Thursday, June 22, 2006

Reading, reading, reading...

Two recent realisations.
1. Over the last couple of weeks I have turned into an insomniac.
2. Reading can sometimes lead to bad accidents.

I have been reading like a maniac recently. This explains my insomnia. Since work started i have been trying to catch up on my (fiction) reading as school doesnt always afford that luxury. So no non fiction books for me for the time being. I have had enough of Habermas, Kant, Russel, Smith, Hayek, Freud and the likes for now....and in any case I shall have to return to them come August (arghh!).

The last two weeks in particular have seen me in some kind of frenzied craze to devour as many books as I can (i cant explain this sudden urge to read, read, read as fast as i can and then move on to the next book to, well, read some more). As a result I havent had more than, lets see, 5 hours of sleep any day all this month. I read while walking to the metro, on the train and then walking to office. (I also think i now look like a zombie *can imagine Cranberries in my head going 'Zombie, zombie, zombie'...yikes*)
Which leads to point number 2. Reading and walking is not a good combination. I was so engrossed in my book while walking home day before, I walked straight into a lamp post. *Ouch*. The bump on my head still pains. *Ouch* again. Oh well, i still read on.

Anyway, have finished 5 books since last monday....

My Name is Red , Orhan Pamuk: its wonderful!...but I am biased as Ii am in love with Orhan Pamuk. By the by, I also heard Pamuks "Freedom to Write" lecture at the PEN World Voices festival, which made me like him even more. He spoke about shame and pride, how he has become more political and i especially loved this - "I am the kind of novelist who makes it his business to identify with all of his characters, especially the bad ones." Made me remember Blue from Snow....arghhh, where is his Nobel already?

Never Let Me Go , Kazuo Ishiguro: I liked it, though not as much as his other books. It is sad and moving and haunting and Hailsham is a perfect Ishiguro creation - known yet otherworldly. But there was something missing...the book raised so many questions which i felt changed nothing and were eventually discarded...the characters just went down the road that had been planned since the beginning...

Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh: because it is fabulous and deserves to be re-read a million times.

The Palace of Dreams, Ismail Kadare: is quite brilliant. What would happen if our dreams were analysed by the state, as they are at the Tabir Sarrail, the Ministry of Dreams, the centre of power of the Ottoman Empire...its a scary vision. Absurdist, hallucinatory, completely macabre.
Was reading Kadares interview in the NewYorker and was most thrilled to read this one line at the bottom of the page - Kadare’s responses were translated, from the Albanian, by Elidor Mehilli. Made me squeel like mad because i know Elidor...i was talking to him just last month...what a kick...
(i think its the same Elidor Mehilli i know. Hes Albanian, studies European history at Princeton....what are the odds, eh?....ok! I am not going to kill it by analysis, this is my two degrees of seperation from a Booker winner....*make a note to cross check*)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera: i finally read it! and its wonderful!!! I am trying to analyse whether i prefer lightness or weight (i think i am more of a weight person)...which one is better?
don't we need both?(isn't that the answer to ALL philosophical questions??) but really, what can you say about a book that makes you stop and think about how you live your life??
its wonderful.....enough said.....
(on a side note this book has added to my fascination for Bowler hats, it started with the Thomas Crown Affair which i have watched repeatedly just to see that one scene with all those Bowler hats - I cant help it, I'm weird).

Am currently reading The Buddha of Suburbia (its bitterly funny) also trying to get my hands on Eastward to Tartary .... books make life such bliss :0)


Read@Peace said...

If you haven't already read these, might also want to add on:
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Theft - Peter Carey's rendition of the so-called love story
I can't stop recommending Shantaram - though I'm sure you've already been through that.
Also enjoyed Pamuk's 'Snow'...
If only more folks would write like that, spoilt for choice would get a new meaning.

Szerelem said...

Shantaram is a really good read. Havent read the others and i really loved Snow too, pamuk is fabulous!