The joys of co-hosting

Technically, it was Karthik who got tagged. But I’ve no powers of resistance against tags such as this. Am butting in. But Karthik – Veena & I are both eager to know your own list.

Total number of books I own
About 300-400 (counting stuff from the dark ages, including my collection of Russian children’s literature). Practically of it is back home in India. I have less than 10 (although I suspect 25 may be a fairer number) in Dallas. My parents are under strict instructions to NOT lend my books out, and I conduct random, unannounced phone interviews to ensure that they’re sticking to the rules. Thankfully none of my cousins is into most of the stuff I read, but my old Asterix comics are under constant threat and that’s enough to keep me awake at nights.

Last book(s) I bought
Ponniyin Selvan Collection by Kalki as translated by CV Karthik Narayanan
Parthiban Kanavu by Kalki (another English translation)
Two Lives by Vikram Seth
Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies by McKinsey & Company Inc., Tim Koller, Marc Goedhart, David Wessels – purchased in a moment of madness I still can’t explain

Last books(s) I read
Howard’s End by EM Forster
The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole by Stephanie Doyon
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Caesar: A Novel by Colleen McCullough

Books I am currently reading
Two Lives by Vikram Seth
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
Shipping News – Annie Proulx

Five books that I have really enjoyed or influenced me
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
The Head of Kays (my first Wodehouse)
Pride & Prejudice
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
The last two are major ‘influencers’, and have contributed in a major way to my approach to life and romance – the conviction that I don’t want to settle for anything short of the sort of romance that Elizabeth & Darcy have, balanced by the equally unassailable conviction that true love can only lead to a marriage like Helen Graham’s. My friends & family wonder why I’m screwed up – well, now you know. I place the blame squarely on these two long dead Englishwomen.

Books I plan to buy / read next
Haruki Murakami – Kafka on the Shore
The White Mughals by William Dalrymple
Anything by Kazuo Ishiguro / Zadie Smith / Vikram Seth / Margaret Atwood
The next Harry Potter

Authors / Books that caught my attention and I have never read, but consider my “duty” to read
The Histories – Herodotus
Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey
Niall Ferguson

Books I own but never get around to reading
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children
Michael Cunnigham’s The Hours
Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies by McKinsey & Company Inc., Tim Koller, Marc Goedhart, David Wessels. I knew this would happen. It’s lovely to be so right about things.


5 comments so far

  1. Falstaff on

    Doz: Nice. Was wondering if you’d done one of these but decided not to tag people on general principle.

    I find it a little disturbing that the first book that leaped out at me in your post was the Valuation book. Good stuff, that.

    Big Thumbs Up for Equal Music (which serves to remind me that I forgot to mention the Golden Gate when I did this tag!), but you really, really, need to read the Marquez and the Rushdie.

    On Atwood: I wouldn’t read just anything. Some of her books can be a bit of a drag. If I had to pick I would say: Surfacing, Handmaid’s Tale, Blind Assassin, Alias Grace. Also the Selected Poems are pretty good.

  2. DoZ on

    Falstaff: Thanks.

    I might have know you’d say something like that abt the Tim Coller book 🙂 Rushdie & Marquez – I’ll read them – I have a whole list of “supposed to” books, and these 2 are at the very top.

    About Atwood, I know what you mean. I’ve indeed read everything on your list, save the poetry. Blind Assassin was my first Atwood and I decided I was going to be a loyal fan… Didn’t really like the rest of her stuff as much as I did Assassin. Have you tried her fables / fairy tales retold? Quite wicked at first, but start to tire after a while.

  3. Falstaff on

    Doz: Atwood – have read the fairy tales / fables. Wasn’t that blown away. Give me Anne Sexton any day. My personal favourite Atwood is probably Surfacing, though Handmaid’s Tale comes a close second. Of her more recent stuff, I thought Oryx and Crake was interesting, though after a while it just felt a little too overblown. I think my problem with a lot of Atwood’s early novels is that they end up seeing a little formulaic. So, for instance, with Cat’s Eye – somewhere halfway through I was convinced that I’d read this same book before, even though I knew I hadn’t. That’s one of the reasons I love surfacing so much – it’s such a fundamentally different narrative / story. It’s like reading a whole other writer.

    On Rushdie: I should say (just looking at the comments on etcetera – god, this is confusing) that if you didn’t like Moor’s Last Sigh (especially the first part of it) you’re unlikely to care for Midnight’s Children much – you might actually be better off trying your hand with Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I personally think Midnight’s Children is a unique and incredible book – insistently hyper-literal, insanely inventive and almost endlessly inspired. But that’s just me.

  4. DoZ on

    Falstaff: I agree again about Atwood. Only difference is that I prefer Blind Assassin to Surfacing… I found Surfacing & Handmaid’s Tale kinda similar. I haven’t read Oryx & Crake because the blurb read a little too wierd. After Blind Assassin, I’d put Alias Grace, although it does get a bit lost towards the end… I didn’t know it was based on a real story until I finished reading it, and remember being disappointed when you never really do find out what happened.

    About Rushdie. Yeah, Midnight’s Children & Haroun are the two I might give a shot when I do get around to Rushdie.

  5. Georgios on


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