I am starting this blog to be able to write to my heart's content. I dont want to advertise this blog but I would want people to chance on it and give their comments. This is the first of many contradictions that will make up this blog

Location: India

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A fine balance

Books that I have read, re-read or currently reading in the last 6 months with a single line opinion (In no particular order).

1. The catcher in the rye – JD Salinger
(Introduced me to Salinger. Must read)

2. Raise high the roof beams Carpenter & Seymour: an Introduction – JD Salinger
(Raise high the roof beams Carpenter is brilliant. Seymour: an Introduction is tedious, self-indulgent, repititive)

3. Franny & Zooey – JD Salinger
(Franny is normal Salinger. Zooey is marginally better)

4. Nine stories – JD Salinger
(Mixed bag. The ones I liked are 'Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut', 'Just before the war with the Eskimos', 'For Esme with love and Squalor' and 'Pretty mouth and green my Eyes')

5.Lord of the flies – William Golding
(Read for the concept.Deep.Normal writing)

6. A clockwork orange – Anthony Burgess
(Uses sometimes-difficult-to-understand slang. Great plot)

7.A fine balance – Rohinton Mistry
(Introduced me to Rohinton Mistry. Will remain one of my all time favourites)

8. Family matters – Rohinton Mistry
(Good. But my frame of reference is set by 'A Fine Balance'. Difficult to match)

9.Sacred Games – Vikram Chandra
(Cops & Robbers tale. Unapologetic. Racy read. Good)

10. Love & Longing in Bombay – Vikram Chandra
(Set of five stories. Good not great. Liked 'Artha' the most followed by 'Shanti')

11. Red Earth & pouring Rain - Vikram Chandra
(Tedious. Thought it pseudo-intellectual. Couldn't finish.)

12.A suitable boy – Vikram Seth
(Lazy, luxurious, great writing. Liked it)

13.Hullabaloo in the guava orchard – Kiran Desai
(really good writing in spite of the plot)

14. Selected short stories of Nikolai Gogol – Nikolai Gogol
(Currently reading. First signs good)

15.The Namesake – Jhumpa lahiri
(Good. Liked the 'Interpreter of maladies' much better)

16. The world according to Garp – John Irving
(Introduced me to John irving. Was startled by the book. Liked it)

17.The Cider House Rules – John Irving
(My John irving favourite. On par with 'The World according to Garp')

18.A prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
(A whole book created on the thinnest premise. Couldn't wait for it to end)

19. The Hotel New Hampshire – John Irving
(Has all those John irving staples. Bears, Vienna. Good only in parts.)

20. The kite runner – Khaled Hosseini
(Kept me interested. Too formulaic. Maybe the best he will ever write)

21.The city of God – Paulo Lins
(Too full of violence, drugs etc. Got on my nerves after some time)

22.Sons & Lovers – D H Lawrence
(Didn't know what to expect. Liked it)

23.The Same Sea – Amos Oz
(Read a novel in this form for the first time. Loved it)

24.Pomegranate Soup – Marsha Mehran
(Has some really tasty looking recipes. Found the novel quite superficial)

25.The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
(OK. Didn't do anything great for me and definitely did not match the hype it has around it)

26. Bend in the river – VS Naipaul
(Introduced me to Naipaul. Loved it)

27. A house for Mr Biswas – VS Naipaul
(Long. Tedious. However, a good read if patient)

28.Babbitt - Sinclair Lewis
(Very very tedious. But liked it)

29.The Shining – Stephen King
(Typical Stephen King. Scared me. But forgettable as soon as you finish it)

30.The Secret life of bees – Sue Monk Kidd
(Nothing great. Pass)

31. Fried green tomatoes at the Whistle stop cafe - Fanny Flagg
(In the genre of 'To kill a mockingbird'. Comes nowhere near)

32.The Wedding – Nicholas Sparks
(Too too mushy. Read it when I had nothing else to read. But still don't know how I read it)

I have never read so much in such a time frame. I am the cat with the cream smeared all around my mouth.
And yes...I work too........Really. I do.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Where am I

Why do we never see you anywhere, they say to him, why do you bury yourself in that hole, they say, far away from your friends, with no parties, no nights out, no fun, you ought to get out, see people, clock in, show your face, at least give some signs of life. Forget it, he says to them, I get up at five o'clock have a coffee and by the time I have erased and written six or seven lines the day's already over and evening is falling to erase.

From 'The Same Sea' by Amos Oz.


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