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  Cheers people, I am still looked after, well-fed and pampered enough to answer queries from book lovers for the second week running. Now if that is not an achievement, what is? Winter is slowly but steadily setting in here at BookChums HQ, Pune, thus doing wonders to my appetite.  We have chosen a few questions among many entries for the lack of space, more than anything. Here they are:   I have read Kiran Desai’s work and have liked them imme...
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  Good god, how silently the winter has set in! I mean, it is as if - yesterday the sun was shining and by night, a new season had sneaked in. It is certainly good though to walk in the sunlight with the cold all around, and of course, it has done wonders to my appetite. Anyway, a new bunch of questions have arrived, and I am here to answer them between sips of tea:   Hi, read the last edition of this column and found it really interesting. I am a backpack...
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  The days are unusually warm, the evenings pleasant and while winter plays hide and seek, here is this week’s edition of questions that we have specially selected for this post. Happy reading!   Q. Hello, I am looking for something that has stories of travel and adventure for my 12 year-old son. Tell me of a few. – Rahul Bhargav, Mumbai   Well, this is exciting. I remember this compilation that I can readily recommend. The book is title...
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  It is the dawn of yet another New Year. We have lived to tell the tale having outlived all the catastrophes from the past year. Rejuvenated, yet a little dazed, I’m all set to read and answer your queries. To start this New Year with a book on travel (although I’ve barely read any), which one would you suggest to me? Thanks! - Manish Ranjan, Bangalore Thank you for writing. You can start from The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux. Riveting i...
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              While I bask in the reads of the new season, I’m chilling out reading many books ranging from classics to psycho-thrillers. Folks, send your queries and as always I look forward to answering them.   I’m a mother of a five year-old boy. While I’ve been reading stories to him every day, I feel that my reservoir of stories has run out. Could you tell me of a few reads that I can read to my so...
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  Hello bookworms, thankfully the fierce Pune summer of last week has waned a bit and it is not unpleasant to step out in the evenings. It also implies that the weather during the day is most suitable for delving deep into books. Here is a pick of queries from the many we received over the week.   Looking for some poetry on women; can you recommend please? Thank you for writing. You can refer to Maya Angelou's poetry; she has written on the emancipation o...
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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...
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Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. Even as the monsoon has taken over, here are the answers to your queries.   Which book would you recommend as an ideal monsoon read. Thanks. - Tonmali Phukan, Assam. Try Alexander Frater's engaging non-fiction account of the Indian monsoon in Chasing the Monsoon. Let us know how you found it.   Which is the lightest Charles Dickens' work I can read? I am tired of reading his serious books....
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Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The monsoon is at its zenith, the roads have turned into canals and it wouldn’t be a surprise if boats start plying. Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I am a newly married man looking to impress my wife, an avid reader. Suggest a romantic book that will get the message across. – Abhinoy Dutta, Kolkata You never know what gets ...
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Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The monsoon has settled down to a soothing rhythmic pattern. Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I have just finished reading Vikram Seth’s novel in verse – The Golden Gate. Would there be another book written in the similar manner? I love poetry. - Shabnam Banu, Hyderabad You are just in luck Shabnam, for in 2011 came Cathy Ost...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. We are right in the midst of the monsoon, and the city outskirts are all heaven now. Waterfalls are gushing out and the lakes have swelled beyond its banks. Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I am disgusted by the recent match fixing activities during the IPL and how it has been conveniently forgotten. Is there a work of fiction that has ta...
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  Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The monsoon has taken a breather; there are intermittent showers from time to time. The weather is beautiful, overcast days make it ideal for travel. Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   Is there a new collection of short stories that you can recommend? I love reading works of new writers and especially Indian fiction. – Janice ...
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Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The weather is beautiful and sometimes we get a nice sprinkle of rain. What a time is it to travel! Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I love listening to Hindi film songs and especially like the lyrics of Gulzar. There is so much poetry in them. Is there a compilation of Gulzar’s film songs? – Jasmeet Kaur, Mumbai Thanks for a...
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  Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The rain has been incessant for the past couple of days, reason enough to submerge into books. Here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I am very inspired by the life of Abraham Lincoln. What is the best book available on him? Did he write an autobiography? – Shubham Kumar, Mumbai Thanks for the question, Shubham. Lincoln did not write an ...
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Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. What a wet, wet monsoon are we having here! It’s been days since I last saw the sun.  Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I am a fan of English poetry. What would be a good collection of classic English poetry – Sharayu Jayekar, Pune Cool. Now, there are several books out there, but the one that stands out in its quality ...
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Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. It was a beautiful two months of rain we had here in Pune! Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week: My teenaged girlfriend keeps reading these Mills & Boons romances. I want to gift her something about true love and friendship. What book should I choose? Ashwin Kumar, Lucknow  There is one book that most girls who read romance novels like. P....
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      Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The monsoon has disappeared and the sun is shining and we are ready with a new bunch of books! Here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week:   I love reading romantic novels, but something more meaningful than mills and boons. What would you recommend? - Shweta Dixit, Pune    Atonement by Ian McEwan would certainly appeal to you. ...
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    Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. We have had a couple of welcome showers in the past few days and the weather is just splendid! Here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week:   I have been asked to write a thesis on any Oscar Wilde book for the college project. What is your take on it? - Ankita Banerjee, Kolkata   Oscar Wilde was a genius of sorts and the one beautiful bo...
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    Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. We had a resounding end to the Ganesh festival this week, with the monsoon raining down their goodbyes along with numerous devotees. Anyway, here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week:  Frankly, is there a good Khushwant Singh novel? Which according to you is his best work? - Nidhi Sharma, Ahmedabad There is the novel by the name of Train to P...
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    Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. Monsoon has all but retreated, we still expect a few more showers, considering the overcast skies. Anyway, here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week:   Is there an English literary magazine based in India (preferably) that features new writers? – Amit Kumar, Pune  Unfortunately there is no significant Indian magazine that can claim a...
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Hello bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The weather is pleasantly cool here in Pune and we expect it to remain so for the rest of this year. Anyway here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week: I love reading Japanese manga comics and graphic novels? I have been looking for Indian graphic novels would you recommend a real good one? - Neha Kapoor New Delhi  There are certainly a bunch of Indian...
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Hello bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The monsoon has all but given way to bright sunshine and we could expect an early winter here in Pune. Anyway here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I am a student of history and would like to know what is the best book on India's history (post independence) that I can read. All I get to read in the college syllabus is pre-independence history. - ...
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    Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. We are almost in the midst of winter here, even as the sun shines bright all day, evening brings in a little pleasant chill in the air. Anyway, here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week:   I had been to Phuket last year and was just wondering if there is any work of fiction that is set on the place? - Sameeskha Kumari, Jaipur  This part...
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    Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. The weather is playing hide and seek, sometimes the sun peeks out warm, and otherwise clouds cover the sky all day. Anyway, here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week:   I have read William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Is there any other work of his worth reading? - Elton Fernandes, Goa There are many others, but for variety we would recommen...
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    Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. We are in for sunny days here, and in the evening there are hints to the approaching winter. Anyway, here is a pick from the many queries we received during the course of the week:   I have seen the first Hobbit movie and didn't think much of it. Is the book- The Hobbit any good? - Priya Srivastav, Ranchi  Well, you have come to the right place Priya, for The Hobbit...
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    Thank you for writing, folks. As we head towards winter, do write to me with your queries about fun, eccentric and groovy reads for the season.   Q 1: What plays would you suggest from twentieth-century literature for serious reading? Thanks - Antara, Gauhati   Antara, there is a whole list from where you could choose. You could try JB Priestly's An Inspector Calls, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, GB Shaw's Pygmalion, and Tennessee Willi...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    I suppose you guys must be enjoying the onset of winter. Do send me your queries on what you intend to read. Thank you for writing.   Q 1: I want to introduce my twelve year old daughter to some books that are read by girls in her age group. Could you suggest some of such reads/author please? - Anjana Shiv, Gurgaon    Ans: Thank you for writing, Anjana. I would suggest you try Eva Ibbotson's books because there is quite a variety in t...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Winter means different things to different people. It could be very sleep-inducing to some; while to others, it means curling up in a sofa to read. To others, it might just mean that moment when they need not pay any heed to alarm rings in the wee hours of the morning and get ready to work. It is the time of the year to just hibernate, read and relax. Here are the queries of the week:   Q 1: I want to read some winter poetry. What will you suggest? Akh...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  In this post, I will try to highlight some of the latest and fun reads for the season in two different genres of literature: thrillers and autobiography. Revel in both the warmth and the cold of this season and enjoy yourselves folks. The questions and answers of this week are as follows:   Q 1: Please recommend some thrillers to me to read as I am back home for holidays and I have no friends to hang out with except my dog. – Raghav, Assam Ans: Th...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Summer is here and it feels like as if it were already at its peak. While it gets unbearable to venture out in the afternoons, one cannot afford to be very outdoorsy. Apart from burning the midnight oil, have you guys been reading? Here are the two questions and answers of the week: Q 1: I need some love poetry to read during my break. Please tell me what to read. Amrita Naik, Pune Ans: Amrita, Thank you for writing. Please check Edwin Morgan's poems like Str...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal


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