Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book = friend

You know what they say about books - “A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend”. And this year I got to read some great ‘friends’. I am an absolute fiction buff. I have read some Biographies/Autobiographies/Self help kinda books but not all of them keep me entertained sadly. Someday I plan to have a marathon non-fiction book reading session. Will keep you posted.

For today, I thought of sharing a couple of books that I have read this year. Do bear with me as I am not here to review books, just a few lines about them. I know we still have three months to go before 2010 but it seems like a nice idea to list them now.

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: Alright I know I deserve a kick for not having read this before. F-i-n-e, I’ll wait for one. *kick* ..err ok Thanksverymuch! So on the eve of 2009 I found myself drawn into the world of Hobbits. The little people held my attention and there I was travelling through the forest and falling in love with the mysterious Strider. I still have the last part to finish. (I took a long break from LOTR. Time to get back).

The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh: I had a choice of picking either Sea of Poppies or this and I chose latter. Amitav Ghosh writes bout the tide country, Sunderbans, which is known for Bengal tigers, snakes, crocs and floods. The story takes us through the lives of three central characters, which change along with a tide. I liked reading this.

Collection of stories by Saki
: The book has some of Saki’s best work. They are witty, dark and entertaining. Saki’s sardonic observations about life are delightful to read. A must buy.

The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney: my first Chick Lit! A relationship tale involving three sisters and their grandmother, Alphabet Sisters is funny and entertaining. At times the pages refuse to move but nonetheless the book has its moments.

Amulet of Samarkhand by Jonathan Stroud: This is the first book in the Bartimaeous Trilogy. AoS is witty, gripping and exciting (in that order). It’s about Bartimaeous, a sarcastic Djinni and his master Nathaniel, eleven year old Magician, and how their lives collide when Nathaniel decides to seek revenge on the powerful Magician Simon Lovelace. Read to enjoy this roller coaster ride.

My friend Sancho by Amit Verma: The only new book (i.e., 2009 published) that I have read this year, My Friend Sancho makes for a good read and has some very funny one liners written by Amit Verma (he blogs at India Uncut
). Do look out for a jealous lizard and it's wisecracks. Nice weekend read.

Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer: Not impressive at all. Twilight is your regular Mills & Boons with a horror twist. 17 year old Bella falls for Edward, a drop dead (literally) dazzling Vampire. Edward is an odd Vampire. He can read people’s mind, play piano and control his thirst. This means he cannot bring himself to drink Bella’s blood. So we don’t get to see any gory stuff. But this is only in the first book (it is a set of four books. yaaawwwnnn); the books which follow have loads of it. When you believe everything is going great in the happy vampire family, there enters another man and so we have a love triangle. When Edward leaves Bella, she falls for another guy who is, hold your breath, a werewolf. You sigh and yell- ‘get a grip girl’. Well I skipped most of the pages.

Edited to add: also read Gone with the wind and Great works of O. Henry (yes, again)

Here are a few other books that I often read to cheer myself up –
The Little Nugget, Carry on Jeeves and Piccadilly Jim by PG Wodehouse
Yukon Ho, There's Treasure Everywhere – Calvin and Hobbes by Bill-please-give-xerox-copy-of-your-right-foot-Watterson
The Best of Roald Dahl
Potter by JK Rowling (I re-visit my favorite chapters/one liners/scenes. My sister finds this very amusing).

Hope you enjoyed going through my book shelf. Please do leave a comment on the book/s you liked reading. I’ll pick it up if I haven’t read :)

34 plate meals:

vimmuuu said...

Heyy, you havnt mentioned any of my fav books- Tinkle, Archies, Tintin, etc. :( :( :(

kanagu said...

hey, many said the twilight series is so nice.... this is first negative review I am hearing..

and for LOTR, I am not even started.. will start in another month or 2...

other books, I don't have a clue...

tell me about Woodehouse.. I have heard that he is an awesome witty writer..

my friend sancho, I have to read sometime... is it similar on chetan bhagat's line??

Shruthi said...

@Vimmuuu, of course Tinkle! che wonder how i missed that. Its been ages since I read Archies. thanks for mentioning it, will head straight to my local library after work =)

@Kanagu, Yeah I've heard great reviews about Twilight too. But I wasn't too convinced with the characters and the story.
and Wodehouse is my favorite. you should read one of his books. Its addictive :)

s w a t said...

I never read LOTR! I thought watching the movie series would be a better option but I fell asleep half way :D
I haven't read/watched Potter yet. YEAH!

SG said...

Nice selection Shruthi. I would recommend a book titled "Call Me Hope" by Gretchen Olson. It is about a child who was abused by her mother.

Nautankey said...

Good List am adding to my bucket list :-)...hope you have many more friends in the coming years

Shruthi said...

@Swat, hehe is LOTR movie that bad? I havent watched the movies yet. and yeah I wouldnt recommend Potter movies. They suck :) books are great though.

@SG, I'll look out for that book, thanks :)

Shruthi said...

@N'Key, aww I hope so too. Thanks :)

sp.ajay said...

Harry Potter beyond doubt is one in its league, I read the Bartemious one could'nt gather patience to go for Golem and Ptolemy in probability I read it after HP so it seemed a child in front of that amount of suspense. The Borne Series is one hell of a fiction; One wittily written is Samit Basu's Simoquin prophecy and its sequels, am reading the second in series Manticore's Secret presently-he is good and too much witty.

Shruthi said...

@Ajay, yes, have read Samit Basu's Gameworld Trilogy and I loved it :) I don't think its fair to compare Bartimaeous with Potter :) The kind of magic Jonathan writes about is different from JKR's interpretation.

lostworld said...

I'm a bibliophile too! I read LOTR once & stopped half-way. Challenged myself to continue a couple of years later and was glad I did. Loved the book!
Other than RK Narayan, I'm not big into Indian authors. Can't comment on them. I'm a HP & CH fan too. Oh & I love Gone with the Wind too. Rhett Butler..Sigh!
Its good you've read so many this yr. 3 months to go yet.

I am not really sure whether you'd like my recommendations. But you can try Life of Pi (Yann Martel), Devil wears Prada (Laura W), Kite-runner (Khaled Hosseni), To Kill a Mocking Bird (Harper Lee), Kinfolk (Pearl S Buck).. Oh maybe I should write a post too ;)

Sure you can blogroll me. I'd be delighted! :)

Aryan said...

I am nnot a voracious reader...just sometimes i read Michael Cricton and Agatha cristie....
good collection of books you have I guess...

Shruthi said...

@Lostworld, Rhett butler sigh sigh.. *grin* See if you can pick any Indian authors. I ‘m a big fan of Indian writing in English.
I love your suggestions, thanks :) The only book that I have read from your list is Devil wears Prada. Heard the movie is as good as the book. Should watch it sometime. will go hunt for Kinfolk.

@Aryan’s Mom, oh I love Agatha Christie. What a writer! Thanks for liking my list :)

Susa said...

Blog hopped here, and noticed a booklist with TWO fantasy series so had to comment!

You should try 'A song of ice and fire' series by George Martin. Epic fantasy that is!

Shruthi said...

@Susa, I am a huge SFF fan. So cant thank you enough for mentioning this book. will go find the first one right away. Thanks :D
by the way, welcome :)

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meg said...

yey... i liked hungry tide.Good you disnt pick up poppies. I hated it.:( though pranita loved it. Go figure!. Anyway.. remind me next time to give you this book i bought last weekend..
its called insects are just like you and me except some have wings. I dont remember the author( because thetitle is long enough) Its one crazzzzyy book.promise. It has exploding women and some random diagrams. lol.. Is really rather funny.

Ranjitha said...

i have mostly read self help books this year , about 15 - 20 mins everyday.
have finished almost two books / month :)

Shruthi said...

@Meg, yessa? I already like the book man heheh.. I'll come to your place next week to pick up the book.

@Ranju, full star neenu :)how do you read them? I just cant concentrate while reading self help books :( the only non-fiction book that I have liked reading is Freakonomics.

MADHU RAO | (INDImag.COM) said...

Like Swat here, I decided to try LOTR and Potter movies instead and fell asleep half-way thru. Got bribed to watch Meyer's Twilight movie and it wasn't that bad...

Currently reading 'Cutting for Stone' by Abraham Verghese . Had never read 'The God of Small Things' -- not sure if I liked it or not. It did not measure up to the hype ; maybe I'm letting the post-Booker "activist" Ms.Roy's prose influence my verdict ..

Shruthi said...

@Madhu, I agree, the movie Twilight is better than the book. But you must read LOTR and Potter. Potter movies don't match up to the books.
and I echo your views on Ms.Roy. Her whole activist avtaar is getting too much handle.

Karthik said...


You have a nice blog out here :)

My Suggestions - "Tuesdays With Morrie". Try this if you havent yet, one of the bext books ever, at least for me :)

Keep blogging!

Shruthi said...

Hey Karthik, welcome to my space.
and thank you :)

I have heard about "Tuesdays With Morrie".. will read it :) is there a movie based on it?

Karthik said...

Yes, there is also a movie based on it. Here is the imdb link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0207805/

I would appreciate if you could read the book first. I did the mistake of seeing God Father without reading the novel. But I was able to appreciate more only after reading God Father!!!

Shruthi said...

:) yup. I prefer reading books before I watch movies. So will definitely read the book first :)
oh the Godfather! I have read the book but haven't watched the movie :( should do that soon I guess.

and yeah, can you paste your blog link? not able to access it for some reason.

Karthik said...


This is my so called blog. I haven't been writing for a long time for no reason in particular :) So dont blame me :)

Though I wish I could write :)

You have a great blog! I really envy your writings... I would say it's lovely :)

Karthik said...

And yeah, I like your blog title "Full-Meals" ;)

Shruthi said...

thank you so much for liking my blog :)
and you have a nice blog too. what does your blog title mean? sorry my Tamil diction is very limited :P
I have updated my google reader, will wait for you to write a post.

Karthik said...

"Payanangal Midivathillai" - means "journey that never ends".

Sure, I will write a post some time soon. Been thinking about this for quite a while.

Thanks very much for liking my blog :)

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

I loved The Hungry Tide and I think if you read it twice or thrice, you feel new interpretations about the characters. It is a brilliantly researched book and I was glad to see it on your book shelf.

I would have loved to see Anita Desai and Manju Kapur on your list too. Personally, I am not a fan of the Twillight series.

Shruthi said...

@Karthik, ohh.. nice title :)

@Swapna, I loved the characters in hungry tide. wonderful book.
I've watched the movie In Custody based on Anita Desai's book. but havent read any of her works yet.
I would love to read books written by Manju Kapur. Have heard a lot about her book, Home. will hunt for it. thanks for suggesting these writers :)

btw welcome to my blog :)

ani_aset said...

out of all of them i think i will read amit varmas book..i love his blog :)

debosmita said...

It was great to see that u liked The Hungry Tide... usually even hard core Amitav Ghosh fans (like me) do not keep it in the top of books-i-like..

pls do read sea of poppies - its a-w-e-s-o-m-e with a capital A! ;-)

keep adding to your list of friends

Shruthi said...

@debosmita, welcome :) yes will read sea of poppies. A visit to my library is pending :)
and yeah hope to add more friends this year.