Thursday, November 03, 2011

October Reading …


Travel time has increased with weekly travel to Pune and also a trip to Dubai for about 10 days in this month; so this was supposed to give me plenty of travel time to read J but juggling multiple projects and shuttling between 3 cities took its toll on my time and health too, so couldn't really read during my travels. So ultimately the score is lower than expected. But on the brighter side, I read 2 complete novels from different genres; outside my regular stories.  

This month I finished off the last of the Genius trilogy and continued reading the regulars (Sherlock Holmes and Three Investigators). I also read a novel which I would classify as 'emotional' stuff. No, it wasn't another emotional novel … on the contrary it was more of a reminder about what life is all about and how we live false lives chasing false dreams (often nothing more than a mirage) and reaching the so-called destination of life completely unsatisfied; wondering what really happened? 

Could not read Feluda this month; The trouble is that the font size in the big fat volume is small and is not really very conducive for reading during travel.


1. Genius Wars by Catherine Jinks

Having read Evil Genius and Genius Squad in last 2 months, it was pretty logical to pick up the third part of the trilogy in this month J

The story line was decent and there was once again a nasty surprise coming towards the end of the story. The basic assumption that carries the story for almost 60% of the story timeline is suddenly proved wrong and you are left feeling dizzy, relooking at all the assumptions that you had made along with the story's lead characters and re-evaluate for a fresh perspective. And then again near the end of the story, you feel that the assumptions have to be reset.

At the end of it all, on e is left confused about what exactly happened. I don't like this. A reader should not be left in a lurch. Things have to be explained and closed. Maybe the author wanted to keep her options open about writing another novel in the Genius series. But that does not mean, leaving loose ends in the current story.


2. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of Black Peter by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The story has Sherlock Holmes stabbing furiously at a dead pig (several times, over and over again) to conclude that it was literally impossible for him (and any 'ordinary' able bodied person) to pierce the dead pig (and by that analogy, a human being) through and through with a weapon in a single blow.

This actually helps him narrow down his suspect 'population' to a small group while investigating a murder where a person has been killed in his home with a 'harpoon' put through him and pining him to the wall behind. Gruesome! Sherlock shows his usual flair at detective consulting and solves the mystery concluding with the murderer walking into his home all by himself.


3. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Monster Mountain by William Arden

This one begins with the 3I going for camping with the Bavarian brothers (who also want to meet their cousin) and ending up with a multi pronged mystery.

What begins with a search of a lost key becomes a mystery that involves a so called Monster Mountain and its associated animals (and monsters of course).  And of course, it goes without saying that these seemingly dangerous things and animals eventually turn out to be innocent and harmless, while the humans turn out to be the real danger.


4. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Charles Augustus Milverton by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This story is not about the solving a crime. It is more about witnessing it.

Sherlock is involved to mediate in a blackmailing situation and the negotiation fails to fruition. At this stage, Sherlock takes the unlawful (but moral) path of breaking into a house and stealing something; only to witness the murder of the person who was at the other end of the negotiation.

Sherlock and Watson quietly walk out of the situation (but not before accomplishing what they had come for). If you are looking for mystery, skip this story. It has none.


5. Tuesdays with Morrie by

As I said earlier, this month saw my departure from regulars and this one was a rather different genre. This one was more of a reminder about what life is all about and how we live false lives chasing false dreams (often nothing more than a mirage) and reaching the so-called destination of life completely unsatisfied; wondering what really happened? 

Tuesdays with Morrie was a narrative and story of a sports journalist who begins to rediscover life through his dying professor Morrie, who has himself begun to see life in a new perspective after being diagnosed with a deadly disease which has begun his race to death.

The story moves through several realizations which Morrie has after his new life (under the shadow of death) has begun and how he shares these discoveries with our protagonist; also making him realize that u don't need a reminder from death about these things. These are things that should be taken into account while living … not while dying.


Series Completion Score (as of 31st Oct 2011):  

Three Investigators     20 out of 35

Feluda                         19 out of 35

Sherlock Holmes         33 out of 56

Total                           72 out of 126

Genius Trilogy             completed J

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