British culture

This tag is associated with 29 posts

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day is the story of Stevens, an aging butler who worked for Darlington Hall – back in the glory days of mansion staff with butlers and maids. Darlington Hall now has a new American owner, Mr. Faraday, who suggested that Steven should take his car for a drive in the West country … Continue reading


The Beautiful, the Brats and the Privileged

‘Hey, Wassup? This is Liz. Sorry I’m away from the throne. For a hotline to Philip press one, for Charles press two, for the corgis press three.’ that, was at one time the standard voicemail greeting of the Queen of England. It is recorded by Prince Harry, followed by snorts of mirth and guffawing in … Continue reading

The Complete Book of Mothers-in-law by Luisa Dillner

There have always been mothers-in-law and most of us will end up either having or being one. The role of mother-in-law has existed throughout the ages; a part that no one actively chooses and anyone would be forgiven, considering the negative stereo-types, for thinking it has little to recommend it. Mothers-in-law have been variously feared, … Continue reading

UK Election day (May 6, 2010)

While reading The Broken Shore by Peter Temple, I came across this passage. It is a campaigning speech made by Bob, a character in the book who is of aboriginal descent: It’s a great honour for me to be chosen by so many dedicated and talented people to lead United Australia. This is a watershed day. … Continue reading

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Dr Faraday was called upon to the Hundreds Hall Manor by the Ayres to take a look at Betty the parlour maid. Hundreds Hall is once where Dr Faraday’s mother used to work as the Ayreses’ parlour maid. Young Faraday recalled the day he pulled apart an acorn from the plasterwork and was reprimanded by his … Continue reading

Pensioners burn books for warmth

Today I picked up a Metro newspaper on my way to work. The headlines said: Pensioners burn books to keep warmth I find the idea of burning books repulsive, but I do not in one split of the seconds blame the pensioners for burning books. Used hardback books have become cheaper than heating and charcoal. … Continue reading

The Road from Damascus by Robin Yassin-Kassab

It is only when you know the Higher Factor that you will know the true situation of the present religions and of unbelief itself. And unbelief itself is a religion with its own form of belief. – Ahmad Yasavi Atheism indicates strength of mind, but only up to a certain point. – Pensée 157, Pascal … Continue reading

Job Hunting Brilliantly

I picked up Brilliant Job Hunting on the spur of moment since it appeared on the new book shelf in the library. While I am at it, I thought I borrowed another 2 books just to compare notes and even if it takes just skim reading, there is much to learn from different perspectives from … Continue reading

The Girl on the Landing

Michael Gascoigne is wealthy, decent and boring. He is locked into a routine of working as Secretary to his gentleman’s club, Grouchers, in Mayfair, or else stalking deer on his estate in Perthshire: someone whose idea of an adrenaline rush is playing bridge after dinner. Elizabeth, his wife has married him – not exactly for … Continue reading

Her Fearful Symmetry

After her success of The Time Traveller’s Wife, the much awaited Niffenegger’s novel is here. The novel opens with the death of Elspeth Noblin, who bequeaths her London flat and its contents to the twin daughters of her estranged twin sister, Edwina, back in Chicago, on conditions that the girls be 21-yaer-old and that Edwina … Continue reading


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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)