A couple of blog posts ago, I was complaining about how this friend of mine refused to buy me books because I own over 40 books that I haven’t read. According to him, this is the equivalent of killing trees. Now, while the logic of that may be disputable, I have no choice but to agree to read those books, because, get this, he bought me a book. And not just any book. This is Arun Kolatkar‘s Kala Ghoda Poems, which Bangalore bookstores refuse to stock for whatever absurd reason.
Why do I deserve this book? Because I promised to read 10-15 of the books I own but haven’t read. After some negotiation, we agreed on a list of books that I should read before I get my book (and by agreed, I mean he said, “I’ve edited your proposed list. This is it or the deal’s off” and I said, “Hmph, OK”).
For the curious-minded, here is my very strict reading list for the next few months:
La Gloire de mon père, Marcel Pagnol, 1957
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1866 COMPLETED 20/05/09
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco, 1980
The Tin Drum, Günter Grass, 1959
Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami, 2000 COMPLETED 20/06/09
Diary of a Mad Old Man, Junichirō Tanizaki, 1961 COMPLETED 22/07/09
The Makioka Sisters, Junichirō Tanizaki, 1943 – 48
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkein, 1937 (not my choice)
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf, 1927
The Prophet, Khalil Gibran, 1923
Birthday Letters, Ted Hughes, 1998 (recent almost acquisition, thanks to Kk)*
The Eyes, Don Paterson, 1999*** COMPLETED 28/06/09
Him with His Foot in his Mouth and Other Stories, Saul Bellow, 1998
The Best American Erotica, Susie Bright, 1993*** COMPLETED 27/07/09
Diary of a Mad Man and Selected Stories, Nikolai Gogol
Stories from Ladakh, Kusum Kapur, 1994 COMPLETED 28/05/09
The Mammoth Book of International Erotica, ed. Maxim Jakubowski, 1996***
Sex, Art, and American Culture, Camille Paglia, 1992***
The Book of Imaginary Beings, Jorges Luis Borges with Margarita Guerrero, revised, enlarged and translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni in collaboration with the author, 2002**
*Another rule imposed on me is that any new books I buy (random presents not counted) are automatically added to the list. This means I’m going to have to read all these by end October/early November, or I won’t be able to buy anything at the Bangalore Book Festival!
**I recently discovered that I hadn’t read another book I own: The Book of Imaginary Beings. When I told S, he said I could exchange it with something already on the list, so I got rid of Heart of Darkness.
***I stupidly went on a shopping spree yesterday (24/05) and bought those books. As per the rules, I have to read those as well before I get my Kolatkar.