I went off the reading cliff in June. It’s not that I didn’t have time. I so hate it when people give me that excuse. I just didn’t seem to be able to finish any book that I started. I am currently reading 11 books at the same time! Yes! You read that right. 11. Alas! I am suffering from that dreaded reader’s block.
|Books read in June
|Number of pages
|Average book length
||The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
“Now I am silent, hate up to my neck, thick thick, I do not speak.”
Sylvia Plath, Ariel, the Restored Edition
Paper Towns: John Green
I went on a bit of a John Green spree last month and the month before. He is quite the Chetan Bhagat of YA fiction. I think I would hurt a lot of Green fans by saying that. John Green is not to be compared to Bhagat. No. No. But there is a certain formulaic approach to Green’s writing – lonely kids, suffering teenagers who seem to have some kind of angst, and one shining hero who is always different from the rest. I am off Green for a while now.
Thirteen Reasons Why: Jay Asher
What a book. Nothing can be more painful than killing yourself. I came close to that by reading this book. Painful, melodramatic, and utterly senseless.
The Joy of Living: Mingyur Rinpoche
Mingyur Rinpoche brings a world of Buddhist philosophy to light in an easy manner. I was not overly happy because he spends a lot of time correlating science with Buddhism. The latter half of the book had all the meaty practical stuff, and I loved that I learnt that meditation need not be this or that. Sigh. I have barely done any meditation the past few months. But then I think the Venerable Rinpoche would understand.
The Death of Ivan Ilych: Leo Tolstoy
Trust good ol’ Leo to lift me out of my reading slumber. One of my all-time favorite writers, Tolstoy grapples with the meaning of a life well lived in this little classic. The agony of Ivan Ilych as he faces the final tormenter called Death is classic existentialism much before Nietzsche made it a fashion.
Famous Chinese Short Stories: Lin Yutang
Utterly delightful, I realized that this book was languishing on my bookshelf while desperately searching for a book that I was hoping I hadn’t loaned to someone who is refusing to give it back. My life. What a treasure this was though. All the stories here have been beautifully translated from the original Chinese classics. These stories go a long way back and I was just lost in the world they evoked.
The Rose of Fire: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I fell in love with Zafon and his world of labyrinths laced with books in the mesmerizing ‘Shadow of the Wind.’ This is sort of a prelude to that story. Let me say this. Zafon knows how to spin a story, that’s for sure.
Ariel: The Restored Edition: Sylvia Plath
I never thought I would rate anything by my Plath as 1. But there it is. I picked this up because I wanted to enhance my reading of poetry and I thought Plath would speak to me as she does so often in her journals. She did speak, and I didn’t understand a word of it. I think I would have to re-read these poems with some contextual reference points in mind to understand these. Quite a disappointment.
Indian Writing in English
Desirable Daughters: Bharati Mukherjee
My month ended with a bang, didn’t it? This has to be the worst book I read this year. Rambling and soporific with a bunch of characters who were so fictional that I didn’t care if they turned into cucumbers, this horror trope was just beyond me. I struggled through it and finished it somehow. For that, I deserve the World Reader of the Year Award.