I was caught in a bit of a book slump last month. There were a combination of factors for this slump. One was that nothing I read seemed to catch my attention long enough. I was hungry for books that were fast enough to read and not too taxing on my mind. Also, my close friend is staying with me for a while and although we do read a lot together, we had a lot of conversations to catch up on first. So, my reading was the lowest this year. I still am well ahead of my goal to finish at least 100 books this year, for the first time ever in my life. I did buy these wonderful books last month:
|Books read in July
|Number of pages
|Average book length
||Bangalore Blue by Stanley Carvalho
The Hobbit: JRR Tolkien
Many many years ago, when I was working in Bosch, a friend introduced me to the world of the hobbits through the movie. Never having even smelt fantasy till then, I loved the frenetic and frenzied world of the movie. Now, years later, I decided I must finally read the book that the movie was based on. What a disappointment! I found myself just flipping the pages as JRR Tolkien takes us on a whirlwind journey. What was it I didn’t like? The book was just too fast! I needed something calmer last month. The endless adventuring just got to me.
This House of Clay And Water: Faiqa Mansab
This book was a gift from the wonderful Vishy the Knight when I visited him in Chennai. I hadn’t heard of this Pakistani author till then. I would go on to interview her for Trippin Traveller, but it’s her book that did have something of an impact.
For starters, I really hadn’t read any book that had a transgender as its main character. The love between Bhanggi, the eunuch, and Nida, the married woman is one that I would have never imagined otherwise. The writing tended to be a bit melodramatic, but Mansab deserves accolades for tackling a difficult subject with some verve.
Indian Writing in English
Bangalore Blue: Stanley Carvalho
Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. It has the capacity to churn our hearts to butter and carve our minds into the past. Reading Bangalore Blue did that to me. I love Bangalore. It’s a city that maddens me now, but I do love it. It is much like true love – some of the best people in our lives drive us mad, but we do love them. A beautifully edited collection of stories written by true blue Bangaloreans, this book is a must for everyone who loves my city. In this, you will catch a glimpse of everything that made us love this city.
Mr Sampath: RK Narayan
I found an old and tattered copy of Mr Sampath at Bookworm, my favorite bookstore in Bangalore. I bought it, thinking how much I have changed. For a long time in my life, I refused to buy second-hand products or books. “Think of what vibes you are getting,” I used to fear monger to my susceptible mind. Well, I thought about the vibes, and I realized that the only fear is in my head. Someone must have loved this book. Someone would have read this book. I carry those experiences with me now. That book you bought suddenly acquires so much more meaning, doesn’t it?
The Thirty-nine Steps: John Buchan
Ouch. I don’t know when was the last time I rated a book so low, which is considered a classic. I am sure that the book suffers because of my mood. I just could not understand the plot of the book, and when that happens, I lose patience all too fast.
The Borrowers: Mary Norton
Many years ago, I watched the movie, The Secret World of Arrietty. I fell in love with it. It remains one of my favorite movies.
Little did I know that this was based on a book. When I read about Hayao Miyazaki’s favorite children’s books, I was intrigued when I realized that The Borrowers is based on that very same movie. I will readily recommend this book to anyone – there is a certain charm that draws you in, a little tug of the heartstrings, and you just find yourself lost in that beautiful world that Mary Norton has created.