Book Review: The Lovely Bones

I picked up The Lovely Bones at a Borders going out of business sale for $3 about a month ago. I was always a little hesitant to buy the book because I thought the subject matter was too depressing. For those that don’t know, The Lovely Bones is told from the point of view of a 13 year old girl who was brutally murdered. She looks down on her family and friends on Earth as they attempt to grieve and also find her killer.

I started it the night I got it and I’ve yet to finish. Normally, I am a fast reader and usually have to pace myself to not finish the book in a matter of days. I’ve never not finished a book, even if I really disliked it.

The plot of the book is definitely bold and innovative. I think the main reason I don’t like The Lovely Bones is because of the author, Alice Sebold’s writing style. Something about it doesn’t mesh well with me. There are so many characters; the book jumps from one to the other so abruptly I have a hard time keeping track.

I am really disappointed as I’ve heard great things about this book. There was even a movie based off of it.

I will give it my best try to finish reading it, but I can’t give any guarantees.

I also picked up Passages: 24 Modern Indian Stories at the Borders sale. It contains work by Jhumpa Lahiri (my favorite author), Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, and so on..I am always interested in reading works by Indian authors, so I can’t wait to start it.

Has there ever been a book that you just couldn’t finish? What book was it and why?

E-Books vs Real Books

It’s no secret that I love to read. Ever since I was little, I’ve spent at least 20 to 30 minutes reading before bed. It started with Berenstain Bears and Clifford to Sweet Valley High and the Baby Sitter’s Club. Now it’s grown into books like Half the Sky, Last Night at Chateau Marmont (both which are reviewed, respectively, here and here) and the most recent Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants novel, Sisterhood Everlasting.

So as you can see, I’ve grown up loving the smell and feel of an actual book. But last December, I ordered an Amazon Kindle. And you know what? I don’t regret my decision.

Here are just some of the reasons why:

My heaven.

  • I loathe buying hardcover books, so it was always a test to my patience to wait for the paperback. (Except for Harry Potter
     books, those are all in hardcover.)  Now with the kindle, I never have to wait.
  • Books are heavy! Growing up I’ve spent entire summers in India, the Middle East, and Singapore. My parents were never too pleased to have to lug mine and my brother’s books across the county. With the Kindle, I no longer have a carry on bag that causes me (or my dad) ridiculous back pain at the end of the journey.
  • It’s so sleek and pretty! Yes, I know this is superficial, but it’s true. I also found a very cute, hot pink case for it.
  • Once you get over the initial cost of buying the e-book device, the books are actually cheaper. You can even get some of the classics for free! Also, there is a way to loan books between Kindle users (I’m not sure about any other e-book devices).
  • I can’t believe this is so low on my list, but e-books are environmentally friendly.
That being said, I am very sad to hear about all these bookstores like Borders and Barnes and Nobles closing. Some of my best memories are sitting in the cafe, eating a warm chocolate chip cookie, and reading a book from cover to cover.
So which do you prefer? A real book or an e-book? Why or why not?

I love pretty things.

Whenever I get stressed or bored, I look at pretty pictures online. It could be of an awesome outfit, a delectable dessert/dish, a wonderfully decorated room or a beach. They all serve as great distractions from whatever issues are occupying my mind and my mood is instantly changed. Well, now enter Pinterest.

Pinterest is site where you can find and share beautiful pictures that you come across on the internet. It could be anything from home

Bliss.

decor, wedding/party planning, food & desserts, to exotic locales. You can then “re-pin” the pictures you see and share them with your friends. It’s a great tool for anyone planning a wedding, re-decorating their house, or looking for inspiration on what to cook for an upcoming dinner party.

Log on to Pinterest and request an invite. (It doesn’t take long- I requested one this afternoon and got an invite just an hour ago.)

You can view my board here. They are still barren as I am just getting started. And if any of you are on it, add me!

Another website I saw today and loved (courtesy of my friend Pari) is Bookshelf Porn. For anyone who is a bookworm and loves pretty pictures like myself, this site is like heaven. It showcases all the best bookshelves from all over the world. I am in lust. I cannot wait to have an awesome bookshelf in my future house (along with a fantastic view of the ocean, of course).

Half the Sky

I came across this quote today which I loved:

“Submit to a daily practice…Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window.” – Rumi

I’m hoping that using this blog as my “daily practice”  will help me in many ways.

Also, came across this touching article about India’s unwanted girls. A month ago I finished reading Half the Sky, which was such an eye-opening book. It talks about the oppression women face across the world.

I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life. Don’t get me wrong: I know terrible things happen in the world, but I’ve never read about them in such vivid detail.

I would highly recommend Half the Sky to everyone (women and men alike) to read! I’ve never had a book change my world view on things until I read it. Honestly, I’m not one to make rape jokes regardless (i.e. “Oh that exam just raped me”) but after reading some horrific stories, I don’t think I ever will!  Just as there is a campaign to stop using the word “gay” synonymous with stupid or lame, I think the same should be done for rape jokes.

I cannot even begin to fathom the pain (emotionally and physically) that so many girls in the developing world go through on a daily basis. I truly commend Nicholas Kristof and Sherry WuDunn for writing such a book, bringing the plight of these young girls and women to the forefront of the news, and more importantly being their voice in this world.

What was one book that completely changed your worldview?

Anyway, good moments:

– Spending time with my baby niece. She is absolutely the cutest and funniest thing. I love that I finally have a baby that is related to me and also lives close by so I can see her fairly often.

-Shopping and eating yummy falafels.

– 3 days until I’m on the East Coast! So excited for my trip. It’ll be nice to get away and experience a change of scene for a while.

Happy holidays!

I love the holidays. It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside, like I’ve just drank a gingerbread latte (my holiday drink of choice!).

I’m so excited to spend this Christmas at home. We have family coming in tomorrow from Seattle and Vancouver and they are staying for a week. We have no real plans except to eat and spend time with each other..and I cannot wait.

I love holiday baking, so I probably have make sugar cookies with my 4 year old niece. Also, we will go see Christmas lights and decorations in San Francisco.

We don’t really do gifts, but we got something for my niece and family that are coming over.

Do you have any holidays traditions or customs? Is there something you are excited to do during this holiday season?

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The arrival of my first paycheck coincided nicely with the holiday season. I made my first BIG purchase and bought the latest Kindle as a Christmas present! I’ve always been a bit hesitant, because I love the feel of books, but after playing around with the Kindle for only a few minutes I fell in love. It is so light and sleek. Plus, I love that I don’t have to wait forever to buy a paperback version of a book now.

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More importantly, this holiday season I am very grateful for all that I have: a roof over my head, never having to worry about when my next meal will be, good health, and supportive family and friends.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season, however you are planning to celebrate!

Books turned into movies

Earlier this week, I was wondering when the trailer for Water for Elephants will release. I read the book a while ago and loved it. When I found out that they were making it into a movie, I wasn’t sure what to think.

I love books, I love movies, but the books-turned-into-movies phenomenon has almost always had less than appealing results.

I love the Confessions of a Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, but the movie? Eh. The Harry Potter books are brilliant, yet most of the movies can’t seem to capture that essence. There is no one to blame as books and movies are completely different mediums and often times books just don’t translate well on screen.

The only book-turned-movie that I enjoyed was The Namesake. It was beautifully done. While it didn’t stick to the book, the changes it made enhanced the movie, instead of bringing it down.

In Water for Elephants..the main character is supposed to have red hair, and yet Robert Pattinson is not a redhead. The most important character of the book, Rosie, is renamed Tai in the film. It makes me wonder why the writers change little things like that. Why not just let is be as it is?

Anyway, the official trailer came out yesterday and here it is. It actually looks really good and despite my complaining, I know I am going to watch it in theaters anyway. 🙂

Now I just can’t wait for the trailer for Something Borrowed to come out!

Are there any books-turned-movies you LOVED or absolutely LOATHED? Let me know in the comments!