How Many Books Have You Read?

I am not reading books these days as much as I would like to. I came across this book meme in some of the blogs, I decided to do it to track my reading progress. I have kept the basic instructions same, though I have changed the book list.

Here are the instructions to do the meme:

Bold the ones you’ve read in the list. Italicize the ones you want to read or those you are reading. Leave blank the ones you aren’t interested in. And remember movies don’t count. 🙂

  1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
  2. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
  3. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  5. Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
  6. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
  7. To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf)
  8. Who Moved My Cheese? (Spencer Johnson)
  9. The Inscrutable Americans (Anurag Mathur)
  10. Falconer (John Cheever)
  11. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
  12. A House for Mr. Biswas (V. S. Naipaul)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
  14. A Painted House (John Grisham)
  15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
  16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
  17. India in Slow Motion (Mark Tully)
  18. The Stand (Stephen King)
  19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
  20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
  21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
  22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  24. Transmission (Hari Kunzru)
  25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
  26. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
  27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
  28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
  29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
  30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
  31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
  32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
  33. 1984 (George Orwell)
  34. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
  35. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
  36. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
  37. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
  38. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
  39. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
  40. Shalimar the Clown (Salman Rushdie)
  41. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
  42. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
  43. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)
  44. The Bible
  45. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
  46. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
  47. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
  48. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  49. Bleak House (Charles Dickens)
  50. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
  51. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
  52. Girls of Riyadh (Rajaa Alsanea)
  53. Great Expectations (Dickens)
  54. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
  55. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
  56. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
  57. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
  58. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  59. In Xanadu (William Dalrymple)
  60. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  61. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
  62. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
  63. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
  64. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
  65. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  66. This World is Flat (Thomas Friedman)
  67. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  68. Les Miserables (Hugo)
  69. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
  70. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
  71. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
  72. Beloved (Toni Morrison)
  73. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
  74. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
  75. The Summer Tree (Guy Gravriel Kay)
  76. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
  77. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
  78. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
  79. Notes to Myself (Hugh Prather)
  80. Silence of the Lambs (Thomas Harris)
  81. Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck)
  82. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
  83. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
  84. Emma (Jane Austen)
  85. The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)
  86. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  87. From Russia, With Love (Ian Fleming)
  88. Black Beauty (Anna Sewell)
  89. Kane and Able (Jeffrey Archer)
  90. Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  91. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
  92. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
  93. Sons and Lovers (D. H. Lawrence)
  94. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
  95. A Suitable Boy (Vikram Seth)
  96. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
  97. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
  98. Matilda (Roald Dahl)
  99. Ulysses (James Joyce)
  100. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

I have read only 36 books out of 100. So much for calling myself a voracious reader. 😦 There are actually some books I had not heard of before reading this list. And some of the books I had read years back. But there are some books that I look forward to read. Hope I get back to reading soon.

Books I am currently reading:
Best of Tehelka Part 2
The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru
Seagull by Anton Chekov

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44 Responses to “How Many Books Have You Read?”


  1. 1 dinsan October 18, 2007 at 2:38 am

    uhmm I do not have even 30 😦 I used to read a lot.. not now.. not getting time or not trying to ? 😦

    most of these books goes in Italics for me

    Poonam: In my case, there is lot of inertia to start a book. Unless it is as gripping as The Kite Runner, I do not finish in one go. And if I read it in intervals, the book reading process prolongs.. 😦

    Are you able to start reading books you want? Or you do not start at all?

  2. 2 ish October 18, 2007 at 3:28 am

    What is the book Life of pi all about? It seems interesting. Is it about the numerical pi?

    And what is best of Tehelka Part 2 all about? Is this about the same Tehelka.com that had created ripples all about?

    Poonam: Ish, you seeem to be obsessed with numeric pi. Isn’t your Maths exam over? 🙂

    As Sriskandh explained, Life of Pi is a book about survival of human amongst dire castaway conditions. IT is a memior of an Indian boy from Pondicherry called Pi. This book got Man Booker prize in 2002.

    Yes, Best of Tehelka is part of same Tehelka.com. IT is a collection of their best articles published in 2002. I am finding few very interesting. DO you know it was Tehelka who discovered Rabbi Shergil? They struggled with him to get his first album out. Though there are times I do not at all agree with Tehelka has got to say.

  3. 3 Sriskandh October 18, 2007 at 3:52 am

    Life of Pi is a book about this kid whose ship gets wrecked at sea and he manages to get on a lifeboat with a tiger, a goat and a hyena (if i remember correctly). Its about his survival on the boat with the tiger looking to kill him after he is done with the other two. I think Martel won the man booker prize for this?

    I am nowehere close to 30.

    Poonam: Yes, he got Man Booker prize for this in 2002. What do I say, I scored poorly too. 😦 It is ticking reminder I have so much catching up to do.

  4. 4 pradeep October 18, 2007 at 7:33 am

    My count will be around 30 but hardly two in fiction n stuff,I love to read business stuff, two books I wanna read in your list are The Bible and The selfish genes.

    Poonam: when I was in school, I had seen Richard Dawkin’s this book. Wanted to read in college. Now there are already too many books on my reading list, this one takes bottom place. My mindset has changed since my biochemistry days at college.

  5. 5 Nishu October 18, 2007 at 8:08 am

    i read 7
    started 3 more but ditched :-/..

    Poonam: I must say I smiled at your comment. I thought I was reading too less..but when I read your comment I thought..oh there are people who read even less. And I rearely sitch a book..unless it is too gross or too boring and big.

  6. 6 Ashish October 18, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    You haven’t read LOTR and Harry Potter? :shocked: I can excuse HP but LOTR? The greatest of them all!

    Count of Monte Cristo was great, I like Dumas’ work. The Three Musketeers was superb too and it follow ups added to the original. Oh and I read less than you too but I call myself a reader before a geek. 😀

    Poonam: For a second, I thought what was LOTR? Nah, didnt read it yet…and to top it did not watch the movie either..and don’t like Harry Potter…Half the time I find the hyped things disappoint me. Perhaps then I expect too much. But want to see LOTR surely. Will do.

    I like Dumas too. I kinda grew up on it. In fact, to think of it, I read most classics at school.

    I thought you would be a “geekreader”, that way geek comes before reader. 😛

  7. 7 Ashish October 19, 2007 at 5:48 am

    Don’t see the LOTR movie, read the book. I assure you its well worth your investment. About Harry Potter, even the hype gets to me but its a darn superb book especially from book 3 onwards. If you want to know why it connects with people, read it. Although yeah, books 1 and 2 are a bit boring… good thing I started reading HP from Book 3 and then bought 1 & 2. 😀

    Poonam: OK, will read LOTR…but HP I am not sure…I don’t think I am too much into world of imagery..did not like HP movie..read HP and Prisoner of Azkaban…good..but kiddish..if you really think later books are better…then perhaps can give it a try…The book is lolling around somewhere my house, its just I am not reading it.

  8. 8 Ashish October 22, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Haha. Well even LOTR is kiddish at the start but picks up tremendously. HP is kind of the same, my personal fav’s of the series are book 3, 5,6 and 7. Some people don’t like Tolkien just because he is slow on the “action” more on the background but to me that matters because Tolkien created a whole myth [inspired by Norse] and the appendixes at the end matter too.

    You just readsies precious, itssss good. We bitesss to… yesss we bitesss. Gollum Gollum. 😛

  9. 9 ish October 22, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Tehelka found Rabbi Shergill? Wow that’s amazing..and I could have even managed to meet him then. Actually my mother’s sister’s best friend is Tarun Tejpal i.e. the Tehelka owner’s wife. I was really happy the day I managed to meet the guy. It was at the time when they had done that hidden camera expose and now everyone does it. Hell the guy even gave me some toffee’s! I remember his house too and the best part was that both of them were really simple and down to earth.

    Poonam: Wow..that is so cool. 🙂 Rabbi was Minty Tejpal’s (Tarun Tejpal’s brother) find.

    Tarun Tejpal is known to visit restaurants near by my workplace. Colleagues claim to walk up to him and tell him that his tabloids are poorly edited..to which Tarun replied they work on very low budgets..Did you see the new look of Tehelka magazine?

  10. 10 nitin October 22, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    poorest of all..Just 4 under my belt from 100 above…
    Can u tell me on what basis these 100 are shortlisted..??

    if they are some grt collection, will have to check them out first…

    Just finished Fountain Head…Wana grab Atlas Shrugged now..wat say?

    Poonam: Hey Nitin, welcome to Visceral Observations! 🙂

    The original meme I saw on an American blog had too many unknown books…most book now you find on this meme are from top 100 bbc uk books..here is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml.

    I changed some of the books again to include some popular books on other subjects like “The Selfish Gene” “This World is Flat”..and so on.

  11. 11 Amita Paul October 25, 2007 at 12:54 am

    Looks like I have read some 38 books. I have put the books I have read in my blog.

    I liked the listing, it looks like a good check list. Thanks for publishing.

    Poonam: Hey Amita, thanks for reading..and I would say 38 was a good enough score. 🙂 You have the highest amongst my readers. 🙂

  12. 12 falcon October 26, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    hey, i read ur post at India.targetgenx.com … quite liked your style..
    But about the books stuff.. i am not sure howm any have i read.. but can tell you for sure . there are not many i would not know the story line.

    And i mean not read reviews i can actually quote the words… becoz heard those book being read out to me ( orignals) by mom when i was a child… never really grew out of that habbit….

    My mom always there is more to literature than books… and more over most of these books come in fiction.. followed by Austen ( the best to pick whern u want to inculcate reading habbit.)

    by the way, I am more intrested in short stories…completed 60% of chekov works and 80 % of his short stories… where does that put me!!!

    A reader or a non -reader… may be u’ll call me a psuedo one or a hypocrite…

    Poonam: Welcome, falcon to Visceral Observations. 🙂

    Actually I know several people who would rather read short stories than full-blown fictitious novels. I too like short stories, I got a book with full works of Maupassant. Nah, I do not think you are a hypocrite or pseudo reader.. rather I would say you are lucky to have been read to books, that too by your mom..when I was kid I had to literally fight my parents to read literature…most of the books I read secretly hidden in my curriculum books. 🙂

  13. 13 Amita November 1, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks for your stopping by on my page.

    I find books better than movies, always. There may be one or two exceptions, but I cannot remember now. I liked reading ‘English Patient’ – I feel when you read a book, their is no noise and a straight connection between what you and what the author wants you to know. Of course, your interpretation as well. In particular, I liked ‘English Patient’ for its poetic touch. A movie, which I like in particular is ‘The Notebook’ and have not got a chance to read the novel. But, I think the movie is made brilliantly.

    I have read most of the books in your list there several years back. I don’t know how – but there was immense capacity then to absorb and enjoy. Now, mind drifts a lot making it difficult to read – a phenomenon that most of the working people may recognize.

    Yes, I had liked Rohinton Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’ – but not as much to remember the finesse in there.

    The books that I do not see in the list and are some of my favorites are the ones by Richard Bach. Simple, easy to read but extremely meaningful books. For example, Illusion, Jonathon Livingston Seagull, Across the Bridge Forever, One … all of them.

    I think this was a long one- 🙂 And btw, I like your posts.

    Poonam: Yes, you are right..books are better..as we have our own imagination to run the movie in our mind. Yes Richard Bach and Jonathan Livingstone books are good..these books were taken from BBC top 100 list…the link is in one of the comments above..

    And I am glad, you liked my post..that is the motivation one needs to keep on blogging. 🙂

  14. 14 manofroma November 5, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown): stimulating, tho superficial and morally subjugating the reader
    2. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown): stimulating, tho superficial and morally subjugating the reader
    3. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen): outstanding
    5. Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell): very interesting, tho if Jane Austen is 100, this is 30, Dan Brown 5
    6. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien): outstanding, tho….
    7. 1984 (George Orwell): outstanding, a bit boring maybe
    15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden): I should read it
    16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
    17. India in Slow Motion (Mark Tully): I should read it
    20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte): good
    21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
    22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger): outstanding, a great poem in American-40s slang about *difficult* adolescence. It was *my book* at 18, then I discovered some disturbed killers were found with it in their hands…..(true): it is understandable…I’ll talk about it in a future post
    23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott): good, tho I am not a little woman (nor a big man)
    24. Transmission (Hari Kunzru) ?
    25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) ?
    29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck): mmmm…good, maybe
    30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
    31. Dune (Frank Herbert): very good
    33. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley): interesting, …tho don’t take it religiously … plss …mmm…neo-pagan maybe? Interesting anyway…be careful tho girls…(my opinion)
    38. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho): great authour, tho I do not believe in signs and I am not religious
    39. Shalimar the Clown (Salman Rushdie): read other books by him, not this: OUTSTANDING!
    42. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)
    43. The Bible: *very* boring. Repeating 100 concepts over and over. Some parts are although beautiful (not enough to advice reading it)
    44. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy): the BEST of the BEST of the BEST: maybe the most perfect novel ever written (from the times of the ancient Greeks on, pls consider it)
    45. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas): outstanding
    50. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens): outstanding
    51. Girls of Riyadh (Rajaa Alsanea): ????
    52. Great Expectations (Dickens): outstanding
    53. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald): really outstanding
    56. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough): well, dunno, tho I read ALL the Julius Caesar series by her (not bad by the way, Ausssies having good english tho she *totally* lacking the Mediterranean feel. Her work is admirable tho. I thank her.
    59. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky): the BEST of the BEST of the BEST since the Greeks again (not read tho lol)
    61. War and Peace (Tolstoy): the BEST of the BEST of the BEST: in my view the greatest book EVER written, tho…Anna Karenina probably more …perfect. L-o-n-g religious Christian passages….they not diminishing its tremendous greatness. This the *greatest* since the Greek-Romans in the West. Really. Anna Karenina the *most perfect*.
    62. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice): ??
    64. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez): super super super wow wow wow wow. I’ll read it again. I MUST
    65. This World is Flat (Thomas Friedman): ??
    66. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller): outstanding trusting who read it (didn’t read it tho)
    67. Les Miserables (Hugo): outstanding outstanding outstanding (read it only a bit tho)
    68. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery): boring, never succeeded to finish it (my fault tho: i think it should be outstanding)
    69. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding): funny and stimulating for a woman, also loved the movie
    70. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez):
    71. Beloved (Toni Morrison)
    72. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje): I loved the movie a lot (never read the book)
    73. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett): maybe…I saw an outstanding movie about it….or maybe I am wrong. Forgot

    79. Silence of the Lambs (Thomas Harris): TO BE AVOIDED ABSOLUTELY: it nourishes the goddam dark side of us!!
    80. Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck): read, tho forgot
    84. The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins): very GOOD!!!
    85. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley): one of the best philosophical works *ever* published in my view (and ALL works by Him, but this one especially of course) and to be read together with Konrad Lorenz’s works (one of special my gurus) to have a total in-depth view of where human kind evolution is going. I met Lorenz much before Huxley, then one day i read in one of Lorenz’s last books: “ALL I did, after all, was continuing Aldous Huxley research”. What??? I said. This *great* german-speaking (Austria) linking to this English guy? Who the hell is he. I soon bought Brave New World and after I read it I …stared at the wall for two days…after that I made a two months seminar for my students on this special German-British connection. British genius and German genius together: lethal, really, no kidding.
    86. From Russia, With Love (Ian Fleming): delighful. I love 007
    89. Animal Farm (George Orwell): VERY interesting, though a bit boring
    90. Lord of the Flies (Golding). interesting, though never got over 50 pages (the promised British reply to Salinger was a bluff, in my view, but I might be wrong)
    91. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck): wow (ALL of this autour)
    92. Sons and Lovers (D. H. Lawrence): my goodness, this authour is GOOD!! ALL by him. ALL
    98. Ulysses (James Joyce): mmm….dunno….read enormous passages of it… heavy, difficult, though …as Dante’s Divine Comedy but not as great, of course not …..Dante is 1000 and Joyce maybe 200-300. OUSTANDING (by the way, Dante would be my only book *forever* (Longfellow: good English translation also on web), I taught it for 16 years in school: only, if he was not so Christian…., but he cannot but be my guru, he cannot but be…..I am not nationalist, but Dante is maybe the greatest author of entire Western past millennium (as British critics suggest: the greatest poet and the greatest engineer at the same time. Germans are so envious about it, ah ah ah. They said: this is is our style of things!!! why is he Italian damn and not German. I say: why wasn’t he Pagan and Roman, damn. Of course Dante’s Guru (or Magister) was ancient-Roman great Virgilius: but if Dante was 1000, Virgilius was only maybe 600…..:-((((( (and great classical Greek authors maybe 1300: damn close Dante, damn close….not so close Virgilius, not so close …. :-((( )

    All the best from
    ManofRoma

    PS
    ALL I just said is ManofRoma’s opinion, apart when I said my opinion was shared by other people….

    Poonam: That’s a detailed reply..I guess you score the highest amongst all the bloggers I have come across so far. 🙂

    Like you, I thought 1984 (I even blogged about it) and Pride and Prejudice were outstanding. As I have not read most of the books like you, I would trust your judgement. But I was curious to know why you would think that Da Vinci Code was morally subjugating?

  15. 15 falcon December 5, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Dear manofroma well read…
    i am impressed!!!

    Not many people these days I find are so into books…
    However it is unfair on ur part to compare two authors of different era. Especially when u compare geniuses!!!

    James Joyace for example was a person who suffered from Identity crisis all his life. He was torn between being called an irish and still british…
    His works are a little difficult to understand no doubt butonce you know the back drop of the novel and the socio- politco scenario u are bound to appreciate his work all more.

    A portrait of an artist as a young man an autoboigraphical novel of Joyace is a classic example… It takes u a lot to understand the characterfor within minutes u have to come down to a mentality of a 7 year old to a new teen… to to tweenies…
    but if u r able to do that u will realise it that it is one of the finest master pieces ever written…

    So all i request u is to do bit of research in case of joyace, lawrence, Tolstoy before u pick their book to read… itwould enhance ur reading experience… and the book will unfold before u like never before!!!

    Regards

  16. 16 ManofROma December 7, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Poonam said:
    > was curious to know why you would think that Da Vinci Code was morally subjugating?
    The hardest question …. Well, I cannot summarize the novel here. Brown tends to totally absorb the reader’s mind (if not well prepared) into his ideas and make him/her a disciple of his doctrine. Let us face it: he just wrote a good thriller. Any historical pro can destroy his book in 5 minutes. But people are induced to think this is not just a thriller to make money. They are induced to think this is a real philosophical historical & religious book. This is also part of the subjugating thing, in my view).
    I am not a pro Christian (I am against it a little bit lol), but I think he is TOTALLY wrong. He is very convincing for example with USA simple-minded adults (some USA people are of course not simple-minded, but some really are, so much) or with teen-agers, and it depresses me that some of these people lost their faith by just reading a
    blockbuster thriller. Is this our Western leading nation mass culture? I think we people in the West are in great need of HELP..

    We need more serious roots and thought, Gosh, we really need HELP HELP …

    Falcon said:
    > i am impressed!!!
    You are kind to say that, but do not be too impressed. Being a bookworm has its drawbacks

    >Not many people these days I find are so into books…
    Being 59 I guess I do belong to former days when people had less Tv and more books.

    >However it is unfair on ur part to compare two authors of different era.
    Well, allow me not to agree. Since Dante and Joyce are geniuses, as you said, they write *für ewig* (German phrase meaning: “for ever”, or out of time in some way. I mean, the things they say are that profound or deep they belong to *any* era, thence they belong to Man, forever). Writing für ewig makes them thus comparable.

    Best evidence of this is UK literary critics – very intelligent people – who did make such comparisons between different eras at the end of last millennium, by asking themselves: who is the best writer between 1000 and 2000 AD? They chose Italian Dante Alighieri from Florence – 1300 roughly- and I’ll admit they were fair enough to exclude Joyce and Shakespeare, both English-language authors.

    Dante is immense, perfect synthesis of ALL medieval Western culture – history, philosophy, religion etc. etc. plus ancient Western culture and some of future modern culture, plus of course great poetry, or he would not be considered a poet lol. His greatest miracle, I think, is being the greatest engineer and an immense poet at the same time. The structure of his comedy is so complex they have problems to analyse it even with powerful computers. His master and model poet was ancient-Roman Virgil, who was tho inferior to him. He would be *my* author if Christian religion was not so deeply enrooted in his poem. I am not Christian. Christianity has destroyed our Greek-Roman Gods and spread the seed of intolerance. Christians think they own the truth, and accept only their truth. To me this is absolutely unbearable. Truth is continuous research. It cannot be given forever and ever, and all discussion stopped forever because a Pope (or a book) is always right. Ridiculous. Buddhism seems much better in this.

    >all i request u is to do bit of research in case of joyce, lawrence, Tolstoy before u pick their book to read… it would enhance ur reading experience…
    I totally agree. One has to get the background in order to understand and fully appreciate. Being an ex literature & history school teacher this provides me *some* of this background, only I forgot a lot, I’ll admit, plus I am not pro, I am only middle-brow, not high-brow, so I guess ur advice is so precious. I do what I can. I tho believe in what I am doing and a school teacher is not total garbage after all …ah ah ah

    All the best
    From a West
    That got Lost

  17. 17 Poonam Sharma December 10, 2007 at 4:57 am

    @Manofroma: I would let you be the judge of historical credentials of Da Vinci Code. I do not have knowledge about it. In fact, whatever I know was from this book. I never knew what was Holy Grail before reading this book.

    Books are my passion too, but I am a very slow reader these days. Not enough time. 😦

  18. 18 ManofRoma December 10, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    In fact that book provides lots of infos, and also all other Brown’s books. Well, if this can console you, my time is very limited too, especially since I have decided to live alone. I didn’t foresee that managing a house, learning how to cook plus damn lengthy transportation to Rome (and pathetich Internet speed) would consume ALL my time. My writing is suffering, getting muddled, sloppy ….

  19. 19 falcon December 11, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    @Man Of Roma
    My giving u an advice on reading seems like showing a lamp to the sun.. But loud mouth that i am….i jus cannot keep quiet..
    Forgive me, for being stubborn and ignorant but I am still not convinced..Ideas differ..you know

    >>Since Dante and Joyce are geniuses, as you said, they write *für ewig*- very true

    >> I mean, the things they say are that profound or deep they belong to *any* era, thence they belong to Man, forever). Writing für ewig makes them thus comparable.
    – Not necessarily, since you agree that things they say are profound and deep it may jus be the inability on our part to understand them… The one sentence written in any of the book can be read in several ways and each of the style of reading is again open to different interpretation by different people. The way You and I interpret a statement depends on how you or I relate to it.

    a classic example, In my case is “bhagwad Gita”- religious book of the Hindu. every time I attempt to read mind you the keywrd being attempt ( not religious at all) every statement has a new meaning depending on my maturity which in most case is notoriously absent.

    Dante and joyace are great in their own right.. And their greatness need not be proved by comparing them with one another ar or that matter any body else. Their greatness lies in their works which is unmatched and uncompareable. Their work speaks for itself.And that is the only and only testimony to their greatness. Not camparison with shakespere, milton, or anybody else…

    As for critics and their survey I give two HOOTs to them .

    For reason visit: http://india.targetgenx.com/2007/11/19/statistics-is-all-crap/
    which talks about futility of statistics beside something else which may or may not interest you.

    Appologies for being rude( if I am)
    Best Regards,
    Falcon

  20. 20 Ashish December 12, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Geek Wrestler is here to poke in with some off topic! Ta da da da! 😛

    No offense to Falcon or ManofRoma but I have Ulysses sitting on my Harddrive for ages and I haven’t managed to read more than a page. Teh boring. [Just me] Same for Pride and Prejudice.

    I do agree with ManofRoma on The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown literally tries to make you his disciple and distributes his views as facts. The book is good fiction, nothing more than that.

    My future reads are War and Peace, Silence of the Lambs and a few others. I call myself a reader but its more likely 3-4 books a year. Heehee.

  21. 21 Ashish December 12, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Oh and everybody seems to miss Sherlock… one of the best detective short story series evar. [Most people find them boring but they really are amazing!]

  22. 22 falcon December 12, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    @ Ashish
    No probs bro… it’s just fine…
    As they say “A classic is a book that is appreciated by all but never read by any!”

  23. 23 Poonam Sharma December 13, 2007 at 5:48 am

    @Ashish, true, classics can be boring especially the unabridged versions. I remember starting Anna Karenina, but it was too long and I could not finish it. There are rare books that I leave unfinished. It was one of them.

    But I liked Pride and Prejudice, it has some of classic dialogues women use. 🙂 But yes, ebooks are hard to read.

    And Sherolck Holmes is one of my favorites. I mostly read borrowed books, borrowed from rental library or friends. (Because my granny sells the books, to my heartbreak.) But I bought complete works of Sherlock and have reread it several times. I can tell (even from my poor memory) outcome of some of the stories.

    I like Hound of Baskervilles and Mystery behind the yellow face amongst others.

  24. 24 Ashish December 13, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Falcon: Haha yeah. But I’d probably give it a try if it was in paper form. the only ebooks I’ve managed to read are Dumas’ work and Dracula.

    Poonam: Well for my part if anybody can survive Tolkien [and regard his work as one of the best] then he can survive anything. 😀 But yeah, its partly because I have ebooks that I haven’t read it otherwise it would have been devoured if it was a real book however boring… my parents taught me to “get every paisa’s worth”. 😛

    I got Sherlock when I was eleven. The two full volumes of every sherlock story written by Conan Doyle. My favourites were The Sign of Four, Mystery of the Speckled Band, The Valley of Fear and the Tiger of San Pedro.

    I know some of the stories by heart, like the Sign of Four. Bet you can’t beat that! 😛

  25. 25 FALCON December 13, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    e-books take the fun out of readin .. the only kind of e-books i can read is technical ones. hard core technical that’s it..

  26. 26 Poonam Sharma December 14, 2007 at 5:17 am

    Mystery of Speckled band I read in school. Afterwards, i have come across this lotta times. Very common Holmes story. I meant to write Sign of Four as my fav, but was confused which was this story. Which was this story where there was Mormon law in Utah? Lucy dies, her lover takes revenge? Nah, doesn’t seem like sign of four. The book I had had two big stories, one Lucy’s and Sign of Four. Now can’t remember. Both wre good.

    Don’t remember which was Valley of Fear (Professor Mortiary’s?) and Tiger of San Pedro. 😦

  27. 27 Ashish December 15, 2007 at 4:45 am

    The Utah one was A Study in Scarlet, the very first case and novel where we are introduced to Holmes through Dr. Watson’s eyes. The Mormon law part is the second half where we find out Jefferson Hope’s past/tale.

    Sign of Four is about the treasure a few military people swindle out of Jonathan Small who in turn was inducted into a scheme of four Sikhs in India during the 1857 revolt but they are caught and JS is sent to Andaman. You know the rest. He escapes with a kid called Tonga, comes to Britain, kills for revenge, gets the treasure and is caught but not before throwing the treasure into the thames.

    Valley of Fear is the Pinkerton agent who goes into the Valley during the gold rush to investigate the club and then the survivors come back to kill him.

    T of SP is the first in the short story series from the Second Volume. 🙂

  28. 28 manofroma December 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Didn’t know this conversation had continued …

    @Falcon
    I am not a sun ah ah ah, I am just a moronic stubborn old man that is so stubborn (and silly) so as to be lonely for Christmas at 59 in a frozen house no stove can warm since there are draughts EVERYWHERE. I came here for studying and thinking, but for this winter I think I failed altogether.

    Sorry you all people, Poonam, Ashish and the rest, I am getting boring by repeating this over and over lol, but it is a problem I cannot solve, plus you sweet people from India make me feel less lonely. You tell me complicated things, Falcon, I cannot reply to now because I have no brain.
    No, no, you are not rude, you are a such nice person, I am much ruder sometimes, I have such a bad temper lol.

    One thing. That “Proud to be Indian” web log, wow, it is super. I was looking for something like that to learn more about your country. You do not know how much I love India, dear Falcon. Of course statistics are crap, especially if carried out by Anglo-Saxons who are a great people, but who sometimes lack the depth to understand such a civilization like yours. As far as classics and they being out of time, dunno if this can help our discussion: I have quoted my favourite Indian philosopher, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who talks about classic authors of all time, in here: http://manofroma.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/

    All the best
    from a silly West

  29. 29 Shefaly March 13, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I followed your other book meme to get here.

    I think a list that mixes fiction with non-fiction is trying to compare apples with oranges. In the real world, there is too much to figure out and in a given day there are only so many hours to read – that is my logic for not reading fiction any more 🙂

    Then again I get through between 45-50 non-fiction books a year, more if I take a holiday. The PhD reading list, in addition to over 500 academic papers, saw me read 65 odd books. I review books and own close to 900+ books not all of which are on Shelfari. Too tiring to put them online when I could be reading them instead, no?

    And I do think the question is not ‘how many books one read’ but ‘how much worth was there in the books one read’. What say?

  30. 30 Shefaly March 13, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    It should be ‘a list’ not ‘list’. Sorry.

  31. 31 lallopallo March 13, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    “In the real world, there is too much to figure out and in a given day there are only so many hours to read – that is my logic for not reading fiction any more ”
    Yes, you are right that we have limited time to figure out things..so, cannot waste time on books which dont add value to our learning..
    Most of the fiction doesnt do anything for me either, but, sometimes, stories, characters & conflicts present in fiction bring out human emotions & understanding of the human mind better than many non-fiction books on psychology, economics , philosophy etc..
    Case in point..Shakespeare , Tagore, GB Shaw, Gunter Grass, Rushdie and many more…

  32. 32 Poonam Sharma March 14, 2008 at 4:02 am

    @Shefaly: Welcome to Visceral Observations. I guess your first comment here.

    You have an interesting take on not reading fiction.:) While I read fiction for sheer pleasure of transporting my mind and imagination to another world. I read books while traveling or before sleeping. Usually I finish a book in a day. I feel very productive when I finish a book. So I keep readng them. 🙂

    I despise most of non-fiction specifically self-helps. I am not much into history (like William Dalrymple’s reseached accounts
    ), geography either.

    As for the list, it was not meant to compare fiction and non-fiction. It was meant to keep the meme balanced. As in a person who is only non-fiction reader or faction reader is not disadvantaged. I guess I picked the original list from some blog or top 100 list of bbc books of century.

    I envy you , you own 900+ books! wow! Its booty of a lifetime o me till it exhausts. 🙂 I would like to read your review. Perhaps I need to check your blog for that?

    @lallopallo: Once again, I agree with you. 😛

  33. 33 Shefaly March 14, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Poonam: Thanks for your note. I think I may have left comments here earlier too.

    I think the ‘self-help’ brand of books are a peculiar Indian predilection 🙂 (my observation; but also seems to have some basis in data people collected). I read biographies, conceptual books, business related books, politics, science, philosophy, history (WD is not a historian, he is a writer), culture, anthropology and a category I broadly call Indology. Amongst them there is enough human drama of the kind Lallopallo describes.

    I read 10-12 books at a time, and although I read very fast, the net outcome is it takes me weeks to finish one book. I never read in bed. I read a lot in trains and planes; in fact, every return trip from Bangalore to London, I finish a book. The last I read was Ed Luce’s In Spite of the Gods. I read most of my PhD related books on the train journey between Cambridge and Edinburgh (4-5 hours one way). Most of them were about fat and obesity :-/

    I review on Amazon-UK and there is a link to the right side where you can see some of the reviews. I read more than I can review but I hope to change that, if I get more organised.

    I only ever buy books; I am not very fond of shopping for much else. Now I have a backlog to read which is my weight in books. Luckily I am petite 😉

    Thanks again.

  34. 34 Shefaly March 14, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Of course, a link on the right side on ‘my blog’ 🙂

  35. 35 Poonam Sharma March 17, 2008 at 7:30 am

    @Shefaly: I think the ’self-help’ brand of books are a peculiar Indian predilection 🙂

    Quite right, but then again those are the kind of books that top bestseller lists in any country. Of all the genres you mentioned, I like to read biographies and Indology interests me. I have been wanting to read books by Sudhir and Katherine Kakar.

    Yeah, I got to read few of your reviews. As for shopping for books, folks at my place do not value them much. They would sell them to wholesaler without my knowledge at the first opportunity. How that kills me. So I don’t invest in books now, but I hope to own a library when I live on my own.

    As for you, happy reading your backlog books! 🙂

  36. 36 Maha March 17, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I typically read at least one book every week. I’m probably one of the very few who does not complain about the london underground, since most of my reading is done on it.
    Currently reading A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry – quite nice thus far. It is one of the better books set in Bombay, although the best by far is Suketu Mehta’s (I once met him!) Maximum City which is better even than Shantaram, in my opinion. Recent reads include:
    – Gang leader for a day – Sudhir Venkatesh (if you’ve read Freakonomics, the story of his work with Chicago’s gangs was the best – this book is the detailed version)
    – Infidel – by Ayaan Hirsi Ali – very interesting, but quite controversial, so will avoid further comment
    – Shadow of the Wind – quite good if a bit long winded
    – The Hungry Tide – by Amitav Ghosh (hmmm.. i’ve been reading too many desi authors) – not much of a plot, but his description of places and incidents is unparallelled.. esp the story of the Ganges in the first chapter, and of Port Canning later in the book
    – A thousand splendid suns – not of the same fabric as the kite runner, but quite alright
    – A Man in Full – I’m quite a fan of Tom Wolfe now; i enjoyed this one almost as much as Bonfire of the Vanities

    And you guys will not like what i’m going to say, but honestly, I thought the ‘da vinci code’ was a load of cr*p
    :-p

    Hey Poonam.. how u been?

    cheers, maha

  37. 37 Poonam Sharma March 18, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Maha, that is what I try to do – read a book a week.

    Of the books you mentioned, I have read only two. I completely agree with your assessments of these. The Hungry Tide. Amitav Ghosh is master of flowing, beautiful prose. His work is well-researched. Though nothing for a story.

    As for Thousand Splendid Suns, it wasn’t as good as The Kite Runner. This one was more tragic and had less spirit for most part of the movie. And will tell you a secret, that paragraph where Rashid has Mariam eating stones still does something to my insides.

    I am looking forward to read Rohinton Mistry. If you recommend after you finish reading, I will certainly buy this book. I have a feeling I can completely trust your recommendations. 🙂

    I am good, howz your case going? Any progress?

  38. 38 Reema May 25, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    U’ve read prisoner of azkaban but not not part 1 & 2??? how come?? BTW 1984 by george orwell is mentioned twice in the list. Apart from HP my favourite in the list is Emma. I have read it like 10 times when I was in school. George Knightley was the Prince Charming for me!!

    Poonam: I am actually not a biog fan of HP. You actually have an eye, you could be a good editor. I changed one of the 1984 with Virginia Woolf’s book (at number 7). Thanks for pointing that out!

    Yes, Emma is nice. When I was at school, I was Jane Austen’s fan. I liked both Mr. Rochester and Mr. Darcy. 🙂

  39. 39 Man of Roma May 20, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Hi dear Poonam Sharma, don’t know why I came here after such a long time. I guess it was a link on my blog who took me here. My eldest daughter and Ashish the Geek Wrestler have met twice in Mumbai. But I didn’t have much news about it from any of the two. My daughter doesn’t want me to get into her things, and Ashish doesn’t talk that much unless when he’s joking. Hope all is well dear woman. Saluto.

    • 40 Poonam Sharma May 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      haha, MoR, am sure things are alright. Your daughter might tell you when she is back. Did your daughter meet anyone other than Ashish, like Nita? 🙂 Where else does your daughter want to go?


  1. 1 The Fools do it with Style — Biography. writers and their biography Trackback on October 25, 2007 at 4:20 am
  2. 2 The Most Unique is the Most Universal « Man of Roma Trackback on December 8, 2007 at 10:03 pm
  3. 3 Book Meme - Recall What You Read « Visceral Observations Trackback on March 12, 2008 at 6:47 pm
  4. 4 On Multimedia and Web Education « Man of Roma Trackback on March 25, 2008 at 11:01 pm

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