Libraries, Fashion and Dysfunctional Families@ BYOB Party in March, 2016 (Part 2)

At our sixth BYOB Party, we had a large collection of books to discuss.

This is not the end of the book

Sreeraj got a book  This is not the end of the book by Umberto Eco and his fellow raconteur Jean-Claude Carriere. What happens when two bibilophiles get together? You will have a long discussion about your personal libraries, the fate of these libraries when the owner dies, interesting authors and translations, eBooks and papyrus manuscripts, etc. Jaya also mentioned that Umberto Eco’s famous book Name of the Rose revolved around manuscripts and libraries. It is only natural that his love for books extends itself into books that he wrote.

The Devil Wears Pradathe devil wears prada by Lauren Weisberger was the book Shruti Garodia talked about. It’s a book she repeatedly goes back to, a light-hearted read with a pertinent message. “Over time, I think the relevance of the message of the book has become a little outdated,” Shruti said. “It’s one of the few books that has worked so well as a movie.”

The story is about an unfashional lady Andrea Sachs who lands a job in a very prestigious fashion magazine. Little does she know that her boss is a diabolical woman who expects a slave, more than an assistant.

The illicit happiness of other peopleAvnish found Manu Joseph’s writing to be quite entertaining. The Illicit Happiness of Other People is the story of a dysfunctional family headed by Ousep Chacko, a journalist and failed novelist. His wife has psychological issues. One of their sons has died and it is hard to say whether it was suicide or a mere accident.

“Manu Joseph’s characters are three dimensional and wonderful to read about,” Shruti said.

Has anyone reading this post read Serious Men by the same author?

More in Part 3.

Short Book Review: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

TheNameOfTheRoseSBR: Unlike my previous reads Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is a piece of historical fiction (specifically mystery) which does bring modern sensibilities into a story set in the 14th century. Especially is philosophical debates. But that has a charm of its own. A story like this can provoke you to examine your own unassailable beliefs and make to think if they really are that unassailable.
If you are looking purely for a mystery novel, you might be bored by the philosophy intervening. But I liked it because it felt like a good supplemental reading to the scholastic philosophy chapters I encountered in The History of Western Philosophy. The problem in this book was the frequent use of (untranslated) Latin phrases and sentences. This meant that I could not curl up in the bed to read the book. I often needed to consult this good man’s work and Google Translate.
To read or not to read: Read if you can enjoy the dossier on the religion of middle ages, monasticism and scholastic philosophy and are willing to work on your (ahem!) Latin.
  1. I realized while reading this book that the expression “It is Greek to me” might be from the time when people spoke Latin. We can, perhaps, shift to using”It is Latin to me”.
  2. I didn’t start reading the book after the news of the author’s death. He died while I was reading the book. An eerie feeling!