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Archive for July, 2010

It was my friend’s excitement on seeing a new cover of a book, she already had – made me look out for various book covers. It is a wonderful way to stay on par with the changing world of design.

Here’s a look at the various book covers of Nicholas Sparks – A Walk To Remember.

A Walk to Remember

Read it, Watch it - a book to be shared with your loved one

A Walk to Remember

The movie characters gave face to Landon and Jamie

A Walk to Remember

A book for all seasons

A Walk to Remember

Love blooms, when you stop looking..

A Walk to Remember

Click on the image to read the review

Movie Poster

Not a book lover? Catch the flick!!

Hope you enjoyed it. If you have a book cover different than these, do send the picture across.

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How many times have you caught yourself complaining about the mundane, routine life you led? Always wished to be someone else, live on the other side but the world and its ways just never set you free.

Johnny Gone Down

Check the thoughts in the head.. And form your pattern of the story..

Karan Bajaj’s Johnny Gone Down can just be your escape. The book is on the life of Nikhil Arya, a budding MIT student with a potential future. A progress sheet which gets him from one cubicle to another, an Indian wife, beer with colleagues and a peaceful life was his goal on the day of graduation.

But, his destiny had other plans. It wanted him to soar. And so, various threads dangled for him. Every thread caught – became a part of his life, meshing with his previous experiences. He learns and unlearns, adapts and acquires new skills, sometimes ignores his thoughts and yet, never connects to people. Or does he?

What starts off as an unplanned hike to Cambodia for the nymph-like girls and a relaxed vacation before the rigmarole soon, turns ugly or rather exciting. Pol Pot’s administration sees Nikhil at his worst. Each day is about a dark room, watery rice and a wish that the end is near.

But he survives. And finds solace in a Buddhist monastery. Does the transition work for him? Why doesn’t he go back to his normal life, if there is one in US? With no one to call his own, Monk Namche as he is known – fights his inner battles and embraces the Buddha. But, is this what he really wanted? A trip to Brazil and he gives up the chaste life.

The South American country’s ‘favela’ or neighborhood brings him face to face with a drug lord. He befriends him or rather gets lured, as there is no other place to go and becomes his bookkeeper of accounts. In a rather filmy style, he is an excellent marksman. And as the story unravels, Nick becomes a rich man with no emotion. But wait, love has to enter.

So it does and the happy, married life he leads irks the Colombian mafia. So does he die? Not yet. Uncle Sam’s country beckons him and in a homeless state, he meets a software guy. With family left behind, he yearns to be with them. It is this belonging that he had always looked for. And, despite being a software mogul, his wish is only to be with them or die.

And he does die. But not before he becomes Johnny, saves the life of a driver in a battle to blow the brains. Becomes a guest of honour at a wedding and stuffs a samosa every 10 minutes. Meets his childhood friend and narrates his tumultuous life’s various threads. Only to stumble upon the mosaic it formed. A pattern which is clearly visible and was all planned by destiny.

So, Johnny Gone Down with its racy style of jumping countries and changing roles will keep you hooked. It is said to be ‘a once-in-a-lifetime story of an ordinary man fighting an extraordinary destiny.’ Which reminds me of a song – Who can say where the road goes, Where the day flows? Only Time.

So give Karan Bajaj’s second novel your time, while I go for the debut one.

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My heartbeats did a flip, when I first heard the Mandy Moore number, “It’s gonna be love..  It’s gonna be great..  It’s gonna be more than I can take.. ” After downloading its lyrics, I came to know it is from a movie called, ‘A Walk To Remember.’

Interesting name, I sought its DVD – but couldn’t find one in India. On my trip to Ozzie land, I came across this huge movie rentals, VCDs, DVDs store. My eyes gleamed in delight and the search started. On not noticing it in the Love section, I decided to consult the help desk.

Phew!! I was a bit nervous, thinking what if no one had heard about it? But I ventured, and he took me the aisle of the DVD. Guess what? It was placed first in the row. The excitement must have got to me.

I  took a look at the price. Yes, a romantic movie I was waiting to see but, you do notice such things. Before I could decide whether to buy it or not, someone turned me around. And, out I went back to my car. That is the walk I remember.

But I never forgot the name. And not until recently, did I know that it was actually a book by Nicholas Spark!! Did someone say, Ignorance is bliss? Hmm, thoughtful thought.

A Walk to Remember
“Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself. Like this journey never ends. Like you were sent to me because I’m sick. To help me through all this. You’re my angel.

“A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks is a book which as the protagonist says, will first make you smile and then, have you weeping. It is the story of two 17-year olds, Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan. Through the eyes of Landon, you see a friendship bloom into love. And that, miracles do happen.

Jamie, daughter of the priest – Hegbert, a girl without a mother, a teenager who likes spending time with orphans, a pretty girl who hides beneath her plain brown skirt and ties her hair in a bun. The girl who has a way with adults, she prays, reads the Bible during intervals, doesn’t have many friends as they find her ways weird. Now, whoever thought being kind would make her earn that tag. But, teenagers have their own warped definitions.

Landon, son of a rich father, can balance a pencil on a  finger for say 30 seconds, has joined the Drama class to escape the mathematical equations. And, Miss Garber – his teacher will change his life forever by casting him in a play.

A Christmas play which makes him do the ‘right thing’. His unexpected friendship with Jamie, getting to know her, their walks, falling in love with her hair left down. That’s what this book speaks about.

It garners interest when both of them find each others’ thoughts. When Landon feels Jamie is just like any teenage girl, with hopes and dreams. The reason, why she behaves differently. A truth that will shatter his faith, will test their love.

The book talks about fulfilling dreams, of believing in miracles and knowing that love is not just kisses. When the world’s practicality doesn’t give answers, God does. And, the Psalm read, ‘I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it to the earnestness of others.’

Set in North Carolina, you will go along with Landon to a different era. An era, where ‘A Walk to Remember’ is the dream.

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Let me be truthful, I have not read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird yet. And when I ask myself Why? The answer is, I always overlook the book in favor of another. Somehow I couldn’t get my hands on it.

The Pulitzer prize winning book has completed 50 years, on July 11, 2010. And Jharna Kukreja Chauhan’s post on the book, has made me realize the essence of it. So, I do not have a review on the book but definitely, can give you an account of the different book covers.

Book covers fascinate me. It intrigues me to know more about the book even before I read it. Yes, they say Don’t judge a book by its cover. And, I pick mine with the last page passage called the Blurb.

To pay an ode to Lee’s book, here’s a look at the various covers. (Please note : They are not in any chronological order. If you know the year, please let me know)

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book CoverThe oft- seen cover at the Fort bookwallahs. Describing it as a timeless classic tale, which today is definitely true.

Now, the reason why there is a pocket watch and a ball of yarn – let me get back once I have read the book.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book Cover

Stick figures have a way of making their presence felt. The black background with the mocking bird illustration, makes up for h simplicity and impact of the story.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book Cover

As the cover mentions, the 50th Anniversary Edition – it must be the latest offering. Note how the bird is perched on a barren tree. And the girl’s upward glance has us noticing it too.

The cover is done in silhouettes and there is a certain mystery to this style of designing. Makes us curious and the detailing is a highlight.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book CoverThe award winning book had found its larger audience through the movie, To Kill a Mocking Bird starring Gregory Peck. The movie was a hit and this cover has a snap from the movie. If your wondering, who is the girl? Pick up the DVD and be your own detective.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book Cover

A simple cover with just a blooming tree, perhaps indicating how due to a few men in the society the Tree will forever, bloom.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book CoverThe red typography in the start catches your attention. The smudges in red and the black tree have a silent message. Can you spot the Mocking bird trying to be free from the tree and definitely, is a distinguished bird?

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book Cover

The American flag, a black man imposed on it – now one needs to just read the Blurb to know more.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book Cover

The feel of this cover is very sophisticated. The pattern of squares indicates how life is like a chessboard, with various moves. Notice the red square and the courtroom illustrated on the back. The material and the finishing touches give the book, its Pulitzer winning aura.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book Cover

Stark white and a beautiful illustration, this cover shows the entangles of the society around our bird.

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Book Cover

This book cover is an illustration by Rebecca Manley for her website works. You can take a look at her creative side on http://www.rebeccamanley.com

Well, so that’s all I could scout for. Hope you enjoyed the various hues of the book cover of this classic.


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They say, Brevity is the soul of wit. So they asked, Why not a story?

Sixwordstories.net wants you to keep it brief. Their inspiration, not drabble – coz that’s very drab for them. Launched by Pete Berg, it was Ernest Hemingway’s famous challenge that got his idea working.

And the story was, “For sale: baby shoes, never used.”

Baby shoes

Short, brief, concise

My try for this short and sweet style, “Booker Prize Story : Third World Apathy”

Here’s one more, “Betrayal aside, his smell haunted her.”

If you have some time, think of your own story.

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When the clock will strike 12 tonight, India will witness the Germany versus Uruguay FIFA match. Pulpo Paul, (Pulpo is Spanish for Octopus) has eaten the mussel out of the Germany box. Thus, predicting the winner for today.

Who can blame Paul, when Klose is from the Deutschland.

Miroslav-Klose

German eyecandy

As for the Sunday finale between Spain and Netherlands, the animal kingdom seems to be divided. The German Octopus, after a moment of hesitation while the television anchors and audience waited with bated breath, finally picked up the Spain box and didn’t look back at all.

But, the Oranje loyals need not lose heart as Mani, the parakeet believes in their victory. The 13-year old Singaporean Mani is famous for its predictions. As an Indian, one will be aware of the ‘tota-wallahs’ (parrot astrologers) at the market’s nook-and-corner. And how everything has to be taken with a  pinch of salt.

Mani, the parakeet

Mani, the parakeet

The battle is on. The vuvuelas have made their presence felt. Now, will it be Spain or Netherlands? Or better still Paul or Mani?

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Remember this line from the Bible, every time the world seems to conspire against your dream.

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it to the earnestness of others.

In today’s age, the lyrics of Celine Dion’s song convey the spirit with these lines.

When you want it the most, there’s no easy way out

When your ready to go and your heart’s left in doubt

Don’t give up on your faith

Love come to those who believe it

And that’s the way it is.

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