Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Book review: Return of the Brahmin by Ravi Shankar Etteth

Excitement redux The Brahmin, that enigmatic Machiavellian warrior-strategist, is back, and engages the reader as intensely as he did when Ravi Shankar Etteth first introduced us to the character in 2018. For the necessary recap aimed at those who have yet to read the first book, the Brahmin is spymaster to Ashoka,  ruler of Pataliputra, eventual…

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Book review: It`s a Wonderful Life by Ruskin Bond

IT`S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Roads to Happiness by Ruskin Bond, Aleph Books. So, before the cynics (and yes, there are a few about) go into a spasm of eye-rolls at this latest offering from the Ruskin Bond factory, I need to say this: so, yes, not all the short pieces featured in this book are…

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Book review: Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

My Wednesday review of this week is going to be a most enthusiastic one. Just finished reading IKIGAI, The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life  by  Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles (Penguin UK Books), and I totally recommend everyone has a go at this. It`s a neat but not dumbed down  simplification of…

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Book review: Writing the City, edited by Stuti Khanna

Depicted as experienced  This slim volume contains literary essays that artfully entwine the perfectly compatible strands of travel and personal memoir to good effect. A list of known names write about the cities they have situated their works in, the cities of their imagination versus the reality, the cities that strike a creative chord in…

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Book review: Noise by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, Cass R. Sunstein

NOISE, A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman/Olivier Sibony/Cass R. Sunstein, HarperCollins Publishers. This is a very interesting study of bad judgement, which places its basic root cause, noise, under the microscope and examines it for its components, sources, influence. And then tells us how to dial down the noise for maximum positive impact…

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Book review: Shadow City, A Woman Walks Kabul by Taran Khan

Shadow City, A Woman Walks Kabul by Taran N. Khan. Penguin Books. Taran Khan`s logic is beautiful in its simplicity: her way of getting to know a city is to walk the city. In this case, the chosen city is Kabul (not the best place to be walking about, you`d imagine) which she says  `shimmered…

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Book review: The White Umbrella By Brian Sewell

Travels with a donkey Some books are a delight to read and Brian Sewell’s novella The White Umbrella:  The Englishman and the Donkey of Peshawar  falls fair and square in this category. A  quaint and charming  yarn, it`s a good read in these trying times. The late Sewell, famous art critic/ columnist/ author/ media personality,…

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Book review: The Private World of Georgette Heyer

THE PRIVATE WORLD OF GEORGETTE HEYER by Jane Aiken Hodge (Pan Books). Big, big fan. So I read anything and everything on this wonderful writer. Hodge chronicles Heyer`s writing `Black Moth` when she was just nineteen for her young brother who had taken ill; her ability to average two books a year for years, books…

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Book review: Hamnet by Maggie O`Farrell

HAMNET by Maggie O`Farrell. Hachette UK Books. 2020 release. Hamnet, winner of the 2020 Women`s Prize for Fiction,  is a lyrical eulogy in prose, dealing with the death of the eponymous character, the only son of a man from Stratford who was in the glove business, then went to London and turned (celebrated) playwright. He…

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Book review: Which Of Us Are Aryans, essays by Romila Thapar, Michael Witzel, Jaya Menon, Kai Frieze, Razib Khan

My Wednesday review (because life must follow some kind of routine even in these terrible times):   WHICH OF US ARE ARYANS? Rethinking the Concept of our Origins. Romila Thapar, Michael Witzel, Jaya Menon, Kai Frieze, Razib Khan. Aleph Books.   This book ventures into that thorny thicket of (our) Aryan identity which, as one…

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