A close close friend of mine said in jest that I read crap. I kind of forgot about till this Sunday when I had to clean my bookshelf. The piles and piles of books that I had to take out, dust, keep back ,and clean the shelf as well were something of a nightmare so I have been putting it off.
I have not alphabetized it yet. And have no plans to do so. This is because I have a rather different way of arranging books. The books need to progress in descending order of size. The smooth curve of the tops of the books as it slides down to the right end of the bookshelf is very soothing for me. Like a graph except it would look like it’s going downhill. I have experimented with various height orders and this is the order that I like the best.
I had just started with the first row of books when I found myself analyzing each book that I had picked up. Why and where did I pick up this book and how much did it cost? Which ones were “crap”? I smsed Anupama to ask does she really think I read crap? And she said that she was joking. Apparently, I don’t read enough crap according to this chiclit lover. But yes, I did find some mistakes, which I admit, were invaluable because I would never go that way again! But yes, I’m not going to judge them too harshly because one never knows which book might speak to you at some time in your life. The biggest example is Disgrace by J.M Coetze. Anu has been coaxing me to read it but for a long time I just couldn’t go beyond the first few pages. In the last couple of days, however, the tide has changed: I suddenly am hooked onto it.
Apprentice by Arun Joshi
I haven’t been able to go beyond the first page of this book. I bought it in Bangalore on a trip with Sylvia. And the reason I got it is because I loved his The Strange Case of Mr. Biswas a lot.
Falling Out of Cars by Jeff Noon
The neighbourhood bookstore had a great sale where books cost almost 70% less and I had to take advantage of it. I bought about 8 books most of which I gifted away. This one sounded interesting so I picked it up. For a long time I didn’t read it. On checking on the Internet, I found only good things written about him. At first, I thought it was a great post-modern nebulous experience. But then I was wrong, I had to force myself to finish it. Maybe it’s me, but really like a good story, well told with plot and structure and all those classical elements.
Then there are books that appeal to the quirky streak in me. They don’t quite gel with the rest of my collection (which is eclectic anyway) but they are there because at that point in time, they looked like a great read to me. They come closest to the crap that Anu wants me to read. Most of them however are young adult/children’s books that I love reading because maybe my inner self is stuck at age 11!
Bubbles A Broad by Sarah Strohmeyer
A detective story about a bumbling ex-beauty queen who solves mysteries with a whole lot of sass and tremendous good luck. Punny asides make the reading fun. This could be classified as chicklit detective.
Samurai Girl # 2: The Book of the Shadow by Carrie Asai
The title and the book cover totally attracted me. Here was one independent girl who has to take care of herself. It didn’t matter that this was the second book in the series and I hadn’t read the first book. Also, the very presence of Japan however shadowy (the action takes place in Los Angeles) makes it a very tempting book for me. The story I found to be okay. Nothing great. But the presentation was great.
The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey
Another pop Japanese novel! I loved the descriptions of Japan through the eyes of a half Japanese half American English teacher and antique collector, Rei Shimura. This being the first novel, Rei Shimura, accidentally trips on a case while on holiday, which for some reason follows through to its end. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. Pity, I haven’t found it in the bookshops here as yet.
The Paranormal Puppet Show, The Invisible Detective Book One by Justin Richards
I bought this at the same time as Samurai Girl. I loved the idea of an invisible detective. The cover was also very inviting: black, white and orange jostled for creative space. Though the story was a bit confusing, I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of 1930s London.
Note: These are NOT images of my bookshelf.