Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I've been tagged!

Just cant resist a tag - especially if it's to do with books. Thanks, 30in2005! :)

1. What is the total number of books you've owned?

I had a collection of about 250 books, lovingly collected from when I was a kid - birthday presents, gifts from my parents, cousins, friends etc - before my grandfather "donated" them to a library despite my objections. Oh well. I now have five boxes of books and one of assorted comics that are stored in the shed because there's no space in the house at the moment. The spare cupboard is getting filled up again as well, so I'm making a guess that I have about 500. But I'll be able to make a proper head count when we move to a bigger place. Watch this space! :)

2. What is the last book you bought?

Jodi Picoult - My Sister's Keeper. She's pretty good, especially when you read her for the first time. Once you get hooked and follow up with the rest of her books, you quickly discover she writes to a formula. But within the confines of that formula, her writing rocks. She's GOOD and has the ability to make you read faster and faster just to see how the damn book ends. That's good writing. Just make sure you dont read all her books one after the other.

3. What is the last book you've read?

Joanna Trollope's "Other People's Children". I've never read her books before, and now that I've read this one, I'm going to rectify the situation lickety split. This book is about ordinary people living ordinary lives (didnt somebody write a song to that effect? heheh...), touching on their troubles and joys and all the normal situations that dont involve rich beautiful jet-setting people and their sweat-soaked purple-prose passion on trite satin sheets!

4. What are you currently reading?

A book of (very) short stories called "Pixel Juice" by a writer called Jeff Moon... he's brilliant, weird, amazing, bewildering - that's four descriptions for the four stories I've read so far. And I have 46 more to go - yay!

5. What are the 5 books that have meant a lot to you or that you particularly enjoyed?

Difficult question... how can a lifelong book lover like me be expected to make a list of just five favourite books? Will try anyway, and this is not in any particular order:

- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I've read this book any number of times and love it afresh with every read. Such gentle humour, such a difficult, touchy subject handled with so much understanding.

- The Guns of Navarone, by Alistair Maclean. I read this first when I was in the 7th standard, I think. I dont remember for sure, but it was probably my first foray into fiction for adults. The character of wise-cracking, world-weary, cynical and yet brilliant Dusty Miller set the standards for my ideal hero for years thereafter, and Alistair Maclean was one of my favourite authors because of a refreshing lack of overt mushy romance in his novels :)

- The Tramp and The Dog, by Christine Harris. My favourite cousin gave me this book on my 12th birthday. I didnt like the book that much on my first reading - it was full of strange Romany gypsy words and I couldnt quite appreciate the storyline or the main protagonist, a good-hearted, gentle tramp. But two years later, I re-read it, and fell totally in love with the book and the tramp AND his dog. I lost this book along with my first collection (thanks, grandpa) but last year I tracked down a copy on the Net and now I'm happy to say I own it again.

- A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry. One of my favourite Indian authors, very readable and not in the least ostentatious or elaborately "Indian-geared-for-a-Western-audience".

- Blackberry Wine, by Joanne Harris (we share this one, 30in2005) - I saw Chocolat the movie before I read the book... then I read Chocolat the book and went on to read Blackberry Wine thereafter. Lovely book, lovely prose.

6. What book(s) would you wish to buy next?

Hmmm... again, I dont know where to start! But here's a quick list:

- The latest Stephen King - Cell. I'm a diehard King fan, despite occasional hiccups like "Gerald's Game" and "Rose Madder" which, frankly, were piss-poor. On the other hand, books like "It", "The Stand", "The Talisman" etc place him fairly and squarely in the list of my all-time favourite authors.

- Any new Terry Pratchett book that gets published.

- Black, White and Gold, by Kelly Holmes, winner of two gold medals in the 2004 Olympics

7. What book(s) caught your attention but you never had a chance to read?

Strictly speaking, I suppose I've had a chance to read this, considering it's been in every library - You're Joking, Mr Feynman... but I havent read it, and I aint joking either.

8. What book(s) that you've owned for so long but never read?

Easy: Tolstoy's War & Peace, Winston Churchill's "The Second World War" in 6 vols. My dad owned the books but I've never really got around to reading them. Maybe I never will.

9. Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why

Argh... I'll tag them but since not everybody responds well to being tagged, I wont mind if they dont take it up. I have only one reason for tagging these people - I find them interesting and would LOVE to know more about their reading tastes and experiences.

I tag: MumbaiGirl



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