Friday, March 06, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 1-3-2015)

For someone who has studied the sciences in college ( I am an agricultural entomologist by qualification, by the way) I’ve never really lost interest in the various branches of science. While not making any special effort to keep abreast of the latest developments I’ve managed to find and read titles whose writers had an interesting view on specific subjects. Some such titles include ‘The Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson, a truly terrifying account of the damage that pesticides can do to our environment, ‘The Orchid Thief’ by Susan Orlean, ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard, ‘Sand County Almanack , ‘Desert Solitaire, a title by Sue Hebell. It is rare to find such titles at Abids but when I spot one I don’t let it go. One such title I found last Sunday was ‘Seed to Seed: The Secret Life of Plants’ by Nicholas Herberd that I got for forty rupees.
The Sunday before last I had spotted ‘The Collected Stories’ by Amanda Cross in a heap of books selling for thirty rupees. Despite the enticing blurbs- ‘Amanda Cross is a master of the Literary Whodunit’ and ‘If by some cruel oversight you haven’t discovered Amanda Cross, you have an uncommon pleasure in store for you’ and this is by New York Times Book Review) I did not pick it up. But when I saw it again last Sunday in the same heap, I decided to buy it. The collection has ten stories: Tania’s Nowhere, Once Upon a Time, Arrie and Jasper, The Disappearance of Great Aunt Flavia, Murder Without a Text, Who Shot Mrs Byron Boyd?, The Proposition, The George Eliot Play, and The Baroness.
The next find was another book with the word ‘Seed’ in its title. I’ve had my eye on a hard cover copy of ‘Magic Seeds’ by VS Naipaul for some time now but the seller was asking for a too steep price. I’ve never paid so much for any books so I did not bite. Last Sunday I was lucky to find a decent copy that I got for only forty rupees.