Words, Pages and Books

Its been a long time since I have updated my blog. I sure owe you all an apology. Jus been a little caught up with certain other ventures. Well being back from a big long break, the first thing I want to write about is a review of five of my favorite Books. I have been tagged many a time with this request and today I would like to honor it. I have been reading books probably since the age of 6. I still remember my dad taking me to the bookfair and how I would get completely mesmerized by the sheer volume of books. I have slept with a book near my pillow ever since I can remember and even now my most favorite moment would be reading a book on my couch with a cup of coffee in hand on a warm summer day.

Here goes an ode to all those books whose pages I have run my hands through

I have lived through your pages

I have seen through your eyes

I have experienced a whole new world through your words

You may have been born a hundred years back

Somehow I can still feel your heart beat

Who says a book is a non-living thing?

Somehow when you speak I have always understood

Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the Dog)

This book was written in the year 1889 by an author named Jerome K Jerome. The book starts with three absolutely lazy and sluggish men (and a dog) planning a boat trip for a break (from nothing) across the river Thames and goes on to narrate their experiences. This is by far the most hilarious book I have ever read. Believe me, if you do not laugh after having read any two pages from the book, I will buy you a pizza. For people who have read it, you know what I’m talking about. Be it the incident of Uncle Podger trying to put a nail through the wall to hang a picture frame, the one where Harris tries to sing a comic song or the description of their dog, it is just absolutely relevant to this day. That’s one of the amazing characteristics of this book.

One of my most favourite lines from the book is “It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” I definitely recommend adding a copy of this book to your personal library.

you can catch a preview of the Book here

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

This book is an edited collection of certain anecdotes, experiences and reminiscences written by Dr.Richard P Feynman who also won the Nobel Prize for his work in the field of physics and was published in the year 1985. I can hear you say “Probably a Geek!”, that’s where you are totally mistaken. The book is funny, strange, surprising and most shockingly interesting at various points. Feynman was not just a physicist completely secluded in a lab examining the structure of atoms through a microscopic device (I’m not exactly sure what physicists do even after having watched The Big bang theory).

He was a man who lived life to the fullest. He was passionate about whatever he did; be it trying his hand at drumming, sketching, dancing, writing or even falling in love. My Grandfather gave me this book to read when I was in the 9th grade and wherever I go I still make sure I buy a copy of this book. I wouldn’t say it changes your life but it definitely changes your perspective of certain things in life. I guess in a way its because of this book I have always found geeks very interesting to converse with. Having said that one of favorite quotes by this man is “the “paradox” is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality “ought to be.”

you can catch a preview of the Book here

Gone with the Wind

This book was written by Margaret Mitchell and published in the year 1936. I never know how to tag this book. Should I call it a love story, a book that chronicles the difficulties that people have undergone during the civil war or a book that narrates the story of one woman, with just Scarlet O Hara as the pivotal character? I simply cannot categorize this book. It’s one of those books that has everything; love, war, death, victory, stealth, villainy, pride and yet a certain amount of integrity etched into each character. It thrives in the shades of grey and not in black and white.

Scarlett O Hara of course grows in the book from being the most coveted teenage girl to a person who loses the man she loves, the place she had grown in and a woman who makes sure she gets what she wants by whichever means. Yet somehow at the end you still love her for the sheer force of her character, you tend to empathize and even admire her although admonish her at certain places. Rhett Butler, the first thing that pops into your mind is again the way he takes a crooked path to get what he wants in life. When I took up this book I could not get past the first 30 pages but once I had done that I could read a 1000 pages in 3 days. You cannot put this book down once you have got into it. A must read and a must have in your personal collection

you can catch a preview of the Book here

And Then There Were None

This Book was written by my favorite detective novel writer Dame Agatha Christie in the year 1940. It is a detective novel and also an unparalleled psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until the last minute the identity of the killer. Agatha Christie has published about seventy novels and I have read about 60 of them (still hunting for the ones I haven’t read so far) and in my personal opinion this novel is truly one of her very best.

I have noticed that it is one of Agatha Christies’s specialties to take up a nursery rhyme and build a thriller novel around. This one is built upon a rhyme called “Ten little indians…” and I will not reveal further, just in case you haven’t read the book. You can never say too much in the review of a mystery book since it spoils a lot of fun.

you can catch a preview of the Book here

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Written by J.K. Rowling, it is a novel that takes us into the world of wizards, witches and magic. I have loved the whole series. I have waited in queues to buy the first day copy of all the other books in the series. However the first book happens to be my favorite. I love it very simply for its innocence. It reminded me of all those Enid Blyton books I used to read as a kid and what’s even better is that The Harry Potter books had everything take place in a wonderful magical world. Yet what I loved about J.K.Rowling was the way she tied it to reality by having the magic and the non-magic folks coexist in one world. I can go on and on when I talk about this book.

Whether it’s Albus Dumbledore saying “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” to group of students on their first day at Hogwarts or on a serious note advising Harry, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”, the book has words that make you ponder over reality as well. Love the characters; Love this book; the emotions, the magic, the innocence and the laughter. Hats off to J.K.Rowling for this truly enchanting creation

Picture credits:

Three men in a Boat – http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?isbn=0765341611/LC.JPG

Surely you are joking Mr.Feynman – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d2/SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman.PNG

Gone with the wind-http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6b/Gone_with_the_Wind_cover.jpg

And then there were none – http://www.shawniekelley.com/images/and-then-there-were-none.jpg

Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2c/Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher%27s_Stone.jpg

the first picture with the book and flower – http://www.flickr.com/photos/zitona/4053097146/sizes/m/

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14 Responses to “Words, Pages and Books”

  1. Sesha says:

    Hey Anu,

    Def sure, u’ve read lot more than u’ve mentioned.. :)

    Ppl, she s an avid reader.. I’ve read Agatha Christie novel that u hav mentioned.. man, it was a nice thriller, with the song addin in d mood to the thrill..!!

  2. Raghu says:

    I just kept guessing one after the other 😀

    BTW… where is Calvin and Hobbes? 😛

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  3. Aj says:

    Ur review of the books are great Anu. All of a sudden i want to read them. I like ur style of adding a few quotes from the books :) Great Job as usual!

  4. Jerome says:

    Welcome back, 5 good books. I’ve not read most of them though. Kinda lured by this bet on 3 men in a boat. They don’t call me poker face for nothing actually they would not call me that even if I paid them still I can win this bet.(anything for a free pizza) Harry potter is good but when it comes to serious fantasy u have to read JRR Tolkien or even Robert Jordan as a matter of fact. Latest buzz on Indian author Samit basu, with his fantasy series called game world trilogy. Like his style of casual style of writing and his peculiar names of his characters. Check it out.

  5. nivi says:

    I have read everything except the “Surely Joking …” one. Will get to it soon. I must say I agree with you on everything especially “Three men in a boat” and “And then there were none”. I remember reading and re- reading three men in a boat and laughing until my sides ached. Especially the “Uncle Podger and nail incident” and the one where they describe how the house smelled of butter. The best part about it is how people look at you like you have gone nuts when you read it in a train . It is a delicious read and one to relish again and again. It is probably the most funniest book I have ever read. And Oh! I decided if I ever have a dog , he will be called “Montgomery”.

    Of the many hilarious and witty lines in the book, this is one of my fav’s

    “People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained.”

    Oh and Scarlett, I think you sort of nailed it in your analysis. You know what she is doing at times is just so wrong but you still cant help liking her or admiring her for always going after what she wants, even when you know she is behind the wrong things. And Rhett, to me Rhett was a charmer. I loved him from the first time he entered the scene. To see a man who does not care about anything else or anyone else for that matter, be head over heals in love with someone was just so romantic! And Clark Gable immortalized Rhett for me. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should, one of the best interpretations of a book. You could see Tara come alive in front of you .

    Loved reading the post. Reading about books always brings about a certain excitement doesn’t it? Reminiscing them. One of the things I am absolutely grateful to my parents is that they introduced books to me and more importantly made me realize how awesome that world is.

  6. Anu says:

    @Sesh

    yeah it was very very difficult to only talk about 5 books. yeah that Rhyme truly takes the story forward. I have tried my hand at detective stories considering i read so many but i guess it requires a very different kind of speciality that i don seem to posses

    @Raghu
    I wish i cud… again its 5 of my fav books and somehow i cudnt put Calvin in that genre. But i do have a “Calvin says” section on my blog :-)

    @Aj
    Glad u liked it. I remember our conversation about books. There are so many that we both so totally love but as i have always told u my most fav ones will always be the ones that i can read a hundred times. the only problem with fiction is that the suspense is held jus once. You really cant read it another time.

  7. Anu says:

    @Jerome
    I have heard abt Samit Basu’s book. I really really wanted to Buy it. But its not available in the US :-( :-( i shd have got it when i was in india. I feel like such an idiot now :-( I have tried lord of the rings but i found it too descriptive. somehow i jus love Harry potter. Sometimes, jus sometimes, i wish i could get lost within the pages of a book while im reading it :-)

    @Nivi
    Our booklist has always been similar :-) ofcourse i do know that u are more of an avid reader than I am. Discussing books with you has always had been great coz i know that I can buy any book that u recommend. Somehow “Three men in a boat” does not seem to be as famous here. even students doing a phd in english havent heard of it. I was really shocked. So shocked that i thrust a copy in their hands and made teh same bet about the pizza. “Three men on a bummel” was a total let down though. I totally love quotes from the book :-)

    You shd definitely catch “Surely u r jokin Mr.Feynman”. Its probably one of the reasons why i like geeks. Damn the Book!!! 😛

    its a great idea btw to name ur dog “Montgomercy”. it wud be super awesome :-)

  8. chandru says:

    Hi Anu,
    Good, you have started your writing of blogs!. It is interesting to read the review of 5 Books of your Choice, which has really mesmerized you. Wish you come out with more and more writings!!

    MOM &DAD

  9. Stephen Isabirye says:

    I am glad to learn that your reading itinerary as a child included books by Enid Blyton. Well, I am glad to inform you that I have published a book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com).
    Stephen Isabirye

  10. CM-Chap says:

    Hey Anu, Thanks a lot for this book preview.

    I’m not a voracious reader, I picked up the reading habit very late… I read books based on friends suggestion. Thanks to you, I have made up my mind for next reads… It will be Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! & Gone with the Wind.

    The first few lines of your preview about Gone with the Wind reminded me of Dagny Taggart in Atlus Shurgged :)

    And currently I’m reading “Outliers”

  11. Anu says:

    @Muthu

    Glad to have been of help :-) well reading habit can always be cultivated at any point in our lives. it dosent have to be during childhood. Personally i have never been able to finish a single Ayn Rand. Somehow its jus been too much for me to understand. Im a voracious reader but i have never been a serious reader.

    Do let me know how u liked the 2 books that u r planning to read. “Outliers” does seem interesting. Its been really long since i have read any non-fiction

    @Dad,
    Ofcourse you were the one who got me all these books that i have reviewed :-) Thx for that

  12. Kavita says:

    Anu, your poem (ode to books) has somehow touched a chord somewhere….

    its simplicity is breathtaking….just 7 lines….and you have said enough and more….

    hope you get read ever so more!!

  13. Anu says:

    @Kavita

    Thanks. you are probably the first person to have commented about my ode to books :-)

    Really glad you liked it. Welcome to my blog! and keep visiting :-)

  14. That was intriguing . I admire your style that you put into your post . Please do continue with more like this.

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