On Indecision

It rained today. Heavily. Falling straight like a curtain without a hint of breeze and sounding powerful enough to wash away everything on the planet. Well maybe that’s an exaggeration but it was quite awe inspiring. This kind of rain makes you want to curl up by the window with a cup of tea and a good book and just lose yourself. I’m really glad about it actually. It’s been really sulky weather for the last two weeks with odd spells of rain as if the sky couldn’t really make up its mind. That is something I positively detest: indecision. I hate it when I see it in others and I hate it even more when I’m being indecisive myself. And apparently I don’t like it much when the weather is being indecisive :). I am fond of extremes: boiling heat, thrashing rain, biting cold, I’m quite happy with them all.

My trip down memory lane is going splendidly. This is the first time that I am reading the books chronologically and I must say that it is even more delightful this way. Small nuggets of information and continuing storylines of ‘village parallels’ show up across books and gladdens my detail oriented heart. In addition, I am noticing something more in my reading this time. There are very strong moral strictures woven into the stories but done in such a way so as not to bore the reader. It is really quite an achievement. It’s also interesting to learn about the time period and what life was like back then and there. Novels, I belive are much better at instructing one on history than history books themselves.

  • The Murder at The Vicarage
  • The Collected Short Stories
  • The Body in The Library
  • The Moving Finger
  • A Murder is Announced
  • They Do It with Mirrors
  • A Pocket Full of Rye
  • 4.50 from Paddington
  • The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
  • A Caribbean Mystery
  • At Bertram’s Hotel
  • Nemesis
  • Sleeping Murder

Since the rain has left the a cool and breezy after taste in the atmosphere, I shall take my own advice and curl up with the next book in my list and just lose myself till sleep overtakes me.

Cheers!

Of Slow Internet and eBooks

One of the worst things that can happen to you these days is if you happen to have an unreliable internet connection. Enough has been written about the addiction of the human race to gadgets but let’s face it, if those gadgets weren’t connected to the internet, we would most likely not be so hooked on to them. In the days of the dial up internet, we were perfectly happy with the snail speed of our connection. But now that we know about the existence of 1 GBPS internet; watching a page loading for more than 10 seconds is an agony. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. Just hear me out. My present internet predicament is that I have three different kinds of connections. I have mobile internet, I have a WiFi connection at home and I have a pocket WiFi. All of them are by different service providers and all of them are temperamental as hell. I can never say for sure how they will behave at any given time. The bars on the WiFi never falter but the speed of internet is anybody’s guess. It can be quite amusing sometimes but when it takes 60 minutes to watch a 20 minute show, it isn’t funny. Today is one of those temperamental days. My iTunes download failed thrice. It took me 10 minutes to get to the new post page of my blog. I’ve got an episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ buffering away on another tab and I’ve given up on my Gmail opening at all tonight. All in all, not one of my good internet days. I did manage to buy a couple of ebooks on Amazon though. Having recently re-read Agatha Christie’s autobiography, I feel a yearning to read her books again. There is such a simplicity about them despite being essentially books about crime. A friend of mine once turned up his nose at her books saying that there wasn’t enough plot development, that the books were too short; but I disagree. The intricacy of her plots is what makes them so intriguing and her dialogue is always enjoyable. And of course its her observations about human nature that clinch the deal. I’ve started reading the Ms. Marple series of books that she wrote and I think I’m going to read them all.

ms-marple-collection

  • The Murder at The Vicarage
  • The Collected Short Stories
  • The Body in The Library
  • The Moving Finger
  • A Murder is Announced
  • They Do It with Mirrors
  • A Pocket Full of Rye
  • 4.50 from Paddington
  • The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
  • A Caribbean Mystery
  • At Bertram’s Hotel
  • Nemesis
  • Sleeping Murder

Here’s to a wonderful few weeks of nostalgia.

Cheers!

 

A few of my favourite books

As I child, when I was asked about my favourite things, I used to feel very superior in the knowledge that favourites were not very static things and would change with the times. However, as we all know, there are some things which land on that favourite spot and never budge. When it comes to books, I still can’t choose one favourite, I have two and over the last 2 weekends, I decided to re-read them and it was a delight. I have enjoyed a lot of different books and will continue to explore more and maybe I’ll have more favourites of all sorts but these will be my all time favourites.

gone_with_the_wind_coverThe first is Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s possible that I haven’t read too many classics and maybe there could be others that are better. But beyond the powerful storytelling, the vivid imagery and the drama; at the heart of it, this book is about human nature. I’m ever curious about people and why they do the things that they do. I’m not very good at perceiving them most of the time but it interests me to read about it and then draw parallels with other situations. This book is a treasure trove of such insights and all the more delightful because the heroine is oblivious to them all. The rich history that the book is steeped in, makes for an electrifying canvas on which to test the mettle of the characters. The characters themselves are a delight and the close attention to detail and description makes one feel like they are actually inside the book themselves, watching it all happen. In the past while reading this book, I used to have some disdain for the length of the descriptions but this time I newly appreciated how important they were. In fact, every time I have read this book, I have discovered something new. There was a time I used to read it every year in the summer, I don’t know why I stopped after a time. My memory of this book will always be lying on the cool floor on a hot summer afternoon with the curtains gently swaying in the breeze. Even the book itself was quite a relic; ancient, with yellowing pages and old fashioned print and pages that had come loose from the binding and had to be held down while reading lest they fly away. Alas, away from home as I am, my most recent experience of the book was on the kindle. I was glad to read it in any form but I missed the smell of the actual book.

agatha-christie-autobiography-coverThe second is Agatha Christie’s Autobiography. In all honesty, if I had to pick just one favourite, I would pick this one. I am a huge fan of her writing and have devoured all her stories and used to wonder from time to time about her life and experiences and what drove her to write what she did. When I discovered this book, I pounced on it and it did not disappoint. It’s a sheer delight through and through with anecdotes and observations about all the little things in life. Written in a simple style which nevertheless jumps from time to time whenever the mood strikes making it thoroughly engaging and never boring. It’s a happy book. At the end, you put down the book, smile and think to yourself that you should enjoy your life more. She doesn’t preach, just tells you her own story, extremely fascinating and charming.

 

Of course both these books were made more enjoyable by the fact that I read them at the beach 🙂

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Until next time,

Cheers!