Monday, September 27, 2010

Reads - August 2010

1) The Art of Happiness by HH Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler
2) Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Richard Parker

My favorite character in Yann Martell's Life of Pi is Richard Parker the tiger. I've always thought the magnificent tiger's magnificent name adds a certain added oomph to the character. A tiger named Benny might not be as cool doing the same things a Richard Parker is doing.

But WOW. I found out there's a reason Yann Martell named Richard Parker so. Richard Parker is the name of several people in real life and fiction who became shipwrecked and subsequently were cannibalized by their fellow seamen. Yann Martell surmised "So many Richard Parkers had to mean something" and thus named his shipwrecked tiger Richard Parker.

Does Richard Parker the shipwrecked tiger gets cannibalized too? I'm not telling you. Go read the book! (If you haven't already). It's a 6-star, multiple re-read worthy book.

[Quote Wiki] Other unfortunate Richard Parkers:
  • In Edgar Allan Poe's only novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, published in 1838, Richard Parker is a mutinous sailor on the whaling ship Grampus. After the ship capsizes in a storm, he and three other survivors draw lots upon Parker's suggestion to kill one of them to sustain the others. Parker then gets cannibalized.
  • In 1846, the Francis Spaight foundered at sea. Apprentice Richard Parker was among the twenty-one drowning victims of that incident.
  • In 1884, the yacht Mignonette sank. Four people survived, drifted in a life boat, and finally killed one of them, the cabin boy Richard Parker, for food. This led to the R v Dudley and Stephens criminal case.
(Another Richard Parker was involved in the Spithead and Nore mutinies in 1797 and subsequently hanged, but not eaten.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Here's a term I did not know I did not know : Roman-fleuve

I came across the term while browsing Nancy Pearl's Book Lust. She groups her reading recommendation into little chunks and one such chunk was under the heading roman-fleuve.

[Quote Wiki] A roman-fleuve (French, literally "river-novel") refers to an extended sequence of novels of which the whole acts as a commentary for a society or an epoch, and which continually deals with a central character, community or a saga within a family. The river metaphor implies a steady, broad dynamic lending itself to a perspective. Each volume makes up a complete novel by itself, but the entire cycle exhibits unifying characteristics.

Nancy adds that in such novels the sum of the total narrative experience is greater than its individual parts, and no one novel is self contained. As opposed to sets with same characters but standalone stories per novel, for example mystery novels featuring the same central detective character.

The term roman-fleuve was first used for books by Marcel Proust, but more familiar to most of us would be The Lord of the Rings set by J.R.R. Tolkien. Even if you've never read the books, you would be familiar with the concept having to watch all 3 movies to get the full story.

Time to get started on my Philip Pullman His Dark Materials roman-fleuve. And re-read Harry Potter back to back, now that the whole set is out.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quote - Eat Pray Love

I laughed out loud - very loudly! - at this one.

Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit. - Eat Pray Love , Elizabeth Gilbert

Its so very true.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reads - July 2010

1) Life of Pi by Yann Martell
2) The Truth by Terry Pratchett [a Discworld novel]
3) A Beginner's Guide to Changing the World by Isabel Losada
4) Hogfather by Terry Pratchett [a Discworld novel]

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Many people who in previous generations would have died from heart disease are now living long enough to die from cancer instead. - SuperFreakonomics, Levitt & Dubner

This book is power-packed with such economics. I'm only halfway through and I daresay already its better the first book, Freakonomics. Pick this up for an interesting read.

For example, they list down average prostitute's charges per action, average action per week and other data in the first chap... yeah. I can hear you rushing out to find this book already.

Kick Start

The last post on this blog was 2 years ago. How sad!

But although I've stopped blogging about books and reading for a couple of years, I did not stop reading. I've changed my reading patterns, changed my taste in books, changed my reading goals, changed my anal don't bend my book spine attitude, but the undying love for the written words and the smell of books is still there.

And I'm starting to remember why I started a book blog in the first place. Because I want to share my joy (and gripes) of books and reading with you.

So here's to kick-starting BookGila!

Related Posts with Thumbnails