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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On Books I can't Enjoy

The last 2 months I forced myself to read a few books some, of which I had been wanting to read for a long while. Big names like Inheritence of Loss, Namesake and also a chance find Danielle Steele's Passions Promise.
I had to literally force myself to read them. There was no sense of excitement only curiosity on how it will end. I skipped sections, read the end first and then came back to where I had left. Infact I did not even manage to finish a quarter of the Inheritence of Loss. It is pending just for the sake of crossing it off my list of must reads.
Either they are really monotonous or brilliant and I am unable to appreciate them or they are not my type. Probably the last one, because, felicitations and all, they have been enjoying great reviews by a large section of the book reading public.
If one wants to just read about someones (not so extra-ordinary) life over double digit chapters, I agree they are well written from the language and continuity point of view. A story spanning across 2 generations capsuled into a book. But beyond that, I could see nothing. And it has been good enough to be made into a movie, which again I decided not to watch after a few scenes. Commonalities on all the 3 books / movie was that there was nothing gripping or page-turner for me. Purely a question of interest and choice.
I need a book to be exciting, something that keeps me guessing, makes me want to read the end but I stop myself so as not to spoil the fun, makes me want to reach the end and when I do reach the end, I sigh with a mix of contentment because it was a well written story and sorrow because the story is over. A book should make me want to know what next even after the last chapter has been read. My type of book is something which I want to read over and over again and still have my nose buried into it because it is still interesting despite multiple reads. I am the Jeffery Archer/ Sidney Sheldon/ O'Henry/ Somerset/ Maupassant types. May be not elite enough but I definitely look for a book that is fast paced, a 100m sprint in spirit but a marathon in length. I don't want to know about each and every mole on the protagonist's face neither the unneccesary details on the precise number of minutes he or she spent in the shower. Just enough for me to visualize the landscape and characters of the books. Beyond that, just get to the point, straight and fast.

What type of books make you tick?
Do you re-read books? Out of interest or for lack of a better rading material?
Am I the only dumb-ass to not like award-winning type books? Or there are some more of my kind out there?


Chaitali Patel said...

hey I tried reading The Inheritance of Loss as well and could not make it past 5 pages...just seems very boring.
As for Namesake...haven't read the book but loved the's really my type of flick.
I also feel like I have to read all these award winning or very popular books and yes sometimes do end up wondering if there is something wrong with me...for noticing why the book is good!

Lavs said...

”What type of books make you tick?”
Mystery novels- I have been a huge fan of Sherlock Homles and Agatha Christie. I try to form my own suspect list and match it with the author when the suspense is revealed. I also like Sidney Sheldon/Jeffery Archer/John Grisham/James Herriort. I used to like Danielle Steel till I read one particular novel which made me sick in my mouth (forgot which one though). Give me mysteries any day.
I am also a huge fan of Enid Blyton. She is my ultimate writer. So many novels, so many series, so many characters yet they have their own distinct features. Her description of meal times always makes me hungry. I always admire her imagination skills and how she can write stuff relating to kids. If nothing is available, I do not mind picking up a Famous five or Five find-outers series. Absolute bliss.
And you know I swear by Harry Potter:-0

”Do you re-read books? Out of interest or for lack of a better rading material?”
I have read some books million times out of sheer boredom and lack of better reading material. I have now steered clear of romance and mushy mushy novels. Serious crime novels are a big no-no. I am thinking of joining a library soon just to beat this boredom.

"Am I the only dumb-ass to not like award-winning type books? Or there are some more of my kind out there?"
You can count me in this dumb-ass club:-0 I have always been amazed at people who can read award winning books and decipher/praise them. These “booker” books never hold my interest.

Vinesh said...

am not a bigger so cannot comment much. i do know someone who strictly avoids award books as a rule. i used to think it was like people's attitude towards art films/critically acclaimed but unpopular films..

DotMom said...

I so feel for you. For all the rave reviews it got I never really got into God of Small things. But I LOVED Inheritance of Loss. I had immensely admired her forst book (hullaballoo in th orchard) and was waiting with bated breath for her second. I don't like books that describe too much without doing anything to the narration either.

GettingThereNow said...

"Am I the only dumb-ass to not like award-winning type books?"

Here is another one of those "dumb-ass" kinds! I hated Namesake, didn't like God of Small things - left it midway, in fact. I am also a Jefferey Archer, Sidney Sheldon et al kind of gal! I loved The DaVinci Code. I have read almost all Jefferey Archer books. Louis L'Amour and Alistair MacLean are two other favorites of mine.

AA_Mom said...

LOL add another one to the dumb-ass list. I haven't seen the movie, but I could never imagine Namesake to have been so good, to have a movie made on it, same with Mistress of spices. Didn't like God of small things and didn't attempt or want to read Inheritance of loss, as I didn't think too much about Hullabaloo.

As a teenager, My fav line used to be if there isn't a murder or a robbery happening in the first two pages I am not reading the book. Over the years, have changed and enjoyed books like Suitable boy, sister of my heart etc. I heart Harry Potter and liked Da Vinci. Yes have re-read many a books, remember reading pride and prejudice (unabridged, My Grandfather's copy) 7 times during various summer vacations.

Itchingtowrite said...

i am glad I am not the only dumb ass around. thanks for coming out with it!!
lavs- I love enid blytons too.. though i tried reading the find outers etc recently and found it very easy to interpret whereas earlier i used to keep guessing who the culprit is!!
i always gift enid blytons to kids

Minka said...

One more hand going up ! I stick with Sherlock Holmes and Wodehouse. When I bought the last Harry Potter, I got Samit Basu's book free from Odyssey and guess what , I had to leave HP aside and read Manticore's secret. And now I can't wait to read Unwaba Revelations but am waiting for a good occasion to buy me the book ! And I still have my old Enid Blyton's at home and love to curl up with those.

Anonymous said...

And David Baldacci's Last Man Standing was awesome !

bird's eye view said...

I love all kinds of books, in fact have a whole blog dedicated to them - but steer clear of Indian authors for the most part. I find them either too angsty or I can relate only too well, which is the last thing I want in a melancholy book which is what most of them write. I thought the Namesake was overrated and the movie was miles ahead of the book - the book was a typical cliche of immigrant angst.Try Anne Tyler's Digging to America - a much better written immigrant story.

rayshma said...

i love reading... but u can safely add me to the dumb ass types too!
i managed to read god of small things, but that was only to tick it off my list. papillon took me 3 years to just read!! understanding is another issue altogether!
i read inheritance of loss... thot i didn't like it coz it was SO hyped.. and in my head, it didn't live up to d hype.... whoo... long comment... sorry!! :D

Just Like That said...

I loved GOST, found Namesake nice, but had to d-r-a-g myself thru Inheritance, which I found toatally unbearable.

Much prefer the non-arty kinds myself- Wodehouse, Christie, Archer, Herriot, Follet... any of these can be read anytime. And yeah, Sonny boy won't have to plead with us to buy any Enid Blytons, we've been buying them all.. :-)

lumi said...

Inheritance of Loss was draggy, The Namesake I've read a dozen times and love dearly (refuse to see the film), God of Small Things was a bit trifling for my tastes as well. I read all sorts of things-at the moment I am reading 3 Cups of Tea about an American's work in building schools in the remote areas of Pakistan which is very fascinating and relieving after my many hours spent reading development discourse on my study abroad.