Blog Archives

Book Review: Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Genre: Chick Lit, Humor
Book Name: Everyone Worth Knowing
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Pages: 370
Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Harper Collins

When you get hold of a book which has two novels combined and enjoy reading the first one, what will you do next? It’s the same author, so of course, one knows what to expect next. So simply, we continue reading the second story too. That’s what happened when I started reading a twin book – The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing.

A chick-lit through and through, the book has plenty of pages just to bury yourself in after a hectic day in office to unwind. The protagonist hates her banking job, resigns at the spur of the moment, takes up another job in a different vertical altogether and does a fabulous job. Oh, how we all aspire to do the same! But mostly, people just do an MBA to switch career line these days.

However, the characters in this book seem more relatable to our world as compared with The Devil Wears Prada – be it the childhood friendship growing apart with focus on their respective lives, career orientation, office politics, difficult relationships, the one-true-love (laughable) and need to be famous (acknowledged). Think of the book as a light read with not too much drama and you may not be disappointed. Haven’t we all indulged in too-much chocolatey flavor once in a while, even though you know it’s not that good for our health? This book is exactly that. Enjoy!

Book blurb:
Bette gets paid to party.

And she can hardly believe her luck. Running with celebs, gaining VIP access to Manhattan’s hottest clubs and meeting ‘everyone worth knowing’ is a million miles away from her old banking job.

When she turns up in the gossip columns with a notorious British playboy, it delights her publicity-mad new boss. But her family and her friends want to know what happened to the girl who loved bad novels, 80’s music and always had time for them.

Can Bette say goodbye to the glamour and the Gucci and step back into the real world? And where will she find her own prince charming?

About the author:
Lauren Weisberger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada, which was published in forty languages and made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. It was announced in 2017 that musician Elton John and Paul Rudnick will adapt The Devil Wears Prada for the stage. Weisberger’s four other novels, Everyone Worth Knowing, Chasing Harry Winston, Last Night at Chateau MarmontRevenge Wears Prada and The Single’s Game, were all top-ten New York Times bestsellers. Her books have sold more than thirteen million copies worldwide. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Twitter: @LWeisberger

Read reviews of other books written by Laura on my blog – The Devil Wears Prada.

Rating: 9/10

Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Genre: Chick Lit, Humor
Book Name: The Devil Wears Prada
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Pages: 360
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Harper Collins

Once in a while, you can get tired of reading intellectual books. And voila, you find a book in the corner of your book shelf, totally untouched. And noticing the book title, you simply wish to wallow in a chick lit, just for the pleasure of it. And that, my dear reader, is how I started reading The Devil Wears Prada.

Although I have seen the movie adaptation years back, I somehow still remember the oh-so-typical characters Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly and the way Miranda used to call An-dre-aaa. Funny though while reading the book, I could hear the same tone whenever Andrea was called. Yet there were lingering moments where I felt the movie adaptation was better than the book itself.

Let’s come back to the book. It’s a women “fiction” (supposedly) since the author Lauren had worked for the highly esteemed fashion editor Anna Wintour and various articles seem to draw a parallel between both of them and the storyline. The book is like a diary entry set in the fashion world. The same old princess story which we have grown up reading, but now cast in a career world. So, we have a beautiful princess working for Cruella who hates every minute of it. But since she is so career focused, she continues to be in that hated job, since this will fast forward her career by few years. And thus, she does not seem pitiful anymore since it was her choice to focus on her career and never on the family. Also, Andrea seems to be a workaholic but does not forge interest in anything she does.

However, having said that, I really loved reading the book. The book has casual tidbits, easy dialogues, many aspirational fashion pieces one would want to own at whatever cost, and the adrenaline rush when Andrea is scared of the high demands of her boss (which by the way, happens all through the book). Oh, doesn’t this seem a part of our own corporate life! The book made me live the fashion industry vicariously and high demands of so much glitz all the time. Also, the book has a lesson in the end that one always has a choice to change anything in one’s life!

Book blurb:
High fashion, low cunning – and the boss from hell.

When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway she knows nothing. She’s never heard of the world’s most fashionable magazine, or it’s feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly.

Soon she knows way too much.

She knows it’s a sacking offense to wear less than a three-inch heel to work – but there’s always a fresh pair of Manolos in the accessories cupboard.

She knows that eight stone is fat. That you can charge anything – cars, manicures, clothese – to the Runway account, but you must never leave your desk, or let Miranda’s coffee get cold. That at 3 am, when your boyfriend’s dumping you because you’re always working and your best friend’s just been arrested, if Miranda phones with her latest unreasonable demand, you jump.

Most of all, Andrea knows that Miranda is a monster boss who makes Cruella de Vil look like a fluffy bunny. But this is her big break, and it’s all going to be worth in the end.

Isn’t it?

About the author:
Lauren Weisberger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada, which was published in forty languages and made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. It was announced in 2017 that musician Elton John and Paul Rudnick will adapt The Devil Wears Prada for the stage. Weisberger’s four other novels, Everyone Worth Knowing, Chasing Harry Winston, Last Night at Chateau MarmontRevenge Wears Prada and The Single’s Game, were all top-ten New York Times bestsellers. Her books have sold more than thirteen million copies worldwide. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Twitter: @LWeisberger

Rating: 8/10

Read reviews of other books by Lauren Weisberger on my blog – Everyone Worth Knowing.

Book Review: The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi

Genre: Thriller
Book Name: The Rozabal Line
Authors: Ashwin Sanghi
Pages: 405
Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Westland Ltd

I can’t believe what I just read! I am still trying to make sense of the book even after multiple attempts at reading by cross referencing pages back and then to the current one. In between, there is a plethora of characters with chronology totally being murdered! Not able to understand what I am talking about? Oh probably, then you are one of the prospective readers who just chanced upon this post and wondering whether to go ahead buying or reading. If you have already purchased, be a tsundoku (one who hoards the books but does not read). With each paragraph, the years change and not just by a few years, but long bygone eras – BC and ADs included.

I have read previous books of Ashwin Sanghi and I had liked those (barring Private India which was just an average read). However, with this book which is being popularized as Da Vinci Code of India, I am left to question myself whether when I had read the latter 8 years back, was I really able to understand a single word?

Probably people with more knowledge of religious history or history in general may be better able to relate to since this book was one of the bestsellers. But for me, it was totally a no read. And I am usually not so negative about any book.

Hoping that when I pick up this book after years, I give a positive feedback then. Keep watching my blog for review of another of Ashwin Sanghi’s book – The Sialkot Saga.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
A cardboard box is found on a shelf of a London library. When the mystified librarian opens it, she screams before she falls unconscious to the floor.

Within the labyrinthine recesses of the Vatican, a beautiful assassin swears she will eliminate all who do not believe in her twisted credo.

An elite army of thirteen calling itself the Lashkar-a-Talatashar has scattered around the globe. The fate of its members curiously resembles that of Christ and his Apostles. Their agenda is Armageddon.

A Hindu astrologer spots a conjunction of the stars and nods to himself in grim realization of the end of the world. In Tibet, a group of Buddhist monks’ searches for a reincarnation, much in the way their ancestors searched Judea for the Son of God. In strife torn Kashmir, a tomb called Rozabal holds the key to a riddle that arises in Jerusalem and gets answered at Vaishno Devi.

An American priest has disturbing visions of people familiar to him, except that they seem located in other ages. Induced into past-life regression, he goes to India to piece together the violent images. Shadowing his every move is the Crux Decussata Permuta, a clandestine society, which would rather wipe out creation than allow an ancient secret to be disclosed.

In The Rozabal Line, a thriller swirling between continents and centuries, Ashwin Sanghi traces a pattern that curls backward to the violent birth of religion itself.

About the author:
Ashwin Sanghi ranks among India’s highest selling English fiction authors and is writing since 2004. He has written several bestsellers (The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant, The Krishna Key) and a New York Times bestselling crime thriller with James Patterson. Included by Forbes India in their Celebrity 100 and winner of the Crossword Popular Choice, Ashwin has recently also penned a non-fiction title ’13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck’.
Twitter: @ashwinsanghi

Read on my blog – reviews of other Ashwin Sanghi’s books – Chanakya’s Chant and Private India.

Rating: 2/10

Book Review: The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty

Genre: Short Story, Non Fiction
Book Name: The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk
Author: Sudha Murty
Pages: 212
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Penguin

Sudha Murty has a distinct flair of writing, which is not so easy to replicate. I am not going to write something new for another of her book which I have not already mentioned in my previous reviews of her books – Dollar Bahu and Something Happened on the Way to Heaven. Like other books, The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk is relatable to our everyday life but which we fail to notice, which by the way reminds me of that musical piece by Joshua Bell who played incognito on a metro station.

Sudha Murty’s books simply wants to convey to us to be attentive of our surroundings, not come to harsh conclusions till we know the other side of the story and continue learning from our fellow beings. By the way, this book again is a collection of short stories which you can read at your own pace or start from any chapter. Great penmanship and a must read for Sudha Murty’s fans!

Book blurb:
Extraordinary stories about ordinary peoples lives by the inimitable Sudha Murty.

Over the years, Sudha Murty has come across some fascinating people whose lives make for interesting stories and have astonishing lessons to reveal. Take Vishnu, who achieves every material success but never knows happiness; or Venkat, who talks so much that he has no time to listen. In other stories, a young girl goes on a train journey that changes her life forever; an impoverished village woman provides bathing water to hundreds of people in a drought-stricken area; a do-gooder ghost decides to teach a disconsolate young man Sanskrit; and in the title story, a woman in a flooded village in Odisha teaches the author a life lesson she will never forget.

About the author:
Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.

Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over three lakh copies around the country. She was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan’s Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006.

Rating: 9/10

Book Review: Something Happened on the Way to Heaven by Sudha Murty

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty

Genre: Short Story, Non Fiction
Book Name: Something Happened on the Way to Heaven
Editor: Sudha Murty
Pages: 224
Publication Year: 2014
Publisher: Penguin India

Authors (20 Authors contributing 20 Short Stories): Bhaswar Mukherjee, Saurabh Kumar, Dhrishti Dasgupta, Supriya Unni Nair, Satyarth Nayak, Jimmy Mathew, Vibha Lohani, Rajesh Pooppotte, Swaha Bhattacharya, Rishi Vohra, Neelamani Sutar, Subhobrata, Pushkar Pande, Nalini Chandran, Praveen P. Gopinath, Neha Garg, Ila Gautam, Tulika Dubey, Shantanu Bhowmick, and Tapan Mukherjee.

Although the stories are merely edited by Sudha Murty, they will not make you feel that it is something other than part and parcel of her life. For those who have previously read her other books, there is nothing to be worried about, since all the stories encompass the humane nature across the walks of life very similar to what Sudha Murty has written till now.

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven: 20 Inspiring Real-Life Stories leaves you feeling good about people and yourself, in general. You may or may not remember any story, but it will feel like those short stories/poems that you had read in your school with an aim to do good in the world, come what may. A collection of stories of ordinary people (common man), can be considered as a short summary for this book, and I will liken it to the works by R. K. Narayan.

Book blurb:
The inspiring true stories of the interesting people who inhabit the pages of Sudha Murtys books leave an indelible impression on us. But the books are able to chronicle the stories of only the men and women Mrs. Murty has actually come across herself in the course of her social work. There must be so many more wonderful stories that many others have to share. Something Happened on the Way to Heaven is a collection of twenty such memorable true life stories. Handpicked by Sudha Murty from a contest run by Penguin, they capture the hope, faith, kindness and joy that life is full of, even as we make our way through the daily grind. Moving and uplifting, this is an anthology that will engross and delight every reader who believes in the goodness of the human heart.

About the author:
Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.

Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over three lakh copies around the country. She was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan’s Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006.

Read reviews of Sudha Murty’s other books on my blog: Dollar Bahu and The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk.

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Genre: Fan Fiction
Book Name: Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality
Author: Eliezer Yudkowsky
Pages: 1983
Publication Year: 2010-2015

Fan fictions are not always interesting since they are derived from the main storyline that the author would have spent ages working on the plot. However, we have grown up reading Harry Potter (let us discount the last book – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and forget it altogether) and since there is not any book being released in future, one must feel happy with whichever good fan fiction book one gets theirs hands on. Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality is one such book which every HP fan must read (especially those who think Harry was an idiot most of the times).

Think of Harry as spending a happy childhood, more ingrained into the methods of scientific experiments and trying to work on magic. It is like a fabulous combination. You would know all the characters but yet they will behave so differently that the plot will seem like a parallel world from what J K Rowling wrote. The new story now has Hermoine as the heroine (still super intelligent), Malfoy still evil but open to rational thinking, Severus still the same but less evil, Minerva more meek, Dumbledore as a question mark personality, etc etc.

Some paragraphs are just too funny to ignore. Refer glimpse below:

Professor McGonagall turned into a cat…
Harry was breathing in short gasps. His Voice came out choked. “You can’t DO that!”
“It’s only a Transfiguration,” said Professor McGonagall. “An Animagus transformation, to be exact.”
“You turned into a cat! A SMALL cat! You violated Conservation of Energy! That’s just not an arbitrary rule, it’s implied by the form of the quantum Hamiltonian! Rejecting it destroys unitarity and then you get FTL signaling! And cats are COMPLICATED! A human mind can’t just visualize a whole cat’s anatomy and, and all the cat biochemistry, and what about the neurology? How can you go on thinking using a cat-sized brain?”
Professor McGonagall’s lips were twitching harder now. “Magic.
“Magic isn’t enough to do that! You’d have to be a god!”

However, the book gets tedious in between since the logic becomes too complicated and the chapters a drag. It becomes inexplicable by even the standards of a child prodigy, which by the way here is Harry Potter himself. And the place where Harry refers to science as being better than magic, yes, hold on to that thought and welcome the realism!

Book blurb:
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a work of alternate-universe Harry Potter fan-fiction wherein Petunia Evans has married an Oxford biochemistry professor and young genius Harry grows up fascinated by science and science fiction. When he finds out that he is a wizard, he tries to apply scientific principles to his study of magic, with sometimes surprising results.

About the author:
Eliezer Yudkowsky is an Artificial Intelligence theorist who also writes on the topic of human rationality. He co-founded the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a non-profit devoted to research and advocacy on the topics of Artificial General Intelligence, self-improving AI, and superintelligence. Yudkowsky was one of the founding directors of the World Transhumanist Association. He previously blogged on human rationality at the econblog Overcoming Bias and now writes at the community blog Less Wrong, which have together received over 7 million pageviews. Yudkowsky has appeared on the BBC, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel; and has presented at popular, academic, and government conferences and workshops.


Rating: 9/10

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Genre: Classics, Romance
Book Name: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Pages: 373
Publication Year: 2013 (first published 1813)
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd

No words are needed to describe Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen. It is an evergreen book (published in 1800s and still very popular), not very ambitious and was written during Regency period.

The book is cast in a chronological timeframe (as I have read in many articles, lovers of books usually prefer books written in opposite way – to and fro as per the need which stimulates their thinking capability). However, the background is described so eloquently that you can hear the characters speaking out loud in their typical manners. Of course, it helped since I had seen the Bollywood version of the movie, read the book previously and seen the Hollywood movie in that particular order. The re-reading was still charming to say the least.

Do read this classic. It needs to be read at least once in your lifetime, if not already done so! But for ardent supporters of feminism, do avoid. And unromantic people can skip a few pages in between, but they will still be able to understand the story.

Book blurb:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Austen’s best-loved tale of love, marriage and society in class-conscious Georgian England still delights modern readers today with its comedy and characters. It follows the feisty, quick-witted Elizabeth Bennet as her parents seek to ensure good marriages for her and her sisters in order to secure their future. Through the irrepressible characters of Mr Collins and Mrs Bennet and the sensitivities and nuances of the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth, Austen’s skill and artistry as a writer shines.

About the author:
Born in 1775, Jane Austen published her many novels anonymously. Her work was not widely read until the late nineteenth century, and her fame grew from then on. Known for her wit and sharp insight into social conventions, her novels about love, relationships, and society are more popular year after year. She has earned a place in history as one of the most cherished writers in English Literature.

Rating: 9/10

Book Review: Kalayug by Anurag Tripathi

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Kalayug by Anurag Tripathi

Genre: Crime Thriller
Book Name: Kalayug
Author: Anurag Tripathi
Pages: 268
Publication Year: 2016
Publisher: Rupa Publications

Who is the hunter? And who exactly is the hunted? This book Kalayug by Anurag Tripathi seeks to track when exactly the hunter becomes the hunted.

The novel captures the essence of the genre very well by rhyming into the current psyche of Indian readers (most made famous by Ravi Subramanian). Here, by genre, I am referring to the fiction on the banking industry. The story is based on the art industry, where interestingly the investment banker (IB) is able to find the loophole of unregulated industry, just like the refinancing of mortgage industry, which in the end collapsed because of too much greed.

The cover pic of the book will entice you to pick it up – glitter glossy starry world, more unbecoming in the darkness of night where the real traits of the person comes to the fore. With the book detailing on history, nuances and close knit circle of the art industry, you just cannot say no to this one!

And it’s one thriller which ended on an unexpected note, unlike the typical Indian fiction novels. So buckle up your belts and get ready to embark on an interesting art + IB journey.

Book blurb:
When Jay Malhotra sets out on an adventure to manipulate the unregulated art market of the Navaratnas, he unknowingly sets into motion a chain of events that have the potential to destroy the very foundation of the art industry in India.

Set against the backdrop of the transformation of the art society in India into an industry, Kalayug follows the struggles and exploits of Jay Malhotra as he navigates through the mercurial world of art, dominated by its nexus of powerful dealers, experts and gallery owners. With a 360 -degree overview of this now-booming industry, Kalayug is a fast-paced thriller that will leave you asking for more.

About the author:
Anurag Tripathi is an alumnus of the Indian School of Business with a course in Advanced Creative Writing from The University of Oxford, Department for Continuing Education. An erstwhile investment banker, his deal-making pursuits and entrepreneurial ventures have given him key insights into the working of corporate business houses. He lives in Paris along with his wife. Both are avid divers, who like travelling and exploring the world lesser known.

Twitter: @Authoranuragtri

Rating: 9/10

Book Review: Yes Please by Amy Poelher

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Yes Please by Amy Poelher

Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir
Book Name: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poelher
Pages: 329
Publication Year: 2014
Publisher: Dey Street Books

Bubbling with positive energy, is the book Yes Please by Amy Poelher. Do you know who Amy Poelher is? Truth be told, I was not aware till I started reading this book.

This book was gifted by my friend Sneha who had high praises for this book and that she loved reading it again and again. And yes, I too loved the book when I started reading it. And guess what, I have never seen a single episode of SNL (Saturday Night Live) because of which Amy is most popularly known for. Funny, right? Ok, I have since watched “one” episode of SNL.

Treat this book as a light self help book or to know more about Amy. In the latter case, you might get disappointed because she doesn’t tell the too-personal tales. But I guess that is fine since she never popularized it as a book on herself or an autobiography. As a self help book, Amy gives examples in each chapter from her personal life. However, at times, it seemed like she wrote this book as a way for her to come clean on certain instances/mistakes of her life and apologize to the concerned parties.

There are many funny instances. For example, the difficulty she faces about writing, especially when one is not a writer. Sample page:

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Yes Please by Amy Poelher

But after some time, only cribbing about not being able to write got a little too monotonous. Only if the book could have been less heavy and had lesser number of pages, it would have been perfect!

P.S – I gave up the book midway. Will visit again in a few months when I have watched more episodes of SNL to understand the reference of various names.

Book blurb:
Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is “Yes Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

About the author:
Amy Meredith Poehler is an American actress, comedian, voice artist, producer and writer. Raised in Burlington, Massachusetts, she graduated from Boston College in 1993 and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to study improv at The Second City and ImprovOlympic. In 1996, she moved to New York City after becoming part of the improvisational comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, which later developed into an eponymous television show that aired on Comedy Central for three seasons.

Poehler was also one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 1999. Poehler was a cast member on the NBC television show Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008. In 2004, she became the co-anchor of the Weekend Update sketch along with her friend and colleague Tina Fey. Poehler’s work on SNL earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She is known for voicing Bessie Higgenbottom in the 2008–2011 Nickelodeon series, The Mighty B! and Eleanor Miller in the Alvin and the Chipmunks CGI films. Since 2009, she has starred as Leslie Knope in the sitcom Parks and Recreation, and received the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy Series. She is also an eight-time Emmy Award nominee.

Poehler is currently starring in the new Swedish-American sitcom Welcome to Sweden along with her brother Greg Poehler.


Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Genre: Memoir
Book Name: Angela’s Ashes #1
Author: Frank McCourt
Pages: 368
Publication Year: 1999
Publisher: Scribner

This is a short story on how I started reading this book. I was traveling multiple times within a month, and the starting few times, this book stood out for the name and book blurb. And every time I gave my best effort on turning the pages. Even though I somehow found the book really tough because the language and tone was totally different from what I am used to reading, I did not ditch the book and continued reading – at times only 10 pages a day. I believe completing 25% of the book is when I finally found myself eager to to read the book. Funny though!

Is the book funny? Or depressing? Well, you need to find amusement in the horrible life situations else you will perish and that’s what the author Frank McCourt does by narrating the sordid, heartbreaking and a tale of sickness and death through this book of his. Makes me wonder if Limericks are based out of a place in Ireland where McCourt grew up, the way witty poems are written after every few pages!

The book Angela’s Ashes is so named because of McCourt’s mother Angela who had to suffer even more because of unwanted pregnancies, drunkard husband, no money to feed the kids, sick children, and life slowly turning into ashes (metaphorically, death).

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
A Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

About the author:
Francis “Frank” McCourt was an Irish-American teacher and author. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents, grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and returned to America in 1949. His first book, “Angela’s Ashes,” won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the L.A. Times Book Award. In 2006, he won the prestigious Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of the Arts and the United Federation of Teachers John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education.

Rating: 10/10
%d bloggers like this: