Book Review : My Antonia

My-Antonia.jpg (400×400)

My Antonia: originally published in 1918

Author: Willa Cather

Genres: Historical drama

Characters: Jim Burden, Antonia Shimerda, Lena Lingard, Josiah burden, Emmeline Burden, Mr. and Mrs. Shimerda, Jake Marpole, Otto Fuchs, Russian friends of Mr. Shimerda, Peter and Pavel

Ten year old Jim loses his parents and is sent by his relatives to live with his grandparents in rural Nebraska. He was accompanied by Jake Marpole , he was a farmhand who worked for his parents. They were traveling by train, Jim found out that an immigrant family from Bohemia – the Shimerdas were also on their way to Nebraska and were buying the land next to Jim’s grandparents.

Jim’s grandparents befriend the Shimerdas, Antonia their eldest daughter starts learning English from Jim. They become good friends.

Antonia’s father becomes homesick for his home back in Bohemia, he was able to find friendship with two Russians  Pavel and Peter who spoke the same language. Unfortunately Pavel dies suddenly and Peter sells his belongings and leaves to find a job in railway construction. Mr. Shimerda goes into depression and commits suicide. He had to be buried in one corner of their land, the church wouldn’t allow him to be  buried in their cemetery because he committed suicide.

After the snow melted, Antonia insisted on working in the fields with her brother, Ambrosch. She stopped going to school.

When Jim was 13 his grandparents moved to a  town closer to his school. He lost touch with his friend Antonia.  Luckily the neighbors of Jim’s grandparents were looking for a housekeeper, they hired Antonia, they were the Harlings. Jim was happy as he could renew his friendship with Antonia.

In town Antonia met some girls, she started to go out every night with them to dance. Mr. Harling fired her(Antonia), she then went to work for Wick Cutter, the money lender  and his wife. Antonia suspected Mr. Cutter’s motives and left the job and found work in a hotel.

In the meantime Jim graduates from high school, goes to a college in Lincoln, soon transfers to Harvard in Boston. He became a successful lawyer and got married.

Jim after twenty years visits Antonia, she was married and had 11 children. She was happy to see Jim, they talked about old times.

The memories of his childhood with Antonia  saddens him, he leaves satisfied knowing he and Antonia will always be bound together by the past.

This book was one that reminded me of my childhood, and how good it was. After reading ,”Angels and Demons” and “Wuthering Heights,”  my 13th novel, “My Antonia,”  was a pleasure to read, there was no violence, it is  a simple story of the prairies, the hardship the families endured, yet they were happy and peaceful. It served like an antidote to my mind.

………………………………………. 🙂


Book Review by Ranu

Wuthering Heights: A novel by Emily Bronte

WutheringHeights2011_poster.jpg (300×404)

Originally published , December 1847

Genres: Gothic fiction

Publisher: Thomas Cautley Newby

Characters: Catherine Earnshaw

Heathcliff : an orphan picked up by Catherine’s Father

Edgar Linton: Catherine’s husband

Cathy Linton: daughter of Catherine and Edgar

Isabella: Edgar’s sister

Nelly Dean(Ellen) primary narrator and Catherine’s servant.

Summary :

The story begins with Mr. Lockwood, a tenant of Heathcliff’s visit to his landlord’s home. He chanced to meet Ellen, ( Heathcliff’s servant). He implores Ellen to tell him the story of Heathcliff.

Here’s what Ellen narrates about ,”Wuthering Heights.” Mr. Earnshaw the father of Catherine and Hindley, a farmer and owner of Wuthering Heights brings home an orphan from Liverpool, where he was visiting.

He names the boy Heathcliff, who  is raised with his children. Catherine loved to have the company of another little boy, her brother disliked him for he thought his father was showing more affection to the orphan, as a result they did not get along. Catherine loved playing with him on the moors, the two were oblivious about anyone else. The two were best friends until,Catherine meets Isabella and Edgar Linton, they lived at Thrushcross Grange. Isabella and Edgar were happy to meet Catherine, but stayed clear of Heatcliff. He was unwelcome and treated as an outsider.

Heathcliff  was unhappy and began to think of revenge. In the beginning Catherine gave equal time to the Lintons and Heathcliff, it did not last long and it put the seed of jealousy in Heathcliff’s mind. It grew worse when he overheard Catherine telling Ellen she’d never marry him (Heathcliff). She ends up marrying Edgar. Heathcliff left   Wuthering Heights and was back three years later.

Heathcliff married Isabella,(Edgar’s sister). The seed for revenge was laid.

Soon after the marriage Catherine gives birth to a daughter and the couple named her Cathy.

Heathcliff promises to take revenge, his aim was to take control of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, it took 17 years to be  successful. He made up his mind to destroy everything Edgar holds dear.

He forces Cathy(Edgar’s daughter) to marry his son Linton.

Though I found Heathcliff evil, I still couldn’t help feeling sorry for him.  He was driven to take revenge caring little who gets hurt. Emily Bronte’s description of the place and the characters is exceptional.

……………………………… 🙂


Book Review: Angels and Demons

AngelsAndDemons.jpg (314×475)

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown:fiction

I read Dan Brown’s ,”The Da Vinci Code, before , “Angels and Demons,” I loved it and wrote about it in my review. One of my blogger friends indicated, “if you liked, “The Da Vinci Code,” You will like, Angels and Demons,”  more. I’m by nature curious so I bought a copy and started reading it on March 3rd,3:23 P.M Newfoundland time. Yesterday,March, 9th I finished reading it at 2:26 P.M.

When I picked up the book I noticed it had 710 pages, I was a bit unnerved thinking about Ayn Rand’s, “Atlas Shrugged,” which had 1168 pages.

Now the question is which one did I like, hands down, “Angels and Demons.”

When I started reading I knew, not only I’d finish reading it, but thank the person who recommended it.

Right from the beginning I felt the author must be a catholic, he knows so much about this religion or a very well read person. Whatever is the case I’ve learned a great deal regarding religion and science.

The novel is full of interesting characters, who were able to keep me reading the story from beginning to end.

Of the main characters I liked Langdon and Vittoria, the best.

There is one character whose name was Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca, throughout the story the author portrayed him so well, I didn’t even guess he’d be the one I’d say in the end, no not him. I had to admit the author is unbelievable!

…………………………… 🙂

Book Review: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

End_of_the_affair.jpg (510×755)

Free Wikipedia Image

A Book Review: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene 

This is my 8th book. I still have 17 more to read to meet the challenge of reading 25 in 2016.

I liked the book it is simple and concise. There were some highs and lows. The author managed to put his point across.

The main characters were :




The story revolved around these three.

There were others who had the supporting role.

Parkis was the detective employed by Bendrix to follow Sarah.

The end was somewhat tragic, one I didn’t suspect. There lies the beauty of the story. It makes it interesting and urges the reader to keep reading to know how it ends.

…………………………………… 🙂

Book Review: Reading Lolita in Tehran, A Memoir in Books: Author, Azar Nafisi

Book :Reading Lolita in Tehran

Author: Azar Nafisi

A Memoir in Books

ReadingLolitainTehran.jpg (312×475)

The characters in this book are real innocent people who unfortunately happened to be raised in a country where the word freedom did not seem to exist especially for women.

I often wonder why there is such a strict rule about covering ones head. The women in this story were not in favor of it. Can you believe they were flogged imprisoned even killed because a strand of hair of a girl or woman was visible, and to the authorities this was the worst possible crime a human could commit.

The author was expelled from her job because she refused to wear the veil. While one country punishes their women for not wearing the veil, there are others in the world who detest the veil. It’s all against the women.

My question is why is there so much restriction against women?

Before I lose track of what the book is about, I must rein in my thoughts and stick to the story of this book.

After losing her university job, the author selected seven or eight women students to her house to talk about literature. It was a fun way of learning ,it also gave the students an opportunity to talk about their life and the characters in the novels the author taught. She mentioned Nabokov’s novel Lolita more than others, among the novels they discussed were :Fitzgerald’s  ,  The great Gatsby, Austen’s  Pride and Prejudice, and there were others.

The girls and their teacher had a great time. The best was when they had coffee and pastries, every time they met. I think it was once a week on Thursdays. Pastry brings back fond memories of my childhood , there was a  man who visited us  once a week with his huge trunk of pastries, Dad would call us to pick our favorite.

This gathering of the teacher with her eight students was a time when I did not have to read the horrors of war, or missile attack from the neighboring country which lasted for eight years.

There are pages in the book where I felt as if I was part of the characters in the book. I remember feeling awful when one of the girls told her teacher that one of their classmate and friend was shot to death.

This was the way of life for them, although it pained me to read what they were going through, I could not stop reading it, I had to know whether the teacher and the students were all right in the end.

Azar Nafisi the author mentioned the novel, ‘Lolita, ‘ very frequently. I was curious to know what it was about. I went to the local bookstore and bought Lolita to satisfy my curiosity. You guessed it I’m planning to start reading it today, God willing.  🙂

……………………………… 🙂


Book Review,Far From The Madding Crowd: Author Thomas Hardy

Far_from_the_Madding_Crowd_(2015_film).jpg (342×258)

Wikipedia image

Today I put the finishing touches to the book titled “Far From The Madding Crowd,”I was reading, after The Da Vinci Code. Like the latter it had some interesting episodes but they were different. It kept me interested, as I could not tell how the story will end.

Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy is very different from Tess in, Tess of the d’Urburvilles by the same author. Unlike Tess, Bathsheba the main character in “Far From The Madding Crowd”,had a much stronger personality. She took care of her farm which she inherited from her uncle without much problem. The men in the area respected and feared her.

The appearance of one Sergeant Troy changed the whole scenario. One would never think Bathsheba would fall for a character like Troy, which is what exactly happened, after a  lot of twists and turns, Bathsheba was able to make the  right choice.

It’s made into a movie, I haven’t watched it yet.

The main characters are: Bathsheba a female farmer

Gabriel Oak : a male farmer

Boldwood: another male farmer

Sergeant Troy: A Stranger

The book has 434 pages and has a  soft cover.

I found the book entertaining and interesting. I think it will be well received by the  readers.

………………………………….. 🙂

Book Review: The Da Vinci Code

DaVinciCode.jpg (320×479)

Book Review: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

I finished reading this book on February 7th. I do not want to say too much, I rather not spoil the fun of reading it by writing any part of the novel. I say this much I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

There are many twists and turns, just when you think you know what’ll happen, a completely different thing happens. There are characters in it who  give the reader a good feeling for a little while, but  turns out they are not so good after all.

What I’ve learned from it is I must be careful who I trust.

I found out about the characters after reading the whole book. It’s full of suspense and mystery. It’s the first time I read a book where I couldn’t tell what will happen or how it will end.

Author ,Dan Brown was remarkable.

The book with illustrations helps.

……………………………….. 🙂

Book Review: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged is a book I finished reading yesterday. I started reading it more than a week ago. I entered the challenge of reading 25 books this year.

The above was my second book. It has 1168 pages, there are more than 588 words on each side. The spaces between the lines are very narrow, as a result I read the same line twice. You could say it’s my mistake and not the author’s .

I found there was a lot of repetition and there were long speeches in the book which were almost more than ten pages.  No one recommended this book to me I heard about the writer and was curious. I bought the book and felt the only way I’ll make myself read it was  if I enter a challenge.

Now that I’ve finally read the book, I’d be honest and admit I will never read a book which took so much of my time, in return I learned very little from it.

…………………………. 🙂

just a poem !

My observation of the fate of the icons!

The black star and the pair of big eyes

Have arrested the icons today,

What will they do with them I say?

those poor icons: the smiley, pizza slice,

Orange sliver and the curious eyes

There is the blue plane ready to take off

With my friendly four

Where will they land

I am not so sure

I do hope they will take care

Of my friendly four!!

…………………………………… 🙂