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Some Things and A Book List…..

It’s as usual been a crazy busy month and things at work are not so great! While work per se is brilliant, the auxiliaries, of people and their selfish squabbles do not make for fun environment! It seems the more we evolve as humans, the more we get stuck in the mundane and lose grip over what are the things that are most important in life – loyalty, decency and kindness! But I am told all Corporate work place is similar and its one set of nonsense or the other; I most often think I am misfit and I do long to do something else. But firstly there are bills to be paid and secondly and perhaps more importantly, we cannot run away from our troubles; we have to stand and fight it! So here I stand, and here I stay and we will see, what the morrow brings!

Someone very close to me keeps telling me that we are fortunate to have resources, outside of work, from where we can find happiness and that is the key to true nirvana! I think there is much truth in this statement and thank goodness for books that keep things going for me – they provide wisdom, solace, laughter and an escape!Isee many of you putting up a 20 Books of Summer post, a wonderful event by Cathy at 746 Books and while I really not sure if I will make it the end of the whole list, I am reading one too many books, so might as well join the fun? So what am I reading now and what am I planning to read next? Too many things, as always –

  1. The 4 Loves by C.S. Lewis – This is a read along that I on an impulse joined and is hosted by my dear friend and partner in crime, Cleo. I make slow progress, as while it is a slim book, it has a lot of things to say; and absorbing all of that and processing it all is time consuming. Work being what it is, naturally, allows me for barely any time for the kind of focused reading that this book truly deserves. I am hanging on anyway and while I am not sure I will make it to the end by June, I will make it to the end and my guess is that is what counts!
  2. What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon – This time traveling book set in 1920s Ireland has been garnering rave reviews and I have seen it on many 20 Books for the Summer list among my friends. I picked it up again on an impulse, and now half way through the book, I realize that this books deserves all of the praise and more.  Ireland comes alive, with its politics, beauty and lyricism in this novel!
  3. The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye – One of my all time favorite and go to books, this timeless tale of Captain Ashton Pelham Martin, an English Officer in the Corps de Guide who was brought up as a son of a Hindu woman and Princess Anjuli Bai, the neglected daughter of an Indian King, set in the backdrop of the 2nd Afghan War is an epic read of the British Raj and the men and women, who loved and served India as their own!
  4. A Journey to the Western Island of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour of Hebrides by Samuel Johnson and James Boswell – Yet another reading adventure that I started with Cleo and we both are making slower progress than snails in 100 meter dash! I am not sure why we are slow in reading through this one, considering we both are really loving the description and the take on manner and societies of late 18th century, but we do plan to complete this, sooner rather than later.
  5. Outlander by Diane Gibbon – Ok! I confess, I have no idea why I picked this one up and now mid way at some 400+ pages of 800 page monster, I am wondering how I shall get to the end! If I should get to the end at all? I think, everyone gets the drift on how I feel about this book!
  6. Gun Island by Amitava Ghosh – Mr. Ghosh remains one of my most favorite Indian English author and I usually love his writings! The Shadowlines pierced my heart and The Glass Palace was  a story so close to my families history, it was like my ancestors came alive! But not all his writings go down well with me – I was left with such a trauma with Hungry Tide, that it was literally years, before I picked up another book by him. Gun Island is a gift and my sister who finished it last weekend, cannot stop ranting and raving about it. So I am now 100 pages in the book and it is needless to say quite interesting and exotically so, but I await the end before I can actually share a verdict!
  7. The Binding by Bridget Collins – Another book about which I heard rave reviews and am yet to start. Its about a young boy apprenticed to a book binder, a position of power and in the vault of his mentor’s workshop, he discovered, books and books of records and memories! It’s a book about book and I am hedging my bet that it should be good!
  8. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – Yet another impulse buy. This will be the last of the Gaskell that I have not read and I have held off reading it for years in the hope that I can look forward to actually reading it. But the time is here and I will soon pick it up and start reading, sooner than later!
  9. The Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss  – A buy on the insistence of my sister, but not that I needed too much of insistence. This blog turned book documents one Kitchen maid’s attempt to love, new culinary skills and adventures in a new city. I am super curious and super interested to find out  how this plays out!
  10. The Island of Sea Woman by Lisa See – I read a great review about the book over at Helen‘s and while wondering around the books shop the very next day, I found it on display and picked it up. It is fate and one cannot fight it. However the premises of the novel in 1930’s -1940’s Korea through the eyes of two very different woman – a daughter of a Japanese Collaborator and daughter of a sea diver, who will inherit her mother’s position as a chief see diver, has much promise!IMG_20190616_160919_101
  11. The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer – Can a Summer list be complete with a Georgette Heyer? I think NOT! And this one has been on my TBR for a long time. I ma glad to have finally picked it up and am looking forward to it with much anticipation! This one has a tinge of mystery attached to the usual Regency romance and that makes the deal even sweeter!
  12. The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry – This came as a recommendation from another close friend and she actually said, when you just want to switch off, this is series for you. It’s got history, mystery and interesting locales and as I turn to page 113, I have to say, I agree. A good read to forget and to be forgotten after a good read!
  13. The Strange Case of Harriet Hall by Moray Dalton – A wonderful review by Jane made me pick up this book. Though I am yet to start reading it, the fact that it is a Golden Age Mystery and has an interesting plot line of an eccentric woman, living in an isolated cottage being murdered on the eve of the arrival of her niece and everyone having something to hide, even the closest friends, makes for an interesting read.
  14. Selected Letters by Jane Austen – It’s rare selection of letters that survive, which Ms. Austen’s sister had not burned before her death. It gives a lively, vibrant and tongue in cheek look at early 19th century England and one can trace the thinking and the observations that went into writing some of the best works of English literature
  15. The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn – Two of my most favorite and trusted friends and fellow bloggers, Jane and Helen have written wonderful reviews, strongly recommending this coming of age story set on the eve of World War 1. A lucky find at thrift shop of a very good copy of the book made me pick it up and I am raring to get to it as soon as possible.
  16. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson – Another great thrift shop pick up, this book which has been recommended by many portrays the life and times of a community in the English country at the turn of the century, with customs and celebrations now long gone.
  17. The First Firanghis by Johnathan Gel Harris – A study of  “firanghis” or Caucasian foreigners who settled in India, well before the English decided to colonize the country, and the roles they took up, the way they adapted themselves to the climate and the inheritance they left behind.
  18. The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath – Set in the post World War II London, the death of the great Stage actor, Charlie Grice sends his wife and the Wardrobe Mistress of the production into whole new world as she tries to discover the truth.
  19. The Headmistress by Angela Thrikell – Set in the imaginary county of Barsetshire, during World War II; a London school has to be evacuated and finds temporary residence at the Harefield Park. The Headmistress of the school is exactly what the Headmistress should be, but not all is right!
  20. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – When troubled, the calming presence of Ms.Austen shall hold you up, make you smile and ensure to get up, suit up and show up! What more needs to be said?

I am truly unsure if I will be able to get through the list by September but I need  to give it a go and remember that my happiness is not truly sourced from work!

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. mudpuddle #

    an alluring collection… have you read any of G. Heyer’s mysteries? if you get a chance sometime, they’re excellent… i’m stuck in the 17th and 18th centuries at the moment, reading a few little known Victorian and earlier novels… but judging by past reading continuities, i’ll be after something else pretty soon and i’ll keep your list in mind… tx…

    June 24, 2019
    • Thank You! Yes I have read her mysteries and they are superb! I love 18th century literature but am always angtsy about anything before that! Enjoy your preference for the moment….the tragedy of our lives….so many books, so little time!

      June 24, 2019
  2. I love your reading list. Curious why you were so traumatized by The Hungry Tide?

    June 24, 2019
    • Thank You! Disclosure – I was a simpleton of 22 when I first read it, so perspectives change, but my problem with the writing was everything felt …too constructed, too contrived, too much…..I could not relate to the Love Story; I understand being drawn too each other, but some language has to be built in to sustain the love; otherwise it’s shallow and that’s what I felt. I also think the characters were all built in the extreme including Piyali and Fokir and there were too many issues which were crowding for space – from environment to class distinction to displaced persons; that it almost felt like a document on socio-ecomnomic conditions of Sunderbans rather than a work of fiction, where these things form the back drop. I am not sure if all this makes sense, and I know many people wiser than me, really love this work. It just ……did not at all work for me!

      June 25, 2019
  3. How many times will this be for you and P&P now?
    😉

    You’ve also reminded me that I forgot to add a Thirkell to my 20.
    Gun Island has just made it’s way onto my TBR too – looking forward to it.

    June 24, 2019
    • Hahahhha…..I have lost count on re-reads for P&P; but then that is a reason its called a Timeless Classic ……I think Thrikell is a taste I have started developing…..I loved her High Riding but not all her works! Lets exchange notes post Gun Island…..its an intriguing read so far!

      June 25, 2019
  4. Gosh, I only know three of these. I think its bc I’m still stuck in the Western classics, trying to catch up. Well, best of luck to you.

    I know what you mean about being stuck in a field you may not think you were fit to be. My husband just texted that he had to start his day off w/ customer problems, and I know he’d rather be somewhere else. So I encouraged him that it is only temporary, and at some point, he won’t have to worry about it anymore. But I agree that our hobbies and outside interests absorb our burdens from work and career. Thank God for them.

    June 24, 2019
    • Hey Ruth, to begin with apologies for the late reply….seems like your comment was stuck in Spam 😦 Sometimes I just do not know how these sites work! Well…to be honest, you are ploughing through real classics and I completely understand why would not have heard of most of these….about the job, I do like being a Project Manager; its just I do not like a lot of crabbing and cribbing that goes with a Corporate job! I empathize with your husband and yes it is temporary until we find our nirvana! Thank God for interests that keep us sane!

      July 1, 2019
  5. I’ve had a difficult few months at work too, for the same reasons – people squabbling and causing a bad atmosphere. At least we have plenty of good books to relax with outside of work!

    The Quiet Gentleman is one of my favourite Heyer novels and I love The Far Pavilions too. I hope you like The Island of Sea Women and The Last Summer. 🙂

    June 25, 2019
    • I am so sorry you had to go through all this kind of nonsense; it seems like common sense and common kindness often takes flight when so called “power” is concerned. Thank Goodness for books! I am so glad to hear that The Quiet Gentleman is one of your favorites as I do go by your recommendation!

      June 25, 2019
  6. Glad to see you hopped aboard this challenge! Oh, I would love to join you for The Far Pavillions!! Remember that we read The Shadow of the Moon together? Right now I’ve started The Red Horse which is about a million pages but somehow perhaps I could do it. Wives and Daughters is tempting me too!

    Argh, I’m behind posting for the read-along but I hope to get #3 up tomorrow.

    And read your emails, you ding-dong! I sent you one …. 😉

    June 28, 2019
    • Come!! Come!! Lets read Far Pavillions…..we will take all of Summer and if need be Autumn and Winter…..its at some levels even better than Shadow of the moon! Yes….Wives and Daughter should be a breeze if you wanna come along! I will read my emails….so sorry!!

      June 29, 2019

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