Friday, June 03, 2005


I'm book-tagged by Uma Mahadevan and by Sunil Laxman.

Total Number of Books I Own: Depends on how I count. Right now, with me, I have around 150. Around the same number in Hyderabad and Calicut. Thus, about 400 or so. Do I own my father's collection as well? I can add another zero then.

Last Book I Bought: Classical Telugu Poetry by V. Narayana Rao, A Black Englishman by Carolyn Slaughter.

Last Book I Read: Amitav Ghosh's Shadow Lines. Liked it a lot. Perhaps my favourite among the Ghosh novels that I've read.

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me: Let's see:

Pathummayute Aadu by Vaikom Mohammed Basheer. I've read it many times. I like it for its simplicity, and its wonderful language. I like this book also for Basheer's semi-autobiographical introduction, which is very touching.

Samskara by U.R. Ananthamurthy. I've read it in both Malayalam and English. Very powerful characters. I could rate this as the best Indian novel that I've read.

All of Garcia Marquez. I'm a big fan of Marquez. If I have to pick one, I guess it's going to be Love in the time of Cholera.

Romila Thapar's A History of India. Unfortunately I haven't read any other book of hers. We do have most of Thapar's books though. I should be reading her book on the Shakuntala narrative soon. Her lectures on that topic were very fascinating.

Sarpa Satra by Arun Kolatkar. I usually do not read much poetry outside Malayalam. Heard about Kolatkar very late, just before his death. Read Jejuri, Kala Ghoda Poems, and this one, all in one sitting. Liked all those. But Sarpa Satra is my favourite, I guess because of its politics.

Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs: Well, many whom I would have liked to tag are tagged already. Anyway here are my five:

It's fun to answer Uma Mahadevan's additional question:

One book you couldn't finish reading: Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone. Finished it, but could have left it unfinished easily! N.S. Madhavan's famous Malayalam novel, Lanthan Batheriyile Luthiniyakal, which got a lot of great reviews. I thought it was pretentious and crappy. Didn't finish it finally.


At 9:37 AM, Blogger mandar talvekar said...

hi Anand,
Enjoyed reading your meme. I knew that you blogged courtesy of the Bombay Bloggers meetings (unfortunately, fires on my project have ensured that I missed the last few)but I came across your book tag through Uma's meme. She has clubbed us together in her comments.
Samskara, I agree, is a great novel. If you like reading regional literature (in translation, the only way it's accessible to most of us), you should try O.V. Vijayan's collected works. Bhalchandra Nemade (cocoon) and Kiran Nagarkar (seven sixes are forty three) in translation too are good.
Shadow Lines is one of my most favorite (if not THE favorite) novels -- i have lost count about the number of times I have read it.

Should post on "One book you couldn't finish reading." My meme is here: Tagging books. And I think we can have a new meme on favorite plays and maybe another one on movies. This is addictive:)

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anand said...

Thanks Mandar. Yeah I had read your meme. Sad that we haven't met yet. Hope you can make it for the next meet.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger uma said...

nice post, anand, i've noted down at least two books that i must read !

and mandar, that's a good idea about new memes: my favourite indian playwright is vijay tendulkar, but i can't choose which play, they're all so brilliant - also read a lot of Chekhov recently, and he is superb. The Cherry Orchard. His final play, and the one that Stanislavsky kept insisting was a tragedy while Chekhov maintained that it was a comedy.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger mandar talvekar said...

Hi, My favorite playwright would have to be Girish Karnad, particularly Hayavadna. And Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is an all time favorite.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger mandar talvekar said...

Here's an update on the book tag meme (picked from yours and Uma's blog): Books You Couldn't Finish Reading/Most Unreadable Thing You've Read.

At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a safe selection. perhaps too safe. Pathummayute Adu? a Novel? i thought it was ersaltz-William Saroyan at his rambling worst.
In malayalam Basheer's Pathummayute Adu over OV Vijayan's Khassakkinte Ithihasam?
yes, Vijayan is difficult, but rewarding. So is NS Madhavan. i think Lanthanbatheri challenged conventional reading -- and writing -- habits. another malayalam writer of same calibre is maythil radhakrishan. ever tried finish reading him?
i have a suggestion -- when you are book-tagged, you should only speak about books in english or that are available in translation. i say this because, once you speak about regional languages, you assume you can get away with sweeping simplifications. Audience doesn't know!!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home