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Posts tagged ‘Non-Fiction’

The 24 Hours Madness

Ok….so here’s a discovery, well not really a discovery, more of declaration of a well known fact – I am completely and obviously crazy!! Yes, I am aware that many of you always thought so, but I guess I am pointing out the obvious!!

After an extremely stressful week at work, where I got less than cumulative of 28 hours of sleep, I am happy that the weekend is finally here! I have a lot of things to do including cleaning the house and getting some shopping done, which HAS to be done because next week is Diwali, the big festival of the Indians! I have some reading and blogging planned as well, but nothing out of the usual. I am all set and I have a plan and schedule for the two days, that is until I decide to casually scroll through Twitter and stumble on some comments by Brona and bam! all plans are in disarray and there is a whole new plan in place!

What am I ranting about you ask? I am referring to the bi-annual Dewey’s Readathon, which kick starts on Oct 24th 2016 at 8:00 AM EST which translates to 17:30 Indian Standard Time and for which, I hang my head in shame as I say this, I have SIGNED UP! The idea of course is to read non-stop or with mini stops for 24 hours straight! You can find the details and whats and hows here.

24hrreading

Yes, I can hear the “naturallys”, but come on, how can I pass up a reading event???!!? I will hold of the cleaning till Monday and I will negotiate the shopping time, opting for online stuff if need be. But participate I shall, even if I do not make it to the participant list, on account of signing up a bit too late!

Anyhow, now that my ranting and self motivation and self exoneration is over, let us proceed to matters of greater significance like, what shall we read? There are loads of suggestions on the website and after scrolling through quite a bit, this is what I came up with – a mix of many things!!

  1. The Girl on the Train by Patricia Hawkes – am on page 62 as of today and shall attempt to finish via Readathon
  2. New York by Edward Rutherford – This one is a chunkster and I have only waded to page 183 so far so, only approximately 680 [pages to go; but its historical fiction and Rutherford does write extremely gripping plots, so I am kind of kicked about it
  3. Dombey and Sons by Charles Dickens – Yes, I am still struggling to finish this! Yes I know I am really dragging this out and yes! I do have every intention of finishing it!
  4. The Book of Snobs by William Makepeace Thackeray – This combines well with with my Victober event and breaks the monotony of serious reading. Thackeray’s take on on people who look down on those considered as “socially inferior” should be interesting. Page count 143 per Kindle Edition
  5. Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India’s Geography by Sanjeev Sanyal – Just because I am curious and because I need to variety while reading. Page count 352 per Kindle Editio
  6. Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie – When the chips are down and interest flags, who but the brilliant Ms. Christie can keep us going! Look forward to keeping me going in this story of miscarriage of justice which I have for some reason never read before!Page count 286 per Kindle Edition
  7. Jerusalem  – A Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore – It’s History, its Middle Eastern History and the first couple of pages are very very good! Page Count 628 of which I have read 94.
  8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – You have to allow me one Austen to keep my spirits up towards the end when everything buzzes! I know the work by heart and I will glide through it when the going gets tough!

Now about the real time updates and such like, well I will update as I go along. I am not committing to an hour or two hours or any such frequency. More like when I need a  break and when I want to wander around a bit! I will also try and be deligent and keep one and all updated on Twitter and Goodreads and make an honest effort to make the posts interesting and hopefully nail baiting!

That seems simple enough!! I should be well rested and bright eyes and bushy tailed come Monday, when another crippling work load comes crashing on my head!! In the meanwhile I hopeth, that I can convinceth Cleo and Brona to helpeth me through this task!! Guys – NEED HELP BADLY!!!!

Now that I have jumped, I will try and get some good sleep and ease in for the reading tomorrow so that come 17:30 IST, I really do set off!!

How To Think About Great Idea Project

I have always been fascinated by Philosophy. Its not like I always understood the subject completely and I often struggled with many of its theories, but I could not let go of this wondering fascination I had on this subject. I absolutely loved my Political Philosophy classes during my Graduate School days; a great credit also goes to the brilliant professor who taught us this jaw breaking subject and I remember the multiple re-reads I did of Plato’s Republic to get a hang of it, which fortunately I did before I graduated! Very recently,I have trying to find the time and make the effort to re-connect again with this subject and I have started and made extremely slow progress with Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophers and Albert Schopenhauer lies by my bed side book table urging me to pick it up and get going. Some critics even contend that Brother Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky is in fact fundamentally a philosophical treatise and as I read more, I have to agree.

In this kind of background, Cleo, my reading buddy and my fellow adventurer in all reading madness, came up with the idea of reading How To Think About Great Ideas by Mortimer J. Adler’s. Adler in his book, discusses 52 ideas ranging from a broad variety of subjects from Truth to Morality to Politics. The plan is to spend one week reading about one idea and then posting it a blog on the same. The chapters are not particularly long but they are tough!Now knowing how easy my life is, I did wrangle a promise from Cleo, that we pace it out and while we attempt to complete one subject a week, we may take longer. Good thing, I did, because I am already falling behind. However I have started on the first chapter and needless to say, I am finding my mind doing extraordinary gymnastics until it hurts. So even if I inch at a snail’s pace, I will see this through and hopefully at the end of the whole exercise have a more pandered and more educated mind!

Hence I start! Do wish me luck!

Reading and More…..

Alas  February commeth and winter almost goeth!!Woe is me!! My heart breaketh and tis another 10 months before the cold winds toucheth me again! Farewell! Farewell! Kind friend!! How thine shall be missed, thine knoweth not!!!!

Yes! I will stop now! I think I will lose almost all my readers if I DO NOT stop NOW!

Well despite the coming and goings of seasons, books persist and I have a LONG reading list for a relatively short month! Primarily there is significant spill over from January, which turned out to be a really bad reading month, especially in the latter half as my work got to me and spun me around and around. But to paraphrase Erasmus, If I have money, I buy books and then food and then clothes, but for that money, I need to work! Such is life!

Going back to me reading plan, I still have Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms” by Gerard Russell; I am simply not making any head way with the book, despite all my obsessions about Middle East and Religious politics. I will give it a try for next couple of days and if I do not hook onto it, I will give it up. I am making great progress with John Norwich’s “The Short History of Byzantium”; big and scholarly book but very much worth the investment. I have also added another book to my nonfiction reading for this month – “Mythologies” by Roland Barthes. The book is something of a legend and much recommended by all my friends from the sociology department, during my university years!

In Fiction, update, I am planning to finish reading “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. I began this book last week and so far, very good. I also on a whim picked up A.S.Byatt’s “Possessions”; I am not much of a Byatt fan, but am so far liking what I have read, which barely two chapters! Thanks to Jane I have “Enchanter’s Nightshade” by Ann Bridges,downloaded and ready for reading on my Kindle. I also have in my to read list “The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth Von Arnim (I need enhancements around me!). Finally as part of Goodread’s Women Literature Enthusiast’s I am  all set to read Nadine Gordimer’s “July’s People”. I was also planning to read something as part of my Reading England Project, but considering the old proverb about biting and chewing, I decided, I will keep this one hold for next month!

Well, that’s all for my bookish news. I will end this post with this really cool Jacob Creek’s Personality Quiz….it’s fun and highly unusual from run of the mill personality quizzes. I got Made By Heart….Ahem! Ahem! “You know the strength of your moral compassion is a defining feature and you’ll almost always choose loving over fighting. You often wear it on your sleeve, you’re made by heart.” Chardonnay and Shiraz and Martin Luther King and Oprah Winfrey all rolled into one!! So what are you – Determined, Creative, Intuitive or By Heart?  Do let me know!

http://www.jacobscreek.com/madeby/questionnaire

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