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    A little chat on books?

    Just wondering what kind of books the other gappoos are into. I am quite fond of reading and always on the lookout for new interesting material to read. With the probable exception of sci-fi (haven't written it off yet), I have tried and enjoyed variety of topics... social like Suitable boy (Vikram Seth), God of small things (Arundhati Roy); thought provoking like Mr God this is Anna (Fynn), Illusions, Bridge across forever (Richard Bach); love the brit humour in books by P G Woodhouse, Douglas Adams, James Herriot... etc.

    Past few months have mostly been concentrating on authors from the sub-continent... mostly from India. I wanted to read a book by Pakistani author that might be available in international market and with characters, life based in Pakistan... preferably modern theme, not the religious or political non-fiction. Someone suggested Hanif Qureshi. Has anyone here read him? Any book by him you might recommend?

    Apart from all this, just talk about any book(s) you are currently reading or your favorite one and what you think of it. Might give us useful tips when next we visit the bookshop. Thanks and look forward to your response.

    [This message has been edited by Ananya (edited July 28, 1999).]

    I have not read a book in last 5 years, (at most maybe i read 4-5). I have lost all the patience.


      i love reading books but im out of business since i left pakistan i think "shahab nama" by qudrat-ullah-shahab is the most interesting urdu book as far as my knowlege is concerned about books and atleast it is available in melbourne elsewhere ?? i donno "raja gidh " by bano qudsia is also a very good book. "jipsy" by tarar, "wardaat" by munhi prem chand, "basalaamat-ravi" by col. muhammed khan and a very humourous and interesting book ever written is my all time fav. "urdu ki aakhri kitaab" by ibn-e-insha believe me,i couldnot stop laughing throught the book highly recommeded book!!
      i won't write much about english books because i like sci.fic. books but i also read earl thompson


        I had been a voracious reader until two years back...then i got addicted to the net.I still do read, but not as much as i used to.

        Mostly, i read not so ponderous stuff, usually thrillers and soft romantics. Mainly it is Jeffrey Archer, Eric Segal, Ruskin Bond, R.K.Narayan, Douglas Adams.

        I am a BIG fan of James Herriot, read all his books, even wanted to be a vet for sometime.

        I had tried a bit of serious stuff, but it gets frustrating at times.Richard Bach is puzzling, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and "The bridge across forever", i enjoyed, but "One" and "Running for safety" were a bit too much for my digestion.

        I was a major fan of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes at school, still read them once in a while. Used to enjoy SF until i took a course on it, but Arthur C. Clarke still is one of my favourites.

        Presently , i am reading "O Jerusalem", quite an old book, by Lappiere and Collins. It is about events in Jerusalem since the British left Palestine, fights between jews and arabs over the "holy" city that has never known peace since it was branded holy. Interesting, if you dont mind politics.
        Simple ain't easy.


          ZZ: i know about losing patience. fortunately for me such phase has lasted in terms of weeks only. hope you find your interest in books back! maybe start with comics again... as a kid i was hooked on to 'Amar chitra katha' and still reach out for Asterix, Calvin & Hobbes...

          bazooka: thank you for the suggestions. basalamat-ravi and 'urdu ki aakhri kitaab' do sound like fun books but i gather they are written in urdu script? that might be a problem... you know any pakistani authors that write in english?

          queer: high-five to you on Herriot. i have entire collection too and keep going back for pick-me-ups. such warm and earthy humour those books have. yeah, jeffery archer, eric segal, sidney sheldon and host of other best sellers made fun light reading in school/college days. even let Ayn Rand intimidate me for a while... are you in Delhi Univ? you know what... i have a feeling that in our subcontinent (india/pak) we all go through similar fiction during our school/college years. fascinating, isn't it? i was talking to some American friends and they hadn't heard of Sidney Sheldon... that surprised me!

          anyways... so you are reading O Jerusalem? that'll make an informative reading, since i know very little about politics in that region. 'Exodus' by Leon Uris is the only other book on similar theme that comes to mind. i am reading a book called 'Vintage book of Indian Writing' these days. its edited by Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West. starting from Nehru's independence day speech , it has excerpts of works of most popular indian authors in last 50 years including nirad chowdhury, satyajit ray, r k narayan, etc. it was published on eve of 50th independence anniversary. so far i am absolutely enchanted as the stories of past decades and socio economic changes slowly unfold...


            Ananaya, for Pakistani book, I would recommend "Raja Gidh" by Bano Qudsia.


              QUEER, I love James Herriot too, my wife to be is a vet, she made me read all those books, but I liked them.

              I also love reading nautical fiction. I'm an avid SCUBA diver, so anything to do with the water, I love. I like Clive Cussler, he's a great writer. I also like political conspiracy type books, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, I also like some Grisham, although I am getting a little tired of his Southern Belt theme.


                Thanks Roman, basooka I'll look for it (Raja Gidh)... hope its available in HK.


                  Ananya: I read P G Woodhouse a little once. It was going all ok until I read one of his work involing this character... I am forgetting the name, but it was based on a vegetable (bean or something)... I found it kinda boring and could not have the patience so never got into it later...

                  You must have read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, right? Here is one of my all time favorite passages from the book (The very beginning of the book as a matter of fact):

                  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all doing direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
                  Have you read Henry Fielding? His most popular work is probably Adventures of Joseph Andrews. He has a very unique classical prose style of writing with tint of narrative fluency. I liked it very much.



                    No, I dont go to Delhi Univ., is that where you did your college? Didn't you say Arundhati Roy? I'm originally from her place, though not right now.

                    You like Sidney Sheldon? Many of my friends do too, i never managed to read one fully though! I get very much distracted when he starts the sleazy stuff and lose track of the story, he'd better write either all story or all porn like Irving Wallace, if he wants me to read it.

                    Ayn Rand? oh noooooooo! may be i should try them once more. You do need patience with Ayn Rand and Alvin Toefler. Leon Uris is ok.

                    You are right about the comics! Nothing like Calvin and Hobbes. Hey Roman, didn't you have a thread "what builds character?", ask Calvin's dad. Asterix is great! I used to hate it as a kid though.

                    Hey! Satyajit Ray! I luv that guy. His detective series Faluda was really good.

                    I'll check out the compilation if i can find it, bet it is damn costly! I'm broke! That's the reason why i didnt read "God of all small things" yet. My friends bought it recently, i'll be borrowing it soon.

                    Pak. authors? I haven't read any, but Tehmina Durrani is quite popular, at least controversial.


                    congratz yaar, with a vet as a wife, you can afford to fall ill frequently now!

                    Similar sentiments here about John Grisham, tired of his similar themes, all lawyers and corporate stuff. How do you find Fredrick Forsyth? I like him among political fiction.

                    Scuba diving! Wow! Swimming itself is so much fun... anyway, i had read a non-fiction book by A.C.Clarke on life in sea, something like "the underground kingdom" or something..
                    Simple ain't easy.


                      Roman: Wodehouse’s (Its funny, some books spell his name as Woodhouse and others as Wodehouse) Bertie Wooster and Jeeves series are quite popular.. and witty. My personal favorite is another character called PSmith. You see, Smith is such a common name, he insists on prefix P, though P is silent..heheh yeah right, downright eccentric. Try any of Leave it to PSmith, PSmith and Mike or PSmith in City if you get the chance. I had a hard time reading them travelling on tube, giggling hysterically and trying to look nonchalant. Nice quote from Dickens. Haven't read that book, I have read his David Copperfield and Great Expectations. Haven’t read Fielding either, sounds interesting though… shall look out for his books. I’ll share one of my all time favorite quotes from Douglas Adams’s Hitch-hiker’s guide to Galaxy
                      He tried to prove black was white and promptly died on next Zebra crossing
                      Another that might interest you is from Asterix “These Romans are crazy!”

                      queer: yep, born/raised/education in Delhi though both my parents’ side of families originally come from Lahore. So you are from Ms Roy’s neck of woods.. Kerela? But not there now… lol, you talk in riddles. I was through with Sidney Sheldon in high school itself; his books still had interesting plots (esp If Tomorrow Comes), for more sleazy thrills Harold Robbins was the guy! ;o) Now I am more into books that are intellectually stimulating or have good humour. Tehmina Durrani, huh. I hope its not the ‘My feudal lord’ kind of thing. Very depressing and I’d rather not know…


                        Ananya Sounds very interesting, definitely will get it, thanks.

                        And I thought I was the only one into Sidney Sheldon and Harold Robins in my high school days! If Tomorrow Comes is one of my favorites of that time... They even made a movie on the book. I still remeber how the herion of the movie beats two masters of chess on that cruise without even knowing how to play chess... that was really slick!

                        I enjoyed almost every novel by Harlod Robins until I read his The Lonely Lady (Yep, there is a movie on it as well). Given that age and time, I did not like that one at all.

                        Now, I have simply lost patience for the books... and compensate it by watching movies.

                        [This message has been edited by Roman (edited July 29, 1999).]


                          He tried to prove black was white and promptly died on next Zebra crossing
                          You just added another one to my list



                            Sorry about the riddle-talk, yeah, me from Kerala (not Karela, silly!), have been away from my place for three years though, and miss my fish curry and tapioca dish.

                            Btw, from a few of your other threads, it looks like you are a major poetry freak! Tell us something about your fav. poems. I dont like most poetry, only the Lewis Caroll and Ogden Nash stuff make any sense to me.
                            Simple ain't easy.


                              i would recommend "zindagi naqab chehray" by gullam abbas. its a book of excellent written short stories with unbelievable clarity. there are basically a few good short story writers in urdu and i place ghullam abbas at the top after Munto.
                              btw have you read "1984" or "animal farm" by george orwell...go for them if u r interested in the the twentieth century politics. "udaas naslain" is a triumph in its place. i personally don't admire it that much. i have heard a lot about raja gidh...i have it but just need time to read it. so i can't say anything about that but i like bano qudsia's writings.