Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Book: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Publication: 17th August 1945

Genre: Classic / Dystopia

Pages: 100 pages

Thoughts: This was a quick fun read with a LOT of depth. Now I say quick and fun but it does not deter from the fact that it was so spot on its almost scary.
What is amazing is that the situations and problems that were in the book still prevail in the real world, after all these years. And we turn a complete blind eye to all that. Or most of it anyway.
Hey if it ain’t happenin’ to us; it ain’t happenin’.
The political aspects were astoundingly perfect, especially in a world where the world is in the hands on a rather unsettling pig of a man. Ironic much?
It was difficult to separate the animals from thinking about them as humans with all the emotions and the brainwashing and the tyranny and the anarchy. But are the humans in today’s world really humane? Do they sense the emotions and the depth of the actions that result in severe consequences that change the way we look at things?
The story was very fast paced and easy to get into. The fable aspect of it was just a bonus. It helped in keeping the tone of the book light, despite the ugly subject it talked about.
George Orwell’s writing is something I really need to get into again. His words invoke a sense of truth that we hide from in our lives. We ignore it and don’t want to think about certain things which need to be exposed. I’ve been told that 1984 would be an excellent read after what has happened. While it doesn’t affect me personally, I feel equally attacked, as do most of the world.
The turmoil inside us is depicted excellently in the book through the animals.
Thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Keep returning to it, reminiscing about the way everything got screwed up one after the other gradually and associating it to real life. Hell is about to break loose.

Quotes: “All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”

Rating: 5

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Dance Like a Man by Mahesh Dattani | Review

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Name: Dance Like a Man


Author: Mahesh Dattani


Genre: Drama/Play


Pages: 75 pages


Format: Paperback


Publishing Details: 1st January 2006 by Penguin Books


Summary: Jairaj Parekh and his wife Ratna, aging Bharatnatyam dancers, are engaged in finding a substitute mridangam player to accompany their daughter Lata at her performance at a high-profile dance festival. Lata, in the meantime, nervously awaits the meeting between her parents and Viswas, the young man she wishes to marry. When the four meet, and in the conversations and discussions that follow, the fissures in the relationship between Jairaj and Ratna begin to explode into high-strung battles which lead back to their own youth and the tragedy that lies at the heart of their discord. The younger couple have their own issues to contend with: the obvious mismatch between the two sets of parents, the arguments over Lata’s career as a dancer after marriage and most unsettling of all, Lata’s attempt to balance her parents’ ambition with her own needs and desires. A brilliant study of human relationships and weaknesses framed by the age-old battle between tradition and youthful rebellion, Dance Like a Man has been hailed as one of the best works of the dramatic imagination in recent times.


Review: This play may seem very drab in the beginning but there are gems of conflict, repression, dedication, feminism, patriarchy, the love for art, prostitution, politics and much more underlying it.
The characters have different voices and opinions. They view the events unfolding in their own perspective.
Ratna, the mother has been through much grief in the past. But what stays prominent is the jealousy she harbors towards the success of her only daughter, wishing fruitlessly that she had the fame that her daughter was getting.
She not only loses something very important to her blinded by the need for fame, she also feels the same pull now. Its difficult being a mother as well as trying to make a name for yourself in that year in India. Even today, its something that not many achieve. Feminism creeps into the story without making an entrance.
Jairaj, the father has lost his will and desire to dance after the fateful events. Even so, unlike Ratna he is proud of his daughter and all that she has achieved. His relationship with his own father has molded him into the ever-supporting father and even though he hates his old man, he can’t help but remember him.
Lata, the daughter is walking down the path that her parents once set on, and then laid out for her to go on. She’s a strong independent woman who does nor back down from her opinions even if her fiance or anyone else for that matter objects to it.
Viswas played a small role. So no thoughts for him.
Overall, a great play.


Rating:  4

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2016 Reading Goals

Better late than never!

I read 150 books in 2015, even though a lot were graphic novels. Since its my last year in college along with work, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to read.

So I put my Goodreads Goal – 100 books.

I really want to finish a series per month, so 12 in total. If I don’t feel like continuing with the same, I might jump on to some other series. Here are the series I’ve chosen as of now:

  • Uglies (1/4 done)
  • A Song of Ice and Fire (hopefully) (1/5 done)
  • Eragon (1/4 done)
  • The Winner’s Curse (1/3 done)
  • The Infernal Devices (0/3 done)
  • Marked (re-read)
  • The Lunar Chronicles (1/5 done)
  • The Raven Boys Quartet (0/4 done)
  • The 5th wave (2/3 done)
  • Half Bad (0/3 done)
  • Daughter of smoke and bone (1/3 done)
  • Lux series (2/5 done)

I’d also like to read more Classics and Literary Fiction novels. I thought I’d do that with the next challenge, cause most of the books will include in both.

The Rory Gilmore Challenge

For those who don’t know what this is, the protagonist from Gilmore Girls is really into reading, and someone made a list of all the books mentioned or seen on the show. There are around 340 in total, but I picked out some I was interested in reading. I’d really like to read at least 15 out of the 25 I picked.

Ze List:

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  • The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

 

That’s all folks! What are your goals this new year?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR!

Hey you guys! I’m so sorry for being absent for the past two months. Its been real hectic with the job and college and it sucks. If you want to follow my reading pattern, go add me on Goodreads. I read a lot and update there regularly!

The Dewey’s 24 hour readathon starts on the 17th Oct to 18th Oct. If you guys want to participate go check out their website – HERE

Anyway, since its a weekend and this readathon is awesome, I wanted to be a part of it. I know there’s a high chance I won’t be able to read much because I have a seminar to attend and so my TBR mostly consists of Graphic Novels and short books. Its over ambitious but I really hope I can do this! This is my TBR for the weekend / readathon –


          


Are you participating too? Have you read any of these books, if yes then which one should I pick first? What are your plans for the weekend? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂


UPDATE:

So the readathon just got over. I finished 5 books in total. But I’m pretty happy with that since I was busy for most of the 24 hours.

The books I read – 

The Bad Beginning –   2

More Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops –  4

Through The Woods –  5

Sex Criminals Vol. 2 –  3

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 2 –  4

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Teaser Tuesday #4

“How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.”

“Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.”

“I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Published: 1897

Pages: 612

Format: Paperback

Summary:

Jonathan Harker is travelling to Castle Dracula to see the Transylvanian noble Count Dracula. He is begged by locals not to go there, because on the eve of St. George’s Day, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will come full sway. But business must be done, so Jonathan makes his way to the castle – and then his nightmare begins. His beloved wife, Mina, and other lost souls have fallen under the Count’s horrifying spell. Dracula must be destroyed…

Review:

Dracula: the very name instantly brings to mind visions of vampires, stakes, garlic and crucifixes. But when I read the novel I realised, sadly, how twisted modern vampire fiction has become. Vampires are not meant to exist as heroes. Go back a few hundred years and men believed truly that the vampire was a real immortal, cursed to quench his undying thirst with a living mortal’s blood. The very idea of a blood drinker inspires the very image of a villain in my mind. And that is what this novel is.

I say novel, but I could also write that this is a collaboration of journals, letters and papers. For that is how Bram Stoker chose to fashion his famous novel, a fine example of an epistolary. And the different viewpoints through each journal serve to create suspense. I love the use of letters and correspondence to tell the story. One would think that this would create a distance between the reader and the story, but strangely it does not. Instead it infuses the story with a human element, as we see things unfold through the eyes of the humans who witnessed everything. In addition, the diary entries from all the people show the emotional impact of the characters to the horror of Dracula.

In all it is a macabre novel that serves to make the reader reflect upon good and evil. The vampire to me is nothing more than an indication of man’s own cursed. Ultimately only the righteous can destroy the darkness that serves to drain life.

My thought was that I could see why I loved this book the first time I read it. The image of a bestial vampire like Dracula sucking the life out of victims to continue his un-dead existence is so metaphoric for the very idea of evil. Evil can be seductive, it can look appealing but ultimately it leads only to a sort of un-dead experience in which you seek to gain satisfaction and purpose through draining others of their vitality.
This is an incredible classic that has to be read to be understood. The little flaws in it make it more appealing and humanised if anything and the tragic nature of its story causes its readers to be both appalled by the villain and to feel sorrow for the victims. While Dracula is not the first vampire novel it is perhaps the greatest as it shows the vampire as a truly malevolent and brutal figure (not a sparkly heartthrob but a killer). It’s a solid horror story along with crime, thrill and suspense with that historical fiction feel that can be read by anyone who enjoys any of the aforementioned genres.

 

Characters: All the characters have been given equal spotlight by Stoker. The mental trauma and the stress that they go through has been so well expressed in their entries.

Count Dracula – An extremely powerful being with a lot of wealth, Dracula wants to broaden his claws in a place where he can find more prey than he could in Transylvania – London. He can transform into a bat, a wolf, fog and also control the minds of his victims. The story revolves around him and how his presence changes lives drastically.

Jonathan Harker – Kind of the main protagonist, he had been absolutely terrified by what he experienced there at the Count’s disposal. Despite all of this, he remained strong and fought for the people he loved.

Mina Murray (Harker) – She was close to two of the Count’s victims, one being her fiancée and other being her best friend. She works tirelessly to help capture Dracula despite becoming a victim herself later on.

Lucy Westenra – Being the most innocent of all, she became the easy target for the Count and gradually turns into a vampire herself. Her friends restore her soul and enable her to rest in peace.

Dr. Van Helsing – The Dutch professor summoned to cure Lucy. He later becomes the leader of the group and hunts Dracula down.

John Seward – A young doctor, once a pupil of Van Helsing. He runs an asylum and is in love with Lucy. Even after her turning him down, he is devoted to her through illness as well as after her death.

 

Quotes:

“Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker”

“Despair has its own calms.”

“Loneliness will sit over our roofs with brooding wings.”

“Though sympathy alone can’t alter facts, it can help to make them more bearable.”

“It is only when a man feels himself face to face with such horrors that he can understand their true import.”

“Truly there is no such thing as finality.”

“It is wonderful what tricks our dreams play us, and how conveniently we can imagine.”

Rating:

5