7 June 2009

Roots, Burning Ship and a Classic.

I wasn’t reading any book for the past few weeks. I cannot pinpoint and say why, but for various reasons. Perhaps I had been reading one or two small things in blogs or Wikipedia, to keep myself updated with some stuff. Anyway, after having not read any book for a couple of weeks, I wasn’t feeling good.

And I picked up that Malayalam book which I had wanted to read but never managed to – “Verukal” (means Roots). It was read totally in a journey (half in train and the rest in a car).

There wasn’t anything which I didn’t/couldn’t expect in that book. Even the final decision of the protagonist was so obvious. Still it made a very good read – with a bit of comedy here and there; also striking the chords of some serious emotions; and of course the strengths and weaknesses of relationships. And anyway, I like his books (Except for a single one I couldn’t stand for more than 25 pages)P1000788

And then it was my attempt to finish “Predictably irrational” – of course a good book, in the similar lines of Freakonomics. And that is the very vice of it. So many case studies and examples and anecdotes and etc. etc. Pretty good, but sometimes a bit like beating around the bush.

Haven’t you had the feeling in classes that, even after you have totally understood the point, the lecturer/teacher would go on explaining it for the benefit of others and then you lose the connection and get lost in something else (eg. doodling). That is what is happening with this book. 

(The simile in the above paragraph is actually my ORIGINAL idea from years ago, even though I heard the very same ‘lecturer-beats-around-the-bush, I-get-bored’ thing from one of my readers recently and smiled – about similarity of thoughts.)

And I am still at page 125.

Finally, I picked “The Great Gatsby” yesterday and finished it. Even though I cannot put it in the group of my top books, I say I liked it. There is something which I want to put here for the benefit of my readers. (One could totally avoid to read the excerpts. But they are very good).

"He smiled understandingly--much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey."

I very much liked this very passage. Another small thing I very much loved was this:

Everyone suspects himself/herself* of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people I know.

Later in the book, the following conversation makes the above mentioned sentence more beautiful.

She: I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride.

He: I’m thirty, I am five years too old to lie to myself and call it an honour.

Well, I am twenty seven; two years too old to lie to myself and call it an honour. :)

So, that’s all for today’s post. The burning ship would take a whole post and wait for that one. :)

Signing off, Sands.

* : Added herself for political correctness and for clarity! :)


Arun said...

Your comment on my last post yet to be completed btw.

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