>This Week’s Picks

>The library yielded a satisfactory bounty today. I went in with no particular book/author in mind, but for Pico Iyer- not much to choose from there, only one book that didn’t impress me much. Among three of us, we hauled home seven books and another that doesn’t count among one of mine- Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales (for all my pretence, I’ll probably end up reading it, too).

What surprised and enchanted me most this evening was a book on Peruvian shamans, something I stumbled upon as I scanned the religion section- The Andean Codex. PG Wodehouse was a definite pick after last week’s hilarity- this time it is A Damsel in Distress. (Last week, by the way, it was Cocktail Time.) Anita Desai again, Clear Light of Day (after Baumgartner’s Bombay the last time around). Somerset Maugham’s Catalina, Rudyard Kipling’s autobiography Something of Myself and VS Naipaul’s Miguel Street followed. This is my first try at Naipaul- I am curious to see how I’ll like him. A book of Scottish short stories rounds off the list.

Now I shall be pretty pleased with myself if I can pack in half of all these books in three weeks- but of course, I can always get them renewed. I only hope none of the books disappoints, as Elizabeth Gaskell did last time. Sometimes, you just fail to connect with certain writers, and Gaskell refused to strike a chord and draw me in. Maybe if I try her again some other time I might like her better, but this time, I wasn’t really interested in giving her another chance.

Oh, the blessings of a good, healthily-stocked library!

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