Top Ten Books On My Summer (sort of) TBR List

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic requires a little revising around here. I should call it Top Ten Books On My Monsoon TBR List, because summer is finally dwindling to that much awaited end. When it stops being so excruciatingly hot and at last rains, I’d cuddle with a blanket and a cuppa, and spend my time reading:

Books I’ve bought recently, but haven’t got around to reading:

1. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – The book is apparently about the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. I’m a sucker for Troy retellings. When I read that Rowling recommended the book, I had to buy it!

2. Farthing by Jo Walton – After I read Tooth and Claw by Walton, I was recommended this, and I jumped at the chance of reading an alternate history novel.

3. Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett – I have loved the Moist von Lipwig books so far (Going Postal and Making Money) and can’t wait to read about the new trains in Discworld.

Classics that would make the perfect rainy weather + stuck inside the house reads. 

4. Persuasion by Jane Austen – I just got this from the library. I’ve only read one Austen and I can’t wait to be surprised by her all over again.

5. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – I want to tackle this monster this year, before I start college again, and now seems like the perfect time. I read Anna Karenina in a month, so two should do for this, what do you think?

New-ish books that seem promising

6. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith – Does she still really keep up with the penname? Either way, anything by J.K. Rowling is a auto-buy for me. Cuckoo’s Calling was interesting, and I can’t wait to meet the Strike + Robin duo again.

7. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King – I’m on the fence about this one. While Stephen king is one of those authors I have to buy, I have quit gory horror, so I might just buy it and put it away for next year. Though I probably won’t be able to resist reading it once I have it .

8. A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie – When this came out a couple of months ago, the publisher’s Facebook page kept bragging and swooning about it and I’ve been meaning to get this book ever since.

Books everyone else has read that I really need to catch up on. 

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Okay, there’s only one book here. Honestly, with books that have so much hype, it’s an effort to keep no expectations, but I’m going to try.

Short Stories

10. Short stories – Collections, anthologies and e-zines as many as I can read. This is a genre(?) I haven’t explored nearly enough, but am very interested in.

What about you? Which of these have you read and liked? And what are your reading plans for the next few months?

Top Ten Books that Make Me Laugh Out Loud

Last Sunday we discussed Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy at the book club (yes, on Towel Day, though I do still prefer the glorious 25th of May as Wear the Lilac Day, because well, Discworld trumps everything.) But discussing Adams’ zany brilliance was fun and since humour has been on my mind, I decided to list the Top Ten Books that Make Me Laugh Out Loud for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday Freebie!
Clicking on the titles will take you to the Goodreads pages. Instead of posting summaries, I’ve posted some of my favourite dialogues – let me just say, though, these are all books I’d recommend you to read. Delightful, witty (some more than others) and the kind that deserve to be taken a lot more seriously than you’d think!

1. Good Omens – The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

2. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it’s the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it’s just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder. So let’s just say that Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound.

3. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 

Arthur: If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it? 
Ford: We’re safe. 
Arthur: Oh good. 
Ford: We’re in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet. 
Arthur: Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word safe that I wasn’t previously aware of.

4. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

My tooth-brush is a thing that haunts me when I’m travelling, and makes my life a misery.  I dream that I haven’t packed it, and wake up in a cold perspiration, and get out of bed and hunt for it.  And, in the morning, I pack it before I have used it, and have to unpack again to get it, and it is always the last thing I turn out of the bag; and then I repack and forget it, and have to rush upstairs for it at the last moment and carry it to the railway station, wrapped up in my pocket-handkerchief.

5. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Authors, she soon decided, were probably best met within the pages of their novels, and were as much creatures of the reader’s imagination as the characters in their books. Nor did they seem to think one had done them a kindness by reading their writings. Rather they had done one the kindness by writing them.

6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

There have been five great kisses since 1642 B.C. when Saul and Delilah Korn’s inadvertent discovery swept across Western civilization. (Before then couples hooked thumbs.) And the precise rating of kisses is a terribly difficult thing, often leading to great controversy, because although everyone agrees with the formula of affection times purity times intensity times duration, no one has ever been completely satisfied with how much weight each element should receive. But on any system, there are five that everyone agrees deserve full marks. Well, this one left them all behind.

7. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Lady Bracknell: I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.

8. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

She was used to apologizing for her use of language. She had been encouraged to do a lot of that in school. Their English teachers would wince and cover their ears and give them flunking grades and so on whenever they failed to speak like English aristocrats before the First World War. Also: they were told that they were unworthy to speak or write their language if they couldn’t love or understand incomprehensible novels and poems and plays about people long ago and far away, such as Ivanhoe.

9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.

10. A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

There has appeared in our time a particular class of books and articles which I sincerely and solemnly think may be called the silliest ever known among men. They are books showing men how to succeed in everything; they are written by men who cannot even succeed in writing books. To begin with, of course, there is no such thing as Success. Or, if you like to put it so, there is nothing that is not successful. That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey. I really think that the people who buy these books have a moral, if not a legal, right to ask for their money back.

I had an amazing time making this list. Mostly because I went through all the quotes on each of their Goodreads pages and was laughing all the way through. I’m sure I’ve missed some and do encourage recommendations. Which books make you literally laugh out loud?

Top Ten Books About Friendship

The first book that I thought of for this topic was Ich nannte ihn Krawatte by Milena Michiko Flašar, and it is about finding emotional comfort in a stranger, but it’s German and hence not on the list. The ones I thought of next were all those Enid Blyton series I loved as a kid, The Famous Five and the Five Find-Outers.

I’ve tried not to include books about friends who fall in love, for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, Books about Friendship topic. Because, really, while a couple who are the best of friends make a really good couple, it isn’t exactly their friendship that we love.

(Edit: 0.5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – I just remembered how much I loved Ernest and Algernon together, and had to edit them into this list. While the play isn’t about friendship, I do love how they’d go to any lengths to have each others’ backs, and how it only adds to the confusion.)

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling – The first book is about making friends. But I like the Prisoner of Azkaban the most, because it is about sticking by the friends you’ve made, loyalty that lasts a lifetime and more. Sirius, James and Lupin were the best!
2. Watership Down by Richard Adams – Granted, these are rabbits not people who are friends, but it’s a classic adventure, where by the end you see the band of rabbits resolve all their conflicts and stand united against all odds. If that’s not friendship, I don’t know what is.
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Of course this is here, this had to be here. Rudy loved her like no one else, so of course, I’m referring to Liesel and Max; I’m one of those people who don’t think she ends up married to him. 
4. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – This book is for those people who like to tell kids, “You’ll get it when you’re grown up.” As if kids aren’t just smaller sized versions of people; it’s amazing how most adults forget what it was like to be a child, and couldn’t possibly comprehend what a child can understand. And that’s the thing that makes childhood friendships unforgettable – the rare kinship. Before I spiral into a whole post about this, I’ve two words: Lettie Hempstock. 
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – Now this book really is simply and most beautifully about two friends and how their friendship lets them overcome all the struggles of their life, together. 
6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – How could this not be about friendship? 
7. Conrad’s Fate by Diana Wynne Jones – My favourite in the Chrestomanci series, this book is about how fifteen-year-old Christopher Chant becomes friends with Conrad Grant and together the solve a mystery, to save both Christopher’s friend Millie and Conrad himself. I just love the fun these two have, especially how Chant keeps teasing Conrad about his alias ‘Grant’. 
8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – I’m talking about the relationship between Ruth and Kathy & Tommy. It is rocky to start with, and eventually grows and matures as they do, and that’s what makes their friendship so real.
9. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – I just finished reading this trilogy and I only have to say this: Lyra and Roger. 
10. IT by Stephen King – Yes, technically, it’s about the crazy scary clown. But it’s also about six childhood friends, who face the ultimate danger together and reunite years later to tie up loose ends. It’s about this:
 “Maybe there aren’t any such things as good friends or bad friends – maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you’re hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they’re always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for too, if that’s what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.” 

Five Book Covers I Would Frame As Art


Possession by A. S. Byatt – I love this book and cover, and the writing at the bottom makes it eerily magical: Medusina Regina Faerie Queene


Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh – Look at the patterns and the colours, what’s not to like?

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett – This is so kickass, the only thing that can make Death on a motorbike more awesome is the knowledge that he likes cats and has a horse named Binky.
any vintage Penguin book cover, be it blue, green or classic orange

Papillon by Henri Charriere – a butterfly in chains, again, what’s not to like? Plus, the fairy blue of its wings makes me all kinds of nostalgic.
I love love love this idea. The idea of framing book covers as art. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) I’ve only listed five, but each of these would look great in the house. Who knows, I might even get one done. Which artsy book covers do you think would add that extra touch of awesome to your room?

“Aren’t we hooked on phonics?” – Top Ten Tuesday, Gilmore Girls and Books

I originally wrote this post two years ago. I have reposted it here, because it kind of almost fits the theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at The Broke and the BookishTop Ten Books If You Like a TV show / movie / play, etc.
These are books you should read if you like Gilmore Girls, but not because they’re like Gilmore Girls. These are books referenced on the TV show. If you’ve seen it you know how literature-centric anything Rory does is. And the kind of books, movies and songs they like says a lot about the characters. So – if you loved Rory and Lorelai like I did, you’d want to read on: 
Gilmore Girls is undoubtedly the most bookish TV show I have
ever come across. While the eccentric towns-people, the best-friend Mom and the
regular small-town shindigs never fail to irritate me, I do love the witty,
pop-culture-laden dialogue and the coffee love.
Rory Gilmore has an admirable amount of books stacked on her bookshelf and is
always seen with a book in her hand. Dean liked watching Rory read and Jess and
Rory bonded largely over books. There are, naturally, many Rory Gilmore Reading
Challenges and Book Clubs out there. In fact, WB had released a list
of Rory Gilmore’s reads. I only discovered them very recently.

But I have, over time, read a lot of books and authors
because my favourite characters (mostly Jess and Rory) from Gilmore Girls
mentioned reading and liking them:
1. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust – Lorelai borrows
this from Max Medina (Ah, Max, and his very English-Professor-ey bookshelf) Proust was a huge but definitely rewarding read.
2. Post Office by Charles Bukowski – Paris
and Jess argued over this one. According to Paris, it’s a typical guy response
to worship Kerouac and Bukowski, but never try anyone like Jane Austen. And then Jess says that he has read Jane Austen and that she would have liked
3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac – Kerouac is
mentioned a lot throughout the series. According to Rory, the Beats expose you
to a world you wouldn’t have otherwise known; that’s what great writing is
about. This book was good, though somewhat pretentious, but I preferred Bukowski’s style to Kerouac’s.
4. Please Kill Me – The Uncensored Oral History of
the Punk Movement by Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain
 – The book
is just (and you wouldn’t find this word in my usual vocabulary) insane. It’s
the history of punk music written through and by people who actually lived it.
Jess recommends this to Rory.
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – I chose
reading this book over War and Peace, of which my sister has a copy also,
because it is one of Rory’s favourite books. Dean thinks it’s impossible that
every name in the book ends with “sky”, and Rory convinces him to
read it, because Tolstoy apparently wrote it for the masses, so you don’t have
to be very literary to get it. I did love the book, but I disagree.
6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain –
This is another of Rory’s favourites; though I don’t remember where this is
mentioned. I do remember that Rory made Lorelai celebrate Rory’s twelfth
birthday in a Mark Twain museum!
7. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens – I’d read an abridged version a long time ago, but I re-read it when I watched that Gilmore Girls episode where Rory calls Jess “Dodger” for stealing her book (Howl.) Incidentally, I also read Terry Pratchett’s Dodger, which I adored, by the way. 
8. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut – This is
the book that Jess is reading when he enters a class late, and is supposed to
be writing a test. He borrows a pencil from Lane, tilts the book and starts
writing (notes, probably) in the margin.
9. Howl and other Poems by Allen Ginsberg –
This is the first book of poetry I have ever dared and managed to read; and
only because, Jess is supposed to have read it “about forty times”,
which automatically means it’s good.
10. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – I
read Ernest Hemingway basically because of the time Rory promises to give
“the painful Ernest Hemingway a try” if Jess finishes reading The
Fountainhead. Jess also tells Rory, “Ernest only has lovely things to say
about you.”
Some of the authors mentioned or featured on the show that I still want to read are John Steinbeck, Tom Woolfe, Hunter Thompson and Alexander Pushkin.

(“Aren’t we hooked on phonics?” is what Jess comments when he first sees Rory’s overflowing bookshelf!) 

As you can probably see, Gilmore Girls has influenced a lot
of my reading. Actually, it has also influenced a lot of my music and movie
tastes. Do you like the show or any of the books I have mentioned? And would
you recommend any other bookish television show or movie?

Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is the top ten most unique books you’ve read. Now ‘unique’ could mean anything – a different kind of main character, a unique spin on the genre or writing style. I haven’t put a lot of thought into this list, which makes me all the more curious to read the book you guys have come up with. Off the top of my head, in no particular order, these are ten of the most unique books I’ve read. Incidentally, I haven’t loved everything about these books, but the things that made them unique did impress me. 
1. Watership Down by Richard Adams – All the characters were rabbits. What could possibly be more unique than that!?
2. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino – The main character is me.. I mean, you.. I mean, the reader. A book narrated from the second person perspective literally makes you a part of the story. 
3. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco – This book is about memories, I have never read anything like it. It’s a book about the main character having amnesia and rediscovering himself through the trinkets that he has collected over the years – a unique idea and narrative technique.
4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel – A book doesn’t have to be obscure to be unique and in all honesty, everything about this book is unique. The characters, the plot and the weirdly humorous writing style. 
5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Retellings couldn’t get as original as this one – which is a sort of parody of The Jungle Book, set in a graveyard. As the story of a young orphan raised by ghosts, it’s worth a read.
6. Hogfather (from Discworld) by Terry Pratchett – It’s time for Hogswatch (the Discworld equivalent of Christmas) but the Hogfather, a fat jolly man who brings presents for the children, has gone missing. To maintain the spirit of Hogswatch, Death (yes, the hooded figure with the horse and the scythe) decides to dress up as the Hogfather, instead. If that doesn’t sound unique, I don’t know what will…
7. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber – A compelling and (arguably) true story of a woman with sixteen personalities and her journey to cure. Fine, I haven’t finished the book yet, but it is definitely unique so far.
8. Possession by A. S. Byatt – The book is about two literary academics uncovering the romance between two Victorian poets, through their letters to each other. The prose is unique, layered and deep, and every time you come close to calling it purple, you wonder if you have been teased all along, if it was satire, after all. It’s a mysterious book that gives you something new with every read.
9. The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll – This uniquely literary fantasy is the story of a writer and the world he created, literally.
10. Perfume by Patrick Süskind – The book played on the uniquely disturbing idea that a man committed murders of beautiful smelling women to catch their scents and make them into the most wonderful perfume in the world. 
Do you agree with my list? Have you read any of these books? And which are the most unique books you’ve read?

Top Ten Authors in My Reading Journey

All of us readers have those books that really started us on our way to becoming book lovers. It could be something we read as young children, or it could be a book we picked up in adulthood after years of a reading drought. Or, it could be an author or book that introduced us to a new favorite genre. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday puts a spotlight on those books and authors that we credit with our bookishness.

I’ll start from the beginning. These are the authors who influenced my reading, who brought me new genres or played a part in making me so thoroughly bookish. I don’t claim to still like each of them, but let’s suppose this is a thanks. There are other writers I love and have obsessed over, but these are the ones who introduced me to new books, reading styles and ideas. Clicking on the author names will take you to their Goodreads pages.

1. ENID BLYTON – She was the first author I fan-girled over. Her little fairy stories and pixie adventures were not only my introduction to fantasy but also the first books that I read once I grew too old for illustrated stories, “picture books.” From there I gradually moved on to her mysteries, the Famous Five series, the Five Find-Outers, the Adventure series and although I was never a big fan of these, the Secret Seven. Anyone who has grown up here remembers the big thing that Enid Blyton was. I’m not sure what kids these days read, but she definitely paved the way for me turning into this book nerd.

2. CAROLYN KEENE – Ah, the Nancy Drew mysteries. It sounds ridiculous now how big a fan I was of these once, considering I don’t love mysteries all that much anymore. The plots were almost always rehashed, the Nancy-Bess-George trio was cheesy and stereotyped to the point of being funny, and George was, if you think about it, the exact same boyish girl from Famous Five now grown up. And yet, for the longest time as a kid, I loved these books. It turns out, Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym of a bunch of hired writers. So much for all the “I-want-to-meet-her-and-get-a-signed-book!”

3. J. K. ROWLING – After years of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and the Three Investigators, along came Harry Potter – and my life pretty much changed. J. K. Rowling took my love for reading and fantasy to a whole new level. Every Harry Potter kid (people who grew up with the series) would know what I’m talking about. The effect the books have had on me is practically indescribable. They turned me from a book lover to a book fanatic. And I’ll never stop loving her for that!

4. AYN RAND – I’d just turned thirteen when I read Atlas Shrugged, along with my sister, and fell in love with it. (I know, it wasn’t at the age of ten like Rory, but close enough, don’t you think?) I then went on to read The Fountainhead, Anthem and We the Living, followed by maybe one of the non-fiction ones – was it The Virtue of Selfishness? – honestly, I don’t remember. Somewhere around this time, I also read my all time favourite book – Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I loved all the serious philosophizing that followed with my sister and am still grateful to Ayn Rand for making me bond with her. Oddly, by the time all my friends got around to being die hard fans of The Fountainhead, I was already over that phase.

5. JOHN GRISHAM – The next few years of my life were busy, and Grisham kept my love for reading going strong. The Deathly Hallows came out sometime around that time, and with Harry Potter ending, I was on the look out for something just as addictive. I read a couple of Jeffrey Archer-s, Sidney Sheldon-s, Robin Cook-s, and Robert Ludlum-s but Grisham was the one that stuck. It all started when I saw the Pelican Brief movie on TV one afternoon. I haven’t read any of his books in a while now, but once upon a time, he was my favourite author ever, so he deserves a mention, don’t you think?

6. TERRY PRATCHETT – Let me skip a few years ahead to when I started this blog. Reading Terry Pratchett and the Discworld series was finally like Harry Potter all over again. I still haven’t read the whole series (40 books, are you kidding me?) but that’s what I like about it, anyway. Unlike Rowling’s Wizarding World, I’ll never run out of the magic that is Discworld. I can stretch out my reads over five years, and there’ll always be more books waiting. With Terry Pratchett came the love for Neil Gaiman. But because of Good Omens, I’ll always count them as one gateway author.

7. STEPHEN KING – Reading The Shining was one of the best decisions of my life. Then came Carrie, It, Cujo, Salem’s Lot and a whole load of amazing horror. I’d already dived into a bit of gore with Thomas Harris and King took it to a whole new level. For the following four years, I devoured all books horror, from Shirley Jackson to Peter Straub to William Peter Blatty, till finally last week I decided I’d had enough, at least for the following few years. The Shining remains one of my top favourite reads.

8. A. S. BYATT – Byatt is the only author from these most reading-influencing authors whom I discovered by accident. You know how a book pops out at you at the library and you realize you must read it, though you don’t know why? That’s what happened with her short story collection, Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice. I adored it so much, I went back to the library the same day, pleaded to be let in for just a couple of seconds (they were about to close) and brought home the enormous The Children’s Book. Byatt is the reason I love mythology, fables and folktales and magic realism.

9. AMITAV GHOSH – Last year, I realized I’d seriously under-read Indian fiction. I was also unfairly critical of it, despite having read literally only three Indian authors. So I picked up a book by Amitav Ghosh, and then another and one more. The Calcutta Chromosome, In An Antique Land, The Sea of Poppies, The Hungry Tide – I loved every book I tried. For the first time, I read Indianness and was delighted at how easy it was to read about something I could visualize than a place never visited that lies across oceans. Sometime last year, I also read Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games, and experienced the same exciting familiarity. Ghosh is the reason I opened up to this range of Anglo-Indian fiction that is fabulous.

10. STEPHEN BOOTH – Who knew getting books for review could be so utterly rewarding? Thank you, Harper Collins / William Morrow. The Cooper and Fry series are a set of heartwarming thrillers (oxymoron?) with the best characterization I’ve read since Rowling, set in the Northern English countryside. Last October, I read the first mystery, Black Dog, and fell in love with it. I have since bought a couple, delightedly found a few from the series at the library and immersed myself in them. The series has thirteen books (I think?) and the fun is far from over. So there you have the most recent of my author-obsessions.

I would like to specially mention #1 Mark Twain, who led me to scrap the idea that classics are almost always too complicated, over written and boring and #2 Arthur Miller who convinced me I could love reading plays, after all!

Have you read any of these authors? Which authors have been your gateway-authors? Who has most influenced your reads? 

Top Ten Things on my Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Things on my Bookish Bucket List. 

I have managed to tick “Join a non-virtual book club”, “attend a book reading”, “join a library” and “read an entire book in the library in one sitting” off my list in the last couple of years. 

Here are the rest of the things in no particular order.
1. Read books from at least 30 countries. Ever since I started this blog, I have read more world literature, translated and books originally published in English as well. But it’s not enough, yet! Reading more South Asian fiction comes under this.
2. Read at least 20 books in Marathi (my mother tongue.) And more books in German (because I really need to improve it.)
3. Attend a bookish event, like a book fair or convention. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet got around to being part of a book event, some annoying exam or assignment mysteriously appears whenever there’s one I can. I’d love to rectify that. Sure, there’s the whole idea of meeting authors, and I would love to, but somehow I just think I’ll either faint with delight or find it very difficult to get coherent words out of my mouth, like a blubbering idiot. So, I’d rather just attend events and speeches and watch them from a safe distance!
4. Read every book by: Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, A. S. Byatt. It’s not really fair to call them your favourite authors when you haven’t done that, is it?
5. Work in a bookstore or a library. God, I would love that. Although they might end up firing me for paying more attention to the books that the customers. I would also love to work for a literary agency, or a publishing house.
6. Finish all the books I’ve ever started reading. I don’t usually claim “DNF” quite as soon as I put a book away halfway done. See, I put them ‘on hold’. I read first hundred pages of The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, put it aside for an entire year, only to return and finish it in one sitting. I love the book, and I swear, I hadn’t abandoned it. So, I want to finish my “on hold” books starting with Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak..
7. Visit places from books. This list is never-ending. It includes places inspired from books (like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and books inspired by places (like The Stanley Hotel, which is the one The Overlook from The Shining is based on.) I would love to go on a bookish tour, visit every place I’ve ever read about and re-read it while I’m there!
8. Translate a book. Writing my own book isn’t really ‘bookish’ and it’s more a given, rather than a goal. It’d be on my ‘writing bucket list.’ But I do want to translate a book, if only for me.
9. Have my own personal library. Like an Umberto Eco-ey library, with more unread books waiting for every book I finish. Ideally it’d be a combination of The Library (without the Vashta Nerada), the Unseen Library (with the Librarian, ook!) and The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.
10. Have a literary-named pet. Like a cat named Dickens, and a dog named Laska.
(Edit: Rebecca stopped by with a link to the original 50 Bookish Things bucket list, so I decided to expand my list to as many as I can
think of. You can also add your posts to the fabulous original link list, even
as they are!)
11. Visit obscure little bookshops in the world, buy one
book from each.
12. Watch all the film adaptations of every book I have read and
will. Watch the live performances of all plays I read.
13. Read every book and writer I’ve ever been recommended.
Since I don’t know many too book worms in real life, hearty recommendations are
rare and I wouldn’t want to miss out on any!
14. Buy bookish trinkets like Tiffany Aching’s horse
necklace or Luna Lovegood’s radish earrings. I’d love love those little
book-shaped lockets. I’d love to own bags and tees with my favourite quotes or
scenes from books.
15. Read an entire epic. Just the idea is intimidating, but be it a Hindu (Ramayana or Mahabharata) one or otherwise (possibly Homer) I’d love to have read an epic poem, if only to be able to openly gloat over it. “You know, when I was reading the Illiad…”
16. Sit in a café and read an entire book cover to cover.
There are so many bookstores with cafes and cafes with bookstores. Considering
how much I loved reading a book from start to end at the library, I’d like to
try this as well.
17. Read one book from every genre there is. This is aiming
high, considering there are so many cross-genres, but I’d like to attempt as
many as I can, apart from the usual fantasy-horror-historical fiction that I’m
stuck in.
18. Visit a rare book dealer. 
Now, these are all I can think of. But whenever I think of anything, I’ll be sure to add it here.
Which bookish things are you dying to do?

Top Ten All Time Favourite Horror Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish. I can’t believe it’s been a little more than a year since I participated in one of these.
It’s been a while since I revisited horror. The last book I read was Doctor Sleep (it has made it to the list.) I don’t like the stigma associated with the genre; the “Stephen-King-is-my-favourite-author” gets a whole range of judgmental reactions from “Really?-So-you-don’t-like-classic-literature.”, or a simple “But-he-has-no-‘literary-value’.” or “I-don’t-read-genre-fiction.” or the classic, “Oh-you-don’t-seem-like-that-type-of-person.” Well, I am, just deal with it. Plus, whoever says Stephen King is just a horror writer hasn’t read the right books.
This is a list of my Top Five All Time Favourite Horror Books, though I have a vague feeling I have already made this list on the blog. Anyway, a few of the titles link to reviews.

1. Dracula by Bram Stoker – as my favourite gaslamp fantasy

2. The Shining and Doctor Sleep by Stephen King – as the first and latest Stephen King I read, both more emotional than they appear

3. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft – as my introduction to Lovecraft, macabre and weird fiction

4. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – for the musings over coming-of-age and the lessons of life and death

5. The Terror by Dan Simmons – for being wonderfully evocative and steeped in history and mythology
That being said, these aren’t the scariest, most horrifying horror books I’ve ever read. So here’s another list; my Top Five All Time Scariest Books

6. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty – All the spidery-crawli… no, no, I can’t relive it.

7. IT by Stephen King – One word, clowns.

8. Ghost Story by Peter Straub – How could anything be scarier than fear taking a physical form?

9. The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker – My first Barker, I wasn’t prepared for the gore.

10. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – The strange knocking on doors, the holding a hand in the dark only to find out…*shudders*
The two books that get a special mention in the second list are The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – neither needed horror of the supernatural kind to be mind-numbingly scary.

*Edit: Also add all of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, though I don’t exactly like them for being horror, but didn’t you hear? The Brat Prince is back! That calls for a lengthy re-read.

So which are your favourite horror books? Or your scariest?

Fictional Languages and Words

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Brokeand The Bookish. We
have to choose today’s topic on our own. I recently finished reading A
Clockwork Orange and Nadsat, the language in which the characters communicate
is very interesting. 
Here’s a list of Ten Fictional Languages and Made-up
Words which I Like
10. Parseltongue, Gobbledegook, (not to mention)
Troll from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
 – However, we
never actually get to read any of these languages, which is a shame.
9. The word “Kerolamisticootalimarcawnokeeto
from The Book of Brownies by Enid Blyton
 – This was a magic word that
Hop, Skip and Jump had to memorize and say, to do something that I just can’t
remember, but my sister might. 

8. Jabberwocky from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – Remember
this poem with a lot of playful nonsensical words; I could only vaguely
remember it, but I just re-read it and it is funny!
7. Hobbitish from Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein –
I realize I need to read The Lord of the Rings as soon as possible, but until I
do, this one is great.
6. The different languages from the Hitchhiker’s
Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams
5. The different languages from the Discworld series
by Terry Pratchett 
– The languages of the Feegles, the dwarves,
Death of Rats are all crazily fascinating.
4. The Alien Language (often called R’Lyehian) from
Cthulu Mythos by H. P. Lovecraft
3. Nadsat from A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess –
It took me a while to get used to the language but it was worth it.
2. Lapine from Watership Down by Richard Adams 
This is the language that the rabbits speak. My favourite part about it is that
since rabbits can’t count above four, any number more than four is called hrair,
which, I guess, means many.
1. Newspeak from 1984 by George Orwell –
The section at the end, which gives a detailed analysis of Newspeak is actually  my
favourite part of the book.
Which are your favourite fictional languages or made-up