Thursday Quotables: “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”

Hi everyone,

I’m taking part in “Thursday Quotables” this week! It’s hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies, and it’s basically an activity that gets readers and writers to share their favourite quotes from the books they’re currently reading. All the contributors then link up to create a treasure trove of priceless quotes, and a whole new to-read list.

books0212tharoorThis week I’m reading “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo. It’s a beautifully written book of non fiction that explores life in a Mumbai slum, and it has some incredible quotes, particularly in Abdul’s dialogue. Here is one of my favourites, where Abdul is convincing his parents not to marry him off:

“I hear of this love so often that I think I know it, but I don’t feel it, and I myself don’t know why,” he fretted. “These people who love and then the girlfriend goes away-they cut their arms with a blade, they put a cigarette butt out in their hand, they won’t sleep, they won’t eat, they’ll sing-they must have different hearts than mine.”

He told his parents, “You don’t hold a hot iron in your palm, do you? You let it cool. You think on it slowly.”

I haven’t quite finished reading it, but I’m definitely planning on writing a review once I’m done. Let me know in the comments which quotes from which books have stayed with you long after you finished reading them; I’d love to hear them!

Yours sincerely,

Tamara Drazic

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What I Read in 2015

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I recently got back from a trip to Hawaii and am staying with my parents back in Cairns over the Christmas break. Seeing as New Years is fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to write a list of the books I read this year, ranked from most hated to most loved.

. Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs – Hated the writing style, hated the characters, hated the glorified and blatant racism and sexism.

. Divergent, by Veronica Roth – I can totally see why this is popular, but I think I’m a little older than the target audience.

. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan – I know it’s a Man Booker Prize winner, but I just didn’t like it. Some of the descriptions screamed “I’m trying to win the Man Booker Prize!”

. Mockingjay,  by Suzanne Collins – I just wasn’t a fan of this one, although I did enjoy the first in the trilogy.

. The Odyssey, by Homer – I fully appreciate the brilliance of this, but it wasn’t exactly a page turner.

. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart – I loved parts and hated parts of this book. It was definitely suspenseful.

. A Place Called Here, by Cecilia Ahern – Really sweet story, although it was a little hard to get into and the characters were inconsistent.

. The Tempest, by William Shakespeare – Brilliantly written (obviously), but I just didn’t enjoy reading it that much.

. The Bridge to Holy Cross, by Paullina Simons – I much preferred the first book in the trilogy, but I did like the ending.

. Love, Rosie, by Cecilia Ahern – I really loved this book for some light reading.

. The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamieson – Entertaining book of essays, loosely revolving around the topic of “Empathy”.

. The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion – This book was easy to read, and I fell in love with the characters.

. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky – I think I read this in one sitting. This is the kind of YA that I like.

. The Beach, by Alex Garland – Suspenseful, different, and great settings, although for some reason it took me a long time to get through.

. The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons – This book is such a page turner – I read all 700 pages in about a day, and it made me cry a lot.

. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen – I’m surprised that I had gone so long without reading Pride and Prejudice. It definitely is a must-read.

. The Rabbit Back Literature Society, by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen  – This is probably the strangest book I have ever read, but I loved almost everything about it.

. The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway – Hemingway’s iceberg principle is so obvious in this 100 page novel about a man and a fish. I loved it and definitely want to reread it in 2016.

. Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine – The first book of prose poetry that I’ve ever read, and definitely not the last.

. Ariel, by Sylvia Plath – This book of poetry gives me goosebumps every time I open it. I’ve read it about four times this year.

. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan – This book really affected me – I had to sit quietly for a couple of hours after finishing it. It made me laugh, cry and feel completely numb all in a couple of hours.

. Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov – I don’t always know what he’s doing, but Nabokov is a genius. He has a way of making the sentences sound like music.

. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt – I’m sure this book isn’t the best written in the list, and there are definitely things about it that I don’t like, but somehow I knew after reading the first page that it would be in the top spot. This book makes you feel so left out. It makes you want to be liked by the characters and study the classics and walk around in the snow. I still think about the story all the time, even though I finished it months ago.

So that’s it, the list of books I read in 2015, rated from my least enjoyed to most enjoyed (not necessarily worst to best). I’d love to hear about your favourite books of 2015 in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Tamara Drazic