Women in Translation: Shadow Sister by Simone Van Der Vlugt

Usually, I don't enjoy modern mysteries because I feel the world intrudes too much. Racism, sexism, pedophilia, dysfunctional families become the foci of the novel rather than the murder. However, while reading Simone Van Der Vlugt's Shadow Sister, I was surprised when I became more interested in the problems that a teacher of a school … Continue reading Women in Translation: Shadow Sister by Simone Van Der Vlugt

Five Books on Indian History and Critical Thought

The Revolutionary aspect of India's freedom struggle hasn't really received its due. Historians have generally been dismissive of it with the result that in the official historiography of the country, the movement is mentioned only in passing. The Subaltern study group too has not paid any attention to it. It is a sad state of … Continue reading Five Books on Indian History and Critical Thought

First Read of 2015: The Individual and Society

I have started 2015 with an anthology The Individual and Society. Divided into five parts: Caste/ Class; Gender; Race; Violence and War; and Living in a Globalized World, this has some wonderful pieces on all these important issues. While many of the writers were familiar to me, I have also discovered new voices like Maya … Continue reading First Read of 2015: The Individual and Society

Royalty in India: Maharani, and Almond Eyes Lotus Feet

There was a time when India was a mass of Princely kingdoms who spent their time warring with each other, patronising the arts, looking (or not-looking) after their subjects, and doing other things that Royals are supposed to do.In Maharani, Ruskin Bond narrates the story of an aging former queen Neena or H.H as the … Continue reading Royalty in India: Maharani, and Almond Eyes Lotus Feet

First Read: Dr. McCoy – From Sawdust to Stardust

Like last year, my first read of this year too is a book that would make me feel guilty: Terry Lee Rioux' biography of actor DeForest Kelley: From Sawdust to Stardust. Dr. Leonard McCoy, the iconic character, portrayed by Kelley was my favourite amongst all Star Trek characters when I first saw the series around … Continue reading First Read: Dr. McCoy – From Sawdust to Stardust

Brief Notes: Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

A few years back, Alexander McCall Smith was all over the place. Everybody - but everybody - was talking about his No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Eager to try the author, I not only borrowed  the first in the Ladies' Detective Agency series but also bought four of his books. However, the adventures of Mma Precious … Continue reading Brief Notes: Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

How far can you go? The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

"The Japanese Stieg Larsson" reads the blurb on the cover. For me, that is hardly an incentive to pick up the book. In fact, it is actually a put-off, Larsson being one writer I have sworn off. But then the Indian newspapers are suddenly filled with praise for Keigo Higashino, and Ellie Warren @ Curiosity Killed … Continue reading How far can you go? The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

A Book for Christmas: Charles Martin’s Wrapped in Rain

Since this is the season of good cheer, it seems appropriate to review a book that embodies the season's message of hope, and forgiveness.Tucker Mason (Tuck) is a world-renowned photographer who puts all his energies in his work, staying on the road and hardly ever returning home. A chance encounter with a woman who is … Continue reading A Book for Christmas: Charles Martin’s Wrapped in Rain

Growing Up (with books) in Nazi Germany: The Book Thief

The stars set fire to my eyes...Usually I avoid reading books set in Nazi Germany because in the guise of Nazi bashing there is a blanket basterdization of ordinary Germans - people caught on the wrong foot in the march of history.It was with this trepidation that I started The Book Thief. Had heard a lot about … Continue reading Growing Up (with books) in Nazi Germany: The Book Thief