Book Reviews

  • 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,...
  • '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...
  • 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...
  • '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...
  • 'India in Love' is about dichotomy nature of love in the country April 22, 2014

    New Delhi: The time was just right for a book like this one, about love, sexuality and marriage in 21st century India. This is in the wake of Section 377 and other pre-conceived notions our country and society has about love, gender, sexuality and marriage. Ira Trivedi takes a close...
  • 'Chaudhvin Ka Chand' is a comment on male friendship April 21, 2014

    Why must one write screenplays? Why must make a book of it? I have always wondered about this. A lot of screenplays as being published as books, with additional material, such as interviews and such. Till recently, I did not see the significance of this. I remember reading the screenplay...
  • 'Karachi, You're Killing Me' describes extremes of Pakistan April 21, 2014

    There are very few satirical writers left in the world, I think. Or maybe I have not heard enough of them. So when I stumble on something interesting - satirical, with a good plot and hilarious at the same time, I know that I have struck gold. For a reader,...
  • 'Heart, Mind and Wallet' review: It curates the best of successful Indian ad campaigns April 21, 2014

    Did you know that pillows too come with an expiry date? You might know about it, but I must confess that I was completely ignorant of it until I read Ankur Astha's 'Heart, Mind and Wallet.' This is one of the many interesting case studies referred to in the book,...
  • 'The First XI' is about junior version of IPL April 15, 2014

    Joy Bhattacharjya, the director of Kolkata Knightriders, in his first book writes about a fictional junior version of the IPL targeted at 10+ ages. The book may be titled 'The First XI' but you walk away with four principal characters who seem to have walked straight out of recent mainstream...
  • 'The Syria Dilemma': The only flaw is essays aren't arranged April 9, 2014

    Simply put, there is no good option in Syria. Not only has the time passed for the international community to be able to effect an internal solution to the crisis inside the country, the geopolitical dynamics outside Syria are also changing at a rapid pace. So even if there was...
  • 'Conversations with Waheeda Rehman': You will be left thinking about it March 28, 2014

    New Delhi: So when you read about a legend, you just continue turning the pages. It does not matter. Their life has so much to offer and give insights about every aspect of life, that you cannot stop reading. The same happened to me while I was reading, "Conversations with...
  • 'The Making of Don' is a book to be savored February 3, 2014

    How many times it has ever happened with you that you've loved a movie watched it over and over again and have tried to know how and under what circumstances it was made? Even at times you may have wanted to know more about your favorite film, finding consolidated information...
  • Elizabeth Gilbert's latest book is rich in every aspect February 3, 2014

    To begin with, I haven't read Eat, Pray, Love by Gilbert and haven't watched the movie as well. I know I am one of the very few people who haven't done it but that is how it is. The sole reason behind picking this book up was its blurb as...
  • There is a lot to learn from Hadfield's journey to become an astronaut February 3, 2014

    If you are on twitter and don't know who Chris Hadfield is, then you are doing twitter wrong. He took the social networking site by storm when he started tweeting breath-taking pictures from the space through his personal account @Cmdr_Hadfield . He is one of the most seasoned and accomplished...
  • 'Tales Of Fosterganj' yet again proves why we love Ruskin Bond January 29, 2014

    The reading stint for the year 2014 began with this book by one of the India's most loved authors. He is the most effortless storyteller I have ever come across. You have an instant connect with whatever he writes and I personally believe that he is one of the very...
  • Love and remembrance in Suniti Namjoshi’s Suki January 21, 2014

    Suniti Namjoshi is an acclaimed writer with over 30 titles to her credit, and she weaves the magic yet again with her new novel, Suki. Published by Zubaan, in collaboration with Viking, an initiative of the Penguin Group, the novel explores the beautiful relationship between the narrator, and her cat,...
  • Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography - It's about control and settling old scores December 5, 2013

    Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography sees how the former Manchester United boss transformed a struggling club into one of the world's best; across 26 years, how he transformed United from just another football club into a worldwide business brand. Rather than 'My Autobiography', the book should have really been called "Settling Old...
  • Che in Paona Bazaar: Lazy stereotypes of an uninspired Mind December 1, 2013

    Paona Bazaar lies in the heart of Imphal, Manipur. One can describe this place by its proximity to Bir Tikendrajit Road which had seen the infamous fake encounter case in July 2009. In fact many of the landmarks of the town would tell a story of it being part of...
  • 'The Girl from Nongrim Hills' review: An 80 kmph ride through Shillong October 21, 2013

    The barrel of a pistol stares at you and a girl with unkempt hair and piercing eyes has her fingers on the trigger. The cover of Ankush Saikia's 'The Girl from Nongrim Hills' sets the mood for what is to follow. A novel set in Shillong. And comparisons with Anjum...
  • 'The Great Tamasha' is an engaging chronicle of rising India August 19, 2013

    James Astill, the political editor of The Economist and former bureau chief in New Delhi, is a big cricket fan. That is palpable from reading the first few pages of his latest book, The Great Tamasha: Cricket, Corruption and the Turbulent Rise of Modern India, in which he likens himself...
  • Milkha Singh's 'The Race of My Life' is a disappointing package deal August 2, 2013

    Milkha Singh's autobiography couldn't have found a more opportune time for its release but leaves you wondering what extra did it tell than shown in the movie on his life - Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The biopic has proved to be a kind of rebirth for India's most celebrated runner. He is...
  • 'The New Digital Age' is a fascinating read May 29, 2013

    It's hard not to think about Google when you read 'The New Digital Age'. The cover highlights the association of the authors with the company: Eric Schmidt is its executive chairman and Jared Cohen, the director of its think tank Google Ideas. And, with a subtitle that reads 'Reshaping the...
  • Follow Every Rainbow is about the success, inspiration May 1, 2013

    Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, this was the first book by Rashmi Bansal that I read. The title was intriguing and when I read the blurb of the book, I was sure that it will be an interesting read and it didn't disappoint me at all. Ever since then, I have...
  • Atulya Mahajan's 'Masters of America' is a handbook of easy laughs April 27, 2013

    New Delhi: It's unfortunate that author Atulya Mahajan's 'The Masters of America' will always be compared with writer Anurag Mathur's quirky guide to surviving in the US - 'The Inscrutable Americans' - mostly because Mathur got it out first. If you have read 'The Inscrutable Americans', you will appreciate the struggle...
  • 'Sachin: Cricketer of the Century': New Tendulkar book hits the mark April 16, 2013

    Another book on Sachin Tendulkar? Yes, you can be forgiven for reacting that way when hearing about the latest publication on the highest run-getter in Tests and ODIs as well as the only batsman to have scored 100 international centuries. But unlike any of the past attempts to praise and...
  • Yuvraj Singh's 'The Test of my life' is innate honesty March 19, 2013

    It is easy for a book to perpetuate a myth. Or attempt a portrayal of heroism and triumph against the odds when a man has just emerged from a frightening ordeal. More so, if that man is Yuvraj Singh- celebrity cricketer and the very embodiment of machismo, with a dedicated...
  • 'Pataudi: Nawab of Cricket' review: An elegy for Pataudi as he was January 18, 2013

    Nawab, Tiger, Pat, The Noob. The late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi had several titles and nicknames, some of which his team-mates at school, Oxford University, Sussex and India found both themselves equally at ease with and uncomfortable addressing him by. This is but one interesting and endearing subtext in Pataudi:...
  • 'It Takes a Murder' Review: It's alive and kicking January 11, 2013

    New Delhi: There has to be some reason why cross-genre fiction (assuming literary fiction to be a genre too) is not attempted more often by Indian writers writing in English. Perhaps it's the lack of a matured readership and in Indian writing in English we have not yet saturated the...
  • 'The Edge of the Machete' is skillfully crafted, sloppily told October 14, 2012

    A CIA operative is brutally executed in Mohmand, Pakistan. A NATO convoy to Jalalabad is attacked by militants. The top terrorists of the region from different outfits are meeting to plan their biggest and deadliest attack. Pakistan is giving hollow assurances on delivering the culprits. America, pushed to the wall,...
  • 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 can...