Archive for June 6th, 2013

June 6, 2013

May Reading

It’s been a slow reading month. Then again, it’s been 42-47 degrees in Delhi this month, so I count my mere survival as a resounding success.


Antonia Forest, The Thuggery Affair: Wrote about this at length, and with pictures of wildlife, here.

Sheela Chari, Vanished: A proper post on this soon–it’s a children’s book about a missing veena, set in America and India, and I quite enjoyed it.

Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria: I think I have an essay about this book (and why it doesn’t work and why, somehow, that means it does) brewing. I say that all the time and somehow these essays never get written, so I’m hoping someone will hold me to this one.

Rumer Godden, Kingfishers Catch Fire and Breakfast with the Nikolides: I’m working on a longer piece about some of Godden’s India novels, of which these are two. There’s much that’s objectionable about their politics; even as a relatively pro-India and pro-Indians (for her time) white British woman, Godden has some very fixed notions about the temperament of the Indian (a biological species, much like the slow loris). And yet the characters, the descriptive prose, the sheer life in the text blew me away. The introduction to these lovely new Vintage reissues says of one of the books that it “thrums with sex”; I snorted when I read this, but it’s all true.

Carl Wilson, Lets Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste: Written about in the column, here.

Uday Prakash, The Walls of Delhi: Written about in the column, here.

Frederic Tuten, Tintin in the New World: Written about in the column, here.

Jaishree Mishra (ed), Of Mothers and Others: Written about in the column, here.

Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido, etc, Hawkeye 1-10: I very rarely read comics. I know a bit about comics (by the standards of someone who barely reads them), but this is because I’m surrounded by people who are real, informed fans. I know enough to pass, mostly. I think I may be a Fake Geek Girl.

But everyone I know has been gushing about Hawkeye for a few months now, and now that I’m finally reading it I see why. I share this concern about the disconnect between its Hawkeye-as-everyman (empathetic, understanding what people’s lives mean to them) and Hawkeye-spreading-destruction (because things have to go boom and ordinary people end up being collateral damage) narratives, and I’d like to see future issues do more to address that. But on the whole it’s gorgeous– it’s stylish and funny, I love the art, the people look and act like people. And there’s Kate Bishop, whom the series has so far managed to resist slotting into potential girlfriend or smitten protegee roles, to the extent that the friend who nagged me into reading the series insists that she is its hero.

(I can live with this)

Plus there’s naked (Clint Barton) Hawkeye. And a really cute dog.