Monday, July 16, 2012

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Title :Memoirs of a Geisha 
Author : Arthur Golden
Paperback: 434 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: B002LAYWEC 
Publisher: Vintage; Vintage contemporaries ed edition (November 9, 1999) 
Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc
Language: English

Synopsis : Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is a book about Geisha ( Japanese women entertainer ) who sing, dance , talk and keep men company in order to entertain them.Chiyo (Who is known as Sayuri when she becomes Geisha )  is sold to a Geisha house in Gion after her mother's  death , she does odd jobs there like cleaning and house chores .Later on she is enrolled in  geisha school where she learns singing , dancing and more .An elder Geisha  Hatsumomo is jealous of Sayuri and so her hope of becoming a Geisha comes to a stop until she meets a elder Geisha Mameha who eventually trains her to become Geisha and a successful one at that . Sayuri's life changes after second world war when the man she has always loved becomes her Danna ( A wealthy man, sometimes married, who had the means to support the very large expenses related to a geisha's traditional training and other costs.).

About The Author : Arthur Golden  is an American writer born on December 6, 1956) .Golden was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, grew up on Lookout Mountain, Georgia, He spent his middle and high school years at the Baylor School  in Chattanooga, graduating in 1974. He attended Harvard University and received a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980, he earned an M.A. in Japanese history at Columbia University, and also learned Mandarin Chinese. He currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The novel Memoirs of a Geisha was written over a 6-year period during which Golden rewrote the entire novel three times, changing the point of view before finally settling on the first person viewpoint of Sayuri. Interviews with a number of geisha, including  Mineko Iwaski  provided background information about the world of the geisha. It has sold more than four million copies in English and has been translated into thirty-two languages around the world.

My Thoughts on the Book:This novel is an amazing read that brings to life, vivid and colorful characters. Being narrated in the first person, the reader feels a sense of reality to the story. Golden’s ability to create clear imagery makes the novel all the more spectacular. The novel uses many different jokes and situations that will make the reader laugh and cry. It also broadens the view of society on geisha and ancient tradition. Being informative, hilarious, and inspirational, Memoirs of a Geisha is a well written book and It's one of my favorite.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami


"Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits" by Laila Lalami provides a view on a different world. This book narrates the struggles of four Moroccans who attempt the 14-kilometer journey across the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain, to find better employment and better conditions for themselves and their families. I like the way Lalami structured her book, providing glimpses of each person's story both before and after the crossing.

The book opens with the treacherous journey and focuses on Faten, Noura, Halima and Aziz, then moves backwards to the events that brought them there The story follows their lives as they struggle to make their way in a strange land.

 A very short, easy read--definitely recommended!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Sculptress by Minette Walters

The Sculptress by Minette Walters  is surely one of the best a fascinating psychological crime thriller.It's been a while I read this book but I still remember that  I was unable to put it down It is so engrossing that I kept on  turning pages as to know what will happen next.

The book is about Olive Martin, a huge obese woman who was found with the dead bodies of her mother and younger sister, she pleaded guilty to murder at her trial. Journalist Rosalind Leigh accepts a commission to write a book about Olive, she finds herself wondering what lies behind all these facts that everyone knows. When Roz first visits her in prison, she finds that Olive is not quite what she expected. Roz is repeatedly warned - Olive lies about almost everything, then why did she confess so readily to two hideous murders? Roz may well wonder. The deeper she is drawn into the shadowy, disturbing world of the Sculptress, the more firmly she is convinced that Olive is hiding something 

One of the best mystery novels I've read.

Swami and Friends by R.K. Narayan

Swami and Friends by R.K. Narayan is simple to read book set in pre Independence days of India  in a fictional town Malgudi.The author's style of writing is simple , humorous and subtle still so real.
It took me back to my childhood memories of school where in little things used to look like huge problems.
The story narrates events in life of Swami and his friends Rajam and Mani  as how they became friends their mischief at school , strolling in hot afternoon sun , playing games, forming a cricket team and so on.
A must read book.