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Book Reviews

  • Unexploded: Wars Within and Without August 20, 2014

    There is a poignant scene midway through Alison Macleod's novel about wartime England. The setting is Brighton, it's October 1940, when `bombs dropped like the leaves of autumn'. In the midst of death and despair a concert has been organised at the local internment camp by Superintendent Geoffrey Beaumont. A...
  • Ananth's 'Play with Me' seeps you in and doesn't let go August 7, 2014

    The Indian literary scene is bursting at the seams with new authors, new plots (almost, and sometimes contrived), new ambitions and new hopes (for some of us at least). There is this surge of authors - this tide of 'I-can-also-write' men and women. And amidst all of this, as a...
  • 'Junglezen Sheru' by Samarpan is a delightful read August 5, 2014

    There're books that you pick because their blurb looked interesting to you. The reason why I picked up Junglezen Sheru was the same but when I saw the genre of the book which is Fiction/Spirituality, it intrigued me and that's when I thought, I am sure there book has something...
  • Upendra Namburi does it again with well-crafted '60 minutes' August 5, 2014

    There are very few books that can make me sit straight and finish them in a single go. Two Indian authors who manage to do so time and again when it comes to corporate thrillers/drama are Ravi Subramanian and Upendra Namburi. I remember reading Upendra Namburi's 31 when it...
  • 'Can't and Won't', a collection that wrenches your heart with facts about life July 31, 2014

    When Lydia Davis writes short stories, you take notice. You observe them and linger in their bitter or sweet after-thought. You also get confused. You wonder what her stories are about. As a reader, you also want to give up some times. You do not want to turn the next...
  • Michael Morpurgo's 'Meeting Cezanne' is a perfect monsoon read July 31, 2014

    I had heard a lot about Michael Morpurgo and his books before I started reading 'Meeting Cezanne'. I now know why both kids and adults love him and his works the way they do. There is something about the way he unfolds a story. It transcends age. Both adults and...
  • 'Shikhandi and Other Tales they don't tell you' is all about liberation July 24, 2014

    There is so much to Indian Mythology that remains hidden. There is so much which no one speaks of. Of hidden desires (maybe), of stories that somehow do not surface, because we are too civilized for our own good. We are full of shackles and intimidation and fear and to...
  • 'Mumbai Confidential' depicts the city's dark side with brilliance July 24, 2014

    What better way to depict the dark and gory underworld and cop politics of Mumbai, than through a graphic novel? The underbelly is fantastically done with shades of brown, black and grey. Sometimes it also may happen that some graphic novels fail to convey what they want to, but that...
  • KR Meera's 'Hang Woman' is a complex read July 23, 2014

    Some books are just not an easy read. No matter how hard you try, you cannot skim through them. Neither can you dismiss them. They demand complete and total attention. They will not rest till you give it to them and neither will you. 'Hang Woman' by KR Meera is...
  • Rainbow Rowell's 'Landline' is about adult relationships July 16, 2014

    Rainbow Rowell is the new favourite amongst both, teens and adults. I had heard a lot about Fangirl and Eleanor and Park from a lot of friends and other people. I even bought Eleanor and Park and never got around to reading it. Till 'Landline' reached me and I thought...
  • 'Aspyrus' is a silent graphic novel, with images for most part of it July 13, 2014

    I love graphic novels. They are something else like I have always maintained. There is something about them that takes your imagination riding, even though it is all there in front of you. It is saying what it has to and yet it is not. Appupen's graphic novels are different....
  • Rebecca Westcott's 'Dandelion Clocks' is a good read July 12, 2014

    The age of 'sick-literature' is on. Almost all young adult books have that element in them after 'The Fault in Our Stars' and I am not surprised. It can get a bit annoying though. I would rather be back in the time and place when literature for children and teens...
  • 'The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing' is a story of a dysfunctional family that cannot be forgotten July 3, 2014

    The past is beautiful and also has the power to be vicious. For it to rear its ugly head and not let go, till the demons have been put to rest. As a reader, I see this theme occurring again and again in books. I think that one cannot ignore...
  • The Silkworm review: JK Rowling casts a spell as Robert Galbraith June 28, 2014

    It's clear now, that JK Rowling's debut under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith was no flash in the pan. The Cuckoo's Calling was a taut, pacey read, and while The Silkworm feels like a longer one, she's packed a lot in. First things first, let's just admit that the main man,...
  • Patrick Lee's 'Runner' is not for the serious reader but is perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon June 27, 2014

    Thrillers are not easy to write. There is always the case of what to give away and what to hide and also the fact that the reader, who reads the genre, has had some experience in figuring it all out. Then how does a writer get the reader to turn...
  • 'The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair': There is no way you can stop reading it June 2, 2014

    I thought to myself, "What could be there in this book that most people outside of the country are going absolutely crazy about it?" I mean there has to be something to it, isn't it? I kept evading the read for the longest time, maybe because of the tome of...
  • 'Indianomix' full of multiple gems which makes it a must read May 27, 2014

    I will begin this review by saying that this book is not 'Freakonomics'. Due to the success of books such as 'Freakonomics' and 'The Undercover Economist' which in turn has spawned off a multitude of me-toos, most reviews of the book tend to be focusing on comparisons with the above...
  • 'Arctic Summer' is unconventional book that deserves a reread May 27, 2014

    There is this charm to old-world stories and to people who lived then. This is even more true when it comes to writers and what they write and sometimes what they do not or what they were supposed to, but did not. EM Forster is one such writer. He wrote...
  • Lucie Whitehouse's 'Before We Met' is a racy psychological thriller May 12, 2014

    It is always a pleasure to explore new authors, more so, when you end up loving their books. I'd never heard about Lucie Whitehouse's name before. I was just browsing through the catalogue that I'd received from Bloomsbury and the cover of the book caught my attention. After reading the...
  • Paul Danahar's 'The New Middle East' is an outcome of A-class research May 12, 2014

    Many countries of the Middle East have been on world radar since 2011. Dictators like Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussain, Gaddafi and Bashar-al-assad have been dethroned by their people and what they've left behind are countries in chaos, having millions of people who are constantly looking for their lost identities and...
  • 'Love among the bookshelves' is about Ruskin Bond's tryst with books May 12, 2014

    How can someone not love something that Ruskin Bond has written? I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. Though, this was a genre that I had never tried before - a book about books and reading. 'Love among the bookshelves' is part memoir and part anthology by our very own...
  • 'The Disrupter: Arvind Kejriwal and the Audacious Rise of the Aam Aadmi' a meticulous study of the birth and spread of AAP May 6, 2014

    He may be a toddler in Indian politics but Arvind Kejriwal is also its "sole symbol of hope, a true aberration to the existing structures, an outsider who has challenged established parties and ideas of the past". The Congress and the BJP may speak about the young but it took...
  • 'How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing' is a promising debut May 3, 2014

    To begin with, I don't remember when was the last time I laughed my guts out so much while reading a book. Also, at the same time, I'd like to say, if you are active on twitter and don't know who @jhujhunwala is, you've been doing twitter W.R.O.N.G all this...
  • Robin Cook's latest book 'Cell' works in parts May 3, 2014

    New Delhi: I wanted to read Robin Cook's last book 'Nano' but somehow I couldn't. I have heard great things about the medical thrillers that he has written over the years but somehow I couldn't really lay my hands on his books. When Pan Macmillan who happens to be the...
  • 'Bucketlist Of A Traveloholic' will make you envy its author May 3, 2014

    New Delhi: I envy Sarika Pandit. I absolutely do. What she did to follow her passion was just so commendable. Well, what exactly she did, for that you will have to read her debut book 'Bucketlist of a traveloholic' that I have just finished reading from cover to cover. Sharing...
  • Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer: Haunting, Poignant and Stark May 1, 2014

    Cyrus Mistry is not new to the world of writing. He is, in fact, a famed playwright and has made a substantial contribution to the annals of contemporary theater in India. His first novel, Radiance of Ashes, was published in 2005, and he has managed to weave a beautiful, poignant...
  • Filomena's Journeys: A portrait of marriage, a family and culture May 1, 2014

    Maria Aurora Couto is not a new name in the literary circles. Prior to Filomena's Journeys, she wrote Goa: A Daughter's Story as well as Graham Greene: on The Frontier. Born and brought up in Goa, she moved to Delhi for her higher education and also taught literature at Lady...
  • The struggle for freedom as elucidated in 'Windhorse' May 1, 2014

    One of the reasons as to why Windhorse is such a powerful novel is because of the topic it deals with. The occupation of Tibet by China exceeds into become more than a political move. It is a cultural occupancy, and it threatens to obliterate all that the natives of...
  • 'How to get Married in Nine Weeks' is a blend of self-help and humour April 28, 2014

    Seriously? You must be kidding me? Those were my thoughts when I picked up a reading copy of, 'How to get Married in Nine Weeks' by Rajat Banerjee. I mean how can a book talk about how to get hitched in nine weeks and even if it does, how would...
  • 'Chakra: The Invincible' a comic book meant for all age-groups April 28, 2014

    The problem with the Indian Superhero scene is that there are not too many of them. There are far and a few in between and the need for perhaps this genre is more comic books, and of course more super heroes. So when an Indian super hero is created, there...

Book Extracts

Excerpt from Batik Rain by Ashwini Devare

The stories revolve around individuals who yearn for a sense of belonging and how they go about trying to find that.

Authors

India grants one-year visa to Taslima Nasreen

The 51-year-old writer was last month given two months temporary visa after the Home Ministry decided to initiate a verification process of her visa application.

Books News

Action against Tripura government officials for ordering books

The books were "Atit Diner Smriti" (Reminiscence of past) written by the chief minister Manik Sarkar and "Making One plus One Eleven - Some Experiences of Tripura" edited by former chief secretary Sanjay Kumar Panda.