Reading has been slow for obvious reasons. The marathon reading sessions I used to do (notable is HP 7, which I read almost non-stop, while traveling from Hyderabad to Trivandrum, from around 7 AM till 2:30 AM of the next day) is a distant memory – almost feels like it was in another life. But hey, it isn’t that bad either. I still read at least a couple of chapters each day and a good book gets done in about a week, which is not so bad.
So here’s what I read the last few weeks –
Fortunately, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman
Loved this! A very good example of the phrase ‘spinning a tale’ and it’s just like the outlandish bedtime stories my Dad used to tell us when we were kids. I’m planning to buy a hardcover and keep it for my son, to read to him when he’s a bit older. His Dad, unlike mine, does not do fantasy stories. His will probably be cricket strategies and project management (on second thoughts, that maybe a good idea for bedtime, given how yawn-worthy it can all get! heh heh).
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
This was also a good read. I particularly like books that are set in other countries, which take us through their culture and customs as part of the narrative. In those terms, this book was an eye-opener to what it means to be African – in Africa (Nigeria) and in America. Adiche’s prose is captivating and, if you have enough imagination, can make it seem like watching a movie instead of reading a book!
A tale for the time being, by Ruth Ozeki
This is my kind of book! Reminded me of Murakami’s ‘Kafka on the shore’, for some reason (maybe because it’s set in Japan? maybe because of all the improbable things that happen? I don’t know.). After a long time, I read a book that was on the unputdownable category, so I may or may not have skipped my son’s playtime a couple of times to get my reading done 😛
The Testament of Mary, by Colm Toibin
This book was on the Man Booker shortlist for 2013 and I’ve been reading those books now just for the heck of it. It’s a very short book and I liked it, I guess. It gives a different perspective on the whole Jesus being the son of God thing (I know ‘thing’ is not the word, but I don’t know what else to use there – theory? concept? belief?) and that too from Mary herself. I liked the prose and I especially liked how dark and depressing some scenes were – it’s a bit of a challenge to imagine a world that far long in history (er, 2014 years approx?) and I guess I liked that bit of brain exercise!
The Secret life of bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
This one started off great, but then plateaued out in the later half. Nevertheless, interesting enough to keep me reading till the end. I did learn a few things about bees, that’s for sure. It’s set during the MLK era of American history, with Blacks just getting the right to vote. Reasonable read, if you have nothing else better.
I’m currently reading Jim Crace’s Harvest (another from the Booker shortliest) and so far, it is moderately enjoyable. Again, because it’s set in old England and if you know me you know I’m a sucker for books/movies set in England!
So, what have you (yep, I have no problem posing questions to my imaginary readers) been reading? Anything I can pick up next? Tell me soon.