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Book Reviews

  • 'The Innovators' review: The strong narrative and character portrayal makes it a must read October 16, 2014

    I remember reading, 'Steve Jobs' by Walter Isaacson with great trepidation. I thought I would get bored. I thought I would not be interested in it for long. I thought these things and a lot of other things before I invested time in the book. I loved the book at...
  • Susmit Sen's memoir 'Ocean to Ocean' resonates with the most exciting phase of Indian rock October 13, 2014

    Name: 'Ocean to Ocean' Author: Susmit Sen with Sehba Imam Publisher: Harper Collins Pages: 149 pages Price: Rs 699 Much before YouTube, Soundcloud and Vevo, Indians who are now in their 20s and thirties, were used to the thrill of buying an audio cassette or an audio CD a little later, to have the pleasure...
  • Interactive, live review of Chetan Bhagat's 'Half Girlfriend' on Facebook and Twitter October 23, 1410

    I have never reviewed a book live - tweeting as I read, answering questions, re-tweeting insights from users on Twitter and Facebook, forming many tiny first impressions before I've even finished reading - and if someone had suggested I do this earlier, I would have been nothing short of scandalized....
  • Review: Naseeruddin Shah's 'And then One Day' is a book which talks about acting, the actor, the man and the human being with no holds barred October 10, 2014

    There are times you take stock of life. You evaluate what is there and what is not there. Perhaps one day we will all go through this. It is but eventual I think. While reading Naseeruddin Shah's memoir, 'And Then One Day', this was my foremost thought. The book of...
  • And Then One Day: A powerful memoir by Naseeruddin Shah September 28, 2014

    New Delhi: "Learn your lines and don't bump into the furniture", said Naseeruddin Shah when someone asked him a question about acting on stage and the entire auditorium roared with claps and laughter. I quickly noted this line down on my copy of And Then One Day and thought I...
  • Prem Chopra’s biography sums up his life beautifully September 23, 2014

    Everyone wants to know more about heroes and their lives but what about a person who has played the role of a villain for years and that too so convincingly. Prem Chopra is a popular name in the B-town and for all the right reasons. I had wanted to read...
  • Rachel Dwyer portrays Bollywood as a guide to modern India in 'Picture Abhi Baaki Hai' September 23, 2014

    It is always good to read books about Bollywood and how people perceive it. I am not a movie-buff but I have grown up watching Hindi movies and I am more inclined towards them any given day. I was pretty intrigued by the title and the cover of the Rachel...
  • 'Ten Kings' review: Must read, an interesting adaptation of Rig Veda September 15, 2014

    It is rare to find an interesting story from ancient Indian history. The known author Ashok K Banker in his 340 page historical fiction Ten Kings brings to you an incident from ancient vedic text of Rig Veda which is now regarded as historical fact by scholars, historians and archaeologists. Based...
  • 'The Full Moon Bride' review: Shobhan Bantwal's latest book is a pleasant read September 13, 2014

    I have said this earlier and I have no qualms in saying this again that Shobhan Bantwal is a reader's delight. You expect certain things from every Shobhan Bantwal book after reading its blurb and she delivers exactly the same. Nice, breezy and uncomplicated stories make her books absolute pageturners...
  • 'Love Kills' review: A wellwritten thriller September 13, 2014

    I had read Jacob Hills by Ismita Tandon and had quite liked the book though it had left me disgusted. It was a wellwritten book with some shocking facts as it was based on a true story. Ismita's latest offering is Love Kills and I must say her writing style...
  • 'God Is A Gamer' review: A thriller that will keep you on your toes September 13, 2014

    Before I begin with my review of God Is A Gamer, I would like to confess something here. I am a very impatient man when it comes to books that I look forward to read once they're announced and there are a couple of authors who make the cut for...
  • 'The Mockingbird Next Door' speaks of an era gone by and of the times we live in September 3, 2014

    When "To Kill a Mockingbird" released in 1960, it created a sensation. The theme was bold, ahead of its time and reflective of the society and its prejudices. The book was a hit like no other. It won the Pulitzer and many other awards. There was a movie made, which...
  • 99: The book is thought provoking and entertaining September 3, 2014

    Writers live on forever. There is this immortality which is attained when you write a book. The concept of death is then cheated on and rightly so. When Khushwant Singh passed away, there was this surge of emotions in the country and outside of the country as well. India had...
  • 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 'Icanalsowrite' 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 wellcrafted '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 afterthought. 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 'sickliterature' 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 metoos, most reviews of the book tend to be focusing on comparisons with the above...

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

Tamil poet named for Singapore's highest cultural award

Iqbal's compositions are studied in schools and some of them have appeared in the subway stations as part of efforts to bring the arts close to the community.