It was with great purpose that I packed my suitcases when I left Delhi last summer. They were heavy not with food as is customary, but with a collection of books that would have long been gathering dust (had they not been kept inside a closed bookshelf). University life, you see, had not been at all kind to the first “official” pastime I ever had.
Soon after I procured a room in Singapore, I found myself also procuring a membership from the National Library. And if that weren’t enough proclamation of my campaign for renewed prosaic consumption, I also ended up being gifted a lovely Kindle for my birthday (from the even lovelier G).
Thus armed, I embarked on a journey of recovering my voracious appetite for the chapter-chopped chronicle. Here’s how I’ve fared so far:
- Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
- The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe
- The Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
- Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
- Kane and Abel, Jeffrey Archer
- The Secret Crown, Chris Kuzneski
- The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson
- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, Stieg Larsson
- Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, P G Wodehouse
- Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
- And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
- Crooked House, Agatha Christie
- Dune, Frank Herbert
- Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
- Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, David Kushner
- The Last Lecture, Rany Pauch
It’s not terrible, but still a distant cry from the yours truly of yore who used to finish several books a week (a particularly memorable one-day reading of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince comes to mind).
What’s interesting is that the list of books that I began reading but couldn’t keep up with is also nearly as long, which is a telling sign of the changing times (I’ve almost never not finished a book in the past). Some of them are non-fiction ones though – can I pretend that they don’t count?
Oh well. Time for Susan Sontag’s On Photography!