Scattered Thoughts

Thursday, 15 January 2015

My reading list for the first quarter of 2015 by Reshma K.Barshikar

Ayra always wanted to be an Art Historian. She saw herself flitting between galleries, talking Michelangelo and Dali with glamorous ease. At twenty–nine, life has decided to make her an underpaid investment banker juggling an eccentric family, a fading career and a long–distance relationship that is becoming a light-year one.

On a monsoon day in June, she is suddenly sent packing from Mumbai to Tuscany to buy a vineyard for a star client. What should have been a four day trip turns into a two week treasure hunt that finds her in the middle of midnight wine deals, dodgy vintners, rolling Tuscan hills, a soap opera family and one playboy millionaire who is looking to taste more than just the wine. Towards the end she finds that the road to true happiness is almost as elusive as that perfect glass of Chianti.

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My reading list for the first quarter of 2015

Is there a word for an addiction to books? And Flipkart and Amazon have only made it worse. Not only have they made it easier for me to buy everything I need at a click of a button – The Penguin book of witches, why not? They have also made the act of shopping in a bookstore so much more wonderful that I end up going more often than I used to and buying more than I should. 

This New Year I have therefore resolved to buy no more books until I finish at least three fourth of what has piled up. I can’t finish them all- what would happen in an emergency! God forbid I am left with nothing new to read. So here’s my reading list for 2015  

The young adult list- A big problem with writing a specific genre is that you feel that you can’t read anything other than that lest your voice get affected. I don’t want to sound like a psychotic wife in a crime noir – read Gone Girl, when I am trying very hard to sound like a sixteen-year-old teenager. You are thinking- ‘same difference’, aren’t you?  How I live Now is a wonderful book by Meg Rosoff and tells the story of one tumultuous summer in a girls life. The voice is wonderfully fresh and the book has almost no dialogue and is narrated solely as a monologue that never gets tiring. The other one is Hollow City by Ransom Riggs- the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children. Alas, I have started that thrice and am yet to sink my teeth into it, a peculiar problem for sophomore efforts, says the writer who is writing her second book. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous is my third and possibly the one I am looking most forward to. Written as a series of diary entries, the book is about Alice’s unintentional drug addiction. 

Next I have a trio of Grown Up books to tackle. The first one is Alan Holllinghurt’s The Swimming Pool Library, the first major British novel to feature gay life in a modern context. I never finished Booker winning The Line of Beauty, perhaps I was much too distracted then. The plot line reminds me of Christopher Rice’s The Snow Garden, one of my favorite books of all time. The next is the classic Brideshead Revisited, that I am ashamed to say has been collecting dust on the bookshelf for two years following which I need to make a dent in my poetry collection and revisit the works of Edgar Allen Poe and crack open a lovely birthday gift, The Novel Cure, a series of essays on novels. Then there is the Penguin Book of Witches ofcourse, a collection of real life accounts of witches from the medieval period. Finally there’s Gone Girl. Yes, it begs to be read. I am just waiting for that vacation. 

About the Author:

After finishing her A Levels at Bridgine School, Windsor, and getting a BA (Hons) at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, Reshma started her career as a Journalist for India’s national newspaper The Hindu, Business Line but left mid-career to pursue an MBA at the Indian School of Business that led to a successful career in Investment Banking. After 5 years in Investment Banking she quit her job to travel for two years and visited Europe, China, and the US. She conceptualized the novel during her travels through the Tuscany wine country. She created the eccentric Ms Krishnamurthy, her precocious cat and her dog eat deal environment. Her deep appreciation for the south Indian family dynamic, experience as a freelance journalist and a passion for Italian wine helped create Fade Into Red.
Simultaneously she also honed her skills as a Travel Writer and has contributed to India Today Travel Plus, SilverKris, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia, National Geographic Traveller and The Hindu Business Line. She is also co-founder of the literary blog, The Caterpillar CafĂ©.

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