Friday, July 01, 2005

Passing Tags

I can't put it off any longer. Meant to work on that book tag long ago but then with so much time at hand and so little to do, one never gets to do what one really wants to do and ends up doing al the inane stuff that one never had time to do like sit n watch TV. Ok Stop. More on my boring life later. Let's move on to interesting talk -- BOOKS! Thanks Daddykins, you did make my day!

Being the only daughter and the only child to a book lover, i walked into this beautiful realm as early as 1983, as a starry-eyed little toddler on Appa's lap staring at a Big Fat Man and a Little Man and a Small Dog walking around forests and beating men in armour. Asterix & Obelix were my best buddies...and they still are. Well, i never did grow up, did i?

Okay, let's do it the way everyone has done so far.

Total No of Books I Own:
Now this is a toughie. I know there are around 20 or more of my books at Timmy's house and then there're another 20 or so i gave to my cousins as they started to string the letters together to R-E-A-D, and few more which i bought for myself and then gave off as gifts to buddies and all those books in cartons hidden in our attic but which are not technically mine ( coz Appa has been treasuring them) but they will be mine one day....So excluding all of this but including the ones still with people who haven't returned WHAT IS NOT THEIRS, i think i Personally own around 250 odd books. Phew! That wasn't so bad.

Last Book(s) I Bought:
This is easy. None :) I mean, there is this silly voodoo associated with anything that i buy for myself with my money. It never stays with me. I end up giving it away or losing it. So i make people buy my earrings and my books. That way i can give it as a gift on my grandson's 11th birthday (If i live to see it, that is). But yes, the last book i bought was The Little Prince by Antoine Saint Exupary, Sonnets by Sri Aurobindo, Bharathiyar Kavidhaigal and of course, recently made The Mr order Harry Potter and HBP :)

Last Book(s) Read:
The Magician's Nephew by C.SLewis.
The first book in The Chronicles of Narnia. An amazing fantasy tale. Had never heard about this author till ~Di told me about it and gosh! am i glad she did. And did you know that C.SLewis and Tolkein were best pals and they felt bad that there weren't enough good books that they would love to read and hence decided to write one themselves? Well, i guess you did know it much before i did :)

Asterix and The Black Gold
Need i say more? I'll bet my life on those indomitable Gauls to entertain me anyday.

Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Never have i read a book that has been hyped so much and it isn't so great as they claim it to be. Gosh! You would go ga-ga over it if and only if you haven't read 'Doomsday Conspiracy' or 'If Tomorrow comes' or any other thriller by Sidney Sheldon or Jeffrey Archer. So much for so little. Sigh.

Book(s) I Couldn't Finish:
Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. You know the author so i won't mention his name. Plus i can't spell his name. I haven't gone past the first 100 pages yet and i have tried 3 times already. Hopefully someday i'll see what is on Page 101.

The World of Fatwas by Arun Shourie. This is a really good book on Islam. More importantly about their fatwas and how Imams are looked upon for every little thing by devout Muslims. I did want to read it but the only hitch was that Mr.Shourie uses really big and bombastic words and i lose track midway. This is part of Dad's collection so I guess i can always take it up later.

Books That Mean a Lot to Me:
I removed the 5 coz c'mon even a book-hater would have more than 5 favourites.

Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki : I don't know if i can ever do justice to this classic by talking about it. Appa n Amma gave it as my 23rd b'day gift. Vandhiyathevan and Kundavai's romance, the little details that Kalki has looked into, the way he compares Kundavai with Nandhini...He is the best and there is no question about it. And when you walk into Thanjavur's Brihadeeswara Temple and you play back Arulmozhi Verman's speech on how he wants to build the biggest temple, you can't help feeling for each and every stone there...and listening to them tell their own story. The story of the great Chozha dynasty.

Against The Fall of Night by A.C.Clarke: A wonderful sci-fi tale. One of my first sci-fi tales and i fell in love with the protagonist so much i named my diary after him - Alvin. One of my other faves of the same author is the Rama series. Everytime Appa took me to British Council Lib, I used to run to his shelf to pick up sci-fi books. And then read Isaac Asimov - Truly a great man. His Robot series rock big time! Get hold of his short stories and you'll know why.

We The Living by Ayn Rand: It's one of her best novels the other being The Fountainhead. And somehow tho Leo is closer to reality than Andre is, i guess i still prefer Andrei Taganov ( i fall for tall Russian men with romantic names). The description of Communist Russia really stings. I finished the book in one sitting by the garden next to Insti Cafetaria in my second year. And who can forget Roark. I read Fountainhead when i was 13. I don't claim i understood much of what she said then (not that i do now) but i sat and memorized Roark's speech in the courtroom. My cousin was moved by the act and got me my first gift from someone outside Amma & Appa - The Fountainhead :)
My fave quote till date is " To say 'I Love you', one must first know how to say 'I' ".

The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton : She is the best thing to have happened to the world of little girls and little boys. The Farway tree is just a small subset of the many wonderful worlds she has created for us. The forest where Brer Rabbit lives, the Famous Five and The Secret Seven, of bacon and eggs and tarts and muffins...of Fairies and elves and gnomes. Now you know why i refuse to grow up.

The Little Prince by Antoine Saint Exupary: This is a wonderful book. Very simple, to the point and no fluffly philospohy that boggles your mind. Truly wonderful. I recommend.

The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier: A brilliant book. A Masterpiece which has been made into a movie in Tamil starring Late Sivaji Ganesan in a dual role. It's about two people who look alike exchanging places and how one guy does good and the other spoils. 'Cliched' you may say but then never underestimate Ms.Maurier. She captures your attention and does not let u waver even for a moment. If you get hooked to her do read 'The House on Strand' and her more famous 'Rebecca' :)

Illusions by Richard Bach: Now how can one talk of philosophy and not have Richard in here. I like this book next to Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Sometimes, even more than JLS. he is starightforward in this. Plus i like the whole idea of being The Messiah. It's damn cool.

Oops I forgot. make way for The Emperor of our times. And his Minister.
Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson : Office would never be the same if i couldn't read C&H before i started work. Cuz Shiva introduced me to these dudes and life has not been the same since then. It's like having a whole new dimension to everything you do. "So what would Calvin say now?".

Okay there are lot more.
I am grouping Lord of The Rings & Harry Potter into one big box of unlimited entertainment (Tho' the fans may protest at this blasphemous act)-- Fantasy at its best. Now for all you fantasy lovers, you can also try Terry Brooks' 'Sword of Shannara' series. Pretty good read.

HitchHiker's Guide to Galaxy by Douglas Adams is the source of wit and sarcasm. Speaking of sarcasm who better than P.G.Wodehouse. His books are one of the best reads in English...the flow of language, his character sketches and their little quirks...aah the world of Blandings, Bertie, Jeeves et al is downright hilarious.

And if you love suspense & spy stories try your hand at David Morrel - he is really good. Few of his works that i do remember 'Black Evening' (collection of black humour short stories), 'The Fraternity of the Stone'.

Books Currently reading:
The High Druid of Shannara by Terry Brooks.
Pygmalion by G.B.Shaw
Poetry Collection of John Keats (for the nth time)

Gosh i did end up speaking too much, didn't i? Well, what do you know, i still have so many books i haven't really talked about. I have tried to link up some works and some authors and the rest you can google yourself. And i pass the tag to 2 people whom i know do read but haven't been blogging for a long time...a really long time.
Please welcome
  • ~Di. I don't know your blog id :( So pls resurrect it and do the needful. You definitely read a lot :-D
  • Mandoo. Yes you! Enough of lying low, get ur ass moving and fill up bandwidth.


Blogger mahesh said...

hey kumari,

vanakkam! this is maheshc. hope u are doing well. i am doing well.unga veetukararai ketadhaa sol!!!

it was a shiva who introduced calvin and hobbes to me too. i want to know if it is the same shiva-though chances are they might not be! is this shiva a bangalorean, a fellow-infy at one point in time?!


2:01 PM  
Blogger Kavitha said...

Hello Kumari,

It was nice to find another Richard Bach "loyalist", so thought I'd stop by to suggest The Bridge Across Forever if you haven't already read it...It says love story on the cover and it very much is, but it is also much much more. I wonder if anyone can better put in words the struggles of a man searching for his 'soulmate'. Happy reading!


4:46 PM  
Blogger littlecow said...

Good taste!
I find DM a little condescending (he details everything and that leaves nothing for the reader to make up). And I found The little prince rather sad (don't like sad stories).
Ponniyin Selvan was my non-detail book in class 12 (if you studied in a cbse school and actually took Tamil as the 6th subject, thats what happens). And yes, I loved it. :)

11:22 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

@Mahesh: Yes, we are doing well. How are u? Well, nopes, this is not the Shiva you know. He is a Chennai-ite, has come nowhere near Infy and is my younger cousin.

@Kavitha: Thanks for dropping by and hope you come in more often. Wil def, check that book out.

@LC: Thanks. Maybe so but nevertheless i found his books interesting reads. Oh yes, Ponniyin Selvan rocks big time. One of those classics you don't mind having to study at all :)

2:52 PM  

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