Books and ME

Suddenly I found there’s a good lending library near my home and I went in to join there. Β And what with the younger one going crazy with the Twilight series, the elder one with the Shopaholic series and me with a big list from Smita, Smitha, Monu, Swaram, the library is richer by a few thousands now. They have even invested in buying some new books for us, for the amount of circulation we give to the books. And many more of my friends have been referred to that library and they have many new customers because of me. πŸ˜‰

I found the Harry Potter series quite interesting, even though it was aimed at the teenagers. Β I loved the magical ventures, the daredevil trials with Voldemort and the way every piece of puzzle was fitted to perfection, with the final book in the series. I admired the author J K Rowling for that kind of writing. Β But somehow, I couldn’t relate to the vampire tales of Twilight. Just after I started reading, I somehow stopped myself. From my young age, I liked magic, but never vampires. Maybe all those make a difference, while identifying myself with the characters in the book.

I’ve been a fan of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (CBD), from the time I read Sister of my Heart, long time back. Β The reading of this book was actually instigated by the tamil serial which was made based on this book. That serial was one of the best serials the TV has seen in its entire life….and I loved the serial for its strong and wonderful portrayal of the characters in the book. Β And the actors were chosen with care and each one fit into the role beautifully. Β Sister of my Heart captured my heart, then and now, too.

Now, when I read it again, it made me identify with ease to the characters, Sudha, Anju, Gowri, Pishi and Nalini. Β WOW, each one of them is such a strong personality and how their lives are interwoven and how Sudha and Anju react to their upbringing…each and every scene is so vivid in my memory still. Β I cried and laughed with the sisters, in their sad and happy moments. Β I understood, when Sudha decided to get married to Ramesh instead of eloping with Ashok, which I never thought was possible to do. Β Pishi with her gentle story telling, stole my heart.

Its only when I am able to relate to the characters, I enjoy the book.

And the same goes true, when I took Palace of Illusions. My God, such a strong portrayal of Draupadi and it was a fantastic experience reading it from the female perspective, the epic called Mahabharata.

There’s a saying in our Hindu households, that one can read Ramayana at home, but not Mahabharata. Ramayana is good for the mind, cleanses the soul and gives good vibes. But Mahabharata is the story of revenge and never should be read at home. But one can listen to the tales from Mahabharata, told by others. All these things never made sense to me…if one has to read a story, the following of good things and neglecting the bad, is totally up to them. Β Actually, Ramayana tells us how to live and Mahabharata tells us how not to live, is what my patti used to say.

Anyway, reading Mahabharata in the eyes of Draupadi, was a fantastic experience for me and I revelled in it. Β Her feelings about her birth, her conversations with Krishna, the way she was obsessed with her palace…every incident was fantastically described and I loved this whole book.

Then came the Vine of Desire – What transformation from that simple Sudha !!!! I admired the way, she developsΒ her confidence and the way she started taking decisions, instead of following what others make for her all the time. Β Loved the way the book ended, with Anju learning to fly…after all, life’s all about enjoying yourself and flying with your dreams.

Yes, Gone with the Wind was read like a sponge absorbing the bucket of water. Β I was desperate to read it and read it one go, never wanting to stop in between and hated the distractions like cooking and washing. OMG, how much I missed this book !!! Its been years since I read it last. Now, waiting to get hold of this DVD.

Sometimes, I feel that I find stories with strong women characters, hugging me like a lovely quilt. I don’t want to leave that book down. I want to know them all, their feelings, their difficulties, how they overcome them, eventually proving how strong women are.

Then there was this…The Alchemist – Amazed at the simple logic in life, but we always find it complicated. It’s only a moment’s realisation to understand the logic, that’ll make life happy. Fantastic read !!!

But I just couldn’t read beyond one book of that Shopoholic series…just never related myself to Rebecca…just can’t understand women can be stupid enough for a financial journalist.

I am going again this week, for my visit to the library…so any suggestions ???? Β Already, I’ve decided to look for One Amazing Thing by CBD, which Monu had reviewed.


33 Replies to “Books and ME”

  1. I miss this… I remember our library which was in alwarthirunagar…. It just stocked every kind of book and although I was not a member … Library uncle allowed me to read books during vacation time for Rs. 5-10. Miss that library very badly now 😦
    He would even suggest me books, which one to read, not to read… and it was always good to have a conversation with him… πŸ˜€
    You brought me back some fond memories…


    1. Even I used to part of a library in Kodambakkam, near my thatha’s place. Oh, cute tiny place, with all the books I wanted then…one of my best spent times. πŸ™‚ Its good to be nostalgic abt books, na.. πŸ™‚


  2. I review almost all books that I read, atleast from when I started dng reviews .. so u know what my suggestions are πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Its so nice to hv a nice library Ums .. I end up buying every single book that I want to read!


    1. Yeah, I am taking them from ur review list too…. πŸ™‚

      Its not only my book-list, Swaru…if I start buying I need to buy for my elder one separately and the younger one separately…and then, where to store….logistic problem….

      So, better stick to lending library for the time being….

      I love the smell of old books…the stored up first edition ones…I love them all. πŸ™‚


  3. How beautifully you have expressed how you feel!!!

    “Sometimes, I feel that I find stories with strong women characters, hugging me like a lovely quilt. I don’t want to leave that book down. I want to know them all, their feelings, their difficulties, how they overcome them, eventually proving how strong women are.”

    I loved all these books too and I am so glad we are seeing so many more of these.

    Have you read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Colour Purple’?


      1. Excellent books both of them…
        Elizabeth Bennet is one of my fav characters of all times. πŸ™‚ And Mr. Darcy is a man to die for;) πŸ˜‰ Ahhh! I have watched the whole BBC series a couple of times….. πŸ˜› But that movie totally ruptured the fabric of the story with the Miss World’s nonacting skills!! 😦
        Yes, I’ve seen that BBC series couple of times…Hey, did u watch it in Zee studio, last year ???
        And Colour Purple, it’s some thing else, u’ll have to read it to find out….
        Ums, U shd read both I say… πŸ™‚
        Okayie Madam, advice taken…will attend to that sincerely. πŸ™‚
        Toni Morrison, I think u would like her

        Alchemist is what I pick up and read, any page would do when I’m down and MJ is out of phone’s reach and I need some real motivation πŸ™‚
        WOW, what a book this is…absolutely a great motivator to carry on with life. I love the way he describes “Beginners Luck”
        Yet to read Palace of Illusions.. I like CBD.. her articles too..
        I’m looking out for a lending library too in this area but I love buying and collecting these books, and then re reading them after a while
        GWW… I never passed page 20 or 30, it still lies there unfinished!!
        GWW – Its tough to get past that 150 pages of pure description only…but later its a book to keep u engrossed…have u seen the movie ???


      2. That simile like a lovely quilt is so apt… Loved it:) way to go Umss…

        Thanks Ash…I don’t know how I wrote that…sometimes what I feel comes out so spontaneously that even a draft will not do. πŸ™‚


  4. A lending library would be a dream come true πŸ˜€
    though we have an online library which sends us books after we select them online, but visiting a library and lounging around is so much fun.
    Try Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series. If you like Harry Potter, you’l love these. I think I did a review once. will search for the link


    1. Oh yeah…got that book for my daughter on ur recommendation. πŸ™‚

      Even though online lib is easy, I prefer this – going to the lib, roaming around and smelling the books…choosing….searching….its a trip by itself. πŸ™‚


  5. Sigh! No proper lending libraries near my home! So, I buy, read and sell back the ones I didn’t enjoy or couldn’t relate to!

    Enjoy your reading time Ums! πŸ™‚


    1. Before selling them, give me a call…maybe I can look into them once. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks Pix. Book-addiction is equivalent to blogoaddiction… πŸ˜‰


  6. Sister of Heart was my first CBD Book & I fell in love with it. I didn’t like Vine of Desire much! And if you are CBD fan you HAVE to read Arranged Marriage!!! It is one of her best books!!!

    I had tried reading Goen with the wind but couldn’t last beyond 21 pages so I skipped the rest read the end and ta-da-da I was thru πŸ˜€

    And u didn’t like Shopaholic series??? I have read it twice and have picked it again hehehe…but hey read “20s Girl” from the same author! It is a good one!!!

    Also u can pick “The Time Travellers Wife”, “The Bridges of Madison County”, “My Sisters Keeper” !!!


    1. Was waiting for ur suggestions…thanks a ton…now my list is growing !!! Arranged Marriage, eh…how did I miss it ??? That one tops the list. πŸ™‚

      I am just suggesting the 20s girl to my daughter… πŸ˜‰

      Glad to know u, Smita !!! πŸ™‚


      1. I agree with Smita, The Shopoholic series is wonderful! It is such a fun read, that I went crazy laughing. I think I laughed through all the books πŸ™‚


  7. Ok, you tricked me in reading this post which is actually a compiled book review !!! I shouldve guessed it by the title itself !! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Btw, you mentioned somewhere that you need to relate to the characters of the book to enjoy it, na ? so, you could relate to those creatures and wizards in the Harry Porter series ?? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


    1. It doesnt talk abt the story…like the review…all these are how I personally relate to a particular book.

      Harry Potter – I related to the magical journeys, the fantasy world – there shld be at least something I can relate with, in any book. πŸ™‚


    1. Yeah, its a sort of re-discovery…been at it before wedding…now, its back with a bang…of course, its because of my girls…they pestered till I got that library membership. πŸ˜‰


  8. Uma, This is a post I love! Books, books and more books πŸ™‚

    I have so many reviews to do. I think I read faster than I can write reviews πŸ™‚

    I realize how lucky I am, having a wonderful library near by. We get 20 books at a time and believe me, I find such gems sometimes. Authors I had no clue about, surprise me with their books πŸ™‚ And yes, the list keeps increasing doesn’t it? I have such a long list of books that I have to read!


    1. Thats amazing, Smitha, you get 20 books at a time..we hardly get 4 or 5 max. But still, its worth the effort and we are all enjoying the book reading sessions at home. πŸ™‚

      Just mail me a list of books which u liked…I can try to find them here… πŸ™‚


  9. It’s great to have a library close by. But well, am a book fanatic…and I simply have to BUY every single book I want to read. the blueprint of our dream house already has a huge library with the best couches and huge shelves πŸ˜‰

    I donno what stops me from doing book reviews. But i never feel i can do justice to the books by reviewing them in my vocabulary!!!! Unless it’s a pathetic book (these things are so subjective, arent they?), which again maybe someone else’s fav! πŸ˜€

    Please try and get your hands on:
    To Kill A Mocking Bird
    Life of Pi
    The Kite Runner and
    Marley & Me

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ All in different leagues…but I’m sure you’ll love all of these πŸ™‚


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