• 16 books to pre-order in 2014 January 7, 2014

    Heads-up for autumn/winter 2016, when Aleph will publish the much-anticipated novel A Suitable Girl by Vikram Seth. Less than 24 months to give A Suitable Boy another go, people! 1. The Bone Clocks David Mitchell Hachette A new David Mitchell book is an event, at par with a Christopher Nolan...
  • MaddAddam, much more of a linear good-versus-evil story October 28, 2013

    And so, the MaddAddam trilogy comes to an end with MaddAddam, bringing down the curtains on an imagined post-apocalyptic world inhabited by genetically engineered creatures, a few recognisably human beings and the hint of an uneasy future of further altered realities. It is a sweeping, tender finale to the speculative-fiction...
  • The Cuckoo's Calling has known tropes, but is overwritten, noisy October 1, 2013

    One of the reasons for the enduring popularity of the crime novel is its comforting familiarity. Particular tropes may have changed over the years-the impermeable Hercule Poirot, for instance, has given way to detectives who get progressively more damaged with each case-but some clichs have now moved into the so-bad-it's-good...
  • Book Wave: A memoir of life after the tsunami June 24, 2013

    As a rule, we love survivors. We celebrate those who beat the odds, gamed the system to come out on top. Analysts write lengthy articles on what makes them tick, pop-psychologists break down their qualities into numbered steps so we, too, can emulate their skills. Sonali Deraniyagala, however, is the...
  • Book Review: Home August 1, 2012

    There comes a time in the life of a reader when every new offering from a favourite author is awaited more with trepidation than anticipation. Much as one would wish otherwise, creative powers are as subject to erosion as the hair on our head or tissue from our bones. It...
  • Book Review: The Tulleeho! Book of Cocktails July 25, 2011

    It's impossible not to feel a little tipsy while reading The Tulleeho! Book of Cocktails. Good tipsy, when you find yourself smiling inanely at the wall mural while thinking what you believe are your smartest, most insightful thoughts. There's something about its relentless high spirits (pun intended? Not? I did...