“Brides Of The Kindred”, By Evangeline Anderson

A very different genre of books that I came across. This is a mixture of erotica similar to “Fifty shades of Grey” and Science Fiction. I was intrigued by the combination and picked it up and “Brides of the Kindred” books have kept up to my interest. Brides of the Kindred is a whole series and last time I checked it was at 15th book. Evangeline Anderson is able to publish a new book every few months. The way it is going she can keep it up as long as she wants. She just needs to keep on imagining newer types of Kindred. I have read few of them but I am not going to write about them as individual books but will write about series in general.

The series is about a species from different planet that has men with different characteristics but very few women. So they come to earth to get brides. Every type of Kindred has a unique characteristic or technique to mate and the author is exploring each type in a different book. The idea itself lends to all kind of imagination and fantasies that people may have about mating and the author has capitalized on that in this series. She is able to include Vampire effects, threesomes, mating of the mind and so much more with her imagination. There are science fiction ideas about travel between planets, space-time folding and advanced medicine but they are mainly to support the idea and not become the main story. Along with science fiction, there is also Goddess and Evil playing their role that can seem a little off but still ok.

The main story still remains as Kindred men trying to find earth brides. In a way all of them are standard love stories where men are trying to woo the women of their dreams (literally) and eventually win them over. The same theme is played over and over again in each book. The writing style is breezy, simple. This is not literature but it is a good reading. Since the imagination is from a women author, she has kept women as same across planets but men are of different types

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Filed under Erotica, Science-Fiction

“Century Trilogy: Fall of Giants”, By Ken Follett

I have enjoyed reading Ken Follett with his book “Pillars of the earth”. I don’t know why it took me so long to go back to reading another one of his books. Century Trilogy is truly an epic book covering whole of history of 20th century. The first part “Fall of Giants” covers beginning of the century, Russian revolution and the first world war.

The world events are chronicled through the eyes of few families in US, UK, Russia and Germany. All these families are fictional characters but their interplay with actual historical characters is woven beautifully. There are times when I actually went and searched for some names to figure out whether they were fiction or real. Some of the families were already in aristocratic position but what is surprising is the role of common people who contributed to the history and their own advance through the century. This book reminds us once again that lot of things that we take for granted today like voting rights for women have come into picture only a century ago.

I remember very little of history from my school days and this was a kind of refresher course for me. I think history should be taught to students in this kind of storytelling way rather than expecting them to learn dates and events in isolation. This way of history teaching will also tell you how the events in history affected general population and what was the social impact of major political event.

I also think that lot more was happening around the world in other countries that is not covered by this book. But the events leading to world war and aftermath did shape the nations in the most decisive way for the century.

There is lot more to cover about other books and more importantly the social and family aspects of 20th century but that will have to wait for another time.

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Filed under Biography, Fictional-History

“The Hunger Games”, By Suzzane Collins

I somehow avoided reading this series of books and watching the movies for a long time. Not sure what prompted me but I reached out to reading this set of books recently. And as it happens more often than not, I was surprised by the book. The concept of the book is abhorrent to me. The whole idea of putting young children into arena to kill each other is as disgusting as it can be. It is like playing video game with characters and assuming them as characters. It is like animal fighting in arena but here you also play with the emotions of victims and their families as well. On top of that you make a TV spectacle of the whole event.

Even with that disgusting idea the book is written well and character of Peeta and Katniss are refreshing in the madness of the games. They are playing the games but are refusing to be played. They are fighting to survive but almost refuse to kill and definitely not take pleasure out of it. The combination is also great. Katniss is impulsive and brash with great survival instinct. Peeta is cultured and very patient and more importantly ready to die from the time of his selection for Katniss. It is his willingness to sacrifice that moves the story than the Katniss’s willingness to fight and win

What amazes me is the voyeuristic pleasure that citizens of Capitol derive from the whole charade. You are left wondering whether it is forced or could people be really that evil. How easy it is for people to go from being moral and sane to start enjoying the killings. It is not very different from what has happened in different parts of the world under dictatorships.

Overall, this book does invoke strong emotions. I wonder why the book with such gruesome killings involving young kids be considered a book for kids. I will write about the sequels and movies in coming days as well.

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Filed under Fiction, Thriller

Harry Potter And King’s Cross Station

While reading Harry Potter once again I was hoping to finally understand the mystery of King’s cross chapter in last book when Harry gets “killed” by Voldemort’s Avada Kedavara curse and meets Dumbledore in someplace that looks like Kings cross station. But the mystery still continues. I have still not understood what all is happening in this part of the story.

Of course it is clear that the last remaining soul of Voldemort that attached itself to Harry while he tried killing him for the first time gets destroyed this time and Harry comes out of this as whole. But why does he himself not die. Is it the magic of resurrection stone that saves him or is it just that the curse can kill only one soul and ends up killing the parasite soul and not Harry. We read about a small helpless child crying next to Harry. Who is that child? Is it indicative of Voldemort’s fragment of soul or something else.

How Dumbledore end up meeting Harry at this stage. Why does Dumbledore not come out when Harry’s parents, Lupin, Sirius come out to help him when he rotates resurrection stone in forbidden forest while he is going to offer himself to Voldemort. Also, in the end Harry asks Dumbledore whether it is real or happening just in his mind and Dumbledore tells him that it is happening inside his mind but why does he think that it is not real. Now this is a very profound statement for a philosophy book but does not really help in this story.

I wonder whether others have also found it difficult to understand this particular chapter or is it just me. It is true that the story here moves in the realm of death and life and everything may not be easy to explain. Perhaps, J. K. Rowling intentionally wanted to leave it that way but I would have really liked to understand it better.

Maybe I still need to read it more to understand or I may find some explanation on the Internet. If you understand it better, please share.

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Filed under Book Reading, Fiction

P. G. Wodehouse And Sleepy Reading

It has been few years since I discovered and started enjoying the writings of P. G. Wodehouse and ever since they have never failed to amaze me in their simplicity of story and wonderful English writing. There have been long stretches of times when I have read Wodehouse books before falling asleep and the stories have always helped me to go to sleep.

You might think that these books must be really boring that I go to sleep reading them but that is not the case. These stories relax your mind completely. These are the stories where there are no bad people. The biggest problems in life are related to style of clothing one needs to wear to dinner or in some cases a lover’s tiff. There are times when a pet pig does not eat enough or there is an unwanted guest in the house. These are the simple problems in the world of Woosters and Jeeves or Blandings Castle.

It is such a difference reading Wodehouse books as compared to other stories that consist of thrillers, mysteries, suspense, murders that it hits you in the face. Even if the book is not about secret spy missions or investigation, authors tend to create a mystery around their characters. Of course you enjoy reading these stories but the story keep you on the edge of the seat and are really not great reading if you are trying to go to sleep peacefully.

On the other hand, reading about Wooster fussing over his dress or Earl fussing over his pig Empress brings such a peaceful state in your mind that your eyes start drooping just like Wooster or Earl after a great lunch and enjoying the sun on a hammock. I wonder if there are other such great writers who can claim to bring sleep to you but are not boring or complicated.

Only one thing you need to be cautious about while reading Wodehouse in night is that you may end up laughing out loud suddenly and that can be a problem if your partner or spouse is sleeping next to you. Otherwise you will mostly end up sleeping with a soft and goofy smile on your face.

I recently came across that somebody has tried to recreate the Jeeves and Wooster magic again and a new book has come out. Not sure if somebody can recreate it but it will be interesting to read it.

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Filed under Fiction, Humor, Self-Help