Monday, June 7, 2010

Books and Birthday Blatherings.

This post is arranged in order of importance, so first, here is my birthday wishlist. (Why is this up here? Why not?)


The Sandman novels

(and the rest, sorted by author)

Kurt Vonnegut -

Breakfast of Champions (because I think it'd be nice to compare with Joseph Heller's Something Happened)
Slaughterhouse Five
Mother Night.

Stephen Fry -

Moab is my Washpot,
The Hippopotamus
Making History

Terry Pratchett

it's alllll good.

J G Ballard -


[Music] or the players thereof)

Any good mp3 player of a capacity between 8 and 16GB (I'm a little iffy about iPods)


I want to read the Time Traveler's Wife; it has been variously described to me as "sooo romantic!" and "hardcore sci fi", but has universally been praised to the skies. This is suspect, and I intend to make investigations.

In other news, I am halfway through Amartya Sen's The Idea of Justice , which is a confident, lucid, unceasingly rational series of arguments towards a practical end. Individual sentences are constructed with a spare elegance that is wonderfully appealing to the eye, not least the mind. I am tempted to re-read some paragraphs simply because of the beautiful relentlessness with which they march to a conclusion. I read The Argumentative Indian just prior to this, and it's a nice amousebouche before the meaty stuff.

I gave Haruki Murakami a shot and I know I won't be going back there; minimalism can be taken too far for too long and I was bored to distraction. I read Satyajit Ray's The Chess Players, and I think this is one of those few stories that the film told better. Either that or it was written in Bengali and I have a crappy translation, and if this true, I deserve it for expecting great things from a copy sold for fifteen bucks.

In still other news, I wish to rhapsodise - Worli Seaface on a cloudy monsoon afternoon. The pillion seat on a bike makes an excellent vantage point, especially if said bike is moving at what feels like 80kmph. Language cannot describe that explosion of joy, so I ask instead that you look up and shut your eyes,and imagine the golden lightness you see as the sun shines down upon them. And then I ask that you draw breath in, and you imagine the taste of salt on your tongue, and the warm, sticky wind whipping your hair about your face and condensing it into stiff curly clumps encrusted with salt and sand; I ask this of you, and I ask you to open your eyes, and if you are not smiling, you have surrendered your humanity somewhere along the way, and I am sorry for you.

I admit that litchis are perhaps not all bad. It is a grudging admission. I have the folks at Naturals to credit for this unexpected change of(in?) opinion.



PS - Who will watch Rajneeti with me? On a weekday, evening show?

PPS - Mr S Bhehnchod and Miss A G Glass are highly recommended as companions of a Saturday night. Thank you for the excellent weekend!

PPPS - I am not going to thank Suk and Divi because nothing less was expected of them ;)


Aquatic Static said...

I did not like Time Traveller's Wife at all. It bored me to tears. I thought the romance was really thandaa. And the sci-fi, meh.
But since you don't know me, you shouldn't trust my taste and just decide for yourself. Which makes this comment redundant. Apologies.

Divya said...

I want to read time traveller's wife also. If you get for budday, please to lend.

Murakami. Erk. I just cannot.

You're welcome :P

Divya said...

Oh and Rajneeti. Yes. Me.

jhayu said...

I've read the Time Traveller's Wife, yes. Much too romantic for a guy. And there's barely any science fiction there apart from the fact that the guy travels through time.

Also, Raajneeti, not so much fun. Watch out for some blindingly bad cinematography.

unpredictable said...

I'd watch Rajneeti with you. Alas I live in Singapore :(

Spaz Kumari said...

@aquatic static - with apologies to orwell - all opinions are equal, some are just more equal than others ;) also, i really enjoy your blog. just saying.

@divi - done and done and saturday matinee? pick a place.

@jhayu - i really cannot tell good cinematography from bad, but i am pre-emptively cringing on behalf of katrina and arjun rampal. I know it's going to be OTT and i will be unhappy, but well. Also, your opinion of time traveler's wife is noted.

@unpredictable - come off :) charge it to your company or something.

Jil Jil Ramamani said...

You met AG Glass?? I missed!! :(

It was Suk's bike kya?

Whichever books you get for birthday, please to lend.

Shreya dedicated status msg space to super fertile women of Rajneeti. Now I want to watch the movie.

*clicks link to Mr S Bhenchod's blog and disappears*

revelsign said...

heh. you and shashank should bond over the idea of justice. and i can't believe you just used amuse-bouche in a blogpost not about food. i'm disappointed. and hungry. but this reminds me, what an awesome word. so awesome i could eat it.

this is interesting because i was planning on watching the time traveller's wife today.

@aquatic - even i've had people tell me it was boring in the extreme.

@dibba - more specifically, real classy with the periodic heckle-comments, homeless.

St.Banger said...

I can give you e-books of gaiman :P

umm.. that was Marine Drive and not Worli :P.. well.. stay back for the rains and the ride gets even better.. i promise :)

Rajneeti, me too?

aren't we so glad, we lived up to your expectations :P

Spaz Kumari said...

@divi and sindhu - jackasses. This was a birthday wishlistlist of books! And you're telling me i should lend you these 'if i get them'?!



@suk - ebooks i have, and rajneeti plan is off, and what makes you think you are the only person who takes me on a bike? :)

St.Banger said...

now you are making me feel all insecure yaa :(

ramsub said...

I will give you all the stephen frys, I have them and I highly recommend them.

Bunty Cobra said...

Abbey you're in Bombay. WTF? Why did you disappear from FB man? Dont even have your mail id.

I can LEND you all the vonnegut books (despite the horrible "what's your name?" Vonnegut and "What do you want?" Vonnegut joke of yours). :D

Oh BTW, this is curlyconman. :)

jimi said...

I didn't like the time traveller's wife when i read it because it was too sci-fi for me to understand and insufficient romance also to make up for the above. But when I saw the movie, I liked it. Sooo romantic only (and eric bana).

Rajneeti I liked, because a) No SRK b)Arjun Rampal c)Katrina Kaif wasn't dancing. d)Ranbir Kapoor wasn't the only actor. e)Ajay Devgan wasn't wearing tight tees and/or dancing.

About Murakami- Really?

Spaz Kumari said...

@ramu - i will take youup on that. But i still want my own copies! :(

@bunty - resurfacing with new name and all! good shit. also, i am now out of bombay, but will be there in december, most likely. I will see you then! And take you up on the vonnegut offer if no one takes the heavy hint on this post :P

Also, my vonnegut joke is sesky! don't look now,but your jealousy is showing :P

i am also back on FB; what's your name?

@jimi - but arjun rampal doing his best mannequin impression! and katrina speaking hindi! how? how??

@meghana - i thought 'appetiser' but amousebouche is so much deliciouser.

soin said...

those sandman novels are over range and over costly. unless someone is going to correct you no one will get

Late F. Scapula said...

Happy Birthday idiot kumari. I'm late. Forgive me.

Spaz Kumari said...

@soin - costly agreed, that's why they're on a birthday list. Over range na nalladhu dhane?

@ scapula, esq. - thank you. blogspot says you are on time.

Priyanka said...

Well TTW isn't really sci-fi, and somewhat OTT and predictable at times, but I was still pretty hooked from beginning till end for reasons I cannot fathom right now. I am aware this is a very useless comment but I shall post it nevertheless.

Spaz Kumari said...

reasonless hooking is reason enough. :)

also, i am a stammering, stalker fan of your blog.

Protik Roychowdhury said...

i stumbled across your blog (yes i am currently jobless) and i liked. good choice of books though i suggest you read "good omens" by neil gaiman AND terry pratchett (2 , yes TWO ! thats better than 1 !! )

all the sandman novels are available online though if you want. :)

Jasmine said...

I hope you got and read Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions.
And didn't Premchand write Shatranj ke Khiladi? Satyajit Ray only made the movie I think.
And I hate Murakami, his idea of romance is like an over sweet pink cocktail called " Pink Pussycat".
And I get spam despite word verification?