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How To Read Literature Like A Professor – Thomas C. Foster: Book Review

Summary:

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey? Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface — a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character — and there’s that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars

Thomas C. Foster is your friend and favorite professor rolled into one. How To Read Literature Like A Professor solved a lot of my problems, and I can assure you, it will do the same for you, provided you are reading it for the right reasons.

Firstly, I’d like to mention that this book is used in a lot of colleges/high schools as a legit recommended reading. (LUCKY YOU). In my opinion, every English class in high school or an undergraduate year should use this book to make lives easier. I am not even exaggerating.

I am an English major in my 2nd year of college as an undergraduate, and this book helped A LOT (understatement). But that shouldn’t be a surprise, the book seems to have been written exclusively for English majors. Right? Wrong.

How To Read Literature Like A Professor isn’t only for us poor fellows doomed with a lifetime of overanalyzing. We learn all this in class anyway, albeit not in such a clear and fun way. This book is for anyone who reads. Any bibliophile who would like to really understand a book. You don’t need to be studying Literature to know a book, to read a book properly. This guide book of sorts gives you a completely new and enriched insight to literature.

If you are a student of literature, doing your masters or PhD, this might not be very useful to you. Foster mainly explains key concepts and tricks that help you read literature, and fill in the gaps your high school English teacher or college professor should have filled (They never do. They’ll expect you to know all this magically).

Foster uses a lot of examples in this book, but it shouldn’t be a problem, because (a) the examples are from pretty common books and (b) whenever he mentions a book, he explains the plot and other details so that you can understand the context.

Conclusion:

I highly recommend this book to all book lovers who need a little help to get to know books better. Not only is Foster’s writing witty and fresh, it also motivates you to go and read some books and really understand them.

Happy Reading!

~Sreepurna 💖

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Perfect (Flawed #2) ~ Cecelia Ahern: Book Review // The year-long wait was worth it!

Summary:

Celestine North is Flawed.

Ever since Judge Crevan declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick, the only person she can trust. 

But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing. 

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her life to save all Flawed people.

Review:
Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 (4.5/5 stars)

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017!

The moment I started this book, I got hit by the familiarity of Ahern’s writing style. Flawed was very well-written, but I feel like the writing style was more experimental. However,Perfect started off in a way that’s so typically Cecelia Ahern, it warmed my heart to the very core. Need I gush more about how much I love her writing?

Let’s start with the characters. I adore Celestine and Carrick, but I think this series has really interesting side characters, even the antagonists. I love how, keeping with the spirit of the story, none of the characters are made to seem perfect, or wholly flawed (maybe Judge Crevan though? I HATE HIM). I don’t want to give much away, but there is a character in this book called Lennox, and he is bae. I love what Ahern did with his storyline in the end.Even the really gray and shady characters were interesting to read about, because they had such gripping backstories.

Can we talk about the romance in this book? It satisfied my romancy-hungry heart; BUT I can say for sure that those who don’t like cheesiness will appreciate the story too. There is a love triangle, and though I hate those, it was very very well executed here. I love how Celestine does not merely lose all her feelings for one boy when she falls in love with another. She is conflicted but not in that horrible stringing-you-along way.

This second installment of the duology was perhaps even faster paced than the first. Some parts were horribly shocking, and very emotional. There were chapters which totally changed the whole track unexpectedly, and those were the best.

There were a few tiny details that bugged me though. For example, the plotline was very dependent on the existence of nice people in the world, and Celestine was helped by wayyyyy too many people. There was also this sort of unnecessary stress on symbolism, which gave a nice effect and shine to the story, but was unnecessary all the same.

Overall I thought this series was a really good YA debut. Although the dystopian world is a little overused nowadays, Ahern’s superb storytelling style is unique and worth the read. The series and this book in particular is not only thrilling, it also makes you stop and think about the present world and our obsession with striving to be flawless.

~ Sreepurna

💜 

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Rau (The Great Love Story Of Bajirao Mastani): Review 

RAU

N.S. INAMDAR

The novel that inspired the award-winning film 


‘My eyes, they rain all the time 
My eyes, they rain all the time 
Till I see him in mine’ 

When Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa, feared by even the mighty Mughals, hears the exquisite Mastani sing, the passion that sparks between them grows quickly into a raging fire. 

The Peshwa defies his orthodox Brahmin heritage, declaring his love openly for the half-Muslim dancer, in the face of fierce opposition. A man way ahead of his time, Bajirao causes outrage when he marries Mastani, bringing her into his home as his second wife. 

N. S. Inamdar’s timeless tale, that has inspired both film and television, brings alive the romance, intrigue and valour of the eighteenth-century Maratha empire. This irresistible novel is one of India’s favourite love stories.



RATING: 3 stars

REVIEW:

I am left with mixed feelings about this book.

Firstly, I’d like to say, anyone who liked the movie Bajirao Mastani should read this book. It’s a more enriched version of the movie (albeit, without Deepika or Ranveer, so you’ll miss them probably 😂😂). But if you liked the movie, there’s a high chance you’ll love the book.

It has action, romance and lots of drama.

But.

There were things I really didn’t like.

No. 1, the writing. Somehow, the writing or perhaps the translation (because the original is in Marathi) fell flat. The words were mechanical, and somewhat forced. Also; this book needs a glossary in the end, to explain the meanings of some Marathi words, which weren’t possible to translate. Being an Indian, I know bits and pieces of Hindi, and that’s the only reason I could still guess the meanings of some words. But I think a glossary would be great.

I hated the characters of this book. Literally loathed them. They are all historical characters, I don’t know how much of the story is authentic, but according to this book, the characters sucked. Big time. I found nothing romantic and tragic about Rau and Mastani’s “love”. Its all shown as something very very superficial.

But the fact remains that this book made me feel a lot of things — anger, hatred, sorrow and sympathy (towards Kashibai, actually). And that’s why I think this book is worty of reading. Because rarely does a book make you ponder so long these days.

To buy the book on Amazon, click here.

~ Sripurna

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The Liberty Box (#1) & The Eden Conspiracy (#2) : Review

ARCs received in exchange of an honest review.

PART 1

The Liberty Box

C.A. Gray 

Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie. 

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom. 



Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?



Rating: 3/5

REVIEW:

The Liberty Box is an unusual book. This dystopian novel is not your Hunger Games or Divergent. The characters here are older (which makes more sense, I mean c’mon, teenagers saving the world? It was becoming quite boring), and you can defintely classify this into the sci-fi genre.

The book begins with a slightly boring prologue, but it picks up pace when the main story begins. Kate isn’t the best protagonist, but she is unique in her own way. At around 19% into the book, Jackson appears, making things much more interesting.

The book ends with a pretty intelligent cliffhanger. Amidst all the action I didn’t expect the twist, but that’s what made me read the next book.

Overall; this a a good enough start to an adult dystopian trilogy. It has action, romance, science, drama, and truthfully, it was quite enjoyable.

PART 2 

The Eden Conspiracy (The Liberty Box #2)

C.A. Gray

Can the truth set you free?

The refugee caves have been destroyed, and most of the refugees are dead. The Potentate now knows of their existence and will stop at nothing to wipe them out completely. He suspects that terrorist Jackson MacNamera is among them, as well as reporter Kate Brandeis’s fiancé, hacker Will Anderson—and probably therefore Kate herself. Now that the Potentate is aware of security threats, most of the strategies the rebels used to get back onto the grid before now no longer work. The Potentate knows the rebels are on foot, and he knows they were at the caves not long ago—they can’t get far.



The remaining rebels, among them Jackson and Kate, have Kate’s fiancé Will to thank for their survival: he arrived back from the dead and in the nick of time, bearing classified information about the Potentate’s plans to expand his influence internationally. But the remaining rebels and the Council cannot agree on whether their top priority should be spreading truth far and wide and freeing as many citizens from government control as possible, knowing that they will likely die in the process—or escaping to New Estonia, in hopes that they might live out the rest of their days in peace.



Kate, meanwhile, finds herself torn: between Jackson and the fiancé she thought she lost, and between the damsel-in-distress she once was, and the rebel she believes she has always been underneath. Whether the other hunters will support her or no, she knows she must use her influence over the people of the Republic to tell them the truth, no matter the cost. But is she strong enough to withstand the government’s lies?



Rating: 3.5/ 5

This book was surprisingly good. I normally find things to become a little boring at the second book of a trilogy, but The Eden Conspiracy was definitely anything but boring.

The twist at the ending of the first book made the second book so much better. Even though these books are from the third person POV, you have alternate chapters from two different perspectives: Jackson’s and Kate’s, making things even better.

The ending of this book too is great, and I can’t wait to read the third book.

To purchase The Liberty Box visit this link.

~Sripurna