Friday, June 4, 2010

South Asian Author Challenge - COMPLETED

It feels great to complete a challenge, that too one that involves reading 10 books, a maximum that I chose knowing I read a lot of Indian authors. My list of completed books differs from my initial list of books, but as you might very well know, I shall be reading a lot more South Asian authors.

I'm very glad that Swapna of S.Krishna's Books hosted this challenge, because it helps more people experience the writing of some amazing South Asian authors. This was a fascinating reading experience for me  and I read some pretty amazing books for this challenge. Here are the ten books I read:

1. The Palace of Illusions - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
2. Letters From A Father To His Daughter - Jawaharlal Nehru
3. Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
6. The Enchantress of Florence - Salman Rushdie
7. Diplomatic Divide: Cross Border Talks - Dr. Humayun Khan and G. Parthasarathy
8. The Space Between Us - Thrity Umrigar
10. Young Turks - Krishan Partap Singh

Fiction: 7
Non-fiction: 3

Best Books: 
1. Nehru: The Making of India - A befitting tribute to a great man. This is a biography of Jawaharlal Nehru that is masterfully written and is a joy to read. One of those books that you will go back to all the time.

2. Interpreter of Maladies - Worthy winner of the Pulitzer prize. Lahiri writes with sheer beauty, elegance and emotion. A collection of unforgettable short stories that made me cry and laugh with them. 

3. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People - A heart-warming, affectionate portrayal of modern India and her people. Zama's writing is deceptively simple, sensitive and interesting. I'm looking forward to reading its sequel The Many Conditions of Love.

4. Diplomatic Divide : Cross Border Talks - This is a book I haven't reviewed here because I'm no expert at the subject and I didn't have much to say about it except that it is a fascinating study of India-Pakistan relations. This book, a compilation of the thoughts of former Pakistani diplomat Humayun Khan and former Indian diplomat G.Parthasarathy, covers a wide range of relevant issues and makes a wonderfully strong case about the importance of talks and mutual confidence building measures. If you're interested in politics, modern history or diplomacy, this book is quite the treat! 

5. Letters From A Father To His Daughter - Nehru writes with such affection and an intention to tell his daughter Indira about the world, its history, her country, society etc. I wish I had read this book as a child!  The book is a perfect way to open your child to the world that is around him/her. A definite classic.

6. Unaccustomed Earth: A more mature, darker collection of stories about the lives of Indians living abroad, through this book Lahiri reinforces just why she is one of the best writers around. Gripping, emotional and fascinating, this book is a must-read.

8 comments:

JoAnn said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge. You read some great books!

vvb32 reads said...

good job! congrats!
at the rate i'm going with the ones i've signed up for, i think i may just throw them all out the window ;-D

Tanu said...

Wow...Great job!!!

I see you are reading Fried Green Tomatoes. I can't wait to read your review of the book.

Have a great Weekend!!!

Kals said...

JoAnn, Velvet - Thanks so much! This was a great challenge and I absolutely loved it :)

Tanu - Thank you :) I'm just 60 pages into the book so far and it's charming, warm and makes me feel like I'm in a quaint country cottage watching the people =)

Vaishnavi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vaishnavi said...

Congratulations on completing this challenge! At one time or the other I have read the reviews of almost all the books that you have mentioned and I am glad you enjoyed them :) I haven't really read all that many Indian and other Asian authors...I should rectify that soon! I see that you are reading Fried Green Tomatoes...I absolutely loved them movie but haven't been able to procure a copy of the book. Have fun reading it :)

Booksnyc said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge! You selected great books - some of which I have not read yet and may use to finish the challenge myself!

Kals said...

Vaishnavi - Thank you. I hope you enjoy reading the South Asian authors you choose :) I'm liking Fried Green Tomatoes but there are too many characters introduced too fast!

Booksync - Thank you! All these books were of a good variety and I (mostly) enjoyed them all :) Good luck for you and have fun :)

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