Saturday, June 02, 2012

May Reading – Part 1


After an astounding April, I was looking forward to May for an equally good reading month since this month also carried the chance of extensive travelling which means extensive reading for me.

A vacation trip to Bangkok & Pattaya (Thailand) … and then the business trips to Dubai (UAE) towards the month end gave me some airport time once again … this meant some good time to read (except let's say the Thai trip where my reading would only infuriate my wife, but she was understanding and allowed me to read the book which I was to review in a week's time)

I began May reading with short stories by Satyajit Ray and Mysterious Traveler Magazine; followed by a Japanese authored novel; followed by a Mayan end-of-the-world themed novel; followed by a short love-story kind of novel by Indian authors; all the while continuing to read my usual reading series/stuff and beginning with the non-Conan Sherlock Holmes short stories.

New author this month: A Japanese author (Keigo Higashino), an American (Steve Alten) and Indian authors (Durjoy Dutta & Maanvi Ahuja) along with several American/European short story writers. The second edition of the Mysterious Traveler Magazine had another set of 6 short stories by 6 different lesser known (literally unknown) authors. I also started the non-Conan Sherlock Holmes stories so they had new authors as well … Adrian Doyle & John Carr for the 'Exploits of Sherlock Holmes' series and new authors for each of the Misadventures series.

The month was pretty satisfactory with plenty of varied reading and a new beginning on Sherlock Holmes front. A splendid reading score of 27 (which results in the reading record flowing across 3 posts).


1. Barin Bhowmik's Ailment by Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray has used the world of magicians to teach a very simple lesson – Never lose touch with the real thing in your race for instant success and materialistic lifestyle.  


2-7. The Mysterious Traveler Magazine - Dec 2005 edition (6 short stories)

Picked up another edition of MTM which had another set of 6 interesting stories across different genres and as with the last edition I read; they were a delightful read. the following 6 stories were part of the Dec 2005 edition:

Suspense - Doctors Appointment by William Ahall

It was a short story revolving around revenge. The whole story seems normal and routine till the penultimate paragraph. The last paragraph of 2 lines turns the tables on you as you get a 4400 Volts electric shock and you keep staring into infinity thinking about what you just read.

Mystery - Lemon Drop with a Twist by Charles Morgan

A murder case is solved based on small observations and a basic principle of 'murderer is often the person with maximum gain'. 

The Macabre - The Woman on the Bed by Robert Forbes

A tale of horror with ghostly spirits involved where it is practically impossible to find out what actually happened to the ghostly spirit as the author leaves the suspense unanswered.

Strange Stories - The Best in the West by Stephen O'sullivan

A story about a man showing off an exceptional knife which effortlessly cuts through most things; A knife so sharp and high-tech that you may even cut yourself and not know about it. The end horrifies and tickles you into a smile at the same time.

Science Fiction - The Infestation at Sulphur Creek by Michael D Cooper

This was Sci-fi stuff about a futuristic colony which has a wasp colony as a threat. The end was confusing to me. I didn't quite get it.  

Mini Mystery - Cop & Robber by the Mysterious Traveler

A cop gets a call about strange lights and movements in a house and reaches the scene; only to find that the house owner has caught the thief. What follows next is a revelation based on the cop's Sherlockian deductions and quick thinking.


8. The Maths Teacher, Mr. Pink and Tipu by Satyajit Ray

A simple sweet and strange story of how a child's problem (Math Teacher) is solved by an alien. What can I say more!    


9. The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino 

This was a book I received from for 'book review' so a detailed review of this one has already been posted in a separate blog post last month. This might practically be the first book I would have read by a Japanese author. It turned out to be surprisingly good. I have reviewed it in a separate blog post earlier last month itself.


10. Big Bill by Satyajit Ray

A man with a strange peculiarity … that he does not find anything strange … comes across a strange bird which has been born out of an exceptionally large egg. He brings the bird home as a pet. The bird grows rapidly to a large size and looks pretty ferocious as well as has a very disturbingly ugly scream which scares the wit out of people. The bird is carnivorous and attacks the neighbour's cat. Our man decides to leave it back in the jungle where it begins to wreck havoc on the animals and hunters alike. He visits the bird again after some time to 'cure' it.


To be continued …

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