Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Book review: 84, Charing Cross by Helene Hanff

84, Charing Cross by Helene Hanff. Virago Modern Classics Books. This reproduction of a most delightful correspondence between American  writer Helene Hanff who has a pronounced predilection for ye olde English books, and the seemingly stiff and starchy `FPD` Frank P Deol,  over at the antiquarian bookshop Marks and Co at 84, Charing Cross, London,…

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Book review: The Oracle of Karuthupuzha by Manu Bhattathiri

Of human nature Over the course of three books,  Savithri’s Special Room and Other Stories,  The Town That Laughed, and now The Oracle of Karuthupuzha, Manu Bhattathiri has spun into being the little hamlet of Karuthupuzha somewhere in Kerala, peopled it with a  fair share of average and eccentric denizens, and regularly stirred up little storms in…

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Book review: The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

  The Bookseller`s Tale Shaun Bythell, a Scotsman of slightly curmudgeonly nature and a deep and abiding love of books,  buys a bookstore in Wigtown and sets about making it arguably the most popular bookshop on the Scottish isle. In between trips hither and thither to look at book collections and buy as he sees…

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Book review: Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

The Bennett bibis of Toronto All the familiar drama with some desi spice. Here comes the latest P & P tweak, in the wake of a multitude of literary and cinematic adaptations of that Jane Austen classic. In Uzma Jalaluddin’s  ‘Ayesha at Last,’  the Bennet family`s trials and tribulations are given a culture tweak, and…

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Book review: A Secret History of Compassion by Paul Zacharia

  Sending up everything and everyone A scathing look at life. The reader`s first reaction on reading A Secret History of Compassion is to muse over the probability that Paul Zacharia wrote up the story,  then dipped it into a vat of caustic soda. Everything is grist for his mill, or rather pen, here: writers,…

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Books: Very Very Brief Takes

A quick look at some good books The wonderful BARE NECESSITIES, How to Live a Zero-waste Life, by Sahar Mansoor and Tim de Ridder (Penguin Books) is an easy-to-read, easy-to-grasp and easy-to- put-into- practice guide on how to cut waste down to a bare minimum in one`s life, and is equipped with a ready reckoner…

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Feature: On Books and Bangalore

So. What is Bangalore reading? Sheila Kumar sifts through rumours of a tectonic shift in Bengaluru’s reading pattern.  In a tweak of the immortal CSNY song, this was a long time coming. My personal wake-up moment came via a twin-pronged route. I was scanning the sell list of a popular buy-and-sell online forum when I…

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Humour: Writer`s dilemma

A Writer’s Dilemma   A funny thing happened to me on the way to 2002. Just about every one I met, friends, kin, acquaintances, all barring complete strangers (the heavens be praised), would start conversations with mysterious references to ‘The Book.’ It took me a while to figure out they weren’t talking about the Bible,…

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