Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

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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Book review: Jungle Nama by Amitav Ghosh

The legend of Bon Bibi in rhyme Amitav Ghosh`s slim new book takes the popular folk tale of Bon Bibi, the guardian spirit of the Sundarban forests, sets it in the dwipodipoyar verse form, and gives readers an hour or two of much reading pleasure. The eroding ecosystem of the Sunderban has long been a…

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Book review: The Anger of Saintly Men by Anubha Yadav

THE ANGER OF SAINTLY MEN by Anubha Yadav, Bee Books.   These boys` lives. Anubha Yadav`s first work of fiction is a raw coming- of- age tale of three brothers, Saurabh (Sonu), Anurag (Anu) and Vikram (Vicky) Singh. It contains all the pleasures and the not inconsiderable pain of adolescence, leavened with a vein of…

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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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