Writer Wednesday – Jo Nesbø

A feature on the Norwegian writer, Jo Nesbø. Read up, if some Scandinavian crime fiction interests you.

Tomes and Tales

The Norwegian writer, musician, and former journalist has had his books translated into over forty languages. Jo Nesbø is known primarily for his crime novels – Inspector Harry Hole being one of his more famous characters. He is also the lead vocalist and songwriter of the Norwegian rock band, Di Derre. Born in Oslo and having grown up in Molde, Nesbø graduated with degrees in Economics and Business Administration, and worked as a freelance journalist and stockbroker before he embarked on a career in writing. Nesbø also played football with Molde Fotballklubb (a Norwegian association football club), and is a dedicated rock climber.

The Harry Hole series is among his most notable works, which follows a tough detective working for the crime squad and the national criminal investigative service who takes on seemingly unconnected cases, combating serial killers or gangsters, and spends an equal amount of time battling his…

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Wednesday RDP – COMEBACK

Wednesday is my day of the week for selecting the prompt. Join in with the ragtag community and share a post on today’s word – Comeback.

Welcome back to the Wednesday prompt! Always excited on my day of selecting the prompt. 😀

Our word for today is “comeback”. Have you made a return or recovery in any former activity? Or are you quick to retort or respond? Whichever way you choose to interpret the day’s prompt, tell us what the word means to you. You could narrate an incident or compose a poem or song, or send in pictures if you prefer sharing your thoughts through photographs.

You know the rules. Use “ragtag daily prompt” , “RDP” , and “comeback” as tags. Add “photo” if you’re sharing a picture, as specific tags make your posts more accessible to other bloggers. Pingback your posts to this page or copy-paste your links in the comment thread here. And while you’re around, browse through what your fellow bloggers have come up with using the day’s prompt.

Feel free to read, write…

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September Reading – Monthly Analysis

I haven’t had much time to write lately, but I did get in quite a bit of reading last month. Here’s a compilation of the books I read in September – as usual, a sharp contrast in the genres and themes. Six non-fiction books, three fiction, a collection of short stories, and a poetry book. Two kindle books, with the majority read as paperbacks. There was one Marathi book and one translated book (Bangla to English translation) which added some variety to the month’s literary pile. A large number of the month’s reads comprised regional literature from India. The birthday bookathon is almost coming to an end (about a month and a half to go). I have been a tad busy to write reviews for all of them. Here are a few of the book reviews I managed to jot down; will get to the remaining in the coming days.

1) The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey – Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar (Review coming up)

2) Murder In The City – Supratim Sarkar

https://curiouscat99.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/murder-in-the-city-book-review/

3) Tell Me Your Real Story – Savita Nair

https://curiouscat99.wordpress.com/2018/09/16/tell-me-your-real-story-book-review/

4) Animals, Inc. – Kenneth Tucker and Vandana Allman

https://curiouscat99.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/animals-inc-book-review/

5) Kudos – Rachel Cusk

https://curiouscat99.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/kudos-book-review/

6) A Year in Himachal – Humera Ahmed  (Review coming up)

7) Nairobi, Then and Now – Stephen and Bhavna Mills  (Review coming up)

8) Islands in Flux – Pankaj Sekhsaria  (Review coming up)

9) Zopala – Va. Pu. Kale  (Review coming up)

10) Run to Realise – Abhishek Mishra  (Review coming up)

11) Bookless in Baghdad – Shashi Tharoor  (Review coming up)

 

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Writer Wednesday – Colette

A feature on the French novelist, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. A movie with Keira Knightley in the titular role will be out soon.

Tomes and Tales

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” French writer Colette’s quote strikes a chord with all animal lovers. Our featured writer for this week is the French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who wore many hats as mime, actress and journalist, and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.

Colette was born in Yonne, Burgundy. At the age of twenty she married author and publisher Henry Gauthier-Villars, better known by the nom de plume, Willy. Colette’s first four novels appeared under her husband’s name – four books from the Claudine stories – Claudine à l’école (1990), Claudine à Paris (1901), Claudine en ménage (1902), and Claudine s’en va (1903). The series takes the reader through the coming of age of the titular character – a fifteen year old from a village in Burgundy to the literary salons of Paris at the turn of the century. The stories are semi-autobiographical…

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Wednesday RDP – FEAST

It’s my day for fixing the prompt. As the ragtag community crosses a century of daily prompts over the last three months, join in by composing a post using the word of the day.

Hope everyone’s having a sumptuous week. The Ragtag Community completed a century over the weekend, having set over a hundred prompts in the three months since its inception. This calls for a celebration!

Our word for today is “feast” . Indulge in your creativity and let us gorge on the lovely articles you come up with using the day’s prompt. Let’s set the banquet for all. Cook up a story, compose a poem, click photographs, share your musings – treat us to your interpretation of the prompt in words or pictures.

You know the rules. Use “ragtag daily prompt” , “RDP” , and “feast” as tags. Add “photo” if you’re sharing a picture, as specific tags make your posts more accessible to other bloggers. Pingback your posts to this page or copy-paste your links in the comment thread here. And while you’re around, browse through what your fellow bloggers have come up…

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Writer Wednesday – Thich Nhất Hanh

A feature on the global spiritual leader and writer on mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh. Check out some of his books, if you haven’t read him already.

Tomes and Tales

~ “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”

~ “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

~ “It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time.”thich-nhat-hanh-hand-mudra

Our featured personality for this week is the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhất Hanh. The global spiritual leader, revered for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings, was born as Nguyễn Xuân Bảo in the city of Huế in Central Vietnam. He entered the monastery at Từ Hiếu temple at age sixteen, and graduated from Báo Quốc Buddhist academy, from where he received training in the Vietnamese traditions of Mahayana Buddhism and Thiền Buddhism, and was ordained as a monk in 1949.

In 1956, Hanh was named editor-in-chief of Vietnamese Buddhism, the periodical of the  Giáo Hội…

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Wednesday Prompt – SOBRIQUET

It’s my day for fixing the daily prompt. Join in everyone, and contribute a blog-post using the word of the day.

A very good day to the blogging world! Our impetuously named ragtag community is inching towards its centenary prompt.

Our word for today is “sobriquet” (/ˈsoʊbrɪkeɪ/ SOH-bri-kay) – a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another. Distinct from a pseudonym, it usually is a familiar name used in place of a real name without the need of explanation, often becoming more familiar than the original name.

What comes to your mind when you hear or think of a sobriquet? Any interesting anecdotes to share of your own? Tell us a story or compose a poem; show us your interpretation of the prompt in words or pictures.

You know the rules. Use “ragtag daily prompt” , “RDP” , and “sobriquet” as tags. Add “photo” if you’re sharing a picture, as specific tags make your posts more accessible to other bloggers. Pingback your posts to this page or copy-paste your links in the…

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Wednesday Prompt : OEUVRE

Wednesday is my day for setting the ragtag prompt. Here’s our word for today – “oeuvre”. Join in and compose a blog-post using the day’s prompt.

WOW!! It’s our 90th prompt today! The ragtaggers body of work has come this far with the enthusiasm of the beautiful blogging community meticulously posting each day.

Our prompt for today is “oeuvre” .  What comes to your mind when you think about this word? Narrate an incident, cook up a story, compose a poem or song, click a picture. Take us across the worlds of music, arts, literature, and tell/show us what the prompt means to you.

You know the rules. Use “ragtag daily prompt” , “RDP” , and “oeuvre” as tags. Add “photo” if you’re sharing a picture, as specific tags make your posts more accessible to other bloggers. Pingback your posts to this page or copy-paste your links in the comment thread here. And while you’re around, browse through what your fellow bloggers have come up with using the day’s prompt.

Feel free to read, write, click, share. We…

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Writer Wednesday – Rachel Cusk

On experimental writers and their works.

Tomes and Tales

Our feature for today is an author I was recently introduced to. Rachel Cusk is a Canadian-born novelist and writer who spent her early childhood in the United States, and currently resides and works in the United Kingdom. She has written eight novels and three non-fiction books.

Her first novel, Saving Agnes, published at the age of twenty-six in 1993, dealt with themes of femininity and social satire. This was followed by The Temporary (1995), The Country Life (1997), The Lucky Ones (2003), In The Fold (2005), Arlington Park (2006), and The Bradshaw Variations (2009). Cusk’s novels are set in an imaginary elsewhere which undermines the constitutions of her characters. Wanting to be a part of something and yet be apart from it are recurring themes in her works. Cusk’s writing is less concerned with how things are, than with what they might be compared to. Her reliance on…

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Scheherazade – Book Review

Title – Scheherazade

Author – Haruki Murakami (translated by Ted Goossen)

Genre – Fiction, Short story

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“The scene seemed divorced from reality, although reality he knew, could at time be terribly unreal.”

A short story by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami which narrates the days of one of it’s primary characters, Nobutaka Habara, who for some undisclosed reason is home bound. Habara has been shifted to his new accommodation since a few months, and a woman who serves as his caretaker, entrusted to him by an unnamed company, is his only contact with the world. The woman never tells him her name, and never refers to Habara by his name either. She visits twice a week with all the groceries, books, DVDs, and other supplies he needs, even offering sex and narrating stories. Habara assumes everything is part of the deal with his new lodging and doesn’t ask or protest. He names her Scheherazade, after Queen Scheherazade from “A Thousand And One Nights”, due to her penchant for telling stories after sex.

“Her voice, timing, pacing were all flawless. She captured her listener’s attention, tantalized him, drove him to ponder and speculate.”

They have almost no other conversation in the few hours they spend together during her biweekly visits. Her stories begin and end abruptly, and the narrative takes us through how Habara has to wait for the next visit to know what happens. Whether narrating about her past life as a lamprey, or disclosing her routine break-ins at a former classmate’s house, Habara has no idea whether her stories are fact or fiction.

“Reality and supposition, observation and pure fancy seemed jumbled together in her narratives.”

In typical Murakami style, the reader is never told who Scheherazade really is, why Habara cannot leave the house, or what is the significance of the stories. The narrative is unique, with the backstory forming the main story as Scheherazade’s reminiscences of her past take you along for the ride. She begins abruptly and leaves the endings for the next visit, and every visit ends with something else pending. The reader experiences the same feelings with Murakami as Habara does with Scheherazade – the story doesn’t get anywhere, but the ride is thrilling.

At it’s core, the story is about companionship. Habara cannot move outside his abode and Scheherazade is his only link to the outside world. Scheherazade is a licensed nurse and a mother of two, but offers her storytelling to Habara who seems to be the only one eager to listen to them. With only two characters and an average plot, Murakami leaves us with beautiful imagery and brilliant storytelling, as reflected in the life of a lamprey or a house breaker who is not a thief. Just like Habara, the reader is left puzzled with many questions during and at the end of the story. But read this for your dose of Murakami’s writing, just as Habara cherishes Scheherazade’s stories for her storytelling skills.

Rating – 3/5