- Karthik Narasimhan
How many books do I own?
A few hundred probably. Over the last few years, I've been getting rid of my paperbacks and replacing them with hardcovers, a habit that has convinced my dad, mom and wife that I am slightly off my rocker. (“Why would you buy the same books again and again?” my dad asked me when he visited us, as my mom vigorously nodded.) My prized possessions include first editions of the World According to Garp, and a couple of books from the Earth's Children series. And a signed first edition of QuickSilver, thanks to Manoj.
Last books bought
From Amazon: Seize the Day, a nice bound copy of Humboldt's gift, Lolita, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
The Man who Knew Infinity was an impulse buy – we drove all the way to Miami to buy it – after a Sepia Mutiny comment that recommended it. Babyji too – I saw it at Barnes and Noble as a store employee recommendation. That and an excerpt that had Anamika proclaiming something about collapsing wave functions. No, the cover art had almost nothing to do with it.
And one called The Wisdom of Crowds, by New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki. That was the _last_ book bought. I am not a big reader of non-fiction, but the premise was intriguing (Why the Many are Smarter than the Few), and the first couple of chapters were interesting. Perhaps my next post…
Last books read
Babyji, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Wisdom Of Crowds. A little bit of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. And Seize the Day.
Five Books that mean a lot to me
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson's best work. Snow Crash and Diamond Age were cool, but this one is uber cool. I can't think of a book that was more fun than this. Stephenson's irreverent prose, a complex plot, and large doses of irrelevant detail that is nevertheless interesting make for an amazing read. I still chuckle when I think of the scene where Daniel Waterhouse goes to London, and everyone calls him Woe-To-Hice. (Say it out loud) He spends the better part of an important meeting trying to figure out why they hate this dude called Hice so much.
A Confederacy of Dunces. Not many books make you laugh so hard, and leave you a little sad at the end. Sadder still when you know that the author committed suicide because the book got rejected for publication.
Gravity's Rainbow Dense, Frenetic, intricately plotted, filled with arcane references and insider jokes. Also happens to be a classic. I must've spent a month reading the book, and it was worth every minute.
Humboldt's Gift. Bellow's best book. 'nuff said.
Don Quixote. I approached it with a little bit of trepidation, but it was thorougly enjoyable. Classics can be fun reads too.
Now the hard part, tag a few more people…. I got in late, so I have to try really hard.
More as I keep thinking of names.