Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The best day of 2008 - or possibly even ever..

... and it's only two weeks into the new year!

Why the hyperbole, I hear you ask. Why this unseemly celebration where no celebratory event presents itself? (Other than Pongal, my inner Iyer reminds me). I'll tell you - aint nobody gonna stop me.

It's because today, I got The Book in the post. The book I've been waiting to own ever since I read an extract from it in my English text book, waaay back when I was in the 8th standard. Or possibly the 9th standard.

Two days back, while idly trawling through Ebay's book section, I came across The Book, listed at a price of one pound and a bit. Even with postage it came to less than £4, which is the bargain of a lifetime as far as I'm concerned. Two days I waited with bated breath, hoping that there would be nobody else who coveted it, nobody else who knew how brilliantly funny the author is, nobody else who knew just how difficult it was to source this book... and to my everlasting joy, I WON THE BID!

And today it arrived in the post - with a slightly damaged dust jacket, yes... but that's forgivable in a book that was published in 1953, isnt it? More than forgivable, I say!

So at last, here it is... Giovanni Guareschi's "The House That Nino Built"!


CW said...

I can feel your excitement! It does look funny (autob- very!).

Radha said...

Pleeeeeeeaase bring it with you when you come, Shyam? PLEEEEAASE!

I promise to finish it before you leave, so you can take it with you.

WAAAAAH - I want to read it NOW!

Radha said...

This is the book with the Duchess in the tree, right? Oh I've wanted to re-read that story and the whole book for EVER so many years!

It is a real shame that Guareschi's books are all out of print...

hari said...

Wow Shyam. I can only say that if the beginning of 2008 is so exciting, the best for you is yet to come. Its definitely going to be a great year for you out there.
Keep going.

Shyam said...

CW: If you can get your hands on any of his books, consider yourself very lucky! :) His Don Camillo short stories are so adorable, so quaint and funny, so gently ironic and sarcastic! I cant recommend Giovanni Guareschi enough. You can find some of his stories on the Net, actually.

Radi: I'm going to bring it with me, dont worry! :) And yes, it's the one where the Duchess is up a tree :)

Hari: Thanks for your wishes, and I certainly hope so too :)

brinda said...

yes, this IS the one where the Duchess is up a tree... I WANT! shyam, you're over-due an India visit. book your tickets AT ONCE. (i notice that people here seem HAPPY for you. what's with the world? do others not feel deep, gut-wrenching envy? god!)

meerkat said...

never heard of the author or the books before. but your fulsome praise has me intrigued. so i went and looked up in my library and unfortunately they dont have this book. but they had a few others from this author. so i have reserved it and i await it with keen anticipation.

coming to the other topic below, i thought milind soman was really scrumptious when i was younger. he still looks great. heard some news about him getting married to a french actress recently. thought you might like to know!!!



Who is your favorite brother then??? (

So how do i get to read it?

Radha said...

You get to read it when you stop in the UK on your way to or from India - what say? :D

Shyam said...

Brinda: I guess the others arent like you :D

Meerkat: I'm sure you will like it. Which one have you booked? One of the Don Camillo series?

Oh yeah, I think Milind Soman is pretty good looking still. Perfect teeth, gorgeous hair - the man has it all! :)

Augustborn: Easy. Either get to Seattle between Jan 19-25, or visit me in the UK anytime thereafter. Who needs to go to India, right? :D

Shyam said...

Meerkat: What library are YOU a member of, you lucky thing? I checked my library's catalogue and there's just one copy of one of his books - in Italian! pooh.

Radha said...

Right there is your best motivation to learn Italian, Shyam :D

brinda said...

yeah! shyam, you learn italian and read these books in the original -- and then you can kindly pass on any and all of the english ones thisaways. and who needs to go to india? you do! your BEST friend in the whole wide world is here (in delhi, just in case you get confused!)

Shyam said...

Funny how I've suddenly acquired a BEST friend in the whole wide world AND a favourite brother... :D

meerkat said...

hi shyam

the books are in their central stock so i guess no one has borrowed them for a while. here are the titles

and the other one is a compilation of some of his other books

The world of Don Camillo, The little world of Don Camillo, Don Camillo and the prodigal son, Don Camillo's dilema, Don Camillo and the devil, Comrade Don Camillo


Shyam said...

Meerkat: God, I want them all! I dont suppose you could steal them for me? :)

Radha said...

Meerkat: Where do you live? I want to move there (or at least register for a library card) so I can borrow (steal) all those Don Camillo books :P

brinda said...

radha, do that, and YOU have a best friend in delhi too. (see how popularity runs in the family?)

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reco. I have been in a blue funk wrt to the books I have read recently and was looking for "new" authors to try out. I just got this one from the it and LOVE it...thank god I took out another of his books, so I can keep going!


PS: i read your blog quite regularly, but de-lurking just now.
thanks again!

~nm said...

The name sounds interesting. Don't know about the book though. Why don't you do a short summary of the book? A review kinds?

Kamini said...

I LOVED these books when I was in school and college, and your post triggered such a flood of nostalgic memories! I found this link:
which has a number of the Don Camillo
stories (in English). I spent a very happy afternoon reading away (and goofing off from work!). Thanks for the lovely reminder. And enjoy your book, and all the newfound friends!

The E HomeMaker said...

wow thats really the best thing that could every happen. just in my recent post i talked about hanging on to the past thingie. getting something related to childhood is even lovelier.