Ashokamitran’s Fourteen years with boss

January 13, 2020

A very good read — and a quick read too! Among other people, Rajaji, Kalki, RKN’s brother who was a film editor, and RKN himself make an appearance — not to mention some monkeys and elephants. There are also some interesting titbits such as Vasan and Pather Panchali in Calcutta theatres! Now I am going to read his Iruttilirundu velichcham and Bioscope.

Tamil Characters of A R Venkatachalapathy

January 1, 2020

A very good read; the essays are of varying lengths, tone and depth — which is to be expected given that this is a collection of several published versions; the overlap is still minimal. The pieces on Periyar, Anna and Cho are real eye openers for me as well as those on Jayakanthan, Ashokamitran and Cho. Darman. Strongly recommended for those who are into Tamil culture and politics as well as those who are not!!

Jane Borges’ Bombay Balchao

December 18, 2019

A very nice read! At times laugh out loud funny — as you can see in this excerpt for example!

Here is a review of the book!

I enjoyed the book thoroughly and strongly recommend for a leisurely read!

Daniel Mendelsohn’s An odyssey

December 8, 2019

This book came with very high praise from Maureen Corrigan at NPR:

This past summer, I made time to catch up on a book I’d missed when it was published two years ago. Ever since, I’ve been telling friends, students and random strangers on a train that they must read Daniel Mendelsohn’s memoir called An Odyssey. In it, he recalls teaching a seminar on Homer’s Odyssey that his then 81-year-old father sat in on as an auditor.

An Odyssey is the best account of what teaching is really like that I’ve ever read; it’s also (like Homer’s epic) a spell-binding story about the tenderness of a father-son bond, as well as the inevitable limits that one’s own personality and mortality impose on that bond.

It indeed is a great book about teaching, about Homer, about odyssey, and about father-son bond. Strongly recommended!!

Cees Nooteboom’s The following story

November 17, 2019

One of the best novels I have read in several years. Picked it up thanks to A good read podcast!! Strongly recommended. This less than 100 pages of novel will draw you deep into the book and will make you read it again and again for the sheer pleasure of reading such a well-crafted book!

The cost of living by Deborah Levy

October 20, 2019

A very good read. Short and very nicely written.

Pico Iyer and Roberto Bolano

June 29, 2019

Enjoyed reading Pico Iyer’s Autumn light. A very good read and recommended.

I could not immerse myself and read in one go Roberto Bolano’s The Savage Detectives. In spite of it, I found it a very good read and I would have enjoyed lot more if I read it over a shorter duration. Recommended!

Robert Caro’s Working

May 19, 2019

Is a very good read! Here is an NPR review.

Sally Rooney’s Conversations with friends

May 5, 2019

Enjoyed this novel too a lot! Strongly recommended. Here is  a review from The New Yorker.

Normal people by Sally Rooney

April 19, 2019

The book came with great recommendation from Maureen Corrigan:

Normal People is a nuanced and flinty love story about two young people who “get” each other, despite class differences and the interference of their own vigorous personal demons. But honestly, Sally Rooney could write a novel about bath mats and I’d still read it. She’s that good and that singular a writer.

I am happy to say that the book lives up to the high praise heaped on it! Strongly recommended.

Here is another review by Heller Mcalpin at NPR:

Although frequently heartbreaking, Normal People isn’t bleak. The brave determination of Rooney’s characters to reach out and try to catch each other with no guarantee of success — and to open themselves to “moments of joy despite everything” — is ultimately hopeful.

I am already off to read Conversations with friends.