Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Gift, A Purchase and one more addition to the Wishlist

At least one aspect of my birthdays are quite predictable to me: the fact that someone will gift me a book! And this October 18, my friends gifted me a classic that I've been long wanting to read. I've of course heard that this masterpiece is not necessarily an easy read and not for everyone, but I'm still excited about having Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina on my shelves!

Shocking though it may be, I've not read a single of Tolstoy's books. Have you? Is Anna Karenina better than War and Peace like my Dad seems to think?

At the cost of repeating myself, Rabindranath Tagore is my all-time favourite poet. But he was more than just a poet; he was a novelist, musician, painter, playwright and one of the foremost thinkers, feminists and makers of modern India (more on that later). He also delivered some very memorable, 'chillingly prophetic' lectures during the First World War that spoke of the theory of nationalism as an inclusive and not exclusive idea. Penguin India has published a collection of these lectures titled Nationalism which it calls 'mandatory reading in today's climate of xenophobia, sectarianism, violence and intolerance'. Plus, this book has an introduction by one of my favourite writers Ramachandra Guha. Needless to say, I just had to buy it. I can't wait to read and review the book!

I'm still not done with Guha's magnificent India After Gandhi. In my defense, it is a mammoth, almost 1000 page book which transverses the history of India after Independence in its pages and it isnt worth running through such a book. Savouring it and slowly studying it is a much better bet for me. Anyway, I'm extremely excited about Guha's newest book which hasn't released yet here. Makers of Modern India is a book where Guha 'profiles nineteen Indians whose ideas had a defining impact on the formation and evolution of our Republic, and presents rare and compelling excerpts from their writings and speeches.' Read more about it here


Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I read Anna K. last year and really liked it. I can't compare it to W&P, because it was my first Tolstoy, but I can say I was intimidated, but reading it was definitely worth it.

Veens said...

Happy Birthday Kals, belated I think :)
I have 4 books I want....and I want to buy right now...you don't know how much willpower it takes to resist LOL!
I hope you are enjoying India after Gandhi and you enjoy both the other books.

Vaishnavi said...

Belated birthday wishes Kals :) I have never read Tolstoy although I want to (preferably by the end of next year at least). Some how his books always daunt me. I just love the cover of your copy of Anna Karenina though :) Have fun with all your books :)

Tanu said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!!!

Good to see you back. I had a copy of Anna Karenina, but I ended up donating it without reading it. I can't wait to read your review.

P.S. I don't know why but you are not showing up on my dashboard. Maybe I should unfollow and refollow you and that will fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

Belated birthday wishes!! Hope you had fun!! :)

Woah!! What serious books you read!! I have heard of only Anna Karenina out of this list, and don't see myself reading it any time soon, too! :(

Kals said...

Avid Reader - I'm glad you liked it. I'll be giving it a try soon and yep, it's definitely intimidating before I start!

Veens- Thank you :D LOL resisting temptation is a big challenge. I gave in because I had birthday gift vouchers :P India After Gandhi is great and I'm loving it.

Vaishnavi - Thanks a lot :)The cover is gorgeous and I totally agree. There's so much hype and greatness associated with some writers that we're too scared almost to try reading them.

Tanu - Thanks a lot :) Oops..I don't know why that's happening. I'm glad you got in touch anyway..lovely to see you back too :)Maybe refollowing will solve the problem. Do check it out!

Priya - Thanks, I had a lovely day :)

Hehe..I love history and politics so these books are very interesting to me, though yes sometimes they do get too serious and I run to chick lit for the rescue :D

Booksnyc said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!

Kals said...

Thank you so much :)


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