What I read lately…

I have been reading quite a bit lately, experimenting with new authors and genres that are new to me. Most of these reading experiences have been good! πŸ™‚

So, what have I read this far?

Queen Of The Big Time – Adriana Trigiani

I had never read any Adriana Trigiani before, but have heard a lot about her books on several blogs. She seems to write sensible chick-lit, most of her books based in Italy, and that sounded like just what I needed at the time. So, I pestered the OH till he got me a used copy of Adriana Trigiani’s Queen Of The Big Time. True to the good reviews of the book I read on blogosphere, it didn’t disappoint.

This is the story of Nella Castelluca, the daughter of an Italian farmer couple settled in Delabole, USA. The story begins in Nella’s childhood and spans two further generations of hers, without getting boring at any point. Nella is one of her parents’ five daughters, and has big dreams of studying in the school in town and becoming a teacher one day. When she is about fifteen, she falls in love with a handsome poet, and dreams of marrying him when she has finished her studies and working. However, fate intervenes, and Nella is required to go to work instead of the school. What happens to her after that? You have to read the book to find out!

This one was no major literary masterpiece, just a simple book that can be read in a couple of days, at most. It is different from other chick-lits, in the sense that it is realistic and the heroine is, thankfully, not depicted as a complete bimbette. It made me think a lot about life in general and fate, and how circumstances often put us in situations we never thought we would be in. There is a hint of romance in the book, too, which is quite beautiful without any of the vulgarity that I have come across all too often in chick-lits.

I would recommend this book to you if you are looking for a simple but thoughtful read. Oh, and of course, there is a lot of old-fashioned country charm in it.

*****

Rodrick Rules – Jeff Kinney

I read Diary Of A Wimpy Kid a few months back, and loved it. I found Greg as adorable as I found him to be atrocious, and so, I didn’t hesitate in picking up the second book in the series, Rodrick Rules, when I was looking for something super-fun to read.

Like in the first book, Greg is at his hilarious best in this one, too. This book is all about Greg’s (mis)adventures with his brother, Rodrick, and the very special bond (not) that they share. It cheered me up immensely, and made me laugh out loud at places. The cartoons in the book are way too good!

By all means, read this book if you need a laugh. However, I would suggest you keep it away from your kids – the book might backfire on you! πŸ™‚

*****

The Wedding Officer – Anthony Capella

I have read two other books by Anthony Capella, The Food Of Love and The Empress Of Ice Cream, and loved both of them. I picked up his The Wedding Officer on a whim from Blossoms a couple of years earlier, but somehow, didn’t get past the first few chapters of the book the few times I tried to read it. This time, though, I decided to plod on, and finished the entire book.

The Wedding Officer is the story of 1944 Naples, when Italy is in the throes of the Second World War. Allied forces have occupied Naples, and someone is needed to stop the Italian girls from marrying Allied soldiers, thus distracting their concentration when they need it the most. England sends a ‘wedding officer’, James Gould, to Naples for just this purpose. At first, James is overwhelmed by his duties and the state that Naples is in, but he soon settles into a routine. And then, the wedding officer himself loses his heart to an Italian beauty. What will he do? Find out!

I didn’t enjoy this book quite so much as Capella’s two other books. Being the ignoramus that I am, I didn’t understand much of the history in the book. I felt that some parts of it are way too drawn out and, overall, the book lacks that magic feel of Capella’s that was very much present in the other two books. Some parts of the story are beautiful, though.

I wouldn’t say this is the best of Capella’s books, but then, someone else might like much more than I did!

*****

The Last Letter From Your Lover – Jojo Moyes

On a beautiful morning in the 1960s, Jennifer wakes up from a stupor in a London hospital, and doesn’t remember who she is or how she came to be there. She is told that she had had an accident, that she is Jennifer Stirling, and that she is the wife of rich and successful businessman Laurence Stirling. Declared to be in good health, Jennifer is allowed to go home, and to let her memory take its time to return to her. Jennifer accepts this, but finds something rather strange – everyone is extremely reluctant to talk to her about the accident. That, and the fact that Laurence and her relationship seems very strained and…. well…. cold. Oh, and the bunch of love letters she discovers in her house from someone called B. What Jennifer makes of her changed circumstances forms the bulk of the book.

I LOVED this book. Yes, the storyline is nothing new, but the treatment it has been given in this book is completely different. I found the book gripping and un-put-down-able. There is a twist in almost every chapter, intelligent twists, which do not seem forced. I loved the romance in the book, and the boldness of it. It is a mix of the lightness of love and the darkness that life and circumstances sometimes bring to a person, and I think the author has done a wonderful job of depicting the mix.

Highly recommended.

*****

What have you been reading?

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30 thoughts on “What I read lately…

  1. Must say that I quite heartily dislike the Wimpy Kind Series, so would not be picking up any book by this author in a hurry.

    Adriana Trigiana though sounds mighty interesting πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. @Shakti Ghosal

      Not only in reading, changes in preferences in anything – from food to travelling – indicate a willingness to learn more and change in life. And, yes, my preferences in reading are changing. As for life, I am contemplating a lot of changes. πŸ™‚

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  2. I have been reading Malazan Book of the Fallen series since eternity. Each of the 10 books is around 1200 pages and it has been months now. I am living in the fantasy world of the series. πŸ™‚ I will very soon enter the world of one book stories.
    I liked the story idea of the Wedding Officer.

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  3. I read ‘The Diary of Wimpy Kid’ long back, but didn’t like it. So I skipped all the books that came after that. Have you read ‘The Curious Incident of a dog in the night time’? If you haven’t, do read it. It’s about a kid with very high cognitive skills.

    Going by your posts, I think I should pick up an Anthony Capella soon.

    Like

    1. @Girlinjammies

      You didn’t like Diary Of A Wimpy Kid?! :O I loved it!

      Yes, I have read The Curious Incident Of A Dog In The Night Time. Loved it. πŸ™‚

      And, yes, you should give Anthony Capella a try. I would suggest either The Food Of Love or The Empress Of Ice Cream, not The Wedding Officer.

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      1. πŸ™‚ I can imagine it. She must be giving you that ‘look’ all the time. My mom does whenever I break into spontaneous aria, and I tend to do that a lot when I am in the kitchen, doing the dishes. Sigh.

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  4. Wow! All of them sound good to me TGND ! πŸ™‚ Thanks for contributing to my ever growing list of to-read πŸ™‚

    I am reading my first David Baldacci and the Hunger Games trilogy now. I plan to pick up Game of Thrones later. Have you read any of these?

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  5. sounds fun. Unfortunately, haven’t read none of them and shall luk frward to. currently reading, Tales from Firozsha Baig by Rohinton Mistry

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  6. Thanks for the reviews TGND πŸ™‚ The Last Letter From Your Lover sounds very interesting.

    I am currently reading Reluctant Matchmaker..then I have Blood red saree, Room, And the lotus blooms, Godfather and a few other books crying to be picked up from the shelf? Read any of these?

    Like

    1. @Metherebel

      You are welcome. πŸ™‚

      The Last Letter From Your Lover is indeed worth a read. Do pick it up sometime!

      I haven’t read a single book from your list! All of the books do sound interesting, though.

      Like

  7. I finished reading First Among Equals by Jeffery Archer, gave me an great insight on politics in England πŸ™‚

    and then I am reading Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson, I love that guy..many thanks to Sandhya for introducing him to me πŸ™‚

    and I still have Oath of the Vayuputras with me pending to be read πŸ™‚

    PS – You should just ask OH and you yourself should search for a job in Italy and migrate there πŸ™‚

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  8. You really had been reading a lot πŸ™‚ I so want to read the other books from Wimpy Kid series, somehow never got around getting them. Have not heard of the other books, will try them for sure πŸ™‚

    Like

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