Skip to main content

Featured Post

Waltzing in the Music City | Weekly Snapshot

If you're in the US, do you have Monday off from work or school, to observe President's Day? All of us at our home do, which is lucky because this isn't a day that every company or institution observes with a day off. Even though it's not been too long since the Christmas and New Year holiday season, I'd been pining for a vacation for a while - something either low-key or relaxing that even the kids will enjoy.


Currently This post is coming to you from the Music City - Nashville - where we are spending the long weekend. We are technically here only for two days and will leave early on Monday so that we are home in time to pick our dog from boarding. Although I don't personally care much for the music scene other than to listen to what's popular on the radio, I had been hoping to stop by Nashville someday and check it out.

We are staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which is a sight in itself, with its acres and acres of gardens and walkways. It's def…

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney


In December, when I was browsing through the books section in Costco, I saw the Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5: The Ugly Truth lying on the front shelf. There's not a single bookstore where this book isn't propped right on your nose, literally. A week before, when I was browsing through Toys R Us for some games for my nieces, I came across an entire row half full of books from this series. By the time I saw this book at Costco, I was itching to know once and for all what the whole deal over this book is. So then I opened it right over there, blocking the way for any unlucky person standing behind me, and started reading. Just half a second into it, and I started snorting with laughter. Now that was embarrassing, but my cheeks were inflaming with uncontrolled giggles. So instead of putting it back on the shelf, I discreetly put it into my cart, started whistling some nonsensical tune as I made my way to the-fish-market-crowded checkout lane. And that's how I came into possession of a book so different from the kind that ever graces my bookshelves.


I started with the fifth book - it really doesn't matter which book you start with - but I would recommend reading in order for the order-obsessed reader. This whole series is from the first person viewpoint of Greg Heffley, a middle-grader with an obnoxiously high opinion of self. In fact, it's an attitude you wouldn't appreciate in anyone but yourself, which is why you end up loving Greg. His elder brother, Rodrick, never misses an opportunity to embarrass Greg or tattle him to his parents. Rodrick also has his own band, Loded Diper (supposed to be loaded diaper, but Rodrick sucks in spelling). Greg's younger brother, Manny, is another devilish little kid, who always gets his way, and unwittingly does things that embarrasses Greg. For instance, Manny addresses Greg as Bubba, in public.


Each book in the series follows Greg at school, during vacation, with different plots, but always filled with the same brand of mischief and laugh-worthy thoughts by Greg. Greg started writing a diary because when he grows up and becomes famous, he wouldn't have to keep answering the same questions asked by the media. He'd rather give them copies of his diary. Greg's best friend, Rowley, mostly sticks by Greg, except when he really senses that Greg is not giving him due credit or getting him to do the dirty part. The best part is Greg himself doesn't see it as manipulation. Rather, he is always convinced that he is doing Rowley a favor. Rowley loves wearing superhero costumes, and embarrasses Greg once when he asks him in front of the older kids, whether he wants to come home and "play". Greg prefers the phrase "hang out" to "play".


I enjoyed reading this series so much, and laughed through most of it. I loved Greg, even in spite of his outrageous schemes, and cunning ideas. At one point, he tries really hard to impress a girl, but particularly embarrassing stuff choose to happen at that time. He also comes up with plenty ways to make more money - you will have to admit that this kid has ideas! Overall, this was one really delightful series, for all ages alike.


I (un)abashedly went to the kids section in my library and borrowed this series.

Comments

bermudaonion said…
I've read the first two books in this series and I'm definitely a fan!

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …