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Reading Challenges 2012 Sign-Ups

4 Jan

Last year was the first time, I really took part in reading challenges. To find out about these challenges and the books I read for them, you can read all about my 2011 challenges. This year, I initially decided to keep my challenges to the minimum since I was also busy with university. But what can I say? I’m optimistic? I like to bury my head in the ground every now and then, and deny reality? In any case, this year I’ve decided to sign up for 4 reading challenges. Right, that’s one more that last year. So here they are…

South Asian Challenge 2012

Hosted by Swapna @ S.Krishna’s Books, the South Asian challenge is close to my own interests – of reading more authors from the region. My reading tends to be skewed heavily to Indian authors, but that worked very well for me last year. This year, I’m setting myself a very modest goal of 5 books, hoping I can do much better than that.

Historical Fiction Challenge 2012

Hosted by the Historical Tapestry, this challenge allows you to sign up at different levels. I’m going to stick with what I signed up for last year: Daring and Curious which requires me to read 5 books. Again I hope to read a lot more.

Criminal Plots 2012

Hosted by the wonderful Jen @Jen’s Book Thoughts, for this challenge you need to read one book for each of these themes:

1. Novel with a weapon in the title
2. Book published at least 10 years ago
3. Book written by an author from the state/provinence/etc. where you live.
4. Book written by an author using a pen name
5. Crime novel whose protagonist is the opposite gender of the author
6. A stand-alone novel written by an author who writes at least one series

What’s in a Name 5

Hosted by Beth Fish Reads, this challenge requires you to read one book in each of the categories:

  1. A book with a topographical feature (land formation) in the title
  2. A book with something you’d see in the sky in the title
  3. A book with a creepy crawly in the title
  4. A book with a type of house in the title
  5. A book with something you’d carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title
  6. A book with a something you’d find on a calendar in the title

So off I go! What fun challenges are you participating in this year?

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2011: Bookish Snapshots

30 Dec

(Stats courtesy GoodReads)

This has been such an exciting year. I didn’t get as much reading as I though I’d get done, but I read some wonderful books, discovered great authors and series and just had fun.

In other life-altering news, I also decided to go back to school and moved to London to do my MA in Publishing.

Here is a round-up of my reading and reviewing activities in 2011.

To see how I did on my reading challenges, see this page on 2011 Reading Challenges.

Here are other stats:

No. of posts: 92

No. of books read: 78

No. of books reviewed: 66

Top books of 2011

This is obviously a hard list to come up with and it’s taken me weeks to narrow it down and I still can’t make it a top 10. So here is a Top 19.

Most of these are books that I rated 4.5 or higher. Some that I rated 4 have also made it into the list – simply because when I thought back to them I decided that they were some of my favourite reads of the year.

See all the reviews here:

The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas
Five Queen’s Road by Sorayya Khan
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbra Kingsolver
Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert
An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson
Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner
The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy
Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
The Taker by Alma Katsu
Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman
The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma
This Burns My Heart by Samuel Parks

I also discovered audiobooks with a vengeance and participated in Audiobook Week 2011.

New author discovered

Jo Nesbo

I listed to The Snowman and The Leopard this year and absolutely love these chilling, gruesome crime thrillers set in chilly Norway.

These books are narrated by  Sean Barrett whose voice fits the character Harry Hole and is just perfect to tell these icy tales. I’m definitely going to finish the entire Harry Hole series this year.

Favourite series

The Reincarnationist series by M.J. Rose

I ran through these three books in the series. Loved the past-life memories and reincarnation aspect. The thriller and adventure angle were also just great. I’ve already requested and received for review the next book by M.J Rose around the same theme.

Read my reviews of The Reincarnationist, The Memorist and The Hypnotist.

In 2012, I hope to follow books published in the UK a little more and hopefully review books for publishers based in London. (London publishers, are you reading this?)

Here’s to another great year of reading. Happy 2012!

Hello from London!

30 Sep

Just a quick note to say hello to all my readers and to explain my long absence: I’ve been rather busy setting up in London, UK. I’m here to do my MA in Publishing and it’s been a whirlwind of things.

My apologies to the publishers, publicists and authors who’ve sent me review copies. I have been reading and making notes and I will be putting up my reviews anon.

I have the following books to review (and hope to start publishing them in the next few days and weeks):

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon van Booy
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes (audiobook)
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
This Burns My Heart by Samuel Parks
The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam
Irma Voth by Miriam Toews
Love Child by Sheila Kohler
The Legacy by Katherine Webb
The Winters in Bloom by Lisa Tucker
The Halo Effect by M.J. Rose

Some of these books really delighted me and I can’t wait to share my views, and others didn’t quite do it for me. A lot of catching up to do, then.

P.S. Any of my bookish peeps in London? Give me a shout – would love to meet or exchange information about book events.

Cheers, and talk to all soon.

Audiobook Week: My Audiobook Year 2010-2011

6 Jun

It’s Audiobook Week! Go on over to Devourer of Books, to participate and share your love of audiobooks.

I am a relative newbie to audiobooks but have always had the pleasure of listening to stories. From the time that I was a wee little girl, my grandparents, parents, and aunts have all told me stories. I still remember many of them and cherish not only the stories but also the memories that they stir up. I can never think of the Three Little Pigs or the Ramayana without thinking of my Grandad who would read to me every afternoon after school.

In recent years however, all my story/book consumption has been through reading, until late last year when I realised that I was missing out on something wonderful. Since then I’ve been hunting for good audiobooks and have come across blogs and sites that can point me in the right direction. I’ve only listened to around 5 or 6 so far (I manage about 1 a month), but I LOVE them! Here are the reviews that are already up: A Passage to India and A Reliable Wife.

These days I’m never without an audiobook. My drive to and from work has become so much more bearable. There are days when traffic in bad (I live in Bangalore, India) and my listen is punctuated by loud honking, making me miss bits and pieces! Even on days when I don’t feel like driving, I woman up and take the car just so I can continue listening to my book. They’re also great company while doing other errands around the house.

My favourites so far have been the Jo Nesbo Harry Hole series. (Look out for my review of the audiobook of The Leopard tomorrow.) The stories are brilliant and the narrator is so good!

Check out other discussion posts and reviews on Devourer of Books for Audiobook Week and come back here for reviews of audiobooks I’ve listened to in the past few months!

Do you listen to Audiobooks? Share what you like (or don’t, gasp!) about them.