More books, and here's my verdict! I re-read a couple of old favourites again over the last few weeks (they don't figure in this list), so my library reading has been correspondingly lower.
Susanna's 7 husbands - Ruskin Bond. I don't care much for Ruskin Bond really, his writing never struck a chord with me, so the only reason I picked it up was because the storyline was intriguing. Also, I haven't seen the movie and have no plans to see it but assumed the book would be more interesting (the movie having got iffy reviews). All I can say is, the original short story was quite gripping. Short and hard-hitting and left the reader wondering what exactly had happened. They should have just left it at that instead of stretching it into a novella and then a screenplay! However, since the copy I picked up had the short story, novella and screenplay all in one, it was quite good to see how a story/book was transformed into a dramatic form.
The palace of illusions - Chitra Divakaruni. A cousin fortuitously gifted it for my birthday and I loved loved loved it! I take back what I said about the author, I still don't like any of her other books but this one was effortless and mesmerising and did a good job of capturing the many moods and shades of that enigmatic queen, Draupadi.
The glass palace - Amitav Ghosh. Good one. I thought it dragged in places but I like stories that take in a vast panorama of people, places and events and this one fit the bill. Additionally, never having read anything about Burma before, it turned out to be a treasure-trove of information on that unhappy land. The author writes confidently and deftly which is so difficult isn't it? I'll definitely be picking up more of his books.
Shakespeare - Bill Bryson. Once again, Bryson doesn't disappoint. Though not choc-a-bloc with his trademark humour (after all it is a serious biography of the great man of English), it still seems well-researched. Astonishingly, as Bryson points out again and again, there is very little known about Shakespeare the man and a lot of it is just conjecture and intelligent guesswork. A good book on the Bard and an easy and entertaining read. Given how little is known about Shakespeare, it's amazing Bill Bryson even managed to get as much as a slim book out of it!
I'm currently struggling...yes, struggling...with the Emperor of all maladies. I'll persevere for a few more days and if I don't make any headway, I'm returning it to the library :(