I’ve got my ..

nose buried in quite a few books. This year has started on a reading high even though my reviews hardly reflect that. Sometimes, I just feel so lost in the book and the million thoughts that loom over my small head that I fail miserably to makes notes of it. How do I note down a gazillion questions that don’t find answers but give rise to more questions? Anyhoooo, I better gather the scattered thoughts  and start writing about my reading experience before I close this window for another day.

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

I chose this for 2 reasons: the title (Tquila mockingbird from To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee) and the phrase “literary twist”. Yeah, I choose books like that. It sounded so tempting that I bought it on my Kindle at 3A.M. one fine morning. To summarize in one word: I loved the book. I loved the wit, the precision, the information and just the way it has been brought together in neat little chapters that have brilliant wordplay with literary gems and end with food/drinks. What’s not to like, right?

tequila

The book consists of 5 parts namely, Drinks for the dames, Gulps for guys, Bevvies for bookclubs, Refreshments for recovering readers and Bar bites for book hounds. Each drink recipe is assigned a very witty name associated with a particular book e.g. Love in the Time of Kahlua is a wordplay of the book “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez. Each recipe comes with a satirical description of the book it is named after followed by the recipe and measurements. I don’t enjoy alcohol and I am the one who orders virgin everything or sip on some wine occassionally. Nevertheless, I loved this book. My favourite section was ofcourse the one on bar bites. I actually marked a few recipes. Read it for the wit, read it for the unique way it has been written and for the sheer joy that the names of drinks such as The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose, The Last of the Mojitos, Love in the Time of Kahlúa, Romeo and Julep, A Rum of One’s Own, Are You There, God?,  It’s Me, Margarita or Vermouth the Bell Tolls, all named after books, brings. Go on, read this one. One of those rare times when you can have your drink and read it too!

The man who was Thursday: A Nightmare by G.K.Chesterton

I picked this up to read on my Kindle as well because I loved the intrigue and curiosity that the title created in me. Plus, I love Chesterton. I grew up listening to Bernard Shaw and Chesterton’s wit by pa.

Thursday

The book begins in the most interesting of ways. Two passionate poets argue  about the society, its good and bad.  The focus is on whether chaos should reign the world or order be the true characteristic of mankind. Starting from this, we are drawn into the heart of anarchy characterised by several events and people where none can be expected to be who he is. The main protagonist, Syme, a policeman/poet joins a bizarre group of anarchists. These anarchists each have a name of the week as their title and Syme is given the title of Thursday. The events leading up to this itself are very amusing. However he quickly discovers that it may be harder to hide who he is in the group  as he discovers some surprises about the anarchists themselves.

I was piqued to know the ending, to say the least. But the ending I must say is not easy to comprehend. It wasn’t for me. I tossed and turned in my sleep because I wanted to find answers. The book is an allegory. It is also a symbol of fight between law and order vs. anarchy. While the book was written more than a hundred years ago, the question still holds true today. Apparently, when Chesterton wrote this book, the threat of anarchist movement was large. Even to this day, we have a lot of forces that fight law and order/ go against it. But different readers feel differently about the ending the true meaning of the book. There are several explanations offered – Christianity, Communism, experiencing pain to reap the good and so on. But I never really understood the book in its entirety. What started off as a good James Bondery expressed in unique detail with superb wit (as always!), turned out to be one seductive web that threw questions about life and society. What I also inferred was the masks people wear to hide/protect themselves from others. We aren’t what we show ourselves to be.

The book is written beautifully. The story moves in and out of locales and yet does it with such finesse and fluidity that not many can boast of. I loved Chesterton’s language and the ubiquitous humour. Sample this:

His respectability was spontaneous and sudden, a rebellion against rebellion. He came of a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of his uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else. His father cultivated art and self-realisation; his mother went in for simplicity and hygiene.

I wouldn’t recommend this book for everyone. If you enjoy an allegory, some drama, some mystery and a blend of the remaining genres all in one, do read this one. And when you do, please tell me what you make of it. I am yet to sleep in peace.

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16 comments

  1. greenboochi · February 26, 2014

    Looks like the first one is very interesting! 🙂

    I am not quite sure if I would read the second book.. not for now atleast.

  2. Destination Infinity · February 26, 2014

    The second book looks interesting, will see if I want to pick it up sometime. Since I started reading fiction, my hands are full with books! eBooks, I mean 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · February 27, 2014

      Ya, please do DI! You will probably enjoy it 🙂

      Wow, e-books. You have a kindle, right? Wait I will email you 🙂

  3. pixie · February 26, 2014

    Second one seems very interesting!! 🙂
    Thank you for the reviews Kismi! Don’t disappear again for long intervals ok?! 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · February 27, 2014

      Pixiee! Sorry, I won’t disappear like that. I know it is awful to do that. I have missed writing here. Thanks for saying thosen ice words. Warms my heart all the time 🙂
      Ah, go ahead and pick this one. I think you will like it 🙂

  4. Monkey Mind · February 27, 2014

    The first book is going into my wish-list 🙂 🙂
    Thank you for the review Kismi 🙂

    P.S. Write often 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · February 27, 2014

      MM, thank you. I am so touched by what you said. I will write more often. I am sorry, really.
      Go on, add that book and read it and raise a toast! 🙂 Have fun!

      • Monkey Mind · March 19, 2014

        Yes kismi! 🙂

        You are welcome. You write so well and it is only fair you treat us to more of it. 🙂

  5. techie2mom · February 27, 2014

    Wow!! You are having fun with your kindle, eh!? So first one totally sounds like my kind of book.

    • kismitoffeebar · February 27, 2014

      T2M – yes, I did think of you when I read the first one. Please do read it – it is superbly written! 🙂

      • techie2mom · February 27, 2014

        That’s sweet of you 🙂
        I would read it..

  6. The Girl Next Door · February 27, 2014

    The first book does sound very interesting. I had read about it on some other book blogs too, but wasn’t sure if I would like it, considering that I am not at all a drinker. Now that I have your thumbs-up, I might just buy it. 🙂

    The second one, I don’t think I want to read it. At least not now.

    BTW, where is my book? 😦

    • kismitoffeebar · February 27, 2014

      Sorry, I just sent it! Wait wait, don’t buy it. Let me send that Tequila Mockingbird as well. See if it works 🙂

      If you like classics and witty wordplay, am sure you will enjoy it!

  7. Filter Kaapi · February 28, 2014

    Yay! you are back.. Okay, don’t look at me.. I disappear more often 😉
    You have piqued my interest with the second one… Should add it to my long list 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · March 1, 2014

      Ha ha Filter Kaapi! What did I say? 😛
      Ya ya, go on, pick it up. It should be an interesting read if nothing 🙂

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