Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
I would recommend this book, or perhaps other books by the same author, for someone who is not much of a reader. It is a short book, you can read it for a couple of chapters, put it down and pick it up whenever you have time again.
The second category of people who MUST read this book are aspiring writers. The author talks about his inspiration for writing, and peppers the book with tips for writers. He talks about pacing oneself - my one takeaway here is that one should stop writing while still enthusiastic/interested at the end of a day. If you write until you are tired, you find it harder to start the next day.
Lots of insights here! I dont feel qualified to rate this book, so if you read this book after seeing this review, drop a note and tell me what you think.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
- Book centers around a strong Matrilinear family
- Most of the book happens in one small town
- Multiple generations of the women are included in the book
- All the women in the family have one magical trait
- The main female lead has two marriages, the second being the "true love"
Friday, May 21, 2010
"We wanted to read stories that used a lightning-flash of magic as a way of showing us something we have already seen a thousand times as if we have never seen it at all."
How amazing does that sound? Clearly, this anthology will transcend boundaries. This is going to be a book that just uses Fantasy as a medium to tell a great tale, be it horror, love, mystery, supernatural, across genres.
Can't wait to get a copy for myself..
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The super resource The Book Cover Archive blog has listed their top 10 best book covers of the decade.
My two favorite ones are from 2001 and 2004 respectively:
Designer : John Gall and Designer: Buchanan-Smith LLC
Oh god, I hope this is not going to spoil whatever credibility Fantasy/Sci-fi books have.
The genre is a fantastic genre, and encompasses mystery, detective fiction, horror (Neil Gaiman), comedy (Terry Pratchett) political satire/strategy ( a bit like espionage books, actually) and much more! Please, please do not judge this vast genre by Tyra Banks' yardstick.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
What are you waiting for?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
- A Memory of Light (now published in three parts, with Brandon Sanderson): Part 1 - The Gathering Storm
Monday, May 17, 2010
- Robert Jordan - New Spring
- Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson - The Gathering Storm
- A short look into RJ's Wheel of Time series
- Haruki Murakami - What I talk about when I talk about Running
Thursday, May 13, 2010
All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
—— The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
With newer works now made bold with Tolkein's success with critics and the mass audience, one just has to mention Ursula Le Guin's feminist works (Earthsea series) and Katherine Kurtz (I still haven't finished her biblio-discography (is that a word?? i.e. all the books she wrote))
Around the time I was born, you had Terry Goodkind and Terry Brooks, both wrote masterpieces in the epic fantasy genre.
More recently, you have satirical fantasy like Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt. Newer fantasy authors write grittier works, some spanning entire centuries like The Malazan books by Steven Erikson, George R.R. Martin. Some have hundreds of characters like Robert Jordan, some just have one, like Patrick Rothfuss in his debut first-person work of art The Name of the Wind.
The decade, the biggest growth has been in strong female leads in action-oriented roles, a genre called Urban Fantasy. Key authors to look out for are Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, Ilona Andrews, and of course, Kelley Armstrong.
Currently, some brilliant books are spanning the bridge between fantasy and fiction readers, like Jim Butcher, China Meiville, and Neil Gaiman. I dont really know what category they fit in, but any reader would love them!
We have had forms of fantasy literature for thousands of years, from the Mahabharatha (classic epic fantasy) to Greek mythology (can you get any more fantastic than a woman with snakes for hair?).
The genre really caught on in the late 1800's with a book by William Morris, called "The Well at the World's end" , a powerful work written in three parts.
Read for free here: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/169
The deliberatly archaic language (he was inspired by medieval romances) adds to the fable experience, and brings a richness to the now-trite storyline.
Another great work around the early 1900's was a book by Lord Dunsany - "The King of Elfland's Daugther". I have not read the other books he wrote, but they are reputed to be just as good. Lord Dunsany really set the bar for high fantasy.
The genre really took off in popularity amongts the masses with the still famous "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkein.
Closely following this comes C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" - a wonderful fantasy story and series, for the younger reader. This was the first true fantasy story I read, probably when I was around 10 years old and unable to find books involving the Famous Five or the Hardy boys :)
A little wiki tidbit: Both these authors were part of a group called The Inklings which studied William Morris' works.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
- Business ( Marketing, Statistics, books about famous companies)
- Detective Fiction/Assorted Fiction
There are probably holes in said list, it is a potential reading list after all!
That said, fantasy books are my bread and butter reading, and I would focus on this genre. To give non-fantasy readers a taste of what this genre is like, put aside your preconceived notions - Fantasy is not about whacky unicorns and dragons. I can't describe this any better than Terry Pratchett:
"My name is Terry Pratchett and I am the author of a very large number of inexplicably popular fantasy novels.
Contrary to popular belief, fantasy is not about making things up. The world is stuffed full of things. It is almost impossible to invent any more. No, the role of fantasy as defined by G K Chesterton is to take what is normal and everyday and usual and unregarded, and turn it around and show it to the audience from a different direction, so that they look at it once again with new eyes."
- My MBA experience, from GMAT to applications to being at Purdue
- My interest in marketing and internet marketing strategies
- Books and the Fantasy genre
Finally, books have been the most consistent part of my life - I knew, whether I was in Chicago, U.S.A or in Manipal, India, I could always find peace in a book. This blog is not just a review blog however, I will also use this space to post author updates, upcoming book releases and links to fascinating book covers and reading tips.
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