To write an honest autobiography one needs perspective. Perspective, that comes from distancing oneself from ones life events. Often, age creates that distance.
It brings fearlessness, a couldn’t-care-less attitude that allows one to be honest, brutally so. It allows one to name names, to call out people or practices or ideas. It allows one to admit ones mistakes, to look upon them with mellowed eyes, to feel genuinely sorry to or to laugh them away.
Those are the things that make for a good read and that’s where Unfinished loses out.
Book Title: The Housekeeper and the Professor Author: Yoko Ogawa Translator: Stephen Snyder
Relationships spring up in the strangest places, between the most unlikely people. And it is these relationships that make for the best stories. The Housekeeper and the Professor is one such tale – the story of a friendship between a housekeeper and a professor. ‘Friendship’ might not even be the right word here. It’s more a connection forged through the housekeeper’s kindness and empathy.
When I sat to do this piece, one thing became clear that if I had a choice and the ability, the occupation I would have crafted for myself would have involved books, food and magic and of course people, friendly people.
Not for me the life of an adventurer, not a spy or a mountain climbing braveheart. No sir! I’d much rather be with a bunch of people I like, talking to them about books in a cafe, weaving some kind of magic and/or cooking up something delicious.
It’s entirely another matter that I can barely cook to save my life and also that outside books, I’m a practical Capricorn who hardly believes in magic.
After much deliberation, I decided to read Anxious People. It had been on my TBR for the longest time but I kept putting it off because I couldn’t bear to be disappointed. There has been so much hype about Backman, and more specifically, about the book that I was almost afraid to pick it up.
I just finished The Flat Share and I haven’t stopped smiling. Sometimes a simple sweet funny story is all one needs. After Dracula, my last read, this light and fresh book is all I needed to put me in the holiday spirit.
I have a dread of horror and I consciously stay away from it. But then Dracula got chosen as the book of the month by a (fabulous, classic-reading) book club I’m part of. And I decided perhaps it was time to give it a go. I really am a fan of trying and re-trying and re-re-trying genres.
That’s how I started reading Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Book: My Sister the Serial Killer Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
The title of this book was intriguing enough to make me want to read it despite mixed reviews. In fact, many of my favourite book reviewers didn’t give it a great rating. yet I had to check it out for myself.
I don’t know why I took so long to pick up this book. It is written by an actor I love; an erudite, eloquent, thinking actor. It’s set in my hometown. It has a promising title and gorgeous cover page. I really can’t imagine why I didn’t pick it up earlier.
The last few months as I’ve helped the children with their Hindi school portions, I’ve rediscovered my love for my mother tongue. Perhaps that’s why I decided to read this one in Hindi. Besides, it’s just silly to read a translation when one can well read, understand and appreciate the original language.
Book: The Girl Who Drank the Moon Author: Kelly Barnhill
This is the story of a town, a cursed town. On its outskirts lies a greater forest. In this forest lives a wicked old witch. The witch demands sacrifice and so each year an infant is taken away by the town elders and left in the forest for her. As a result, a fog of sorrow hangs over the town with the townsfolk in a constant state of mourning.
On one such occasion, an infant girl is left in the forest and the witch comes by to pick her up. As it turns out she isn’t a wicked witch at all. She wonders why the townsfolk leave their infants in the forest every year. But she’s a kind-hearted soul and cannot bear to leave them to die. So she takes them away and gives them up to loving homes in faraway cities.