Friday, December 30, 2005

My favorite books this year

It was a good year of reading for me. Usually I start a book and then finish it before starting another, but this year I tried reading many books at the same time. This has worked better for me - I read a lot more though I leave more books unfinished.

Some notable books:

1. An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World, by Pankaj Mishra: A memoir; also a study of Buddhism and its relevance today.

2. Snow, by Orhan Pamuk: Unrelated to this book, Pamuk is now on trial in Turkey for having made the following statement: “a million Armenians and thirty thousand Kurds had been killed in Turkey”. He can be imprisoned for as long as 3 years for his statement. Here is a link where Pamuk discusses his trial.

3. Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World, by Nicholas Ostler: I wrote about this book earlier, in August. Such detail and erudition in Ostler's work - he knows so much of languages and through languages, cultures and histories!

4. VS Naipaul’s Travel Books: From October on, I’ve been doing little else other than reading non-fiction work by Naipaul. I started with some of his essays from The Writer and the World. The Crocodiles of Yamoussoukro - about his trip to the Ivory Coast; this is not about a jaunt into swamplands as the title might suggest - was a good piece. And then I read two of his three books on India: India, A Million Mutinies Now and India, A Wounded Civilization. Currently, I am reading A Turn in the South (on Naipaul’s travels in the southern states of the US) and Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Amongst the Converted Peoples (on his travels in Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Malaysia). Here is a link to my post on Beyond Belief this month.

1 comment:

k.r.a.k.t.i.k said...

Yes Pamuk is on trial for insulting or in some way demeaning "Turkishness". Apparently the EU is watching this trial closely as well, given that they're considering admitting Turkey in as a member.

Freedom of speech and all that. I don't sympathise one bit with the EU though- it'd sooner than not happen anywhere in the world.