BYOB Parties

  • We talked books with bibliophile Varun. Tell us about your reading journey. I picked up reading because of my mother. She’s from a Hindi medium school but she ended up doing a Ph.D. in botany in English. Overcoming the Hindi to English barrier was difficult for her as she came from a family where education […]

  • We spoke to Anshuman about his readerly experiences. Tell us about your book journey. I started young. Somewhere along the way, I started collecting comic books in Hindi and English. When it got too far, my parents had to put their foot down as too much reading was affecting my studies. At IIT Kharagpur, we […]

  • Now for some non-fiction books. Subrit followed the tradition of book lovers who are inspired by self-help books. Attitude is Everything is a book by a motivational speaker called Jeff Keller. He prescribes three maxims to arrive at your true potential: Think, Speak and Act! Sounds simple enough. Rohan talked about the second Gurucharan Das book […]

Short Book Reviews

  • SBR: I picked up this book because it won the inaugural The Nine Dots Prize whose mailing list I was on. Stand Out of Our Light questions what Silicon Valley driven technology is doing to us, how it is affecting our attention and engagement, and whether it is really helping us pursue the goals we […]

  • SBR: Those Days is the English translation of the Bengali historical fiction Sei Samay by Sunil Gangopadhyay. It is set in 19th century Bengal, and follows the lives of Bengal elites, acting as a faithful recorder of their customs and lifestyles, their often self-contradictory intellectual journeys, their patchy, fumbling attempts at reforms and also at […]

  • SBR: Kama’s Last Sutra is an interesting experiment, where a 21st-century archeologist working in Khajuraho time travels to the 11th-century kingdom ruled by the king who had built what is supposedly the best-known temple today in Khajuraho. It is an interesting tale. Educating you on history, while entertaining you through its characters. A few things […]

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

  • Samarth got the BYOB Party back into fiction mode by deconstructing The Counterfeiters by French novelist André Gide. This immersive book hosts multiple characters and points of view as well as various plotlines including Mise en abyme (a novel in a novel) and is considered as the precursor to the nouveau roman. In this philosophical novel, the […]

  • 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 […]