And why don’t the dead ones fall likes stones from the sky ..” These are Sophiemol’s questions from Arundhati Roy’s Booker winner, The God of Small Things. Today an extract of her second novel has been circulating, and it begins with the same title about the birds. Hope the books fullfils all the expectations the eargerly waiting readers of Roy have had, and have been holding to since she announced her second novel. Let’s see.
Ever since I met Edmund Dantes in school, I’ve liked him a lot. I think it was in class 3 or 4 when the school librarian handed over an abridged The Count of Monte Cristo to me. I enjoyed every bit of the book especially the part where he tunnelled through with the Abbé Faria to escape the Chateau d’lf off the Marseille’s Bay, learned new languages and history, and that part of the treasure hidden on a island. I read the original sometime in high school, and it remains one of my favourite books till date. So, when I accidently pick up a book by Archer, and come across a plot where the protagonist Danny is falsely accused in a homicide and sentenced to life imprisonment where he shares a cell with Nick who looks very similar to him… Bingo… I look for Dantes! And good of Archer to mention Dantes in the text as a way of acknowledgement.
Re-reading my fav parts from Monte Cristo.
It has been a few hours, I’ve been thinking that it could be love, this what I am going through. The dreams, the desire, the wait, what else could it be… I’m re-reading the lines.. trying to remember the words, musing about it, I have that lost smile that pops up in the middle of other things.. I’m thinking back to that first flush, those giggly girlish way of going about things.. just may be I am lost in love with Adichie when she writes, “Princeton in summer, smelled of nothing … it is the lack of smell that most appealed to her, perhaps because the other American cities she knew smelled distinctly. Philadelphia had that musty scent of history. New Haven smelled of neglect. Baltimore of of brine, and Brooklyn of sun warmed garbage. But Princeton had no smell. She liked taking deep breaths here…” what is this if not love, if I have to even blog about it, and cannot contain my excitement.
Coincidentally, the protagonist of the tale is also a blogger. From the time a friend passed on this book, I’ve been glued to it, sharing quotes to my interested & uninterested friends… reading sentences all over again!
I’m kind of drunk in the readerly happiness….then a thought takes root.. what could Bombay smell of, would it be different from the way Mumbai smells.. just because they changed the name or is it just a habit that refuses to go away…
Inspired from my current read – Adichie’s Americanah (2013).
ps: in Malayalam, നാറ്റം/nattam (stink) is a bad smell, while സുഗന്ധം/sughandham (Fragrance) is a good one.. what are the other words that qualify smell in the languages you speak, I would love to know..
PS I found a lot of traffic to this post I wrote sometime last year, yesterday. Loved re-reading it again, posting again. Here’s the link to the original post and the comments.
If you do there is a word for it, like there are words for every little action we habituate. The word is Marginalia ..
“When you buy a book, you establish a property right in it, just as you do in clothes or furniture when you buy and pay for them. But the act of purchase is actually only the prelude to possession in the case of a book. Full ownership of a book only comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it — which comes to the same thing — is by writing in it.” ~ How to Read a Book (1940) by Mortimer J. Adler.
So world book day today… Sending all of you who love to read a happy day. Which brings me to, what kind of a reader are you? Does that question sound weird?
I have my reading days where I cannot put down a book, and continue reading without a care for food or drink, rain or shine. Then there are those set of days when I have my reading blocs where I wouldn’t touch a book if I can help it. Then there are days in between where I have a book or two around me which I’ll be reading from. My prof tells me to read at least 1000 words a day, and read three books at the same time, a morning, lunch and evening book varying in plot, its degree of intensity and genre.
I just finished reading “The Killing of Polly Carter” a few days ago. A breeze of a read, a very similar style to Agathe Christie kind of murder mysteries and solving them. It reminded me of one of Mrs Marple’s cases she solved in the Caribbean when she was on vacation.
A friend and I were reading up on this famous war journalist, Martha Gelhorn, a few weeks ago. In the beginning the name didn’t ring a bell, but over the hour we learnt she was one of the pioneers in war journalism in the last century who covered every war during her active lifetime. The coincidence of all this, is when another friend of mine brought a book, a collection of war articles, written by Ernest Hemingway, to our book meet totally unaware of my earlier reading.
First I get to read about Gelhorn, her adventures as a journalist, bits and pieces from her articles, her association with Hemingway who inspired her to write about the Spanish War which catapulted her into this field… And then to receive a collection of Hemingway articles … Lovely!
“… a trickle of hot sweat rolled from his cheek, down his neck and into his shirt collar, and suddenly every inch of his skin under his suit seemed to prickle from the blistering heat…” (79) The Killing of Polly Carter, Robert Thorogood.
Tell me a fav line from the book you are reading. I found this an apt description of what I feel when I’m out in the sun these days. And Thorogood has put its scorching hot and I want to take a shower right now feeling into words.
“You have no idea how good it is to see you again.. ” (210) #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild
When the Amazon guy came in yesterday, he told me a bunch of rubbish, I didn’t find it “beatiful at all” He didn’t have the card swiping machine and I didn’t have enough cash to pay. We had a fight. I gave him a piece of my mind. I was so furious I had to take a break to get my cool back. This morning at around 9 the guy calls me again and says, “Madam, I have the machine, when should I come.” He came within 10 minutes, gave me the package, I paid. We became friends over harry potter, and a pack of yumfills. It has been a lovely day today, meeting Harry, Ron and Hermoine, all over again after so many years through the new and old writing. In a very blissful state at the moment, having finished reading something I had craved for, and musing over characters, places, certain paragraphs, sentences, quotes, and their camaraderie, sharing it with friends who have already read, who are reading still. It has been an interesting day so far. Hugs to all the HP fans 🙂 doesn’t it all come down to that finally. 😉 (no spoilers)
Ok, one spoiler, can’t resist .. when Hermione and Scorpius reply together and Ron says “Blimey! there are two of them .. ” well I thought of Quaid’s reaction in the Parent Trap (1998)
Of all the books I have read so far, I will not re-read the Kite Runner! It took a month or more for me to get out of that book after I finished reading it. In addition to it being one of my longest reads I’ve undertaken so far. The trauma Hosseini describes was getting to me so much and becoming so real, that I had to stop reading, take a break, do some thing for a fresh vibe, and then get back. Sometimes I wonder why I took the pains to finish reading it after all the catharsis it made me go through. But it is with some books, like it is with some people, they entice you.. and drag you back into them, and then make you feel the pain!
The Ice Candy Man comes a close second. Earth wasn’t as cathartic as the novel, even though Aamir Khan played his devious part pretty well. But the read, as a standalone as well as companions to Kartography and Noor, spelled trouble for me. I’ve already re-read it once. But that would be it, I guess. Urvasi Bhutalia’s The Other Side of Silence can make up the third which is a collection of memoirs of people who experience the Partition! Let me add Manto’s short story Khol Do to this list. The link takes you to the story online!
Goes without saying that reading experience of these pieces is such because they are written really well. It affects the senses it targets in the reader! Some books need to read just once, their impression lasts for a lifetime.
If I could unread a book so I could read it again for the first time, give me Harry Potter – Book 1, I would love to be mesmerized again entering Diagon Alley and Platform 10 3/4 at King’s Cross Station, give me a Phantom, or Tintin or Batman! The fact is, I never get tired of Harry Potter or these comics, or Blyton stories, or Alice in Wonderland, or Midnight’s Children or… I’ve lost count of the many times I’ve re-read them even when I have known the story from any where in the book. I’ll add Shaffer’s epistolary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and Cussler’s Trojan Odyssey, the book that introduced me to who else but the ever so dashing, Dirk Pitt.
July begins with books! Re-read, un-read or your Current Read. Let’s makes a list.