It is easier to run & hide from the masala and melodramatic stories of the screen versions, thanks to the numerous reviews from benevolent souls online and offline but when it comes to the print versions, I learnt the hard way that the star ratings don't help! After months of enduring bitchy sisters, witchy Ammayis atlast found a simble Ammachi and seedhi-saadhi sisters in an extraordinary tale - Atlas of the unknowns! It's hard to believe that the author, Tania James is a second generation Indian American as I could smell the maNNin maNam of both Kumarakom as well as NY! The narration, jumping from person to person was a total page turner. Engrossing and engaging novel! "The Wonder House" by Justine Hardy was another affecting novel!
Like the Athribacha story, I went to get books by Anita Rau Badami and came back with Amulya Malladi's! AM's "Serving crazy with curry" is the latest, I guess, to join the gang of novels with recipes thrown in at the end of each chapter. The curry in the title and the Indian desi setting made me pick this one but only ended up with an indigestion(the Saroj-Avi's Aradhana shtyle love shtory seemed the only high point!)! ARB's Tamarind woman with almost a similar setting of an incompatible couple, a bitter mother with 2 daughters was a bit interesting. Liked the description of the different places that the family live in due to the father's transferrable job. Quick read! ARB's "A Hero's walk" was like watching a Tamil movie. The detailed descriptions that looks like the author's style was but too strong, especially about the dirt and filth. I don't know how I dared to pick this one up with a story line of a little girl in Canada who loses her parents in a car accident and comes to live with her maternal grandparents in India. Though the main storyline is not about the girl, it was so so sad when the toothfairy dreams of the little girl goes out the window, the villi ammayya steals the red jacket!
Lately almost all of the novels that I've read have a filmy feel but none as worse as "the dowry bride"! Very shallow and childish!! And then there was this "Ladies coupe", felt like reading the script of KB's 70s movies! "The marriage bureau for rich people" by Farahad Zama was filmy too but a wishful and good natured one! "Almost single" and "For matrimonial purposes" were bollywoodish jolly timepass! I leaped and grabbed R K Narayan's "The Guide" when I saw it in our local library! Even though I haven't watched the movie, I knew that there was no room for imagination as Dev Anand and Waheeta Rahman were firmly stuck in my head as Raju and Rosie. In a weird coincidence I read "Hullabaloo in the guava orchard" by Kiran desai right after guide where the lead character is an accidental samiyar like Raju but the similarities end right there! Is the end really what I am thinking it is?!!
Tried my hand at non fiction with Earl Mindell's "The Oral Health Bible" but had to return without finishing as books like these are in such demand that it couldn't be renewed like the other books!