Friday, February 24, 2006


As you can see here, I did ask for it. So no complaints, here I go. The usual stuff about 'ask me another day, I will give you another list' applies to this tag.

Total number of books I own

Around 400 here in Chicago - quite a few of them in boxes that shall be unpacked as soon as I move into an apartment with a little more space, a fast diminishing 300 back home that my mom keeps donating away, another 20 - 30 in other people's bookshelves. I guess I should be including Bill's too but what if he counts mine when he does a similar exercise? Na, we will leave it at that.

Last book(s) I bought

Arun Kolatkar - Jejuri. How can I not own this one?

Rucha Humnabadkar - Dance of the Fireflies [Public service announcement / supporting a friend. This also qualifies as my good deed of the day.]

The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman

No, No, I am not into poetry. Pure coincidence.

Last books(s) I read

Malcolm Gladwell - Blink. I have to explain this one, I know. I read this one yesternight so that I can get a free lunch at today's book club at work. I swear.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Crime and Punishment. Re-read it this week. At 18, I thought it was funny; at 21, I found it too depressing; now, I find it too optimistic. What should one do with moi?

Illango Atikal - The Cilappatikaram. Translation by R Parthasarathy. Can't help thinking that its slightly lost in translation.

Books I am currently reading

Amartya Sen - The Argumentative Indian. Two more essays to go.

Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore

Roald Dahl - The Collected Stories. Picked this one up for a mere 100 rupees in College Street, Cal. Can you believe that?

Five books that I have really enjoyed or influenced me

Five? Who are we kidding? Let me do this - since I am all into 'Blink'ing now that I have read the book, I will try a little experiment. I will write down the first ten books that come to my mind.

William Golding - Lord of the Flies

Oscar Wilde - The Complete Plays

William Shakespeare - The Complete Plays

Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude

Salman Rushdie - Midnight's Children

Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse-Five

P G Wodehouse - The Jeeves Omnibus

Richmal Crompton - The William series[At least I know where this one came from. Might not have happened if I hadn't read Falstaff's list this morning.]

Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities

Howard Zinn - A People's History of the United States

Oh no, I forgot Tolkien. And Dostoyevsky. And Jane Austen. What am I going to do now?

Books I plan to buy next

No plan. I will just know when I want to buy what I want to buy.

Books that caught my attention but I have never read

Virginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway

James Joyce - Ulysses

Books I own but have never got around to reading

Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace

Philip Roth - American Pastoral

Romila Thapar - Early India

Teach Yourself Bengali!

Well, this list is sort of long, so I think I will stop here!

People I am passing this on to

"Yaam petra inbam perugai vaiyagam" - Let the happiness that I have experienced spread to the whole wide world.

JAP-da - Have you done one of these? If so, post link please.

- How about you?

Ludwig - C'mon, you love lists. You can do this.

Black Mamba - You knew this was coming, didn't you?


Veena said...

Oh no, I missed the Yossarian book. And I missed Conrad. What's happening to me?

Falstaff said...

Veena: Nice. Was going to point out the irony of having a blog called Yossarian Lives and not mentioning Catch 22, but I see you caught that. Kafka on the Shore is glorious, of course, as are the Dahl short stories. On Marquez, I've personally always been more partial to Autumn of the Patriarch than to One Hundred Years of Solitude. And Conrad, of course, another writer I missed out on my list. damn.

Veena said...

Falstaff: I know this is wierd but I actually woke up thinking how the hell could I have missed Camus. I will never forgive myself now.

And talking of irony Mr 42, I don't remember seeing 42 on your list. Or am I mistaken?

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

As you know by now, I just went through this.

Wodehouse - I'd rate Leave it to Psmith his best ever, even above the other Blandings stories and Jeeves.

William - (I'm yet to collect an old William of mine that a blogger friend picked up from a Gariahat sidewalk hawker.) Should one include the Five Find-Outers? Asterix? (Falstaff has) And the Three Investigators from Alfred Hitchcock?

This particular meme is very annoying. One has to keep coming back with 'how the hell could I forget X?!?' additions. You are squeaky clean, you put these thoughts in your own comments section. I have no qualms about sneakily adding to the post! Which is what I'm off to do now ...


Karthik said...

Veena.. here you go, my old meme. I will update it in the next few days, given that y'all have been breaking the five books rule...


Ravages said...

This meme is still alive? Woah! That's big. I was a victim of this like 6-7 months back.

Psmith is awesome. But the subtlest of Plum's work is The Old Reliable and Adventures of Sally. Uncle Fred in Springtime and Sam the Sudden too are awesome. Heart of a Goof and Clicking of Cuthbert too. Oh darn. Now you (and JAP) got me started on PGW. I can't stop.

Kupa Manduka said...

Funny, I just posted a poem from Jejuri on my blog on the same day :)

Don't know if I got the title of the poem right though ...learnt it a while ago..

dazedandconfused said...

Blink? Glad you gave the clarification. Read 'The Tipping Point' some time ago and swore won't read anything the guy happens to write anymore.
And that includes his blog which he has supposedly started to air his precious views.

Neela said...

Actually , Andy, if you read it carefully, "Blink" has a lot of interesting consumer behavior/psych research in it. He mentions all the big uns who are doing research in non-conscious behavior (John Bargh et al). Gladwell's just done a good job of tying it all together and marketing it much like Barry Schwarz did in "The paradox of choice".


Veena said...

JAP: Your list is so awesome. Though must admit that there's some stuff in there which went over the head. Totally.

Karthik: Thanks. Do update.

Ravages: Go do a PGW post. That would be cool.

Kapa Manduka: Yeah, remember this poem from way back. Kolatkar rocks!

Andy: Though I wasn't really looking forward to reading Blink,I actually ended up liking it. Not for the idea as such which was pretty basic, but for all the studies that the book talked about. I thouught they were all pretty interesting. Haven't read 'The Tipping Point' so can't talk about that.

Neela: Since you seem to be a source of never ending info on consumer behaviour, would appreciate some links to similar studies. Thanks!

Neela said...

hey veena, hope that wasn't sarcastic! as a jealous wannabe academic, I HATE gladwell with a passion for making millions off what we do (or in my case, what we would like to do) but am trying hard to be analytical and dispassionate and fair and academic and its so bloody hard!

but just in case you WERE serious (you must never ever ever ask a phd student for more information), pick up any Journal of Consumer Research (JCR), Journal of Consumer psychology (JCP) and/or Journal of Personality and Social psych (JPSP) and you'll find Blink-ish studies by the gadzillions. Of course they're not as entertaining as Crime and Punishment (in fact, they read a bit like crime and punishment themselves).



Veena said...

Neela: No, wasn't sarcastic at all. Really wanted to find out more about such studies.

And hey, don't lose hope. You can still make millions. Just write that book!

Thanks. Will try to get hold of these J** journals. But yeah, I have a feeling they will be like reading Dostoevsky in Russian!

Neela said...



But if I find some particularly interesting papers, will be sure to let you know. In the meantime, do read stuff by John Bargh & Tanya Chartrand. They do some fascinating stuff in non-conscious behavior (including the famous old-age priming experiment that Gladwell mentions. Also Gilbert Wilson - he's a pyschologist at Harvard, doesn't do a lot of stuff in intuition but there's an interesting article by Wilson & Schooler (I think in JPSP) which talks of the disadvantages of actually introspecting on one's decisions.

More later. email me if interested.


Ravages said...

Ravages: Go do a PGW post. That would be cool.
Yes. That would be really cool. But the resolve. No more original postings till I finish what I set out to do. Plum will have to wait for his eulogy a little more

seema said...

hey hi..... I am Seema. I am an UG student from India doing my English honors at Christ university, Bangalore, India. Congratulations. yours is a really nice blog. :)
Getting to what I need now........ I am doing my research as a part of my academics. I am working on the "Just William" and "More William" by Richmal Crompton. Its basically a comparative study of Children's Literature from England and India. I am looking for already existing research on Crompton. Please share it with me if you have any info about this. Thanks :)