Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tagged, I have been.

I am a little late on this one - Ani and Swati were the taggers - but here goes.

Total Number of Books I Own: Hmm I am too lazy to count but there are books numbering somewhere in the six to seven hundred range (about 13 shelves of about 50 books each) that are here with me. These are mostly in English but there are fifty odd Bangla books too. I have a couple of hundred more books back home that were accumulated during my college days so that they include loads of used paperbacks which Kiki (and my Ma) would call dusty, musty and fusty. I am leaving out of the equation the books I grew up with at home, most especially the 'forbidden shelf' that I devoured in secret like a diabetic with mishtis.

Last Book I Bought: Among the bunch of books I bought on an unexpected trip home are Bimal Jalan's Future of India: Politics, Economics and Governance, Stephen Cohen's India: Emerging Power, B.K.S Iyengar's Light on Yoga and two volumes of Swami Lokeshwarananda's Bengali translations of the Upanishads. Now I feel about sixty years old.

Last Book I Read: In the last fortnight I have flown a total of 40 hours of long haul flights. In these I read Donna Leon's Death at La Fenice: a nice but mild thriller, Laurie King's The Game: an adventure story only pretending to be a mystery and two of G.K Chesterton's shorter novels - The Man Who Was Thursday and The Napoleon of Notting Hill. While they were all entertaining, I thought The Man Who Was Thursday was a fantastic ride in spite of the allegories and allusions coming through its seams.

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me: Uh oh. This is a toughy. Most people don't know which books to leave out. I have the opposite problem! Anyway here's my list:
1. Circus of Adventure by Enid Blyton - We had an old hardback edition with beautiful illustrations. One of the earliest books I remember reading. I was convinced those days that picnics and high teas with ginger beer and potted meat were a must for a well balanced childhood.
2. Kim by Rudyard Kipling - The ultimate adventure, my father read it when he was in school and loved it and bought it for me from the Book Fair when I was probably thirteen. I just adore this book.
3. An Introduction to Positive Economics by Richard Lipsey - Hey I am an economist, what can I say. This book was one of the first ones to give me that Eureka moment of "It all makes sense now".
4. Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter - I understood less than half of it when my brother brought it home from college one summer. There was more than enough for me to chew on though and gave me a lasting interest in the twists and paradoxes of human thinking and its limits.
5. A Student's Companion by Wilfred Best - Well not the book itself, but the brown paper cover for it - it was the perfect size to cover trashy novels to read at school and at home while pretending to do homework!

There are lots of other books that belong in a list of books I love or books that I want others to think I have been influenced by but the above is probably the most honest.

Tag Five People And Ask Them To Do This On Their Blogs: I don't think anybody has been left untagged of my pretty small blogging circle. So let me try Priya, Soma and Moongphalli. They have all been tagged already but what can I say? Short of creating multiple personalities for myself (ahem), thats the best I can do. Blog more everyone!


Blogger Gati said...

Upanishad!!!!! Chawlo!

June 16, 2005 7:18 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

You know Urmi, Lipsey was perhaps the only textbook from undergrad that I adored. The man was a genius, he rendered everything so transparent. But alas, his book was not the required textbook for my Micro class, some nonsense written by a D-School type was.

June 19, 2005 2:34 AM  

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