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It's easy, funny and value for time and money. Some of our favorite books- 1) Bridget Jones Diary2) The Shopaholic Series...Add your favorites in the comments.
Post by: BookChums -
Ahmed Faiyaz, Managing Director, Grey Oak Publishers and a prolific writer with a deep insight to relationships, as they exist today in the urban cities, shares his thoughts and views with BookChums.   Beginning with the mundane/clichéd question: When, where and how did the writing bug bite? I’m not sure actually, to be honest. I guess being a voracious reader (as I am) is what pushed me towards writing in the first place. Back when I was 10 years o...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Inauguration Though we were tired, given our travel schedule a day prior to the fest, our spirits immediately escalated to a whole new level as we walked in to the Diggi Palace for the inaugural ceremony of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011. The bright and colorful décor of the palace and the vibrant atmosphere welcomed authors, celebrities, dignitaries and guests with warmth and love and soon the dropping temperature was almost inconspicuous. Noted Schola...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 1 Thankfully I was scheduled to attend all the events held at the Mughal Tent. Given the fact that I was proudly flaunting and parading in my knee-length boots, the situation saved me the trouble of running from one venue to another. But towards the end of the day as the crowd multiplied four folds, I was lucky even to be able to attend the sessions.   Kuch Sheher, Kuch Ped, Kuch Nazmon ka Khayaal (On Writing Poems) The first session of Mughal Tent ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Day 2 If we thought Day 1 was crowded, Day 2 surprised us even more. It seemed like the crowd had multiplied over-night.   The first session at Front Lawns was titled “Why Books Matter”, presented by the British Council. The dias had eminent authors including Patrick French, Sunil Sethi, Kiran Desai, John Makinson in conversation with Sonia Singh. Their discussion was intriguing and interactive. Talking about how and books matter, they touched up on t...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 3     The day began on a very light and rejuvenating session that had Ruskin Bond in conversation with Ravi Singh. Aptly named Boys Will Be Boys, the session saw Ruskin Bond read a few excerpts from his various books and a poem he had recently penned for kids. Ruskin Bond is truly one of the finest story-tellers of all times. He proved it yet again as he made up a story, almost instantly, of how escaped a tiger attack when he was 12. And boy! What a ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 4       Mumbai Narrative saw Gyan Prakash and Sonia Faleiro, in conversation with Madhu Trehan, discuss their books set in the urban cities. Gyan Praskash’s Mumbai Fables and Sonia Faleiro’s Beautiful Thing set in the backdrop of Mumbai reveal different aspects and facets of an urban city in a fascinating way.                              ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 5     The first session on the last day of the fest that I attended was Duet that comprised readings by Kavery Nambisan and Sarita Mandanna. The duo was introduced by Namita Devidayal. Kavery and Sarita spoke about their evolving styles and subjects during the course of their readings.                   I managed to attend a part of Translating the Classics, at the Durbar Hall, wherein Arunava ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Everyone has had their share of news to report, their accounts, and their observations and quickly arrived upon conclusions about the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, so far called the biggest literary extravaganza happening this side of the hemisphere, and being compared to cult festivals like Woodstock. Given it’s been a good 5 days since the fest ended; I thought it’s time I put down my two cents worth of experience.   Once the festival kicked off...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
Abha Dawesar, an internationally-acclaimed award-winning novelist, is amongst the finest contemporary writers of the country. I first saw her during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, during a session named “Migritude” (click here to see the session) where she was amongst the panelists. And when I heard her speak about the attitude of migrants, their thoughts, their creative balance, her demure appearance immediately took a back seat and she came acros...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  The Jaipur Literature Festival 2011 was more than just a festival for me. It was a celebration of ingenious minds. And it gave me an opportunity to know many wondrous authors and writers of the country. Amongst them all, I prominently grew a certain fondness for Sonia Faleiro. And it’s not because we share the same name. It was the kind of substance she brought with her - her second book (and her first non-fiction offering) “Beautiful Thing: Inside th...
Post by: Sonia Safri
It is quite unlikely that you would have not heard of Gurcharan Das. Gurcharan Das is a world renowned author, columnist, speaker and a 'corporate' man. He graduated with honors from Harvard University in Philosophy, Politics and Sanskrit, and later attended Harvard Business School (AMP). He was CEO of Procter & Gamble India and later Managing Director, Procter & Gamble Worldwide (Strategic Planning). In 1995, after a 30-year career in six countries, h...
Post by: Manasi Kakatkar Kulkarni
We live in an interesting era. New-age Indian authors are on the rise. The market is flooding with authors churning out English books that revolve around campus fiction, contemporary fiction, murder mysteries, local everyday drama, and the commercial story sorts. They give an almost accurate picture of society as it exists today. The real and sometimes pretentious situations; the fictionally honest thoughts; and the simply elaborate settings gel remarkably to make up for...
Post by: Sonia Safri
It all began with author of the famed The Rozabal Line reminiscing Pune as this hill station where tourists could relish the very famous Shrewsbury biscuits at Kayani Bakery. We know Pune has metamorphosed into a hep, busy city just like author Ashwin Sanghi, who after The Rozabal Line (a mythological fiction) has now picked up Chanakya's character from Indian history and intertwined another story of politics, revenge and manipulation to put together Chanakya's Chant, a ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
We did not know much about this brilliant, “new-age” author, Aditya Sudarshan, apart from the fact that he has penned two books – A Nice Quiet Holiday and Show Me A Hero; written a play, Sensible People, and several short stories and television scripts. He also writes literary criticism for The Literary Review and other publications. Having reviewed his second novel - Show Me A Hero recently, we managed an interview with the tall, dark and handso...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Manu Joseph – a renowned name in the field of journalism seeks no introduction. But we shall tell you a tad bit about him anyways. Formerly Features Editor of the The Times of India, Manu Joseph has also written for Conde Nast's wired.com, and the UK Independent.  He was shortlisted for Society magazine's Young Achiever Award and in a website survey among Indian journalists, he was voted 'The Most Stylish Writer'. In 2007, he was a Chevenin...
Post by: BookChums
April 14th, 2011. The road blocks (literally!), due to Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations did not deter book enthusiasts from attending the book launch of Grey Oak Publishers’ new offering – Down The Road. An electic anthology of 28 campus tales by 16 authors brings back unforgettable memories of life in the campus. We all have had our share of school and college incidents that bring out emotions and feelings attached to the carefree life we truly miss now. And...
Post by: Sonia Safri
All ye aspiring authors around…lend me your ears. I need to share with you a bubble of thought that burst in my head. It derailed my cognitive train and killed about a million brain cells in the vicinity. Investigation is on and I know serious damage has been done. But that story is for another time. What I want to highlight today is the present situation of our nation. Nope, not the political one. We have other flag bearers and upholders of truth, honesty, etc. ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
We have all lived on classics. From Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to George Orwell's Animal Farm, we have cried, laughed, chuckled at the various episodes, not-to-be-forgotten scenes from these memorable novels. But have you ever thought about what keeps bringing us back to these timeless pieces of fiction? We tell you what makes the classic what it is today   * The plots of most classic novels are lengthy, c...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
From Kuwait to India via refugee camps; from being a Brand Manager and winning awards to now writing short stories by the beach and photographing the mountains, Sneh Thakur has lived quite an exciting life. BookChums gets talking and digging for more about this beautiful, chirpy and multi-talented lady. In a nut shell, tell us about Sneh Thakur. I would best describe myself in 6 words as: Pint Sized Rapunzel. On a Cloud. I'm 29 years old, born to a ...
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
Despite a college romance being released every other day, love stories today have very few takers. And this is completely justified because these stories don’t have any depth – no pain, no longing, no determination, no romance, no feeling at all. The lovers are not committed; are not passionate for each other the way lovers of a romantic flick were known to. Love stories were known to motivate people, to win their love. But the stuff being churned out now, is...
Post by: guddu
After Vibha Batra’s grandfather passed away, she chanced upon his work Ishaavaasya Upanishad, which combined philosophy, mysticism and spirituality. Intrigued and fascinated by what this book had to offer, Vibha began translating it, and despite working as a full time copy writer she stayed at it. Though this task got too time consuming and hectic she feared, feared that she will never be able to complete the task.     So to ensure that this book saw t...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
When I contacted Rohini Kejriwal, for the first time, she came across as a 20-year-old, who, like Alisha, her protagonist from her short story - Learning & Unlearning, a short story from Down The Road - was interested in Maggi parties, masti and friends. But just like Alisha’s character had a lot of depth and acute understanding of life, this girl too knows what she wants to do in life and how she could go about it. With blogging, writing short storie...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
The challenge of raising a child can be reduced a great deal if you have a good parenting book handy.  Previously we had shared with you how you could distinguish a good parenting book from the average ones. Now we shall share with you the benefits of laying your hands on them     Preparing well in advance One of the advantages of reading good parenting books is that it prepares you for the upcoming challenges and also tells how you could avoid the dif...
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
A large segment of our generation today dreams of being a published author. Well, that’s what it seems. And surprisingly it is not really difficult to get self-published, provided you follow systematic (and logical steps) towards getting known. And yes, let’s not forget the (small) amount of money involved. Not many budding authors, today, follow the path of traditional publishing. Given the delays and the snail’s pace of work being delivered, self-pub...
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
BookChums got a chance to interview the versatile and prolific Chennai based freelance writer, Malathi Jaikumar, who was earlier senior sub-editor/ chief sub-editor, Indian Express, Delhi; Deputy Head Press and Public Affairs of the British High Commission (Delhi); and Communications Consultant for UNDP doing Post Tsunami advocacy work after her retirement. Receipient of the prestigious MBE award, she was also awarded the first prize in the Femina All India Short ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Having attended the book launch of Salil Desai's debut novel, The Body in the Back Seat in Pune recently, we were intrigued by his work and impressed with his background of film-making and having contirbuted to many anthologies. We got talking to the author and here's the unabridged version.  You have been a filmmaker for a long time now. Why did you move to writing a mystery novel? Wouldn't a film have been a more effective medium of bringing your...
Post by: Manasi Kakatkar-Kulkarni
Reading and writing, the two things we had almost lost to Xbox and Playstations and Wii and other gaming gadgets, are seeing the light of day once again. The rising number of readers and new-age writers is amazing. It not only instills faith in the fact that the younger generation is not all that spoilt, but also brings forth new contemporary literature. But my point today is not about honing such talents or praising them. Not today. I recently had a lengthy conversa...
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
   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
5th July, Mumbai. Landmark at Inifinity Mall was crowded as ever. But this time it was Landmark garnering most of the attention. And why not!?! Anurag Anand’s fifth novel, a fictional one, Reality Bites was launched at Landmark by eminent personalities of tinsel town – Sudhir Mishra (Director), Randeep Hooda (Actor) and reigning Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2011, Kanishtha Dhankhar.     (L to R: Randeep Hooda, Anurag Anand, Sudhir Mish...
Post by: Sonia Safri
In the last few weeks we spoke to you about how books on healthy eating, fitness regimes and mental wellbeing are the talk of the town and have become a part of everyone’s book shelf. Be it recipes to deal with acidity or fitness programmes to suit a particular body type, or books that teach you how to feel good, there are quite a few lessons you can learn from them. This week we shall take a closer look at the pregnancy-related health books that were released rece...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Social Media Revolution is taking the globe under its stride. A lot has been explored and a lot still needs to be uncovered. In this scenario, “Social Media Simplified” is a great attempt by Vijayendra Haryal and Anandan Pillai that points out key aspects of social media strategies, along with case studies based on Indian brands highlighting their success. BookChums got talking with the two authors to unearth the story behind the book.   ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
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
This week we chat up with Preeti Shenoy, an avid blogger, author of two bestsellers, an artist, a poet, a writer and a mother of two – or should I say just a mother of two (that’s what she calls her blog). Her two books, 34 Bubblegums and Candies and Life Is What You Make It, though poles apart, met with the same end: they were instant hits and went on to be declared national bestsellers.    Know about why this Bangalore-based author moved on...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
We all have felt stressed out and emotionally exhausted at one time or the other. In fact, with stress becoming such an integral part of our lives, how can the health books being written these days shy away from speaking about this subject? So in the concluding week of our five-part blog series on health books, we would be talking about the several books that speak about managing, balancing, beating and surviving stress…   Stress: From Burnout To Ba...
Post by: Deepti khanna
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
24th July, Mumbai: So I had quite an eventful Sunday. While all of you were busy sleeping and lazying around, I was on my way to attend the book launch of Growing up In Pandupur, by authors Adithi and Chatura Rao. A bit cranky and a bit annoyed with the early morning travel, I reached Landmark at Kemp’s Corner at 11am sharp…only to find it shut! My first thought: Was I mistaken about the launch date??? But thankfully a kind lady (with a really cute k...
Post by: Sonia Safri
With the number of fiction books being released in the market, it is no surprise that people from all walks of life are trying their hand at writing stories. The purpose behind writing could be to educate, entertain, or simply narrate a tale that they feel deserves to be spoken about. But before any more writers decide to take the plunge we would like to tell you the qualities you need to make it big as a well-read writer.    Discipline: For every writer to...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  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 Landmark store in Andheri was in limelight once again, this time for the launch of Faraaz Kazi’s debut novel- Truly Madly Deeply, which was published last year.   Present for the event were: renowned Indian Ad-film maker Prahlad Kakkar, Supermodel Aditya Singh Rajput, along with fashion designer and socialite Pria Kataria Puri. Writer, blogger, and now an author, Faraaz spoke about his debut novel, the ideation, the process, and the rave reviews i...
Post by: Sonia Safri
There are a lot many distractions nowadays for everyone. Work, Internet, Playstation, Xbox, or simply the idiot box. Who has the time or patience to read? Right?? But if you put your mind to it, you’d see it’s not that difficult. Here are some pointers to help you: Gather good reading material: There is no dearth if you just look around. With so many books stores, book stalls (those small road-side vendors have to make a living too and more often than ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
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
The Macmillan Dictionary describes the word “controversy” as: a disagreement, especially about a public policy or a moral issue that a lot of people have strong feelings about. Now to think that a book can cause a disagreement about social or moral issues is not all that astounding. Don’t get me wrong, but the multitude of such books has only risen with time. I know we say we don’t need reassurance from anyone regarding our selection of reading...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Corporate World seems like a parallel Universe. It is intriguing, fascinating and yes, shocking! And capturing a bit of the "shock" is Sumit Aggarwal's debut novel "Office Shocks".  The novel encapsulates the protagonists' first day at work. Filled with humor, the shocking incidents make for a quick read. BookChums got talking to the author for his take on the book and the corporate world.     What got you interes...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Many bloggers today have moved on to writing short stories and novels. Writers like Preeti Shenoy, Aseem Rastogi, Sneh Thakur, Naman Saraiya, Nikhil Rajagopalan, Rohini Kejriwal, Kunal Dhabalia, Rikin Khamar and many more have all been avid bloggers first and then moved on to writing novels and short stories. This week we should try to examine what is it that prompts bloggers to try their hand at publishing and do such authors have an upper hand over other first time wri...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Audio books have been used extensively in schools and public libraries to help children read. Though audio books were invented around 1930s it was only in the 80s that people began using it as a substitute and/or a supplement to reading books. It is no surprise that the concept of audio books was brought about to get more and more people into reading or listening – literary materials. The plus point here was that such books cater to more than one person at a...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Writing is an enjoyable exercise, for most. It is a great way to express your thoughts and feeling with words.   And to garner appreciation for it just adds to the charm, doesn’t it? Further, the thought of “earning” a bit through your work sounds intriguing enough…true? The number of bloggers turning into writers speaks for itself. But not many writers/bloggers find it easy to promote their work. The key word here is “driving traf...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Every day is a battle. Managing a home, a busy work schedule, unannounced meetings, attending book launches and a trillion other things, is challenging, if not a struggle. And despite all the challenges that spring up, I managed to get at the venue (Landmark Store, SGS Mall, Pune) on time to enjoy the book launch last evening. It seemed nothing short of an achievement and in that sense I had won! Winning is a habit and gives you a high that only people who have won ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
I’m sure (almost) everyone can write a nice piece of fiction. But ever thought about presenting a story in less than a 1000 words? That my friend, is Flash Fiction. Yes, I know it sounds a bit…weird? But just so that you know it is one of the most sought after practices in writing fiction currently.   Writing Flash Fiction is an art. Though it has been around for quite a while, it has become popular recently with contests and enthusiasts spreading...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Amongst the very many habits, the one that I would certainly like my daughter to inherit is the habit of reading. Seeing her seated in her own private corner devouring good books, being able to use the most fitting words, discovering the importance of pronouncing words rightly and making use of the right punctuations and pauses as and when necessary, would make me a happy mother . But for kids to inculcate such a skill set, it is important for parents to step in and br...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Having a family of voracious readers is an absolute blessing. And setting up a library at home not only makes better readers, but it can help develop interest of family members in a completely different genre of books. So here are a series of blog posts that will help you build a personal library that you would be proud to own. To begin with you just need not fret about developing a library. A home library is simple to develop, does not involve too much expenditur...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Last week we told you how you could go ahead and build your own enviable personal library. This week we shall take the series on personal libraries ahead and share the positives of having a personal library in your home. Kids more likely to pick up ‘other’ books If you have a reasonably large collection of books at home, kids and other members of your family will be exposed to newer authors, genres and styles of writing. And if there is a reading cult...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Swati Kaushal is one author we loved chatting up with. An email interview with her and we know she is one independent woman who loves people who stand by their mistakes, very much like the protagonists of her novels in Piece of Cake and A Girl Like Me. During the chat, Swati revealed what makes her novels a delightful read and how she goes about shaping the characters of her novels. And all you aspiring writers, don’t get disheartened, she has some very interesting...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Remember how when we were young, nursery rhymes were amongst the first fun things we learnt and recited almost all day long? I am told that in some cultures, those fun verses were verbally passed down from one generation to another. Imagine their longevity, and “richness”! But do you realize that most nursery rhymes are extremely violent in nature, with tales of death and suffering and tragic endings?!?! Read on…    Jack and Jill ...
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
After we have discussed how to accommodate a personal library at home and what are the advantages of a personal library, we shall take the series forward by discussing how you could go about enriching your collection of books. Checking up what parents have A wholesome library is put together after years of reading and appreciating books. And when you are just starting out, along with buying collectables, you could also check what you or your family already have. ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
For Prakash Iyer, the CEO of Kimberley Clark Lever, there is a winner inside every one of us. It is just a matter of realizing and acting upon. And to help Iyer share his experiences, he first began blogging and then contributing motivational and inspirational columns in Careers 360. Eventually, when Iyer realized that he was doing a good job at improving people’s success rates, he came out with a book titled The Habit of Winning that has some great stories on visi...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
“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
In the concluding part of the series on setting up a library at home, we shall now look at a comprehensive list of 10 must haves in your personal library. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller The novel describes the wartime experiences of an Army Air Corps Captain John Yossarian. Captain John Yossarian, a bomber pilot is trying hard to make it through WWII alive. But the only excuse the Army accepts for refusing to fly a mission is insanity. So Yossarian constantly devises...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A reading log (or a book journal) is a great way of keeping a track of what you have read, or are and will be reading. And truth be told, not many of us make or maintain a reading log. It is in fact good practice that helps you record your reactions to a book, and its characters. You can note your thoughts and gain further insight about the theme, the plot, the appeal and even its relevance. This will help you expand your overall enjoyment of reading and going ba...
Post by: Sonia Safri
“For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.” – James Joyce     As the political landscape shifted in many parts of the globe in the nineteenth century, Ireland was struck by the Potato Famine or an Gorta Mor (in the Irish language) in 1845 – 49. It left behind immense poverty, death, and diseas...
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
As the moment of joie de vivre has dawned, it is time to participate in and celebrate the festival of lights. On Diwali, most of us want to take it easy, let our hair down, just about vacation and chill out. It is also the approach of winter and we are already beginning to feel a nip in the air: the world seems to be so much of a happier place. There is the aroma of food wafting in the air, the smell of cracker bursts with a lot of litter bugs and litter all over the pla...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
As the moment of joie de vivre has dawned, it is time to participate in and celebrate the festival of lights. On Diwali, most of us want to take it easy, let our hair down, just about vacation and chill out. It is also the approach of winter and we are already beginning to feel a nip in the air: the world seems to be so much of a happier place. There is the aroma of food wafting in the air, the smell of cracker bursts with a lot of litter bugs and litter all over the pla...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  From a business journalist to an author, Sudha Menon’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. Her debut non-fictional, Leading Ladies, inspired her all the way to show the different facet of the lives of women who have indeed made a difference to society by sheer determination and focus.   The book covers the stories of: Amrita Patel, Anu Aga, Kalpana Morparia, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Lila Poonawalla, Mallika Sarabhai, Mallika Srinivasan, Meher Pudumj...
Post by: Sonia Safri
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” – Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)     The line quoted above by Ayn Rand explains the Theory of Objectivism. This concept is illustrated in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. The Fountainhead sketches Howard Roark as the epitome of in...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Romance, Love, Passion. What more do you need on cold winter days as you snuggle up in bed, enjoying your vacation with a warm mug of hot chocolate and a lovely romantic book?! Sometimes I feel the characters have come alive with each line of intimacy and desire, making each romantic read an unforgettable one.  The sometimes unconventional settings, the moods and the description of the scene evoke the senses. The hero, I believe, is all out to get her lady love. ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
  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
They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center ligh...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Continuing the list of romance novel, here are a few more to keep you engrossed this weekend!   A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux Vacationing in England with her lover, Robert, and his spoiled teenage daughter, heroine Dougless Montgomery is abandoned by them in a remote country churchyard near the tomb of Nicholas Stafford, an earl who died in 1564. Almost immediately, an armor-clad swashbuckler materializes--Nicholas himself, reincarnated in the ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
Good children’s books have wooed many adults. The story, well-etched characters, marvelous imagination have compelled many individuals to stack their classics and chick-lit right at the bottom and pick up the rich collection by revered authors like Anant Pai, RK Narayan, JK Rowling, Christopher Paolini and Ruskin Bond. Interestingly Dr Louise Joy, a Cambridge University academic, had reasoned that traditional children's tales are popular among older readers ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
P.G Wodehouse endearingly called Plum by his family and friends is known for his so-called quintessential British humor. He wrote novels, plays, and short stories delighting readers with stories that were reminiscent of his crème de la crème upbringing, schooling, and society. And to top it all, his works are timeless! He wrote some of the most elegant prose in British literature and this is obvious in all of the Jeeves and Blandings Castle books. His chara...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
In today’s day and age we are all bombarded with information. Be it the Internet, emails, morning newspapers, novels and reference books there is a lot of reading we are expected to do on a daily basis. Due to this surge of information, we just cannot afford to read slowly because loss of time means loss of information. Loss of information further translates to ranking below your peers. In order to help you win this crucial race we shall share with you a few...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Technology has always given us proud moments that have turned our lives around many pivot points. And the advent of ebooks has been one such turning point in the lives of avid readers/writers.     Storage Duplication and storing data is a lot easier than ever. The ability to hoard gigabytes of information (books) has brought around the ability to store and reflect upon every book you’d have ever read – as a child, as a teenager, as a c...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
It's not often that you get to read a book so powerful that keeps you up, and moves in your mind even after you are done reading it. Prey By The Ganges, by Hemant Kumar, is one such novel, with its far-reaching imagery and an utterly spine-chilling thrill. I couldn't resist the opportunity to interview the author to know more about the ideation and the writing process. Here's all that the author shared with us.     To begin with, we suddenly saw Hemant ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Magic Realism as the phrase suggests is not just about mere magic or dreamlike suggestions, content, or fine arts. It delves beyond the arena of fantasy. It observes and describes the banality of human existence via magical lenses. It has been portrayed time and again in literature and paintings and several contemporary writers such as Ben Okri, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, and Salman Rushdie write along the lines of magic realism. The beauty of it lies in fi...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Speaking of macabre literature, the first person who comes to mind is Roald Dahl. After a reading of Skin, one realizes why his macabre writings are immensely popular. Drioli, a man with a prized tattoo on his back disappears after the promise of a fine life by the dubious owner of the Bristol Hotel in Cannes. And what the reader discovers later is that there is no Bristol Hotel. All that chillingly emerges after his disappearance is a varnished painting, a dead-ringer v...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Rightly said, “never judge a book by its movie” stands tall and true with so many books and their weird movie versions. Here’s a list of some books that ruined the reading experience of the books.     The Time Traveler's Wife   The Time Traveler's Wife was the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
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
He enters and he is welcomed with a thundering round of applause and a standing ovation. All of a sudden you overhear people say, “He’s here… Wilbur Smith’s here” and he walks in and flashes a warm smile. As soon as he sits and gets comfortable, this writing phenomenon, Wilbur Smith, takes the mike and clarifies, “I am NOT here to sell my books but to gain sympathy as a writer!” And this is how begins this hour-long warm, candid...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
"Women, then, have not had a dog's chance of writing poetry. That is why I have laid so much stress on money and a room of one's own." – Virginia Woolf An avant garde who was far ahead of her times, Virginia Woolf introduced an entire movement of thought and of course highlighted the stream of consciousness technique. These works also highlighted feminism, bipolar disorder, post- traumatic stress disorder, and existentialism. A Room of One&rsqu...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
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
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
Debutant author Parinda Joshi is one talented lady. Armed with a Masters in Computer Science to an MBA in marketing and working in Analytics along with being a blogger for GQ and a professional photographer, she has entered the world of fiction by penning an urban, young romance set in two very vibrant cities. Needless to say that she has been able to play all these roles with élan. BookChums caught up with this young author to know how Live From London ha...
Post by: BookChums
“Books make great gifts because… [they don’t] come in any particular size, so you don’t have to be embarrassed if you bought somebody the wrong size.” –Valerie Bertinelli, actor With Christmas and New Years being just a few days away, it’s time to show your loved ones how much you care. Be it a parent, spouse, child, friend, in-laws (yes you should gift them too!!! LOL) a thoughtful and useful gift is sure to touch everyo...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
“Let us go then, you and I,  When the evening is spread out against the sky  Like a patient etherized upon a table;” - From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (TS Eliot)     The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock has always been regarded as the hallmark of modernist poetry and most of us would agree. It draws a vivid picture of Prufrock who is given to procrastination, has a sense of aging and unrequited love, and pinched by ind...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Here are some more opening lines of certain books that i've liked in the recent past.     "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty n...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
•    "[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction." •    “[George W. Bush] is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, am...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Gothic fiction is usually illustrated along stereotypical lines. A gothic story is usually imagined to have a medieval setting of a Gothic castle, a damsel in distress, a villain with blood-curdling intent, and a knight in shining armor. While all of these could be true while cohesively presenting a gothic story, it would be unfair to write off this genre as puerile or kitsch. It is not as unappetizing as it appears to be. It has evolved over the ages and surprisingly, s...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  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
“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
No. I am not an aging granny who cringes and lectures students to stop creating a nuisance. Nor am I that lady who sits in the reading hall and continuously does a tch tch when I hear people discussing recipes or boyfriends or the TV soap… But not adhering to norms of social decorum definitely irks me beyond measure. I am not against enjoying or having fun, but doing so in a library in a way other that devouring books is a heinous crime. Here’s a checkl...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
The first time I met author Manasi Vaidya was at a book launch event in Pune. She happened to tell me that Penguin was releasing her romantic comedy No Deadline For Love under the Metro Reads section. As soon as I got back to office, I read her blog, I fell in love with her writing style. Her topical subjects, situations and reactions were incredibly funny. From how she ran to the loo to key in her novel or how she came across a group of daughter-in-laws who faked linger...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
    Here are some more books that you shouldn’t miss. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell War And Peace – Leo Tolstoy Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery The Secret History – Donna Tartt Possession – A. S. Byatt Perfume – Patrick Suskind The House...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
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
It is that time of the year again, for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2011 shortlist is out! Seven novels feature in this shortlist for the 2011 edition of the prize, the list is in alphabetical order: AMITAV GHOSH, India River of Smoke (John Murray/Penguin India/Hamish Hamilton) BANANA YOSHIMOTO, Japan The Lake (Melville House) JAHNAVI BARUA, India Rebirth (Penguin India/Penguin Books) JAMIL AHMAD, Pakistan The Wandering Falcon (Penguin Indi...
Post by: BookChums
The store was full of literary banter. The people on the dias were discussing about books, new trends in publishing, and how crime stories are truly entertaining. All this and much more happened at the book launch of Salil Desai’s second literary offering, Murder on A Side Street, at Crossword Store, Senapati Bapat Road on a balmy Friday evening. Dharmendra Jai Narain popularly called D. J. Narain, director of FTII, and Abhay Vaidya, Resident Editor, Daily N...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
One of the comments on the back cover of Kankana Basu’s books - “With Basu around, you don’t really need Jhumpa Lahiri” – is sure to raise the bar about what you expect from the work, but her writings definitely meet all the expectations.  Cappuccino Dusk (novel) and Vinegar Sunday (collection of short stories) offer a very interesting take on Bengali families, their lifestyle and culture, and the way they these people have adapte...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Most How To books have writers telling us how to go through life in a more efficient manner, with the aid of the tips and guidelines on a specific topic or subject. So what have been the bestselling how to books lately? The American list, for instance, includes The 17 Day Diet by Mike Moreno, which is a book on diet and burning fat on a daily basis. Every Day a Friday is another self-help book by Joel Osteen, the book is presented as a daily happiness guide, wi...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
To an aficionado of archaeology and for a good archaeology read, the first book that comes to mind is Agatha Christie’s Come, Tell Me How You Live. In her own words, she said that it was not meant to be taken seriously. She said that it was a ‘light-hearted and frivolous’ read and that she meant to relive the ‘poignant remembrance of our days in Arpachiyah and Syria’; however it also set an interest in archaeology among children in several p...
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
  Friday, 20th January, 2012 Landmark, Pune:  I was recently invited to the book launch of two of the most awaited anthologies -  Urban Shots Crossroads and Urban Shots Brightlights.   I walked in to the store, towards the book launch area, recognizing a few familiar faces, and smiling at the new ones. I could sense the excitement. It reminded me of the launch of the first Urban Shots anthology by Grey Oaks and the launch of Down the Road th...
Post by: Sonia Safri
I recently read about some cult literary traditions for literature fans. And I wish to share those with you today. But before I begin with the traditions and their essence, let me give you an idea of what literary tradition is. As I tumbled upon recently, literary tradition is a collection of works that have an underlying interconnectedness and coherence. It is not simply a group of works sharing geography or group. Writers may not belong to a particular place or er...
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
Acceptance is something we all desire. To be appreciated and loved obviously comes after that. Queer writers R Raj Rao and Hoshang Merchant reflected upon how this very basic desire (that is often taken for granted by others) is something that does not come easy to queer writers. All this and much more was discussed at one of the sessions called Whistling In the Dark at the recently concluded Jaipur Literary Festival 2012. Hoshang Merchant threw light on the dile...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A graphic designer and copywriter by profession, Vibhuti Bhandarkar began blogging a few years ago and ended up churning a fast-paced and delightful collection of ten short stories, Not Totally Unbelievable. Talking about her life and her passion for writing, Vibhuti told us upcoming work as well. Read on.     Tell us a bit about your professional and personal background I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. I was a student of G.D. Art at The Sophia...
Post by: Sonia Safri
    The threat of a ban, the artist’s dissent, self-expression, it was all there, in between the uttered words, at the inaugural session of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012. The session was aptly called, Bhakti Poetry: The Living Legacy.   After an introduction and welcome by Festival Producer Sanjoy Roy; poet, literary critic, academician and activist Purushottam Agarwal spoke on bhakti poetry over the ages. He talked about the element of G...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Now we all want to access Facebook, Twitter and our personal email accounts from office. But in most organizations our kind bosses and even kinder management, put these websites in shackles. But Ankit Fadia’s new book, How to Unblock Everything on the Internet, which was recently launched in Crossword store, SB Road, explains how one could break open these virtual chains and access all the information you want.   Ankit Fadia, is a cyber security expert a...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  How well can you translate Gulzar’s works into English? Pavan K.Varma has walked the tight rope and gone on to do so. As a result, in a brand new bilingual poetry collection, we have Gulzar’s Hindi originals on the left side of the page, to Varma’s English translations of the same, on the right.   The story behind the book title goes like this: One day, after a long gap, Gulzar abruptly called up Varma and told him, “As several ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
“And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout.”     From The Song of the Wandering Aengus     While Yeats was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Shelley, there was a transient sense of his imagery moving across Irish folklore and Irish Nationalism.  Needless to say, he was influenced by the Irish mythological cycl...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Arnab Ray aka Greatbong, was in town to launch his new release The Mine at Crossword, SB Road. This book is a deviation from his previous collection of essays on Bollywood and politics May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss. The Mine is a horror-ridden, psychological thriller which was a reaction to the fact that Indians are not interested in good and genuine horror. Ray made it clear that horror here did not mean the horror pertaining to vampires, haunted homes and...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Ever since there have been humans on earth, or more precisely, the male and female species, there has been the omnipresent fatal attraction that goes around by the name of love. It is thus no wonder that writers from time immemorial have featured love in their stories. One of the few early examples includes Indian poet Kalidasa and his poems Sakoontala and Meghdootam. The latter is the tale of an estranged couple, and a cloud who acts as a messenger to the husb...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Two years ago, Arnab Ray decided to play it safe. After tasting immense success and a steady fan following on his blog: greatbong.net he compiled his first book, May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss with detailed essays on two of his favourite topics – Bollywood and politics.  He says, “In my first release I experimented with styles of comedy but not with the subject. My latest The Mine is experimental with respect to writing style and subject matter.&rdquo...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
“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.”   Funeral Blues by WH Auden   Gallows humor reveals tremendous courage and a stoical side in man. Kurt Vonnegut demonstrated an entirety of it in his novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Although sick and numb with the Dresden experience, he went on to survive and tell the world...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Love is an emotion of exultation, of extreme happiness, bordering on delirium and superficial onlookers may term it as insane, as many things of the heart are so readily termed. As far as books are concerned, the most popular of the love stories are the oft-repeated boy-girl romance sagas. Look at the most downloaded book of love st...
Post by: Bookchums
In this blog, we make an attempt to highlight some of the best short-story writers. Moving into the abyss of psychoanalysis, Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910) wrote some of the best short stories. The Imp and the Peasant’s Bread is an example of Tolstoy’s concept of good and evil. He highlighted the naivety and goodness of human nature juxtaposing evil. His thoughts and characterization bordered on the ascetic and the real and his writ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Most creative writing experts argue that writing is all about evolving and improving continuously. It is also about beginning from a certain end and imagining the unimaginable. It is also about describing what it feels like or something that a person should never feel. This is the first of  a three part creative writing programme for all you budding creative writers to follow and hone your writing skills. And remember this is just the beginning… Exerci...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  What makes a man turn to crime? I’ve often asked myself this question. Why is it that I commit murders and revel in dead bodies?   Well you could blame it on my upbringing – I was brought up in circumstances where crime was a way of life. My mother devoured Agatha Christie, my father adored Alfred Hitchcock. As a school boy I was introduced to Sherlock Holmes and the Hardy boys and in college I fell into the violent company of James Hadley ...
Post by: Salil Desai
We converse with the effervescent media personality Kalli Purie who heads the India Today Digital business and has authored Confessions of a Serial Dieter, a weight loss memoir. In this book, which she began writing as a lark, became a therapeutic activity for her. The memoir is motivational and a very personal account that elaborates how Kalli went down from 104 to 60 kgs in 18 months! Please throw some light on your professional life. What does it take to be th...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Inspiring quotes from books They say authors have seen it all. They are able to pen books, poetry, fiction because they are sensitive, sensible, observant and articulate. Here are some words of wisdom from authors that we have loved reading. Their profound knowledge and simplicity is something you will enjoy and gain immensely from. We vouch for that.    “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” Oscar Wilde, who was ...
Post by: Bookchums
In a corporate set up leaders are always rewarded. Being a good leader calls for visualizing your goal before time and sharing your vision effectively. It also calls for getting people together and motivating them to share your dream. Here are a few books that will tell you in great detail what it takes to be a good leader. Leadership Is An Art was first published in 1989, and it sold more than 800,000 copies. This revised edition looks at leadership as a kind...
Post by: Bookchums
“What is the victory of a Cat on A Hot Tin Roof?—I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can...” ― Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof   Tennessee Williams was born on this day in 1911. He stooped to conquer it all; his writings were all about passion, love, promiscuity, explosive emotions, tenacity, and compassion. And there would barely be anybody else who would capture human emotions the way he did. Cat on a...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    It has been a while now, but we still do remember Oliver Twist walking up, trembling to the cook of the workhouse and asking for a little more. Food has featured in various books of literature, sometimes as key characters. How would have, say, Robinson Crusoe survived without scouring for food on the island he ends up in after a shipwreck.     For all those with the love for chocolate, Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a tre...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Joseph Pulitzer was a man who came, he saw and he conquered. His was a tale of riches to rags and rags to riches. Born on April 10 in 1847 into a Jewish family in Hungary, he witnessed and experienced a lot in one lifetime. After his father’s death, the Pulitzer family’s business empire crumbled and they were left in utter penury. Pulitzer traveled from Hungary to the United States after making an attempt to get enlisted in numerous European regiments. He s...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  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
April 23, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums interviewed Sam Vaknin, editor, columnist, psychologist, financial advisor & consultant, and author of the popular book, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited. This book is a treatise on narcissism and explores the depth of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and how individuals afflicted with this disorder tend to abuse others; thereby destroying relationships. In this witty and crisp interview, he described his writings ...
Post by: BookChums
  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
    April 30, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums interviewed Sci-fi author, Steven Lyle Jordan whose 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 Cracks, Worldfarm One,  and Despite Our Shadows. In this buoyant interview, ...
Post by: BookChums
Food and family mean the world to Mita Kapur. It’s no surprise that both her passions found her way into her first book,The F-Word, which is a part travel, part recipe and part memoir. This book should truly be bought and reread by every foodie, as it is multi-dimensional and a textured read. We talk to this freelance journalist, founder-CEO of Siyahi, a literary consultancy, who apart from providing creative and professional help to new writers believes fi...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
    It was a meaningful, cheerful evening on 4th May, 2012, at Reliance TimeOut, Pulse Mall, Pune Nagar Road, Pune; the occasion being the book launch of Shweta Ganesh Kumar’s second novel – Between the Headlines. Joseph Pinto, Former Editor, Maharashtra Herald, Pune and a visiting faculty at several journalism institutes, launched the book. Kumar was a student from Pinto’s 2006 Symbiosis batch, thus the connection.   As we mentione...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
          “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
Celebrated journalist and author S Hussain Zaidi was in town to launch his third book, Dongri to Dubai. After the success and applause for lucid storytelling in Black Friday and Mafia Queens of Mumbai, this was certainly one awaited book. The launch was held at Landmark Store. Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta was at the event to promote Zaidi’s release. At the event, Zaidi the great storyteller, told us all a story; a story of how journalism happened to him, how he look...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
                                          Creative, bleak, post-apocalyptic, horrific, bloodthirsty, and disturbing: Suzanne Collins’ book The Hunger Games spells and evokes all of it. It a survivor’s tale and Collins wrote a heavy dose of the gory. She drew an inspiration from the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and reality shows on the TV. T...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts. His author's great-great-great-grandfather, William Hathorne, was the first in the family to emigrate from England to Salem.   William's son, John Hathorne, was one of the judges who oversaw the Salem Witch Trials. When Nathaniel got to know of this, he is said to have added the letter ‘w’ to his surname. It is said that he wanted to dissociate himself from his ‘n...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A fiction writer can write about candy floss romances, innocence associated with childhood, issues plaguing the society or simply be a how-it-is writer. This week we speak with Palash Krishna Mehrotra, the author of Eunuch Park (short story collection) and The Butterfly Generation (novel) who chooses not to “write polite books which can be discussed over tea in drawing rooms”. In the interaction, Mehrotra mentions that he likes exploring gray areas without ju...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
                                    "One little two little three little Indians, four little five little six little Indians, seven little eight little nine little Indians… One million little Indian entrepreneurs. These are the stories of the little people who make up the Big Idea of Dharavi. A slum of energy, enterprise and hope. Where every hand i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  On one of her blogs Kiran Manral blogs about fashion, jewellery, bags, shoes, cosmetics, home décor and food. She claims to be obsessed with them all; we are sure most women will understand why… In the interview, the author talks to us about how her first novel The Reluctant Detective was born, why blogging is so much fun and how she founded India Helps (a network of volunteers who work with disaster victims). How was the storyline of The...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  “I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.” -      George Bernad Shaw George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) was a popular Irish playwright. He wrote more than 60 plays and his writings concentrated on social problems. His works had a streak of comedy that made the stories more palatable. Shaw looked at education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw eventually...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Many of us would remember Premchand's priceless stories that we were introduced to us way back in school.   His works, sometimes humourous, used literature for arousing public awareness about grave national and social issues. He wrote about topics like corruption, widowhood, prostitution, feudal system, poverty, colonialism and India's freedom movement.   Premchand wrote over 300 short stories, 14 novels along with a number of essays, letters, p...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
It was Day 1 at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012. The chill and heaviness in the air could not be ignored but failed in dampening the mood of the attendees at Diggi Palace, Jaipur. With discussions by such lovely authors, and book readings simultaneously happening at five different venues, book lovers like me were enthusiastic, immersed in soaking themselves in the sea of words and the beautiful worlds they created. I was attending Exile on Main Street: Chang...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  A journalist, former drug-addict, TV regular and primarily an author, the 1961-born British writer Will Self has nine novels, three novellas and five collections of non-fiction and short stories to his credit. Self's writing style borders on the cynical, he has his satire; can be exaggerated and distorted at times. Self is back in the limelight with his 2012 novel Umbrella, long listed for the 2012 Booker.   The story goes like this. Somewhere at a menta...
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
Sam Thompson’s fiction Communion Town that has been long listed for the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2012 is an interesting story. It is the story of a place that never looks the same way twice!   Thompson’s book is about a place that becomes as imagined anew by each citizen who walks through the streets. The story has a surreal quality with the city’s “voices half-heard, signs half-glimpsed and desires half acknowledged”. Thomp...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  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
  A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author's soul. - Aldous Huxley   Many writers will tell you that the culmination of a novel or a short story is the most difficult to write. Or should we say that to say goodbye takes some doing in literature? Then you might wonder what goes on the minds of writers who go about writing trilogies.   In another context, as a team of book readers and reviewers, we...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Bloggers share a part of their lives with you. After having followed a few bloggers for months at length, I have known people, got acquainted with their interests, passions and quirkiness. So after following Bishwanath Ghosh’s blog for a year now, I was delighted to do this interview. His blog posts had already told me that he loved poetry, Bollywood and old movie songs. Plus, his blog had these lovely, sometimes naughty short stories and travel stories that gave...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
    For several centuries now, as is real life, children, adolescents and teenagers have provided verve and charm to many works of literature.   Be it the adventurous, aimless frolic, mischief and even a bit of danger, two Mark Twain books readily come to the mind. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was first published in 1876 and chronicles with humour and playful storytelling, the fun and frolic life of Tom, his friends, romance and escapades. Another Tw...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
                            “His heart feels like the raw meat it is. It feels like something peeled and bleeding. It feels the way it felt when his mother left.” The Lighthouse by Alison Moore Enter the life of Futh, a man in his forties, recently separated from his wife and silently bemoaning his mother’s exit from his life while he was a child. He is gullible, he...
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
      They made me invisible, shrouded and non-being A shadow, no existence, made silent and unseeing Denied of freedom, confined to my cage Tell me how to handle my anger and my rage? -- Zieba Shorish-Shamley – ‘Look into my World’ published on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights     The Red Wrath by Hatef Mokhtar is a love story set in the macabre throe...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever--or else swoon to death. - John Keats   When no one knows for sure, one speculates and lo, legends are made. The above lines from Bright Star were inspired, they say, when Keats was resting his head on the heart of his lover, Fanny Brawne. Such was Keats, a star tha...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its lovliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. - John Keats, Endymion   We come to the third act now, as Keats immersed himself in verse and brought out a first collection called Poems that his publishers were much ashamed of, though a few critics saw promise in him.  Keats promptly chan...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  There are some people in this world who do know what they want to do, the question of choice, hesitation or dilemma doesn’t rise. Such is the happy case of Charles Schulz, an American cartoonist who spent 50 of his 78 living years in drawing daily comic strips for his creation Peanuts. Born in 1922, Minneapolis, Schulz was Carl Schulz and Dena Halverson's only child. He was nicknamed 'Sparky' after a comic strip character by his uncle. Sparky grew up to b...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
       “Together, the two began the kind of conversation that flows seamlessly, unstoppably, each fork begetting another branch of common interest, a conversation that continues until this day.” - David Oliver Relin - Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace   David Oliver Relin, co-author of Three Cups of Tea is no more. He died on November 15, 2012. He was a seasoned traveler, journalist and writer. Born in 1962 ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Have you ever been on a tight spot while applying for a US visa? Have any of your relatives or friends gone through a harrowing experience after alighting in the US? What are the forms you need to fill if you are to be eligible for a job in the US? What is the right time for a student to arrive in the US before his course is to begin? What are the perils of dialing an Indian number in the US that begins with the digits: 9-1-1?   So many questions and you...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
              “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
              “You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”   -    Jack London   Born as John Griffith Chaney and popularly known as Jack London was born on January 12, 1876. Synonymous with literary works such as The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Burning Daylight, Lost Face, South Sea Tales and The Leopard Man’s Story among others. He was a multi-faceted i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
              Ritu Lalit is an Indian novelist and short-story writer. Her short stories, titled My Daughter’s Stricken Eyes Haunt Me and Hidden were featured on Ripples: Short Stories by Indian Women Writers. In this exclusive interview with BookChums, she discusses her inspiration behind the short stories in Ripples, her novels that are slated for release this year, her fascination for the human mind and her advice to a...
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
                        On January 19, 2013, literature lovers, friends, family and the APK Publishers (who included Prashant and Anagha Karhade) met at the book launch of Mr.Ramakant Kapatral’s novel titled Certainly Uncertain: The IT Rush. It was a confluence of repartee, socializing and fun interactions at Damle Sabhagruha at Law College Road in Pune followed by high tea.    Mr...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
         It has been a pleasure answering your queries. As time rolls, I’ve been up to a bit of reading. What about you, guys? Do keep writing and I’ll be thrilled to interact with you. Thank you for writing. Q. My friend is moving to foreign shores for a year. He enjoys travelogues. Please suggest a book that I can gift him. Vinod Mathew, Pune You could check Slowly down the Ganges and A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric...
Post by: BookChums
  At the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra's speech was less of a keynote address, but rather a recitation of Kabir's poems. In the heat of the opposition to Salman Rushdie’s proposed JLF visit, Mehrotra made his point through Kabir, putting across the futility of religious discrimination. The speaker at this year's keynote address (on January 24, 2013) – Social activist and Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi, 87, has had a long and ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  The name was Fleming, Ian Fleming and in his earth-residing years (1908-1964) he gained fame for his spy novels featuring the efficient workaholic British secret agent James Bond. The first Bond novel Casino Royale was written in 1952, the overwhelming response ensured that two short story volumes and eleven Bond novels were published between 1953 and 1966. Fleming, who also worked as a journalist, was clearly influenced by his British naval intelligence work d...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  The Jatakas are a huge body of Sanskrit literature, and their uniqueness still rings true. All the stories concern Buddha and his previous lives and have Buddha appear in various forms, ranging from human to animal-form and others. Each story is embellished with a moral; virtuousness is well displayed here, to be imbibed for living a kind, wise and happy life.   Wisdom never dies; it is only reinterpreted in a new age. It is thus no surprise that 26th Ja...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
                    On January 27, 2013, Jason Burke will introduce William Dalrymple’s latest book titled Return of a King at the JLF. This much-discussed book concentrates on the history of former Khurasan (current-day Afghanistan) from the days of Dost Muhammad and Shah Shuja ul-Mulk, the grandson of the emperor of the Durrani Empire, Ahmad Shah Abdali. Return of a King highlights the British interest...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            Stanley Karnow was synonymous with war journalism and his coverage of the Vietnam War placed him on the master list of Nixon’s political opponents. He covered Asia working with Time, Life, the Saturday Evening Post, the London Observer, the Washington Post, and NBC News. He was chief correspondent for Vietnam: A Television History series which won several awards and accolades such as six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
       This article by Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited has been earlier published in the author's blog, eclipse and PLR IM.   I am a voracious reader of the most convoluted and lexiphanic texts - yet, there is one author I prefer to most. She gives me the greatest pleasure and leaves me tranquil and craving for more when I am through devouring one of her countless tomes. A philosopher of the mundane, a...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          Needless to say, JLF each year has been an assortment of diverse writings. Day 5, this year, saw American author, Madeline Miller (winner of the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction) discussing The Song of Achilles with Indian poet and author, Anjum Hasan. The Song of Achilles is a reconstruct of mythical Greece and describes the love affair between Achilles and Patroclus. Miller drew her inspiration from Homer’s Iliad about the r...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Set during World War II, The English Patient is one of the six novels that Michael Ondaatje has published in his 36-year writing career, until the time of writing. The book won him the 1992 Booker Prize (Now called the Man Booker Prize for Fiction). A novelist of Sri Lankan-Canadian origins, The English Patient displays the writer at the height of his powers. The non-linear narrative showcases the lives of the main protagonists in great detail. The multi-layered textur...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
                              On February 2, 2013, former American Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in American Military history was shot dead at Glen Rose in Texas. He was Chris Kyle. His autobiography titled American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (co-authored with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice) is a revelation of the number of p...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
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
    Deep down in the human psyche lurks something of the crooked, twisted villainous rawness. It is no wonder why the deep recesses of the human mind are what psychoanalysts, painters, sculptors, writers and observers of the human mind feast upon. Several plays, case studies and stories have been written to reveal the subconscious mind in an attempt to understand, acknowledge and study human foul play in matters of the heart and romance. These relationships...
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
            “What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.” ― Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire    Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), popularly known as Tennessee Williams has been synonymous with some of the most remarkable writings from the twentieth centu...
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
          Monideepa Sahu is an Indian writer, a history aficionado and a former banker. She comes from a family of scholars who can be traced to sixteen generations from the Comilla District in Bangladesh. She has authored Riddle of the Seventh Stone and a host of short-fiction that has been published in collections such as A Rainbow Feast: New Asian Stories, Bad Moon Rising: The Puffin Book of Mystery Stories and The New Anthem: The Subco...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                    It is that part of the year when love is in the air. While the world is getting geared up for Valentine’s Day, I’m happy to suggest and recommend books to you. Wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!   Hi, I’m an 18 year old from Ajmer. Could you send me the titles of some really nice romantic poetry collections please? - Niharika Anand, Ajmer Thank you, Niharika f...
Post by: BookChums
    'Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again, Take me to you, imprison me, for I Except you enthral me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me'.   John Donne   Bards and poets have composed and sung about the immortality of love down the ages. The list is always endless. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, we decided to list some of our all-time favorites for our readers. The poem above is by John Donne from sixteen...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Filled with the fragrance of love and other emotions, Cocktail by Vikram Karve straddles the complex world of human relationships. In an increasing random world of urbanization, mushrooming cities and communication devices, human beings are becoming more and more estranged from each other and themselves. Several of the book’s 27 stories are to do with the complex web that relationships spin, and many out of them are to do with love.   Love seems 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
Quite contrary to common practice, I, for one, find it extremely difficult to pen down a travelogue immediately after concluding an adventure. It is perhaps the level of unadulterated wonderment (something that I am very prone to) that almost automatically and unscientifically converts every rational description into an incomprehensible babble in excitement.   The year 2012 concluded with a trip to north China, where my first stop was Beijing. The temperature up...
Post by: Madhurima Duttgupta
  It has been great answering your queries and recommendations. Reading is such a fun activity. It is always good to hear from you. Here are the answers to this week’s queries from our readers. Please suggest some good autobiographies by women writers. Thank you. Anita Agarwal, Guwahati Thank you for writing Anita. Please check Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Come Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie, Over my Shoulder by Jessie Matthews and Rosa Parks: M...
Post by: BookChums
          “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”   Benjamin Disraeli   Such is the essence of travel and travelogues make some of the greatest reads in literature. Travelogues have been written since time immemorial; travellers have travelled to unchartered and unknown territories. Some of these writers from the old world were Homer, Xenophon, Pausanias, ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.”A   Anais Nin   Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell popularly known an Anais Nin was born on February 21, 1903. Known for her writings in the genres of journal, erotic literature, short stories and essays, she was an avant...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          Thank you for the queries and as always, I look forward to your questions.   I’m looking for some racy short stories and novels. Thrillers will do. Thanks. - Govind Saraogi, Jaipur Thank you for writing. You can try Jeffrey Archer’s works such as A Prisoner of Birth, A Quiver full of Arrows, As the Crow Flies and Honour among Thieves. Or you could also take a look at some of Lee Child’s novels such as A ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
They came to the world at around the same time and bid farewell to it at around the same time too. Victor Hugo was born on 26th February 1802; HW Longfellow made his appearance on February 27, 2013. Only Hugo and Longfellow grew up and lived most of their lives in France and America respectively, and we are almost certain that they didn’t ever meet each other.   Victor Hugo’s reputation in France came to him through his poems; it was established furt...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
                  “I don't want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings.”   ― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook   The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick belongs to the humorous-fiction genre.  It was made into a romantic-comedy film which was directed by David O. Russell and produced by Bruce Cohen and Donna Gigliotti....
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            Thank you for the questions this week. It’s nice to answer varied queries. Have a great time reading and do write.     Could you send me the titles of some quick reads – thrillers? - Nidhi K, Bangalore Thank you for writing, Nidhi. Ruth Rendell’s psycho thrillers such as The Bridesmaid, The Killing Doll, and Adam and Eve and Pinch Me are really quick reads. Enjoy!     I need to...
Post by: BookChums
The first notable distinction about the two names you see on the blog post title is of mortality. Browning has been resting in peace six feet under for over a century and half now, Marquez is very much alive, he turned 86 today.   Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 -1861) was an English poet whose first poem was published when she was eight years old. It seems Elizabeth suffered from an undiagnosed illness all her life and the treatment that included intake of mor...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
      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
  Few writers write with such an easy assurance as Anita Desai. Her prose exudes eloquence and charm, both rare qualities. Desai won the 1978 Sahitya Akademi Award for her novel Fire in the Mountain and the British Guardian Prize for The Village by the Sea. She has received three Booker Prize nominations so far, but it yet to win one. Ironically, her daughter Kiran Desai’s 2006 Man Booker Prize winning novel – The Inheritance of Loss had characters an...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
        Thank you for writing, folks. Just like last week, we have had varied queries and I’ve been happy to compile these.     I want to read the works of an Indian poet in English. Where do I start? – Nimisha, Pune Thank you for writing. In this case, do try the works of Dom Moraes. His poems such as Key, Rendezvous and Architecture are simply marvelous. You could also try Nissim Ezekiel’s poetry. His poems suc...
Post by: BookChums
        In our author interview section this week, we feature American children’s author, Rhonda Gowler Greene who has written over twenty books. In this highly-interactive interview with team BookChums, she discussed her first published works, how her background in music inspires her works, the auction among four major publishers for a picture book manuscript of hers, contract with Simon & Schuster/Atheneum with the Barnyard Song, fav...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
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
        “There can be no society without poetry, but society can never be realized as poetry, it is never poetic. Sometimes the two terms seek to break apart. They cannot.”     Octavio Paz (March 31, 1914 – April 19, 1998)     Mexican diplomat, professor, writer and poet, Octavio Paz was born on March 31, 1914. He read DH Lawrence in his youth and attended Colegio Williams in Mexico City. He went on to...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
        Hope you folks have been enjoying yourselves. Here are the questions and answers for this week. Keep writing.   I’m looking for some war poems. Do you have any poet in mind whose writings I can go through? – Manik Singh, Chandigarh Please look for Wilfred Owen’s poetry. He wrote during the First World War. He wrote about the horrors and futility of war. Some of his poems such as I Saw His Round Mouth's C...
Post by: BookChums
  There are many mirth-inducing books that the British comic writer P.G.Wodehouse wrote, we shall talk here specifically of three: Meet Mr. Mulliner, Mr. Mulliner Speaking and Mulliner Nights. Each book contains a series of short stories narrated by the politely forceful and elderly Mr. Mulliner at Angler's Rest - one of Britain’s many chatter-friendly pubs. Any topic of conversation at the pub leads to Mr. Mulliner remembering a story of one of his distant...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
          Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is no more. She authored several popular novels and anthologies such as To Whom She Will, The Nature of Passion, Esmond in India, The Householder, Get ready for Battle, Like Birds, Like Fishes; A Backward Place, A Stronger Climate, An Experience of India, A New Dominion, Heat and Dust, How I Became a Holy Mother and other stories, In Search of Love and Beauty, Out of India, Three Continents, Poets and Dancer,...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            American sci-fi author and illustrator, Steven Lyle Jordan recently released his latest thriller, Sarcology. In this exclusive interaction with team BookChums, he discussed the inspiration behind his latest book, the relevance of the book title to the plot, his creative-writing process and much more. He has also authored novels such as Evoguía, Verdant Skies, Verdant Pioneers, The Kestral Voyages: My Life, After Be...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Though many in the world had a view of the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher as the lady to look out for with the handbag, it cannot be denied that her life as the leader of the UK changed the outlook towards women in power. Also, her many decisions have altered the global political landscape to such an extent that it is still being felt today.   A quote from Gillian Shepherd, who was the junior minister under Thatcher, rightly sums up what we have to underst...
Post by: Tathagat Behera
          Hope you folks have been enjoying yourselves. Do share your reads with us. Here are the questions and answers for this week. Keep writing and enjoy your summer reads.   I have read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Is there any other book by him that you would recommend? Thanks – Ashish Goyal, Bangalore You can read Glory by Nabokov. It is a great read that encapsulates brilliant narration, language and storytelling. ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Goold Brown was a grammarian who was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1791. He is famous for authoring many books about the English language grammar out of which many are read even today. Though the technicalities about the grammar taught in his book might not be applicable today, it is a sheer joy to read through the various grammar rules and tenets which the man authored in 1851. Yes, I’m talking about the book, “The Grammar of English Grammars...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
An encyclopedia is a reference book which provides a host of information on a multitude of subjects. It is a compendium which holds together a summary of information about many subjects or a particular branch of knowledge. The entries are divided by their names or categories for easy usage by the reader. As said earlier, the encyclopedias might be on a variety of subjects or a single subject, similarly, encyclopedias might cater to any group of people or everyone i...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” - William Shakespeare   Writers write, they live, they die, and what remains is the oeuvre. There is one striking writer whose work has sparkled for centuries now, stranger to the rust of time and the march of human civilization. Quite simply, there has been no playwright who has captured the imagination of the reading and theatre audience like Shakespeare.   It is widely agre...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
          It’s been great hearing from you during this while. Do let us know what you’ve been reading and share your summer reads with us. Today is the birthday of cricket stalwart, Sachin Tendulkar. Some of our readers wanted to know of some recommended books on him. These are as follows along with the other questions and answers for this week.     On Tendulkar: Sachin Tendulkar - A Definitive Biography by Vaibhav...
Post by: BookChums
          Robert Penn Warren was born on April 24 in 1905 in Kentucky. He is synonymous with his work All the King’s Men for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature in 1947. He was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic. He was one of the founders of New Criticism that highlighted close reading especially in poetry. Some of his works include John Brown: The Making of a Martyr, Thirty-six Poems, An Approach to Literatur...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
        Hello folks! Hope all of you’ve been enjoying yourselves. As always, do keep me posted on your reads and recommendations too. Here are the questions and answers for this week.   Please suggest some women-centric reads (short stories will do) by Indian writers. Thank you. - Uma Bora, Gurgaon Thank you for writing, Uma. Please refer to Best Indian Short Stories: Volume I compiled by Khushwant Singh. Read the stories: Desc...
Post by: BookChums
Manoj Night Shyamalan’s first movie is still the one that he still is remembered for. Comparisons to Steven Speilberg did the rounds for a bit and faded away, but the sheen of the movie  still stays.   As was to follow with the later films Shyamalan made, The Sixth Sense (2000) deals with the supernatural. Cole, a young boy, played hauntingly by Haley Joel Osment is not like other kids of his age. He sees and talks to the dead and with no one but his ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
scandal skan-d(u)l 1. Disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people 2. A disgraceful event   Gossip has its roots as one of human beings’ favourite pastimes, and it still persists and flourishes. While gossip has long been considered a female trait, changing social systems have deemed us to say that it is no longer be attributed to a gender. With the coming of technological advancements and new tools of communication, the latest gossip can...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  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
  Conflict, an inherent component of all life, is no wonder to be found generously in literature since time immemorial. No book you read, no theater, no film is complete without it. In fact, according to Aristotle, for any story to hold interest the hero must have a single conflict. It is unclear if he means only one conflict, or at least one conflict. What is clear is that he values the role of conflict in a good story. Many critics are of the opinion that the e...
Post by: Manasi Kulkarni
  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
In many ways, the British Indian writer Salman Rushdie is the example of a modern writer, his language affected by the global mish-mash that the English language has become. But we as readers are not complaining, it is a delightful mix that Rushdie’s writing flows with, among other sub-layers.   The 1947-born Rushdie’s first book was the part science-fiction novel Grimus (1975).The book didn’t make much of an impact, but Rushdie stormed into th...
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
What do you do with a day like today? Celebrate or mourn? The World Population Day was created by the United Nations to raise awareness about the alarming population growth humans experienced. While childbirth is a time to rejoice, the creation of this day only reminds of the doom and gloom our decisions to rejoice have brought upon us.   The world is already at a population of 7 billion and counting. While some countries are reporting dramatic decreases in ...
Post by: Manasi Kulkarni
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
It is highly unlikely, unless there is wizardry involved that JK Rowling will create something to equal or surpass the phenomenon that Harry Potter became. The British novelist and children’s writer turned 48 today. Born on 31st July 1965, the writer’s life story from been a jobless single mother with a child to a multi-millionaire in nothing short of fantasy.   When the first Harry Potter books came out in 1997 (Harry Potter and the Philosopher&rsqu...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  He was a modern contemporary poet from England and also a novelist. In his initial publishing run, Philip Larkin (1922-1985) debuted with a book of poetry, The North Ship, which was published in 1945 and then followed it up with two novels. His first claim to fame was in 1955 with the release of The Less Deceived, his second collection of poetry. Most of his work was published during his three decade tenure (that began in 1943) at Brynmor Jones Library, Univers...
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
One of the most influential 2Oth century American writers Jerome David Salinger (1919-2010) was also one of English literature's most reclusive figures. Considering that Salinger gave his last interview in 1980 and his last published work came out in 1965 the glow in Salinger's writing has lasted way beyond his living years. We can surely expect that his most popular and enduring work - The Catcher in the Rye (1951) will still be read by many generations of reade...
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
    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
    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
    This week on Award Thursdays, we feature British historian, art historian, curator and travel writer, William Dalrymple. He is also a co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literary Festival. His genres of writing span history, travel and non-fiction. His subjects or topics of interest include the religions that people follow in the Indian sub-continent, Eastern Christianity, and relations between different religious and ethnic sects. His literary works...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    On Award Thursdays this week, we feature award-winning German children's author Cornelia Funke. She has authored The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, When Santa Fell to Earth, Ingraine the Brave, Saving Mississippi, Ghost Knight, Reckless, Fearless, Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath, Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost, Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lighting Ghost, Ghosthunters and the Totally Moldy Baroness and Ghosthunters and the Muddy Monst...
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
  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
  The BookChums theme of this week is Holidays in Literature. Christmas and New Year are right here. There is an enormous essence of gaiety, splendor and about starting afresh; and there is no other way to better rejuvenate ourselves than feeling the freshness of a new season. Holidays have been a central theme in several books and the list is a never-ending one. There is a great diversity in such literature too. Therefore, this week, we make an attempt to highli...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    The BookChums theme of this week is Feliz Navidad. It is a very special week with Christmas and holidays. Therefore this week is raining and playing Feliz Navidad, the famous and iconic  Spanish  song from the 1970s. It was sung by Puerto-Rican singer Jose Feliciano. This song is a Christmas song  - 'Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" meaning "Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness'.  In Englis...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Christmas may be lots of green and glitters, but let’s not forget why we so much as to anticipate this festive season do. It’s because of the table which is laid out in front of us, the color and suave of the food tantalizes our taste buds. And hey, who doesn’t want a lay in front of them which will be a visual as well as palatable treat for all. For the home makers, who have the sole responsibility to lay these delights in front of us withou...
Post by: Kamalini Mukherjee
    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
                        I hope you guys are having a good time as much as I have. With the New Year, there is a lot of fun in the air. Here are the questions and answers of this week. This week, I have focussed on some short-story collections and contemporary poetry.   Q 1: Tell me of some good short-story collections please. Thanks. - Runa, Bangalore Ans: You can try The Complete Adventure...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  We at BookChums will celebrate Republic Day Special as the theme of this week. Republic Day is round-the-corner on January 26. It calls for much excitement and it is a holiday and a time off work. Needless to add, there is a lot of history attached to it.    India became a republic on January 26, 1950. On this day, the Constitution of India came into effect replacing the Government of India Act of 1935. It was also on this day in 1930 that the ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  On Award Thursdays this week, BookChums features Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 - August 7, 1941). A larger than life figure, he needs no introduction. Synonymous with writings including The Home and the World, Gitanjali, Fruit Gathering, The Cycle of Spring, Farewell my Friend, Red Oleanders, Gora, Broken Ties and Other stories, The Fugitive, The King of the Dark Chamber, The Golden Boat, Thought Relics, Chokher Bali and Paper Boats among man...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Interview with the Author of The Death Of Sex And The Demise Of Monogamy And Malignant Self Love, Sam Vaknin (Part II). You can read Part I of the interview here. In today's interview, he discusses narcissism in detail and the nature Vs. nurture debate of the same.    Q 1. In your book, Malignant Self Love you have mentioned the types of narcissism. What is the difference between cerebral and somatic narcissism ? When it comes to self-destructivene...
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
  This week, BookChums features Obsession as the theme for the week. Much has been said about love and so has a lot been said about obsession. Obsession in literature has always been a study of painters, poets, writers, psychologists, filmmakers and other polymaths. This topic has always caught the attention of many and literature has delighted us with many of such characters and reads. When we speak of Obsession in Literature, three of the books that first come ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  So guys,Valentine's Day is just here. How many of you are planning an outing, fancy dinner and all that jazz? Are you guys excited or is it just another day of the year? Here are the questions and answers for this week.   Q 1: Need to buy some mushy reads. Please recommend. Ananya Chaudhary, Guwahati   Answer: Thank you for writing, Ananya. Please try A Lot like Love by Julie James, Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts, Scoundrel by Zoe Archer and Int...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Galileo Galilei - the father of Modern Science, Modern Physics, Modern Observational Astronomy and Science was born on February 15, 1564. He was an Italian astronomer, physicist, philosopher and mathematician. Synonymous with his contribution to science, he was born in Pisa in Italy. He studied medicine at the University of Pisa. He became interested in Physics while he was at university and had a taste for the Fine Arts. His writings included The Little Balanc...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    It is yet another week once again and it gives me a lot of pleasure to interact with you. How has last week been for you guys? Was it fun? Are you enjoying yourselves this week? Here are the questions and answers for this week.   Q 1:  Can you help me with some books on geographical facts for a twelve year old? Thank you. Neerja Punja, Pune   Answer: Thank you for writing, Neerja. Please check National Geographic Kids Everything Rocks...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
"All history is contemporary history." - Benedetto Croce, Italian Philosopher and Politician The world today and all the events that we are are a witness to right now are history in the making: civil strife, occupation, political hegemony and chaos. In Greek, historia or history refers to an inquiry or information learned after an investigation. It is a study of the past, especially in terms of human history. It is also a very popular and interesting academ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Several women from all parts of the globe have contributed to some very scintillating literature. The list is tall and endless. This week on BookChums, we feature Women's Literature as the theme of the week. We will feature some of the best works of literature by women from all ages. Here are some of the authors and their versatile works:  - The Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto was published in September 2013. Set in a backdrop of Waziristan, ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Literature from the realms of magic realism is always a delight to read. Magic realism refers to the magic elements that are included by authors in their writings while depicting humdrum settings.  This term was first used by German art critic Franz Roh in 1955 to define a type of painting style called new objectivity.  Its usage followed in literature. Moreover, it is very distinct from surrealism as it describes real-world settings. However, what draws it c...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Magic realism has certainly contributed to some of the best works in literature. This post features some of the best works from this literary genre. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is regarded as one of the hallmarks from this literary genre. What is so special about this book is the plot that traces seven generations of the Buendia family while describing the history of Colombia from its formation to its current day. Shalimar the Clown b...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Hope you guys are having a good week despite the blistering heat. Were you a party to all the festivities this week? Did you have a good time? Here are the questions and answers for this week:   Q 1: Please suggest some good reads on adventure for teenagers. Thank you. Aparna Bora, Guwahati Ans: Thank you for writing, Aparna. You can look for Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord and Rick Riordan's The Mark ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  On Award Thursdays this week, BookChums features best-selling writer, journalist, screen writer, dramatist, musician, and radio and television broadcaster, Mitch Albom. His books include Tuesdays with Morrie, Have a Little Faith, The Five People you Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, The Time Keeper and The First Phone Call from Heaven. He has won the Associated Press Sports Editors Writing contest thirteen times. Further, his book titled The Five People you mee...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  The literary thriller genre keeps us mesmerized and hooked on to its books until we reach their endings. The beauty and uniqueness of this genre lie in diversity: murders, heists, abductions, psychology, history, archaeology and much more. There is such a wide variety of books to choose from in this genre: Frederick Forsyth, Ken Follett, Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, Raymond Chandler, Edgar Allan Poe, Ian Fleming, Joy Fielding, John Grisham, Lee C...
Post by: Kabita
“Worship isn't destructive, Martin. I know that.  I don't. I only know it's the core of his life. What else has he got? He can hardly read. He knows no physics or engineering to make to world real for him. No paintings to show him how others have enjoyed it. No music except television jingles. No history except tales from a desperate mother. No friends. Not one kid to give him a joke, or make him know himself more moderately. He's a modern citizen for whom ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal