Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

First Among Equals – Jeffrey Archer

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

This is what I read last night. Or at least most of it.I started reading around dinner time, and then as is my illness, I just couldn’t bring myself to sleep without knowing the end. Now my eyes are read and I managed only around 3 hours sleep last night and wondering when I can go home from the office.

The book is a good read. It is about British politics, so you should have a basic understanding of their cabinets and shadow cabinets and stuff. Or maybe not. My brain is not working right now.

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Why didn’t they ask Evans – Agatha Christie

Friday, May 4th, 2012

This doesn’t have Poirot or Marple or any other recurring detectives. Friends Bobby Jones and Lady Frances Derwent investigate the murder of a falsely identified John Doe in which Bobby already seems to be entangled to his peril. There is the sinister foreign doctor, charming criminals, damsels in distress etc. It was as usual fun to read. And the murder does get solved by the foolish pair. Kind of. I now have a problem remembering which all Agatha Christie books I have read when I see a new one!

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The Red House Mystery – A.A. Milne

Friday, April 13th, 2012

I kind of did a random reading from project gutenberg. The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne. I liked the book, and the Sherlock references. Even though reading all these detective stories made me ‘know’ the solution in the beginning itself. It was that transparent. Anyway, I looked up the author, and he is the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh. I thought Pooh was completely Disney! And wait, Christopher Robin was Milne’s son!

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The Beetle – Richard Marsh

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Read “The Beetle” by Richard Marsh.

It so happened that I read some books by Richard Marsh from Project Gutenberg.

I read the Beetle, which is quite the page-turner and I wonder why I never heard of it before. The shape-shifting beetle-person and somehow very 20th century love stories(not the idealistic stuff from other Victorians) were interesting.

Then the same day I happened to watch the Doctor Who episode with Agatha Christie and the giant wasp. What are the chances!

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Mrs McGuinty is Dead

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Back to Agatha Christie. I did not pick this up all these days because I thought I had read it. Apparently I haven’t.
It was as usual a fun read. I kind of solved it before Poirot though.. :) Ariadne Oliver too makes an appearance and it is fun.

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Short Stories – JD Salinger

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

For Esm̩ РWith love and Squalor
A perfect day for a bananafish

I read these two short stories in my collection of Salinger’s short stories. I have wanted to read Esme for quite some time. And after I finish reading it, I am not sure I do quite understand the story. You know, what lies between the story. After years of pop reading I have forgotten that we have to think about people’s thoughts in another type of stories. And I count Camus as my favourite writer. Silly me.

I loved the stories. I liked bananafish better than Esme. Mr Glass is much more real to me than the little girl with the big vocabulary.
HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO LOVE AND KISSES CHALES.

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Oscar Wilde

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

I have been re-reading Oscar Wilde. In awe still of all the witty one-liners he made up. Apart from that, what a difference a couple of decades make in an author. I thought Dorian Gray was more or less a children’s book when I read it first. Of course it must have been an abridged version. Then there was Happy Prince, lady winderemere’s fan and so on. All such light hearted books you see. And I read it today, and am like woah… That was some guy.

I look at the statue in Oscar Wilde’s wikipedia page, and it looks so apt. Such a beautiful man. I read Dorian Gray last night and I wonder how it will be if someone were really to live only for pleasure and beauty and one’s own self. Would it really be so bad so as to make someone a monster? But then, we are all so conditioned to be right. And am so unhappy about how it all ended for Wilde. Such an unfair world.

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Artemis Fowl – The Time Paradox

Friday, February 17th, 2012

I have been hearing about Artemis Fowl here and there for some years. Finally I picked up one book to see what all the brouhaha was about. I picked up the sixth book first. Maybe I should start with the first.

It was not bad. But I did not read it through in one go as is my custom. Had to sneak a page here and there between shopping and work and stuff, with people in the house. The story has time travel, a genius criminal mastermind(though he wasnt exactly criminal in this one) and pretty elves. Very different from the Tom Sawyer books of my childhood.

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The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood

Friday, January 13th, 2012

A good book. Then Margaret Atwood is a good writer. And as you read through it, you mentally save all those quotes.

This is a very simple book for Atwood, or so I thought. There are three women; childish somehow, even Roz the businesswoman, and then there is their nemesis Zenia. As I read through it, it dawns on me how brilliant the writer is because I am scared of what Zenia will do next. Just like them. The words she flings at them hurt, and there is the helplessness, there is pain, everything comes through in words. Zenia is brilliant as the monster of fairytale, ruthless, not quite human. So are the three little women, who are so crazy about love and so vulnerable.

As I finished the book, it occurred to me all the men in this book are bad ‘uns, mean and selfish. The women are good. :) And they are the ones (except Zenia) who are loyal, in love forever and generally nice humans. Of course except the two gay men.

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The man who cut off my hair

Monday, January 9th, 2012

As a child I read a short story with a title ” The cruel man who cut my hair.” Or so it must be if translated from Malayalam. I lost the book somehow, and from then on I was searching for it. It was part of a set of translated detective stories from around the world, and I knew the story by heart, except for all the names. There was a little girl who could lip-read and she surprised some thieves at a neighbours house, and they cut off her hair before taking away all the silver. Every year or so I do a google search on it. Yet, I never figured out which was that story. Till today. :)

It is a Judith Lee story by Richard Marsh. And the title is “The man who cut off my hair”. Unfortunately no Judith Lee stories online,though I found some other titles by the author on project gutenberg. So off I go to read a childhood favourite.

An Update: I bought the book “The complete Adventures of Judith Lee” from flipkart.. Yippee… :) So I was able to read it all over again. And the other twenty one Judith lee stories as well. The book is from Black Coat Press, and the quality is much better than the ‘Weird and supernatural collection of Richard Marsh’ I bought earlier.Even though I did find a couple of errors here and there. I loved the cover illustration of Judith Lee as well. The collection starts with ‘The Man Who Cut off My Hair’ as it indeed is the first ever Judith Lee story. The first paragraph tells all we want to know about the heroine. She is a teacher of the deaf and dump, and a very good one at that. In the subsequent stories we learn that people consult her when they start new schools, she trains the teachers and she attends conferences in Berlin. A very independent and smart young woman. She can also do jujitsu, a la Sherlock Holmes. She even gets into a kind of knife fight with the mafia while rescuing damsel in distresses. The stories and plots are good, and the heroine as little busybody with a very active social and professional life is a refreshing one.

She also says thing like I am a woman, and sometimes women are almost as illogical as men, though not often. Can you wonder I absolutely love Miss Lee?

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