BYOB Parties

  • This time we had a wider range of non-fiction. Rohan spoke about a book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change by Charles Duhigg. This book talks about the science behind habits and how good habits translate into more success stories. “The author talks about how habits are […]

  • Sreeraj never hesitates to talk about this book 52 Ways Of Looking At A Poem: or How Reading Modern Poetry Can Change Your Life. “In most book meets, you hear the complaint that modern poetry is not as good as the poetry that Wordsworth and Coleridge wrote but Ruth Padel can change this bias.” Ruth Padel, […]

  • We got to speak to Apurba yet again. And this time she told us quite a bit about her book journey. How did your love affair with books begin? My parents read a lot and it must have rubbed off. They also used to read to me, both of them. My mom would read to […]

Short Book Reviews

  • SBR: The Liberation of Sita, translated from Telugu, is a revision of Ramayana through the stories of marginal female characters of the original like Ahalya, Renuka, Shurpanakha, and Urmila. This is unlike the stories of the neglected characters written by writers like Maithili Sharan Gupt which don’t challenge the main narrative, just highlight the ignored one. This […]

  • SBR: My feelings for Pyre by Perumal Murugan fall somewhere in between those for One Part Woman and Poonachi by the same author. One Part Woman was a revelation, Poonachi was a bit of disappointment. Pyre was a pleasure to read, but the story doesn’t tell you anything new. It reveals the characters and the […]

  • SBR: Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? is a book for our times. It isn’t a self-improvement text about what an individual should be doing, as people sometimes tend to infer from its subtitle. It is about what a just society should look like. In addressing that question, the author draws on ancient to […]

Worth a Read: Books

  • Once again, I am recommending a Hindi book for which I can’t locate an English translation (See earlier recommendation – Ghumakkad Shashtra by Rahul Sankrityayan). According to Wikipedia, Aapka Bunty by Mannu Bhandari has been translated into many languages, including English. However, I don’t know inside which moth-eaten cupboard those translations are gathering dust. But […]

  • Whether it makes you feel rambunctious, resigned or resentful, the reality is that in the modern world the only perspective on history, political discourse as well as moral imperatives that commands legitimacy has been the western one. The reason for that is not profound or surprising. It is the old story of history being written […]

  • The Illicit Happiness of Other People is melancholy, humorous and philosophical, all at the same time.  When I first read the book a few weeks ago, I found the first few chapters a drag. I was, perhaps, wondering why I am being presented with bits and pieces of a decently smart, but an intellectually megalomaniacal […]

General

  • Swarup spoke about his experience reading the Telugu  anthology of poems Mahaprasthanam by the Mahakavi or the bard Srirangam Srinivasarao.  This work took the Telugu literary world by storm. Unfortunately, there is not enough data out there about this book for non-Telugu readers who may want to know more about this epic work. Another book of […]

  • Poonachi: Or the Story of a Black Goat by Perumal Murugan is available in Kindle version for ~Rs. 97 and hardcover version for Rs. 102. The hardcover version is slightly tricky though, because as of now, it is the regular price that shows us as Rs. 102. If you click on the “Deal of the […]

  • If the launch of the Netflix show, controversies around subtitling and a PIL to defend Rajiv Gandhi’s honor has not made you curious about Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, I don’t know what will! It is a voluminous book (I own the paperback). So, while you may not be able to finish it before watching […]