Appreciation of Jack Reacher, from Lee Child’s Without Fail
– Sharon Pradeeptha
Daring, Tactful, Skilled, aptly chosen for the most dangerous job… Jack Reacher is indeed the best crime detective. He is an expert crime analyst. He visualizes the possible solutions, traces and retraces his plans. He is very meticulous when he hears about the enemy’s hiding. He plans the attack very carefully and executes the plan with utmost diligence.
The books on this list are by no means in ascending or descending order of any preferences. Just 12 books I really enjoyed reading and re-reading. Plus, it just means that these books had an extra spark than the others I’d read this year!
– Shana Susan Ninan
Sometimes it takes someone’s death for us to know more about them and their life. It’s the same with the books they’ve read or written.
After my maternal granny – the last of my grandparents – died last Thursday, the family decided to clear up her cupboards and almirahs, as was customary after someone passed away. Besides the saris, clothes, jewellery and knick-knacks, I found a nearly tattered, brown-paper-covered book, signed 1956. That was the year she started writing in it. There were subsequent additions in the following days and years.
There were short stories in Kannada, Sanskrit slokas and prayers, conversion tables written down, extracts of Vivekananda’s sayings, granny’s poems, birthday reminders, the Kannada and English alphabet, English phrases and idioms and their meanings and more, all in that book. On a certain page she had signed her maiden name, too, which means the river Cauvery.
My granny was a middle school teacher all her life. But her death didn’t stop the wealth of information from being passed on. Her words are still with me. Neither death nor time can take them away.
Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar is a medieval pathologist from the University of Salerno, Italy, in Ariana Franklin’s The Mistress Of The Art Of Death. Better known as Adelia Aguilar, she is strong-minded, decisive and excellent at her work. Living in a time – twelfth century – when women doctors, especially those who did post-mortem analysis were burnt at the stake as witches, she strives hard to do her work, without having to compromise. Sent to investigate the murders of four children in King Henry IVth’s England, she excels in a man’s world. And boy does she do it well! She exudes a magnificent presence by which most of the male characters of the novel and the series are silhouette in the background.
Her characteristics are faintly feministic and mostly liberal.
Currently reading The Indispensable Calvin And Hobbes: A Calvin And Hobbes Treasury, and laughing out loud!
Calvin sure beats Dennis by a thousand miles, at the menace he creates. But sometimes he’s so diagonally rewarded. Like when he pushed his parent’s car into a ditch – mom was more worried about HIM getting hurt, and refrained from punishing Calvin as NO ONE was hurt.
Bill Watterson’s words (or his editor’s) so totally engaging. All considered – my transmorgrified imagination included – I’m sure my kid’s gonna be a Calvin! 😛
Black Beauty; Anna Sewell; Penguin Classics
– Shana Susan Ninan
Written by English author Anna Sewell, Black Beauty is a heart-warming autobiographical tale of a horse. It is divided into 49 small chapters across four parts. The story is narrated in the voice of Black Beauty a beautiful horse that grew up to a kind master but saw many hardships and cruelty during his lifetime. Sewell was inspired by Bessie, her brother horse, to write Black Beauty. She completed and published it in 1877. Her mother, an established children’s author, helped Sewell to finish it.
Sewell, in a fall when she was 14, injured her knees. This left her a cripple for life. Sewell grew up around horses and was even a great driver.