Of Books – Bought, Read, Abandoned.

I read Code Name Verity because my best friend from college recommended it, and I’m glad because I really loved it. If you have a friend whom you trust, adore and admire, keep her/him in mind when you read the book and I tell you – you just won’t regret picking this up. Elizabeth Wein has done justice to the characters, the backdrop of the First World War and her love for aeroplanes. There are about 440 odd pages – a little more than the average page-turner but it is an amazing read! I have no idea why this doesn’t feature in any of the bookstores I visit.

Which reminds me – I visited a bookstore twice in the past two days. Today I had a maddening day running around for my university documents and things haven’t been falling into place. I was upset, almost in tears and I went to this quaint bookshop at the mall (noone visits; a-mother-of-two came and asked if they have “colouring books” and the keeper of books (?) threw a mad fit) and touched the spines, with tenderness and stared at them and was marvelled at the prices (I didn’t have money) and mostly, just sat there and breathed in the fragrance of the pages. And I was healed! Yesterday I met a couple of friends and while they were shopping for clothes, I walked in nonchalantly into the hugeass bookstore, telling myself constantly that I shouldn’t buy any books. But I went and sat next to a girl who was reading a McEwan and I touched the spines, all the while hearing her next to me sighing heavily at On Chesil Beach and telling myself that I shouldn’t be spending anymore money on paperbacks, especially now that I have the Kindle. But I lose control when I see books. I don’t remember when I picked up the book and went to the counter and bought it but when I came out I was holding Cloud Atlas! *gasp*

Anyhow, I was reading The Interpreter of Maladies earlier today and I only have a couple of stories left. So tomorrow I will start another book. The Interpreter of Maladies was a bestseller when I was growing up – I saw the book everywhere. My friends were borrowing it from the school library, a teacher was reading it while invigilating during a biology test back in school. My Chhotomama (maternal uncle) and my Dida (maternal grandmother) discussed the nuances of  the book, I remember, one summer night while having a bowl full of mangoes for supper and I had shrugged from under my comicbook. But Lahiri’s book was a rebound book for me. I began reading it in school and I was disappointed because the first short story had not concluded the way I wanted it to. I had abandoned the book for The Third Reich. However now, eight years later, the book strikes a chord. The first story, A Temporary Matter, couldn’t have had a more apt ending. Also, the short story The Interpreter of Maladies is in itself a masterpiece. I cannot believe I waited this long to read it.

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Ten Things I’m Afraid Of

I’m reading Code Name Verity right now – I’m about 36% done, as per the Kindle, so I have a pretty long way to go. But the narrator just updated her list of her fears and in commiseration, I will put down a list of mine here. After that I will get back to the book and boy, will I finish it! There’s just so much to read!

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  1. I’m afraid of dying without reading all the books I want to read. Alternatively, I’m afraid of reading all the books I’ve ever wanted; that would be terrible, too.
  2. Growing up (not growing old, mind you). Growing up comes with a price; I’m not sure if I’m grown up enough to understand that. I have the Peter Pan syndrome and I’m quite delighted about it.
  3. Too many people.
  4. This aforementioned fear has evolved into never having any time to myself. With facebook, whatsapp, gmail, texting – I can’t stay away from people, even when I want to. And that is frustrating.
  5. Not being able to travel.
  6. Losing my parents
  7. Someone messing up my bookshelf/cupboard/drawers (this is mostly OCD, I know)
  8. Dropping/scratching/breaking my Kindle
  9. Lizards. How could I forget these guys? These vile vermins. Ughh.
  10. The friendship between the Boy and me changing – this is my number one fear right now. We’ve been apart for a long while now.

I will update this list, of course. 🙂

I will get back to my book now. Have happy Sunday, people!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I cannot for the life of me remember how I came across Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Not a lot of people seem to have read it but it does have splendid ratings on Goodreads. However, that is not why I began reading it.

I have this habit with books, as with people. If I don’t like it after I’ve begun, I don’t force myself to carry on with it. I do try to get back to it at some point, making an earnest attempt to complete it. I read about fifty to seventy pages and if I like it, I read on. If I don’t, well … you know. I was reading Guernsey on the Kindle and even before I knew it, I was half-way through and was in love with the protagonist, Juliet Ashton – who is in many parts is like me. She likes the men in her favourite books more than the men she goes out with, she still can’t figure out what she wants from life, she loves her books so much that she breaks off her engagement when she realizes her finance has usurped her bookshelves. Ashton is introduced to a book club, born out of a lie to German soldiers, in Guernsey through a man, Dawsey Adams, who has come across her name written in a book by Charles Lamb. And thus begins a flurry of letters – which is in fact the novel (yes, the novel is an epistolary) – from the members of the book club to Juliet and her replies to them and her friend and publisher, Sidney.

In parts, the novel subtly talks about the torture in the Concentration Camps in Germany, the German Occupation and the transition that is hoped for in the Channel Islands. You can see the characters trying to come to terms with the War, and in their own way. Through reading. The book discusses many books, and many authors and there is a moment with Oscar Wilde in it and while you’re turning the pages, you may go whoaa!

It’s a quick read, possibly a great book to carry during a trip somewhere or even sit with a cup of beaten coffee and a box of Oreos, while you devour Juliet’s wonderful journey into Guernsey, her love-affair with writing and finding love.

I’ll give this book four of out five stars.

At the moment, I’m reading The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro and loving it.

Of Book Photos

I don’t know why but for some reason I had forgotten about this blog. I know, I know – I’m weird. Also, there’s noone to remind me to post because except for the Boy, noone knows I write in here. Anyhow, so exactly five and a half minutes ago, I put down the book (the Kindle, actually) I was reading and sent the ‘reset password’ link to my mail to be able to open WordPress.

Then, I realized I really did not want to write.

The book – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – I am reading right now has become extremely interesting and I don’t think I want to distract myself. The book, by the way, is an epistolary novel – a novel that is shaped through a series of letters that characters write to each other – and something that talks about a literary society during the Nazi period. The last time I was this excited was when I was flipping through the pages of The Book Thief, frantically. I think I have a thing for novels that are based on the Nazi period and The Holocaust. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, though.

So, I leave you with photographs. These are my books, the ones that I brought back from my college – during the packing and the unpacking process. (My clothes, by the way, are still in the suitcase!)

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The BIG suitcase filled with my books the night before the packers came. I had deliberately put Douglas Adams’ So Long And Thanks for All the Fish on top as an obvious message before I left. However, noone seemed to understand it (Damn it!).

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The evening the packers delivered my stuff. I arranged and re-arranged till my OCD-laden heart was happy. That red thingie is my love, my Kindle.

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The favourite shelf (there’s a less favourite shelf, too) after arranging it. The toys all over it are an embarrassment, I know. Bleh.

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