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Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Book review: The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

  The Last Queen  by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. HarperCollins Books. As someone who has liked everything Divakaruni has written, in varying degrees though, I found this account of Rani Jindan Kaur, the last queen of Punjab, favourite wife  of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the Lion of Punjab, mother to the last king of Punjab the hapless…

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Book review: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr. HarperCollins UK. 2007 release. Taking up two disparate strands, that of rearing newborn twins and of spending a year in the Eternal City, Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer-prize winning author of All The Light We Cannot See, gives us a most charming travelogue-memoir. He`s funny about his boys: The boys…

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Book review: Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu

This is more a brief take than review. There`s nothing as delightful as light-done-right, a dictum I`ve tried to follow when writing both `No Strings Attached` and `Our Start-up Affair.` Diksha Basu`s DESTINATION WEDDING (Bloomsbury Books) gets that light-done-right down pat. The story sends up the Big Fat Indian Wedding in the most gentle manner…

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Book review: The Secret Life of Debbie G by Vibha Batra and Kalyani Ganapathy

Savage retribution So,  the trope is a time-tested and popular one: young adult (16yo, in this case) finds herself once too often at the receiving end of bullying/sneering/scoffing from the self-appointed elite set,  and decides to turn avenger, get her back on them in a manner calculated to hit and hurt, hard. This well- written…

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Book review: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Delivering on some promises So, there are two ways to read Barack Obama`s eagerly awaited memoir. One as a political text, detailing the journey of the 44th president of the United States, from Harvard Law School grad to Chicago lawyer to Illinois  senator thrice, to POTUS twice. An account of what he wanted to do…

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Book review: Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi

PRELUDE TO A RIOT by Annie Zaidi, Aleph Books.   Zaidi throws out a taut line which the reader grasps, holds on to, and never lets go till the last page is turned.   The book is an elegy — in prose — to communal hatred, to the damage wrought by communal hatred.   This…

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Book review: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

PIRANESI by Susanna Clarke. Bloomsbury Publications. If you have read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, the author`s first — astonishing — book, then you will crack open the pages of Piranesi with much anticipation. And you will read of a House (the capital H is necessary for a place of this magnitude) made largely up…

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Book review: Girl in White Cotton by Avni Doshi

Of mothers and daughters A troubled and troubling look at this primary relationship gone awry.  There`s a whole pantheon of literature on the topic of troubled mother-daughter relationships which features works like Nancy Friday`s My Mother, Myself, Christina Crawford`s ` Mommie Dearest, Alice Sebold`s The Almost Moon, Sarah Haywood`s Cactus, Jodi Picoult`s Leaving Time, Maya…

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Book review: Coming Out As Dalit by Yashica Dutt

COMING OUT AS DALIT by Yashica Dutt, Aleph Books. I have just one word to describe this book: eviscerating. Dutt`s account of going through her early life hiding the fact that she belonged to the Bhangi caste, adopting a non-specific surname like Dutt, learning to quickly cover any traceable trace of her origins with a…

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Book review: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Barack Obama`s A PROMISED LAND is a terrific read, all 700 pages of the text, with some terrific photographs tucked away at the end of the tome. The point is, the 44th President of the United States is one heck of a writer. Written in a very reader-friendly style, the prose practically soaring when he…

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