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Reading List - January

All hail 2015 ! Its been 11 days since the dawn of  the new year and I am already feeling a bit stupid for making the observation so late. Staying ahead of time or even keeping pace with it has never been my forte. That aside, it seems like a bright time, and my books have been keeping me good company, so I shall not judge or grumble yet. I've already begun on my January targets, and this is how it looks:

1. South! by Sir Ernest Shackleton: Ever since I read Shackleton's Way (it was given to us as a course material during my post-graduation; I never read it during my study years, but followed up a year later into my job), I was pretty curious about the details of the voyage. Shackleton's Way was a hugely instructive and quite inspiring work. So while I was browsing the Kindle bookstore, I saw this beauty, and penned by none other than Sir Shackleton himself ! There was no looking back. I have been at it since December though, and I must say its not as thrilling as Shackleton's Way. One of the reasons is possibly that this is a self account, and a very modest played-down one, with more focus on the technicality of the voyage than on the people. Consequently, there are lengthy patches of ship maneuverings and wind flows and icebergs and latitudes and longitudes. But then the actual times of crises are yet to come. So here's hoping that the narrative picks pace soon. 

2. Kidnapped by Robert Lois Stevenson: Now this one more than makes up for the lost action of South! I had read the abridged version in middle school out of a beautifully illustrated Ladybird publication and fallen in love with it straight away. I am nearly halfway through the story and it impresses me still. The dialogues are about as witty as modern-day sitcoms, and the story is unquestionably thrilling. Thankfully I do not remember how it all ends. 

James Herriot's Dog Stories is fortunately still by my bedside, though I think I have been putting off finishing it since December. Its almost like a steaming cup of tea in the chill of the winter; the warmth and light-heratedness it fills me with is beyond words. But there is so much by way of giddiness that you can take at one go. This translates into slow reading. I have a feeling Dog Stories will continue for a couple of months more. 

Also, I decided to set an annual target on my reading habits on! Admittedly, this is something I am not very fond of doing, especially when it comes to reading, but I am beginning to realise that something of a goal gives the extra shove. I have a sneaky feeling though that I would either fall behind or give up altogether, but then that's just my pessimism showing ! I have tried to limit things to  books a month, but I also don't want to rob myself of the pleasure of reading something lengthy and enjoyable. 

So here's hoping that the new year brings us all kinds of joy, and a whole new arsenal of books to drown ourselves in ! Happy 2015 ! 


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I am currently reading...

The Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This is proving to be a very empowering read, which I believe was the whole point of the book anyway. For those judge a book by its cover (which is also pretty badass), it really doesn't seem to even skirt the edges of feminism. At its crudest, it is a collection of stories and their analyses to help rediscover what it means to be a woman. If it sounds redundant, then it goes to show howo much we need this book. 
I must say, books of this kind are not up my alley. It feels too verbose (even by my standards) and the bluntness induced by my utter worldly view of things makes it really difficult for me to penetrate the exuberance of being a woman, as noted in the book. I am just three chapters down, so it wouldn't possibly be wise to quote a favourite right now, but La Loba seems very ethereal. The whole concept of some force (our own, presumably) that can join broken, littered pieces, is deeply appealing. 
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