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Reading and the modern child: Getting your child to read

Reading competes with many entertainment options today. Fiza Pathan illuminates what parents need to know about reading and the modern child.

Source: Reading and the modern child: Getting your child to read

CLASSICS a FINALIST in the 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards

Fiza Pathan Publishing OPC Private Limited and Fiza Pathan are proud to announce that CLASSICS: Why and how we can encourage children to read them has been named a FINALIST in the 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards. The final awards will be announced on July 1, 2017. The Press Release from CLC Awards is given below. Congratulations to all authors who made the FINALIST list.

2017 Book Award Recipients Announced I (1)


Release Date: June 15, 2017


Literary Classics


Literary Classics Announces Youth Media Top Book Award Finalists


Rapid City, SD –  The annual tradition continues with the arrival of one of the most anticipated moments in the world of children’s and young adult literature. The 2017 Literary Classics Book Award Finalists and Top Honors Book Awards Finalists have been announced. Selected from submissions by entrants around the globe, these distinguished honorees are recognized for their contributions to the craft of writing, illustrating, and publishing exceptional literature for a youth audience. In this highly competitive industry these books represent the foremost in literature in their respective categories.

The competition this year was tremendous, and we congratulate all of the finalists for their outstanding and inspiring work. Final awards, categories and levels will be announced on July 1, 2017. All Silver, Gold and Top Honors award recipients will be invited to attend a writers’ conference, awards ceremony, formal gala, and authors’ book signing to be held in conjunction with the Great American Book Festival, Labor Day Weekend, 2017.

The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize this year’s titles in literature which exemplify the criteria set forth by the Literary Classics award selection committee.



Natalie Allison   A Shift Toward Prey   Primedia E-launch LLC

Lis Anna-Langston  Tupelo Honey  Mapleton Publishers

Kay Beth Avery   Unbroken Spirits   Western Reflections Publishing

Terry John Barto   Nickerbacher   TJB KIDS

Cassandra Briskman   If You Wish   Waterside Productions

Caytlyn  Brooke   Dark Flowers   BHC Press imprint H20

Nicholas Cappas   Heaven Breaks In   Kingdom Press

Mukuka Chipanta   A Casualty of Power    Weaver Press

Penelope Anne Cole   In and Out, All ‘Round About – Opposite Friends   Magical Book Works

Susan Count   Mary’s Song   Hastings Creations Group

C Crawford   Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers: The Spring Tales   Lauco Press

Ronan Cray   Dust Eaters North   Abrasax Press

Dayle Dabney   Corinne’s Fin   Headline Books

JODY A. DEAN, Ph.D.   Roxie the Doxie Finds her Forever Home   Tally Ho Publishing

Louis DeGrado   The Calling of the Protectors, The Legend of Chief   IUniverse

Chess Desalls   The Call to Search Everywhen   Czidor Lore, LLC

Susan Doherty Hannaford   A Secret Music    Cormorant Books

Martha Driscoll   Nosey’s Wild Ride on the Belle of Louisville   Driscoll Publishing

D. G.  Driver   No One Needed to Know   Amazon

Carmela Dutra   Little Katie Goes to the Moon   Pegasus Pony

Murray Eiland Jr   The Sword of Telemon   Amazon

M.J. Evans   The Stone of Mercy-Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles    Dancing Horse Press

Cindy Farwell   Milk Bottles and Mud Pies   Tate Publishing

Kevin Foster   The Gospel According To Ruth: A Season of Harvest 121 Days of Devotions  Carpenter’s Son

Gregory A. Fournier   Terror in Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked   Wheatmark, Inc.

SJ Francis   Shattered Lies   Black Opal Books

Scott Graffius   Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions   CreateSpace

Jean Guthrie   Mystical Aria: Seeking the Gallion Queen   Sojourn Publishing, LLC

Paul Haddad   Skinny White Freak   Independent

Constance Hale   Iwalani’s Tree   BeachHouse Publishing

Rebecca Hammond Yager  Beauty and the Beast    Amazon/CreateSpace

JD Harper   Glint   CreateSpace

Pamela Hartley   The Seasons of a Giant   CreateSpace

Melanie Hooyenga   The Slope Rules   CreateSpace

K. B. Hoyle   Criminal  The Writer’s Coffee Shop

C.M. Huddleston   Greg’s Second Adventure in Time   Interpreting Time’s Past PRESS

Dorothea Jensen   A Buss from Lafayette   BQB Publishing

Kenny Chumbley Jim McGuiggan   The Green Children   Prairie Papers

Jenna Elizabeth Johnson   Faeborne    Create Space

K.S. Jones   Black Lightning   Mirror World Publishing

PM Kelly   Dream Butterflies   Bookbaby

Germany Kent   You Are What You Tweet: Harness The Power of Twitter…   Star Stone Press

Shannon Kirk   The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall   Reputation Books

Joni Klein-Higger   Coby Ryan Harris Is Officially Fat   Guardian Angel Publishing

S.A. Larsen   Motley Education    Leap Books, LLC

Wendy Leighton-Porter   Max’s Christmas Adventure   Mauve Square Publishing

Wendy Leighton-Porter   The Shadow Book Series   Mauve Square Publishing

Jacqui Letran   5 Simple Questions to Reclaim Your Happiness!   A Healed Mind

Janelle Diller Lisa Travis   Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure Series   WorldTrek Publishing

Chris Mason   Ten Little Monsters Standing in a Line   Smashwords

Hiba Masood   Drummer Girl   Daybreak Press

Lisa McCombs   Bombs Bursting in Air   Headline Books

Susan Morrison   A Medieval Woman’s Companion: Women’s Lives…   Oxbow Books

AC Moyer   All Sleep   Aurelia Press

Loretta Neff Sip   Tea with Mad Hatter   Neff Publishing, LLC

Katy Newton Naas   Guardian   Clean Reads

Bryan Ney   Calamity Jane, How the West Began    Dragon Tree Books

Amanda Noll   Hey That’s MY Monster!   Flashlight Press

Lisa Anne Novelline   Piccadilly and the Waltzing Wind   Self Published

Marina Osipova   A Cruel Romance    iUniverse

Christina Pages   Lucy in her Secret Wood   Waldorf

Wolfgang Parker   Crime Cats, the Dusenbury Curse   Rogue Agent Publishing

Fiza Pathan   CLASSICS: Why and how we can encourage children to read them   Fiza Pathan Publishing

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00006]      2017 finalist FB

Regina Puckett   I Will Breathe   Punk & Sissy Publications

Patricia Reding   Ephemeral and Fleeting    Scripta Manent Publishing

Marc Remus   Magora The Gallery of Wonders   Misty Moon Books / Marc Remus

Katelynn Renteria   The Other Side of the Law   Sarah Book Publishing

Diane Mae Robinson   Sir Princess Petra’s Mission   Tate Publishing

Garry Rogers   Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona   Self Published

J.R. Roper   The Tower Below   CHBB Publishing

Hayley Rose   Fifo 50 States   Flowered Press

Walter Scherr   WALTER’s WAY: How a Relief Kid Survived TB…    Wiley

Gary Schwartz   The King of Average    Bunny Moon Books

Sheila Slavich   Jumpin’ the Rails!    Xlibris

Natalie Rekstad Sophie Lynn   The Secret Adventures of Anonymouse   Black Fox Philanthropy, LLC

Leigh St John   Quantum Lace  Self-Published

Teresa  Stern   Grocery Store Alphabet Game   Sarah Book Publishing

Beverly Stowe McClure   A Family for Leona   4RV Publishing LLC

Lynne Stringer   Once Confronted   Rhiza Press

Danielle Vann   The Whizbang Machine   Waldorf Publishing

Stephan von Clinkerhoffen   Stig’s Flight of Encounters: The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham   Createspace

Diana Walker   Hopping to America: A Rabbit’s Tale of Immigration   Headline Books

Emma Warner-Reed   DOTTY and the Chimney Thief    Calendar House Press

Julie Whitley   Secrets of the Home Wood: the Sacrifice   FriesenPress

Molly & Gary Whitney   Thistle Downe   Bright Sky Press

Steve Wilson   Eye of Charybdis   White Feather Press

Allen Wolf   Hooked   Morning Star Publishing

Heather Wood Galpert   My Pancakes Taste Different Today   Wagon Wheel Productions

Review of Mrs. Pooter’s Diary by Keith Waterhouse

Review of Mrs. Pooter’s Diary by Keith Waterhouse
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan


After reading the classic novel The Diary of a Nobody by the Grossmith brothers, I was very keen to read Keith Waterhouse’s take on the book through the eyes of Mrs. Pooter and her diary. I ordered the book from Amazon, and I was lucky to get one of the last few copies of the book, which was originally published in 1983. Mrs. Pooter’s Dairy is a very meticulous and well-crafted book which gives honour to the original classic The Diary of a Nobody. The book is funny, easy to read, and a must have for all those who have read and enjoyed The Diary of a Nobody. I found that the book was as enjoyable as the classic, and that it stayed true to the original. It is entertaining and enjoyable. Keith Waterhouse, despite sticking to the same plot, has managed to add a number of other subplots using entertaining characters like Darwitts, Misses Tipper, Oliver Tipper, Mrs. Shrike, etc. I especially liked the way the author has given importance to certain characters mentioned in the Grossmith classic, which readers may have overlooked, and are now shown in a very important and humorous light. I loved the way the author has used his imagination to interpret how a huge mark of a port glass managed to stain the invitation card to the Mansion house. The incorrigible character of Mrs. Shrike and her “weak blood” which caused so much of havoc in the few instances she was introduced in the plot, amused me to a great extent. There is also a very different side of Mrs. Pooter that we see in this book compared to the Grossmith classic which should induce readers to defiantly pick up this book to read. The illustrations are hilarious and well done. For a rather ancient book the font is gorgeous and the plot gripping. I would however recommend that the reader should first read The Diary of a Nobody and only then read Mrs. Pooter’s Diary otherwise the good old humour may tend to get lost on the reader of an otherwise very hilarious book. If you loved reading The Diary of a Nobody then this is a book that you’ve just got to read. Keith Waterhouse is a wonderful writer and I hope to be reading his Billy Liar series of the 1960s as soon as I finish the other books on my TBR list

Copyright © 2017 Fiza Pathan

Review of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

Review of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan

20170417_145051Spinster by Kate Bolick is one of the most enriching and well written nonfiction book that I have had the pleasure to read this year. I found this book in my local library’s bookshelf and I just had to borrow it. It’s a heavy read with a lot of in-depth analysis of situations, personality traits, decisions that we make, etc. I picked up this book because I always wanted to lead the life of a spinster and as the subtitle says, I wanted to make a life of my own. However, this book is not only meant for spinsters or people who want to lead the life of spinsterhood. This book is meant for everyone and anyone who want to enrich their lives and give importance to themselves as individuals, even if they are couples, parents, etc. Spinster analyses the idea of the word ‘spinster’ itself throughout history and especially during the early years of the 20th century. The book is a sort of unique memoir of Kate Bolick who wishes to lead the life of a well-balanced and self-actualized spinster in a world where being a spinster is something like a taboo topic. No parent wishes that their girl should not one day be married at the right time and to the right person. This is what Kate Bolick challenges. Why should we bring up children to only have marriage as the focal point of their lives? Why can’t new goals be set? Why can’t girls change their priorities? Why can’t spinsterhood become a lifestyle and not just a label? All these questions and more are answered, analyzed and debated upon in this book along with the thoughts of certain unique, independent, self-made women who touched the author’s life and made it blessed. True, the book technically focuses on only women in American society, but I think all of us from any part of the world can definitely connect with the author’s trials, tribulations and victories because as a sisterhood, we are almost the same if not totally identical people. What I loved about this book is the way being a spinster is shown as a lifestyle choice and not a terrible label one pastes on a person’s character. I am completely inspired by the literary women mentioned in this book especially Maeve Brennan, whose writings I totally relate to. Every sentence in this book is of a contemplative nature where you tend to sit back and say, “Oh what a new way of thinking about this topic,” and then look at the words in the book with a new light altogether. I loved the part about home décor, as I am also very much into the décor of my private as well as public spaces, and I love to have these spaces presented to others as a symbol of my own lifestyle choice and my sense of style. In Spinster Kate Bolick states in more ways than one that it is very important for a woman to showcase her own home décor be she a spinster, married or just living-in with someone. For those readers who love to understand changes in society like demography, this book is full of it and is very accurate. There is no doubt in my mind that this book was definitely an eye opener for me and I am so fascinated by it that I’m going to order my own copy of the book from Amazon, and keep it by my side all the time like a Bible.

A very insightful and a very thought provoking read.

Copyright © 2017 Fiza Pathan

Review of In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Review of In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan


It would not be an exaggeration if I say that In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri was one of the most different books I’ve read in my life. It is Jhumpa Lahiri’s first nonfiction piece actually penned in Italian and then translated into English surprisingly not by Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, but by Ann Goldstein another acclaimed translator and writer. In order to understand why Jhumpa Lahiri did something like this, when she could have easily translated her own book into English, you will have to read the book to find the answer to that question. The book describes in scaled down narrative form, compared to the author’s The Namesake, the affair that Jhumpa Lahiri is having, not with a person, but with a language that is not related to her in any way. The language is Italian, and Jhumpa Lahiri has been smitten by it and wishes to dedicate the rest of her life to studying Italian, and writing books in that language. When I read the book, in the beginning I got a terrible shock when I realized that apparently Jhumpa Lahiri was perhaps going to give up writing in English. ‘No!’ I thought to myself, ‘I’ve just discovered you, and you’re amazing and you can’t stop writing now!’ However, as I read on, I understood and realized the reasons behind her decision and I respect them. Those of you who have read Jhumpa Lahiri’s English prose, will be in for a shock when you read In Other Words which does not resemble the author’s earlier style at all. Yet, you will be compelled to read the book about the relationship that transcends all other relationships, and that is the relationship a person, especially a writer, has with the language which she wants to express herself in. The book also talks about the importance of a mother tongue or language, and the stereotype attitude one has towards people who don’t act the way we do, and how we wash them off. The book is thought provoking, soul searching and it can sometimes make you cry.  After I read the book, I thanked my stars that unlike Jhumpa Lahiri who does not have a language which she ‘belongs totally’ to, I have Hindi which is my country’s national language, and which I know pretty well. When you read In Other Words, you can actually feel the anguish and agony and yet the bliss and satisfaction Jhumpa Lahiri feels when she is trying to write in Italian, which she had to learn from scratch. The theme of belonging and not belonging to a particular region and language boldly crops up here, which informs the reader of Jhumpa Lahiri’s ultimate quest to find that language and region which she can truly feel is her own. There are two fiction stories originally penned in Italian here in this book which are a treat to read. The book ends with a question, and I hope Jhumpa Lahiri finds an answer to that question as soon as possible, and achieves her desire vis-a-vis the Italian language, the language she has courted for a long time. A very well written part memoir and part self-reflection. Kudos to the writer on a job well done.

Copyright ©2017 Fiza Pathan

Review of The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Review of The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan



When I was twenty years old and still in college, I and my friend Tanya, would often conduct discourses and events centered on the current trends in English Literature for the English department of our college. It was on one such cold November afternoon that our English department professor gave us the VCD of the movie ‘The Namesake,’ directed by Mira Nair, to be shown in our audio visual rooms  for the members of the English department and some junior college students. I hadn’t read the novel on which this movie by Mira Nair was based. The movie was shown, college students were chewing gum, and I at that time felt that the main actress Tabu was definitely one of the best actresses I have ever seen. It would take me nine more years and a book penned by Jhumpa Lahiri titled The Clothing of Books to make me read The Namesake which I did this year just after my 28th birthday. The Namesake was unputdownable, and so rich in its prose that I lived the book, and not just read the book. The plot is original and the book so perfectly written, this will make you fall in love with the writer. After finishing the book, I realized that the movie which I saw nine years ago was not even the tip of the whole gigantic iceberg of a story that The Namesake is. The characters were real and though there are very few dialogues in the story,  one tends to know the characters so minutely better than most of the prose fiction one reads today which is so dependent on dialogues. All the senses are used to create the story in our minds as we turn each page of The Namesake. The mundane lives of Gogal Ganguli, Ashoke Ganguli, Ashima Ganguli, Moushima, Maxine, Sonia Ganguli, etc., become our own as we go through the prose– the perfect, meticulous and artistic prose of Jhumpa Lahiri. The main theme of the story is partly fiction and partly related to the reality of Jhumpa Lahiri’s life as an Indian living in the USA and not belonging to either world. On the flipside, this book also tries to bring out the idea of home, love, and acceptance which is partly given, and partly denied to the characters of this amazing story. (Ironically, Jhumpa Lahiri’s book does not even find a real home even as book category—I’ve seen The Namesake being kept in bookstores or libraries in different sections, all the time, every time—like Indian fiction, American fiction, literary fiction, bestsellers, etc.) Thus, Jhumpa Lahiri has managed to bring out the fact that most of our lives, we belong to no one and yet everyone. Her book can be read by anyone and yet create an impact. The day I finished reading The Namesake, I sat in my easy chair and wondered about how I’ve changed as a person since that movie by Mira Nair which I watched nine years ago. I, unlike Gogal Ganguli and the other characters, am not an NRI but yet I’m not the same person I once was and I am not going to be the same person few years hence. Thus the tags and names we carry with ourselves throughout our lives keep on changing or being exchanged for something else. In that sense we all are very different people throughout our lives and thus our names, tags, personalities, habits, feelings, are all ‘namesakes’ through this journey called life. If you’ve ever felt or feel the way I do, then this is the book meant for you. Wonderful story telling, and thought provoking prose, that is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Copyright © 2017 Fiza Pathan

BROWSE: The World in Bookshops edited by Henry Hitchings

BROWSE: The World in Bookshops edited by Henry Hitchings
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan

20170331_132901When I saw this book in one of my most favourite bookshops, without even checking out the synopsis or the editor or publisher of the book, I plucked it off its stand and went bought it. I’m a bookaholic; some people even call me a book reading dragon. I can’t live without books. I need to read them every day, because they are my closest friends and teachers. So obviously, this indicates that if I am a passionate book lover and reader, then I also love to read about my favourite authors take on their lives and in this case, which were their favourite bookshops and library haunts. BROWSE is a book published by the erudite Pushkin Press to chapter the favourite book haunts of authors who wished to contribute towards this venture. When I was reading BROWSE, inwardly I was rejoicing for having picked this book, to enrich myself and my working with books. If you are a hardcore lover of books and writing, this is a book you’ve just got to read. BROWSE contains the writings of authors: Ali Smith, Alaa Al Aswany, Pankaj Mishra, Iain Sinclair, Elif Shafak, and so many others which are a joy to read and very educative. I had to keep on taking notes in my diary of the books these writers read and which changed their lives for the better. Each writer has his or her own unique bookshop experience to share with us through BROWSE, which let us know how important a real bookshop and library was in making them the writers they are today. Sadly, most of the essays describe how those book haunts and treasure troves have disappeared without a trace, because of the constantly dynamic shifting tides of modern day consumerism; in simple words, it was becoming too expensive to keep a hold on these bookshops after the digitalization of books. Many of the essays describe how writers tried to return to their earlier book dens to find the bookshops and their proprietors with whom they had had an unspoken friendship, all gone, lost to a very competitive market. The essays in BROWSE speak about bookshops on a busy market square, second-hand bookshops, bookshops where revolutionaries used to congregate, famous bookshops, etc., which taps into that foundation stone deep down in every book reader who owes his or her accomplishments to the places that honed in on their intellectual needs. I especially loved the essay by Saša Stanišic, where she talks about bookaholics as if they were like drugs that takes you to the ‘heights of ecstasy’ but one which never fades away. Yet still, the authors do voice their opinion about e-books, e-libraries, and the numerous incidence of bookshops and libraries in the old physical form drastically closing down. Some of the authors don’t mind the closure, while others beg to differ as they feel that a bookshop experience is a form of education which does not limit a person to only certain books, as does buying of e-books or kindle version on the internet, where you get what you want and only what you want; not what you can get in the form of an educational awakening. Want to know more? Go buy BROWSE as soon as possible and read it immediately. Don’t put it down on your TBR list for a later time. Stop what you are reading right now and read this non-fiction piece that answers questions about books and bookshops we’ve all wanted to ask but were diffident to do so. More importantly, if you’ve ever loved a special library or bookshop which now has been razed to the ground or disappeared for good that’s left a gaping hole inside of you which you cannot describe because after all, ‘they were only books’ . . . please order a copy of BROWSE and read it. I have to admit: I cried while reading it. I cried because when I was a child I had a library that meant the world to me. It made me the writer, teacher, and publisher I am today, and now all those books have all gone. To tell you the truth, when I visited the library a few years ago, and found it bare without its centuries old tomes, I could have just died! That library was my father. What my real father could never do, those books did for me. They fathered me and now they have taken my father forever away from me. But who cares? They are just a bunch of old books—right? Maybe in the veins of other people, their father’s blood flows. But for me, my father was my school library and the dark black of printer’s ink runs through my veins. Go read BROWSE! GO NOW!

Copyright © 2017 Fiza Pathan