Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Balli Kaur Jaswal’s Erotic stories for Punjabi widows

May 29, 2020

Three years ago, this book got published and got some very good reviews (here is one for example). I have been meaning to read it ever since and finally got a chance now. I enjoyed reading it. It is a romantic novel; there is a bit of mystery; and, of course, there is plenty of erotica. Overall, a pleasant and gripping read. Recommended (only if you do not mind reading erotica).

Eknath Awad’s Strike a blow to change the world

May 26, 2020

I learnt about the book from this article of Ram Guha. It had been in my To-Read list ever since. I finally managed to read the book. It is a very good read — moving at many places, luminous in its positivity and a searing, honest account of the struggles of a disadvantaged individual against the system. One can feel the voice, sincerity and honesty of Awad in the translation of Jerry Pinto; I assume reading it in the original Marathi would be much more impactful. My only complaint about the book is the lack of index; may be that would be fixed in the next edition. In any case, a good read and strongly recommended.

Reba Som’s  Margot

May 24, 2020

A very interesting read! Strongly recommended. Here is an interesting thought from Sister Nivedita — written in the context of Bengal famine:

“The administration of a country solely from the revenue point of view leads to strange results.”

It was also very nice to have a context for some of my favourite books by Sister Nivedita including Cradle tales, Kali, Notes on wanderings, Master as I saw him, and Footfalls.

The God who loved motorbikes

May 8, 2020

Juggernaut has given free access to their books for the lock down duration. So, I ended up reading Murali K Menon’s The God who loved motorbikes. A fun read indeed!!

By the way, there is more where it came from — including CEO factory, Raya and Good economics for hard times — all for free!! Have fun!!

Udaindha Manoradhangal: Ku. Pa. Raa. padaippulagam 

May 3, 2020

This is a very short book (78 pages) consisting of about eight pieces evaluating the different dimensions of Ku. Pa. Raa as a writer and artist — edited by Perumal Murugan and based on a conference held in Salem. Very interesting pieces that will be of interest to both those who have read Ku Pa Raa and are yet to read him. I did find some of the discussions difficult to follow because of my lack of familiarity with the academic writing style in Tamil. However, the experience of reading the pieces is certainly worth the effort and some of the pieces are quite provocative too — especially the one about him as a poet! Recommended if you are interested in Tamil literature.

Idazh thandha varigal 

April 23, 2020

A book of letters between Ku. Azhagirisami and Sundara Ramasami. An interesting read! I did not know that the song “Odugira thanniyile…” is a folk song.  I always thought that it was a movie song. The book is also very nicely done with fascimile pieces of letters! In any case, the book makes you look for boos by both Azhagirisami and Sundara Ramasami as well as some other writers. Recommended for those interested in Tamil novels and books!!

Two books of Yiyun Li

March 30, 2020

I just completed Where reasons end and it is a very good, meditative and remarkable read! I seemed to have missed mentioning in this blog that I enjoyed  Dear friend, From my life I write to you in your life, her autobiographical memoir too a lot. Both the novel and the memoir often become contemplative about books and words and their etymologies. Strongly recommended!!

Ramachandra Guha’s Gandhi: the years that changed the world, 1914-1948

March 22, 2020

A book that I found moving in many places and positive and luminous throughout. I am sure that I missed registering many things; this is a book for repeated re-reads and re-read it will be! Strongly recommended — especially in this age where we need Gandhians in every field of activity!!!

Muriel Spark’s The prime of Miss Jean Brodie

March 20, 2020

A very good read; might read again sometime, I expect. Strongly recommended!!

Tracy Kidder’s The soul of a new machine

March 14, 2020

This book is called a nerd epic by Wired. I learnt about the book thanks to a chance encounter at the tea kiosk with a colleague from electrical who strongly recommended the book to another colleague from policy studies; and, it sounded interesting enough for me that I ordered a copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is not just about engineering or the process of building a new computer; it is also an anthropological study of the people involved and that made it doubly interesting for me! There are also some interesting lessons for academics and researchers about leading successful and committed research groups in the book I suppose! A great read and strongly recommended!!