Monday, June 6, 2016

Book I picked in India May 2016 and WHY

Zac O Yeah's  (1)Mr.Majestic and (2)Hero for hire ...because it is crime fiction set in Bengaluru my hometown ! The books are pretty good too!
I just finished both books. The books have had me in splits! I hope people get to read it especially Bangaloreans.
He has published 3rd book in 2017 in the series i.e. Tropical detective. I am yet to get this book.

Nilanjan Chowdhury's The case of the secretive sister.....because the story is set in Bangalore my hometown! This book too is funny and a delightful read. I would recommend you to read it.

Ibne-Safi's Poisoned arrow, Smoke water, Doctor Dread, The laughing corpse...I searched for these books because Ibne-Safi's the  most prolific Pakistani crime fiction writer in Urdu and I was curious about his books. I could get only four of the 8 books, translated to English. Another fascinating aspect is that this writer suffered from either schizophrenia or depression! His books were written in time of India's and Pakistan's formation. And since then to now, he is still the most prolific writer!
I finished the first book i.e. Poisoned arrow. It is different from most crime fiction I have read. I am not sure if I like it.  I do know that it was written in the early 50s, written in Urdu and translated to English, I do know the culture was different then...especially the 'then-prevailing' attitude toward women..
I simply could not bring myself to read the rest of the books by this author ...not a style I either enjoyed or even understood. Maybe a lot was lost in the translation and the culture of more than 70 years ago is difficult to understand for me.

Manohar Malgonkar's The garland keepers and Spy in amber....There is plenty of crime fiction in English from Indian writers post 2000 but Manohar is one of the few crime fiction writers of an earlier era.  I wanted to check out what Indian crime fiction of the pre-2000 are like and so bought these two books. Finished both books i.e.  Spy in amber and The garland keepers. Enjoyed both books . However, when compared to the western writers of crime fiction, these books are much  simpler and linear.

S.Hussain Zaidi's Dongri to Dubai and Mafia queens of Mumbai...I want to understand the reality of crime in India and so I got these two non-fiction crime books. almost two years later, I have not read a single page in these books!

Sudhir Kakkar's  The crimson throne...because I am into psychoanalytic stuff  by this writer...I have not read this and also manhy other books by this author though I own them. 

Vivek Shanbhag's Ghachar Ghochar.......This is a classic which everyone from Bangalore, India or anywhere...should read(This is an English translation). This is one of the best books I read in recent times. I bought many copies and distributed them to my friends and family.

S.L.Byrappa's Aavarana (English translation)...Byrappa is considered one of the best Kannada writers and so I got this English translation of one of his books. Two years later, this book is unread, untouched, and maybe lost too. 
My brain is now used to western crime fiction book,  and TV and cinema from the west. Ergo, reading Indian books or seeing the Indian movies and TV shows is like torture for me! 

Sagar Vinod's A Plague of love rats cousin's son is the author! So I got it. Did not read it.

T.S.Pillai's Chemmeen  English  this book as it's  a classic(why do I have this urge to buy a book if it's labelled a classic and then, not read them? Whom am I trying to impress?). Not read it after buying it but I do know the story as I saw the movie. 

R.K.Narayan's Salt and Sawdust...because I like his writing style and his novels. Finished this book! Liked it. 

Roopa Swaminathan's Stardust (The book is about her interviews of people  in the Indian film world  such as extras, fans, dancers,lightboys, etc)...because I am curious about the Indian film world. Read parts of it

Srinath Perur's If it's Monday, it must be Madurai...a delightful read !  essays about the author's travels.. bought this after reading the rave reviews and not at all disappointed!

John Lang's wanderings in I am curious about life in India in those days, read very few pages of this book

Simon Quinn's Human Factor...Bought it as I am a fan of Martin Cruz Smith and I assumed Simon Quinn was his pseudonym. NOt yet read it 

Reverence for life by Alert Schweitzer...because I  cant resist buying Russian classics---though I can easily resist reading them!

Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy ... not read this

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Poor people and The gambler...not read this

Mikhail Bulgakov's A young doctor's notebook...not read this

Marquis De Sade's Incest...because of morbid curiosity and  also because it's short. I finished this book today July 24 2016. I loved the style of writing, the excellent knowledge of human behaviour and the debate/talk of the chief protagonist/villain.  My comment about this book is ( I have posted on amazon) God has given creativity even to bad people....This book would not be possible if creativity was restricted by the bounds of morality. But again, would it be such a great loss to literature if this book dint happen? Would lives be lost if this book remained unwritten? I do know that several victims of marquis de sade suffered and this book is to some extent a consequence of those people's sufferings.

Dr.Vineet Aggarwal's The legend of Parashuram...because I cannot resist Indian mythology and also because I have lost 2-3 volumes of Munshi's Bhagawan Parashurama

K.M.Munshi's Stories of Vikramaditya and Prithvi Vallabh_As a teenager, I had read the stories of Vikramaditya(the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan publication...same as this one) over and over again! I was addicted to them & wonder why those unreal stories held me in such a thrall! I still remember the dozens of wives he married in the book, the dozens of time he cut off his head and offered it to Kali, the heart of the demon hidden in the parrot and only killing the parrot would kill the demon!

V.A.K.Ayer's The untold stories of Bhoja

Balwant Gargi's the naked triangle...I found it in my home

I searched his and low for Brian Stoddart's 3 books of crime fiction set in British India. (1.The Madras Miasma; 2. The Palampur Predicament and 3. Straits Settlement)Disappointingly,  none of the Bangalore book stores had these books! The sellers had not even heard of them. I know I can buy it on Amazon but I think this is one series which should be marketed in India, as there will be many eager buyers. For example, The Madras Miasma would sell like hot cakes in Chennai if it's brought to the Chennai book stores. The reviews for these books has been very very positive and I am buying them soon.

Forced to visit Bangalore again in September 2016 due to a tragedy.
Books I bought then:
Anitha Nair's second Borei Gowda detective novel, Chain of custody. Finished reading it and enjoyed it. It's better than the first in some ways for me. Also bought the three books given below. 
The untouchable
Indian customs and traditions
Richard Burtons' Vikramaditya and the vampire
Read the last two but not the untouchable

I have hoarded a lorry load of books in my house of which at least 50% are unread. I keep thinking I will read it some day, but yet I am too busy with work, sleep, TV, reading books from library, chatting with friends, travel and never can bring myself to read the unread piles of books at home. But I cannot bring myself to give away the books too.!

One HUGE improvement in me in the last one year:  I HAVE STOPPED BUYING BOOKS. Now I only borrow books from the library. I have overcome a lot of psychological barriers and finally resisted buying books!
What psychological barriers ? Hoarding tendency, acquisitiveness, greed, OC hoarding.
I have many of the Modesty Blaise graphic novels published by Titan comics but I have managed to AVOID BUYING  the last 5-8 published graphic novels in this series...though I had decided to own the complete set! Do you, dear reader, have any idea, how difficult it is to resist buying to complete a series when you own about 75% of the books in the series? 
Other books I wanted to buy but did not are the Abe Liberman series by Stuart M Kaminsky.  


Anonymous said...

Cannot wait to read all these books!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the positive comments on my Le Fanu novels, really appreciate that. If you do not yet have the books let me know at Happy reading

Last walk at Sunnybrook park by the stables

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