A Tiger for Malgudi

A Tiger for Malgudi, by R. K. Narayan, is an unusual book, a story about humanity from the viewpoint of a captured tiger. It is a compelling story, with much humor, very well written and enjoyable to read. But it is much more than an entertaining read. It is full of insight and wisdom about human beings and the human condition, and I found it refreshing and uplifting.

Summary of the story from the publisher:

A venerable tiger, old and toothless now, looks back over his life from cubhood and early days roaming wild in the Indian jungle. Trapped into a miserable circus career as ‘Raja the magnificent’, he is then sold into films (co-starring with a beefy Tarzan in a leopard skin) until, finding the human world too brutish and bewildering, he makes a dramatic bid for freedom.

R.K. Narayan’s story combines Hindu mysticism with ripe Malgudi comedy, viewing human absurdities through the eyes of a wild animal and revealing how, quite unexpectedly, Raja finds sweet companionship and peace.

To give you a good idea of the wisdom of this little book, here are some of my favorite passages:

  • You are not likely to understand that I am different from the tiger next door, that I possess a soul within this forbidding exterior. I can think, analyse, judge, remember and do everything that you can do, perhaps with greater subtlety and sense. I lack only the faculty of speech.

 

  • For one used to the grand silence of the jungle, the noisy nature of humanity was distressing.

 

  • Tigers attack only when they feel hungry, unlike human beings who slaughter one another without purpose or hunger …’

 

  • All growth takes place in its own time. If you brood on your improvements rather than your shortcomings, you will be happier.’

 

  • We have lost the faculty of appreciating the present living moment. We are always looking forward or backward and waiting for one or sighing for the other, and lose the pleasure of awareness of the moment in which we actually exist.

 

I chose to read this book as one of my 50-books-in-5-years for The Classics Club.

 

 

I also chose this book to read for my personal challenge, “Wanderlust,” an effort to read books that are from or take place in each country of the world. This was a story from India.

A Reader Of His Own Self

“Every reader is, when he reads, a reader of his own self. The writer’s work
is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader
to enable him to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps
never have seen in himself.”                    

~ Marcel Proust from Le temps retrouvé [Time Regained]

Ready For Another Adventure

Isn’t it terrific when you find a book series that totally captures you and carries you away for the time you spend reading it? That happened to me starting in November when I began reading Deborah Crombie’s mystery series with her two detectives, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. I have just finished the last book (so far!) in the series, book #18, and now hoping there will be another new book in this series before too long!

Here are some of the reasons I enjoyed this series so much:

  • The two main characters are two decent, kind, and talented people who grow and change over time. The story of their relationship, and the life they put together as working parents, is as riveting as the mysteries they solve. I like both characters very much!
  • Compelling mysteries to be solved by these two talented detectives.
  • Very consistent writing all the way through the series. Eighteen books, one after another, and all of them were really well done.
  • These stories are also great as audiobooks.

I am very happy to hear that Deborah Crombie is working on book #19!  In the meantime, I am ready for another reading adventure…if I can find one as good as this one!

Deborah Crombie ~photo from her web site.

 

One Day At Teton Marsh

During this time of self isolation, are any of you dreaming of travel? I am! but right now I’m happy to be able to do some delightful armchair traveling.  One Day At Teton Marsh, by Sally Carrighar, is a beautiful written and illustrated book about the wildlife at Teton Marsh, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, all on one day at the onset of winter. You can see that my copy of the book is old from the photo above. It was published by the University of Nebraska Press, (one of the Bison Books) which was my favorite publishing company for many years. But it’s been a long time since I read it. But I pulled it off the shelf recently and reread it. It has been a lovely companion for my armchair travels, and when this time of quarantine is over, and it is safe to travel again, I want to go to Jackson, Wyoming, and spend some time appreciating the wildlife of that beautiful area!

The style of this book is very interesting. Sally Carrighar has told the story of that one day at Teton Marsh from the point of view of each of the animals that live there. So with each chapter, you really learn about the animal, it’s life and habitat, and how it fits in to the web of life. The writing is beautiful and the stories are quite fascinating! And I love the illustrations, by George and Patritia Mattson.

You’ll have to check your library to find a copy of the physical book because it is out of stock everywhere I looked. However, it IS  available as a Kindle book here.( Just be sure to read it on a device where you can really appreciate the illustrations!)

I chose this book to read for my personal challenge, “WANDERLUST: Reading the States,” an effort to read books that are from or take place in each of the 50 United States. This book took place in Wyoming.

 

 

I also read this book as one of my 50-books-in-5-years for The Classics Club.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, April 2020, End of Day



And that’s a wrap!

This has been lovely day, full of books and reading friends. Another Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon has come to an end for me. For those of you who are still reading, and perhaps going the full 24 hours, I wish you happy reading! Tomorrow, I’ll reflect further and share my thoughts on my reading for this event.

Thank you, Andi and Heather, and everyone who worked so hard to make this such a wonderful event and experience, again! It was so amazing, during this time of social distancing, to get together with so many people who love reading.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, April 2020, Afternoon Edition

Quiet Time in the Favorite Chair, by Gina Brown

What a delightful morning of reading and listening! And now, after a break for lunch (homemade split pea soup with homemade bread), and a short walk because the sun finally came out after our rainy morning, I’m back for an afternoon of reading and listening. This is turning out to be a wonderful, calm, comforting read-a-thon for me.

I hope you are all enjoying your reading for this springtime read-a-thon, too!

1:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time:

This afternoon, I am in the middle of reading The White Robin, by Miss Read. I’ve been slowly reading and savoring over the last few years, the Fairacre series, reading the books in order and not wanting it to ever end. When I do finish with Fairacre, I will move on to her Thrush Green series, but I mourn the day I finish all of her books. Of course, I can always start again and re-read them all!

 

UPDATE: 4:15 pm, Pacific Daylight Time

This afternoon, I am still reading (and enjoying) The White Robin, by Miss Read. The morning rain finally stopped and the sun came out, so I just had to spend a little time outside. I took some flower photos from around the yard to share with you. And then it’s back to my book, to finish before dinnertime!

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UPDATE: 7:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time

I finished reading The White Robin, and loved it as much as Miss Read’s other books in the Fairacre series. Dinner and getting settled into the evening have taken up some of my reading time, but I’ve started my next book: No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg. This is a library book that I checked out just before the quarantine started. I saved it to read for today’s read-a-thon!

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UPDATE: 9:15 pm, Pacific Daylight Time

I am just finishing the book by Greta Thunberg, my last book for this April read-a-thon.  I’m so impressed with Greta! Friends, we need to listen to her! Right now!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, April 2020, morning edition

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5:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

And so we begin another Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon! Good morning, everyone! I hope this is a delightful day for you, full of books and fun! I have quite a list of books to read, much more than time will allow, but I’m looking forward to reading and sharing thoughts with you throughout the day.

I will create a morning blog post and an afternoon post, adding to each as I finish a read. Then I’ll post an evening update to wrap up my day. So please check back here every so often for those updates. Also, I am too darn old to stay up all night reading, (it’s just not going to happen!) so I’ll say goodnight at a “reasonable” time for this elder and leave the all-night reading to friends with more stamina than I.

So without further ado, I begin with breakfast and a book to finish:  Molly’s Millions, by VIctoria Connelly.

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UPDATE:  6:20 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

First book finished:  Molly’s Millions, by Victoria Connelly

It was mid-March when the self-isolation for this pandemic began. Almost immediately, a favorite author of mine, one that I follow on both Goodreads and Facebook, made one of her books a free download as a way of reaching out to her readers during this crisis. I was very touched by her kindness and downloaded the book with much appreciation. I started it earlier this week and just finished it for the read-a-thon.

That author is Victoria Connelly. I’ve read quite a few of her books and enjoyed each one. The book she gave us to read during our self-isolation was called Molly’s Millions, and it was a fun and imaginative story, a perfect comfort read during a pandemic!

A summary from the publisher:

Hard-up florist Molly Bailey has just won a fortune in the National Lottery. And she wants to get rid of it – fast! Tom Mackenzie is on the verge of losing his job. He needs one hell of a story if he hopes to secure his future in journalism. And his luck may have just come in. With a strong belief that sharing her good fortune is the only way forward, Molly unwittingly becomes the most sought-after person in the country as she distributes her wealth to the masses. With only her terrier pup, Fizz, and her trusty Beetle for company, Molly embarks on the journey of her life. But with Tom hot on her heels, will she succeed before her family and the media catch up with her? And, with Tom leading the pack, would that really be such a bad thing?

Thank you so much, Victoria Connelly, for the gift of an enjoyable and cheerful read!

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UPDATE: 7:20 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Second book finished:  On the Horizon, by Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry is one of my all-time favorite authors! On the Horizon is her newest book, just recently published. It’s a sad and beautiful book about two tragedies of World War II: the  attack on Pearl Harbor and the bombing of Hiroshima. This is a book we all need to read, young and old, to understand the human toll of war!

from the publisher:

Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this stunning work in verse for young readers.

On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.  Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, On the Horizon contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world. Kenard Pak’s stunning illustrations depict real-life people, places, and events, making for an incredibly vivid return to our collective past.In turns haunting, heartbreaking, and uplifting, On the Horizon will remind readers of the horrors and heroism in our past, as well as offer hope for our future.

Click here to read an interview with Lois Lowry about this book.

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UPDATE: 7:30 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Something else I am reading today:

 

UPDATE: 9:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Third book finished:  Escaping the Giant Wave, by Peg Kehret

My favorite of Peg Kehret’s books is her autobiographical story, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio. She had polio as a child, and Small Steps is her story about that experience. She also writes terrific adventures for kids, and Escaping the Giant Wave is one of those! But it was more than just a thriller/adventure. It was also a very honest story about bullying. Definitely worth reading!

from the publisher:

The Worst Vacation Ever!

Thirteen-year-old Kyle thought spending a vacation on the Oregon coast with his family would be great. Kyle’s perfect vacation becomes a nightmare while he’s babysitting his sister, BeeBee. An earthquake hits the coast and starts a fire in their hotel. Can Kyle and BeeBee outwit and outrun nature’s fury to save themselves from tsunami terror?

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UPDATE: 10:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Fourth book finished:  Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollen

Sixty-four excellent, common sense rules on how to be a healthy eater. Excellent advice here, and I would like to incorporate more of these ideas into my daily life. I wouldn’t have this constant struggle and worry about weight if I simply followed more of these rules!

 

 

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UPDATE: 11:00 am, Pacific Daylight

Currently listening to:  The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, by J. R. R. Tolkien, narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi!

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The Twenty-One Balloons

I recently re-read a beloved book from my childhood. The Twenty-One Balloons, by William Pene Du Bois, was another book read by my big brother, Curt, and since I often followed in his reading footsteps, I then read it, too. This book won the Newbery Award in 1948, and is a fanciful, fun book.

from the publisher:

Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on the secret island of Krakatoa where he discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions.

from the book:

“The best way of travel, however, if you aren’t in any hurry at all, if you don’t care where you are going, if you don’t like to use your legs, if you don’t want to be annoyed at all by any choice of directions, is in a balloon. In a balloon, you can decide only when to start, and usually when to stop. The rest is left entirely to nature.”

I wonder how kids these days would like this little book? I remember when I read it long ago, that I enjoyed the inventions and the humor, the adventure and the calamities. This time reading it, I chuckled all the way through it. A delightful entertainment!

 

I read this book for my personal challenge, “Wanderlust,” an effort to read books that are from or take place in each country of the world. Although fiction, it takes place on the island of Krakatoa in Indonesia.

Read-a-thon Coming!

Once again, I’ve signed up for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, which takes place on Saturday, April 25th. When I was working and still had a young person at home, I didn’t think I could take that kind of time on a Saturday, so I didn’t participate in the Read-a-thon then. After I retired, I had no excuse, and so I started signing up for them, October and April, and I’ve loved each one I’ve participated in since then! They really kick-start my reading, and that’s definitely what I need right now.

The photo above is one that, if I remember correctly, Dewey used on her blog. Is that memory correct, friends, or do I just associate it with her somehow?

Anyway, I am really looking forward to Saturday! See you at the Read-a-thon!

Reading on the porch…