Non-Fiction Meme

Gautami started this meme about non-fiction reading and tagged me. To be frank, I'm not really qualified to do this meme, because I hardly ever read non-fiction books. But I like doing memes (which is why I do the weekly BTT) and I'll try to answer this one too.

a) What issues/topic interests you most--non-fiction, i.e, cooking, knitting, stitching, there are infinite topics that has nothing to do with novels?

Cooking, knitting or stitching are definitely not topics that interest me! If I were to read non-fiction more often, I'd mostly be reading autobiographies, especially of my favourite authors. I read Sidney Sheldon's autobiography, The Other Side of Me (review) recently and liked it. If all autobiographies are as interesting as that one, I might even start reading non-fiction full-time. :-)

b) Would you like to review books concerning those?

Ideally, I'd love to review every single book I read. But I never manage to write reviews for most of the books I read. If I weren't as lazy as I am, I definitely would have liked to review them.

c) Would you like to be paid or do it as interest or hobby? Tell reasons for what ever you choose.

I'll have a lot of trouble finding someone who'll want to pay me for writing reviews, wouldn't I? ;-) But seriously, I don't think I'd want to be paid for writing reviews. If I were sent a book for reviewing, I'd spend more time worrying about writing a perfect review because I'm being paid for it and probably end up enjoying the book a little bit less than I normally would. Right now I can just jot down a few thoughts about the books I read without trying to write a masterpiece review.

d) Would you recommend those to your friends and how?

If the books are good, I would certainly recommend them.

e) If you have already done something like this, link it to your post.

I haven't.

f) Please dont forget to link back here or whoever tags you.

I was tagged by Gautami Tripathy from My Own Little Reading Room. Thanks, Gautami!

BTT: Format

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why? (BTT)

I've never thought about it really. I've always read paperback, so that's the format I'll stick with. I would feel kind of awkward reading a hardcover. Paperbacks are more comfortable to read, easier to carry and lighter than hardcovers.

The one advantage that hardcovers have is that they can be preserved forever. But hey... weren't we talking about a perfect world? In a perfect world, I'd learn to say a firm NO when somebody tries to borrow books from me. Then I wouldn't have to worry about damaged books.

Books: January 2008

January was an excellent month for reading. I've read 11 books in the month, which is perhaps the most I've read in a single month in a long, long time.

The Books

  1. Poirot Investigates (Agatha Christie) [4/10] (review)

  2. The Fourth Protocol (Frederick Forsyth) [7/10] (review)

  3. Lord Edgware Dies (Agatha Christie) [7/10] (review)

  4. The ABC Murders (Agatha Christie) [10/10] (review)

  5. Dumb Witness (Agatha Christie) [5/10] (review)

  6. Curtain: Poirot's Last Case (Agatha Christie) [8/10] (review)

  7. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) [1/10]

  8. In the Days of the Comet (H G Wells) [1/10]

  9. The Three Investigators #01 - The Secret of Terror Castle (Robert Arthur) [3/10]

  10. First Among Equals (Jeffrey Archer) [8/10]

  11. The Last Llanelli Train (Robert Lewis) [2/10]


  • 11 Books

  • 7 authors(2 new)

  • 3615 pages (329p/book)

  • Avg rating: 5

Best Books

  • The ABC Murders (Agatha Christie)

  • First Among Equals (Jeffrey Archer)

Worst Books

  • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

  • In the Days of the Comet (H G Wells)

  • The Last Llanelli Train (Robert Lewis)

February, unfortunately, has been far too hectic for me to read as many books or even post regularly here (which explains why this post has remained in drafts for two weeks now!)

BTT: After the Honeymoon

This week's question from BTT (suggested by Chris):

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

Robin Cook. That's the first name that came to my mind. I fell in love with his medical thrillers a few years ago when I read Fever. But once the novelty of his style wore off, I started asking myself why I wanted to read thrillers that sounded like biology textbooks. It's been a while since I read one of his books but I haven't completely given up his books yet. Maybe someday I'll go back and read one of his older books.

Robert Ludlum is another author I felt this way about. I loved The Icarus Agenda, liked The Bourne Identity to some extent and started getting tired of his cloak-and-dagger style by the time I read The Matlock Paper. But it was later, when I read The Road to Gandolfo/Omaha that I really got annoyed with him. Like in the case of Cook, I haven't completely given up, but it will take a lot of convincing before I read his books again.

Technorati Top 1,000,000

I just noticed that this blog is now ranked at 871,446 on Technorati. It's not much to brag about but that number was in the order of a few millions a few months ago, which means there's been some improvement in the blog's rank. Well done, me! Now, if only I stop posting stupid posts like this one and start posting some reviews instead, I could actually call this a book review blog.

P.S. This blog's Technorati page is here, just in case you loved this blog so much that you wanted to fave it on Technorati. *wink*

Book Meme: Page 123

The worst thing about going back to college after a month long break is that you suddenly find yourself really struggling to catch up with blogging. In the two weeks after college reopened, I haven't managed a single post here. Gautami tagged me for this meme almost a week ago and today is when I finally manage to post it here. I've done this meme before (well, who hasn't?) but I'll do it anyway because of two reasons. One, it's very easy. I don't have to think before I post. Two, this is the first time I've been tagged for a meme and it's also the first time I'm doing one outside of the weekly BTT memes.

  1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)

  2. Open the book to page 123

  3. Find the fifth sentence

  4. Post the next three sentences

  5. Tag five people

Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 are easy enough. This is what I found on page 123 of the book nearest to me:

The phone rang, and Hammond went to answer it. Wu tried to think of another way to press his case.But the fact was that, after five long years, Jurassic Park was nearing completion, and John Hammond wasn't listening to him anymore.

You have three chances to guess what book those sentences are from. *grin* And no, I'm not giving out prizes for guessing right.

I've finished the easy part; step 5 is more difficult. Almost every book related blog I follow seems to have done this meme already, and it will take me a while to find one that hasn't done it yet. So I'm skipping the tagging part but please do leave a link to your post in the comments if you're doing this meme.

Review: Curtain - Poirot's Last Case (Agatha Christie)

This book -- as the title suggests -- is the last case featuring the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his friend Captain Arthur Hastings. Although Curtain was actually written in the 1940s, it wasn't published until 1975 which is why the books doesn't fit in well with the chronology of the series. It brings Poirot and Hastings back to Styles, the place where they met and solved their first case together in The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Poirot, now in very poor health and confined to a wheelchair, invites Hastings (who is now a widower) to Styles Court in Essex where now lives. When Hastings arrives there, Poirot tells him that one of the lodgers at Styles is a serial murderer. He gives Hastings a brief account of five different murders and points out that even though there was no doubt about who committed the murders, there was someone in the background who was actually pulling the strings. Despite knowing the identity of the criminal, Poirot refuses to reveal it to Hastings.

I wouldn't rate this as one of the best Hercule Poirot novels, but the ending is good enough to make it a fitting conclusion to the Poirot series. For most part of the book we have to put up with Hastings making his wild guesses as to the identity of the criminal while Poirot sits quietly in the background. All the time we see Poirot doing nothing and asking Hastings (and in effect, us) to wait for the murderer to show himself, which gets rather irritating after some time. There are some clues and red herrings as usual, but the ending still comes as a total surprise and makes up for us having to listen to Hastings' speculations.

When Poirot signs off at the end of the novel saying, "we shall never hunt together again, mon ami", it is to remind us of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which he signed off with "we shall hunt together again". Poirot may have said his farewells, but I'm not saying goodbye just yet. There are a dozen or so Poirot novels that I haven't read so far. :-)

My Rating: 8/10

NaJuReMoNoMo Winner!

I came across this in Gautami Tripathy's blog. Foma came up with the idea for NaJuReMoNoMo, and he has this to say about his idea:

Two years ago I invented a semi-parody of National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo that I called National Just Read More Novels Month or, for not-so-short, the unpronounceable NaJuReMoNoMo. It’s only a semi-parody because I am completely serious about wanting people to read more novels. January is the perfect month for this sort of internet meme. It’s the middle of winter and doesn’t conflict with any major holidays. January is 31 days long, giving people plenty of time to read a book. Folks are flush with cash and gift cards from holiday giving, And they are burnt out from the endless November challenges that require too much work.

Best of all, NaJuReMoNoMo is astoundingly easy. All you have to do is read any novel from start to finish within the month of January. You can read memoirs or non-fiction in January, they just don’t count towards your NaJuReMoNoMo total.

I wanted to read at least 10 books during the holidays in January and actually managed to finish 11, which means I deserve a gold and a blue badge as a winner of NaJuReMoNoMo.