shih tzu  cutie who barked in annoyance. The next door german shepherd joined in and a very off-key band went on barking and howling in an unsynchronized orchestra. It amused me so very much. What a Sunday morning.

Later in the  evening, I received a dear compliment and encouragement from my closest friend on my blog posts. It warmed me to my toes and made my day better. Talk about healing therapy of best friends. Music, too made my day.Yes I've been listening to a whole lot of soothing music by my latest favourite Indian singer, Madhu Balakrishnan. He has got a heavenly voice. 

It's been as usual  up and down week, a very down, tumbling down more than uplifting week. But posting review and reading other blogs has kept me happy. As for the reading part, I've just started reading Mirage  and Sophie's world . I'm enjoying them and will post the reviews soon. 

Cheers and Happy Sunday to you too.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book blogger hop

Book Blogger Hop

Its friday and time to hop again. This is such a fun way to connect with other bloggers and check out cool blogs and become followers. This weeks topic comes from Anne @ My Head Is Full of Books.

Post a link to a favorite post or book review that you have written in the past three months.

I've read several books for the past three months including Memoirs of a geisha, Dead head, Chasing eden, and Cleopatra's daughter.However my favourite review is definitely Cleopatra's daughter by Michelle Moran. A historical delectable dessert for the readers mind with travel back in time to Alexandria and Rome. A must read for all historical fiction fans and those who want to curl up with a book and travel back in time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book review: Cleopatra's daughter

Title    : Cleopatra's daughter
Author: Michelle Moran
Genre : Historical fiction

First sentence reads: While we waited for the news to arrive, we played dice.

Rating: 5/5

This is my first time reading Michelle Moran's work, i'm impressed and I've found my new favourite author! This novel goes back to the era of egypt's great queen Cleopatra and the roman conquest of her Kingdom. I must admit the front cover did wonders to attract me to this book. When I first started reading i was quite intimidated by the sheer number of names and the relationship between them. But the story went flawlessly and beautifully. I absolutely loved the main character, Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Queen Cleopatra. When the roman consul, Octavian arrives in Alexandria, Egypt , Queen Cleopatra and her partner Marc Anthony commit suicide. This leaves their 3 children, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene and Ptolemy to be brought back to Rome for the Roman Triumph. This story expands with how these children cope in their new surrounding and the cunningness of Octavian to maintain peace in Rome. I loved each and every character in this book. They were well developed and provided enough emotion for the reader to love them or hate them. Its marvelous to be able to imagine and bring to life what hapened way way back in the time of pyramids and roman empire.

A must read!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A picture speaks a thousand words

This picture is one of the reason I love sunrise and sunsets. I caught this image with my phone camera. I was working overnight in my lab and when i looked out at about dawn i saw this beautiful sight. Streaks of fire across the cloudy sky. It reminds me of dragons and ancient greek myths. Nature at its best.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book blogger hop

Book Blogger Hop

 It friday and its time to hop courtesy of Jennifer at Crazy-for-books.
This week's question comes from Sarah @ SarahReadsTooMuch

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I do. A great covers nudges me to read the synopsis and if its good, to  read it. A not so well done cover doesn,t arouse my interest as much but i would still give it a shot if the story's good. I believe a book cover acts sort of like a promoter for the book. To state a few, i absolutely loved the cover of the book I'm currently reading, 'Cleopatra's daughter' when I saw it in another blogger's best book lists. Another example would be the book' The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein really stole my heart with a very soulful looking doggy dog eyes on the cover.