I have finished the books I mentioned in my earlier post regarding books of Nov 2015 except for Deadhouse gates (Malazan book 2) which is still ongoing and shows no sign of nearing completion.
As a part of my travel during the winter break, in Phoenix, I visited an old bookshop where I picked up the hardcopy of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel namely – The Remains of the Day. The bookshop was really old school, one like which I had never come across before. They accepted only cash and had paperbacks that would be the dream of any book collector. Although I was tempted to buy many of those books, I did not as I have decided not to get too many hard copies unless I have a bookshelf waiting for them back in my home.
I will be reading only this book for most part of January 2016 and hopefully be able to read more and better the upcoming year than I already did.
Also, I sent out mails to friends of mine asking what was/were their facorite read(s) of 2015 so that I could make a to-read list for 2016 that was rich in diversity. Once I hear back from a decent number of them, I will create a blog post here with the names of the books they replied back.
My favorite reads for 2015 have been the following books
1. A Clutch of Indian Masterpieces: Extraordinary Short Stories from the 19th Century to the Present by David Davidar
2. Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India’s Poorest Districts by P. Sainath
Both these books are filled with short stories, some of the best I have read and they are sure to stay with you for a very long time after you have read them.
I have been going through multiple books over the last month and will continue to do so this month too. The list is as follows:
Seveneves – The book continues, wherein the people on earth are now finally completely aware of what is going to happen in the near future and are prepping those in the space station for the same. To be frank, I am not sure I will be able to finish this book in the near future. Dec 21 is the return date for this one and with other books that I have lined up, one of this length doesn’t stand as a favorite. Mr. Stephenson needs to write shorter books. Reamde also remains as one of those very few books I abandoned in the middle (I either don’t pick them up or leave them within 20 pages into the book as I get an idea that they don’t match my taste)
Deadhouse Gates – Interesting read, my favorite among these here. Mr. Erikson knows how to write and more pleasingly, he seems to be able to seamlessly integrate the stories of the old characters while introducing new characters to us. I had read the first book not on my kindle and could actually go back to the maps whenever I was trying to get a feel of the geographical movements of the characters. This one however, I am reading on kindle and am missing that point of view of how characters are moving from place to place (especially Fiddler and Kalam, for those of you who understand what I am talking about) and also given the fact that there is a good enough chance that all characters might be meeting at a common place later in the book. With multiple assignments and exams going on hand in hand along with my attempts to re-design government visualizations, it is going to be a toughie to finish this one this month. But am glad I started this series and am very much looking forward to all the books and am pretty much sure that it would be nearly a year or two before I finish the entire series and finish them I will!
The Shadow of the Wind – I have decided to go through this, just for the beauty of it. I don’t think I have to say anything about it, it is one of the most exquisitely written books ever. The words flow like a majestic stream and the translator did a job of the highest order.
The Sultan’s seal – This is the final book on the list. It is one that I entirely chanced upon during my usual Thursday checkout of the latest arrivals in the library (they are lent to us only for three weeks instead of the default length of entire semester, hence provide some kind of challenge to finish them up or face a fine). I had heard of the author as one with an appreciable sense of humor and that the translator he had gotten was also very respectable of what he was translating and was mindful of the spirit of the original work. This can easily be seen at the beginning of the book where the translator actually outlines his thoughts about this translation work. Regarding the book, it has been a mixed ride so far, the writing is ok-ish but it definitely gives glimpses of the thoughts of a middle-eastern author(s) whose works I have admittedly read very few (Arabian nights is the closest I have gotten and also Italo Calvino’s works which I always thought were more impressive versions of a few Arabian nights stories).
With finals coming up in December and some admittedly busy times ahead, I am not sure how many of these I would do justice to, but these books make up an interesting line-up to lure me back to them on those (possibly) lull weekends.