Books, Thoughts

Half-read, fully enjoyed

It’s been a looong month, full of half read books. The problem of choice. I had such a lovely collection to read from that I just hopped and have been hopping since then…
The list was as follows:
1. Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
2. 100 Selected Stories by O Henry
3. Selected writings on Delhi compiled by Khushwant Singh
4. The Portrait of a Lady (Collected Stories) by Khushwant Singh
5. Stranger to History by Aatish Taseer
6. A Little Princess by Frances H Burnett
7. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
Old favorites, childhood memories and new perspectives all bundled into one month… you comprehend?!
Lets start with the last one, the one that I am currently attached to.
Mister God, This is Anna first revealed itself to me in my lost teenaged youth, when I was looking for a book to gift a friend. My usual gifts were books, not only because my friends liked them but coz I could borrow them back….devious right;) So when decent time had passed (I have good manners), I borrowed it. To say that the book is phenomenal is an understatement- it reaches conclusions through such logical steps, that you are zapped. Anna is a five year old, who holds the answers of a millennium in her soul. To be absolutely truthful, I have never read the whole book. Every time I have picked it up- the beauty and truth of its ideas have made me stop and take stock, and then I find it again. This is the third time in the last 15 years that it has found me and this time I plan to read it all through.
Reading, A Little Princess, was like reliving my childhood……must have read this book in class 5 or 6, breezed through it again. The language is simple and reminiscent of a bygone era- charming and sweet. Thanks Sunita.
Stranger to History is good but have just read the first 150 odd pages. Will review it later.
The collected stories and writings were of familiar authors and were like a bowl of warm, comforting soup……reading them is a ritual that involves curling up on the bed and shutting the world out- spa treatment for a book lover.
Gang Leader for a Day is the amazing story of how Sudhir Venkatesh, a student of economics at the University of Chicago in 1989 joined a gang to study urban poverty in Chicago. The book offers a whole new perspective at the socio-economics that prevails in poor communities and how they use their bare minimum, sub-standard resources to work towards transforming their lives. The book is only painfully true at times but helps you look at the ‘poor ’ without pity but with understanding. The choices they make, may not always seem right to us, but they work for them and in the end that’s what matters.

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