The more observant among you may have noticed that there's a new addition to the sidebar of this blog - a section called Recent Reads.
Technically, it's just a link to my Shelfari Book Shelf. The plan though, is this - every time I read a book I'm going to add it to the shelf, along with a rating  and (possibly) a short 2-3 line review. I may even include an extract. That way those of you who actually care about my opinions on books will have a constantly renewed list of things to read (and not read), those of you who just can't get enough of this Falstaff character will have more fuel for your fascination and, most importantly, I'll actually remember what I've read and how I felt about it.
A few requests:
Resist the urge to quibble with my choices or argue with my ratings. I'm happy to receive e-mail about books I've just finished but try not to start them with either "Why were you reading X? Everyone KNOWS that Y is his / her greatest work" or "How could you give my beloved Z only 2-stars?"
Resist the urge to try and keep up. Remember you have a job .
Resist the urge to tell me what an elitist, snobbish, pseudo-intellectual prat I am. I already know. And you'll only encourage me.
Resist the urge to take out your DIY Psychological Profiling at Home kit.
Resist the urge to beat either yourself or your bookseller up because a majority of these books aren't available at your local bookstore (this is especially true if you live in India). Feel free to congratulate yourself if you have access to a library that has all of these though.
Resist the urge to say "What! You're only reading that now?!"
Resist the urge to take print-outs of these lists and thrust them at your football / cricket- watching boyfriend / husband and say "Why can't you be more like Falstaff?".
Finally, resist the urge to ask "How do you find the time?". Okay, so I'm an insomniac and my life is meaningless and empty. Do you have to rub it in?
 I'm not, in general, a big fan of ratings, but I suppose they're better than nothing. Just so you know, the rating system I'm trying to follow in my head looks something like this:
1 star - It's crap!
2 stars - It's not bad. It had some good points, but overall I was unimpressed / bored
3 stars - It was fun. A bit spotty in parts, perhaps, and not brilliant, but I enjoyed it.
4 stars - It's very good. I really loved it.
5 stars - You have to read this! It's so brilliant I went out and bought myself a copy just to have on my shelf.
 Remember also that I'm not necessarily sticking to books I'm currently reading. Every now and then I may throw in a book that I read a while ago but that I feel like mentioning.