Friday, March 13, 2015

The Grammar Nazi's Ideal Band List

Hi There :)
This one's going to be my last post ever in a while. Hope you like it -

If you met me roaming the streets of twitter or youtube or even tumblr, you'd probably call me a nosy grammar nazi - I just like the woozy rules of the English language, that's all (English is, after all the clipped illegitimate child of German and Latin with an untraceable lineage of French).

Anyway, here's something really cool I found on Tumblr a few days ago about quirky grammar band names (yes! I managed to get to the topic of this post without straying too much - take that tangents)I love quirky band names, and I adore grammar - so quirky grammar band names are, indeed, perfection.

So here they are...

I can't guarantee that this won't revoke some unpleasant memories of english teachers from middle school. Reader discretion advised.

Active Voice: When the verb of a sentence is in the active voice, the subject is doing the acting
Active Voice, the band, would probably the upbeat pop group with direct, easy-to-understand songs - hailed in high esteem (obsessed over) by one half of the world, and hated by the other.

Passive Voice: The passive voice is a grammatical construction in which the noun or noun phrase is the object of an active sentence
Passive Voice should be the superfluous alternative indie rock band, quoting Schopenhauer at every turn, and originally stylish clothing hanging off their calmly meloncholy dispositions.

Anti-Language: The use of  universally known vocabulary with a different connotation.
Anti-Language should be punk outfit - rebelling to the end.

Fog Index: A measure of the readability of  a piece of writing.
Fog Index would be fun, and full of quips - indiepop maybe? It'd absolutely hate the likes of Passive Voice.

Disjunct: A sentence's modifier - like an adverb.
Disjunct is clunky - it sometimes doesn't fit in, but it's always going on tour with its more popular acts like Active Voice, and Fog Index.

Schwa: The mid-central vowel sound - like the 'a' in about.
Schwa is little known in mainstream American culture. Scratch that - it isn't known in American culture, but I do hear that the Scottish are really digging its work.

Slip of the Ear: Exactly what it sounds like, a slip of your ear - when you don't hear something right.
Slip of the Ear is the satirical, English-majors-who-formed-a-band-for-fun group that calls fun at everything from the governments latest blunder to the nonsense that is mainstream culture.

Crash Blossoms: An ambiguously worded headline.
Crash Blossom is an all-girl grunge group that is wont to retort that their name is ironic even if you didn't ask.

Zero Article: When there are literally no articles before a noun.
Zero Article is a non-English speaking group that happened to produce a song in English, and didn't really understand the purpose of articles. Nevertheless, they are big iin their native lands where their own nice language (which doesn't have twisty, exception-filled rules) reigns supreme.

Zero Conditional: When there is no condition preciding or succeding a conditional statement.
Zero Conditional is the Bon Iver-esque dreamy group - the members' touch to reality is minimal, and is usually avoided during their bigger shows.

So that concludes my sinfully exciting stereotyping grammar lesson.

No, I have nothing else to say.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Confessions - Famous Books that I haven't read

I went back and re-read my blog yesterday (yes, I'm quite a narcissist when it comes to writing - I'm quite unashamed of it), but I tried to forget that it was me writing. I wanted to see what sort of a person my writing made me come across as.
          I do that a lot - seeing myself through different eyes.

I think one of the things my writing seems to do is name myself the Master of All Classics; I have to confess that there are a number of essential classics that I haven't read. Don't get me wrong, I love classics, but I'm not as invested in them as I may sound.

I've read Harry Potter, and in my younger and more shameful years (i.e. 2013), I even read the Hunger Games Trilogy. I also got swept up into the John Green craze of last year, and I don't really regret any of these things (well, maybe I do regret Hunger Games. Just a bit though). I'll always be a Potterhead, and no classical setting, not even New York in the early 1900s, will replace my love for Hogwarts.

I want to be the Master of All Classics (that sounds like a geeky video game thing, and guess what? I found out that it is - check out what Master all Classics really is here), but here are a few books that I haven't read that are stopping me.

1. King Lear - William Shakesphere
Of course, the first book on my list isn't even a book.
I've actually watched the King Lear in a theatrical production, but I've never been able to bring myself to read the book - it has something to do with its reputation for being tedious (but don't all classics have that reputation?), and a little to do with plain laziness on my part.

2. Les Miserable - Victor Hugo
I stopped reading this one after I got a hundred pages in, and I don't even know why. As far as I remember, it was interesting, and I loved the post-Revolution and re-Revolution France setting.

One terrible thing about not having read this book is that I won't let myself watch the movie (it's a rule of mine - don't watch famous movie adaptations of books you haven't read).

3. Ulysses - James Joyce
This one is obvious. Of course I haven't read Ulysses yet, but that's only because my young and easily distracted brain is not yet worthy of the accomplishment. This book is, quite simply, too good for me.

4. The Iliad - Homer
Actually, I only managed to stagger, half-dead, through Homer's Odyssey in the 9th grade. I'm not yet ready for another Homer book - maybe in another 3-400 years?

5. The Old Man and The Sea - Ernest Hemmingway
This one shouldn't really be on this list, but it should (not that that makes any sense at all). I've read it at least three times, but I've never understood its significance. Is there a grand metaphor that I should be understanding - read this book is a bit like understanding Moby Dick- staring at an all-powerful metaphor that I simply can't grasp.

I'm sure I could think up at least ten more books that I can't seem to complete despite their god-like classics status. But five is a good number for now.

Are there any books that you haven't finished? Comment below :)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

5 Surprising Movies that are Based on Books

As we sit comfortably on his couch with an array of snacks an pillows, my movie-buff friend glares at me as he shovels a handful of popcorn into his mouth, daring me to say what I had almost said.
         But I refrain. Mostly because the argument that would begin when I said the words I am inevitably going to let out was one we'd had too many times.
       We watch the movie, me laughing and crying at all the wrong places, and settle into a nice lull as the credits start rolling. Then it happens - I say the posionous words - they just slip out involuntarily!

"The book was so much better"

And there began a well-worn argument that went on all night, and at the end of it we agreed to disagree. As usual.

I have this conversation with my movie-buff friend every single time we watch a movie that has been adapted from a book, and I just might be starting to get tired of it.

Well this blog post is not going to be about that tiring argument A. because I'm obviously going to side with books, and B. because you've probably had a similar argument yourself or at least read about it somewhere (my favorite Youtuber did one here).
          It's going to be about the movies themselves - not about how bad they were, but just the fact that they were made. Because, let's face it, it's a huge tribute to books that Hollywood is giving them any attention at all - movies are just bigger than books (I blame all the flashy cars, scantily clad people, and groovy soundtracks).

So here's a list of movies that you didn't know were based on books (or plays as the case may be)

1. Lion King
Awww.. [I'm just giving you some space to recover from the cuteness that is this^ picture]

Anyway, Lion King is actually based on Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. Okay, maybe the Bard didn't invent the idea of an evil uncle, but look at the general story line. A just and noble king is accidentally-on-purpose killed by his evil brother, the confused prince has a vision of his father, is sent away and kept company by two chatty and foolish childhood friends - and then comes back to avenge his father and claim what is really his.
        A bit of a stretch, but Shakesphere's play was originally a tragedy, and it was adopted by Disney - of course there was a happy ending, and no reality in the situation! (If you close your eyes to the fact that most of the movie characters are animals - you can almost see it)

2. Mrs. Doubtfire
The much acclaimed comedy with the much beloved Robin Williams dressed as a matron is actually based on a book by Anne Fine, named  Alias Madame Doubtfire.

3. Silver Linings Playbook
Another acclaimed comedy - I see a pattern arising. Silver Lining's Playbook was actually a book by Matthew Quick before it was redone as the award-winning movie that brought Jennifer Lawrence to the A-list.
       Actually, I did read this book before I watched the movies, and I must say that the adaptation was very liberal - more than half of the original storyline is destroyed and the other half is ruthlessly enhanced into a very glamorous version of itself!

4. Slumdog Millionaire
This gorgeously-made movie (that won too many awards to count) ranks really high on my favorites list (right up there with Requiem for a Dream and The English Patient), and turns out it was adapted from a book called Q&A by Vikas Swarup - that one is going on my To-be-Read list!

5. Shrek
Steven Spielberg apparently acquired the rights to shrek from William Stieg who wrote a book of the same name.

So it's not really about whether the book or movie is better, it's about whether the movie was made from a book or not!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Word of the Day - Pickwickian

I woke up this morning to absolutely delightful news; today's Word of the Day is


1. (of words or ideas) meant or understood in a sense different from the apparent or usual one.
2.(of the use or interpretation of an expression) intentionally or unintentionally odd or unusual.
3. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Mr. Pickwick, central character of The Pickwick Papers .

I've only known this word as something Charles Dickens would say, and it never ocurred to me that it would become a real, official word. 
     As far as ambition goes, I think that's mine - future word-maker (doesn't have quite the ring of Word Nerds but I'll take it) in the making! 

Anyway, back to the word: not only is this a nice tribute to great fiction, but it's also a fun thing to say - PICKwickian, Pickwickian, PICKWICKian...I could go on forever!

I've had a hard time coming up with a way to squeeze this word into conversation, but don't worry I will find out a way to squeeze this into polite conversation, or maybe I'll just say out loud at a random inappropriate moment - just for the heck of it. 

Here are some real people who used the word without sounding stupid:

She also said, smiling subtly, that she used the wordfriends in a Pickwickian sense…I replied that I did not know what she meant; and she said to me…"My friends, there are no friends!"
-- Randall Jarrell, Pictures from an Institution , 1954

...In some curious Pickwickian way, of course. You know: it's true, but you consistently act as though it weren't...
-- Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer Dies theSwan , 1939

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Kurt Vonnegut Book Review

          The name science fiction suggests a genre of mechanical, complicated stories set in a wonderfully horrid future of absurd technology. It suggests confusion and breaks for googling quantum physics references (try "The String Theory"). What it doesn't imply is a hard-hitting, and ironic, commentary of human nature.
          Kurt Vonnegut is one of those men whose futuristic science-y crap is actually a testimony to what's really interesting - people and their interesting interesting lives.

 Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

Told with deadpan humour & bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon &, worse still, surviving it ...

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding 'fathers' of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he's the inventor of 'ice-nine', a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet.

The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three ecentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker's Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, that for all of us, is nigh..

A fake religion. A banana republic. The end of the world. A beautiful girl. 
That's all there is to this book really. 

Riding on the wave of the typical Cold War fear of an instantanteous end to this world, this 1963 novel is just so perfect for its time. 
        Tiny chapters (just one or two pages long) are woven together by the wise, insightful words of a fake religion. These flickering episodes were precisely like seemingly unconnected flashes of memory - the true memoir of a wandering mind. 
       The science really only played a minor role (while single-handedly progressing the entire plot) with the idea of the atomic bomb popping up as often as I imagine it must have popped up in the 60s. Ultimately, it is one man's heartless science that lead to the much-feared (and much-celebrated) end of the world.
         I really don't know what to say, I enjoyed the irony, the dark humor, and almost felt myself transported back to the unrest of the 60s with a mindset of uncertainty, and fear - a coarse humor of a grim kind. 

The title Cat's Cradle comes from the string game we all played as kids - a tangle of fingers and thin threads to make coherent shapes. (Here's a picture because I'm a terrible explainer:)
And it ties into the mood of uncertainty of the book. "We've been lied to!" is what the title screams, and this is explicitly laid out when one of the characters (a midget character - just to give you a visual, and to display the absolute randomness of this book) joins in,
               No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's….[And] No damn cat, and no damn cradle.

         So if you ever wonder what it was like in the 50s, pick up this book before you go reading dreary journalistic articles about "Teenage Delinquency," and "Life After the War." It'll give you an accurate representation of an entire era - not bad for a science fiction book. Not bad at all. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Lovers' Tag

Hi everyone :)
So my fellow book blogger Azee has tagged me in my first ever book tag.. Thanks girl!
I love reading her book blog, and I must admit that I've stolen some ideas been inspired by her a number of times - so check out her blog The Book Ponderer/UnderCover Critique (yes, it has so much cool that it needs two names).

The tag is just a number of questions that I get to answer and pass on to others. So without much further ado, here goes nothing..
(sidenote: is the phrase 'here goes nothing' actually supposed to mean anything? Or is it sarcasm? I haven't been able to find its origins - the internet has failed me again)

1. Do you have a specific place for reading?

I don't really think about where I am and what I'm doing when I'm reading - I live in the world of my characters, revelling in the sounds and noises of Narnia, Hogwarts, Middle Earth, or turn-of-the-century New York. 
      But the ideal book-reading spot, for me at least, would be cozy and warm with the vibe of a dusty old library (without actually being dusty or old or a library). The kind of place to cuddle up on a cold Winter's morning.

Something like this would do just fine
2. Bookmarks or a Random Piece of Paper? 

I may be expressing the unpopular opinion here, but I love eBooks and have never had much use for bookmarks.. (More on that later). 
       But that doesn't mean I don't collect them. I came across this marvelous business online whose whole bookmark theme is "Reasons to use this Bookmark" and they make adorable bookmarks with little reasons like "There's a noisy eater in the room," and "The dog desperately needs a walk."
These are just a few of my growing collection
3. Can you just stop anywhere or do you need to finish a chapter?

If I do stop at all, I need to finish a chapter. Of course. 
(I spend most nights reading books, and then leave the house with dark circles, unbrushed hair, and poorly-picked out clothes)

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Nope. I'm a big eater, and I'd hate to eat mindlessly while reading - and then regret not savoring the food later. (Haha I bet you thought I'd be worried about the book or the Kindle!)

5. Music or TV while reading?

I prefer music to television, but I mostly avoid both (for the same reason as the food question above - simply cannot multi-task, and would regret not enjoying the music or the TV). 
       Sometimes I listen to music just to flush out distracting voices from the outside world (I'm a compulsive eavesdropper) - just some Bon Iver-esque tunes to be the rythmic motions of my brain cells - reading really is soothing (even if you're reading Stephen King's psychological terror). 

6. One book at a time or several?

At this point, I must confess that I am not as much of a bibliophile as I thought I was. 
Firstly, I read books on one week intervals because it takes me that long to be able to transition from the gorgeous ending of one book to even the thought of begining another. 

So, no. I am not one of those brilliant souls who can read more than one book at a time. 

7. Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Sometimes it really depends on the book. A few books have dragged me into the outside world just so that I can feel the wind between my fingers as I flip their pages; others have pulled me into the depths of despair, and all I can do is ball up in bed and read through the night. 

8. Read out loud or silently?

I have to admit that I sometimes re-read particularly delightful parts of my books out loud - for the people in the room with me, and, if I'm alone, just for myself. 
        On the other hand, I always read poetry out loud - my voice is the only thing that can bring it alive in my particular way. I also love listening to poetry because everyone makes each piece sound different. 

Is anyone still with me? We're almost done you guys! Hang on :)

9. Do you read ahead or skip the pages?

I do. 
It's not a crime! Don't look at me like that!
I really don't know anyone who isn't guilty of the sin of skipping pages. No one is that saintly!

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

This is yet another question that doesn't apply to iconoclastic Kindle-reading me. But I always kept my books in pristine conditions. 

Okay, here we go! Last question - and again, it doesn't end in a nice divisible-by-5 number.

11. Do you write in your books?

It's incredible easy to make notes on our Kindle, and they can be pages long if I wanted. I never wrote in my traditional books but that is only because I slipped small pieces of paper with my commentary in between the pages instead. 

If you're still here, I congratulate you on your spectacular achievement on slogging through this collosal post, and thank you :)

I nominate: 

Christine at Bibliophilic Madness
Alex at The Books Buzz and 
Eduardo at Booming Books

Plus if anyone else reads this, and wants to do it - you're welcome to!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Presents for the Quintessential Bookworm (that are not books)

         I recognize that holiday season is long gone (No, I do not consider Valentines Day a holiday. I mean the words 'love-is-in-the-air' are sickening enough without the ubiquitous commercialization and gory beginnings), but who said presents should be confined to Christmas and Birthdays anyway?

Buying presents for book-lovers is a bit tricky. It may be tempting to just drop into the closest Barnes and Nobles and just pick a random paperback, but that's a bad idea for many reasons.
I repeat, DO NOT buy your bookworm friend a book!

First of all, you cannot buy them a copy of their favorite book, because they probably already have one (and most bookworms like their old worn-out copies thank you very much).

Second, they might not like the book, but will still read it one day and hate every moment of it. Do you really want to inflict that much torture? (compulsive reading should be a disorder.. I once read a Gossip Girl book that I found at the back of my bookshelf; it made me frown so much that I started to worry that my face would get stuck that way)

Luckily, there are plenty of other book-related things that you could get your favorite bookworm without actually having to stir further than your laptop.

Book Fashion

Is your book-lover the stereotypical train wreck who's always forgetting to brush their hair because they were too engrossed in their book? Or are they the pinnacle of modern fashion?
Either way, book fashion is something they will love - I mean which bookworm doesn't want to literally wear their passion on their sleeves?

A book scarf featuring The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
Find more here:

Bookshelf Accessories

Every good bookworm has a spectacular bookshelf that needs accessorizing :)

Book sculptures from third-hand books
Check out some amazing book accessories here:

And lastly, if you absolutely must celebrate Valentines Day and plan to buy flowers for your Bibliophile, why not give them book roses? If you're asking me what I'm talking about - they're literally roses made of books. Books and Valentines..who would have thought?

Book roses
Find more at:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

6 Quotes that Sum up Literary History

          Snippets, and phrases. Philosophies, and quips. Pages long, and blink-and-you'll-miss-it short.
Quotes are bite-sized pieces of literature. To go. 
They're almost the fast-food of reading, but healthier. 

So here's a quick order of all the most unforgettable quotes in literary history.

Steven Chobsky - The Perks of Being A Wallflower
This quote is a legend of contemporary times, and there is no way you could have avoided hearing about it...even if you've been living under a rock.

Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities
Looks like I simply cannot write a blog post without mentioning Dickens in it at least once...or is it that he just cannot stay out of my blog?

T.S. Eliot - The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
From: tumblr. com
Yes, T.S. Eliot you apparently did, because that poem has indeed changed lives and maybe even diverted fate a couple of times..

Anne Frank - The Diary of A Young Girl
This coming from a girl in the middle of a genocide. This coming from a girl hiding from men who were wont to kill her because of her name, her religion, her ways of life.
      Nobody can stress the significance of this quote enough.

F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
If you weren't forced to read this book in high school, you must have at least gotten a glimpse of its recent(ish) blockbuster remake, starring Leonardo Dicaprio (of all people).
         This is the perfect nostalgia quote.. The fact that it is in Popular Culture is an added bonus.

I wanted to make this a nice even number (for some reason, I like it when numbers are easily divisible by five - my math classes have scarred my brain in a way that I will never understand), buuut there's just one more quote that will make this fast-food meal a perfect one...

Kurt Vonnegut - God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
And that is all anyone ever really needs to know about life. Really.

Order Up!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Very Bookish Vacation

         Salt in the air, and laughter in my lungs; sand between my toes, and wind in my hair: I really seemed to be having a great vacation in Hawaii, but something just seemed to be missing - and I knew exactly what that was. Books. 

        I'm usually a very meticulous traveller - packing the most important books first (and, invariably forgetting my toothpaste), but this time I was a bit too meticulous, and packed all my books in one bag. Which I'd then, promptly, left behind. 

       Lazing on the beach, rather than having the intended calming effect, seemed to only emphasize my dull feeling of missing something (I could be reading Waltman right now, I'd think to myself). The only piece of reading material I had on me was one of those terribly bland (and incredibly overpriced) magazines I'd snatched up at the airport in desperation. 

       Three days in, and I just couldn't take it anymore. So I snuck my family's ridiculous rental -a salmon-colored convertible ("It's a vacation car!" my Lexus-driving father had exclaimed at the airport)- to the tiny little beach town of Kailua in hopes of finding writing, any writing - be it a fancily written tour guide, or a Guide to Surfing or just any book with words arranged in a coherent order really. 

      But what I found was far more than I expected (though my expectations -of pristine tour guides fresh off the press- were very low). The local book store at Kailua was truly a tropical paradise. 

      Bookends is a small, privately owned business nudged in between a quaint Indian-Malaysian cafe, and an energetic-looking surf store. Though among the extremities of the bright neon colors of the surf store, and the worn brown of the cafe, the book store seemed to fit right in. The three businesses were like inseperable, but very different, best-friends - similar, but unique. 

      The moment I stepped in, I knew that this was the place I was going to spend the rest of my vacation, and I was right. My eyesore of a convertible (a 2001 Chrysler) became a regular sight in front of the store, and soon I stopped carrying that repulsive aura of a tourist around me, and almost blended into the local scene. Almost. 

One narrow segway at Bookends.
The good times..
       Stacked to the rafters with second-hand, third-hand, and fourth-hand books left by tourists from all over the world, Bookends was a store that carried an authentic beach town vibe, while also catering excellently to those wandering tourists who had stumbled upon it accidentally (me). 

       From chattering with Julie, the glasses-toting, flip-flop wearing store owner, to enjoying Hawaiian-Indian-Malaysian food at the cafe next door with the "regulars," my days at the book store were far from anti-social. Actually I thought that Bookends dropped me right into the very middle of Kailua town's eccentric and eclectic population (from the Theo, the Buddhist surfer to Julie the college-student-and-bookworm, the people I met were so very diverse). 

Many people think that reading isn't really a vacation, but even stepping into the book world, and forgetting reality is like taking a break. And when book reading comes with perks like interesting pieces of advice from vegetarian Hawaiian natives, I think it very much counts as a vacation. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weird(ly awesome) Fictional Feasts

        My dog-eared copy of Pickwick Papers can be found in the very back of my bookshelf, hidden for shame among the shadows; it's yellowing pages peaks from behind an equally antique copy of Moby Dick. You may ask why I must treat this poor, obviously well used book in such a fashion. Why must the amusing Mr Pickwick, with all his antics, be sent into such an exile?
         The answer is simple. Mr. Pickwick makes me fat.
There is so much good eating in the said book that I am certain that I have never finished reading the book without also having emptied my mother's (not-so) secret pastry stash.    

From Enid Blyton's elaborate 3-page descriptions of picnics on the beach, to J.K. Rowling's unfairly short mentions of the delicious Halloween feast at Hogwarts, literature has been the home for many memorable food moments.

Here are some legendary literary foods that have set my stomach grumbling,  

Marcel Proust, Madelienes, and Tea. 

Book: In Search of Lost Time
Author: Marcel Proust

Dipping a madeliene into his tea, the narrator is hit by an overwhelming sense of deja vu, and is carried back into his memory.

This is my time-machine feast. The simple sweet-but-not-really taste of a madeliene provides the perfect background for the
sweet, exotic tast of tea. Nostalgia for the good times is an added benefit.

Herman Melville, the Smell of the Sea, and Clam Chowder

Book: Moby Dick
Author: Herman Melville

Three wind-swept, sea-faring strangers come to Try Pots inn with salty lungs, and empty insides. The description of hot clam chowder with its juicy hazel-nut sized clams served to them takes up an entire chapter.

I don't know about you, but if I had survived for weeks on slimy fish, and cold hard crackers, I would be ecstastic too if I was served a bowl of warm, thick soup.

Johanna Spyri, and Goat's Cheese in the Alps

Book: Heidi
Author: Johanna Spyri

Grandfather spread a thick layer of cheese of Heidi's brown bread, toasted it over the fire and set it down next to her cup of cold milk.
Heidi drank the milk so fast that she forgot to take a breath, and ate the bread in a few quite bites.

This simple, but wholsome meal is, to me, the essense of living as one with nature.

J.K. Rowling, The Three Broomsticks, and Butterbeer

Book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabhan
Author: J.K. Rowling

Harry's first sip of butterbeer made him feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Happiness flooded his insides, and he neither knew nor cared why.

Butterbeer, I imagine, is really and truly happiness in a cup.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Book Review (Or Something like That): The Humans by Matt Haig

I first found Matt Haig through a blog post of his: a passionate, yet witty, piece about how book snobs are poisonous to the entire reading community (which is ironic because I was, and probably still am, a huge book snob. If you don't want to be on the recieving end of my extreme-judge-face, don't let me catch you reading 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight), and I loved his serious, but funny, writing.
         When I read of his history of depression and watched his funny videos, I realized that it was not just his writing that was an intriguing combination of depth and humor. Matt Haig is a man who takes you to the depths of his solitude, but makes you laugh all the while. He's funny, and he's heartwarming; he makes me laugh, and he makes me cry- sometimes even at the same time. 

The Humans - Matt Haig

(The synopsis is in italics. Please don't skip this! It's like a book trailer. Made of words. It's a word trailer!!)

Body-snatching has never been so heartwarming . . .

The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics, and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves. Combine Douglas Adams’s irreverent take on life, the universe, and everything with a genuinely moving love story, and you have some idea of the humor, originality, and poignancy of Matt Haig’s latest novel.

Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t a very nice man--as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family, and “the humans” than he ever expected. When he begins to fall for his own wife and son--who have no idea he’s not the real Andrew--the alien must choose between completing his mission and returning home or finding a new home right here on Earth.

Who could be a more objective observer of humans than an alien from outer-space?

I started reading this book with a belief that it would be just as iconoclastic as my (secretly-anarchist) heart is, but my first impressions (as always) were wrong; as it turned out, this book wasn't really about criticizing the triviality of our society. No, it was far more interested in the deeper lines that govern it (Deeper even than how Botox makes one feel younger, and how fashion magazines are just advertising giants that are as concerned for your self-esteem as they are for last's season Prada bag..).
The objective, out-of-this-world protagonist observer is just confused as I am when he reads the Cosmopolitan: his first piece of written information about our planet. Through a number of what would be considered-awkward-if-he-was-human moments (only made worse by his newly attained knowledge from that extremely important commentary of the fashion world), life on Earth is ridiculed to my heart's content as he questions again and again what the human purpose of life is. But that is the end of the iconoclasm, and the beginning of a book built on thoughts, emotions, and explanations. An understanding of what does and does not make us human. It was so beautiful that even my non-conformist heart was warmed with pride of our species, and a sudden need to say loud and proud that I'm an irrational, contradictionary, condescending, but totally loving human being.

I would have quoted a particularly enlightening passage to emphasize my point, but then I would have ended up with an unreadable-long review :)
This book has been beautiful. A must-read if there ever was one.

This review is also featured on my goodreads page. 

To ensure complete some amount of objectivity, and because I only really had to read the synopsis of this book to know that it is exactly what I am looking for, here are a few others, of the Goodreads community, who agree with me :)

"The world is divided into those who have read this book and those who have not." - Mark Matthews

" [this book] made me laugh out loud, cringe with embarrassment, ache with loneliness, radiate with love." - Jackie

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Grab a Thesaurus...

(No, seriously; I'm Indian)

            Welcome to "One Too Many Adjectives," my brand-new book blog for every logophile out there who's dying in the world of 140-characters, and confusing texting acronyms (If it ever gets too bad, just remember that you are not alone).
           In hopes of providing some relief to ailing bibliophiles, and logophiles alike; on this blog, I'm going to be doing book reviews of new releases as well as classics, Word of the Day posts, Quote of the Day posts, and more, all piled on with an ample amount of adjectives, because, let's face it, longer sentences are just more interesting to read. So, yes, the title of this blog is, indeed, an ironic statement (you can never have too many adjectives if you use them right!).

To prove my point, this is my favorite sentence ever. It was written by Charles Dickens back in 1859, in his book A Tale of Two Cities, about the peasants who stormed the Bastille:
The sea of black and threatening waters, and of destructive upheaving of wave against wave, whose depths were yet unfathomed and whose forces were yet unknown. The remorseless sea of turbulently swaying shapes, voices of vengeance, and faces hardened in the furnaces of suffering until the touch of pity could make no mark on them. 
 I can almost see the sea of tired serfs storming an even more tired building!

Anyway, I'm really hoping to share this blog with many others who enjoy all-things related to the written word. Thanks for reading :)

More coming soon!