Skip to main content

Books in the Bag (Jan 14, 2011)


Books in the Bag is a feature where Mailbox Monday meets Library Loot.


I had two books come in this week. Both of which I'm really looking forward to reading! Both of which are based in India. Lately, I had been ruing the fact that only a very small portion of my reads are based in India, despite the many wonderful Indian authors. It actually has to do with a fear that the books won't live up to my expectations (and I do set different expectations for books from my native country, quite subconsciously). I went to the independent bookstore, Little Dickens and Givens books, near my apartment yesterday, and came across Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts on one of the used books shelves. Just look at that cover! I'm glad that it is this particular cover that I own and not this more ubiquitous blue and green cover. This mostly-autobiographical novel about a man who escapes from an Australian prison only to arrive in India, with illegal papers. He goes on to help slum-dwellers (I think). At 936 pages, Shantaram is on my PIE list to tackle this year, and considering its size, I'm glad I bought it this early in the year! Since I definitely plan to read this book this year, I could also do it as a readalong or a buddy-read with any of you who is just as interested. Just let me know in the comments below!


The other book I received this week is for the wonderful TLC book tour - Someone Else's Garden by Dipika Rai. Touted as "an epic tale of mothers and daughters, it sounds highly intriguing to me. The protagonist has a very hard life - as a female in rural India, with a terrible arranged marriage that causes her to flee home. Typed in small-print and at almost 400 pages - I better start reading it soon, if I want to avoid cramming it on the day before my review is due!


I must have told this twice at least - about the books I picked at the library last week. No? Well, here goes again!


Two middle-grade books - Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2 and #3 by Jeff Kinney! What? Oh, were you asking who the middle-grade kid is? Well,... that's me, LOL! Well, having discovered this series last month, I had to finish it all before I moved on to my books! I devoured one (book #2) right away, but have been holding off the other one, to make the excitement last longer.

The third book I picked from my library is This Bitter Earth by Bernice McFadden. This is an author whose writing I really enjoy. Her prose is so beautiful, that I read each sentence at a slow pace to fully appreciate the context and content. I read the prequel, Sugar last year in April, and have been thinking of reading This Bitter Earth since then. Now that I do have the book, I plan to read it soon, except that I may have to reread Sugar once again, just to recollect the finer points that I've forgotten.

I also downloaded Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin from my library's overdrive. I'm not exactly sure when I can read this, since right now, my plate looks full, but optimism has always been us book-blogger's strongest trait, right? So, I'm going to keep my hopes up that next week, we'll get a blizzard that will wonderfully keep us home from office. (I hope the weather-god's listening!)

Those are all the books in my bag this week - have you read any of these or have any of them in your wishlist? (Don't forget to let me know if you wish to read Shantaram with me.)

Comments

those look like great books! i just got two books about India a book called India Black by Carol K. Garr and a new fantasy series :)
Marg said…
Shantaram was very popular here a few years ago. I never did actually get around to read it, but I think there is a movie and a new book from the author coming out soon so I might have to make the effort to actually do so.
bermudaonion said…
You had a great week in books! I read the first Wimpy Kid book yesterday and I adored it!
A friend recommended Shantaram to me, but said I should read it when I have lots of time. I was thinking I'd read it this summer while I am on break. And, I got Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter recently as well! Happy reading
Shantaram is an amazing story; love it. Also looking forward to Crooked Letter Crooked Letter. --enjoy. Love the STRAND book bag too.
Tales of Whimsy said…
I've always loved mother and daughter tales. Happy weekend :)
Mystica said…
These look very good reading. Enjoy. Shantaram is such a good read.
Unknown said…
Someone Else's Garden sounds like a really interesting book... maybe a great book club read (our book club tends to read similar books). I've been seeing some great things about Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. :)

Here's my Mailbox! ~ Wendi
Enjoy your new books! And thanks for participating in Mailbox Monday!

Rose City Reader

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …