Book Review: Danny the Champion of the World

See the source image

Author : Roald Dahl, pages: 2014

Roald Dahl’s message to Children Who Have Read This Book, when you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important

a stodgy parent is no fun at all

What a child wants and deserves

is a parent who is


While parents of little children are anxious and worried whether or not their kids would be safe to attend school in this year of Pandemic. I’m trying my utmost to present before them this review of Roald Dahl’s book. It may not be an antidote to their fear. But if it diverts their fear for a couple of hours, I consider it worthy of my effort.

This is the story of a kid named Danny and his father.

When Danny was four months old, his mom passed away. He had no siblings nor any other relatives. He grew up an only child and enjoyed the sole attention of his Dad.

The father and child lived in an old gipsy caravan which had roamed around the country side and parts of England. When the caravan was no longer useful to ride on, it came into the hands of Danny’s father, he used it as his house. It was a tiny room, there was a bunkbed which Danny and his father used to sleep.

Danny’s father took the top, while Danny had the lower bunk. Life was going well for the two. When Danny was five, he helped his father in the filling station which his father owned.

The filling station had two pumps and a tiny workshop. In it there was an old table and a cash register. Danny’s father had a number of customers who’d come to get their cars filled and get some small repair done.

Danny learned to fly a kite and loved it. He and his father built it and had a time of their life flying it.

Something strange happened when Danny was nine years old, he went to bed as usual, something woke him up, he looked down from his bunker and found out his father was missing. Where did he go and why, was the question Danny had on his mind.

When he saw his father coming, he asked his father, ‘why did you leave me alone and where did you go?

When his Dad told him, he had a secret. Danny thought adults are complicated people.

What his father told him and what happened next is something, dear readers you have to find out by reading the book. It will also tell you why, Danny was called the champion of the world.

I think it is a book both adults and children would enjoy reading as I did.

Book Review, Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden

‘ Memoirs Of A Geisha,’ is my book #24 which I picked up for the 2016 reading challenge. I now have one more book to read to complete my challenge.

MemoirsOfAGeisha.jpg (252×361)

I’m really pleased I could achieve this goal so fast. I’ve realized I’m one of those people who  get motivated if I’m challenged. It worked for me and it can work for any one who wants to do it.

When I picked up,  ‘Memoirs of a Geisha,’ I had a lot of misconceptions.  Arthur Golding has beautifully erased those out of my mind, I’m happy I took the trouble of reading it.

The novel is about a girl who was sold by her father, at a very young age the struggles she had to undergo was amazing, she kept her cool, listened to her elders and worked hard to become a Geisha.

She met many people some she liked others she didn’t but focused to achieve her goal, which she ultimately achieved. In one of the paragraphs she mentions that as a younger woman, “I believed that passion must surely fade with age, just a cup left standing in a room will gradually give up its contents to the air. But when the Chairman and I returned to my apartment,we drank each other up with so much yearning and need that afterward I felt myself drained of all the things that the Chairman had taken from me, yet filled with all that I had taken from him.I fell into a sound sleep and dreamed that I was in a banquet at Gion,talking with an elderly man who was explaining to me that his wife whom he’d cared for deeply , wasn’t really dead because the pleasure of their time together lived on inside him. I began to feel all the  people I’ve ever known who had died or left me had not in fact gone away , but continued to live on inside me ___ my sister Satsu, who had run away and left me so young; my father and mother; Mr. Tanaka, with his perverse view of kindness ;Nobu who could never forgive me ;even the Chairman. Even now that the Chairman is gone I have him still, in the richness of my memories. I’ve lived my life again just telling it to you.”

These words were so touching, I had to copy it and post it, so my readers would understand how much pleasure I got reading this book.



Book Review, Kabuli Wala, story by Tagore, Review by Ranu


Kabuliwala_Poster.jpg (318×422)

So far I read twenty books for the 2016 Reading Challenge.

Today it gives me pleasure to write a review of my favourite author, Tagore’s story Kabuli Wala.

Rehmat came all the way from Afghanistan to a community in Bengal, to earn money. Times were difficult back home so he and some of his friends went to Bengal to earn their living by selling shawls and some nuts and raisins.

Rehmat was a very honest man, he was simple and trusted every one he met. He let them have the shawl and nuts, even if they couldn’t pay on the understanding they would give the money at a later date.

Some  people cheated him they claimed they did not owe anything to the Kabuliwala ( Rehmat) and that he  was lying.

During this time he met a little girl named Mini, he called her Khuki(a child). Mini and the Kabuliwala became good friends, he’d give her nuts and raisins free and the two played some simple games.

The maid servant of Mini’s parents, was very suspicious, she told the mother that Kabuliwala will take her daughter away and sell her. At first the mother did not pay attention, but the maid convinced her it was true. This created a misunderstanding, the mother refused to let her daughter see the nice man.

Kabuliwala actually had a daughter Mini’s age. He felt better interacting with his little friend, who was so much like Rabeya his daughter.

Tagore’s portrayal of Kabuliwala and the little girl Mini was excellent.

The message I get from the story is we humans have a tendency to suspect someone who is different from us, especially if they are poor speak a different language, we think they should not be trusted.

The father liked the man but the mother did not. It took the mother a long time to realize how innocent the man was. She showed it by giving him the money she saved for her daughter,Mini’s wedding ceremony.

Kabuli Wala went to see Mini before he left to go back to his home in Afghanistan, it was tough for him to see his little friend had grown up.

It made him realize he missed seeing his own daughter growing up.

Tagore loved the poor people regardless of where they came from, he used to move around with them whenever he went to take care of his family’s lands.

………………………………….. 🙂

Book Review: To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee by ranu

To_Kill_a_Mockingbird.JPG (271×400)

To Kill A Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Type of work: Novel

Published: 1960

Publishers: J.B.Lippincott

Pages: 376

The story revolved around the finch family, where they lived, their neighbours and some individuals who lived in the small town.

Main characters were: Scout Finch- the daughter

Attacus Finch- the lawyer and father of Scout, and Jem

Jem Finch : the son

Tom Robinson

Bob Ewell

Boo Radley

Scout Finch is the narrator, her father Mr. Attacus Finch is a lawyer, her brother Jem Finch is older than Scout. Tom Robinson is a poor black guy who worked for some of the main characters. Bob Ewell was a racist, who hated the blacks in the community. Boo Radley  was happy to be at home, he did not have any contact with the members of the community.

The story takes place in Maycomb county, an imaginary district in southern Alabama. The time was 1930s the great years of depression, it was the time when poverty and unemployment was widespread in the United States.

The author felt it is a sin to kill a mockingbird since it’s not harmful. She cleverly implies that the townspeople are responsible for the death of one of the characters in the story.

I enjoyed reading  this book, it brought back memories of the kids I taught in school. They had that typical behaviour which I consider  innocent. It also portrays the fact that children are never afraid to tell the truth.

Although the title of this book did not attract my attention, I was delighted I had finally considered reading it. It is full of humour and wit.

My favourite characters in this book were Scout, the narrator and Attacus the lawyer and father of the two kids.

There were a few sad moments but that is to be expected, no one rich, poor or middle of the pack goes through life without having to deal with sadness.

I will not hesitate to recommend this book to any one. Anyone with some sense of humour would like this book.

……………………….. 🙂

Book Review: Atonement by IAN McEWAN

Book Review: Atonement

Atonement_(novel).jpg (260×399)

Characters: Briony- youngest daughter

Cecilia- the eldest daughter

Leon – the son

Mr. and Mrs. Tallis – the parents of the above characters

Robbie: main character and boyfriend of Cecilia

Genres: social novel, fiction, psychological, suspense, mystery.


This is the story of a family of five, two sisters, a brother and mom and dad. they are : Cecilia Tallis- eldest daughter, Briony Tallis -youngest daughter, and Leon Tallis the one and only son.

Briony the youngest loved writing stories, she also wrote a play.She wanted to stage the play, but was unable,as the characters she chose did not cooperate. I found her too bossy and at times I thought she should act her age and not try to interfere in the lives of her older siblings.

As far as credibility goes, I found Cecilia all right, Leon the brother did his own thing, the one character I thought was not worthy was Briony.

Among the main characters, Briony caused trouble in the family as a result they were split up. She also lied against Robbie and was responsible for sending him to prison.

I liked Robbie one of the main characters, he was helpful to the Tallis family. He was also grateful to Mr. Tallis who gave him financial help to continue  his education.

I like Cecilia too, but I did not like Briony at all, she was the reason the family broke up.

I liked the part where Briony admits her guilt and visits her sister Cecilia to tell her she was sorry for sending Robbie to prison by lying about him. This shows she has a conscience.

I couldn’t understand why the author decided to change it in the last chapter. Where he says through Briony that the book is not entirely truthful about Cecilia and Robbie that they were not reunited but died separately during the war.

I would recommend the book to the readers, I personally feel  there is a lot to learn from it.

……………………………….. 🙂

Book Review: Hand Me Down World, by Lloyd Jones

Hand Me Down World: Written by Lloyd Jones

Book Review

joneshandworldtext.jpg (120×180)

This is the story of a woman who worked in a hotel in Tunisia, she was deceived by her boyfriend Jermaine who took her son away from her and went to Berlin.

Her name was Ines, she went through a lot of hardship to get her son back. In her quest to travel to Berlin to find her son, she was helped by several people. Some of them were good, some not so much.

In the beginning I was not finding the story interesting, as I read further I realized this was the story of a mother who went through a lot of hardship and sacrifice.

The story is narrated by different people, towards the end Ines narrates the story herself. Her notion of the people was different from the other narrators.

I found it boring and didn’t enjoy reading it.

……………………………. 🙂

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.

…………………………………… 🙂