I think The Railway Children was the first book that I read after starting the Classics Club Challenge. But somehow I never got to write about it as expected from the challenge. The challenge is to read 50 books and blog about them in 5 years. From the look of it, I may not meet that deadline. But at this point, I would still keep going.
I started this draft many months or years ago, but never got to finish it. Then thanks to a series of incidents, I am holding a new phone which makes blogging using the WordPress app an ok experience. So here I am trying to publish this post for the nth time.
I liked this book the first time I read it and loved it during my second time read in 2017.
The Railway Children speaks about three siblings who is living in a town with their parents. But some mysterious circumstances force their father away from home and the family is forced to move to a new place, into a much smaller house and into poorer circumstances. The mother is just able to meet both ends at the new place.
Despite the sad situation, the family learns to live within their means and start enjoying their new place which is close to a railway station. They eventually love the trains and everything about them. And they have some great adventures too.
The book is a nice read, a feel good book that I am sure I will read again and again. There is a certain joy in reading a children’s book. I have a hard copy which I am waiting to be read by my children and I hope they will enjoy reading it too.
I am actually not sure about the minimum age to find this book enjoyable, but I do think 8 to be a good age to enjoy this book. I will find out soon.
I was fully aware of what I might find when I picked After You from the Justbooks Library. I had read good reviews and not so great reviews about this one over the past few months. Something which is very normal when a sequel to a book which has very popular. Nevertheless I decided to read it when I got a copy.
Now that I have read it…I don’t regret reading the book. As a stand-alone story, After You is kind of good. But the story of life of Lou after the epic story in ‘Me Before You’, you are heavily disappointed. It felt like the story was written to give closure to Lou’s life by hatching up something, fill the book with so many characters and devote quite a bit of time for them etc.
To be frank the only saving grace of the book is the mature love between Lou and Sam which is kind of nice to read about. The characters like Lily, Will’s parents, Lou’s parents, her sister etc etc do take up a lot of pages and kind of act like fillers and they are quite nice. But then you still end up wishing this sequel was never written.
Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Date published: July 15th 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
In language: English
Review rating: 4/5
Review date:19th Jan 2017
When I was going through few reviews of ‘A Man Called Ove’,I read someone’s comment that Ove is like the old man in the movie Up. That image of the old man who flied up the sky in his house stuck with me all the while I was reading this story. There are an awful lot of similarities between Ove and Carl Fredricksen (the elderly man in Up), but I did wish I didnt had his image in my mind when I was reading the book. But I do wish I could recall on whose blog I read this so that I can go and tell them that it was an accurate description.
I don’t read book blurbs or reviews with spoilers before reading most books. When I read good reviews, I just bought a kindle version and started reading the book without much clue. Then things are revealed as the story progresses and you start feeling for Ove and starts wondering why he wants to do what he has decided to do. You start putting things together and realize the desperation of a lonely old man who has nothing to live for. You start rooting for Ove to disuade from what he thinks is the logical conclusion.
Then there is a cat which is an orphan which lands on his house steps one day. I was not enchanted by the dog just like Ove. To be frank, I kind of ignored the cat even though it was there for a better part of the story.
Paravaneh, the foreign lady next who kind of crashes into Ove’s life – that is the character I ended up liking the best in the story. Who will not want a friend like her? Though Ove found her a nuisance initially, you can see their beautiful friendship blossoming into something lovely. Probably Paravaneh’s character stuck with more than that of Sonja.
Ove’s story is about the people who lose the will to live when the objects of their affection is no longer there. The story is Ove’s journey when he discovers love unexpectedly from different quarters when he had given up on life and the joy that comes with it. A charming story indeed.
Beautiful, flirtatious, and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks an advantageous second marriage for herself, while attempting to push her daughter into a dismal match. A magnificently crafted novel of Regency manners and mores that will delight Austen enthusiasts with its wit and elegant expression.
I am not sure what I expected from Lady Susan when I picked it up for my Classics Club Reading; I just wanted to read one of the lesser known books by Jane Austen. Then Lady Susan turned out to be much different from everything that I have read by Austen.
Austen’s lead characters especially the female ones are usually very likeable characters whom females all around the world try to emulate in their own fashion. This could be the reason why Elizabeth Bennett is one of the most popular literary characters and Pride and Prejudice is still a favorite read.
Lady Susan on the other hand is an extreme flirt and tries to seek her advantage in each of her acquaintances. She doesn’t feel shame in making young and wealthy men (married or single) fall in her trap and plans to a marry one of them to lead a luxurious life. She has neglected her only daughter and has left her without much grooming as expected from her daughter. But Lady Susan is determined to marry her daughter off to a wealthy person thereby securing her future.
If I had not read Lady Susan, I wouldn’t have believed that such a character created by Jane Austen actually existed. Initially you start imagining that Lady Susan is a grossly misunderstood person until you realize that she is indeed a horrible character.But then I never felt tempted to abandon the book; it was rather amusing to see how the story unravels and how Lady Susan fares at the end.
A different flavor from Jane Austen indeed. It is just 80 pages and definitely worth your time.