Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Red Pyramid & A Movie

I think I told you that my son is totally into Rick Riordan. So I got him the Red Pyramid when it came out. He's been very good about getting all the Riordan books from his school library so far. But the Red Pyramid being home caught my attention on a lazy rainy afternoon and I took it up much to his pleasure. Suffice it to say I finished it off fast. It reads almost like any of the HarryPotter books and even seems to have some themes running in parallel. But the environment is quite different what with Egyptian Gods fighting each other through the centuries and all. I am as you well know is a big time sucker for history. Mythology and ancient legends are so closely intertwined with history that I find those easy to read. A good book and a good author. It may not be as appealing to the adults as the HP books are, but comes close. So take it up if you were eyeing these books and wondering..

The Movie
Finally watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I  that I'd been promising my son ever since it came out. Now that Christmas holidays are here I thought the 3PM show on a Tuesday cannot be that bad since it's been a few weeks. Much to my surprise the theater was full by the time the movie started. A rarity around here. Even more interesting was the wide spectrum of people who came to watch the movie. From the old Grandpa with the cane to my girl who stubbornly kept her eyes open through most of the scary scenes. I as an adult totally enjoyed the movie. I guess the director got a chance for some character development this time since they are doing the last book in two movies. I loved how the 3 brothers' tale was portrayed in the movie. Very tastefully done. Do watch it with family esp if everyone is a fan of the books. Tangled is next in list for the holidays.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Orhan Pamuk

I am a fan of Orhan Pamuk. I even have an absurd pride that I picked up  "My Name is Red" from the library to read him for the first time and he won the Nobel Prize for literature later the same year. Me & The Nobel Committee on the same line. Not bad eh? Since then I had been very interested in his works and own a copy of Snow.  I know Naperville Mom shares my enthusiasm for Pamuk. There was a short Pamuk break but recently I happened to watch a Malayalam movie called 'Kaiyoppu' and in it the protagonist who is a budding writer has a talk with his mentor while they were discussing the current state of writing. He  quotes the first line from Pamuk's book : "I read a book one day and my whole life was changed." Who wouldn't be intrigued by that? So that was enough for silly me to jump into the library site and put The New Life on hold. It was all worth it I tell ya. The book was not quite what I expected in terms of where it lead but Pamuk's writing kept its hold on me as always. He can be down to earth when he wants to and fly up into higher planes as easily. This Marquez of Turkey has been translated into many languages and is Turkey's best selling author. His writing is also reminiscent of many Malayalam novels of a certain era. Not a specific author but rather a specific time. Along with The New Life was Pamuk's latest : The Museum of Innocence. While reading the initial chapters I had a feeling that this is perhaps the least liked Pamuk book. Boy, did Orhan Pamuk prove me wrong!  By the end of the book I was completely back into Orhan's world. The Bospohorous plays a part in some of his books as a backdrop. I love the feel of a body of water bobbing up now and then in a book flowing so well. Ataturk looms large in all his books maybe because he played such an important role in shaping present day Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire? Orhan Pamuk also seems to know the effect his books have on people. That first line in A New Life is mentioned towards the end in The Museum of Innocence and his own name comes up many times as a minor character.  You will find yourself smiling and nodding when you come across the familiar name. You have to read Pamuk. That is if you haven't already!

The Bearkeeper's Daughter By Gillian Bradshaw
While swimming in Pamuk pages I had company from this book which oddly enough also has The Bosphorous flowing through it. Only this one was during the Byzantine Era when Istanbul was Constantinople:-) Very interesting story about Empress Theodora  who rose from rags to riches and ruled alongside her husband Emperor Justinian I. Her NurJahan to his Jahangir I guess. An easy read replete with history. As with well researched historical books Gillian Bradshaw's novel is a wonderful mix of historical facts and  brilliant fictionalization leading to a viable storyline. Good pick for curling up on the sofa with a warm cup of tea and some crunchy snacks..