It’s another Wednesday and here I am with another episode of WWW, the weekly book meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along this meme, we just have to answer the following three (3) questions…
*What are you currently reading?
*What did you recently finish reading?
*What do you think you’ll read next?
And here are my answers this week:
I am currently reading The Lotus Queen by Rikin Khamar. Here is the cover and blurb of the book –
Soon after the beautiful young Padmini becomes Queen of Chittor – the most important city in Rajputana – she finds her happiness clouded by an ancient curse. Her life is then torn apart when the scheming Sultan of Delhi becomes obsessed with possessing her and her kingdom.
When the Sultan besieges the city, the Rajputs are pushed to the brink of destruction, and Padmini is faced with a terrible decision – one that will determine the fate of her home, her people, and her love.
Set in the backdrop of 14th Century Rajasthan, The Lotus Queen richly blends fact and fiction and weaves together a tale of love, friendship, and inner courage, in the face of extreme adversity.
Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honor to the author.The Old Man & the Sea revived Hemingway’s career, which was foundering under the weight of such postwar stinkers as Across the River & into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the 1954 Nobel Prize–an award he gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that “no son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards”. A half century later, it’s still easy to see why. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway’s favorite motifs of physical & moral challenge. Yet Santiago is too old & infirm to partake of the gun-toting machismo that disfigured much of the author’s later work: “The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face & his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords.” Hemingway’s style, too, reverts to those superb snapshots of perception that won him his initial fame: “Just before it was dark, as they passed a great island of Sargasso weed that heaved & swung in the light sea as tho the ocean were making love with something under a yellow blanket, his small line was taken by a dolphin. He saw it first when it jumped in the air, true gold in the last of the sun & bending & flapping wildly in the air.” If a younger Hemingway had written this novella, Santiago most likely would have towed the enormous fish back to port & posed for a triumphal photograph–just as the author delighted in doing, ca. 1935. Instead his prize gets devoured by a school of sharks. Returning with little more than a skeleton, he takes to his bed &, in the last line, cements his identification with his creator: “The old man was dreaming about the lions.” Perhaps there’s some allegory of art & experience floating around in there somewhere–but The Old Man & the Sea was, in any case, the last great catch of Hemingway’s career.–James Marcus (edited)
Regarding the book I will read next, I have 2 books – M for Misfit by Sarika Pandit (author of one of my favourite books of 2014 – Bucketlist of a Traveloholic) and Letters from an Indian Summer by Siddharth Dasgupta. While the 1st one was sent by the author herself, the 2nd book was sent by the publisher. Do you have any suggestions among these two? Suggest me in the poll –
Management trainee and first-time employee in the fridge-manufacturing giant J & K Ltd, Zoey is clueless about where her life is headed. She has barely managed to pass out of B-school when fate pushes her into another whirlpool. And, a look at her own fridge will confirm that she has no fascination for them.
The tall, thin, frizzy-haired Zoey enters J & K shaky-legged. And, when her scary boss Wimp-eater sends her to the company s seedy Delhi branch to map all the consumer durable outlets in the city, her life goes into overdrive. Chances of it stabilizing seem slimmer by the day as she dodges gaalis from the Delhi boss, Chhota Don, and fends off lecherous looks from distributor Shady Singh, all the while evading her clingy ex, Velcro Man.
Then, just as she finds herself on the brink of a nervous breakdown, she is sent back to Mumbai. The move turns out to be a plunge from frying pan into the fire as Zoey becomes a victim of dipping sales and growing slurs, forcing her to ask questions so existential, even Kafka would be impressed.
Read on to find out how Zoey finds her way back to what she wants, both personally and professionally.
A love story between an Indian photographer and a French artist, Letters from an Indian Summer is suffused with a strong sense of serendipity and spiritually liberal doses of the things Arjun Bedi and Genevieve Casta hold dear in this world. The past, though, lurks constantly around every chosen corner. Will the secrets they harbour end up destroying them, or will the unspoken belief in their entwined cosmic paths be much too strong a force . .
WWW Wednesday is a great way to discover new books & blogs too. So friends, feel free to leave your links to your WWW posts or your comments (if you don’t have a blog), so that I can check out what you’re reading. Till then, happy reading!
Images & blurb source: Goodreads & Google
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