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It’s been some months since we re-re-launched BookChums, and what a ride has it been! For those of you who’ve stayed away for a while, here’s what we’ve been up to. Revamped Site Features : Add books to shelf- We’ve turned around our search-and-add book process. Now you can add any book to your personal bookshelf within few clicks. While adding, you can also add a review, your rating or participate in ...
Post by: BookChums Team
We hope you all had a very good Christmas. For us, Santa (you know, the guy who dresses extravagantly and gives gifts to people who have been nice throughout the year) gave us a present in the form of a feature done by Indian Express' Pune Newsline.   You can read the piece online here. http://epaper.indianexpress.com/IE/IEH/2010/12/23/ArticleHtmls/23_12_2010_582_006.shtml?Mode=1   Here's a peek:     We hope you enjoy the piece and learn more...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
Not many know about the man whose first book has garnered rave book reviews and is topping the bestseller charts steadily. We are talking about a bright new author Rikin Khamar and his first book The Lotus Queen. There’s more about this bright author who grew up in London; enjoyed his vacations in India; professionally is a business strategy advisor; a passionate photographer and artist; and a poet by choice.   BookChums brings to you an exclusive inte...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Not many budding authors end up harnessing the power and potential of social media platforms. And we were pleasantly surprised when Harsh Snehanshu smartly “crowdsourced” the title of his new book. Wait…we shouldn’t be doing all the talking. Here’s Harsh talking about his inspirations, ideas, wit, social media and more!   What inspired/provoked you to write “Oops! I Fell In Love…just by chance”? How did you stu...
Post by: Sonia Safri
   A renowned blogger and a lover of…words, Kunal Dhabalia is a software  professional who enjoys traveling and capturing images for life.     BookChums gets talking to this young man. Here’s all that he told us.      Where do you draw inspiration from? Any author/book that has had the most  impact on your or your writing?  My inspiration for writing can be anybody. Most of my sto...
Post by: Sonia Safri
So, who all have faced the proverbial random blankness of the mind that blocks all thoughts and imagination even though the hand itches and the pen (or the keyboard in today’s context) twitches to let words flow on the white background?      Ok hands down. I see you all have faced that dead-end at some point.  That my friend is the dreaded “Writer’s Block”.    Imagine reaching a dead-end, after especially a ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Of late, I’ve noticed quite a few online and offline book clubs spring up. But not many takers. So I got thinking as to why someone should (or not) join a book club. Come to think of it, there are quite a lot of advantages of being an active book lover.   1.    Freedom Of Expression Oh, this sure ranks #1 for me. The freedom to express your opinions about the book, the characters, the plot, the author –to a larger audience is quit...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Shabia Ravi Walia, like every woman, dreamed of being a mother. However, it was not easy for her. She waited for 3 years to conceive after she decided to make an addition to her family. And her first book - Mamma Mania - is an account of all that happened from the time she decided to go for it till it really happened. The book is part funny, part emotional and completely informative. From the funny incident of acting pregnant when she was not, to moments of ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
The launch of Growing Up In Pandupur in Mumbai gave us a chance to interact with two very versatile and creative authors - Adithi and Chatura Rao.   Growing Up In Pandupur is a marvelous collection of 13 short stories for children. And parents alike.   The writing is mature and stable, but at no place does it feel commanding or overbearing. So kids will have no difficulty breezing through the stories.   Talking to the author-sisters would really ma...
Post by: Sonia Safri
A "lesser known poet", a brilliant author, and an extremely charming young girl - Ismita Tandon Dhankher made waves with her debut novel- Love On The Rocks earlier this year. BookChums got talking with Ismita and here's all that we found out. We saw your blog and it has some real good poetry. So let’s begin with the clichéd one first – when and how did you start writing poetry? Poetry happened to me at the age of twenty-six when I went...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  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
An MBA by profession, Nishant Kaushik, an author with three books to his fame certainly has come a long way. BookChums managed to rope in this entertaining author for a few questions.   How and when did you begin blogging/writing? I began writing well before blogging existed as a concept – only that my writing was awry and all over the place. I wrote mostly on a notepad during a boring lecture, and those ‘blogs’ often did the rounds in ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Reading is an expensive pass time. Considering we read books (talking about fictions here) once, we really need to pick them carefully. For instance, I remember buying Mistress Of Spices and was stuck with the book. I had paid a reasonably large sum for it and it was such a drag. It was then that I made a promise to myself to buy books only after reading book reviews. In other words I pledged to begin judging a book by its review (and not movie) before I bought it. ...
Post by: Lakshita Grover
  As I walked in to the bookstore for the launch of Judy Balan’s debut novel, Two Fates: The Story of my Divorce, I was greeted with a sweet smile and a hint of a rollicking time! I managed to get Judy’s time and attention before the launch and indulged in a candid interview. On enquiring about the ideation of the story, she was quick to respond, “I happened to be in a store and noticed Drink, Play, F@ck, the parody of Elizabeth Gilbert&rsqu...
Post by: Sonia Safri
People know him as "a Chartered Accountant and Management Consultant by accident, a civil servant by day and a writer by night. A voracious reader and a lover of cinema. And of course the Managing Director, Grey Oak Publishers." But this barely sums up the personality of author Ahmed Faiyaz. Those familiar with his previous work will vouch for his insight to observe and meticulously jot human emotions and relationships. And with his latest offering Scammed: ...
Post by: BookChums
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
Dr. Vivek Banerjee, the author of ‘The Long Road’ is a self-confessed “full time pediatrician (by choice) and part time author (by chance)”. Also known by his pen name Ben, for his blogs earlier, Vivek shares snippets of his writing career with us. Read on.   Could you share with us your earliest memories of writing? What got you blogging and finally writing a fictional tale? The earliest memories in writing are contributing to my sch...
Post by: Sonia Safri
The book summary on the back cover of the book can deceive. It has deceived people, many-a-times. Books can appear fun, educative, appealing, coherent and grammatically correct in that one page or online book summary (if users prefer to buy online). But when the reader finally opens the book, he/she can often be flabbergasted by incoherent, innovation-free, boring, substandard content and experiences. Now given that books are expensive and demand an investment of t...
Post by: Deepti
April 13, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums is proud to announce its adoption of the Pinterest model and has become the first-of-its-kind web portal in India by doing so. It has adopted the Pinterest concept of ‘organize and share things you love’ to a great effect; fellow bookworms can now share all the varied literary content at the click of a button!   Be it fiction, comics, non-fiction, current affairs or academic books, Pinterest allows BookChums ...
Post by: BookChums
  Noted Israeli author, Sam Vaknin is synonymous with varied portfolios of work from being the editor-in-chief for the online magazine, Global Politician to writing the widely-acclaimed book, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited, a treatise and discussion on narcissism. He has also worked as an economic advisor for governments in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern and Central Europe and he served in the Israel Defense Forces.  And the list goes on; he...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
In today's world of an increasing obsession with technology, the literary world has not been spared. Be it Kindle or audiobooks or ebooks, the format of reading and writing has definitely undergone a change. Even for someone who enjoys writing, I consciously decided to stick to Blogger rather than writing down all my thoughts in a diary. Why, you ask? Permanence.     It's sad that there is a loss of wanting to feel what you read - the old book smell, the ch...
Post by: Rohini Kejriwal
  Steven Lyle Jordan focuses on sci-fi literature. He has worked as an illustrator, writer, graphic artist, and a web designer. He publishes his own books. Some of his most-prominent writings include Evoguia, Verdant Skies,  Verdant Pioneers — Sequel to Verdant Skies, The Kestral Voyages: My Life,  After Berserker,  The Kestral Voyages: The Lens,  The Kestral Voyages: The House of Jacquarelle,  Chasing the Light,  As The Mirror C...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                                                  June 7, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums interviewed Upendra Sahani, author of Love Cocktail. In this interview, he discussed his first book, future writings, and his interests and aspirations straight- from-the-heart.   Sahani’s first book, Love Cocktail is set i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  It was on an overcast evening that the Pune launch of Newsroom Mafia by Oswald Pereira was held on June 8, 2012 at Crossword, Senapati Bapat Road. Sprinkled with humour and a lively discussion on newspapers, the nexus of paid news, and why what we read every day in the papers may not be true. Apart from Pereira, who is a veteran-journalist-turned-novelist, writers Sonja Chandrachud, Ismita Tandon Dharker and Kailash Srinivasan were part of the panel who discuss...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  BookChums.com, apart from being a favourite among book lovers is also ushering in the next generation of readers. The website is doing so by propagating the popular trend of reading books – eBooks. The BookChums free eBooks section is a witness to this trend, with hundreds of users downloading or reading eBooks from the voluminous list of 50,000 books every day. The variety that is available here is a voracious readers’ dream. Right from children&...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
July 5, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums, a privately-run website for book lovers to connect and buy books, now has more than 1,00,000 registered users. The love for books, well-researched, high quality content, unique concepts, like eBook swapping and the chance to win freebies keeps bringing back users to the website.  A very unique feature offered by BookChums is that of Ebook Swapping. Users on the website can upload eBooks that they have read and enjoy...
Post by: Bookchums
July 18, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums, a privately-run website for book lovers to connect, had organized a users’ meet where city-based booklovers assembled and threw light on their reading patterns and choices. It was heartening to see so many youngsters (18-35 age group) prefer a physical book in a world where several readers were opting for ebooks and audio books.      Most users were delighted by the features BookChums offered. One of o...
Post by: Bookchums
  We were at Landmark, Moledina Road, Pune on the 24th of August 2012 for the book launch of Toke, the debut work of fiction by Jugal Mody. For starters, ‘Toke’ implies a puff of a marijuana or hashish cigarette.   The author read chunks from the book, which concerns how Lord Vishnu shows up before the protagonist – Nikhil, who is really stoned, courtesy drug intake. The unpredictable plot then veers to Nikhil’s similarly stoned fri...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  The last day of August 2012 saw the hosting of a little special event on the BookChums Twitter page. Our followers were given the first line of a poem and asked to come up with their own lines. The results were interesting, as is displayed below in summation:   Where there is love, there is a song, Guiding us on the path along!                     &...
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
  Jeevan Verma is a freelance writer whose hilarious story 'Mortified' features in the recently released litizen.com short story collection Labyrinth. Jeevan has been writing since his childhood and is inspired by anything unusual, including people, hobbies and places.Here is our interview with him.   Thank you for the interview. How long did you take to write ‘Mortified’? How did the theme for this story emerge? Actually two days. I am quite ...
Post by: BookChums
    Pune-based writer Sushant Dharwadkar, landed in Mumbai five years back to earn his bread and butter from advertising. He started writing stories when his office had less work and lot of free time. His story Farming on Facebook features in the short story collection Labyrinth. Here is our interview with him.     Thank you for the interview with BookChums, Sushant. How did the theme for Farming on Facebook emerge? Two things that an author wan...
Post by: BookChums
  This young woman with a haversack - she doesn’t say where she is from or why she is in our city, except that she is a traveler. I first chanced upon her alighting at Pune Railway Station from the Goa Express last weekend. Since then I have seen her at the city’s leisurely cafeterias - lost in a book or writing intensely in her little brown diary. Her name is Kabita and last evening, along with large servings of sponge cake, bun maska and tea at the ...
Post by: BookChums
  The cosy first floor corner of Crossword, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune was an apt venue for the official launch of Ashwin Sanghi’s third book The Krishna Key. As enthusiasts took their seats, Sanghi spoke with an easy informality. To laughter, he mentioned the ‘world record’ he holds in rejections (47) for his first book – The Rozabal Line. The Rozabal Line finally went into self-publication, and on good reviews found a publisher. Taking ab...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
            Kabita is here, well-fed on bun maska, bun omelette and thus well in the mood to answer a few questions posed by our readers. Over to Kabita!   Hello folks, I say, it is always good to down heavy solid food with a warm liquid beverage, and what better than tea? Anyway, while I take some sips and blow air into the cup, here is the first question:    Please write to inform me if you have the anthol...
Post by: BookChums
            Doomsday came and left us untouched. While the New Year festivities have begun, there is a lot to look forward to and some really fun reads, parties, oodles of binging and good cheer. Happy reading, guys!   Q. I’m a student of English Literature. I’m about to start writing a paper on English literature based on and influenced by former Rhodesia (current Zimbabwe). Could you help me with my query please?...
Post by: BookChums
                “What happens when a group of young international students in the U.S. face a life altering situation? What is it that weighs heavily on a young married woman’s mind while living in the U.S.? What hurdles does a young graduate student face while adjusting to his new life in America?”   - Desis, Dilemmas & More! by Ruchika Mathur   Ruchika Mathur’s quote above is ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  It was in the midst of a pleasant gathering of well-wishers, book lovers, and office colleagues that Amrita Nayak’s debut novel Polka Dots, Pony Tails & Purple Pouts was released by Tarun Sharma, Head of India Operations, BMC Sofware. Incidentally Amrita Nayak is an IT professional who works at BMC. Nayak always had the urge to write since childhood, but as she revealed at the event, “It was during my maternity leave, I finally got some time to ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Vampires have invaded the human mind for centuries in various forms, but one thing has been consistent: They haven’t stopped sucking. Fictional history has been witness that vampires crave for blood, preferably human and fresh. In the last decade, this particular disgusting habit has been deemed to be attractive and romantic, such that we now have a barrage of vampire stories, starting from the Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series to the True Blood TV series. ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  This post was always in the making, after all even book reviewers have their moment of catharsis. So here goes.   Once upon a time there was an exclusive band of people called writers, people who really had stories to tell, and had the required skill and heart to inject life into words. Then with sly, stealthy steps came the pretender. In one snarl of a tale of college romance, friendship and nothing else, his creation topped the bestseller list, and thu...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  BookChums is celebrating mythology this week and incidentally we have been doing a series on mythical creatures on our Facebook page. The creature beside the BookChums logo is the hippogriff, a creature with the body of a lion, head and wings of an eagle, forelegs of an eagle's and the hind legs of a horse.   One thing in common with many such imagined creatures has been unanimous – they have been beings blessed with the gift of flight. That is als...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  The death of Roger Joseph Ebert has brought an abrupt end to an era of brilliance in objective film criticism. Ebert lost his battle to cancer on April 4, 2013, he was 70. The first man ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism, Ebert also gained fame as a TV celebrity with co-host Gene Siskel, as they gave their trademark thumbs up and down to a movie.   It was Ebert's written reviews that brought his much acclaim, clear and precise as they were a...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Triveni Goswami Mathur has had a sterling career as a journalist and is a freelance writer and teacher. She is presently a Visiting Faculty at the Alliance for Global Education, India, Pune and Contemporary India and Media Studies, Pune.   This interview is in light of the recent release in English and Marathi of the Assamese book ‘Mon Gongaar Teerot’, a powerful memoir written by Triveni's mother Sabita Goswami. The translated books are titled 'Alon...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Suseela Ravi is an Indian writer whose works have appeared in various anthologies. She has also written a non-fiction book called Writing Short Stories - Mastering The Craft. In this interaction, Suseela talks about her first foray in to writing, on her upcoming novel, her writing process and much more....   Thank you for this interview with BookChums, Suseela. What triggered you to write Fading Lights? In India, the bond between parents and children is un...
Post by: BookChums
Vasundhara Ratakonda is 'primarily' a writer in the Telugu language.Her stories have been translated to English and made it to several anthologies. Vasundhara taks about writing in two languages, love for children, prefering short-fiction, upcoming works and much more...   Thank you for the interview, Vasundhara. How long have you been writing for? I am primarily a writer in Telugu language.After I was awarded Andhra Pradesh State Sahitya Academi award for my s...
Post by: BookChums
  Sarnath Banerjee belongs to a growing motley group of artists, popularly known as the Indian graphic novelist. The Kolkata-born artist (presently based in Berlin, Germany) has a bunch of graphic novels to his name, starting from Corridor (2004), The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers (2007) and The Harappa Files (2011). In this interaction, Banerjee talks about his first tryst with drawing, about storyboarding, his inspirations, upcoming work and much more&hellip...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  LET us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreat Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question…. Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our vi...
Post by: BookChums
  Vibha Batra is primarily a writer. She is, among other things - an advertising consultant, author, poet, lyricist, and columnist. Her published books include: Sweet Sixteen (Yeah, Right!), Seventeen and Done (You Bet!) - both teenage-centered books published by Penguin. It all started for Vibha when she translated Ishaavaasya Upanishad, written by her grandfather, Shri Vishnu Kant Shastri, published by Rupa Publications. There is more to Vibha as you shall see ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
The theme for this week may seem odd and even puzzling for many of our readers. We have thus embarked on an elaboration through this article. We live in an age of short, concise communication. Abbreviations used in cell phone SMS’, online chats, the ROFL’s and LOL’s, the 140-character limit on Twitter – all signs of getting the message across in the least possible time. Rapid urbanization and the resulting homogeneity can be attributed as reason...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Kabita of ‘Ask Kabita’ fame has been writing the book recommendation column exclusively for BookChums for a long time now(be specific). Armed with a Masters in Literature from Delhi University, Kabita landed in Pune two years ago and has, over time, fallen in love with the city. An aspiring travel writer, Kabita is looking to publish her first travelogue in 2014. In this interaction, she talks about her interests, passions, favourite books and much more&hel...
Post by: BookChums
The rain brings out the best in poets, especially among the poets of the subcontinent. For in countries where the winter means desolation, snow and staying indoors, the rain is often seen as another form of desolation. The monsoon in India, on the other hand, is a much awaited phenomenon. Its arrival after a burning, humid frying of summer is considered as a blessing, a calming coolness over scalding tempers.   Many poets have waxed eloquent over the monsoon; le...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
People known, identified, feared, honoured, respected and loathed for the uniform they wear makes for interesting reading.  The great British writer W. Somerset Maugham starts his classic novel The Moon and Sixpence with a discussion on greatness. He speaks about how a policeman post retirement was found to be a boastful, proud man whose aura disappeared with the uniform.  Greatness, he goes on to elucidate, is something else, within a person, real and natura...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Ismita Tandon Dhankher's new book, Jacob Hills has created quite a stir with its titillating storyline set in an army camp in the 1980s. After having read the book and amazed by it, we sat down with the author for a quick chat. Here is an excerpt.   Congratulations on your new book, Jacob Hills. It would not be a stretch to say that the book is rather scandalous. Could you walk us through the writing process for this book? Perhaps, 1980s was a scandalous period...
Post by: Manasi Kulkarni
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
It was a time for turmoil, a time for new ideas, a time for change. European literature was at the zenith of its popularity between the 14th and 17th century. The impact was distinct, rooted in reality. Of course it all flourished with the coming of the printing press. Gutenberg's historic and momentous printing press brought out the publication of works of literature in the local language and thus lead to the widespread reach of ideas related to renaissance.   ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Apart from our family and relatives, friendship is the bond that enlivens our lives. The years may fade away, but our best memories will always concern the ones that involve our friends. The best books that we have ever read in our lives feature characters who share this unique, jovial bond. Take for instance the famous friendship between Sherlock and Watson, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, or Robin Hood and Little John.   The book After Twenty Years by O...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Even before the wails and bloodshed of partition had subsided, India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru stood in front of a newborn nation with the memorable words,  "Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom."  He went on t...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Science Fiction as a genre has much to do with the future. The question- 'What will happen next?' often gets our attention. How would the world be a hundred years from now? How would life change, what would the world look like then? As sci-fi (as the genre is popularly called) takes imagination to new heights, there is no dearth to what could occur in this world. Time-travel, aliens, parallel universes, robots, rocket packs, telepathy - there is no end to...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
      Indian mythology is a treasure chest of stories. Even as Lord Ganesha blesses us with his presence all this week and the next, we at BookChums delve into many of the great mythological tales from around the world. To begin with, there is the story of the birth of Lord Ganesha himself. How many gods have had the fortune to be molded into life by their mother and then the misfortune of dying at the hands of their father?   As the legend goes,...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Kashmir has always been the eye of the storm as far as political and military matters are concerned. A beautiful, natural destination that is said to have the best colours that nature has to display; Kashmir has been embroiled in an extended, bloody turmoil for over six decades. There have been several works of literature that have celebrated this disputed piece of land in all its tragedy and beauty. One of the most notable of the works of fiction is Salm...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Bookchums recently got together with the author of India's first techno mythology thriller, Clark Prasad. After enjoying his first book, Baramulla Bomber, we had a lot of questions to ask him and Clark Prasad was also very forthcoming in helping us understand how one goes about writing a techno mythology thriller and being a Tintinologist.   1. We just put down your book and must say you have one of the most impressive storylines that we hav...
Post by: BookChums
    We do not know when the idea of a country first came into origin. We do know that in the history of human evolution, tribe and territory have always received paramount importance. Regions have been outlined, barb wired fences have come up, millions have fought and died, and along with them advanced weapons of slaughter have been obtained to be lined up along the borders. With countries threatening to bomb each other during peace time, we can certainly not...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
Meghna Pant is the award-winning author of Happy Birthday! (July 2013 Random House) and One & A Half Wife (May 2012 Westland). After attending the book launch session of Happy Birthday! recently we interviewed the author about her latest novel and her experiences as a short story writer. Here is an excerpt.   1.       As an author what was it like writing the stories of Happy Birthday!? What were your inspiration points? ...
Post by: BookChums
The Mumbai rape case has again turned our attention to the disturbing number of atrocities that are being committed against women. What is it that prompts such events of unimaginable horror? What does it tell of a society?  There are several works of literature that have featured women at the receiving end of crime and their fight for justice. John Grisham's first book A Time to Kill was a heart-wrenching account of how a white lawyer defends the case of a...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
BookChums was witness to the launch of yet another book by an Indian author. Meghna Pant's brand new short story collection- Happy Birthday! was formally launched in Pune at Crossword SB Road on Saturday August 24th 2013. Sharing the limelight along with Pant were Sonia Chandrachud author and RJ Sangram (Radio One).  Happy Birthday! is collection of 13 short stories exploring the dark side of human emotions with a tinge of humor. The title story is about...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
Sidney Coe Howard (June 26 1891 – August 23 1939) was an American playwright and screenwriter who were largely responsible for bringing theatrical realism to the American stage. Howard graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1915 and later served in the American ambulance corps and was a captain in the U.S. Air Corps during World War I.   Howard’s most famous plays include They Knew What They Wanted (1924) a pleasantly smooth ...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
Even as Raksha Bandhan was celebrated all over the country on August 20 2013 we at BookChums were wondering about the roles siblings have played in the greatest works in literature. Siblings have often been represented in literature either with their endearing intimacy towards each other or extreme hate. Then there are siblings who do not talk to each other those who always disagree and those who love being with each other.   As for stories featuring sibli...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
  Any mention of the word 'spy' brings to our imagination thrilling, tense moments of suspense, action and intrigue. The most famous of all is of course Ian Fleming's James Bond. It is not so much that we love James Bond; it is more about our envy of him, that we want to be like him. A man with a license to kill and a natural ability to hook in the girls, while decimating the enemy in an action-filled chase. Who wouldn't want to be like him?  It is not ...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    "A traveler is not intent on arriving," goes an often repeated quote. So is true for those who travel for no purpose at all but in curiosity and excitement for the world beyond. There are several writers who have dwelled on the joy of traveling, its perils, uncertainty and unexpected lessons. The early writers were the more daring ones, for they journeyed through new lands, not knowing of what may come their way. Writers in fiction and non-ficti...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    The sea has always been a favourite with poets and writers alike. Sea waves have been represented in several stories - sometimes as a tide of change, a background for quietly walking lovers and also for long lone walks of reflection. Ever since the first daring men discovered that the earth was not flat, sea expeditions and battles have made it to the realms of literature. One of the classic examples is Herman Melville's 1851 'Man Vs Whale' novel Moby Dic...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Animals have always tickled popular imagination in literature. If we were to waylay books for a while, Disney Films were blamed for creating the impression in the US that wild animals loved the company of humans. Several animal attacks on humans in the US in the last decade were due to humans trying to 'befriend' them. This is just one of the illustrations on how cinema and literature can influence their respective audiences.  Talking animals ha...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
By the end of this week, another festival shall be knocking at our doorstep. Diwali is the brightest and most gaudy of all the Indian festivals. A time for new beginnings, new clothes and family reunions, Diwali is the age-old festival of lights, and with the bursting of crackers it is also one of the loudest. Indians have a thing about festivals and it is ensured that ever year brings to us the feisty Holi, uproarious Janamasthmi, Ganesh Chaturthi drumbeats, the cresc...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Our theme for this week is religion. The festival of lights or Diwali is just over and so is Kali Puja that was celebrated with great pomp and show. Religion has largely influenced literature. In this blog post, the first book that comes to my mind is From the Holy Mountain by historian and travel writer, William Dalrymple. Written in 1997, this travelogue focuses on the Middle East that is the cradle of some of the world's greatest religions. In this boo...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    Children's literature has been popular since times immemorial. It has always encapsulated folklore, poems, lullabies and stories. With its humble yet captivating origin from the oral tradition of narrating stories, it has moved on to a grand genre of children's literature all across the globe. In the 1400s, it had a didactic theme. In the 1800s and the 1900s, a lot of children's classics were published and it is no wonder why this period is referred to as...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    The Indian cricket stalwart, Sachin Tendulkar retired from cricket this weekend after India beat West Indies at Mumbai. He was conferred with the Bharat Ratna this year. Playing cricket from the age of 11, he went on to play both domestic and international cricket and dominate the cricket world for nearly 24 years. The Wisden Cricketers' Almanack ranked him as the second best batsmen of all time after Auzzie player, Sir Don Bradman. We raise  a toast...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
   The BookChums theme of this week is Gothic Horror. The Gothic Horror or Gothic Fiction genre conjures images of melodrama, the supernatural, phantasmagorical, bloodied canine teeth, blood-dripping knives, dungeons, monsters, romance and damsels in distress – encapsulating all the necessary ingredients for spicy theatrical entertainment. While many readers would cynically label this genre as somewhat kitsch, it is not the real scenario; the reason is t...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  This week on BookChums, we feature Literature from the Subcontinent as its theme. Literature from this part of the world is expansive and rich; most of us are barely aware of the great works that have been produced from various regions of the subcontinent. What is very special about such literature is that its works are very different from each other and they also highlight the ethos of various periods of history: both past and present. There is a strong presen...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
 Masterpieces breaching the barriers of time and culture, novelists and story writers have fascinated the readers with their haunting as well as lovable description of animal behavior and personifying the idea with human attitude. From every corner of the world, writers like  Mei Yu Ch'en who has described on the humming  swarms of mosquitoes to William Cullen Bryant's solitary waterfowl and Rainer Maria Rilke's enchanted gazelle, from Auden on cats a...
Post by: Sudipto Ghosh
 Today is the birth anniversary of one of the most elusive writers in the history of English literature.   Today is the birth anniversary of one of the most elusive writers in the history of English literature. Born in the year 1861, Mary Elizabeth Coleridge belonged to the family tree of elite novelist, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Just like her personal life, her books too carried a sensual charm of the old Victorian era and the fragrance of innocent flattery. ...
Post by: Sudipto Ghosh
With the rapid evolution of the digital platform, printed books, novels and magazines seem to be trying their best to keep in line with the growing demand of business and commercial explosion. Fear of annihilation and obsolence is driving book publishers to project their reach with the concept of offering free ebooks for reading and downloading. When people think of free, the first question that comes to their mind is related to the Q-factor. Not Quantity, but ‘ ...
Post by: Sudipto Ghosh
What begins in the teen years, grows into a fascination of a lifetime. Comic strips continue to be the blessed items of life that flip through the years like Tarzan swinging across the jungle. Illustrations with bubbling comments are probably the first things that teach you to dream big and real. Each set of comics has its own fragrance that blooms with each passing edition. Each time the villain fangs out his ugly deeds, the hero inspires the world to fight when the chi...
Post by: Sudipto Ghosh
Only a person who is in love with the nature and the rhythm of life can understand the importance of October 30th. Today is the birthday of one of the best modern day poets who revolutionized the entire scene of the Anglo-American poetry. Ezra Pound continues to be an icon, largely due to his involvement in the Modernist movement. His best known works include the likes of Ripostes, Hugh Selwyn Maulberley and Umbra. His tryst with the Imagism Revolution blended with an ac...
Post by: Sudipto Ghosh


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