Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On books

On the topic of books...

Recently one of my friends asked me if I have a top 10 must read books and that got me there really a top 10 or 100? Can we really have something like that?

As we grow, we tend to assimilate a lot from the environment we are in as also our experiences, thus there is a constant flux within ourselves and despite not wanting to..we are changing, so what we liked probably 10 years ago may not necesarily be that interesting now....books are like flavours of the month...difficult to have fav books...then there are the categories too..besides the broader classification of fiction and non-fiction...

Along the way I have read quite a few books, but offhand i wouldnt be able to name many as 'must read' though..some of the books that have stayed with me and I would like to go back to are,

Dostoevesky's 'Brothers Karamazov' and 'Crime and Punishment'- I read these the first time probably during my school days..but the second and third reading proved to be more compelling

Marquez's '100 years of Solitude' - It was only towards the end I realised how much I really liked the crazy and quirky inhabitants of Macondo and Marquez's writing. This book propelled me to more of Marquez's writings including 'Love in the time of cholera', 'The Genral in his Labyrinth', 'Chronicles of a death foretold'

Le Carre's 'The Man who came in from the cold' - A wonderful book that created a beautiful imagery in my head about the cold, dark and dreary lives of those espionage agents...I never read another Le Carre book, though I saw 'The tailor of Panama' and found it highly enjoyable

Dicken's 'Oliver Twist' - Though its is nostalgia here...:)

James Michener's 'The Drifters' - This may seem kinda dated, but the time I read it I was easily influenced..not by the hedonistic pursuits of the lead charcters..but how they travelled down that road...touches a lot of issues primarily anti-war

Penrose's 'Shadows of the Mind' and 'Emperor's new mind' - ( I thought Ramachandran's 'Phantoms of the Brain' would be a good read..but it was very disappointing...despite the reviews)

Jostein Gaarder's 'Sophie's World - This is an easy read into the world of western philosophy..right from the time of socrates to kant and sartre...this may not be a good novel..but it gave me a very good intro on western philosophy..

Nehru's 'Glimpses of World History' - Must read for anybody I gez..

A L Basham's 'Wonder that was India' - Another fav

Ayn Rand's 'Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged'...somehow i really liked Fountainhead when I read it the first time in 1996 in Trichy and read it in less than a week...while I found Atlas Shrugged even more interesting cz of the basic theme..

Umberto Eco's 'Name of the Rose' as well as 'Foucalts pendulam'..try it..take your might take awhile to get into the former..but its worth it..

I am reading Barnaard's 'One Life' now, it is good, but I gez it has partly to do with the two lessons we had in our school days. Likewise, I read Braithwaite's 'To sir, with Love'..not great literature..but nostalgic

Recently I purchased two books from the fact I got one of my colleagues there to buy it for me as it was not available here..David Ellis's 'The Company of Liars'..a really gud is the story of the murder of a woman convicted of murdering her husband..but is told in reverse chronology..that is, it starts from where she gets is a 'compulsive page turner' as they say..the other one was Paul Hoffman's 'Archimedes Revenge', a wonderful book on mathematics..this is one you will love, Alan. I want to start on GEB, but am not getting the time..this past few weeks have been real busy...not in absolute terms..but somehow cant manage any time to do any reading..i manage the newspapers and magz and other light readings in the loo where i spent a considerable amount of time :)

Oh btw..Amartya Sen's 'argumentative indian' is a really gud collection of essays and I gez you shud read it..


Anonymous alan said...

You converted my questin into a blog ? :-) Nice dude. Good stuff.

July 01, 2006 1:32 PM  

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