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Friday, December 28, 2012

Books I Read In 2012

Image courtesy beaubooks.tumblr.com- representation purpose only

I took the GoodReads Reading Challenge for 2012 and had set myself a goal of 70 books. I finished the challenge and am still reading. So here's the list of books I read here, have you read any of these?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2012 Complete!

Your 2012 Reading Challenge Goal

Debolina Raja Gupta
Congrats! You have completed your goal of reading 70 books for the 2012 Reading Challenge!
Btw, that doesn't mean im a lazy bum and just lie about and read :-P

- Debolina Raja Gupta

The Bride Stripped Bare: On The Cover

Cover of The Bride Stripped Bare

This book has been on my wishlist for quite some time now, so yesterday while I was browsing the aisles of the book chain Landmark and came across it, I obviously had to get it!

Here's what's on the cover: it's really interesting and I'm almost through the book already! The book is The Bride Stripped Bare by Nikki Gemmell

 author Nikki Gemmell

'Sexual awakening for the dark horse in all of us' - Tatler

'Wonderfully sensuous' - Independent

A woman disappears. She leaves behind an incendiary diary chronicling her journey of sexual awakening. To all who knew her she was the Good Wife: happy, devoted, content. But the diary reveals a secret self - a woman who has desires her husband cannot fulfill.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst: Review

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst is the 2004 winner of the Man Booker Prize. I was desperate to read this one after I read the storyline in a magazine and immediately went out and got both books by Alan Hollinghurst that I could find - The Swimming Pool Libraries and The Line of Beauty.

If you're aware of Hollinghurst's work, you'll know that the underlying themes in (maybe) most of his novels are sex, the exploration and understand of one's body and sexuality. Also, his subjects are gay, and his books offer us an insight into the inner lives of gays. I've read both The Swimming Pool Library and The Line of Beauty, and where I found the previous a little tedious at some places, I absolutely am in love with the latter.

The Line of Beauty essentially deals with the world of AIDS. It begins in the summer of 1983, the last summer before AIDS took its grip. The protagonist, Nicholas Guest, lives as house guest in the West London mansion of his Oxford friend Toby, Toby's sister and their parents. Toby's father is an MP, who is expected to take a prominent place in the Thatcher government. Nicholas is about to turn 21, he is gay, he is an intellectual, has a very good mind of his own, and begins thinking of this family as his own.

The title 'Line of Beauty' is a reference that Nick uses to describe his lover's body - a shape that is the model of beauty and that will swing both ways. The line of beauty refers to the 'S' of the ogee shape that is curve shaped like an 'S'.

With the 80s on in full swing, Nick finds himself getting more and more entangled in the world of fashion, hi-life and luxurious pleasures of the Feddens household, and in comparison, finds his own parents and his life quite dull and colour-less.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Return of A King: The Battle For Afghanistan, 1839-1842 by William Dalrymple: Live Chat with William Dalrymple on IBNLive.Com

Aah, so I got a chance to participate in the live chat with world-renowned historian and author William Dalrymple on the release of his latest historical masterpiece Return of A King: The Battle For Afghanistan, 1839-1842.

The book has just been launched in India, with the book launch happening in New Delhi on the 6th of Dec 2012 and scheduled for Mumbai on the 8th of Dec 2012. Of course Im going, meeting him, getting my collection of his books signed and picking up his new book that he will be signing...yipppeeee!!!! Super happy!!!!!

Here's the transcript of the chat, which turned out to be super interesting and quite informative.

Was the threat of Russian outreach to afghanistan exaggerated or was it real Asked by: chinmayThere was an effort to open diplomatic relations between Russia and Afghanistan. But this was manipulated by British hawks into a much bigger threat than it really was. By 1839 the British had persuaded themselves that the Russians were about to charge down the Khyber Pass and seize British India.
Describe your book in one word! Asked by: Supam

What is the most photogenic spot/monument you noticed in Delhi during your fact finding mission while writing "The Last Mughal"? Asked by: Vikram Gupta
In Delhi I love the Zeenat ul-Masajid in Daryaganj which originally stood above the Yamuna waterfront. In Afghanistan for this new book it was the great Timurid madrasa of Gauhar Shah in Herat.

Hi William..This is Tim from Nottingham, UK..I have read so many of your books and they all have been excellent..My compliments to you..My question is will the taliban take back Afghanistan in your opinion? Asked by: Tim, Nottingham(UK)
The Taliban already control 70% of Southern Afghanistan. They are likely to be a major force in whatever government or governments come to power after the Americans leave... 

(This is me!!! :)))) Do readers get a chance in future to have similar phenomenal books that give us a glimpse of the history of your birthplace, Scotland? Any plans? Asked by: Debolina Raja Gupta 
I have all sorts of ideas for Scottish books, especially one on the Massacre of Glencoe, in which my ancestors played a lead role. But my life is currently in India and I'm not sure if or when I'll ever return to my roots...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Return Of A King` The Battle For Afghanistan by William Dalrymple: Release Date

Whoa!!! The King returns again finally, with his latest masterpiece of a book 'Return of A King - The Battle for Afghanistan.'

Much as I had been waiting to get my hands on this one, the book is now officially ready to grab!!!!

Release Dates: India: December 2012
UK: Feb 2013
US: April 2013

Copies are now available for pre-order on Flipkart.

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, December 3, 2012

On The Cover: Long Gone by Alafair Burke

Picked this up as a quick read at an airport and quite liking the thriller.....called 'Long Gone' by Alafair Burke. Here's what the cover jacket says...

'Should come with a warning....highly addictive.' KARIN SLAUGHTER


 'After months of unemployment, Alice Humphrey lands her dream job - managing a Manhattan art gallery in the trendy Meatpacking District. According to recruiter Drew Campbell, the gallery is a passion of its anonymous owner, who remains uninvolved in its daily operations.

 When Alice arrives one morning, she walks into a nightmare: the gallery is empty, except for the dead body of Drew. Before she knows it, Alice finds herself at the centre of the police investigation.

 With every thread of the investigation leading back to Alice, she knows she has been set up. But who is out to get her?


 'It's going to be BIG.' - MICHAEL CONNECLLY

 'The plot of an Alafair Burke thriller doesn't just rip from the headlines. She's one step ahead of them.' HARLAN COBEN'

- Debolina Raja Gupta