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Reading List - November

Its a week into November already, and I am rolling over October's due The Golem's Eye into this month. (Yes, I never manage to meet my targets!). Besides, that I have a feeling, its going to be a well-balanced month, considering that there is one of each of the boisterous, the light and presumably the nerve-racking.

1.  James Herriot's Dog Stories: Reading James Herriot is one of the surest ways of uplifting the spirits. While I have read most of his other collections of stories, I never really got round to this collection, as my mother wisely thought it would exclude the cows, the pigs, the cats and the horses. But my last library book was The Night Watch, so I decided to take up Dog Stories anyway (and especially since I'm a dog-person!). I've read a few chapters and, though I had already read quite a few of them in his earlier collections, it isn't dimming the sparkle one bit. Its absolutely delightful! What's more fun is that this omnibus also includes anecdotes from Herriot at the end of each story, which gives the actual background and references to his stories. After a long day, nothing beats lying back and reading a Herriot. Dogs and books; what could possibly go wrong ?!

2. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk: Needless to say, I bought this book while I was halfway through with HMS Ulysses, and figured that the MacLean work was being held in nearly the same breath as this Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Herman Wouk. It promises to be another eye-opening read and I do not want to rush it at all (which is another way of saying that I won't finish it by November). I have plowed through the first couple of chapters and I am enjoying the easy and direct writing. I am only worried that in my mind, the book is already holding an exalted position (this is what happens when you read too many reviews, I should probably stop doing that), and if it falls short of being epic, I will be unjustifiably disappointed. 

The Golem's Eye is on track too, though I admit I have significant pages still left. On the flipside, the very thought cheers me, for who can't like that cheeky djinn ? However, I'm rather surprised how both theses books of the trilogy are full of characters who are grey, especially considering that the stories are based on completely magical realms (and not the real world, where that would have made perfect sense). I'm not really sure whether I should like Mr. Pennyfeather or Miss Whitwell or even Nathaniel for that matter. 

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