Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

My Top Ten: Books I've Re-Read

I saw this post on It's All About Books by Suey: Books I've Re-Read.

I think the title is self-explanatory so here we go:

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Outsiders by S.E Hinton (needs another read)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Sideway Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I really really want to re-read these books:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Many books by Neil Gaiman


What books do you find yourself re-reading over and over?

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Reading Meme

Uniquely Priya had this reading meme about a month ago. I have been meaning to do it, and finally I had the chance.

1. Favorite childhood book?
Cam Jansen Series (The girl with the photographic memory). My love for reading started with her.

2. What are you reading right now?
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Serious Men by Manu Joseph

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
As of now, none. I am trying to place a hold request on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

4. Bad book habit?
Take too long to read a book just because I am lazy.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Ummm…too many to write down. All the books I read/listen to are checked out from the library.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Not yet. I hope that soon I will buy an iPad.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Usually I am reading one book and listening to another.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Yeah.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
Tie between Half Life by Roopa Farooki and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
I try.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
I am still trying to figure that out. Chic lits, fiction, non-fiction humor (few)

13. Can you read on the bus?
No

14. Favorite place to read?
My bed

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I want my book in the same condition I lend it to you. I have gotten books back without the book covers. Grrrrr…

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
I used to but not anymore.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Not anymore. I was required to do that in high school.

18. Not even with text books?
Nope because I wanted to sell them back :P

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English

20. What makes you love a book?
A good story, an unexpected ending (but not too much out there)…something that makes me think.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I enjoyed it, I will recommend it to anybody and everybody.

22. Favorite genre?
Hmmm…I don’t know. I enjoyed few romance novels, few chic lits, and few non-fictions. If the story interests me, I read it.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
I used to love mysteries but haven’t really picked one up for a while. I don’t usually read Sci-fi; though, I enjoyed Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card very much.

24. Favorite biography?
I can’t think of any…

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Chicken Soup for the soul books are among the best self-help books. Enjoyable and helpful

26. Favorite cookbook?
I don’t own any. Google is my best friend here.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
 Inspirational?...hmm…again..Can’t think of any (not for this year).

28. Favorite reading snack?
Chocolates…but then I usually read before I am about to sleep so no snacks at that time.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I pick up a book if the story interests me. If I am enjoying a book or want to read a book desperately, I avoid all reviews. If I feel the book is so-so, then I usually go and read the Wikipedia entry for it.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I actually look for positive reviews to see that maybe I missed something. I am indifferent about writing a negative review.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
I can read in Hindi but, that is fading away. Maybe french?

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
I try to stay away from these kinds of books.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Shantaram…I so want to read this book. I actually made the librarian order an audio book.

35. Favorite Poet?
I am still exploring this. I do enjoy reading Rabindranath Tagore and enjoyed Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
Anywhere from 4 books to 10 books, (this includes books and audio books)

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
When I was studying to be a CPA, I did that often. I am trying to change that.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Ender (Ender’s Game), Jonas (The Giver), and Nobody Owens (The Graveyard book)

39. Favorite fictional villain?
I don’t think I have one. I have to think about this one..

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Entertaining Chic lits - something that does not make me think.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Years – Most of my college days, I did not read (textbooks don’t count as books).

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
The Numbers Game

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Music

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Pride and Prejudice (BBC episodes) and Namesake

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
I was somewhat disappointed by The Time Traveler’s Wife.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I usually don’t buy books.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I just read the back cover.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
If I am half-way through and I still don’t know what is going on, I will stop reading it.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I usually organize them by the height of the book. I don’t have that many books to organize.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I am opposite from everybody. I check out books from the library first. If I enjoyed it, then I want to buy it.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Shantaram. There is also Atlas Shrugged. I am not avoiding it but I have to be in the mood to pick up the book. I am going to dedicate the next month to Atlas Shrugged. I really enjoyed Ayn Rand’s other stuff and I am looking forward to Atlas Shrugged.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
I cannot think of one right now, but I am sure there are several.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Eat, Pray, Love.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
As It was Written by Sujatha Hampton and My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Sophie Kinsella.


Phew…that was long but I had fun!

Unfinished: The Numbers Game by Michael Blastland


I tried multiple times to read this book. I think I got as far as seven pages. It was very boring. I finally decided to stop torturing myself. If anybody has read this book and thinks otherwise, let me know.

I have finished six books since my last book post:
  1. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  2. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Audio CD)
  4. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle (Audio CD)
  5. Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life by Roald Dahl
  6. What is This Thing Called Love? by Gene Wilder

I am currently reading:
  1. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle (Audio CD)
  2. Serious Men by Manu Joseph
I have gotten as far as the third chapter in Serious Men and so far, it is an okay book. I will read few more pages before deciding whether to stop reading this book. I only picked it up after seeing the cover.


I also watched the Pride & Prejudice BBC mini-series. I absolutely loved it and Colin Firth was just great. It is definitely going to be part of my dvd collection. Now only if I can get my hands on the Keira Knightley version (2005) movie.

Movie Review: Raavan

I watched this movie about a month ago on Sony TV. From the reviews, I knew this was not worth watching in the theater. You know what? This movie is not even worth watching on TV. I wasted 3 hours of my life on this movie...those precious hours. I could have read or something. What can I say? Curiosity got the best of me and you know what they say..."Curiosity killed the cat."

There was no plot, no story, and very bad direction. I got the gist of what the movie was suppose to be about. Apparently, so-called Raavan (Abhishek Bachhan) is actually good and Ram (Vikram) is the true villain. They have taken all the memorable parts of Ramayana and presented it in the movie:

  1. Lord Ram - Sita- That is portrayed by Aishwarya Rai and Vikram as Ragini and Dev Pratap. Ragini is very much in love with her husband and will support him no matter what.
  2. Lakshman (Ram's brother) - Nikhil Dwivedi as Inspector Hemant. He almost dies. (Lakshman almost died in Ramayana)
  3. Hanuman - Govinda as Sanjeevani Kumar. Here I drew the line...In his introduction scene, Govinda was jumping off trees and playing hide and seek, like a mischievous monkey. He led the police force in Beera's "Lanka."
  4. Raavan - Abhishek Bachhan as Beera. He is a mix of Raavan and Robin Hood. What I did not understand about his character was the weird noises he made. I think the movie could have done without those. They became annoying.
  5. Surpanaka - Priyamani as Jamuni. She is Beera's sister (true to the real Ramayana). In Ramayana, Lakshman cuts Surpanaka's nose and insults her. In the movie, Inspector Hemant, at Priyamani's weddings, picks her up from the mandap by holding her nose and take her to the station, and physically insult her there.
  6. Kumbhakarna and Ahiravana - Mangal (Ravi Kishan) and Hari (Ajay Gehi).
Here are the parallels between Ramayana and Raavan:
  • In Ramayana, Ravan abducts Sita mata to avenge the insult of his sister, Surpanaka. In the movie, Beera kidnaps Ragini to avenge his sister's insult.
  • In Ramayana, Ram killed Ravan. In the movie, Inspector Dev Pratap kills Beera.
  • In Ramayana, Ram doubted Sita's character after she returns. In the movie, Dev Pratap "doubts" Ragini so that she can go to Beera and he can follow her.
Now to the ending [Spoiler Alert]: Beera dies happy because he knows Ragini has feelings for him.

So yes, like others, I wasted 3 hours of my life on this movie.

I enjoyed the songs and I felt they were the only good part of the movie. A.R. Rehman did a great job. You can check them out here at Raaga.com.

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