Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault

In the maze of cubicles at Samuelson Company, editorial assistant Billy Webb struggles to focus while helping to prepare the next edition of a dictionary. But there are distractions. He senses that something suspicious is going on beneath this company’s academic fa├žade. What’s more, his (possibly) flirtatious co-worker Mona Minot has just made a startling discovery: a trove of puzzling citations, all taken from the same book, The Broken Teaglass. Billy and Mona soon learn that no such book exists. And the quotations read like a confession, coyly hinting at a hidden identity, a secret liaison, a crime. As Billy and Mona try to unearth the truth, the puzzle begins to take on bigger meaning for both of them, compelling them to redefine their notions of themselves and each other.

The Broken Teaglass is at once a literary mystery, a cautious love story, and an ingenious suspense novel that will delight fans of brilliantly inventive fiction

 Emily Arsenault’s debut book was dreamy, dark and dreary. Just like In Search of Rose Notes, which I have read, loved and reviewed here
 I love the 3 D’s and I immensely enjoyed this book.
As emotionally satisfying as In search of rose notes, this book had a bonus delight.
It centred on words.
The mystery, the plot and the setting were all about words.
Set in Samuelson Company, a dictionary publisher’s office, the book follows College graduate Billy Webb as he lives a lonely existence in the cubicle till his colleague colleague Mona Minot stumbles upon citation from a novel called The Broken Teaglass. Each cit seems to tell a story that may reveal a past secret, buried deep in the grim office.
I haven’t read many books with male protagonists but Billy was cool. Highest form of praise I can give a dude.
With oddball characters and a plot brimming with suspense The Broken Teaglass is a literary puzzle and a coming-of-age novel with a dark and subtle sense of humour.
P.S - Another reason I totally love this book with every fibre of my being is that it introduced me to LEXICOGRAPHY!
I am 19 and totally clueless plus aimless about life and career and crap, but every once in a while I come across super-fun sounding jobs.
For example, right now I want to be a writer on a NBC sitcom. (And subsequently have a three-way with Amy Poehler and Will Arnett.)
30 Rock may or may not have influenced this decision.
Anyhoo, after reading The Broken Teaglass, I think it’d be SWEET if I was a lexicographer. Turns out they just have to read a bunch of magazines of their choice all the time and not really talk to people.
 I think it was a job specifically designed for me.
P.P.S- Another fun part of this book was all these random people calling the office and sending them letters etc with completely random and hilarious inquiries. That shit was gold.
P.P.P.S- Some might find pacing problems with this because the plot kind of moves along really slow. I savoured every bit but just wanted to put this out there. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Teaser Tuesday #3 God of Small Things

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly  meme hosted by MizB where we share teaser sentences from a book we are reading.
I am currently reading the Man Booker Prize winning, The God of Small Things by 

“It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life that is purloined. ” 
“...the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. 

That is their mystery and their magic."
What was on your teaser Tuesday?  

Monday, 26 December 2011

In Search of Rose Notes By Emily Arsenault

At age eleven, Nora and Charlotte are the best of friends—until their teenager babysitter, Rose, disappears under mysterious circumstances. They decide to “investigate,” using paranormal theories and techniques they glean from a hand-me-down collection of Time-Life books. But their search goes nowhere, and leaves both girls distraught and angry with each other.

In her late twenties, Nora is drawn back her old neighborhood, and to Charlotte, when Rose’s bones are found. She was probably murdered, and Charlotte is adamant that they solve the crime. Nora—who was the last known person to see Rose alive—is forced to reconsider her memory of the events surrounding the disappearance, and her own troubled adolescence following those fateful days. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to face the secrets that begin to surface.

Told in alternating narratives from the past and present, this is a mystery about broken friendship and the unease of revisiting adolescent memory.

I don’t think I have ever read a book like this.
It was a thing of beauty.
Psychologically stimulating and arousing waves of nostalgia to float around me like fireflies in a dark and damp night, In Search of Rose Notes is a magical and precious book.
The characters- all the characters, were fully fleshed out and seemed so real and so human, I physically ached for them when the book got over.
There was the mystery of the missing babysitter and who killed her and woven with that were the flashbacks to Nora and Charlotte’s childhood and their paranormal investigations.
There was a dreamy, dark and dreary air throughout the book.
It doesn’t even feel like a book I read but more like a book I lived.
Emily Arsenault is a literary treasure and this book is a literary gem. 
Last words: 

Memories, secrets and a pernicious past collide together in this emotionally exhausting book to deliver an epiphany of sorts.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Vladimir Nabokov

So I thought this would be my inaugural post for the new direction this blog is taking.
More Literary, More Classics. 
Not that I'll forget YA, but only the most precious books of the lot shall be covered.
Sometimes people change and I did. However, I do not wish to abandon what I started. And I hope you guys still visit my little blog. :) 

So I am re-reading Lolita and I am left stunned and shocked by the beauty and perfection that is Vladimir Nabokov.
If I could pick words like flowers and smell them and put them in my hair, they would be words written by him.

“Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don't stop to think, don't interrupt the scream, exhale, release life's rapture. Everything is blooming. Everything is flying. Everything is screaming, choking on its screams. Laughter. Running. Let-down hair. That is all there is to life. ” 


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