Tag Archives: books

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Warm, funny and intensely nostalgic, Bill Bryson’s ‘Thunderbolt Kid’ is one of the best pieces of literature I’ve read in a while. He opens with the line, ‘I was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Somebody had to.’; setting the tone for a book that is a wild, wild ride into the inner workings of a kid who grew up in one of the best times that America has ever seen.

The ‘Thunderbolt Kid’ charmed me. The writing style, the stories, practically everything about the book screamed out to me. As a girl who grew up in India in the 2000’s, there is practically nothing for me to relate to. And it was perhaps, exactly this novelty, that drew me in. The 1950s was a heady time in America-the Great Depression was finally over and prosperity was just around the corner. Everywhere you looked, you saw signs of a big, big world waiting to emerge. Bill describes each day bringing something new- color television; the atomic toilets at Bishop’s; the Kiddie Corral at Dahl’s, the local supermarket, filled with the most comic books you could ever see in a single place; and the most wondrous of all- Disneyland. It was a heady time in America and everyone knew it.

In the midst of all these goings-on was Bill, with a keen mind of his own. This, coupled with his zest for adventure and propensity to get into trouble, combine to produce a series of endearing real-life stories from his childhood. A book that perfectly chronicles a kid’s experience of growing up in a country that was poised at the very edge of becoming an undisputed superpower, the ‘Thunderbolt Kid’ is sure to leave you in love with the times that were.

Inimitable and perfect to a fault. 

Links to buy this awesome book-

http://www.amazon.in/Life-Times-Thunderbolt-Kid-Memoir/dp/0767919378

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/life-and-times-of-the-thunderbolt-kid-bill-bryson/1102933577

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The Reading Jinx

The much dreaded Reading Jinx is one that occasionally afflicts bibliophiles. Sometimes, it even happens without your meaning it to happen. From reading every day, you read every other day, then it trickles down to once a week and before you know it, you haven’t read anything new for a month now. Imagine that! While pondering over the cause and mulling over it might yet lead to you ending up with a satisfactory explanation, I would suggest you take it to understand that you are currently in disfavour with the Reading Gods and think no more about it.

Now, recovering from this jinx though, is the next best thing to receiving an unlimited supply of books your entire life. Few joys can match that of reading a book after a long time and if it happens to be a good book, then boy!, you have been blessed.

When I spied ‘The Collectors’ by David Baldacci in my friend’s latest book haul, I was sorely tempted to give it a miss. One, I had read too many of his works and they were getting predictable and two, I wanted to break my reading jinx with a challenging book, one that demanded every teeny bit of my attention and perseverance.
But alas! These matters are not in a bibliophile’s hands. So I found myself seated in the bus, on a cold rainy morning, reading the book. Paying nil attention to co-travellers and narrowly forgetting to get off at the stop..These things are bound to happen when you have pages of print in your hands.

Two days of this routine and I was done with the book. It is quite an enjoyable book, one that I’m sure Baldacci fans will love. Racketeering, a beautiful thief and a few good men form the crux of the story. It wasn’t a story that would stick with me nor was it one I would easily dismiss.

My reading jinx had been broken, in the most normal of ways.

Reading Woes

There was a minor interference in the form of exams and the only book I could write a half-decent review on right now is probably ‘Digital Signal Processing’. I’ve been berating myself for not reading as much as I should, but that’s ALL I’ve been doing. I’ve been trying to read ‘Lolita‘ unsuccessfully for the past week, but turns out, I don’t much like it. Sigh.

But there’s good news around the corner. I just ordered ‘Anna Karenina‘ by Leo Tolstoy and ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray‘ by Oscar Wilde, so I’m sufficiently happy in the knowledge that my time will be soon consumed by two amazing books. Ah! Just the thought of it sends me into a tail-spin.

But the one thing I HAVE been doing fairly regularly is visiting a lot of blogs and getting inspired (Or so I tell myself). Jerry Mahoney’s blog and Worth Doing Badly-Tinman’s Blog have me in splits and I can’t seem to get enough of their writing.

I’ve also been nosing around a lot of book review blogs and A little blog of books is just the perfect place to start. Being a newbie, I’ve yet to explore a lot other amazing blogs out there but everyday, I’m discovering an awesome one and needless to say, I’m loving it.

Well then, hope you all get some reading done this weekend! Cheers.

Why We Love Books (And You Should, Too!)

Do you have that one friend or family member whose nose is forever buried deep inside a book, who sniffles at sudden moments and smiles secretly while reading a book? Oh wait, you are a bookworm yourself, aren’t you? Either way, you know the definition of one. Book-lovers are a unique breed, alright. At no point of time are they far away from a book. You might often find them engrossed in a book in a matter of a few minutes, with scant attention to matters of everyday life. So what is it we love so much about books? Well, I did some thinking about it and here it goes.

Firstly, and this is the reason I pick up a random book and start reading-Books can take a lot of things off your mind. When you’re reading, you’re in the moment. You’re there, not here. One of the very best things they can give you is a refuge. A place to engage your mind and let go of the present. And what can beat being able to live in the brink of two worlds, co-exist in two vastly different settings? Books can give you that unparalleled high.

Also have you ever thought about the magic words can work?

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

When you read a beautiful line like that, your face immediately lights up and your heart feels a thousand times lighter. And you carry that line around with you for the rest of the day. I absolutely cannot tell you what a priceless feeling that is. That is what books can do to you. They can make or break your day.

While some books inspire, others break you down. While some keep you in splits, others take you to a world where reality and fantasy blur and everything is out of focus. But perhaps, the one reason why we all love books is the power they give us. The power to imagine and create. There is the book the author created. Then there is the book your friend imagined and created while reading it. And then there’s yours. And a million more.

Well, to end things, one of my most favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird. I swear to you, that I have learnt more from this book than from experiences throughout my life. I owe everything to this book, my ideals and principles are all a result of this great piece of literature. If that’s not reason enough to love books, I wonder what is.