Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Books read in 2009

Read in 2009 (105 = 62 + P 43; NF 24) 

TRANSLATIONS (17): Pierre et Jean and Horla by Guy de Maupassant (translated by Julie Mead) Poor Folk by Fyodor Dostoevsky (translated by Constance Garnett), Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac (Trans. by A. J. Krailsheimer), (Love in Two Languages by Abdelkebir Khatibi), The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarralled with Ivan Nikiforovich by Nikolai Gogol, (Sketches from a Hunter's album: The Complete Edition by Ivan Turgenev, trans. by R. Freeborn), The Nun by Denis Diderot, Respected Sir by Naguib Mahfouz, The Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, One Day of Life by Manlio Argueta, The Periodic Table by Primo Levi, Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges, Germinal by Emile Zola, Nobody Writes to the Colonel and other stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Afloat by Guy de Maupassant, Utopia by Thomas More.

NOVELS (19): Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore, Burmese Days and Animal Farm by George Orwell, A Room with a View by E. M. Forster, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad, (The Sound and The Fury by Faulkner), The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, A Golden Age by Tahmina Anam, For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, Delhi by Khushwant Singh, Geurrillas by V. S. Naipaul, A Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, Awakening by Kate Choplin, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya.

NON-FICTION (9): The Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Letters Between a Father and Son by V. S. Naipaul, The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen, A Collection of Essays by George Orwell, The Open Mind by Robert J. Oppenheimer, Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks, Representative Men by Emerson, King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema by Anupama Chopra.

ENGLISH POETRY (34+4): The Book for my Brother by Tomaz Salamun, Mystery, So Long by Stephen Dobyns, Sources and The Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974-1977 by Adrienne Cecile Rich, Rose and Books of my Nights by Li-Young Lee, Poems by Anna Akhmatova, New Hampshire by Robert Frost, Poems of Jerusalem and Love Poems and Opened Closed Open by Yehuda Amichai, An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems by Eavan Boland, Gunga Din and other favorite poems by Rudyard Kipling, The Painted Veil by Agha Shahid Ali, The Second Night of the Spirit by Bhisham Bhewani, As I Walked out one Evening: Songs, Ballads, Limericks and Light Verse by W. H. Auden, The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry ed. by Jeet Thayil, (Selected Poems by Chaucer), Jersey Rain by Robert Pinsky, Canvas by Adam Zagajewski, That Little Something by Charles Simic, (The Porcupine's Kisses by Stephen Dobyns), Beowulf (Trans. by Seamus Heaney), The Angel Knocking on a Heaven's Door: Thirty Poems of Hafez by Hafez (Translated by Robert Bly), A Season in Granda by Federico Garcia Lorca (trans. by Christopher Maurer), Tears and Laughter by Khalil Gibran, Illiad by Homer (trans. by Robert Fagles), A Tree Within and A Draft of Shadows by Octovio Paz, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tze, Li Po & Tu Fu: Poems Selected and translated with and introduction and notes by A. Cooper, Li Po and Tu Fu, The History of Forgetting by Lawrence Raab, Erotic Poems (trans. by David Luke) and Roman Elegies and other poems and epigrams (trans by Michael Hamburger) by Goethe, The Burden of Speech by Travis Wayne Denton.

Diaries of a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke, (The Making of a Poem by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland), This Craft of Verse by Jorge Luis Borges, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks by Charles Simic.

Hindi / Urdu / Sanskrit/ Punjabi (9 +2): Kamayani by Jaishankar Prasad , Rashmirathi and Kurushetra by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, ((Pratinidhi Kavitayen by Harivansh Rai Bachchan), Kathopnishad, Diwan-i-Ghalib by Mirza Ghalib, Saaye mein Dhoop by Dushyant Kumar, Aangan ke Paar Dvaar and Meri Priya Kahaniyan by Ageya, Dwapar by Maithalisharan Gupta, Meri Priya Kahaniyan by Yashpal

कामायनी - जयशंकर प्रसाद, रश्मिरथी व कुरुषेत्र - रामधारी सिंह दिनकर, (प्रतिनिधि कवितायें - हरिवंश राय बच्चन), साए में धूप - दुष्यंत कुमार, कठोपनिषद, आँगन के पार द्वार मेरी प्रिय कहानियाँ - अज्ञेय, द्वापर  - मैथलीशरण गुप्त, मेरी प्रिय कहानियाँ -यशपाल

PHILOSOPHY/RELIGION (7): The Vedanta Philosophy by Swami Vivekananda, The Upanishads trans. by Eknath Easwaran, (Upanishads trans. by Patrick Olivelle), Masks of God: The Occidental Mythology by Joseph Campbell, Sadhana by Rabindranath TagoreHinduism by K. M Sen, (The Birth of Tragedy by Neitzsche).

POPULAR SCIENCE (4): A Study of Splashes by A. M. Worthington, Moments of Vision and Stopping Time by Edgerton, Rheology: An Historical Perspective by R. I. Tanner and K. Walters.

Favorite reads of the year (Fiction / Novels /Short Stories)
1. Pierre et Jean and Afloat by Guy de Maupassant (French): Short novels, which are constructed with a lot of insight and intensity.
2. Respected Sir by Naquib Mahfouz (Arabic): A poor man educates himself and works tirelessly, somewhat devilishly and deviously at time, sacrificing love and friendship, to rise through the rank. Short book.
3. The Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (Turkish): Western paintings and Eastern colors, Eastern painting and infidel styles of the West; a discourse on art and religion, buried within a love story and murder mystery set in sixteenth century Istanbul. (I have decided to call the novelist my friend, and address him on a first name basis. Orhan, I must tell you that I enjoyed your lectures in Harvard this year).
4. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (Spanish): In Borges, I find erudition, invention, citation, scholarship, mystery, myth, Eastern and Western cultures and skill with imagination, words and ideas woven into a labyrinth that engages every element of your self. I will read everything by him.
5. Germinal by Emile Zola (French): The book abounds in unforgettable coalmine & crowd scenes, dark and  insightful sections on socialism and class struggle, and shockingly sensuous paragraphs where wild  desire and free sex continue in spite of the turn of events in the background. Heroism, romance, coming of age, sexuality, and humanity are all invoked by this writer and evoked by this novel.
6. Burmese Days, Animal Farm & Collection of Essays  by Orwell (English): Twentieth century is chronicled and critiqued best by this author, whose every essay is both educational and inspiring. Burmese days is recommended to anyone who wishes to familiarize himself with India under colonial rule; Animal Farm is a parable that shows how communism is destroyed by its practitioners.
7. Delhi by Khushwant Singh (English): The novel is a mixed-bag of riches, quite like the city. Narratives set in Aurangzeb's time, Mir's life, Zafar's time and in twentieth century alone should make this a book worth celebrating. (I have posted a longer review elsewhere).
8. Kim by Rudyard Kipling (English): An adventure story, set in North India. Full of maxims and one liners that capture daily conversations of Indians too well. It has an unforgettable cast of characters, and must be used as an instruction manual by writers who want to see India from within.
9. A Room with a View by EM Forster (English): A classic that takes you through the touristy town of Florence, the stuffiness of British higher society, a love story with odd-ball hero and confused heroine and more in one short and pleasant novel.
10. Meri Priya Kahaniyan by Yashpal (Hindi): Chekov, Maugham,  HH Munro,  O Henry, Manto, Maupussant, Zola, DH Lawrence coexist as one writer in Yashpal. I plan to read everything he wrote, implying many novels and many collections of short stories.

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