Books · Kindle and E-books

Top Ten Websites for Book Lovers

I have taken the liberty of publishing the following list from this link by Daily Writing Tips

Top Ten Websites for Book Lovers

1. Goodreads

Goodreads is one of the best websites for book-lovers that want to read the latest reviews, interviews, feedback, and plot discussion.

Look, most of us called R+L=J in “A Song of Ice and Fire.” All the clues were there, but if you didn’t, you could have easily have read that theory on Goodreads. Where are we going with this? You should use Goodreads if you want all the details about books, new and old, and want to discuss them with other likeminded individuals.

2. Project Gutenberg

Who doesn’t love free books? Project Gutenberg is the oldest and largest collections of free books on the Internet.

To date, it boasts well over 49,000 titles and it continues to grow each year. The project aims to publish all books that have surpassed their copyright dates.

The website even caters to audiobooks fans seeing as it has a large collection of them readily available.

3. Amazon

You might think this is a lame one to feature in a book lover’s list, but is it? Amazon completely changed the book market and made books more affordable and accessible.

Sure, Barnes & Noble had a warm vibe, but let’s not kid ourselves, they overcharged for their books.

There is something special about ordering a book and having it delivered to your doorstep in 1-2 days. It is because of this that Amazon has been featured on this list.

4. Whichbook

Whichbook won’t win any design awards, but it works. This website helps you choose what book to read next.

Users can interact with several personality sliders to help them decide what book they should read next. The sliders include happy and sad, funny and serious, safe, and disturbing, gentle and violent, and many others.

The website also offers other ways to help you screen news books.

If you ever find yourself struggling to pick your next book to read, let Whichbook help you choose.

5. ReadPrint

ReadPrint is a lot like the Project Gutenberg. It features a lot of free books that can be downloaded and accessed across all of your devices.

Topics include classics like Shakespeare all the way to science fiction.

6. Google Book Search

Google is considered the king of search. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they would be featured on a list that is designed to help you find book-friendly websites.

What makes Google Book Search neat is the fact that you can search for specific lines of text from a book and it will tell you various locations where you can buy it.

Google’s database also features free works like books, magazines, journals, and various e-books.

7. Indie Store Finder

Are you craving that small bookstore feel? Indie Store Finder is the perfect tool for any book lover that is located in the United States.

Simply plug in your zip code and Indie Store Finder will provide you with a list of all nearby independent book stores.

8. AddAll.com

Look, it’s perfectly fine to want to find the best price for the books you buy. Who wants to pay more, especially if you are buying a book that is mass produced?

AddAll.com lets you compare books across the various major book retailers, helping you find one that is close to you and cheap.

Users can search by title, shipping destination, price, and state.

9. Comics Alliance

Comic books count as books, alright? They have the word book in their name.

Jokes aside, the Comics Alliance is a great website for comic book lovers. It features the latest news, releases, opinions, merchandise, and much more.

Comics Alliance really is the be-all-end-all of comic books. You’ll never be out of the loop when it comes to comic books if you bookmark this website.

10. Book Cover Archive

While you should never judge a book by its cover, you can admire beautiful book covers for the art that they are.

In our fast-paced world, it is important to slow down and admire true artistic beauty. The Book Cover Archive features thousands of book covers organized categorically by title, subjects, authors, and several other unusual categories.

Book Review · Books · Hindi Books · Kindle and E-books

Book Review – Upcountry Tales by Mark Tully

Upcountry TalesUpcountry Tales by Mark Tully

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mark Tully, the quintessential Indian, has written a set of exquisite vignettes about rural Eastern UP. There are insightful accounts of life in DU and contrasts between Lutyen’s sylvan Delhi and the disease-infested slums of Faridabad.
The settings and narratives are echoes of Premchand’s pre-independence India – this says a lot about the contribution of the then ruling Congress Party to India’s development. The pot-holed roads, absence of medical facilities and electricity, greedy and obese policemen, venal politicians, rapacious moneylenders still exist in Indian villages today as they did in the time of Munshi Premchand’s classic “Godaan”. Grinding poverty, religion and the equally divisive caste equations are still a poison of our society – exploited gleefully by quacks, oxymoronic ‘godmen’ and politicians.
There is a facile murder mystery; a poignant story of bullocks, a tale of unrequited love, where idealism wins over love; a thrilling race between the most unlikely contestants; a green-horn Gucci-wearing politico inheriting his family Parliamentary seat spouting ‘women’s empowerment” (sound familiar?) accompanied with a jholawaali from JNU. One story seems to be partially autobiographical – Mark changes to John, Prithviraj Road turns into Defence Colony and the ‘Beeb’ becomes Unilever!
The writing style is simple, no fancy words, no gymnastics with convoluted plots. This is an immensely readable book.

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Book Review · Books · Kindle and E-books

Book Review – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SpyTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The title of le Carre’s classic originates from William Caxton’s, “The Game and Playe of the Chesse (sic)” (c. 1475), in which pawns are named: Labourer, Smith, Clerk, Merchant, Physician, Taverner, Guard and Ribald (The present book is indeed a game of chess between Smiley and his arch-nemesis Karla).

In 1695 William Congreve’s poem “Love for Love” groups four professions as:
A Soldier and a Sailor, a Tinker and a Taylor,
Had once a doubtful strife, sir.

The ditty evolved to:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor,
Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief,
Doctor, Lawyer, Merchant, Chief.

In its modern avatar, the children’s rhyme has now taken the following shape:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor,
Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief,
Old Man, Young Man, Lawyer, Jailer,
Captain, Pirate, Fisherman, Chief,
Plowman, Cooper, Farmer, Teacher,
Banker, Gunner, Gardener, Cook,
Burglar, Boxer, Baker, Preacher,
Writer, Politician, or Crook.

(Incidentally, the marriage vow recited in Game of Thrones has a somewhat similar content:
……. Father. Smith. Warrior. Mother. Maiden. Crone. Stranger.)

Le Carre adapted the first part of the litany as his title. These were the code names of likely moles in the quaint British espionage service known as the Circus. Smiley, who has been given the thankless task of sniffing out the culprit, is himself suspect and is labelled Beggarman!

Read the painstakingly intricate methods adopted by Smiley and his tiny band of devout followers – the debonair Peter Guillam, the taciturn Fawn, Connie Sachs and others to unearth the ‘something that was rotten in the State of Denmark!’

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Book Review · Books · Kindle and E-books · Pink Floyd

Book Review – A Murder of Quality by John le Carre

A Murder of QualityA Murder of Quality by John le Carré

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in the backdrop of a hoary, fusty and gloomy British private school, peopled with sniffling pimply pubescent students and eccentric, gone-to-seed academics, posing as teachers, along with their scheming spouses, le Carre narrates a gory murder mystery.
It is more an expression of personal angst against the bigotry and bullying in all schools – both private as well as the plebeian ‘grammar’ schools. Le Carre draws on his personal experiences both as a student of the latter type of schools, as well as an ‘outside’ teacher in snooty Eton.
That the meretricious class divide in olde England was as pervasive and humiliating as the caste divisions in India was a revelation to me – echoes of “Us and Them” by Pink Floyd.
Although exquisitely written (as one can expect from le Carre), this is a wishy-washy plot with too many loose ends (not expected of le Carre).

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Book Review · Books · Kindle and E-books

Book Review – Call for the Dead by John le Carre

Call for the DeadCall for the Dead by John le Carré

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the emergence of the strigine George Smiley into the literary world. Strigine, because of his owlish appearance and his being wise as an owl. He is the antithesis of the fictional spies like Bond. He is plump, nondescript, bespectacled and instead of getting his girl, loses his wife to a rakish and hirsute Cuban car racer. Le Carre has based him on an amalgamation of spy-master Lord Clanmorris and teacher/chaplain Vivian Green.
This is not a spy story, rather a murder mystery with spies littering the narrative.
I read this on my Kindle. However, I tried it on the Android version in the newly released Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – especially the S-pen and its translation tool. It was a disappointment, to say the least. The French phrase “partir c’est courir un peu” (used disparagingly when Ann leaves Smiley) is bizarrely translated as “nadir it is cozzrir zzrz little” rather than “getting away from something insignificant”. Conversely, “malgre lui” was correctly translated as “despite himself”.

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Book Review · Books · Kindle and E-books

Book Review – The Looking Glass War

The Looking Glass WarThe Looking Glass War by John le Carré

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

John ‘the Square’ at his worst is still better than most espionage-fiction writers. He is a genius at capturing the ‘atmosphere’ of those shoddy red-tape enmeshed British spooks lurking about in the gloomy environs of London, the British country and the windy and snowy wastes of Finland.
This book is essentially about the petty turf wars between various departments of various Ministries.
The agents in the field those days could never have visualized the ease of communications with cell-and sat-phones as they struggled with cumbersome wireless sets, wires, ‘crystals’, ciphers on silk to transmit messages in encrypted Morse code.

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