Saturday, April 01, 2006

My First Ever Tag - and its on Books!!!! :)

My first ever tag and its about books!!! :) And its all thanks to LAK!
1. What is the total number of books you've owned? Well, I have never actually counted but going by the exaspareted comments of my mom and now the resigned ones of my wife, I can venture a guess at around hundreds. My problem is that I have never ever been able to "give away" any of my books to my smaller cousins or nephews or for that matter anybody at all. So I have retained all my books starting from the Enid Blytons, Hardy Boys series to all my latest acquisitions.
The only solace my poor mom has is to furtively smuggle some books which threaten to fall off my bookshelf and stow them somewhere in the attic or the holding space under our beds. Someday I hope to conduct a search and be pleasantly surprised to find some long forgotten books of mine.
2. What is the last book you bought?
The last 2 books I bought are as below: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer (I know, I know, its such an old book; but I'd never read it so there!)
3. What is the last book you've read?
The whole Harry Potter series, one after the other (had read all of them before but always with a time gap in between each reading)......finished book 6 just a couple of days ago and it was good fun. I so wish JKR comes up with a logical way to extend the story even further than book 7. Am already dreading the end of this series.
4. What are you currently reading?
The Hungry Tide by Amitava Ghosh. To be frank, am a little sceptical of most Indian authors mainly because many of them feel the need to use a known author's style and apply it to the Indian context. The results are almost always disastrous.
There are quite a few exceptions though and to my absolute delight, this one is turning out to be one such. I am just at the start of the book right now and already I can feel what it must be like to be living in the Sunderbans, right at the edge of land-locked civilization. And the story, while essentially Indian, also promises to get a life of its own as it moves along.
5. What are the 5 books that have meant a lot to you or that you particularly enjoyed?
(a) Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – Yes, I am talking about the timeless classic, the story of the middle-class English family living in the countryside and all the ups and downs faced by them in the course of their lives. What impresses me the most about this book even now is the way each and every character in the book has individual problems and how these are resolved in the end. The inherent strength of character displayed by the 2 oldest Bennett girls, their poise and their ability to hold forth on what they considered right (especially Lizzy Bennett) is something that should ring true even in today’s world. Worth a read time and time again!
(b) Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer – This one is special to me for another reason too (other than the one that it was a great read!); this was the first “grown-up” book I ever read. And even then I was able to appreciate the fine distinction that Lord Archer made between the lives of the 2 men born on the same day in different corners of the globe. And then only to weave the tale in such a way so as to forge a connection between them that was irrefutable, lasting and maybe even humane. Even though this book is lengthy, I wasn’t bored at all, in fact it was un-putdownable.
(c) The Tintin series by Herge – One of my most favourite cartoon characters till date, the adventures of this world famed boy-reporter and his faithful companion Snowy have always taken me into a fantasy world of my own where I could see in my mind’s eye all those exotic locations where Tintin went to. The Tintin series has fascinated me so much that as a post-wedding gift, my wife presented to me the entire set of Tintin comics (in their original form), 24 of them. And obviously, I was thrilled!!
(d) Malgudi Days by R. K. Narayan – I am sure all of us have seen the televised version of Malgudi when it was first broadcasted on Doordarshan. It was only recently that I was able to get hold of the book and devour it from cover to cover. Being a South Indian myself, I can clearly visualize the Malgudi so able described by R. K. Narayan. The simplicity of his writing makes it even more appealing in a way that even a child could understand the image being conjured. The small time happenings of a mostly sleepy small town in Tamil Nadu presented in quintessential R. K. Narayan style makes for a ever-lasting reading experience. A book I would recommend to readers of all ages! Even kids would love the adventures of Swami (immortalized by Master Manjunath in the TV series) and his friends…
(e) Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien – I won’t say much about this one simply because I have no words to describe it. Anyone who thinks that the movies based on this book were good should definitely read it. It is a very lengthy book with a lot of detail but very enjoyable. Not for people who like their books with short swift endings!!!

5. What book(s) would you wish to buy next?
(a) The Asterix comics series – since this is only a wishlist I don’t mind saying I’d like to own the whole set some time or the other. I know it’s a long time coming though.
(b) The latest offering from Mathew Reilly, I forget the name; but having read most of his previous books (Ice Station, Temple, Contest etc.) I look forward to his newest addition.

6. What book(s) caught your attention but you never had a chance to read?
(a) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – have always seen it in bookshops and people have always told me I’d like it but never gotten around to buying it or reading it.
(b) Gone with the Wind – heard of it, seen it, but not yet read it!

7. What book(s) that you've owned for so long but never read?
(a) Great Works of Edgar Allan Poe - been with me for almost a year now, still have to pick it up. Obviously the reason for not having read it is simply lack of time.
(b) The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne – picked this one up off a second hand bookseller. I know its good but the same old story – no time!!
(c) Eldest by Christopher Paolini – this one is the second part in the trilogy by the author, the first one was Eragon. A fantasy tale involving dragons, their riders and the whole thing about a evil king oppressing the innocent. But a great read for LOTR aficionados….

8. Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
The 3 people I’d like to tag are Triya, Anumita and well, I don’t really know too many people on here so I tag only 2. I have read Triya and Anumita and they write really well. I’d like to know where they get it from! J

Thanks LAK, for giving me the chance to do this!!!