Thursday, June 23, 2011

Books I am Reading These Days

There are some books that I am reading these days. SOme of them are books I turn back to again and again, and some that I am reading now and will probably not go back to in a long time.
In the former category are 3 books:
1. Si-Yu-Ki by XuanZang and translated by Samuel Beal. Always something new to discover. You can just open it up at any point and be sure of having fun.
2. The Life of Hiuen Tsang by Shaman Li and translated by Samuel Beal. A comapnion volume to the above.
3. On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India by Thomas Watters. A book that is a commentary on the above books. Sometimes unnecessarily abrasive and sarcastic, but ok as a source of digested knowledge.
4. The Ancient Geography of India by Alexander Cunningham. Absolutely indispensable. And full of startling insights.

In the latter category is:
1. The story of my Assasins. By Tarun Tejpal. Now this author who is probably better known as the editor of Tehelka magazine follows a certain method to his madness in writing. This effort is a biography of various people and one follows the other. It is deviously funny and in some sections I just could not stop laughing out aloud.
2. River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh. As usual, painstakingly researched, deliberate and absorbing. But no where as brilliant as the Calcutta Chromosome.

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