HowTo: Read a serious book

April 20, 2014

Tyler Cowen at MR has some useful advice (that involves re-reading and reading without going through the reviews); a nice piece..

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore

April 1, 2014

The novel kept me occupied till the end. Here is the NPR review; here is Pradeep Sebastian on the book.  As was noted in one of the reviews, some parts of the story are too convenient to be believable. But barring that, it  was a nice read.

Yashwanth Chittal

March 29, 2014

I have not read any Yashwanth Chittal except for some sections of his introduction to Moovaththu Kathegalu — a selection of thirty short stories of Masti. I understand that he passed away recently. The Hindu Friday review has a piece by Deepa Ganesh and a translation of a section of one of his books, Anthahkarana. The photos that accompany Deepa Ganesh piece are also a must-see.


Mewar Ramayana

March 22, 2014

Here is the piece in The Telegraph; here is the link to British Museum page. By the way, I recently visited CSMVS (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya); strongly recommended.

Getting trained in writing

March 19, 2014

A nice piece at Savage Minds.

Dislocationists seen from the awesome heights of modern

March 9, 2014

Continuum mechanics:

The advances in continuum mechanics during the past two decades have largely bypassed the mechanical behaviour of metals. In fact, the groping of dislocationists towards a deeper theory of plasticity has been, when viewed from the awesome heights of modern continuum mechanics, an easy target of criticism.

W. Jaunzemis, in Cosserat Continua (1966).

R K Srikantan: RIP

February 18, 2014

Hindu reports on the passing away of R K Srikantan. I have never heard him live; but liked some of his CDs a lot.

Punctuation marks

January 18, 2014

Good writing involves obsessing over punctuation marks.

Says this piece and goes on to list the 5 best punctuation marks (of which I knew only Primo Levi’s period). Via. The one I liked best in the list is the colon of Dickens:

4. The colon in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

“Marley was dead: to begin with.”

That is the opening line of A Christmas Carol, although it is less like an opening than like a train car immediately running into another train car. The sentence would be unremarkable if it read, “Marley was dead, to begin with.” The colon would be unremarkable if the sentence read “To begin with: Marley was dead.” But as written, this sentence is insane, or anyway destined to foment insanity in the grammatically prissy. It has death, a dangling participle, and a wonderfully garrulous narrator with some kind of unmentionable Victorian-era disease: wandering colon. It is great.

I agree; the others are close competitors. Take a look.

HowTo: Review

January 10, 2014

A nice link (pdf) through orgtheory on reviewing.

A book rich in details and insight

November 29, 2013

That is what Rudrangshu Mukherjee calls Guha’s Gandhi before India in his Telegraph book review:

This is a book rich in detail and insight. The narrative is deftly crafted and nowhere does the extensive research cast its shadow on the telling of the story. Good history writing invariably braids narrative and analysis. It is to Guha’s credit that he has revived this form of history writing in India.

I have bought myself a copy of the book; however, I am yet to start reading it.


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