Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Long forgotten book tag!

It seems like it was ages ago when Other book-tagged me. So many things have happened that kept me from completing this tag. Anyway, here I am at work, with a bit of free time, and I shall complete what I had half-begun.

The Other has strictly prohibited me from mentioning any Stephen King books in this list, as he fears that would dominate the list (and rightly so). I shall answer this tag talking about only non-SK books.
(Stephen King books would be a separate post sometime soon)

Ok, now to the tag questions:

Number of books I own
Last count lost count. I had the grand plans of indexing my books when I was a kid, and even began the process – just simple indexing, nothing complicated as the Dewey Decimal – but gave up after reaching 600 books.
Right now it must be somewhere above 2000, with a lot of my old books packed somewhere.

Presently reading
Best Short Works of Mark Twain by Mark Twain
MT is one of the best authors of humour fiction. Obviously not as good as the God – Jerome K Jerome – in terms of concentrated humour, but I guess consistency would push MT much higher than JKJ.
Stories such as “Journalism in Tennessee”, “How I Edited an Agricultural Paper” are gems. American humour should be indebted forever in gratitude to this comic genius.

In the pipeline
Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
Considered as the funniest book by CD. Some critics rate it even better than The Pickwick Papers!

The Blue God by Ramesh Menon
My blog readers would have a good knowledge about my Mahabharatha fixation. The Blue God speaks about Krishna’s life, and in some ways furnishes the missing pieces of the Mahabharatha jigsaw. I have ordered for this book, hope it is delivered soon.

Puddnhead Wilson, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Again, part of a MT purchasing binge.

Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
Having read the first 5 of the chronicles, I really haven’t had the time to get back to them. Anne Rice’s very own stories on the Mayfair witches diverted me for a few months, before I realized that she must stick to vampires alone.

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan
Book 11 of the Wheel of Time series – not yet published. I hope he finishes the damn series fast.

Recently Read
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Stunning satire on the clash of the new-world and the medieval period.

The Mahabharatha by Ramesh Menon
Enough has been written by me about this here.

The Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
A mistake. A big big mistake! Poor language, poor characterization, flimsy plot, trite writing style – you name it, this book has it all. Passages such as, “Susan began to break her head on the bug. And then recalled in amusement as to how the word ‘bug’ came into existence. In the 1970s, the first computer blah blah blah…” tested my patience to the maximum. Aargh!

Few of my favourites
(now I enter the part of the post where I need to keep my hands away from typing S-T-E-P-H-…)
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
Complicated plot. Brilliant characterization. Black. This is a wonderful series with just a few grouses from my side. The incredibly long time RJ is taking to finish the series, and the very hackneyed names of the titles.
Also, after having lived on a steady diet of King, the fact that not a single major character has conclusively died even after 10 books rankles me a bit. The one death of Moiraine isn’t even totally sure, with all the signs of her making/having made a return.

Three Men on the Bummel & Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Funniest books ever written. Period. Some of the memorable passages are:
Harris getting lost in the maze
The German railway ticketing system
Uncle Podger searching for the newspaper
“Ride zigzag in case they shoot”

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
There can’t be a better de-mystification of the vampire image than the one done by AR. In this second book of the Vampire Chronicles, Lestat attempts to find the origin of the vampires, and AR’s theory is very clever and thought-provoking.

Obviously, The Mahabharatha! :)

Books I Hate
Without getting into the names of any particular author, and as a result, hurting the mentioned author’s fans, I would like to state the attributes in a book that would make me hate it:
No story.
High level of abstraction, pretending to be intellectual (or as Rajjo likes to call it – “pseudo intellectual trash”)
No plot.
Banal language.
(I shall stop)

So, I have fulfilled the tag and would like to pass it on to:
Akshai
Ameya
Dhimant
Inder
Rajjo
Soldier
Kaushik (who doesn’t have a blog, and hence would have to comment it)

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