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Showing posts from February, 2013

Re-reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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I was just clearing out my bookshelf, when I found this battered old copy of The Diary of a Young Girl. I re-read a few dozen pages of the book and realized that though growing up did (thankfully) affect my opinions in various ways, what I feel about this book is still the same.

The first thing people say when I tell them I'm not the biggest fan of this book is that I should consider that she was only a child when she wrote it. I have always felt that people underestimate children once they grow up. I read Anne Frank's diary when I was twelve, probably younger than she was when she wrote it, and I found it as silly then as I find it now. It was chilling to think of someone my age in a situation as unsettling, it was odd how immature her writing made her seem.

"Before I came here, when I didn't think about things as much as I do now, I occasionally had the feeling that I didn't belong to Momsy, Pim and Margot and that I would always be an outsider. I sometimes went…

The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery by Amitav Ghosh

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I wasn't sure if The Calcutta Chromosome was science fiction, until I read that it won the Arthur C. Clarke award. It is a fictionalized account of Sir Ronald Ross's breakthrough in the research regarding the cause and cure of malaria.

Summary: The novel opens in the future and we are introduced to Antar (and Ava, his super high tech computer.) Antar is looking into the disappearance of a certain L. Murugan, whom he had met many years ago ago. And so we are transported many years back, to Calcutta, India, where Murugan has arrived tracking a conspiracy surrounding Ronald Ross and his malaria research. Through Antar's investigation and Murugan's travels, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall in place. Ronald Ross is supposed to have been helped reach his breakthrough by an underground group of natives. But this mystical Indian group was aiming for something even higher and they did achieve it - an eternal life or reincarnation of sorts, using what Murugan calls the Cal…