Shanah at Bionic Book Worm has created this autumn-themed book tag, and I just could not resist doing another tag.
- CRISP FALL AIR – A book that felt fresh and new: Christopher Priest’s The Prestige 
This book is far from perfect, but the idea behind seems original and the structure new. Most people will know the plot from Nolan’s film The Prestige (2006), but it is still an exciting read, even if you have seen the film (the book is different in its beginning and in its end). The plot mirrors the stages of a magician’s trick, and Christopher Priest provides the reader will all the hints to solve the mystery in the very beginning. There are a couple of surprises in the book, even though the story is also slightly predictable and goes into the direction of pure fantasy, which may not please everyone.
- HOWLING WINDS – An ending that blew you away: Thomas P. Cullinan’s A Painted Devil/The Beguiled 
I was impressed with Cullinan’s The Beguiled. It is so much more underneath than this simple tale of girls living in a boarding school during the Civil War and their interactions with a wounded soldier who comes to the school’s doorstep. The book is psychologically interesting because it contains multiple unreliable narrators who, throughout the novel, try to persuade the reader that their version of events is true. It is up to the reader to make his or her mind up in the end. The ending is well crafted and did surprise me. Also, the film by Sofia Coppola did not do justice to the book or its characters at all, even though it was spot on regarding the atmosphere.
- COMFY SWEATERS – A book that gave you the warm and fuzzies: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind 
I have a soft spot for historical fiction books set in the US, especially when they tell tales of Southern states. Gone with the Wind may look like an odd book to give something warm feelings, but I really like the book’s beginning, when the Civil War still seems so far away and Scarlett O’Hara’s hopes are set on Ashley Wilkes. The later interactions and dialogues between Rhett Butler and Scarlett are also a joy to read because the readers immediately see what a perfect and happy couple they could have been.
- BRIGHT COLOURS – A book cover that is red, orange or yellow: Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley 
This is my favourite book by Patricia Highsmith. In it, a fascinating psychological study meets unbelievable events and exotic locations. It all becomes really exciting when Tom Ripley enters the extravagant lives of rebellious socialites Dickie Greenleaf and Marge Sherwood. One of the greatest achievements of Highsmith is that the readers, quite in spite of themselves, almost become silent accomplices to the deeds of Ripley. They start seeing the events as Ripley sees them and understanding Ripley’s zeal to maintain his illegally-acquired societal position whatever the cost.
- LEAF FIGHT – A book with non-stop action: Mayne Reid’s The Quadroon 
I like this young adult book because I read it a lot growing up. It is slow to start, but it soon has a series of non-stop “action”. In this story, which is set in Louisiana in the 19th century, our hero falls in love with the beautiful slave of mixed origin Aurore, but there are many obstacles the couple has to overcome before they can be together. It is best to read this book while following illustrations, because the author really transports us into that often unjust, but vivid world of Southern states in the 19th century.
- PUMPKIN SPICE – Your previous most anticipated read: Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist 
I remember I was really looking forward to reading this book after reading some marvellous reviews on it some time in 2008. My expectations were sky high, and they were met. This is a beautiful and haunting account of one man from Pakistan, Changez, who stands to see his American Dream falling through. There are observations on the West vs East mentality, while the romance between Changez and his sweetheart Erica has got to be one of the most heart-wrenching in fiction. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a somewhat controversial, but also an emotionally-powerful book.