Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

Keep Reading

A man is known by the company he keeps. And a book is any day good company. It reveals more about your character. It reflects your tastes, your desires, your perspectives, and a bit of the real you.

Books have a deeper impact on your mind and heart. They become a characteristic trait.
Research shows that most of the successful people, read. And read books that broaden their perspective and their knowledge and their thought process. They have more information; learn from other people’s experience; and are better at evaluating and making decisions.
We all know that reading is to mind what exercise is to body. In today’s age of technological and psychological advancement, our minds do need to open up more. And a book is said to communicate with us on deeper levels than any human being can. It speaks to our mind and to our heart. Directly.
A book can make you visit lands that you’ve seen before; peep into the depths of history; learn from the greatest minds; ponder over issues that you never paid heed to before; and bring about thoughts that would address real problems and shape the world around you. The levels of connect could be different, but the purpose is simple. To make you better.

You may be a funny man, and reading the works of Allen Smith, Douglas Adams, etc. help you hone your skills and acquire higher levels of humor. Of late, Kartik Iyengar’s Horn Ok Please has been creating waves. And amongst the experienced ones, Abhijit Bhaduri’s works are highly recommended.

If you possess “creative imagination” you end up reading more of J.K. Rowling, David Eddings, Neil Gaiman, Roger Zelazny, Terry Pratchett, C.S. Lewis, and our very own Samit Basu etc., and you build your own fantasy world, bringing out improvised characters that have a trait of your personality.

If you possess good communication skills; have a knack to sync practicality and emotional thoughts with the ability to lead, works of Yogesh Chabria, Shiv Khera and Deepak Chopra would interest you more and help you develop interpersonal skills to reach your goal as ‘motivational speaker’.
Yogesh stresses that wealth without peace of mind, fun, and happiness is useless. He says that without Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, is impossible to get.
Deepak Chopra, an Indian public speaker, and writer on Ayurveda, spirituality and mind-body medicine, began his career as an endocrinologist and later shifted his focus to alternative medicine. One of his main messages is that by ridding oneself of negative emotions and developing intuition by listening to signals from the body, health can be improved.
Shiv Khera, an Indian motivational speaker, author of self-help books, business consultant, activist and politician, came out with his first book in 1998. You Can Win introduced his trademark quote, “Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently.” The focus of the book was on achieving success through personal growth and positive attitude.

There are stacks and piles of books of literary value – from classics to literature to poetry to modern day “metro reads”; from sci-fi to chick-lit to recipe books; the options are aplenty and the choices varied.

FromShakespeare to Charles Dickens to William Wordsworth to Chetan Bhagat to Ahmed Faiyaz and the whole new generation of writers who do churn out readable material.
So my point is, read what you really like. Your mind retains things that you like and eventually reflects someway in your personality. It makes you a better person. A learned one too.
There was a time when people worried about reading too much. And today, too little.

In this age where our meals are supersized and books abridged, I wonder where exactly we are headed. Any guesses?

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Book Review of “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield

 

Bringing alive the fine art of storytelling is Diane Setterfield’s debut novel The Thirteenth Tale.

It engrosses you in a world you might have left long ago – a world of ghosts, secrets, stormy nights, enchanted families, and of course surprise endings. A classic fairytale of sorts.

A few pages down and I couldn’t tell fact from the fiction. The words engulf you into a whole new world – you feel the love, the romance, the fear, the thrill, the suspense, and the satisfaction of being a part of this wonderful experience.

The Thirteenth Tale is essentially a story about stories.

Margaret Lea is a bookish, single woman, still living with her parents in London. She manages and runs her father’s bookstore and carries a physical as well as an emotional scar. She is also a serious biographer, penning the lives of the deserving but long-lost individuals.

She is surprised to receive a letter from a popular author, Vida Winter, to write her biography. Vida is known for her amazing story-telling skills. No one knows about her real life. Nor her real name. Standing at the brink of old age, Vida wants her story to be known – and not buried with her body.

Vida is known to have authored a volume titled “Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation,” but strangely it has only twelve tales. The thirteenth one is missing. And there revolves a lot of controversy and talk about it among the folks. Margaret is intrigued by the book and she agrees to interview Vida. Vida ends up offering to tell her real, unabridged story to Margaret. But Margaret isn’t sure she can believe this master story-teller since she is known to have eluded reporters in the past with stories so fictional that they couldn’t possibly be true. As Margaret is about to walk out Vida utters a magic word (“twin”), which makes Margaret stop and remember the loss of her twin siste.

The two ladies strike up a deal: Vida will tell her true story, her own way; and Margaret will not interrupt at all.

Then begins Vida’s story – the tale of a pair of twins born in a rich, flamboyant dysfunctional family. The twins, Emmeline and Adeline Angelfield; the gothic ancestors; a grand house with deep secrets known to none; rich with ghosts and chills that make the entire experience (for Margaret) more than just a story. Amidst the backdrop of the Yorkshire countryside, Margaret has her share of experience overcoming her haunting past.

I shall refrain from telling you any further about the story and Margaret’s adventure throughout, lest I ruin the reading spree that you all should be on by now.

I took “my own sweet time” to read this book – savoring each word like a well-prepared delicacy. I was hooked on to each word. I did not want the book to end. Somehow, at the back of my mind, I was looking forward to more pages of mystery (added magically) as I reached the last page.

The rich descriptions and perfect pace takes you back in time when Jane Austen and Charles Dickens were “the thing” to read. No I’m not saying the characters or the settings are lifted or derived – but sparklingly original and imaginative.

It is intriguing, daring, and scary, and thrilling to the extent that days after you’ve finished the book – it is sure to stay in your mind and your heart.

The writing, I feel, is flawless. Absolutely. The plot and the characters are unique and interesting. It is a much powerful book than you can imagine. Pick up a copy for yourself to know what I’m saying.

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