Category Archives: #BookBytes

Childhood Memories of Long Summer Days #BookBytes 8

Welcome to Book Bytes. This time I’ve picked a quote from a book that’s very close to my heart, one I can’t stop recommending. It’s the kind that makes me want to catch hold of people and read out the fun bits to get them to pick it up The Garden of the Gods. This one is part of The Corfu Trilogy. I read the first book of the Trilogy My Family and Other Animals decades ago, when I was in class 11 and it continues to be a favourite.

Told from the perspective of ten-year-old Gerry, the books talk about the Durrell family that relocates to Corfu, a gorgeous Greek Island. It’s the quirkiest, funniest family ever as are the myriad other characters that inhabit the island. If you/your child is a nature freak the books are a double bonus. This is not a review so I need to stop right here and share the quote.

“In those days, living as we did in the country, without the dubious benefits of radio or television, we had to rely on such primitive forms of amusement as books, quarrelling, parties, and the laughter of our friends…”

Gerald Durrell, The Garden of the Gods

These lines remind me of my summer vacations. Each summer my sister and I would spend one whole month in our mum’s ancestral home some 45 minutes away from the city. The roads were bad to non-existent so forty five minutes, meant a whole different world. There was no electricity so television was out of question and we didn’t have a radio either, quite like the author in the quote.

When I think back I wonder how we got through those long summer days. However, necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. We made up games, sang songs together, picked nimkauris and spent time at the village temple. We came away with some of the best memories of our childhood.

It saddens me to think that that my children might never learn to do all of that.

Do you have a favourite book that evokes childhood memories? I’d love for you to share a quote and link up with me.

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If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared join in with #BookBytes.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. The next edition is scheduled for June 4th. Do join in.
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Why? #BookBytes 7

For BookBytes today I have picked this quote from Jet Lag by Ann Birstein. Talking of Auschwitz the author says:

The million and half Jews had been shipped from all over Europe for the privilege of being murdered here. From all parts of Poland, of course, but also Hungary, Slovakia, Greece. Why? Why go to all that trouble? Why not shoot them on the spot? But I was thinking in terms of Nazi efficiency. I had forgotten the other why. Why murder them all?

Jet Lag, Ann Birstein

This is something I have often wondered. Why take the trouble of transporting millions and millions of Jews only to kill them? And again I have to remind myself that the bigger question here is ‘Why kill them at all?’.

Although the book didn’t move me as much as other WWII literature, it is worth a read. You can read the detailed review of the book here.

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If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared join in with #BookBytes.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. The next edition is scheduled for May 21st. Do join in.

Not everything is awesome #BookBytes 6

I’m sharing a quote from the book 1984 by Gerorge Orwell. The first time I read it I must have been in my early teens. I have little memory of it perhaps because I would have had little or no understanding of it. Then I read it again some seven or eight years ago and was blown away. This is the third time I’m reading it and it strikes such chord.

The book talks of a dystopian society completely controlled by a central authority, that of Big Brother. People aren’t allowed to voice dissent. They’re not even allowed to think of dissent. If one does, it leads to ‘thoughtcrime’. A new language called Newspeak is created for the people. The dictionaries are constantly ‘upgraded’ to contain fewer and fewer words.

Here’s a quote from the book. 

‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words…’

‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thoughts? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.’

1984, George Orwell

I’m not going to talk about the book in this post, but just about the quote that I picked, about the dangers of a shrinking vocabulary because No words = No thoughts.

When our children (or even we ourselves), use ‘awesome’ for everything they like, and ‘gross’ for everything they don’t, it is perhaps time to take note. Awesome might stand for anything from a intelligent satellite in space to a delicious bowl of pasta. How ridiculous is that!

We are turning into a generation that doesn’t think or feel as much, a mentally, emotionally impoverished generation. What’s worse is that we are doing it wilfully, voluntarily, lazily. We are rejecting the depth and richness of words and hence that of thoughts and feelings.

My takeaway from this particular passage is to explore and to use language in all its beauty and to help my children do the same.

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If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared join in with #BookBytes.


Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. The next edition is scheduled for May 7th. Do join in.

Me first? #BookBytes – 5

I finished reading this delightful book. Here’s a quote that spoke to me.

‘This is what you do’, Mindi said. ‘You follow your so called passions and don’t consider the consequences for other people.’
This charge again. It would be easier to be a criminal fairly prosecuted by the law than an Indian daughter who wronged her family. A crime would be punishable by a jail sentence of definite duration rather than this uncertain length of family guilt trips.” 

Balli Kaur Jaswal, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

This quote got me thinking. And it’s not just about daughters, though it definitely holds more true for women in general. While I don’t support the old-fashioned idea of self-sacrificing women, I do think one needs to consider the repercussions of one’s action, specially on loved ones. No one is an island, at least most people aren’t. So what one does is, more often than not, likely to impact others.

And yet one owes a debt to oneself – to do the best for one’s own self. So how far should one go in search of personal excellence or satisfaction or simply in the pursuit of passion or happiness? How does one strike a balance?

That’s a decision each one of us has to make for oneself. What do your think?


If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared do join in with #BookBytes. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month so the next edition is scheduled for April 16th. Do join in.

Do you care for what people think? #BookBytes – 4

Early this month on Women’s Day I shared a quote from Becoming by Michelle Obama.
Here it is.


What a fantastic read this book is proving to be, full of immense wisdom yet in no way preachy and so very relatable. Today I share another one from the same book. Take a read.

“This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly.”

Michelle Obama points out a trap a lot of young children fall into, specially girls. They strive to be ‘good girls’, to do what they think is expected of them, to stick to paths that are ‘considered’ impressive, without once looking inward. This is counter-productive on so many levels. They end up their shortchanging themselves, not using their inherent strengths and talents and disregarding their interests, condemning themselves to lives that are in no way fulfilling, simpy to win the approval of others.

If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage that leaps out at you demanding to be shared do join in with #BookBytes. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month so the next edition is scheduled for April 2nd. Do join in.

What’s a proper kiss? #BookBytes – 3

It’s been a while since I shared anything for #BookBytes though I have been reading pretty steadily over the last two months. I’ve just been lazy.

The book that’s top of my pile these days is The Night Rainbow by Claire King and it simply demands to be shared. It’s sweet and touching with a five-year-old protagonist who is absolutely endearing. Here’s a quote by her that I agree with whole-heartedly.

“A blown kiss is not a proper kiss. Hugs and kisses should be hugs and kisses, not breaths of air. I am tired of breaths of air and not enough hugs and kisses.” 

True, right? Air kisses are so not real kisses. There really is nothing like a warm kiss and tight hug to drive away all fears and sorrows. The five-year-old’s yearning for love is so beautifully palpable in this quote. I’m hoping to have the full review up on the blog next week. Do drop by for a read.

If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage that leaps out at you demanding to be shared do join in with #BookBytes. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link it back to this post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.

In Search of the Self #BookBytes -2

For #BookBytes this week, I have here an excerpt from The Liberation of Sita by Volga. This short read, packs quite a feminist punch. In this passage Ahilya talks to Sita, telling her to find her own self.

You means you, nothing else. You are not just the wife of Rama. There is something more in you, something that is your own. No one counsels women to find out what that something more is. If men’s pride is in wealth, or valour, or education, or caste-sect, for women it lies in fidelity, motherhood. No one advises women to transcend that pride. Most often, women don’t realise that they are part of the wider world. They limit themselves to an individual, to a household, to a family’s honour. Conquering the ego becomes the goal of spirituality for men. For women, to nourish that ego and to burn themselves to ashes in it becomes the goal.

#BookBytes

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If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage that leaps out at you demanding to be shared don’t ignore it. Share it on your blog.

Leave a link to your blogpost in the comments and I’ll drop by and also share it in my next week’s post.

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