Thursday 18 August 2011

The score so far - I

Books read in the last month (Thanks everyone for the recos!):

The Great Indian novel - Shashi Tharoor. I really liked this. The Mahabharata theme, and the parallels with modern Indian history were fascinating. Most of all, I liked his writing (this is my first Tharoor book). Very evocative.
The argumentative Indian - Amartya Sen. I was a little hesitant to pick this up even though it has been on my reading list for ages. I've done enough heavy reading over the last 2 years to want to stick to fiction for the time being. But among academics, Sen's writing is extraordinarily readable and clear and I have enjoyed (and learnt a lot from) most of the books he has written. In particular, I love the philosophical approach he brings to economics! I took the book slowly, and it was very interesting. To be re-read.
The remains of the day - Kazuo Ishiguro. Again, a long-pending book. It justified the wait.
The girl with the dragon tattoo - Stieg Larsson. Ok, I don't know about you, but I had got some rave reviews of the Millenium series. I plodded and ploughed through this but failed to understand why it is supposed to be unputdownable. Didn't manage to finish even half. Well - that's 2 books less to read!
Charlie and the chocolate factory - Roald Dahl. Any review needed of this?? I finished the book in 30 minutes flat but I am reading it to Ads, a few pages every day. And I am finding this task far more pleasurable than reading it for myself!
The vine of desire - Chitra Divakaruni. this was picked up even though I did not like her other book - The Mistress of Spices. This one is better but it reminded me of all the reasons why I am not impressed with her writing (ok, ok, personal opinion of course :)). There's too much imagery in it. It's too laboured, too much of a "creative-writing-course" feel about it, when all one needs is for a story to be told in a straightforward fashion. So, anyway, again not impressed though multiple people have recommended the same author's Palace of Illusions. 

More suggestions welcome. This is one to-do list that I like to be as long as possible.


  1. Remains of the day is one of my favorite books. What wonderful writing! I totally agree with you on the CD book. Creative writing feel to it. Nicely said! :) I still enjoy it for time pass reading. Have you read Small Remedies by Sashi Deshpande? It is a lovely book.

  2. Books! Yay! one of my fav topics. I did not like the Steig Larsson book at all. I read one and decided not too read the others. I did see all the 3 movies though. I cudn't understand why the world was going gaga over them :(
    I am yet to get my hands on Palace of Illusions. Heard a lot about it. Have you read that?
    If you are into fiction you can try The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and The Room by Emma Donaghue. I reviewed both of them some time back on my other blog.

  3. Noon: Haven't read that one, am adding it to reading list. Thanks for the reco. Glad also that someone agreed with me on Divakaruni's book :)

  4. Simran - Whew....glad that someone else didn't like the larsson books! I'll check out the reviews on your other blog and maybe add these books to my list. Thanks!

  5. BOOOKS!! fav topic. .. i've read none of the ones you mention here. Except for watching Johnny Depp as Charlie.
    I'm currently reading Shantaram. Loving every page of it.You should read it too if you haven't already.

    The next in line is The larsson books. I'm shocked and disappointed that its a let down. Why so much hype then? Its gotten positive reviews pretty much everywhere!! am surprised. Guess i'll read it anyway.
    BTW, i've been recently brainwashed into buying a Kindle by none other than Aparna :) and i must tell ya, reading in Kindle is oh soooooo brilliant and the next best thing since.... er... printed books?? thats another thing i'd recco.

  6. here after so many people..damm this blogger for not updating the new post!
    back to your post, good one..
    yeah CD has a little over imagination but somehow POI comes through in spite of it.
    have updated the other books u mentioned to my reader's list.
    O, yes charlie and chocolate factory was ausm read..waiting for R to grow up a bit to read it out to him...:-)

  7. L_R: Shantaram? Okie. you may like the steig larsson, who knows, defly check it out. One (wo)man's misery may be another man's good read :) Nope I don't have a a little bit of a not sure if I'll ever get one.

  8. Uma: Blogger does that all the time. Silly thing :)

  9. Apster.. are you reading this??? Aparna does not have a Kindle... time to put those good skills to use again!

  10. Here I am at last.. don't believe i'm last in line to comment on a post on books !! :)

    In my case opinion about Stieg Larsson was opposite to what you mentioned - I approached it very sceptical as it seemed kind of violent, and of course over-hyped, but I loved this series !! Maybe also to do with the fact that these were the first books I read on the Kindle :). Haven't read most of the others, must get to some of them soon after i'm done with this Wheel of Time series that's making me a recluse from everything including my laptop !!

    L_R knows I'm the ultimate Kindle advocate :) !! I am also not a great adapter of techie gadgets but this one is far from it - it's just like reading a book with the added comforts of lightness (no more of those heavy paperbacks or hardbounds), automatic bookmarks and an abundance of available books :).

  11. I thought the Great Indian Novel was brilliant and ended up with all of Tharoor's books after that. Except for the one on Bollywood, I liked them all. He's got a way of writing - wish he put out more books and less political hype. Got to play to your strengths, I say!

    Haven't read the Larsson books. Somehow, haven't been tempted to pick them up. Palace of Illusions is a good one. Try A Girl and the River by K R Usha, another good one.

  12. Aah...more recs, sangi. Thanks!

  13. you might like the books reviewed in my friend's blog

    Also, my recommendations from the books i have read this year
    1. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
    2. The Shadow of the Wind/ The Angel's game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    3. Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

    happy reading Aparna!

  14. Thanks Sumanya. My library doesn't always have all the books I want. I'll check if they have these. Thanks for the link as well.


I would love to hear your thoughts :)