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Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

Consider this book for what it is - the transcript of a play, based on one of the most popular fictional storylines to have ever been written. And yet, it does not live up to that expectation. Of a play.
I'd like to think of myself as part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter. Physically, I mean not just in terms of reading. The character itself is actually older than me, but I was only a few years older than Harry when I read the Philosopher's Stone, and 21 when the story ended. Supposedly.
When the Cursed Child was announced, it not only took me by surprise but also filled me with a certain apprehension of how much to expect from rehashing a story that ended on a note of closure. I was in England the day the book was released and having pre-ordered and picked it up at Hatchard's (with the nerd in me doing cartwheels), I settled in - with cupcakes and wine - to read this much-awaited sequel to the series that was the means of introducing me to my now best friends…
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A Wanderer

As a somewhat seasoned (luxury) traveler, there is very little that can bother me in means of making plans and traveling on a day’s notice. Or a few hours as it happened once. I have a small vanity bag packed at all times with essentials, and this can truly be brought down to just my contact lenses. Everything else can be purchased at my destination. From weekend trips to month-long vacations, I am quite at ease. A mental checklist and alarms set for any morning flights are mostly enough. But, I still remember my first trip. The one I took on my own - decided, planned and executed on my own. It is quite an intimidating task and it takes courage to go through with it. With my measly first bonus check, I picked Seattle as the destination of my first jaunt. Why Seattle? Because very few people choose to go there as their first vacation spot. A month before the trip, I signed up for every possible e-newsletter about Seattle tourism, read numerous articles and blogs, pored over maps and dr…

Tea for the Pot

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty. – Japanese ProverbA common tea time ritual, when measuring out tea leaves to be steeped, is always some number of tablespoons to serve and one for the teapot. This is how a tea pot builds its character. Perhaps it’s one that has been handed down a generation, or few, when it will naturally be too characterful or a brand new shiny pot that is waiting for its infusion. And so life goes on. With a mix of inherited behavior and newer ones being created. My first ever lesson in life comes from family. I am an only child, though the first millennial born of my (maternal) family. A second generation Bangalorean, this meant I did grow up with quite the finer things in life because it was the firm belief of my parents, and grandparents, that every generation of the family should be better off than the previous. This thought process seems a sensible one to me. A simple example here - Grandpa was born in a little town in…

1Q84 - Ichi Kew Hachi Yon

"It feels like I'm experiencing someone else's dream. Like we're simultaneously sharing feelings. But I can't really grasp what it means to be simultaneous. Our feelings seem extremely close, but in reality there's a considerable gap between us." - Aomame
Had I known, before I borrowed the book, that 1Q84 was approximately 920 pages, I might not have read it. I would have, in all honesty, picked up the Lord of the Rings again in preparation for The Hobbit. But I had already checked it out and I obviously could not put it away.

[Writing out a quick summary of this novel is going to be quite a task for me because there are so many details in it that I would love to include. I must, however, try and keep it short, so I will simply restrict myself to sharing my thoughts and opinions of the book].

The plot of the novel is quite large though it essentially boils down to a love story that persists through 20 years of time and finds closure in the alternate reality …

Vampire Empire - Books 1 and 2

My mind, the part of it that appreciates a good book, was rather wary and numb of mainstream portrayal of vampires and their kin. It's too much glitter and falling into arms of an immortal one who will protect the helpless heroine for all eternity going on there. It may be what makes them read by all and produce a senseless fan gathering, but it has not allowed imagination grow. Therein lay my mindset when I picked up Vampire Empire by Clay and Susan Griffith. The blurb on the back ofbook set my expectations - as simple as it seemed. I was so pleasantly taken in, hooked and surprised.
This trilogy, titled Vampire Empire, written by Clay and Susan Griffith, begins with the premise that the Great Killing of 1870 pitted the entire world into a horrifying war. A plague, if you will, of vampires. Millions of humans died at the hands of the parasites while the aftermath ensured the death of more. Empires were brought down and humanity driven to the edge of despair. Vampires settled into …

Mildred Pierce

It occurred to me that I have been ignoring this blog for way too long even though I have been reading constantly. I must admit that I have fallen back on my schedule - 10 books behind last week now reduced to just 5 books - but I've been working my way through it. I have made remarkable progress in my attempts to include American authors, straying away from my comfort zone of British writers. Ray Bradbury and F. Scott Fitzgerald being the two I finally crossed off my list. While I loved their writing and found salient features in both, Farenheit 451 and The Great GatsbyJames M. Cain's Mildred Pierce, the most recent book that I've put back on the shelf, has brought me back to this blog. Why? Because I read through this unputdownable book with a grimace.

Mildred Pierce is a middle-class housewife of a cheating husband, Bert, and mother to precocious and arrogant Veda and unassuming Ray. Set during the Great Depression, and at a time when Mildred finally decides to get her…

Heavy Metal Music and I

Heavy metal, or simply metal, is a misunderstood genre. While there is very little of mainstream music I admire or even listen to, metal has been a good friend through my teenage years and has followed me into adulthood. There is an element of metal music that hits home. It's not just the loudness and the bass and distortions. There is feeling in it, the lyrics are more intense, the music conveys a far deeper meaning. It's not noise. It's larger than that.
I'm an 80's child that grew up in the 90's so I know what pop music is supposed to be and I've enjoyed my share of boy bands and solo artists. But most of the artists I like and songs I bobbed to were before my time. They were from the 70's and 80's. I couldn't enjoy a lot of the late 90's music because of the importance given to performance than actual singing or music. It became more about the 'oompf' factor. Metal, on the other hand, goes for the subtle bang. Yes, most to all met…