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Sunday, May 17, 2009

All about Books

Seeing this tag on Parul’s blog, I decided to do it too since it is about such a fun topic – books!


1) What author do you own the most books by?
Alistair Maclean. (I have almost all his books, except for the few that people borrowed and never bothered to return.) Stephen King comes a close second, and the master of humour, PG Wodehouse is a distant third.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I have three copies of ‘The Guns of Navarone’ by Alistair Maclean. I thought I had lost the first one, so bought a second, and then I thought the second one has been permanently ‘borrowed’ by a ‘friend’ so bought a third one. (Of course, I was wrong both times, so ended up with three copies.)

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
No! Sentences/Questions ending in prepositions are to be ruminated upon. (Tee hee!! :D )

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Now that I’m confessing it here, it’s no longer secret love! But, I think Arwen from the Lord of the Rings would be one. (Maybe, it was partly because of her portrayal by Liv Tyler.)


5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
’Gerrard’ by Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard. It is his story, as told by him. And when I read the part about the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan, I just can’t stop the tears. Truly inspirational!


A close second would be HMS Ulysses. (Another Alistair Maclean book) The way he writes about World War II is such that you can’t take sides – the Axis power vs. the Allied powers. You learn to just hate war and the misery it brings.


And yet another would be ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach. I think that book gives me answers to all the questions that keep cropping up in my life. Each time I read it, when I face a tough spot, and each time, it gives me some new meaning to life.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
The Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene. (I think I had a crush on Nancy.)

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
’The Three Mistakes of my Life’ by Chetan Bhagat. (On the positive side, it’s a very encouraging book. If Mr. Bhagat can write such tripe and get published, then O discerning readers, here I come with my tales to tell! :) )

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.

9) If you could force everyone to read one book, what would it be?
’Running from Safety’ by Richard Bach. That book talks about how we kill the kid inside each one of us just because we want to appear ‘grown-up’.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
Tough call… I haven’t really been following the latest authors.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
’Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less’ by Jeffrey Archer. I thought it was fast-paced, devious, and funny!

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Chetan Bhagat books. ‘Hello’ was a disaster, and actually competed strongly with the book -  One Night at a Call Center in terms of ridiculousness quotient. (That’s my ‘metric’ for defining how ridiculous something is.)

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I dreamt of myself as the highwayman from Alfred Noyes’ beautiful poem ‘The Highwayman’ and rescued the innkeeper’s daughter Bess, from the clutches of the Royal Guard. :)

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
The Bourne Legacy by Lustbader. (It is a continuation of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series, after Ludlum’s death by a useless creature called Lustbader. After reading this, you will understand that Indian movies with those clichéd concepts are unnecessarily reviled.)

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
Ahem… a book on Corporate Finance in the last term.

16) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare, of course.

17) Austen or Eliot?
Tough call… but Austen, probably.

18) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth.

19) What is your favorite novel?
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. (I think the opening quote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” is applicable to many situations in life.)

20) Play?
Macbeth! (Julius Caesar comes a close second, followed by some of Oscar Wilde’s plays.)

21) Short story?
The face on the wall by E.V. Lucas, almost anything by Saki, O Henry, or Anton Chekhov.

22) Work of non-fiction?
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish – a compilation of entrepreneurial success stories by Rashmi Bansal.


23) Who is your favourite writer?
I can’t name just one. It would depend on the genre. For example:

fantasy – Tolkien

horror – Stephen King

romance – Eric Segal

thriller – Robert Ludlum

Of course, we could go on. :)


Tangerine said...

Not a penny more, not a penny less is one of my favs too! Wud luv to watch it made into a movie

Sumit said...

Great! Good to see you back, Tang. Where have you been lately?

Aquarius said...

I am a book freak too :) Jeffrey Archer was good. Do try John Grisham- He is brilliant. Nice post about my favourite topic.

Mukund said...

Well I have been developing this habbit of reading so I am still at the stage where I read a lot of different things
Till now I have read a lot of Jeffrey Archer and Not a penny more, not a penny less was great. It should be made into a movie, I also thought kane and able was good but not for a movie...
I loved LOTR... I had loved the movie but after the book I just became such a big fan that I got a director's cut of the movie...

Kaddu said...

Good one! I don't wanna tag myself with this though, 'coz I don't wanna answer all the questions... tags take too much time to write! Few questions that I can immediately think an answer for -

1. My folks gave away all my books to my chacha when they shifted to Noida, and i can't get them back now! Life can be so unfair at times! :-(

4. Dumbledore

5. I'll say the HP series! I hate war already btw... since I saw 'Gone with the wind'!

6. I had a feeling u were the 'Nancy Drew' sort! Or did u mention it somewhere else in ur blog? I used to love NDs too! Wanted to be a private detective like her when I grew up!

7. Have read only healing related stuff for some time now... but yeah, Chetan Bhagat also remains an inspiration for me... for the same reason as u mentioned!

8. Hands of Light - Barbara Brennan

9. Would like to read that one... lemme make a note of it.

15. LOL @ Corporate Finance!

19. If tomorrow comes - Sheldon (anytime!)

21. Do u still have that story "Face on the wall"? And do u remember who wrote "Gift of the Magi"?

22. Rashmi Bansal from YouthCurry?

Roshmi Sinha said...

@ Kaddu: I glanced thru your comments... and got to respond... can't help it ;)

1. Having gone thru the same agony... can empathize with you... completely.

6. Who is our in-house private eye... the self-styled very "miss_teerious" girl a.k.a. "mysterious Kaddu"... huh???

15. Don't even get me started on Corporate Finance, Management Accounting, Financial Management... and similar 'epics' of mammoth proportions...! These are encapsulated in layers and layers of cryptic codes and message that can be deciphered only by folks belonging to the same family tree such as Aryabhatta, Socrates, and the like...

21. "Gift of the Magi" - by O. Henry... his short stories were always delightful... with a twist in the tale..... but then X-Mas is not around the corner, My Fair Lady!!!

Roshmi Sinha said...

@ Sumit: A good read!

Then again... nothing can beat the charm of the 'Tinkle' and the 'Amar Chitra Katha'... I guess!!!

'The Guns of Navarone'and 'Where Eagles Dare' are classics... watch the movies... they are GREAT!!!

I too was/am a big fan of Nancy Drew... and of the Hardy Boys... as well!

I second you on Chetan Bhagat... there are others though, who too deserve an 'honourable' mention... Shobha De, Arundhati Roy, and a chap called William Dalrymple.

You missed out Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Sharatchandra Chatterjee :)

'Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less' - another great read... I am sooooo 'penny- wise' that my blog is christened as: notapennyformythoughts...!!!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Hi Sumit - Nice nice....have you read To Kill A Mockingbird....Would love to have your views on it!

lpcyusa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kadambari said...

Whoa! Readers' paradise here. Erich Segal, Ayn Rand, Jeffery Archer are my favs too! And I had a huge crush on Frank Hardy (of the Hardy Boys' fame) back in school! :D

Though LOTR is still on my 'to read' list! I could somehow never cross 100 pages. :(

Jessie said...

okay i love this...being a total book nerd, i'm going to have to copy this as well and answer on my blog - giving props to you and the other dude as well - thanks :)

Saurabh said...

seemms we are moving towards a duel or at least a love triangle now... i was also in love with nancy drew !

Sumit said...

Oops! I thought I had replied to the comments, but evidently not.

@Aquarius - I've read most of Grisham's works, though the best according to me is 'The Rainmaker'

@Mukund - I agree that Kane and Abel would probably not be too good a movie. I loved the book though.

@Kaddu - Ahem... the 'Nancy Drew sort'? :O Why o why? I'm glad you're also inspired by M. Bhagat. :D And yeah, If Tomorrow Comes happens to be the only Sidney Sheldon book I liked.

@Roshmi - Those two movies are fantastic, but the books are far better, in my view. :) Actually, I believe that the Bengali writers you named are far, far, far better to read in Bengali than in English. Someday, I dream of learning Bengali, and reading their works in all their authenticity.

P.S. 'Pennywise' reminds me of the clown in Stephen King's book - 'It'. Read it?

@Corinne - I found the book deeply metaphorical. It was a beautiful read, and I can't help sneer at those people who filed complaints against such a brilliant book.

@Kaddu - *high five* for Ayn Rand.

@Jessie - thanks! I'll be 'stalking' your blog and waiting for you to do this. :D

@Saurabh - naah... I think I'm over my crush now. You go ahead while I pursue my current crush *sigh*

Roshmi Sinha said...

"Actually, I believe that the Bengali writers you named are far, far, far better to read in Bengali than in English. "... I agree. Else the flavour is lost.

Was the joker... the long- lost twin of 'Pennywise'... ???

P.S. Long lost does not always indicate 'kumbh ke mele mein'... :)

Sumit said...

Roshmi, yeah the two must've been related. Both of them were almost horrifyingly scary. Great job!

David Stock said...

We have the same favourite authors it turns out, except for the romance section. :) Keep reading!