Short Book Review: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

SBR: In the second decade of the twenty-first century, sitting in the thoroughly modern Indian city of Bangalore, the cares and concerns and games of British elites and social climbers of the early nineteenth century, even in their earnest, read like satire. Vanity Fair happens to be a satirical look at that society written in the middle of that century itself. Hence, reading it is not particularly an eye-opener. But it is a reminder of how we also live in our own Vanity Fair. The fashions and languages and vogues may change, but Vanity Fair remains. It is a well-known and acclaimed classic and justifiably so. Be warned, though, it is fairly long (and was originally published as a serial).
To read or not to read: Yes, if you are a reader of classics. Otherwise, don’t bother pushing it on the top of your to-read list. You can peruse it at your leisure if you so fancy!

Short Book Review: An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

SBR: I landed on An Infamous Army while searching for more books based in Belgium. Since it is described as a Historical Romance set in the days leading up to and during the battle of Waterloo, it seemed like the perfect light read to get a hang of the history of the time. In reality, though, there is little romance in the book. It does have a lot of history, well-researched and very detailed. The account of military strategies, war actions, battle formations, and real people and events are so detailed that I couldn’t make any head or tail of any of it! Although I could make very little use of it, those details are the real beauty of the book.
To read or not to read: Not for romance. And history is not for the light-hearted dabblers in the subject either. If you are deep into military strategies, tactics, and history, however, you should lap it up.