Monday, January 16, 2006

Bookworm's Corner

These are the books which I have read in 2005………
At least the books which have left a mark on me – good or bad…..Besides the ones that I mention I have also read many others….but they were either too boring or too crappy to write about….. So….. here goes –
*"Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" – My biggest literary discovery in 2005 was Douglas Adams.I can’t believe what I was missing out on….. I have read all the 5 books in the hitchhiker’s series now…. Unfortunately though I found that the quality declined with each progressive book in the series…..
*"The Fountainhead" – I liked this book. I had read ‘We the Living’ by the same author a couple of years back….but I think that ‘Fountainhead’ is so much better. Absolutely fell in LOVE with Gail Wynand….but DID NOT like Howard Roark…thought he was too perfect for his own good. My biggest mistake though, was that I tried to read ‘Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ back to back….my head got SO full of high ideals that I had to leave the latter unfinished…..I am too unintellectual for this kind of intense reading I guess….
*"Five Point Someone" – I LOVED this book. Made for an excellent read during a boring train journey. Liked Hari….and especially loved the parts dealing with vodka,floyd and grass. Thought that Ryan was the ultimate college cool dude. I have not read ‘One Night at the Call Centre’ as yet….but have heard that it fails to live up to the expectations……
*"The God of Small Things" – I sort of found the book interesting. But some parts of it were way above my head. I liked Arundhati Roy’s descriptive powers though….
*"The Alchemist" – Probably one of the best books that I read last year. Became a true blue Coelho fan….plan to read more of his books soon.
*"Freedom at Midnight" – I LOVED the book. Thought it was really AWESOME. And developed a raging interest in India’s freedom struggle for the time being. But regretted not reading it before my class tenth board exams. Would have done better in history then. At least in Indian history.
*"Train to Pakistan" – Read it right after ‘Freedom at Midnight’. And the combined effects of these 2 awesome books were enough to make me wish that I had a time machine so that I could go back to the 1940s.
*"The Family" – Was shocked and amazed by the book. But in retrospection I think that it was a pretty good read. Comes nowhere near ‘Godfather’ though.
*"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" – Finished the book in one evening as it was lent to me for one day only. So only remember it superficially….as a result of superfast reading. Liked it though. Liked it quite a lot.Thought that the idea of the half blood prince was brilliantly conceived and concealed till the end. But thought that Rowling had still failed to live up to the expectations that she had generated after the first 4 books. But half blood prince is still much better than her 5th book – ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’. That was really really crappy…perhaps the worst of the Harry Potter series.
* Don’t know why but I went completely Erich Segal crazy after my board exams got over. So in the months before the results I read ‘Acts of Faith’, ‘Doctors’, ‘Man woman and child’ and ‘Oliver’s story’. Liked each one of the books. Oliver’s story was good but disappointed me because I couldn’t let go of ‘Love Story’. My favourite among these is probably ‘Acts of Faith’. Simple LOVED the book.
*I also went Ruskin Bond crazy last year….and started reading everything by him that I could lay my hands upon. His writings have this strange, ethereal, timeless beauty which absolutely mesmerized me.
*I liked ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown. So I naively thought that his other works would be good too. I was wrong. I read all of his other books in one go and ‘Digital Fortress’ was the only one I liked. Was especially disappointed by ‘Angels and Demons’.
*Read 4 books by Robert Fulghum and came to the conclusion that these were probably the best anti depressant medicines available in the market. The books had weird names though. They went something like – “All I really need to know I learnt in kindergarten”, “It was on fire when I lay down on it”, “Uh-oh” and “Maybe (Maybe not) – Observations from both sides of the refrigerator door.”
*Apart from these I read lots of short stories by Maugham. He is one of my favourite authors. Especially loved the story ‘Rain’. It literally sent shivers down my spine.
*I read lots of classics too. Some of which were a part of my course – and so compulsory reading. ‘Wuthering Heights’ was by far the best read among all of them.
*Reread many of my favourite books like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Catcher in the Rye’, ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘The Godfather’ etc. Found out that ‘Godfather’ still had the power to reduce me to breathless excitement. And though I read ‘Catcher in the Rye’ 3 times, was still confused by it.
That’s all I guess….those were all the mentionable books that come to my mind right now. The mentionable English books at least…..( I admit though that I may have missed out quite a few)
And following are the books that I absolutely definitely plan to read this year –
*‘The Manticore’s Secret’ by Samit Basu ( I am reading ‘The Simoquin Prophecies’ right now, and loving it)
*‘Hungry Tide’ by Amitav Ghosh
*‘The Namesake’ by Jhumpa Lahiri ( I loved ‘Interpreter of Maladies’)
*‘Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R.Tolkein( I know, I know I haven’t read it yet…and that’s a bloody shame)
*‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl (I may have passed the age in which people generally read it, but I think that I should read it all the same.)
*Books by Teri Pratchett ( I haven’t read any)
*Books by Salman Rushdie (I haven’t read any)
*Books by V.S. Naipaul ( Again, I regret to say that I haven’t read any of his books.)

p.s. Tried to see if I could read mills and boons. Gave up after trudging through 3 novels. Actually got tired of heroes who had “ rugged good looks with broad shoulders and rippling muscles…” and passion which “flowed like hot and liquid honey through their veins”. YUCK!!


Tiny Black Cat said...

ahhh, post on boooksssh!!! i want to read many of the books you read last year (hitchhiker's guide, fountainhead, five point someone, god of small things, alchemist, man woman and child) , and read last year many of the books you want to read (books by pratchett, rushdie, manticore's secret and charlie and the chocolate factory - i didn't read it as a kid either, got to flip through only because my baby sis bought it). inanely long sentence there makes any sense? nevermind, nevermind.

as for harry potter, i thought the height of the series was prisoner of azkaban. never became completely happy with any of the next books. and lord of the rings definitely por. as soon as possible. if you want to borrow the book, ask me. ditto for manticore (actually i have to borrow a lot of books from you, so... hehe).

Krishanu said...

hhgttg - awesome series of books. read the last part last year. i admit that the first three books are progressively disappointing, but i found the fourth book to be quite good and i thought that the final book was probably the best!

5.someone - i was quite disappointed with the book. wasnt as good as i thought it would be.

god of small things - simply awesome. sadly arundhati roy will never ever write a book like that again...

definitely read amitav ghosh (hungry tide, and definitely shadow lines). also try jm coetzee.

great to find a fellow bookworm!

ps: i have vowed never to read a mills and boon in my life! so far so good!

"sen"sational said...

MANDY - i completely, totally, wholeheartedly agree with you that prisoner of azakaban was the height of the hp series. it is definitely my favourite hp book till date. actually it is also the best movie adaptation i think. and YES....DO lend me lotr...i totally HAVE to read it this year.

KRISHANU - well...glad to know u made the resolution beforehand abt not reading mnb. at least u didn't have to suffer as i did. i mean.. do ppl write such trash?? and how do these books actually become bestsellers is somwthing i think i will never find out.... i mean, who reads such stuff??
p.s. i DID NOT like the 5th hitchhiker's book. was too confusing for my taste. i have a very simple brain u see...

"sen"sational said...

mandy...what on earth were u doing posting comments at 4:30 in the morning...get some sleep girl...

Tiny Black Cat said...

you know what's the irony about lending LOTR? you expect it back on the same day, only a year later. or maybe two.


lol, but don't worry, toke debo. and i want gone with the wind. i really have to read that book this time, have been planning that for about six years now, but somehow cannot bring myself to buy it.

and warning: after reading LOTR, for at least one year you'll think all other fantasy books are bullcrap. amar hoyechhilo, trust me.

Pip Squeak said...

You haven't read LOTR??? AHAHAHAAAHAAAAA!!!!!!

"sen"sational said...

MANDY - I don't have gwtw. it was doyeeta's book. borrow it from her. and if that is the matter then i think i will read manticore's secret before lotr. i don't want to think samit basu is crap

PIP - okay....okay....don't ignorant state is not forever u know??

The Alluder of Alliterations said...

i gave you the fulghums and i dont see me acknowledged n e where...

Freaky Chakra said...

Well you arnt the only one who hasnt read LOTR till now...
("a resounding chorus of shame-shame ala class 2 style")...

FPS was light reading, and I do think Chetan Bhagat got kinda lucky with this one.

Read the other new wizkid of Indian contemporary literature... Siddharth D. Sanghvi's Last Song of Dusk. A beautifully constructed compilation of lyrically rubbish prose!

Ruskin Bond (my GOD)... read The Lamp is Lit. But, lo - the discovery of the year...

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (FUCK) by AK Mitra. For all the Salinger fans... this one is a must. Altho its kinda naive & over-done at times but is cool.

Sample this -

"...her ass was like two-half moons over the sky of Bombay" -

man, easily one of the most amazing metaphors I've ever read!!

Anyhow, happy reading for the new year!!

#3tiYo>B_shyo> said...

whoa!!!!!! bimbo.... thats one crazy list. hope this is one resolution u plan to keep. sinse its LOTR we talk bout, i must say, that its true that all pales under comparing eyes. but u have to have the patience to go through it all. and then i will congratualte u.

"sen"sational said...

ALLITERATIONS - okay....i hereby humbly acknowledge that it was arunava banerjee who very kindheartedly lent me the robert fulghum books.....happy?

FREAKY CHAKRA - at last! i find someone who has not read lotr. welcome to the exclusive club. and i will definitely try to read the books that u sggested.....ESPECIALLY a k mitra!!

SONAI - yeah...yeah...i know...i got all sorts of suggestions abt HOW to read lotr and WHAT happens if i read if only someone will lend me the book....

scorpionragz said...

cool man. u actuallry remember the books u read??
2005 was a particularly fruitless year for me as far as lit goes. Just couldn't find the time.
Btw, I've got to disagree with u on a no. of points.
5th Harry Potter was by far the best of the series.6th was a profound disappointment.
I'v got lotr and charlie n choc factory in case u want.
To end, sheesh! U'veread serious lit, man!!
Have got to get out of my sci fi shell and discover the world outside!!!
Myself is reading "A Clockwork Orange". Quite good, so far. Very catcher in the rye-ish!!!

Krishanu said...

hey, bimbabati naki? remember me from voices???

"sen"sational said...

RAGINI - no ragini....DEFINITELY AND AGAIN DEFINITELY NO.....5th hp book sucked....literally sucked. it was the worst hp book ever. and i mean THE WORST.

KRISHANU - yeah....i do...that's why i visited ur blog in the first did u get to know i was bimbabati??

mojo said...

hhgttg i havent read..about the others,train to pak was extremely disturbing,freedom at midnight made me fall in hate with gandhi,to kill a mocking bird and gone with the wind...ahh well ..we go a long way back with those two,dont we?if u have any further apetite for rand left,try atlas shrugged!catcher in the rye u didnt read last year,wasnt it before that?dunno,5.sum1,i identified with a lo-o-t of things,1 night was disappointing though,have to read up coelho...and nothing even compares with godfather,puzo himself couldn't equal that one masterpiece..

"sen"sational said...

MOJO - yeah....yeah....i know about your fascination with puzo. i have been enduring it for almost 3 years now remember? and i didn't say that i read catcher in the rye last year. i said that i reread it several times and was still very very confused by it.

p.s. thank u by the way. for today. u know why.

Anonymous said...

kheyal bhora tobe shobche jeta bhalo laglo besh chonnochara.. pseudo-sukumar juge ei blog bostuti bhaloi bajar krbe. kheyalkhola swapondola,jiboner ar ek nam kacha chola. shala eto boi kobe porli?

"sen"sational said...

This 'anonymous' person has to be S. Isn't it? Isn't it?

soheeney said...

Read my blog

"sen"sational said...

yeah babe.....i already did.