#bookaday Forgot I owned it: The God of Small Things

the god of small things

 

 

This one has been on my shelf for a while but I found it the other day, having forgotten all about it. Has anyone read it? In the absence of any views on the book, here is the blurb:

The God of Small Things (1997) is the debut novel of Indian writer Arundhati Roy. It is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the “Love Laws” that lay down “who should be loved, and how. And how much.” The book is a description of how the small things in life affect people’s behaviour and their lives. The book won the Booker Prize in 1997. Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, this is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie.

#bookaday Favourite Book From Childhood: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Bookseller has announced that Harper Collins imprint The Borough Press is launching a social initiative for booklovers to share books they love on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #bookaday. It will begin today, Sunday 1st June, and run throughout the entire month. Where has the year gone? How did we get to June? I will be blogging briefly on my book choices each day throughout June.

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I have many childhood favourites, but The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe sits at the top of the list. I’m sure you know the story but for those who don’t, it’s a fantasy novel for children (and adults!) The first of seven in The Chronicles of Narnia series, this one is probably the most well known. The setting is Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures that the White Witch has ruled for 100 years of winter. Four children are evacuated from London to an old country house in England during World War 2. Lucy, the youngest, discovers the land of Narnia through a wardrobe in a spare room. The others take some convincing but soon follow. TIME magazine included the book in its “All-TIME 100 Novels.” In 2003, it was listed at number 9 on the BBC‘s survey The Big Read. It has been published in 47 languages.

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Why did I chose this one? I think there was something about the other-worldliness of the story that appealed to me as a child. The idea of a whole world on the other side of all that we know made me curious. I also related to Lucy’s difficulty in convincing her siblings that Narnia existed. There were times in my childhood where people I trusted didn’t believe me when I told them something important. I think a lot of children/adults can connect with this theme. Then there is the struggle between good and evil, between the White Witch and Aslan. Isn’t there always a struggle between good and evil in our minds and in our wills? There are so many themes in the book that I think anyone can relate to. Overall, it’s a magical tale of four children on a journey of discovery, who are willing to battle for justice in a land that not everyone can see. Their different characters and responses to the situations they encounter are, in my eyes, what make the story work. And the illustrations…

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                     narnia 2

Have you read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Join the conversation.

The Joy of A Bookshop

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There are current and heated debates about paperbacks versus eBooks in every crevice of the book-loving community, and for good reason. Some fear the closure of many and, possibly in the future, all bookshops, but I believe and hope that this will not be the case. I posted a while about about library finds and old books and the pleasure of finding a unique or out of print book. I want to delve into what it is about bookshops that give people so much joy. I promise to balance this by looking at eBook purchases and the benefits of this in another post.Bookshop-Window

In my years of living in London I spent many hours in Waterstones and Borders (admittedly now closed in the UK) scanning bookshelves and sinking into a seat with a stack of books to skim before buying. The feeling of being surrounded by books gives me a sense of calm and brings with it a dose of quiet anticipation, a hope that I will stumble across something brilliant. Recommendations are wonderful, and I often go in search of specific books, but I love finding something fresh and unexpected, picking up a book by a new author who I have not previously heard of, and sinking into an unexpectedly good story.

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The look and feel of a book cover appeals to me aesthetically, it says something about the nature of the book and the author; it provides just enough of a taster to know what to expect of the book in terms of genre and style. I really appreciate striking and unusual cover design and, as much as you can see the thumbnail image online, it is never quite the same experience as holding the paper between your fingers.bookshop

I love the scent of the paper and the physical turning of the pages, the ability to flick back and forth. I like to see books on a coffee table and the spines of the jackets on bookshelves. I enjoy the colours and the graphics. It is a pleasure that I miss when reading an eBook (and I do also read many eBooks).

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Physical books, for me, hold a nostalgic quality and stimulate my senses in a way that eBooks don’t. I often buy hard copies of books that I have read and particularly enjoyed on kindle, just to be able to keep a physical copy. I like to keep classics and travel books in paperback or hardback. I will never tired of the experience of bookshops and I hope that eBooks and paperbacks will continue to live in relative harmony and without the need for a fight.

I’ll leave you with a look at more bookshops and reading spaces and this short video:

Photo credits:

foxedbooks.com, aprettybook.com, bookmania.me, global.oup.com, artstheanswer.blogspot.co.uk