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Showing posts from January, 2014

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch
By Donna Tartt
Little, Brown and Company

“if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you.
Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch is a story of a painting that makes its way into a young thirteen-year-old boy’s life. And it does under the saddest of circumstances. Theo Decker, is orphaned when a bomb attack in a museum takes the life of his mother. Miraculously, the explosion doesn’t harm him, well not physically anyway. His last memory of his mother is in the museum’s hall where the old Dutch masters are being showcased; she’s fondly enlightened him with one of her favourites Fabritius'sThe Goldfinch– "the smallest in the exhibition and the simplest".
As is with anyone who is faced wi…

The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Have you ever wondered, why do we do what we do in life and in business?
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. The book is laden with insightful case studies that explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains.
Habits are a part of our lives. Some are simple and some are more complex. Whether it’s getting dressed in the morning, or pulling out of our driveway, each habit has a different cue and a unique reward. Charles Duhigg argues that every habit, no matter its complexity, is malleable. He insists that, “The most addicted alcoholics can become sober. The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves. A high school dropout can become a successful manager.”
But there is a catch. In order to modify a habit, you must decide to change it. And when you understand that habits can be rebuilt, the aut…

All In by Arlene Dickinson

“Being an entrepreneur is a lot like being in love: you’re totally into your work and want to spend every waking second with it. However, as anyone who’s ever been in love knows, at some point the honeymoon is over. And as any marriage counselor will tell you, that’s when the hard work of a successful marriage begins.” ~ Arlene Dickinson If you are an entrepreneur you know that it is an all-encompassing lifestyle. And no one understands this better than Arlene Dickinson, venture capitalist and host of the acclaimed award-winning CBC show Dragons’ Den. In her latest book, All In, she lays it all on the line for entrepreneurs, and helps them identify and confront their daily demons. Whether it’s facing fears of guilt, rejection or balancing personal and professional lives, Arlene shares firsthand experiences and stories from other entrepreneurs who have been there in the journey of trying to live up to their dreams. There is a key takeaway from the book that is all the more relevant to…

William Faulkner on reading his writing, inspiration, violence and starting as a writer

Our twitter feed (HT @EleanorWachtel) alerted us to this gem from the literary magazine The Paris Review
It is an excerpt of an interview with William Faulkner by Jean Stein in 1956. (Bold emphasis added).


Some people say they can't understand your writing, even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?


Read it four times.


You mentioned experience, observation, and imagination as being important for the writer. Would you include inspiration?


I don't know anything about inspiration because I don't know what inspiration is—I've heard about it, but I never saw it.


As a writer you are said to be obsessed with violence.


That's like saying the carpenter is obsessed with his hammer. Violence is simply one of the carpenter's tools. The writer can no more build with one tool than the carpenter can.


Can you say how you started as a writer?


I was living in New Orleans…

Good Night, Pocoyo

This book is sweet and short. The characters are so delightfully created. Pocoyo isn't tired, but grumpy Pato is. A fabulous bedtime book for your little ones, about bedtime. 

Review by @ShilpaRaikar
5/5 Sukasa Stars

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce Series #6) by Alan Bradley

It is a perfect English morning, “one of those dazzling days in early April when a new sun makes it seem suddenly like a full-blown summer” when we are introduced to eleven-year old Flavia de Luce. She and her family are at the train station in the village of Bishop’s Lacey awaiting the return of her long-lost mother Harriet.
Upon the train’s arrival Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously “pushed” under the train by someone in the crowd. This is just the first of a series of events that puts Flavia’s sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a film reel stashed away in the attic, she unravels the secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself.
This is the sixth installment in the series of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce novels. In The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, Bradley focuses on the de Luce family. Like any family their r…

All The Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

The year is 1983, and this is a story of Bo, a fourteen-year-old refugee from Vietnam, who lives in Toronto with his mother Rose, and his four-year-old sister Orange. Bo’s sister is a family secret, hidden away from the rest of the world because she was born severely disfigured from the effects of Agent Orange (a herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War).
When Bo isn’t daydreaming in school or getting into fights with the neighbourhood boys, he helps take care of Orange, while his mom works her shift at the hospital. His father fell ill and passed away only three days into their sea voyage to Toronto. Bo still has uneasiness about that time but there isn’t an outlet for him to talk to anyone about it.
“And now they’ve lived here for years, and it was like a dream where some things were real but you were never sure.”
The family feels indebted to the people at the church who helped facilitate their journey from Vietnam to Toronto, and provided them an oppo…