Nov 24, 2007

Indian Author Tag

Me and my tendency to procrastinate. When the whole world is up and buzzing, I wake up ever so gently. Yes, I have 206 lazy bones. I have been desperately trying to shake them and wake them, but the mass of fat that has accumulated around them only makes the situation worse.

I am digressing! So, coming to the tag, I have never been a voracious reader. Oh I love reading but my last 10 years have been totally devoted to the family and the needs plus the career building. Its only recently that the interest has been revived, infact favourably towards Indian Authors writing in english. With such a limited knowledge about authors, I am not the right person to write on this tag. Maybe I will just mention the few books that have impressed me. And yes, let me also mention in the passing that I am a pure and pure fiction reader. I stay away from self-help books (Robin Sharma, I am sorry!) as also philosophical ones. Swati, I am sorry for being so late. By the way, please come back to the world of blogging. I am missing you!

1. What woke me up was the latest novel by Shashi Tharoor that I am reading. Its called The Five Dollar Smile. Its a collection of short stories that he wrote while he was still in adolescence and early adulthood. Some of them beautifully bring out the mood of 70's. I havent yet finished the book but the story that has touched me the most is titled "The Pyre", and this deals with the trauma that a friend goes through after he survives an accident, wherein his friend died a young and tragic death.
I have heard good words about Shashi and his books, "The Riot" and "The Great Indian Novel" as well. Am yet to pick them up.
2. Chitra Banerjee Devakaruni. Till date, I have read 2 of her books. Sister of My Heart and Arranged Marriage. The first one is a novel that revolves around the lives of 2 girls who are brought up in the same home... their love for each other, the sacrifices, the trials, the tribulations. The second book is a collection of short stories. The stories have given the phrase "part and parcel" a new meaning for me, I felt part and parcel of them. I plan to read "Mistress of Spice" soon.
3. Shobha De: One of the most controversial authors, known for all wrong reasons and yet I have loved her Speedpost. Its basically a collection letters from her to her 6 children. It was hard for me to imagine a page-3 personality being a dutiful mom, but read it to believe it. I have liked "Spouse" too. One more I have read, of whose name I cant recollect. It was again a collection of short stories but i found it too provocative and lascivious.
4. Manju Kapoor: The only novel by her that I have read is “Home” and I found it a good read. Its light, it deals with all Indian emotions, and its something I could relate with.
5. Anita Nair: The only novel I have read by her and loved is Ladies Coupe. It beautifully describes the quest, the discovery, the celebration of being a woman. Can a woman not survive alone in this Man’s world? Such a simple question and such a beautiful answer by Anita.
6. Satyajit Ray: No, I haven’t been lucky enough to learn Bengali and read his masterpieces but I have read some translations and I can only imagine how good the original would be. His characters like Professor Shonku and Feluda are so far ahead of their time. They may sound very normal in todays world but lets not forget the time when this book was written. I can only marvel at his ability to think scientifically and write beautifully…. A rare combination.

The books that did not appeal much to my sensibilities. Blame it on my low IQ/EQ/RQ (Reader’s quotient!!!)
Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai.
Weight Loss by Upamanyu Chaterjee
Holy Cow by Susan McDonald (Not an Indian author but this is based in India!)

My wishlist? Other than some of the books I mentioned above, I have heard a lot about Abdul Kalam’s wings of fire. Then, Rohinton Mistry and his “fine balance”. Then ofcourse, I have made note of all the books that I have read in some of the blogs here.
In any case, do let me know if there is some book you strongly reco.


~nm November 26, 2007 at 5:49 PM  

FYI, Swati has moved to this blog

Hip Grandma November 26, 2007 at 7:03 PM  

I have read difficult daughters by Manju Kapur and enjoyed it.Arranged marriage by Chitra Banerjee DevaKaruni was also.Like you I was unimpressed by Kiran deasai's Inheritance of Loss and abandoned it midway.A fine balance by rohinton Mistry was also good.I think I'll try and get hold of Shashi Tharoor's Five Dollar Smile and Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair.Nice list.

WhatsInAName November 27, 2007 at 10:42 AM  

hey NM :) Thanks a ton for that info. How stupid of me not to have checked her profile!

I will add Manjus diff daughters to my list. :) Thanks!

Usha November 28, 2007 at 5:06 PM  

Not read anything by Shashi Tharoor or Devakaruni - must check out.

Swati November 29, 2007 at 8:57 PM  

Thanks for looking for me and missing me and you did a great job on Tag. are awarded !!!

Parul November 30, 2007 at 11:46 AM  

Hey, I am in a Bill Bryson phase right now so cannot recommend any India author offhand....

You're tagged!

WhatsInAName December 1, 2007 at 1:08 PM  

Usha :)
Do try and let me know what you feel.

Swati :)
Thanks a ton for the award and I mean it.

Parul :)
Another tag? lol. Will take it up but I hope you read my first line in this post. I am a seasoned procrastinator.

Thinking aloud December 1, 2007 at 10:19 PM  

Nice list...i've read manju kapur's difficult daughters...enjoyed that...feluda is loved by my 10yrold and me :)u're right speedpost was quite a nice surprise :)

now that you recommend, have to try out shashi tharoor...thanks...

ddmom December 5, 2007 at 3:24 AM  

I haven't read anything from the list. Though I have mistress of spice in my to-read list.

Fuzzylogic December 5, 2007 at 7:26 AM  

I liked Chitra Divakaruni too. And please read "Fine balance" by Rohinton Mistry along with a load of tissues:)It just moves you in a very profound manner!

Prats December 7, 2007 at 11:23 PM  

Havent read Chitra Banerjee's books...but the others did offer a good read....I liked Namesake also. Right now trying to read William Dalrymple's The last Moghul...based in India....a nice fine detailing in his descriptions...but going slow

WhatsInAName December 15, 2007 at 1:26 PM  

Suma, Fuzzy, DDmom, Prats

Thanks for sharing your thoughts :) Been away for a while. Time to catch up on you guys!

Mama - Mia December 26, 2007 at 1:01 PM  

when i say i am a voracious reader it usually means i read the book so fast that if you ask me the next day what was it all about... all you will get is blank zombie stares! :D

i have read sister by banerjee and loved the cover so much! :p enjoyed the book too! i loved kiran desai's hullabullo in the guava orchrd!i havent read her booker winner, but this is super fun!

i am a BIG fan of speedpost too! and found spouse quite sensitive and sensible! :)

usually i end up picking up interesting sounding titles and pretty cover more than how known the book is!! in my recent shopping bit, i pocked up Calvin and Hobbes (never grow ouit of them), a book by Gerald Durell (first time i am reading him) and Love in the time of Cholera! and 3 novels by this whacky author called carl Hiassen! he is our favourite!

great post!



Just Like That December 27, 2007 at 10:53 AM  

NIce list, WIN, and quite a lot of them unread..
Strand is having a sale till 30th. Think I'll go and buy A Fine Balance. So many people have been saying good things about it...
Divakaruni is nice, will keep Mistress of Spices for you when you come down here..

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mohit April 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM  

Must be an enjoyable read Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.

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