Friday, August 23, 2013

The Sunday Haul

The Sunday before last Sunday I had a haul I had forgotten to write about in the recent posts. I think it was while searching for reviews of Achebe’s books that I read the name Ngugi. At Abids, the previous Sunday, I found ‘The Devil on the Cross’ by Ngugi and decided to buy it after I read on the cover that the Tribune called it as ‘one of the century’s great novels.’ I read on the back cover that Ngugi was the most celebrated of African novelist. Curiously, I hadn’t ever heard of the book or the author which was another reminder that there are several authors and several good books ouit there that I do not know about.
That wasn’t the only item in the haul though. I also found a May, 2012 issue of CNT which had a lengthy article on, of all places, Hyderabad. It was written by Sunil Sethi of Just Books fame. The article titled ‘The Lost Jewels of Hyderabad’ had many photographs and was quite lengthy but I found nothing in it that I did not know about. While the places mentioned in it like Chowmahalla Palace and of course, the Charminar are in this side of the city the people mentioned in it are , quite naturally, are from the Jubilee Hills crowd which isn't surprising since magazines like this are read by that crowd. It was disappointing that Sunil Sethi couldn't find anyone in this part of the city to talk to or mention in the article. But I was piqued to read about the Pinky Reddy mentioned in it who I had met a long time ago (and who had a smile to die for) and the Pinky Reddy whose picture was included. There was a picture of a lovely lady in a bangle store in Lad Bazaar who I think is the Pinky Reddy with the lovely smile.
The third find was an issue of The New Yorker that I got for just twenty rupees. It was the April, 16, 2012 issue with an article on Mecca by Basharrat Peer and a poem by Amit Majmudar. I read only Basharrat Peer’s lengthy piece and have yet to read the other articles in it. Of course, I looked at all the wonderful cartoons and had quite a laugh.

Last Sunday’s haul consisted of just one book- ‘A Sort of Life’ by Graham Greene that I got for only thirty rupees. It was a hardcover copy and looked quite old without the jacket. It was by sheer luck that I spotted it among a heap of run down hardcover titles.
Sometime last week I set out to visit ‘Unique Books’ at Nampally only to find that the ancient building that housed the store was completely demolished. Last Sunday I asked the guy and was told that they had moved the store to a place near the Lakdikapul bridge. One of these days I plan to go there and check out the books there.

The other news is that the Best Books sale might be sometime in the second week of September. I am looking forward to picking up some really good titles in that sale and plan to set aside a couple of thousand rupees. In the previous sale I had found very good titles so it is a sale not to be missed at any cost.

The news of Elmore Leonard’s death saddened me. He was one of my favourite writers. As a tribute I plan to re-read all his books that I have with me. I will begin with my favourite- ‘Freaky Deaky’ and next read ‘Get Shorty’ followed by ‘Be Cool’ and other titles. I regret not buying the copy of ‘Djibouti’ that I had seen at Dehradun on my first visit to the place in June this year. If only I had bought it I would have been quite happy. I will also look out for another recent title of his that I haven’t read- ‘Raylan’ that I hope I will find at Abids sometime soon.

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