Wednesday, 25 February 2009

What to read?

I always dreamed of a being sick episode where I spend the day lying in bed, reading and occasionally sipping something, electral maybe. Well it hardly happened. The head was fit to burst I could barely focus on words in size 1000, forget normal books, and the final annoyance was that electral made my feet swell up because it has too much salt it. The ultimate ignominy I swear. Not as if I was pregnant.

Now that I am officially recuperating, and people in the office take one look at me and ask me to go home (which I am doing gladly, having always been able to work rather more efficiently from home), I have this time on me. My eyes can focus. I can read. My mum is not allowing me to do much work around the house. I pottered around, went to the office for meetings in the morning, came back early and prepared desultorily for my class and read this and that.

I went over to my bookshelf, newly neatly arranged with some form of order, and wondered. I finished Alice in Wonderland which I bought for the child. I tried Through the looking glass again. I have always been ashamed that I could not complete reading it when I was a child (we had the complete works; a fat green unwieldy monster of a book but a gem nevertheless if you like to read Hunting of the snark etc. ). I am ashamed no more. Through the looking glass is just bad, okay, honest opinion. I had read a Douglas Adams last week, moment of weakness. It added to my hallucinations and I decided to stay the hell away from him till my mind cleared. I read Chatura Rao (Meanwhile, Upriver) recommended by wordjunkie. I thought it was over-long but a good effort and definitely better than the other women from the subcontinent who have been getting awards and considerable media focus. I read Murakami. Now there is something there.

I sometimes like clever books. Whats a clever book? No, not Rushdie. Although he is quite clever in Grimus for example with his anagrams and so on. Shashi Deshpande is not clever somehow although she goes deep into relationships and so forth and is a very believable writer. Ghosh I think is very clever. So much research goes in, and I really like his books, most of all Hungry Tide.

So anyway the Murakami I read was not like that. Of course his running book is autobiographical for the most part and it is about running so that one is an instant hit with me. This one that I read this week called "After Dark" was in essence his first real book (not counting the running one) that I read. It was expensive and I was not sure I would like it. You never know with famous writers, some of them are so difficult to read that its just not worth the effort. I bought it anyway last month and took this opportunity to read it, and may I say, I really liked it. Simple language. Some clever things with mirrors and so on but nothing too clever. Thankfully nothing too gory in terms of sex. That is a problem with male authors, when they start getting deep into descriptions of sexual acts, yawn, boring. And no, not like I am a prude, its fine, does not generally bother me too much, but it felt quite refreshing when it was absent. I am going to read more of his books. Though they will set me back a tidy packet.

I also read Charlie and the chocolate factory and we followed it up (very rare occurrence in our household!) with the movie which the monster & I watched on my computer (not from the internet, I bought the DVD, I only ever watch movies like that, strong proponent of not downloading stuff from shady semi-legal ftp sites). Johnny Depp in a vaguely gay act was cute, as always. The story and the book were really enjoyable too (I have read it before, had forgotten some of it). I expected I would like the chocolates themselves more than I finally did. But then my current taste in chocolate is pure, unadulterated with nuts, sort-of-dark stuff. Yeah, and Five Stars which I have loved despite the tendency to stick to teeth, all my life. Charlie Bucket, the monster thinks, is a very funny name indeed. The moral of being good and sharing and good things ensuing forth has been pretty much ignored. I read many other Raold Dahl kiddie books though it was all before the typhoid I had much fun with them.

Right now the question is back again. What on earth do I read now? Adiga, Deshpande, Feynmann, Wodehouse, Marquez, all stare back accusingly at me...


Perakath said...

I read the Great Glass Elevator before the Chocolate Factory, and still think it's a far better book. I hope Tim Burton doesn't get his hands on that one as well though. And haha, didn't your Monster love the Oompa-Loompa (singular)?

Babbi said...

try calvin n hobbes.. or read any Daniel Steel so all your inclination towards reading dies.. :P

Johnny Depp is terrible in that film nah ?? He looks like a gay evil..

Anonymous said...

I have been on a chick lit kick. My 2nd child gets off 1/2 hour earlier than 1st child so I always have a book in the car to read when the boys are either napping or playing at the playground.

So far I read
Meg Cabot
Sophia Kinsellla's shopaholic series
Jennifer Cruise
Erin McCarthy

Some other really light books I read,
The Adultery Diet
Tuesday Erotic writing Club
Friday Knitting Club
Secret Lives of Bees
Nappily Ever after

I should do a blog about this and about the books I am reading with the eldest child. We recently did HP 5th,6th and 7th books just for the heck of it. :)

Space Bar said...

i read the whole mary stewart merlin series when i was mildly flu'd in school. loved it. always remember it as a woozily happy experience.

kbpm said...

Perakath - have to get hold of the Glass Elevator. We will love it I am sure. The oompaloompa rock! She likes them of course!

Babbi - i cannot read Daniel Steele. Imposs. And Calvin is banned in the house currently since resident Calvin gets too many ideas from him. :-)

asaaan - never dared tried those, will do so when my daughter is older!

sb - yes, exactly the type of experience i was looking for but could not get!! :(

wordjunkie said...

Me loves Murakami and Ghosh too. (And five stars too !!) And I vote Feynman from that list - funny and uplifting, clever without even trying.

Charlie.. the movie was very dark, it totally wipes out the innocence of the story. The focus is entirely Wonka's issues. You should see the first movie made on the book, starring a goggly-eyed wonder called Gene Wilder - it's faithful to the original story.

The Glass Elevator is better, Charlie's grandparents steal the show there.

Sorry for such a long comment but you're talking books here.. and I am called wordjunkie.

kbpm said...

wj- longer the comment, more welcome it is!
i did not mind the movie. i like johnny depp irrespective of how he behaves. :)
cant bloody find glass elevator. getting frustrated.

wordjunkie said...

Glass elevator I have always only seen in a double volume with Chocolate factory.. that's the edition I have myself. . If crossword lets you down, try that L'amour library guy in Eden market. He sells second hand books, in decent condition, if you don't mind those. And he always has Dahl.

Ludwig said...

you're back in the land of the living. so also me...

read Gerald Durrell. always good, best when sick/otherwise needing comforting memories. Ruskin Bond also, no?

The Hungry Tide rocks all over the place.

can i post that photo of you and monster (from the back) that i took with my cellphone last time? public has a right to know, i think.

welcome back.

kbpm said...

go for it (photo). hope my nose does not show. i am downright irritated with nose right now.
gerald durrell yes, i just bought the world famous My Family & at CW. Ruskin Bond yes. Usually PGW works for bestest for me but being able to recite dialogues and knowing story too thoroughly is a problem.
Go Hungry Tide. Slimily the man has released a book of essays now but it costs Rs.300+ for <100 pages.

choxbox said...

aah you bin blogging again. yay!

n3 wanted me to ask you which wodehouse she can start with. my Q to you - should she?