I love it when I go shopping for books - and given my fatal addiction, that happens about once a week on average. It's ruinous on bank account and house space but certainly makes up for it by the happiness generated before, during and after the purchase. I was out for a meeting yesterday evening and found myself in a market I rarely visit nowadays because of its severe parking problems - Saket main market.
It has a couple of bookshops, but I headed for the big one, Om Book Shop, to check out their collection. I had been wanting to buy a cookbook by Jamie Oliver for a while but unfortunately they were all out of stock of those. I eyed several Culinarias wistfully - they look gorgeous and the pictures are wonderful, but they cost such a bomb. And weigh a ton, too. I finally bought Ismail Merchant's cookbook and another interesting one called Spices in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Spices one has lots of interesting recipes from Turkey which is a country I recently visited and have a soft spot for, and the pictures are great too. I find that in cookbooks there are 2 categories - the food memoir and the instructions manual. Tarla Dalal tends to err on the instructions manual side, and while I love her cookbooks, have most of them and admit all her recipes turn out brilliantly, I can't quite curl up in an armchair with her stuff. What I like to read ( even bedside reading) is the food-memoir - Shoba Narayan, Madhur Jaffrey et al.
I also bought an Indian 'chicklit', I guess, though I haven't yet begun it, called The Hindi Bindi Club - one of my friends has been mentioning it for a couple of years - one of her writing club friends began it a couple of years ago - it sounded interesting. And ShahRukh Khan's biography by Anupama Chopra is out, so I got that too.
My husband, who's the complete non-cook apart from making tea, started leafing through the Ismail Merchant book and was tempted to try out some of the recipes, so that's probably a good book to buy for someone who likes non-vegetarian Indian cuisine and can't cook! The Shah Rukh Khan book is well written, and traces the growth and development of India alongside the trajectory of both Bollywood and King Khan. It does a good job of getting inside his head and explaining what he is all about, though it leaves out a few facets. Definitely worth a read and a buy, especially at its price of Rs. 295. Only thing that irritated me - the sanskrit play Mrigacchi Kattika was changed to mirch kattika!
What I love about the process of buying books is the adventure - will I find a new author or a new book by old favourite author today? Will I discover a new genre? Will I bankrupt myself in trying to buy 25 new books all at once?
Ooh, lots of lovely reading to do now!