On a quest- little known books of the famous

I was one of those readers who used to read books recommended by others. Sometimes I selected books if I had read other books of an author before. Often times it was what I had heard about a book that led me to look for it and read it.

I have been bored with the choices of books I have in recent days. The books I have been reading are hardly worth even one read. I have been exasperated with some writers. I have wanted to shake a few.

I wished there were modern authors like my favorites- M M Kaye, Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery. Ones whose stories we could read and read again and wonder what happened to its characters long after the book was put down. These are books I have collected. I must have read “How green was my valley” at least 25 times- or ” The Far Pavilions” fifty. Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s boys and all the rest of those have been stories I have stored in the recesses of my brain, though I have not copies of those books now. Sometimes I long for the ” good old days”.

Recently one blogger, whose writing I love – therabbitpatchdiary.com – wrote of other books of Louisa May Alcott – Under the lilacs. I had never heard of this title before.

Thus started my quest. I work in a university with a very large collection of books- mostly digital versions but some hard copies too. I looked through Amazon and Good reads and looked for other titles written by Alcott and found quite a few. I soon found ” Eight Cousins”, ” Rose in Bloom”, Behind the mask and ” An old fashioned girl”. All delicious, scrumptious books. The writing magnificent, and the stories though time tested, told in a different way. I have with me a copy of ” Jack and Jill”, which is locked up in my draw to read when everything is quiet for I do my best reading then.

Then I looked for other titles by M. M. Kaye- to be honest, I had read a few already- Shadow of the Moon being one of them. There was no harm in procuring a copy through my library, which was so happy to have one reading asking for its little- borrowed titles. This quest let me to another period novel – The Zemindar, which spoke of the ” First Mutiny of Indian independence” like all the other titles did. Reading them was a week’s work for me. When I read books I like, really like, I find I take time and am not a fast reader any more.

Finally I am now on to the L. M. Montgomery books- I just read ” A tangled web” yesterday and now have started on ” Emily’s quest”.

I am grateful to have access to a library that allows me to read and enjoy books at my will and at little or no cost.

Have you looked for the entire collection of books written by an author ? Do you find differences in the writing between books or is there a commonness you find among books written by one author ?

On my 25th wedding anniversary, there could be no better post by me than one on books and hence this one.


What is happening to me ?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Race the Clock.”

Today I have been thinking about writing about what has been happening in my life over the past two days. Was debating whether it was worth sharing at all .

Anyway, the “Race the Clock” challenge came just then and here I am.

I work in an office where over the  past two months I had had to vet research proposals and submit them to a funding agency, so they could review them and if found suitable, provide assistance.

There are four of us in the office and there were 120 proposals to go. Reason says that they should be divided 30 to a person, right ? And so it was divided but soon, the chief decided to take some proposals from two of the others and give them to me to vet, because I was new and the experience of doing more would teach me better and the others’ had other work to do , whereas I was appointed for the express purpose of vetting these proposals before the deadline.

So I used checklists to vet the proposals and managed to submit about 45 proposals of my own to the granting agency. In addition, I had to submit the ” vetted” proposals of two other staff to the agency, when they took their Christmas break. So in all I might have submitted about 90 proposals.

Two days back, we got the results of the preliminary screening by the agency- 116 proposals out of 120 had passed screening and 4 did not make it.

Our office( all staff are back now after their vacations) is now in an investigation mode and trying to find out what happened to the 4 and were their any avoidable human errors, which could have been rectified ?

It turned out that out of the 4, one was a proposal i had looked into from scratch and 3 were the ones I submitted for the people on vacation. So the report shows my name as the person who vetted all these proposals.

Yesterday’s meeting was about finding explanations. I had to provide them. I made a mistake and accepted it- I find it rather easy to accept mistakes and apologize for them but my office would have none of that. They wanted to decide which of these cases was appealable and which were not. Turns out my instance was not appealable because it was a gross overlook and no one could do anything about it. The other 3 have gone for appeals.

I have been wondering if its worth going to work at all- funny thing is actually I don’t feel any pain at all; years’ of being ill-treated and bullied at work at my previous workplace have numbed me to pain any more. I am in such a mode as to even think its all the blame of the writer- he should have checked his work with more care.

I am amazed at the human mind and its methods of shutting out pain- I use escapism, the blame game and even try to excuse myself saying ” I was new and didn’t know better”, considering the number of proposals I vetted and submitted, the numbers that didn’t make it are so small.

I need to understand that in the larger picture such instances can make or break a writer’s life.

Need some time to recover and some time to rest. Whew !

Love and life is a day’s work

            Life is short. Life is beautiful but I killed a living animal today. The love of animals is pure and kind. The mother cat cried her heart out but she still rubs her body against me. Perhaps she knows I did it unintentionally. I gave her food and she ate it. If it were a human that I killed, the parents would have hated me and wanted to revenge me for the killing. The mother cat loves me though I took her most valued possession away from her. Can’t humans do the same ?