Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Girl who played with fire

Author: Steig Larsson

This is the second book in the trilogy by Steig Larsson. I read the first book , The girl with the dragon tattoo, quite some time back and absolutely loved it. I can safely say the same for this one too. The author knows how to put the right mix of everything from murder to romance.

The story is so engrossing – I read half the book in two weeks and the other half in a day SmileI had to because it was time to return the book and I couldn’t do that without finishing it. It was no less feat as the book has 500+ pages!

Lisbeth Salander, the protagonist is shown to be a quirky girl and social handicaps. However she’s a computer geek and considered to be the best researcher by all her employers when it comes to digging out a person’s life story. Continuing from the earlier story, she’s in the possession of great amount of wealth and sets out to use that for her enjoyment by buying luxurious apartments and other things. Her previous employer, Mikael Blomkvist, in the meantime seems to have stumbled across a freelance writer who’s researching on sex trade in Sweden. He has all facts and figures in place and the day that gets published it’ll be exposing numerous public figures (no surprises there!). Mikael and his company agree to publish this book and work with the journalist to make the book a reality. However before it can be done the journalist and his wife is murdered and the prime suspect seems to be Lisbeth! What follows is an extremely nail-biting search for the truth!

Bottomline: must read!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Live To Tell

Author: Lisa Gardner

It’s been a long time since I’d laid hands on a good detective novel. In fact I’d no knowledge about which are the good detective novel authors these days. So when I read great reviews about this novel, I decided to try it out. I was a little disappointed; maybe my expectations were very high. Somehow it didn’t feel like a detective novel – one where I would be taking turns to point my finger at every other character because the author has me convinced that all the evidence says so.

The story focuses around mentally disturbed or rather I should say traumatized children. They’re children who’re so violent that they can even kill somebody. That was new to me and kind of hard to digest. It’s difficult to portray kids who go around killing people. Anyway the story is about three women – one who’s such a mentally disturbed child, another who works as a nurse in a hospital for such kids and third who’s a detective. It starts with the murder of a family of five. At the face of it, it looks like the father killed everybody including himself. On investigation it is learned that one of the children was mentally disturbed and was sighted killing squirrels, etc. So he’s a potential suspect. Then another family of 6 in a completely unrelated neighborhood is killed. The crime scene has lots of similarities. Again, a little girl in the family was mentally ill. To add to it, the nurse also has a similar history. Twenty five years ago her family was killed in a similar manner except that she was spared. Is she a victim or a suspect?

It was interesting but not as engrossing as I’d expected.

Bottom line: a good read.

So sweet!

You must see this video, it’s so cute! It’s about how a baby got scared by his mommy’s nose.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who can read/listen to Gita

First of all, let me give you the good news that I’ve finally completed my first reading of Bhagavad Gita!! It’s been a really long journey – around 6-7 years. Yes it surprises me too that it took me so long; but what makes me happy is that I’d the perseverance to pursue it. It has so much of knowledge that with every chapter I was more and more engrossed. I never realized that I’d been reading it for years! People always think that scriptures are for your old age but I don’t think that applies to Bhagavad Gita. I see so many blogs/books these days on the art of living, simplifying your life and other topics to that tune. When I read them I realize that I’d read all the substance is what I’ve already read in Gita. That’s when I realized that the knowledge contained in Gita is ageless – it’ll always be applicable irrespective of the changes in this world. Maybe that’s what spiritual really means. And the sooner you read and attempt to understand it, the more appreciative, happy and understanding you would be in life.

This shloka is very interesting. I never thought God would ever say that it’s not good to share Gita with anybody. I would’ve thought that it’s good for one and all. However that’s not true. And rightly so.

He says that one should not share the secrets of Gita with a person who has given up on his duties, is deep into the temptations of this world and has sacrificed his religion in pursuit of those temptations. Such a person is so mesmerized by worldly temptations that he wouldn’t be able to absorb the essence and influence of God. Thus it would be a disrespect to the scripture as well as God.

It should also not be shared with anyone who doesn’t believe in God. One who doesn’t have faith and love for God; and doesn’t worship Him; who thinks that he is everything; he who is an atheist. Such a person wouldn’t be able to understand what feelings portrayed by the scripture.

It should not be shared with anyone who doesn’t want to listen to it. He will get bored listening to it and will not be able to absorb it.

It should not be shared with one who maligns God. He would only find more reasons to malign Him. Hence would increase his sins.

Thus, if a person doesn’t have any of the above qualities then he deserves to read/listen to Gita.

If a person doesn’t follow his religion but has none of the other three qualities then he too is deserving.

If a person doesn’t follow his religion and doesn’t believe in God but has a desire to learn Gita then he too is deserving.

However, if a person finds faults in God then irrespective of what other qualities he does/does not possess, he’s not deserving of Gita.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One Day

Author: David Nicholls

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book – it was always hard to put it down! After every page, I was eager to know what would happen next. It’s neither a murder mystery nor a suspense; it’s a romantic story. So what made me so curious? I guess the way the author spun the story.

A girl meets a boy and then they go their separate ways. Okay I did oversimplify the story Smile but that’s exactly what it is. Except that the girl loves the guy but is afraid to say so and the guy also loves the girl but lives in denial. So before every chapter you ask excitedly “are they going to be together now?”. Every chapter is the same day next year in their life and makes you want to know where did life take them the next year. And it’s not just 2-3 years it’s right from their college to their middle age.

On the surface this looks like an every day story but I think the author has done a wonderful job with his characters. They’re absolutely normal – there’s nothing heroic about them and maybe that’s why you sink in deeper into the story; you feel as if you’re there. He’s captured the emotions at every age so well that I think each one of us can identify with the characters at some stage or the other. The story is very well written.

Bottomline: An excellent read!