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Confessions of a book-traveller

#24 Jane of Austin by Hillary Mantel Lodge

“​It felt like the Christmas ball in Meet Me in Saint Louis but without the happy ending.” 
Flavoured with the scent of sugary and milky relationships, with the aroma of wit and well-structured lines and the warmth of a good romance. 

Book Blurb:

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” 
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility


Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn’t so far away. 
I had found Austen quite intriguing in my college years, not because we had been mediating between the feminists and male chauvinists, but because Darcy and Jane were characters I could relate to among my peers, even after more than a century and a half of its origin. Surprisingly, Lodge maintains a somewhat similar charm with her characters and words in her contemporary creation of the immortal classic. 

Crisp and quirky, Jane of Austin is filled with the warmth of romance with the somewhat frigid(and novel-essential) unrequited love. The novel opens with the three sisters in bedlam due to their father’s somewhat infamous reputation and the resultant troubles that follow. And like a warm cup that most of us are in habit of taking to get over the first hours of anxieties, the Tea-shop comes to the rescue. After a turn of events, the Woodward trio find themselves in Austin, and the new soil brings with it the promise of romance, but also the troubling gap that begins to develop in other relationships. Heartbreak, laments and a reconciliating end, Lodge does more justice to Austen than any expert ever would. 

The characterization is like a wide sunset beside a flowerpot. There is a promise of sweet thrill as the characters unfold themselves with the departing pages. Jane is gorgeous. Celia is charming in her own way. One almost drools over Wills and finds admiration for Callum. There is a faint scent of home in all of them, and a certain identification of the characters with those who move in our back-alleys and scones and tea stalls. At last, I almost found myself tossing my head in delight and the somewhat opposite emotion. Truly made the mark of my favourite authors, Ms. Lodge, as did her novel of Sweet tea and Sensibility. 

Recommended with tea, scones and some fresh lemon. Jane of Austin sends her love. 

My Rating:4.5/5

P.S.-My gratitude to Blogging for Books for the review copy. You owned me. 

A Dream Author Panel?Now that’s something!

Flashlights,a lot of flashlights.The collar mike tugging away the neatly frilled shirt,a bottle of Kinley and a fresh cup of lemon tea(helps with the grogginess)-that’s my idea of a perfect author interview.
When I took this venture as a book blogger,many told me it would be fruitless and a tiring pursuit.Its nearly 6 months and I can hardly tell the difference in passion and enthusiasm.However,one of the major openings for a blogger that I am yet to recieve is a panel interview with the authors of my choice.Its no doubt that I prepare myself for such an occasion as a mental exercise to grasp the opportunity at the first available instance.therefore when Eventbrite-the Largest Self-Ticketing Platform in the World(do check it out guys!they are doing a wonderful job) asked me to write a post on the subject as a part of their ongoing project, it was like an opportunity, difficult to execute but in the list for a long,long time.

Where would be a better place to host my favourite authors than the esteemed Jaipur Literary Festival?In the lights of the chandelier that silently basked in the greatness of the writers,their pains and happiness ,with over a hundred esteemed people listening,I would love to host Mr.Amish Tripathi– the author of the Shiva Trilogy and The Ram Chandra Series ,Mr.Shashi Tharoor– erstwhile Member of Parliament,Avid Debater and Writer,Mr.Ruskin Bond-Sahitya Akademi winner and Children Story Writer,Ms.J.K.Rowling-the author of the famous Harry Potter Series,Mr.Amartya -Nobel prize winner and economic writer and Ms.Arundhati Roy – notable writer and political activist.

                                                


Amidst thundering applauses and greetings for these great people ,here is an excerpt of how the questions shall be asked during the panel interview to each of them.

Mr.Amish Tripathi:

His commentary on marketing practices in current publishing world

The scope of indie authors in today’s cramped literary space and already overflowing fiction/nonfiction 

The practice of self-publishing and its scope in modern readership habits.

Mr.Shashi Tharoor:

The scope of political writing in India,and the world.

Given to the vehement criticism of post-colonial practices in all his books,does he think these may hamper diplomatic efforts and greater cooperation in the international fora.

Ways to prevent rampant political opinions,and opinionated inoriented people.

Ms.J.K.Rowling:

Does Children Writing need a greater psychological study and researching before pondering over the subject as children are now prone to challenges that were insignificant even 10 years back.How can this be informed to them,if not directly?

What is the scope of adult elements in Children literature?Where do they merge?Do they blend?

What is the proper fiction for improving child psychology. If it is Child fiction,what is its extent?

Mr.Amartya Sen:

What is the scope of Economic gains hampering the book world?

Budding authors going for commercial gains and not literary finesse.How does one prevent that?

How is dropping out from regular work to turn their sole focus to literary work going to affect the economy,and other stakeholders?

Mr.Ruskin Bond:

How would you comment on Ms.Rowling’s views on Child psychology?

How to make proper use of the recluse in a literary venture?

Does environment matter in a writer’s repertoire for great necessities for writing?How is it different from your place(a hill station) to someone in a plain or an island?

Ms.Arundhati Roy:

Your views on Mr.Tharoor’s opinions on political writing and opionated activism?

How to check the current political and social trends from a literary perspective in war torn parts of the world like Syria Jerusalem,or close home in Balochistan,Kashmir and Xinjiang?

How can we bring about a greater voice for the activists in these parts.How to check the negative consequences of such literary ventures?

I would personally like to thank Eventbrite  for giving me this idea to write about my dream panel interview.Please check out Eventbrite and its Conference Page .It is a great resource to organise and register for conferences in your local areas.

Love and Literary wishes,

The Lyrictrotter

#23 The Importance of Being Earnest

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • By Oscar Wilde
  • Comedy of Manners

Sparkling with wit, jest and lampoon.

My very first experiences of literature with Wilde was yet to be complete (The Picture of Dorian Gray) when my reading apparatus was accidentally broken on my way to my father’s place. Unable to bear the ‘sin’  of not reading, I took up to reading on my mobile.And lo! There it was, sitting there by itself, probably for aeons. I had first heard of it in school(never dared then) and then in Sherlock Season 4:3(Mark Gatiss). With a triumphant smile, I peered down the small letters. 

It hooked me soon enough. It made me foolishly laughing at the world(drawing terse comments from other members in the family;although people who read Mark Twain or else would understand) and determined to finish it in one sitting. Believe me, nothing was more irritating  than leaving the Importance of Being Ernest to have lunch,although much to the reprimand of the table, I was reading it even then. 

No Spoillers for this! Go read it folks. 

Lady Bracknell is charmingly superfluous. Algernon and Jack are a world of their own. The ladies add the greatest charm of the story with their innocent yet revealing words. In fact, Augusta and the two girls are the mirror of the society Wilde uses to expose amd jest,much similar to Pope’s Belinda or Sheridan’s Malaprop or her ward. The Comedy of Manners sparkles across the pages woth unparalleled  wit only Congreve and Goldsmith could match in some proportions. It is truly a sensible outburst to declare Oscar Wilde as one of the greatest writers of that era. 

The Genre of Drama is fast dwindling in modern times as theatres are coming to a halt in modern India and other parts of the world. People are either shifting to novels or away to screen-based performances. In these times, such dramatic resources may act as crusaders for saving the precious genre. The play has every minute dot-point it requires to make it great. The characterization seeks to make us happy. The dialogues are full of overtones pointing to a greater lack of moral perspective that makes us smile, and all the fuss over a proper name, the use of religious practices like Baptism do make it scandalous, but however thoroughly entertaining. High points to that. I do not need to tell whether it is recommended, do I? 

My Rating-4.5/5

P.S.-Thanks to my internet connection. 

Knowing Louis K.Lowy

Hello Mr.Lowy,



1. I would like to welcome you to my blog and my readers, and congratulate you on the fantastic work I have just read. How do you feel?

Thank you, Reshov, not only for allowing me to participate in this interview, but for your kind words regarding To Dream: Anatomy of a Humachine. It’s always a wonderful feeling to complete a work and have it accepted for publication. Of course, the biggest thrill is to have readers enjoy it.

2. What is your inspiration behind such a vividly descriptive and intriguing story? What is the amount of research put in?

My inspiration was a three-page story I had written nearly two decades ago and had forgotten about. While going through my (virtual) files I re-discovered it, read it and realized I had the basics for an intriguing story. I took the key elements—an AI named J-17 (which I changed to J-1) who lived in the future, though he was created on earth he worked on a distant planet, and a miracle drug named Genimetrothiasine and formed my story from there.

Regarding research, it was massive. First off, before I could solidify my plot, I had to answer nine key questions, such as why was J-1 in the future? How did this miracle drug come about? What planet was he on and how and why did he get there? What was happening on Earth and who was responsible for the creation of J-1? I posted the nine questions on a poster board and for the next 2-3 months figured out plausible answers to each one. Once that was done, I was ready to begin writing. It was a lot of work up front, but saved me much, much more time in the long run.

As you know, the book shifts between the future and the present. Researching present-day facts has to do with accuracy; future research has to do with logical speculation, which allows for some leeway, which can be fun. For instance, I used the phrase “Michael Jackson” as a future term for “Awesome.” Honestly, though, I’m not as much into the techie sci-fi aspect as I am into the emotional aspect. I’m a huge fan of Ray Bradbury’s writing because, I believe, he approached it the same way.

3. Tell me about your main character. What about him intrigues you the most?

What intrigued me the most about J-1 is his fight to cope with human emotions. I see him as an innocent entity—a newborn that is built in the image of a young adult. Emotions are thrust upon this innocent soul, and because of his lack of experience with them he is overwhelmed and unprepared to handle them. Also, though he is acquiring human feelings, he isn’t human and he has to deal with the prejudice against him. Furthermore, visions lurk inside of J-1 that plays heavily upon his awakened being. It’s his very human struggle to overcome that I love about him.

4. I would like to hear about your journey as a writer so far?

I’ve always done some sort of writing. I played bass guitar in original music bands for years and was always the go-to guy for lyrics. As I grew out of music, I decided to take film classes and realized that I liked writing scripts better than I liked filmmaking. That inspired me to apply for Florida International University’s Creative Writing Program. I was fortunate enough to be accepted and from there began writing full time. I’ve had numerous short stories published and three novels—the latest being this one.

5. What is your next writing endeavour?

Right now I’m working on a crime novel.

6. What is your message to all budding authors out there?

Believe it or not, by best advice comes from a fortune cookie. I have the message taped to my computer keyboard so I can see it every time I write. It’s probably the best advice I’ve come across: Don’t give up; the beginning is always the hardest.

I wish you all the best for all your future endeavours and may you continue writing such good tales forever. 

Thank you, Reshov, not only for your review of To Dream: Anatomy of a Humachine, but for the wonderful questions.

Read the review of Anatomy of a Humach


About the Author:

A former firefighter, Louis sometimes feels as if he jumped from the fire into the frying pan when he decided to take up writing as a means to fulfill his passion to create characters and worlds that he longed to inhabit or longed to avoid.
He is an alumnus of Florida International Universitys Creative Writing program and the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship.
His first novel, Die Laughing, is a humorously dark sci-fi adventure that takes place in the 1950s. It speaks of his love for science fiction B movies, particularly low budget black and whites with outlandish titles like I Married A Monster From Outer Space, Invasion of the Saucer-Men, Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers, and Robot Monster.
His second novel, Pedal, is a contemporary womens lit story of a 49 year old elementary school music teacher who is fired and struggles to reclaim her life back through bicycle racing.
One of Louis close friends lost his job and had to deal with the self-doubt that comes from forced unemployment. How everyday people face turning points in their lives was a compelling issue that Louis knew he had to explore.
He wrote Pedal with the belief that it will appeal to anyone interested in how ordinary people struggle against adversity. He hopes it will inspire readers of all ages to rise above it.
In third novel, Anatomy of a Humachine is a science fiction epic spanning two centuries and crossing two planets. Book I: To Dream centers on J-1, an artificial intelligence struggling to find his humanity; the grieving scientist who created him; the ruthless head of the corporation who owns him; and the iron-willed leader of a rebel force seeking revenge for the death of her family and the destruction of her planet. Lowy wanted to explore human emotions and how they affect those who are lucky, or unfortunate, enough to have them.
Louis was born in Pittsburgh, but moved to South Florida with his parents at a young age. He lives in Miami Lakes, FL with his wife, daughter, and a terrier named KC. They have a son in Seattle who is studying Asian Literature. 
Contact Information:

Email: lklowy@gmail.com

Website: http://www.louisklowy.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Louis-K-Lowy/100001621851402

Twitter: @louisklowy

Bibliography:

Non-fiction short story “A Bazaar Afternoon” April/May 2008, Coral Living Magazine

Poem “The Proposal” Summer 09, Merge: A Journal of Convergent Ideas

Poem “Poetry Workshop (Mary had a little lamb)” April, 09 second prize winner of Winning Writers Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Short story “The Guiding Light” Fall 09, New Plains Review

Short Story “Of Toil and Trouble” Oct. 2010, Ethereal Tales #9

Short Story “Morrison’s Last Autograph” Jan. 2011, Bete Noire #2

Flash Fiction “Fight the Future or Why My Wife Left Me” Feb. 2011, The Toucan Magazine #10

Short Story “The Lord Was My Shepherd” May 2011, Pushing Out the Boat #10

Short Story “The One Cupper” May 2011, The MacGuffin Magazine

Short Story “Mr. Mechanic” Summer 2011, The Chaffey Review

Short Story “Joy Ride” July, 2011 Enizagam

Novel Die Laughing August, 2011 IFWG Publications

Short Story “An Inconsequential Matter Part 1” Jan. 2014, Anterior Review

Short Story “A Hole in the Night” Jan. 2014, Everything Is Broken Stories Edited By John Dufresne

Novel Die Laughing re-release March, 2015 IFWG Publications

Novel Pedal January, 2015 Assent Publishing/Panoptic Books

Novel To Dream: Anatomy of a Humachine Jan., 2017 IFWG Publishing

Diary Entry#1 The Chanakya’s Chant

It was humid beyond the imaginable.I had been melting and was trepidated that this was the end(read,somewhat trepidated).Therefore I opened my case to find a book as reading always have had calmed my trauma.Over the years,it had been a slow,rigorous mental addiction,a tricky neurological compulsion that seems to work the same as Tobacco and drugs or any other stupid,harmful things people tend to take.Little do they know,the ultimate addiction is available so much cheaper and healthier.

I managed to find the Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi and was somewhat intrigued.I have read both the Krishna Key and The Rozabal Line by Sanghi and I was nearly drawn away by his finesse.In one of my rendezvous with the author himself, he told me that his stories were generally influenced by a peg he was in habit of taking before writing.Now that’s something, isn’t it?

Chanakya’s Chant started with a bang and a flurry of quick facts that were essential till the last page.If one gets enamoured by the lime pie nearby and miss some of it,you will start wondering about a fact later that will definitely appear out of the azure.I started this in my room(dubbed as the Computer room although it has no computers there) and surprisingly,the time stretched to 5.5 hours without realizing that my stomach was growling.Whatever the nutritionists and pediatricians say,the best remedy to hunger has ,and always will be ,reading.After noshing on a platter for an hour(I was reading even while eating as I mostly do),I came back to my room with nearly a hundred and twenty five pages remaining.I finished them in the afternoon.

The total time taken was nearly 8 hours.It was worth it.An ancient mantra and a GoT like saga of politics and strategies, it recounts a modern day creation of the masterly Chanakya and his journey with Chandragupta Maurya (Nandini)to achieve a pan- India unification.Sanghi has thoroughly researched all the facts and smelt them in the most appropriate dimensions.

Do tell me in the comments below about your experiences with any book or this book in particular and yout special memories.I would love to know.

My perspiration and trepidation had ceased when I turned on the last page to close the book.

Rating-4/5 Definitely Recommended.

The Message #1

Heyo book lovers,

I have been out of touch and believe me,I had some good (read hectic and perspiring) reasons.You will also trust me when I say that nothing pains me more than staying away from books,my dear authors and blog visitors.

But as the almighty has facilitated my recluse,I am back on this place that I built some 6 months ago and has been a constant hit since.Let the reviews and thoughts coming!

I have been planning for months now about a new idea.Some books are just too good to post a review.I will,in my opinion just travel with them and let my visitors know exactly where I did finish them.This will keep a personal touch.

If anyone knows any such application that will help me in this endeavour,please ping me.

I have been away for so long that I am lagging behind all my challenges.Lots of work to do.Keep reading folks.May you all find the eternal smell I am travelling for.God Bless you all.

In short,I am tearing down the cloggy old review blog down and making a pheonix out of it.I am giving reviews and interviews a newer look and dedication.I have learnt enough from my fellow colleagues and its about time Exclusivito has a great makeover.

Please note:All pending reviews shall be posted within this month.I didn’t want to keep these lovely good people waiting who want to change the world through their verses.I’ll send you all a toffee 🙂

#22 To Dream:Anatomy of a Humachine by Louis K. Lowy

“Niyati stared hard at the photo of her son, Jay. At his chestnut eyes and dark, sweet-tea-colored skin. Niyati touched her forearm. His skin was hers.”

  • To Dream :Anatomy of a Humachine 
  • By:Louis K. Lowy
  • Genre:Science fiction thriller

    If you felt this was but another book on machines trying to get on your nerves, just open up the first page . Action starts soon enough! 

    Mr. Lowy has penned a tremendous thriller ripe with all proportions of fiction that make it both a thrilling and enjoyable read. The author finds a surprising balance with all the characters, and especially with main character around whom almost the entire plot revolves. 

    The novel starts in the distant future and the new concepts that are extensively researched fit well into the vast imaginative spectrum of the author’s mind and the implied. From Truatta, when we come back to Florida, we have the extremely well sketched character of Dr. Bopari, who creates the humachine in the splitting image of her departed son. Man’s recent quests to replace manual labours are examined here as Lowy’s J-1 aims for the same. 

    The obvious happens- the blueprints are stolen. But what is not so obvious is the vivid range of emotions that are put into the characters and their quests. J-1 seeks to find humanity, and Dr. Bopari is characterised by her grief. The head of the corporation as well as the leader of the rebel are quite intriguing in their characterization. Lowy maintains elegant pauses that enhance his speeches. The words are real, not realistic, and the emotions do not seem foreign. The grammar is agreeable to the readers and the balance of nuances, including terms of the future like AI are extensively well nourished. It is extremely difficult to hold the temptation to reveal the spoilers, however I only would be doing justice to the readers and the tremendous efforts of the author  by letting my readers know that the novel is an exemplary work on man’s quest for immortality. 

    A fine job done! Definitely recommended. 

    Rating – 4/5

    P.S.- A word of gratitude for providing me with the review copy. 

    #21 The Old Man and the Princess by Sean Paul Thomas

    “Perhaps it was a slight gust of wind moving one of the thick, jagged branches.”

    • The Old Man and the Princess 
    • By Sean Paul Thomas
    • Genre:Fantasy thriller

    Gushing with action you would not be able to control. 

    Mr. Thomas has penned a terrific fantasy thriller grappling the nuances of a satisfying fiction. From the opening lines, we find a striking attention given to recreation of the story like an old lore told among people in the comfort of their fireplaces. At the same time, it is pulsating with terrific speed, as the author mingles the colloquial with the finesse of storywriting to create a beautiful fiction. 

    The Language is particularly attractive, and both the ‘princess’  as well as the Old Man have  attained a particular intonation that is both suave and endearing to the ears for its realistic effort. As I am struggling not to reveal the spoilers, it is hard to skip the actions in the forest and the country where the dialogues between the the principal characters make you scream in ecstasy and delight at this unique literature. Almost created in the genre of a fantasy, yet saved from the curse of mundane with specific turns and twists that make it one consuming reading. 

    This book is recommended for everyone who had been disillusioned with crony fantasies and teenage drama. Sean Paul Thomas has something in the box for you. Definitely recommended. 

    My Rating:4. 5

    A Conversation with Patrick Norton

    Hello Mr. Norton, 


    1.I would like to welcome you to my blog and my readers, and congratulate you on the fantastic work. How do you feel?


    Well, I feel really happy because I waited for a long time for my first novel release. This was a very hard and extensive work but it was finally done. I hope readers like this new proposal in ebook format.

    2. What is your inspiration behind a vividly descriptive and intriguing story? What is the amount of research put in?


    The inspiration begins with the crisis of the world today. War, hunger, terrorism, poverty, unemployment … a disturbing overview. Then, I created a story of suspense and intrigue that apparently has no relation to the above. Finally everything is mixed up and a story comes up with many unexpected discoveries. On the other hand, I always wanted to write an interesting story developed today and in many places in the world and with much technological details of our time. That is why I needed a research about many geographic, cultural and technological topics. Always kept in mind that the story was plausible at all times. That is very important to me.


    3.Tell me about your main character. What about it intrigues you the most?


    Well, actually they are two main characters.About the first, John Garrett, is a very lucky man. His parents died when he was a child and was later adopted by a billionaire man. Thus he managed to have the best education and a life of comforts and luxuries. In spite of this he never ceased to be a man of good feelings and a deep love for his adoptive father. I like his audacity and his persistence in difficult times. The other main character Laura Koffmann. An intelligent and determined woman who is fundamental in the development of the plot. I like her tenacity.

    4.I would like to hear about your journey as a writer so far?


    I always liked letters. My father is a journalist, writer and historian. So I grew up between books. Blood of Kings, Power – Perversity – Redemption is my first novel, so this so far begins. I believe that with this book I have achieved an exciting and interesting story, above all with an important underlying humanistic message. On the other hand, with this book I want not only to offer a good story, but also to offer a new reading experience. For this reason it is an illustrated novelIt contains 610 text pages and 1,254 original illustrations in digital art 3D. These are high visual quality illustrations made specifically for the novel and that recreate the stages, characters and events that are narrated throughout the story. As we know, up to now, illustrated books have been concentrated almost completely in the genre of children’s literature. And so, I am presenting this proposal for an illustrated novel of the thriller genre, for public from young adult on. The book is designed for the reader to find the text of each chapter as you would in any book. Then, at the end of each chapter you will find illustrations of that chapter, that is to say, you will see illustrated in images what you have just read. This is a different book. This project has involved a very long and laborious work, and I really hope that this idea will give readers a new reading experience, and that the book will have wide acceptance. 

    5.What is your next writing endeavour? 
        A personal question to the author- are we looking at another such story from the genre in the future?


    Of course. As soon as I finish promoting this book I will write the next one. Probably a continuation of  Blood of Kings, Power – Perversity – Redemption. I already have some ideas about it and the book’s plot.

    6.What is your message to all budding authors out there?


    I think the most important thing is concentration, patience and perseverance. You have to work hard to create a good story. Put ideas in order and do research. The great stories are full of little details.

    I wish you all the best for all your future endeavours and may you continue writing such good tales forever. 

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–


    BIO:


    Patrick Norton was born in Bogota, Colombia’s capital city. He is a retired dentist. He inherited his taste for letters from his father, who is a journalist, writer and historian. His favorite authors are Allan Folsom, Dan Brown, Tom Clancy and Daniel Silva.

    Auhtor’s website:  www.patricknortonbooks.com


    Goodreads:  https://goo.gl/kNBjCX

    Amazon book’s page:   http://goo.gl/9nRPu4

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