Oriya cusine boasts of typically low calorie preparations which are easy to prepare and good to eat. The dominant spices are besara(mustard seeds ground with garlic), and pancha-phutana (mustard, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and black cumin ). The main course invariably incorporates rice, dal and various vegetable prepartions.
The low oil and spice content invariably makes it a delight for the calorie consious and those suffering from high blood pressure and hyperacidity related disorders.
A big thanks to Narasimha Sharma Vetturi for floating this idea about sharing the books that one read in the year just gone by. Well, for one you had me thinking about my ever growing collection versus the problem of limited shelf space. To be honest, I have added quite a lot of books to my ever burgeoning library. And speaking even more honestly, I covet my books to such a degree that it almost borders on obsession. But not wasting more time going on and on about my love for the written word, this is the list of five books that had me thinking for a long time -
1. All The Light We Cannot See ( Anthony Doerr )
This is one of the most moving books that I have ever come across. The rich imagery, the vivid descriptions and most importantly the strength of each and every character is overpowering. Love can take on many forms and this is what one gets to see in this book. After reading this gem of a book, you can only agree to the fact that there are good books and then there are superlative ones. But a very few have that magical quality of touching one's soul and that feeling gets etched forever in memory even though some of the words get blurred with the passage of time.
2. Mrs Funnybones : She's Just Like You and a lot Like Me (Twinkle Khanna)
Bollywood actress are dumb. Period. Now, when a ex-actress like Twinkle Khanna pens a book, we are pre-programmed to judge it based on our prejudices. And with the kind of movies that Mrs Khanna acted in, one kind of assumes the worst. But her keen sense of observation and often self-deprecating sense of humor shines through. Yep, this book has found its place on my bedside table and I pick it up for a quick mental detox when I am feeling low.
3. Asura; Tale of the Vanquished ( Anand Neelakantan )
This is the best mix of mythology and philosophy that I have ever read. And I can re-read it any number of times. It is one of those life changing books that one should pick up when one is overcome by prejudice and unable to think rationally. Good and Bad coexist in every culture but history is always colored by the victor's perspective, the author tells us. And proceeds to introduce one a Ramayama written from the vanquished Ravana's perspective.
4. The Invention Of Wings ( Sue Monk Kidd )
Hope is the greatest weapon of all. This beautiful tale about the unlikely friendship of Sarah Grimke and a slave girl Hetty clearly reiterates that. Based on slavery, this book is enormously powerful and thought provoking. I could not put this book down even for a moment till I reached the end . So engrossed I had become with these characters, that I was literally felt like living and breathing with them. Some of my favorite lines (of course you can relate better only if you read the whole book) -
"There was a time in Africa the people could fly"
"It was his way of telling me. I could not have him and myself both."
5. Dead Souls ( Nikolay Gogol )
This one is on the list due to the sheer brilliance of the author which has ensured that it never goes out of relevance. Sharing a favorite paragraph from the book to justify why I have put it in the top 5 reads.
"It is much easier to depict large-scale characters: there all you need do is fling the paints on to the canvas unstintingly - dark, burning eyes, beetling brows, furrowed forehead, a black or fiery-crimson cloak thrown over the shoulder - and the portrait is done. But if you take all these other gentlemen, of whom there are many in the world, and who greatly resemble one another in appearance, yet in whom, as soon as you look more closely, you will perceive many highly elusive traits - such gentlemen are dreadfully difficult to portray."
Brilliant lines that refuse to be erased from memory.
Felt so good writing and sharing baout these books. In fact I think we should make it a habit to publish a list of the books read at the end of each year !!
Note : In case you want to read the full length reviews, please check them on my other blog Booksopinionsandbull .