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The Lost Flamingos of Bombay by Siddharth Dhanvant Sanghvi - Book Reading and Paperback Edition Launch Crossword, SB Road, Pune , 17th December   Any event which has Sonja Chandrachud, a children’s author popularly known as the Desi Rowling, Anjali Joseph, author and journalist who’s featured by The Daily Telegraph (UK) as one of 2010’s Top 20 Novelists under 40 and the man of the moment Siddharth Dhanvant Sanghvi, hailed as India’s nex...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni who has authored celebrated works of fiction, such as, The Mistress of Spices, The Palace of Illusions, Sister of My Heart and her latest, One Amazing Thing,  is known for conjuring  up a world of fantasy in her novels. Her works have been considered a welcome relief from what writers of pulp fiction come up with these days. Her subjects revolve around Indian migrants settled in the US and their immigrant experience. With these intere...
Post by: Bookchums
Book Launch - Indira Gandhi - The Final Chapter by Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram Friday, April 29, 2011 Pune.   Crossword, at ICC Towers, saw a houseful of audience gathered for the book launch of Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram's latest book of illustrations - Indira Gandhi - The Final Chapter. A book of illustrations, Indira Gandhi - The Last Chapter, lampoons the political figure through witty cartoons. It draws a satirical portrait of the Indian leader while ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Last week BookChums got the opportunity to moderate the launch of Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram's latest offering- Indira Gandhi – The Final Chapter. A book of illustrations, this, it lampoons the political figure through witty cartoons. It draws a satirical portrait of the Indian leader, while humorously depicting certain behind-the-scenes political and social affairs in our country. The book launch was a wonderful experience and so was the interactio...
Post by: Sonia Safri
What is it about fiction that attracts more readers as well as writers? Is it the whole idea of "making up" things or the liberty of "exaggerating" normal ideas/scenes of daily life to add more color, flavor and spice to it; or the limitless possibilities of creating a whole new world to explore with words and imagination? Why is it that not many new-age authors venture into the world of non-fiction with that ease? Does the presentation of actual fa...
Post by: Sonia Safri
A man is known by the company he keeps. And a book is any day good company. It reveals more about your character. It reflects your tastes, your desires, your perspectives, and a bit of the real you. Books have a deeper impact on your mind and heart. They become a characteristic trait. Research shows that most of the successful people, read. And read books that broaden their perspective and their knowledge and their thought process. They have more information; learn ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
When a former police officer tells you that your book has the perfect blend of lucid writing, well dispersed clues, tension and intrigue you know you are on the right track with your first mystery novel. And I guess Salil Desai, self proclaimed pathologically terrified author, must have heaved a sigh of relief as he listened to Mr. Jayant Umranikar, retired IPS officer, talk about his first crime novel, The Body in the Back Seat at its launch at Landmark (Pune) on Friday...
Post by: Manasi Kakatkar-Kulkarni
Like most first-time-writers Shrenik Mutha’s novel Broken Hearts has a strong autobiographical influence. The novel talks about love, separation, loss, happiness and romance. Dressed in a white blazer and white trousers, this suave, attractive looking guy, spills the beans as he says, “This love story has originated from my own life,” and blushes just as he was seated between his friends and was being teased about his lady love.   We seldom meet ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
I do not like chick-lits. Yes, you read that right (*looking at EvilDevil). I feel it is not really a genre, but simply the book description. And I do not like chick-lits. At all. Spattered with pink (eeuu!) and margaritas and martinis and cosmopolitans and lotions and stockings – rather than soaking in literary awards, or IQ for that matter, I’m surprised such books sell like hot cakes. The image that pops in my head (when a book is termed as chick-...
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
We hope you are enjoying the series of health books we are doing. In the last two weeks we spoke about the books that concentrate on healthy food and a healthy fitness regime. This week we shall chat up about the books that concentrate on mental health and well being.   Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M Pirsig One of the most important and influential books written in the past half-century, Robert M Pirsig's &q...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Humor does rule the world. At least my world. Reading humorous pieces livens up our day. It breaks the monotone of work and life. Most problems can be fixed with a dose of laughter. But what I like most about humor pieces is the fact that the point under scrutiny is communicated with much effect and quite intelligently. It also reflects a bit of the writer’s character trait. A writer with a good sense of humor will make sure his/her pieces amuse people....
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
You-Know-Who is instrumental in changing the entire setting of the young-adult (YA) fiction world and upping the stakes, don’t you?   Hagrid and his Baby Dragon, Hedwig, the chocolate frog, moving beans, Dumbledore, the muggles and the entire Hogwarts have transformed the YA literature genre and breathed in new life. Harry, Ron and Hermione have made Rowling’s dream come true and, along with that, the YA fiction world has reached new heights.   ...
Post by: Uttiya Basu Majumdar
We have all fallen in love when we were 17. We have all experienced the happiness, positivity that first love brings in our lives. But when the same love fades away, we have all cried, felt extreme sorrow and vacuum. But when Pune-based teenager Shrenik Mutha, fell in love with ‘his angel’ and things did not work out for them, he choose to write a novel Broken Hearts based on his diary. The book was released a couple of months ago and has been praised liber...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
While some authors are synonymous with comic-fantasy fiction, it is worthwhile to spend some time looking for books by lesser-known comic-fantasy authors too. One could stumble into a book that is equivalent to a Thursday Next or a Nursery Crime . Such a book could be a pleasure to begin with and open a reader’s mind to a new frontier of imagination. It thrills the senses and leaves the reader yearning for more of such literature. Comic fantasies bring humor i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” – Salvador Dali Origin: The 1920s experienced paradoxical times on different parts of the globe. Most importantly, it was a time of angst, creativity, confusion, irrationality, skirmishes, industrialization, and political upheaval. It was the ‘Roaring Twenties’ or the ‘Jazz Age’ for the US and Canada while other parts of ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
ASTON: More or less exactly what you... DAVIES: That's it ... that's what I'm getting at is ... I mean, what sort of jobs ... (Pause.) ASTON: Well, there's things like the stairs ... and the ... the bells... DAVIES: But it'd be a matter ... wouldn't it ... it'd be a matter of a broom ... isn't it? - Dialogue between Aston and Davies in The Caretaker, a talked-about Harold Pinter play. The Theatre of the Absurd belongs to a genre of absurdist fiction, writ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Not many authors choose to write for a cause. While most fiction writers are happy talking about relationships and other humdrum stuff, Saptarshi Basu, is a new author who is writing to make a difference. Through his writings Basu is determined to make things better for people around. His latest book titled Autumn In My Heart, touches upon the sensitive issue of student suicide.     Bookchums chats up with the author of Love, Logic And The God's A...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Existentialism is synonymous with the futility of human existence, angst, ennui, alienation, uncertainty, and absurdity. These emotions in people were likened with the myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus, a cruel king from the Greek and Roman mythologies was punished for his crimes by the gods to carry a boulder up a hill and he miserably failed each time he tried to climb the hill with the boulder.  In the 20th century, a lot of intellectuals identified man’s hard wor...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
All it really takes to hook a person to a good book, is the opening line. Though they are stand alone sentences, they lure and entice (sometimes quite literally) the readers to discover more.      I recently happened to glance at the opening passage of Gary Shteyngart’s forthcoming novel, Super Sad True Love Story and it read,  “Today I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die. Others will die around me. They will be ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
“A country without a memory is a country of madmen.” George Santayana     When Francis Fukuyama wrote The End of History and the Last Man, most people wondered about the phrase in itself: that with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it literally brought socio-cultural evolution to a standstill. Most debate on the infamous time when the iron curtain was pulled down in the rest of Eastern Europe. Yes, the Eastern Bloc was disintegrated; however his...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Some books leave an everlasting impression. And they are enjoyed more every time you read them. I always find something new to admire in the books I read after a span of time. Sometimes I notice a different aspect of a character or sometimes I think about the story development from an entirely new perspective. Whatever the case, I enjoy the company of books the most. Here are some books I find most intriguing. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini Pride and Prejud...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
Not so long ago, Barbara Cartland wove history, fiction, and romance to set a stage of really popular romantic fiction. Although it carried a lot of mushy romance, to the keen reader or observer, it also shed light on the prevalent society and history. It set the ground for future writings on historical fiction. A largely noticeable chunk of Mills & Boon literature from the yesteryears also has settings of romance against an exotic milieu of historic locations and th...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Through our lives we all attempt selling in some form or the other – selling your tale to your mother after robbing your neighbour’s guava, or selling a proposal of a coffee date to that interesting girl, or selling your product to your client, or selling yourself to get that attractive salary package. There are a lot of marketing skills each one requires to use to get the very best in life. BookChums looks at the top options you have with respect to boo...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Love’s Journey is the debut novel of Rashmi Singh, a freelance Personality Development and Soft Skills Trainer at Faridabad. From talking about her personal and professional life to her take on love, Rashmi gives us an insight on present day society woes and much more. Read on. Tell us a bit about your professional background. How did you steer towards becoming a Personality Development and Soft Skills Trainer? I had been quite active during my school/colle...
Post by: Sonia Safri
From discussion on varied writing styles, hike in divorce rates and writing about sex, the Pune book launch of Preeti Shenoy’s third book Tea For Two and A Piece of Cake had it all. The blogger and writer, a Bangalore-based writer was in town to promote her third release, Tea For Two and A Piece of Cake. Preeti Shenoy was in conversation with Sonja Chandrachud. The event began with Chandrachud complimenting Shenoy on her writing style. Chandrachud commented th...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
          “May your spirit live, may you spend millions of years, you who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, your eyes beholding happiness.” Epitaph on Howard Carter’s tomb   Howard Carter was the man who lived it up and he emerged as someone larger than life itself. Egyptologist and archaeologist, he discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb from the 14th century BC. He was characterized in literatur...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Kapil Sibal’s decision to direct NCERT and wholesalers to hold back textbooks featuring cartoons is a move that has stirred attention. The committee set up by the government is to submit its report on June 15, 2012. The discussion in Lok Sabha has touched the topic that impressionable minds of students may not be the best to interpret and understand political humor like cartoons. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal found many of the cartoons in the textbooks offensive an...
Post by: Bookchums
                        The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good. By WH Auden (1921 – 1973) Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes was synonymous with his widely acclaimed writings such as The Death of Artemio Cruz, Aura, The Old Gringo, and Christopher Unborn...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  In 1913, Satyajit Ray’s grandfather Upendrakishore Raychowdhury started a Bengali children’s magazine called Sandesh. Roychowdhury passed away in 1915 and it was his son Sukumar Ray who took over the editorial mantle. Stories interspersed with fun, jokes and information made Sandesh a delightful read in a TV absent generation of readers. Subinoy Ray, Sukumar's younger brother took charge in 1923 when the latter passed away. The magazine travele...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Virender Kapoor is  a management practitioner, thinker and most significantly a writer of bestselling management books on motivation, emotional intelligence, leadership and self help. These books have been translated into several regional laguages too. Kapoor had previously headed a management institute for Symbiosis. He later started MILE - Management Institute for Leadership and Excellence, at Pune. Here is our interview with Kapoor:   Thank you f...
Post by: BookChums
  We participated in a live chat with Ashwin Sanghi of The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key. Here are the excerpts from the chat with the author of two bestsellers… Any genre that you think you will never write? Why? (Asked by: BookChums) I can't see myself writing romance, horror, or sci-fi. I think that my sensibilities as a writer have been shaped by the sort of books that I was interested in reading. These genres were ...
Post by: BookChums
                                            Mainak Dhar is a novelist and short-story writer who has written stories across versatile genres from sci-fi and apocalyptic to world peace. He has written The Martyr (short story from Labyrinth Short Stories) which was inspired by  the child soldiers of the Iran-Iraq war. Set against the ba...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                                  September 17, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums interviewed Mainak Dhar, novelist and short-story writer. He has written The Martyr (Labyrinth Short Stories), Alice in Deadland, Zombiestan, Vimana, Heroes are us, and The Cubicle Manifesto. The Martyr from Labyrinth Short Stories was inspired by the child soldiers of the Iran-Iraq war. Set a...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            “We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 - and half the things he knows at 40 hadn't been discovered when he was 20?” - Arthur C. Clarke   The quote mentioned above reveals Arthur C Clarke’s quest for the new and the unknown. He wrote and dwelt in the literary world of h...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Even as I sit awake through nights penning down about the pain, anger and angst each Indian is going through today – my heart and soul weeps at the heinous brutality of what happened to a 23-year old  student who was gang raped in Delhi on 16th December 2012.   Thank you BookChums, it is an honour to be invited again by Kabita Sonowal to write on this burning topic.  I just wish to share ‘a few sparks’ that might ignite a ligh...
Post by: BookChums
              “I have always believed that the real history is made by ordinary people. I constantly come across the reappearance, in various forms, of folklore, ballads, myths and legends, carried by ordinary people across generations....The reason and inspiration for my writing are those people who are exploited and used, and yet do not accept defeat. For me, the endless source of ingredients for writing is in these ama...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today." - Martin Luther King, Jr.   In those words, uttered as they were with passionate zeal on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. summed up the simple needs of the sidelined American man. Equality – The simple demand that the black man will be considered...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
      “Global warming, along with the cutting and burning of forests and other critical habitats, is causing the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That event was believed to have been caused by a giant asteroid. This time it is not an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc: it is us.”   -    Al Gore, An Inconvenient T...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
        Mark Tully is a writer and a former bureau chief of the BBC. Born in India, he lived here until he was nine and attended a school in Darjeeling. He left for England and attended Twyford School, Marlborough College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He studied Theology at university and wanted to become a priest; however ‘luck’ would have had it otherwise for him and he returned to India. He has extensively discussed his return on I...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            Hey Folks, thank you for writing to me. As usual, I eagerly wait to answer your email and respond to it.   Hi, hope you are doing well. I have just joined the group. I wish to improve my language skills so that I can develop my career in writing. Would request you to suggest some self-help books / courses in Mumbai that will help me improve my vocabulary and grammar. Appreciate your support. Bhumi Shah, Mumbai ...
Post by: BookChums
February 4, 2013 is World Cancer Day. It is celebrated on this day and month, every year. It is a day to dispel all myths about cancer and take a moment to pause and educate ourselves about cancer, its causes and how to take preventive measures and seek remedies. Today, cancer is curable too; what is required at this moment is the appropriate information to battle and eliminate it.   The Emperor of all Maladies by physician, researcher and award-winning writer, ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                      “I am delighted to lend my support and personal participation to this first Irrawaddy Literary Festival. Literature has always been a big part of my life and I hope this festival, which brings together some of the finest talent from Burma, the UK and elsewhere will encourage more people to explore the world of literature and further their understanding of the English language....
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          “Basically, I have been compelled by curiosity.” Mary Leakey: British archaeologist, anthropologist and writer   Mary Leakey was born on February 6, 1913. She was born to painter, Erskine Edward Nicol and Cecilia Marion (Frere) Nicol. Mary Leakey was related to antiquarian, John Frere and archaeologist, Sheppard Frere and distantly related to Baronet Henry Bartle Frere, the founder of the modern Indian postal ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            Jules Gabriel Verne, popularly known as Jules Verne was born on February 8, 1828. Also referred to as the ‘Father of Science Fiction’, he would have been 186 years old today! Writing in the science-fiction and adventure genres, his writings continue to thrill and captivate the minds of millions with his heightened and fresh imagination. He enhanced the minds of several writers from different genres later. &n...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                              “Love is bigger than us. So we confuse ourselves over it. And of course, its vastness overwhelms. But then that is the only lesson in life. How to love. How to love well, with a detached eye but a concerned hand. How to understand and surrender to its countless contradictions. Most importantly, though, how to never stop loving.”   ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
      Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela is no more. He wrote the introduction for the latest edition of The Bolivarian Revolution (Revolutions) by Simon Bolivar. He died on March 5, 2013. He was born on July 28, 1954 in Barinas in Venezuela. His parents were Hugo de los Reyes Chávez and Elena Frías de Chávez; both of them were school teachers. He described his childhood as a very happy one although marred by extreme poverty. He ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          Thank you for writing, folks. This week, we feature some really interesting questions and answers. Do write. Please choose a book for me in the crime genre that is without too much of gore. Thanks. – Vinitha S, Bangalore Hey, you could read Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death, The Pale Horse, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Hollow among other books. These are simply marvelous.     I need to g...
Post by: BookChums
With the passing away of Chinua Achebe on 21st March 2013 at the age of 82, Africa lost it’s most popular and distinctive voice in English literature. Born in Nigeria, Achebe lived for some time in the US in the 1970’s. He returned to the US following a 1990 accident that left him partially disabled. In 1967, Achebe was part of a struggle for a new nation – Biafra, but after a bloody struggle, the region became a part of Nigeria again. Until his death...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
        Thank you for writing, folks. Here’s wishing all of you a very Happy Holi. Keep writing.     Hey. I’m looking for some novels on the Far-East. Please suggest. - Lata Dev, Lucknow Thank you for writing. You can try When we were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. Both of these stories have great narration and plots.     Please suggest some novels that are based ...
Post by: BookChums
  Pardon the cliché, but why, would those unaware ask – so much song and dance about a certain music band called The Beatles? If you are a music lover, you would certainly understand why we remember The Beatles with much gratitude and pleasure. Now, I can’t speak for all, for it would be better to chronicle in brief here the effect the band has had on me.   For starters, The Beatles were a British band who ‘came together’ i...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. Even as summer promises to recede and monsoon looks all set to take over, here are the answers to your queries.   Which books are the best introductions to existentialist literature to begin? Thanks. - Renuka, Pune. Thank you for writing. You can begin with Albert Camus’ The Stranger, The Fall and The Plague. Or you could try Nausea by Jean- Paul Sartre.   Please recommend some boo...
Post by: BookChums
It is most unlikely that the Scottish physician Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle would have ended up as a prolific writer if his medical career would have done any better.Happily for us, Doyle primarily wrote, especially while waiting for his patients during his (not exactly bustling) practice.   The most famous and enduring of all works of Doyle was and is undoubtedly Sherlock Holmes.In contrast to more methodical fictional detectives, Holmes is shown to be almo...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  If there is the novel and its contrary variant the short story, there is something in between called the novella. Longer than a short story, shorter than a novel, the word ‘novella’ has its origins in Italian, where the word means ‘new.’ The novella is usually not dissected into chapters or parts; it may have paragraphing though to indicate a change of location or scenario. The characters are well-defined and usually less in number, as t...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle made its appearance in this magazine and gained fame among the reading public. This is where Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes get to know each other. In the year 1878, Dr. Watson, recuperating from the wounds he received from a bullet in Afghanistan is looking for cheap lodgings. It is through an old friend of Dr. Watson that the two people meet: &ld...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
    December personally has been a real special month for me, since, like, forever. I think I speak for most of us around, this month has its own enchanting effect on most of us. When I think of December, I can only imagine romance, chills, warmth, the smell of cinnamon cakes, rice light on trees, well decorated streets and everywhere I go, I feel a fresh a breath of happiness and delight.   Some would vouch for the fact that they love to wake up eve...
Post by: Kamalini Mukherjee
  Cartoon strips offer comic relief, flights of fantasy and quick reading. As kids, we grew up on fun and rich doses of Chacha Chaudhary, Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha, Asterix, Peanuts and many others. Newspapers have always carried strips of cartoons of a weekly basis arousing a lot of curiosity to read more. It is said that the history of comics dates back a long way. Scholars hint at the Lascaux Cave paintings as some of the first inspirations for cartoon writing...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
BookChums features Abid Surti on Award Thursdays this week. He is a painter, writer, cartoonist, journalist, environmentalist, playwright and screenwriter. Synonymous with the Indrajal comic character Bahadur, he has also written novels and short stories in Hindi, Gujarati and English. His writings include The Black Book, In Name of Rama, The Golf Widow, He is Radha, Munchon Wali Begam, Kathavachak, Adhi Stri, Bahattar Saal Ka Bachcha, Besabab, Biswin Sadi Ka Akhiri Da...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  BookChums features British chick-lit writer, Madeleine Sophie Wickham on Award Thursdays this week. Sophie Kinsella is her pseudonym. She has authored best sellers including The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Abroad, Shopaholic Ties The Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic, Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I've Got Your Number, I've got your Number, Wedding Night, The Te...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Donna Tartt wins Pulitzer Prize for her book, The Goldfinch     Donna Tartt has dabbled in themes of bisexuality, loss, guilt and love. She recently received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her book titled The Goldfinch. She narrates the story of young Theo Decker who survives a bombing in a museum while his mother is killed. Loss and memory grip and thus begins his journey into the world of art. Her other books include The Secret History and The Little Friend...
Post by: kabita Sonowal
  Canadian author, Yann Martel celebrated his birthday last week on June 25. Synonymous with his award winning and unique masterpiece, The Life of Pi, his other works include Seven Stories, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, Self, We ate the Children Last, and Beatrice and Virgil among other writings. He was born in Salamanca in Spain. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Canada and Mexico. As an adult, he lived in India, Turkey and Iran. Today, he lives in ...
Post by: Kabita


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