what book are you reading now?
  • hi all

    i think this question should be asked once in a few months to kindle interest in reading.
    and that too opportunities to read a different genre of book can be generated

    I am reading two books now.
    CARNATIC SUMMER by v . sriram who participated as a guest in our open house. its about 20 great carnatic musicians. to my surprise my family was mentioned in the second page regarding the article on ariyakudi ramanuja iyengar.

    also reading
    AGATHA CHRITIE- the finished portrait
    this is about one of my favourite authors.mystery writer agatha christie vanished from her home and was missing for 11 days. this book is a full scale research on what may have happened during that period.

    please let us all know what you are reading.

  • Dear Sir,
    Recently I have started reading "Kaviri Mainthan". First time I read this a year back, before joining this group. I have started reading it now for the second time.
  • Dear all,

    Now i am reading " India after Gandhi - Tamil version (Kizhakku )". One of
    the important book which explains after independance events.
  • Hi Venket Sir,

    Good topic...

    Now I am reading,

    Iconography of Brahadesvara Temple

    Sithiram Sirpam Kovil By Vikraman

    Novels, last week completed Vanthiyathevan Vaal, now reading Vengaiyin
    Mainthan. May be by next week will Start Thillaiyil Oru Kollaikaaran.
  • Hi All

    The last book I read after PSPV festival was "Tillayil Oru Kollaikkaran" by Anusha Venketesh. A different time period book than what I have read before. And had a different climax too.

    Now I am reading "oru manithan, oru veedu, oru ulagami" has a different flow and is quite interesting to read though written almost 3decades back.
  • I just bought "Aalavai" ( a book on Madurai city ) by Narasiah few hours back.. and started to read ...
  • I just finished Sujathas 'Sirukathai enzhudvadhu eppadi'..very misleading title to what was just a colection of his short stories (some of which i had read before). But nice read. On english am reading a book called 'A Raj childhood' an englishman born and raised during independance in India. Both are fascinationg.
  • I am reading
    Thirukural- no explanation needed
    The Histroy of South India by KAN Shastri - about the Sangam Age.
    The Eight Anthologies by J R Marr - Book is critical analysis of Sangam age works esp the ettu thogai. Has great information and critical analysis of Sangamage kings and Chiefs.

    Going to start
    Sandman - graphic novel by Neil Geiman- not sure what it is about !
  • I am reading 'World without end' by Ken Follet. It is a sequel to 'Pillars
    of the Earth', a novel based in 12th and 13th century england.
    Just finished 'Krishna Krishna' by Indira Parthasarathy - Story of Krishna
    as told to Jara the Hunter by Sri Krishna.
  • Dear swaroop

    with swine flu epidemic all over, i could relate to it with follet's book on the plague scenes.
    that was because i had read "world without end"
    appa, follet maathiri oru writer piranthu varanum!!

  • Hi all,
    I am reading the following books now
    a. Parkadal - La Sa Ra
    b. Hindu temples in Vietnam - J C Sharma
    c. Nam Thanthaiyar Seitha Vinthaigal - Kalki.

    I used to feel a bit guilty for starting on multiple books at the same
    time or before you finish one, I see many others also do the same, i
    feel a bit better.
  • Very interested topic Venkat.

    After wishing to read Ayn Rand for...what...almost 15 years....yes 15 years
    - started reading 'Atlast Shrugged' twice and was forced to stop exactly in
    the middle of th book for some reason or the other and gave up Ayn Rand 8
    yeas back, thinking..she is an unlucky author for me :)
    finally thought will change the book and am reading 'Fountainhead' now. :)
    Excellent book...

    Recent books - 'Quest' by WIlbur smith (thayavu senchi yarum
    padikatheenga....yappa too much) read it just because it was the triquel
    (sequel aduthathu ennathu???) of 'River God' (sequel 'Warlock')

    And 'Godfather' -wow..
  • Sathish,

    Directly reading "Atlas Shrugged" without reading Fountainhead konjam kastam
    than. When I finished reading Fountainhead I was so inspired I read the
    Atlas Shrugged in two weeks. Now you have read Fountainhead you should try
    Atlas Shrugged.

    Right now I am reading

    1. Kalki valatha Tamil
    2. A New Earth - Ekart Toole
    3. Be Hungry, Be Foolish - Rashmi Bansal

    Nice topic Venkat sir.
  • Wow,
    Everyone's reading serious stuff. :) Intriguing, some of the book choices.
    I'm afraid I'm one of those people who read several books at the same time.
    I'm re-visiting my childhood by going through several Enid Blyton mysteries
    2. Sujatha's Kanavu Thozirchalai
    3. Agatha Christie's autobiography/Murder Is Easy/Evil Under the Sun
    4. Indian History Volume 11: Struggle for Freedom
    5. Girls of Riyadh - Rajaa Alsanae

    Anyone here read/write fan fiction? I'm on a science-fiction spree right now
    (favourites include Star Trek, Star Wars and Stargate Atlantis.)
  • PAvithra, yes Blyton is a great story teller, despite her unashamed racism :) My favorite is the Frederick Trotteville series what is yours ?

    Also love Agatha Christie. Science fiction..my interest stops with Spielberg.

  • Hi Venkat, Blyton is blatantly racist and sexist but no different from attitudes and writings of her time. To understand it better you have to read her school books, Malory Towers and St Clares - almost all the children from other countries France, America, Africa and so on are caricatures and poor contrasts to the perfect British stereotypes. Of course Asian kids dont even deserve mention , there is one adventure book where there is an exotic brown guy magician named Uma. That is as far as she came as far as asians go. None of the girls have any careers, all of them grow up to be idealistic church going wives and mothers and boys have to protect and guard girls all the time. Of course all that is British is good and perfect.

    The Noddy series was edited to remove racist references about a few years ago. Blyton is disliked almost intensely in most of the States, France and Germany too - but given our own colonial history we did not find it objectionable but most people from other countries do.

    Her writing has been critqued heavily for lack of originality, short sentence construction and repeat usage of themes. The point also is that she was creative and appealed to the escapist stories children love so very much. Like Pavithra i have a few books from childhood i browse now and then and smile at the humor and memories they bring. There was a time when I thought these were classics but that is no longer there.

  • You are right maloo.
    racism should be seen in literature taking into context the years it was written in.
    a book is a mirror of its times.
    now my other favourite tintin is accused of being racist

  • Venkat, Tintin racist? No i think some extreme thinkers might think so but overall unlike Blyton Tintin is very accepted all over the world and is considered a classic. Tintin is the only nonliving character to win the World Peace Award by the way :) There exists whole fan clubs, hotels and memorabilia dedicated to Tintin.

    I am a huge, very ardent fan, would love to know if other Tintin fans are there among the PSVP crowd. What is your favorite Tintin - mine is the Calculus Affair.

  • Hi Maloo and Venkat - yeah, I know Blyton (and for that matter, Christie)
    has that racist (and sexist) tag, but that was a sign of her times, and
    though I found (still find) those sections irritating (especially the
    perfect women thing - you can see that in the Chalet School series too:), I
    tend to skip over the moralizing bits and enjoy the adventures and food.
    Five find-outers are still my perennial favourites.
    Haven't done Tintin much - but I did read the Lone Wolf series.

    Spielberg is a fave too - but I confess I read more sci-fi than watch :)
  • Pav, you enjoy british descriptions of food?? Quite unusual for an indian since it is mostly meat based. I loved the sense of adventure Blyton bought, i dont remember which book/series it was but where they camp on an island and live off of food there. Even in the school books the tricks those students play and midnight parties were ultimate hilarious stuff. So was the 'faraway tree' series venkat described where the trees used have different 'lands' was in many ways like disney for kids who had never known such stuff.

    Blyton also wrote very well on life on farms and animals. She instilled love of animals and wildlife and adventure, i think she has more to her credit despite the racist/sexist stuff.
  • Maloo - probably one of the Famous Five series. I liked them, but lost
    interest in that after a while. Fatty still remains my favourite. Like you
    said, she opened up avenues as far as imagination went. I learnt to explore
    strange new worlds through her. I might not agree with everything she wrote,
    but it was a different world, and I liked that experience.

    Re the food: yup, I enjoy descriptions of food, even if they're meat-based
    (and I'm a confirmed veggie) - maybe its just the way she used her words
    that did it. :) For that matter, I go after foodie-descriptions wherever I
    find them. All those foodie examples in PS, for instance (ohhh, that
    varagarisi choru ...)
    Balakumaran's inserted a lot of foodie-stuff in his Udayar - it feels like
    its been thrust in, but I still like them.

    There's another example of wonderfully foodie descriptions in one of Stella
    Bruce's novels - Panangattu Annachi. Its so full of food stuff that the
    instinct to burp after a particularly gourmet (!) experience is
  • When i read Blyton i used to wonder how the "honey bun" would be? I
    read that more than 10 yrs ago, i still remember the mouth watering
    way the food is described by blyton.
  • Have you guys tried audio books. Currently reading ( listening to)
    battle for the rhine 1944.

    Pallava architecture alexander rea
    Cave temples of the pallavas by k r srinivasan
    Dharma raja ratha by k r srinivasan

    Arvind, I too open too many books at the same time.
  • Pavithra, yes i agree 100% on Blyton.

    If you like food descriptions i highly recommend this lady named Bharti Kirschner who is also a culinary writer. Her novels Pastries andd Darjeeling are packed with food descriptions in the most luscious manner possible. Especially pastries is about a lady running a bakery somewhere in seattle. After i finished that book i had such a long craving for cakes and put on quite some weight :))

  • Billions of blue blistering barnacles #*¤!#¤!!

    It never occurred to me we could have fans of tintin in a fans' club of kalki. Tintin was my childhood hero and even now I luv to read tintin comics. Captain Haddock and snowy are my favourite characters - both invite trouble with a red carpet. Tintin actually inspired me to read other books to like amar chitra katha and GSEE Great stories in easy English series too. I always wanted to own the entire collection of tintin; but managed to get 5-6 of them so far. But I have lots of videos of tintin and have them in my Itouch. Don't know when I will go and splurge on the entire set of tintin books :))

    Famous five was "ok" with me. I liked it but never got quite fantacised by it like the way amar chitra katha and tintin did.

    Rani comics was my other childhood favourite. Mayavi was a character I loved to read. But I recently read a rani comics and found it too trivial - may be I have grown up ! :).

    Any more fans of tintin or rani comics ?
  • Super thread. Used to be an avid reader of Enid Blyton(Brer Rabbit&Co,
    Famous Five, Willow Farm, etc.), Hardy Boys, Perry Mason,etc. This was all
    during school. Of course Phantom, Mandrake were also part of the diet.Im a
    huge Phantom fan. Tintin was always there.

    Now im reading

    1. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mysteries (Am a very big fan and keep
    re-reading them). Hope to visit 221 Baker Street in London one of these days
    :) :)
    2. Follet's Whiteout (an ok book),
    3. Mario Puzo's Omerta (have always fancied Italian gangster movies and
    4. Harry Potter series (im a HUGE HUGE fan and am reading all these for
    the 100th time)
  • Hi ganesh

    Tintin is coming out in new format. Not the big size but smaller and
    in sets of 3. Enjoed flight 714, broken ear, castafiare emerald,
    journey to the moon, land of the black gold, tintin in nepal,
    incas...found memories. Picked 2 sets of 3 for my son recently

  • tintin in congo is being sued right now

    from wiki

    'Tintin in the Congo has often been criticised as having racist and colonialist views, as well as several scenes of violence against animals. Hergé later said that he was portraying the naïve, colonialist views of the time. Later on in his life, Hergé regretted this album and regarded it as a "youthful sin" [3] The depiction of Africans was felt by some to be racist, as they have exaggerated features'

    i love tintin.
    my favourite is captain haddock especially when he is running away from bianca castofiore's hugs.

    in fact a couple of scenes from kaviri mainthan have a very close resemblance to tintin scenes. i promise it was totally un intentional and my son found it out two years after it was published

  • i think she has more to her credit despite the racist/sexist stuff.

    dont you think sexist stuff is slightly better off than sexy stuff.
    i think most children read a 'sexy' book when they come across sheldon, then blyton seems meaningless...

  • Hi Venket

    Tintin and kaviri Maindan ?? Interesting. Can you elaborate where this happens in KM ??
  • give you a clue

    one in pirate island( land of black gold)
    one in ayyanar temple( prisoners of the sun)

  • I have the whole new collection, set of 3s..also two supplementary books detailing the history of tintin books and the art work which has enhanced over the years. (The original tintin artwork is somewhat like the originial mickey mouse..very bare bones..).

    My interest in Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie has slowly transferred to silver screen adaptations..given limited time. The BBC series on both are amazing and have seen them a few hundred times.
  • Sherlock Holmes is coming out from Hollywood soon with Robert Downey Jr in
    the lead. Holmes series is one that comes close to reading as many times as
    I have read PS(though anything cannot beat that). Guess I have read it again
    as soon as I complete the current list at hand.
  • I wonder which Holmes story hollywood is trying out now? The best Sherlock holmes ever was Jeremy Brett with BBC. Most of the rest were near disasters. I wish they'd leave classics to land of origin to be made best :))
  • I have been Herge's fan from my childhood days, every Tin Tin is simply unputdownable. My favorite characters are Thomson and Thompson, the detective twins who botch up every lead they pursue.

    French tongue in cheek at it best I enjoyed is in Asterix cartoons, the pint sized hero Asterix  and Obelix his over sized friend. The stories are about  Gauls hating and bashing Romans ( set in 2 BC)  with the help of the village druid's potion. Great humor.

    I just finished reading 'A Century of British Mystery and Suspense' a collection of 38 odd short stories from who is who of  British mystery- Doyle, Forsyth, GKC, PGW, Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming , Anne Perry to name the prominent few. Just loved it.

    Now reading an inspirational book of corporate success' Raising the Bar' by Cary Ericson founder of energy bar Clif sold in millions throughout the US and the challenges he faced building the company virtually from his garage to an independent corporate. Great story.


  • tintin and asterix
    2 books that have nothing in common except their sizes

    asterix was french and tintin belgian

    the authors play a small tribute to each other in their books.
    a caricature of asterix appears in the carnival scene in picarros
    thomson and thomPson appar in asterix in belgium.

    herge was thought to be a nazi collobarator an it was his writing that helped erase those distrust of the people

  • Wow, didn't know that..who thought Herge was Nazi, the French?

    My favorite is Thomson and Thompson too..the scene where they grow green beards and hiccup..priceless..and the scene where Captain Haddock circles the moon (The moon has a new satelli named HAddock :)) Wow and Professor Calculus 'acting the goat'..I will never forget how i lent one copy of Tintin to my retired uncle - over 70 and never read much...he read one and was laughing so loud till the house was echoeing and the older women were clueless what was going on..Humor unites people in odd ways :))
  • -Hi maloo

    tintin explorers on the moon came 15 years before amstrong. there were so many eerie co incidences.
    the final straw was tintin finds ice on the moon.
    but scientist for 3 decades beleived it was impossible till recently ice was indeed discoverd on the moon.

    i love haddock. such a helpless man before everybody's bullying, the insurance agent wagg, castiofiore, calculus's experiments on him.
    i find a little of myself in him!!


    herge a nazi?

    from the wiki

    During and after the German occupation Hergé was accused of being a collaborator because of the Nazi control of the paper (Le Soir), and he was briefly taken for interrogation after the war.[22] He claimed that he was simply doing a job under the occupation, like a plumber or carpenter.
    After the war Hergé admitted that: "I recognize that I myself believed that the future of the West could depend on the New Order. For many, democracy had proved a disappointment, and the New Order brought new hope. In light of everything which has happened, it is of course a huge error to have believed for an instant in the New Order"[23]. The Tintin character was never depicted as adhering to these beliefs. However, it has been argued that anti-Semitic themes continued, especially in the post-war Flight 714.[24]
  • Wow Venkat, that is indeed news!! So Herge was some kind of a guy with scientific insight as well..Now i must read Flight 714 to see what was anti semitic in it..i have jewish friends also in the tintin fan club i belong to.. have not heard this though. People thinking of Hitler's New Order as smnething positive initially is not at all unusual, lot of people did.
  • Dear,
     Again I am started reading ponniyin selvan. It is about 200th time.
  • Another unforgettable cartoon strip I enjoy reading is Dennis the Menace created by Hank Ketcham and the zillion impediments he poses to the neighbor, poor Mr. Wilson, who is trying to lead a normal retired life.  Some of Dennis's innocent questions are quite poignant and will jazz up your day. More fans ?

  • Ladies,

    I unabashedly would confess that the best culinary book in Tamil I enjoy reading from my mom's collection is 'Samaithu Paar' published eons ago by Meenakshi Ammal. There are literally hundreds of old style South Indian goodies in the book I keep checking up just to get the kick in spite of the challenging uzhakku, aazhakku phrases that would trip you off.  There is an English translation available ' Cook and See' - but no recipes for pastries though !

  • dennisukku illamayaa?

    but then when you start experiencing it with your own children then it becomes routine,

    ippovella fashion calvin thaan sir.
  • Hi
    Rt. now I'm reading our Muruganandam's Feroze Gandhi- my prize at the PSVP vizha & PS again for the nth time. PS to help me unwind at the end of the day. Gives me the feeling of being with friends :)
    TM I am also a big fan of de
  • TMS - 'cook and see' is a horrible translation :) I love meenakshi ammal's book too the tamil one that is - brings back lot of memories for me. For anyone who likes cook books with life stories there are two more - Turmeric Trail by Raghavan Iyer and Recipes and Stories from Grand Trunk Road, forget authors, couple of americans on tour in India.

  • Blyton may have been racist but as children we loved her writing.My
    fav isWillow Tree Farm ,Maloo the book you must be referring to is
    Island of Adventure---the Adventure series.Right now am reading Kalki
    s short storiesThirualundhur SIVAKOLUNDU. Read Balakumarans Poradum
    Pennmanigal--I was in a hurry to skip pages

    On the topic of books,does anybody remember a histoical novel
    serialised in Kumudam
    (late60s)set in the British era ;I think it was titled Adimain Kadhal
    and the hero was referred to as Kanchipurathan.
    On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM, Shobha
  • Are you referring to a food book tracing the culinary recipes along the Grand Trunk route from Bengal to Peshawar ? I remember the book with big illustrations but authored by one Indian and Pakistani not by a touring American couple. I may be wrong.

  • I think you are right, the big book with illustrations. There is also one by an american couple on touring india, i will find the name, fascinating that was too.

    These are all one time reads and advantage in US is you get them in libraries. I would not spend the money they cost otherwise. Raghavan Iyer's Turmeric trail is a good read and rings true for many south indians. Has anyone read it?
  • > Blyton may have been racist but as children we loved her writing.My
    > fav isWillow Tree Farm ,

    is that the one about two brothers families a rich snob called rose... i forget the name though i feel enid stepped out of fantasies into the realm of reality in that book

  • while on the culinary trail a television series with padmalakshmi on the foods of india.

    wonderful series for more reasons than the compere;)


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