Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Small Achievement

This blog is at No. 12 on the list of 'Top 15 Book Blogs in India' put out on, an online shopping portal.

Here's the link:

I think it is a fluke and not much to crow about. (I did crow about it on FB, though) However, I realize that it is almost eight years since I started this blog and now someone else other than my friends and family has at last noticed it. Feels good.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Sunday Haul (21-02-2015)

I had a vague thought in mind to watch the movie when I found the book. I did not really expect to find the actual book but on Sunday it was quite a surprise to come across a nice copy of ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed. I decided to forego the movie for the time being since I could know the story better by reading the book. Even if I decided to watch the movie ultimately I don’t know if it would be around by the time I finish reading the book which has more than 300 pages.
It was a hot Sunday morning and I was alone at Abids. It was actually a blessing in disguise since I could focus on each and every title on the pavements. However, despite the keen search I couldn’t find anything. There was a book of short stories by Amanda Cross that looked interesting but I gave it a miss. The name seems familiar but somehow I did not feel like picking it up which could be a dumb thing to do for all I know. But if I see it next Sunday then maybe I will pick it up.
Earlier on Friday I dropped in at the MR Bookstore beside the Punjagutta flyover in the evening. I wanted to check out if there were any interesting titles to pick up. When I saw ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ by Keigo Higashino I remembered what Jai told me recently. He had told me not to miss any title by Keigo Higashino. So naturally, I took his advice seriously and picked up ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ by Keigo Higashino. Though the price sticker mentioned 150 rupees I got it for a hundred. It wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t too high a price either. Crime fiction interests me greatly so I have already begun reading it and found it to be extremely engrossing.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Sunday Haul

A few days back the Government announced that shops could be allowed to open on Sundays also. At that time I did not really pay much attention about it since it wouldn’t affect me because I am not such a big shopper. However I thought that it was a good idea since both shoppers as well as the shopkeepers would benefit from it. It wasn’t until I went to Abids last Sunday that I realized that the Government’s latest announcement would affect me directly. When I first noticed that a couple of shops were open I did not give it much thought but later I remembered the announcement. It might take a couple of months for the shopkeepers to get into the habit of keeping the shops open so until then I guess the Sunday book bazaar at Abids would remain. Afterwards, what? I do not want to think or imagine about it now.
On the way to Abids I had stopped at a pavement bookseller at Chikkadpally. The guy looks so forlorn and lost that sometimes I give him books that I no longer want to keep with me. This made him that he is indebted to me. So he refuses to take any money from me when I pick up a title I find in his collection. But I always pay him whatever ridiculously low price he sometimes quotes. So when I spotted ‘The World of Malgudi’ an omnibus book with four titles- Mr Sampat, The Financial Expert, The Painter of Signs, and A Tiger for Malgudi- I picked it up. It was in extremely good condition and I desperately wanted it. He let me have it for only hundred rupees.
The next find was at Abids. It was a title that I never cease to find everywhere in all bookstores, and also pavement sellers. I have seen so many copies of it at so many places over the years but did not buy it. Finally, last Sunday, I bought ‘Cold Mountian’ by Charles Frazier when I got it for a low price. It is a forbidding tome of about 450 pages which was one of the reasons why I had resisted buying it till now. Anyway, now that I have bought it I hope to find time to read it some day in the future.
A couple of years ago at a book sale in YMCA I had come across Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Everything is Illuminated’ that I did not buy for some stupid reason. I guess it was the price that put me off then. However, I did not come across the title again anywhere. At Abids I saw another Foer title- ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ that I hesitated for a long time to buy. This title too was another tome of nearly 350 pages of which about 25 pages are blank with some illustration filling a quarter of the page. Only when I read the book perhaps I will know what that illustration.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Sunday Haul

Last Friday, it was my birthday which was one reason why there was no post on the blog. Another reason was that I did not have anything to write on the blog since the Sunday before I returned empty handed from Abids. Though I spent a couple of hours scouring the pavements I found nothing interesting enough to make me buy it.
However, last Sunday it was a different scene. The summer is upon Hyderabad if the warm mornings are any indication. At Abids I found two more books within the hour. The first find was in a heap of books selling for thirty rupees. The moment I spotted ‘The Spoon River Anthology’ by Edgar Lee Masters I knew it was something worth buying. I had read about it somewhere and that also pushed me to buy it. It has 214 poems and is considered as a title that brought fame to Edgar Lee Masters.
The second find was Shrilal Shukla’s ‘Opening Moves’ that I got for fifty rupees. Ever since I read ‘Raag Durbari’ I had been looking for more writing by Shrilal Shukla and so when I found ‘Opening Moves’ I felt thrilled. Since I had finished reading ‘Raag Durbari’ for the third time sometime last month I plan to start ‘Opening Moves’ very soon. With these two books the haul so far in 2015 has gone up to 17.