Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Straight from the book

'Other men slowly build up the sense of home by accumulation - a new picture, more and more books, an odd shaped paper-weight, the ash tray bought for a forgotten reason on a forgotten holiday; Scobie built his home by a process of reduction.'

(The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Book 4 U is back!

Some of you might know about my book donation drive which I started in 2014. If not, read about it here. Well, the book donation drive is back and you can receive a book in the mail wherever you are in Pakistan. Read through the list below and send me your preferred title along with your name, address and number at Please mention book donation or A Book for Me in the subject of your email. 

Here are the books: 

1. The Museum of Innocence - Orhan Pamuk
2. The Woman Destroyed - Simone de Beauvoir
3. Poet and Dancer - Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
4. The Wandering Falcon - Jamil Ahmad
5. Cold Feet - Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
6. The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma - Ratika Kapur
7. Point Omega - Don Delillo

Happy reading! 

Note: For an updated book donation list please click here.

My 100 book pact - an update

It was a crazy idea. Reading 100 books in one year. Seriously? But then again, why not? Why is the thought of reading such a large number of books daunting?  Especially to someone like me who a) loves reading, b) has ample time to read and c) is a fast reader. So I went ahead with this crazy idea and so far, things aren't looking very bright because I have only, and I repeat ONLY, managed to read 27 books. And it's already August! 

*deep breaths*

What made this task difficult was my resolve to read books which I've had for years, collecting dust on the shelves, waiting to be read. Some turned out to be pure delights and I kicked myself for not going through them earlier (The Book of Other People, The Pursuit of Love) while others were huge disappointments and I kicked myself for wasting precious time reading them! I ended up reading three novels by the same author (Greene) and had almost decided to finish all his novels in my collection. However, common sense prevailed and I switched to other authors. A large, uninterrupted dose of Greene can be lethal! 

Currently I'm reading the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. I picked up these lovely editions from the old book bazaar at Frere Hall and couldn't resist diving into them immediately. I'm just wondering though, will the trilogy be counted as one or three books? 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

book shots

Anita Desai is brilliant. This book was such a delight! It revolves around Nanda Kaul, an austere old woman who lives alone in Carignano, a secluded bungalow in Kasauli. Her solitary existence is disturbed by the arrival of her great-granddaughter, Raka. As Raka tries to adjust in her new surroundings, Nanda finds herself dwelling on the past & as the summer goes on, many of her old wounds seem to resurface. Especially when her old friend, Ila Das, discovers her in Kasauli and pays a visit.

Desai is at her best. The descriptions of the house and Kasauli are beautiful. They reminded me so much of Murree and Nathiagali. But the real beauty lies in how the author has disclosed the past of Nanda Kaul, layer by layer. It is beautiful prose and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 

The pine cone in the picture is rather special. It has come all the way from Quetta with a dear friend and has found a place on my writing table. 

Beanbagtales is on Instagram and I'm posting pictures of books recently read with mini reviews or 'book shots'. For more clicks follow @beanbagtales on Instagram.