Category Archives: Fiction

Ready Player One: A Novel



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Originally published: 16th Aug 2011
Authors: Ernest Cline
Page count: 374pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Subjects: Sci-Fi
Language: English
ISBN-10: 030788743X
ISBN-13: 9780307887436
Product Dimensions: Kindle eBook / Audiobook

100 Word Book Review:

Wade Watts, along with other global players, dedicated his life studying hidden puzzles. These puzzles are in the virtual world, and it is based on the creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. Individuals and teams, everyone is using all ways to win the final prize. In this narrative story, as the race drags on Wade needs to win in order to stay alive. At the end of the day, Wade needs to face the real world that he tried to turn away from.

Who should read:

Anyone who has a passion in gaming will enjoy this book thoroughly. From the hardware specifications, to the software requirements, this book is peppered with many IT lingos, concepts and terms. Common terms include, ‘experience points’, ‘level up’, ‘high score’. If you are a gamer, you will find these terms very familiar.

Who should NOT read:

If you are looking for romance, or something close to real life, please stay away from this book. It is not entirely according to the typical boy meets girl and fall in love while they go on dates. It is a complete story of how Wade overcome the game and life challenges. Surely it is not a romance story as that is not the focus.

Takeaway points:

Overall as a gamer myself, I find this book very appealing and comfortable to read. I finished it in one seating, immersed in the literary world that the book has described vividly. At times it brings me back to my younger days when I was gaming delirious, a little similar to the character (Wade) in the book.

About the Author

Ernest Cline is an internationally best-selling novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. He is the author of the novels Ready Player One and Armada and co-screenwriter of the film adaptation of Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg. His books have been published in over fifty countries and have spent more than 100 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

 

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Originally published: 11 January 2018
Page count: 288 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 4, 2018)
Subjects: Romance/History
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062797158
ISBN-13: 978-0062797155
Product Dimensions: Kindle eBook / Audiobook

100 Word Book Review:

Based on a true story, a powerful evocation of everyday horrors of life as a concentration camp prisoner. In the worst circumstances, there is no excuse for pessimism. In the test of extremes, being positive is still a choice. And even in hell, love can be found. The unspoken horrors of what humans are capable of reveal the unbreakable strength of what the human body can endure, physically and emotionally. This illuminates humanity greatest strength: Hope. Towards the end even with liberation, there are myriad of aftereffects and scars that will be etched and cast forever in this lifetime, permanently.

 

Who should read:

What is true love? To answer this question, reading this book might be a good start to it. While it will not give the full complete answer to the question, it captures the essential fundamental definition of love. Anyone in mood to read a love story, this is a good short book that is based on actual events.

No doubt it is a positive ending, the book gives a comprehensive coverage after the story ends. In this way, readers get to know what happens after that. It somewhats give a closure, a full picture of what happens after in the real. Unlike other romance stories, this is the real love story that brings tears and smiles.

 

Who should NOT read:

Perhaps the survivors of concentration camps or anyone who is not in the mood for romance stories in rough times. Not forgetting the faint hearts who cannot stand reading the gruelsome human experiments in camps. It is horrifying and shocking, almost like reading the proof of a living hell. It is painful, and hard to accept that humans as sentinels, can bring themselves to perform such cruel acts according to one’s volition.

 

Takeaway points:

Love is simple, love is sweet. It is what one can do for the other, in good and bad times. Love is not fair, never fair, and it is not a transaction of this for that, or to have a partner at someone’s beck or call. It is an eternal promise to each other, to pamper and care mutually, to converse casually in daily events, to have mutual support and rapport even in the simplest thing that one does not agree at all.

Where can we find love? In all places, in all ways. Which in this case, it is in the concentration camp, where it is almost the last place where love can be found. Yet, Lale and Gita proved us wrong. Love was found.

Personally, I really love this book, and I am glad that I picked this title. It reminded of my happier days. A good and easy book to read when I was travelling alone.

 

About the Author

Heather Morris is an Australian writer and social work administrator. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US.

In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly man who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives, as their friendship grew and he embarked on a journey on self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Bird Box: A Novel Kindle Edition

Bird Box: A Novel

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Originally published: May 13, 2014
Authors: Josh Malerman
Page count: 305 pages (Kindle)
Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0007529872
ISBN-13: 978-0-00-752987-2
Product Dimensions: Kindle

100 Word Book Review:

Imagine one day ‘something’ terrible appears out of nowhere and wiped out almost everybody. No one knows how this ‘something’ spreads or how it kills, much less how to prevent it. One glance and the victim falls into suicidal behaviour instantly, desperately seeking to end life. There is no vaccination, no cure, nor understanding of its transmission. Over time, some survivors learnt to live and avoid the plague. Malorie and her 2 young children need to relocate and reach the community which has promised them safety and food. Can she cross the white water river safely while being blinded-folded?

Who should read:

Readers who are seeking adventure and science-fiction fantasy. This kindle editon provides exactly just that. Though the novel tries to be as realistic as possible, it is rather unrealistic to be doing obstacle course while being blind-folded. Or perhaps with years of training, it is possible to do so?

Who should NOT read:

For those who are expecting some explainations or visual image of that ‘something’ will be sorely disappointed.

Takeaway points:

Both exciting and daunting to know that something formless and shapeless can cause so much damage to humanity. If this was to be based on true events, it is highly likely human population will be reduced by 80%. I kid you not!

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist -  Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Full View)
The Alchemist -  Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Page view)

The Alchemist

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Originally published: April 15, 2014
Original Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho (Author)
Page count: 208 pages
Publisher: HarperOne; Anniversary edition
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0062315007
Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches

100 Word Book Review:

A story is about an Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago who travels from Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all points Santiago in the direction of his quest. Nobody knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles, resulting in the discovery of the treasure. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane story that is an eternal testament to the transformative power of our dreams, the importance of listening to our hearts.

Who Should Read it:

Readers who are lost in their lives, wandering aimlessly for a goal and a purpose in life. Each day is a fighting chance to strive and achieve for progression and advancement in all areas of life. The reason to fight may be directly for the end result, a cause for celebration and such. Yet a majority fails to see that when we follow our hearts, we may receive things that are much more dazzling and unexpected than what we set out for. That is what this book is trying to share with everyone, and to remind that our dreams are so much greater when we realise it.

Who Should Not Read it:

For those who are in the mood to read something serious and practical, this book is certainly not the right title. Even so, some fiction story delivers good, close to reality examples to be applicable to daily life. Certainly not this book.

Takeaway point:

Dreams are what motivate us to move and progress in life. The importance of fulfiling dreams may seem neither realistic nor practical. Only by realising it, dreams may yield so much more than we initially imagined.

The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 5) ~Kindle Edition

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In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.

With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

A good fantasy story with a modern setting. Great for casual fiction reading.~

Buy all 5 books

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1)

The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #2)

The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #3)

The Necromancer (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #4)

The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #5)

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 1) Kindle Edition

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This is book 1 of the series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 1330. Nearly seven hundred years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty and Nicholas Flamel lives. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects – the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

A good fantasy story with a modern setting. Great for casual fiction reading.

Buy all 5 books

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1)

The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #2)

The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #3)

The Necromancer (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #4)

The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #5)

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

Animal Farm

Animal Farm: 1984

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Originally published: 17 August 1945
Author: George Orwell
Page count: 112 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Satire, Political satire
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0452284241
Product Dimensions: E-book

100 Word Book Review:

‘Animal Farm’ penned down by Eric Arthur Blair under the pen name George Orwell. It might have derived its source from the events leading up to the 1917 Russian Revolution. The author has channelized his thoughts via making allegorically use of animals, which proves to be highly effective on the reader, makes us see what is unseen to our eyes. The story summaries when given a chance to a country after getting independence to rebuild its constitution and its future, it is in the leaders’ intentions as well as the followers’ which will decide where the county will go.

Who should read:

Animal Farm is suitable for readers who are keen in politics. It is an introductory short story that depicts from the start of a revolution, to the final stage of tyranny state. There are many similarities drawn from history, and present paradigms as well.

Not to mention, the animal responses are exactly the same as how citizens react in the actual world.

Who should not read:

Most likely this book is not suitable for readers who are looking for indept discussion of politics or governance structures.

Likewise it is also not suitable for those who are not comfortable reading about talking animals who live their lives just like humans.

Takeaway points:

  • Power corrupts.
  • During every election, it is very unlikely to know which party is corrupted or not. Only when the party is in power, the true colour reveals.
  • Not all is lost. There are still good leaders who will serve truthfully and altruistically.

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950),[1] better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism.[2][3]

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England; and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed as are his essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.[4]

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture and the term “Orwellian“—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including “Big Brother“, “Thought Police“, “Room 101“, “memory hole“, “newspeak“, “doublethink“, “proles“, “unperson” and “thoughtcrime“.[5][6]

The Marriage Market

The Marriage Market

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Originally published: 29th September 2006
Original Title: The Marriage Market
Author: Nisha Minhas
Page count: 485pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Pocket Books (A division of Simon & Schuster)
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141-652-256-5
ISBN-13: 978-141-652-256-0
Product Dimensions: 112 x 178mm

100 Word Book Review:

Aaron and Jeena are from 2 different worlds. With no understanding or knowledge of the Indian culture, much less the idealism, they proceed with the marriage of convenience. Written in a light and humorous way, it shows the different perspectives. Alas, it tends to focus more on race than culture with a stereotypical and biased view of males. Towards the end. it is a straight happy ending. Simple and beautiful with no plot twist or unexpected scenarios. A romantic chick lit of 2 unlikely persons who together for a short passion, yet ends up in a lifetime commitment.

About the Author:

In her early thirties, Nisha Minhas lives in Milton Keynes with her partner and two cats. A former employee of the Inland Revenue and an avid reader, Nisha couldn’t find any novels that really appealed to her, a young woman born in the UK to Indian parents. So she decided to write a book that she herself would really like to read.

Perfect Strangers – Robyn Sisman

Perfect Strangers by Robyn Sisman
Perfect Strangers by Robyn Sisman

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met? Suze Wilding and Lloyd Rockwell are perfect strangers. She lives in London, he lives in New York. They know nothing about each other – until one summer they exchange jobs and homes. Suze is impetuous, impatient and NEVER wants to get married. Lloyd is complicated, cautious, and contemplating marriage to the eminently suitable Betsy. But when Suze discovers a plot at work to get rid of Lloyd, the two begin communicating long-distance – and they wonder what might happen if they ever met face to face…

 

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The Pact – Jodi Picoult

The Pact by Jodi Picoult
The Pact by Jodi Picoult

For 18 years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other. Parents and children alike are best friends so it comes as no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily’s friendship blossoms into something more. But one night a call comes from the hospital – Emily has been shot dead.

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