Category Archives: bookworm

The Intricate or the Minimalist – Spoilt for Choice!

As an avid reader, I love reading both stories and novels. Stories definitely give me more food for thought. However, as an aspiring writer, I confess that my novella is still in the writing, while many completed short stories have found their way into my blog. I make it point to read a collection of short stories in between my regular novel-reading schedule. Reading short stories is the quickest way to gain insight into the complex mind and the plethora of influences in an author’s life. Continue reading

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Who Will Read What You Write?

However, not all self-publishing experiences need to be harsh. I am a prolific Kindle user and hence a regular on Amazon, which as a marketing strategy Amazon often has a free deal on one of the books in a series. Chances are if you like one book, you wouldn’t mind purchasing the others in the set. There are some wonderful discoveries, at the end of this road, for example, Zoe Brooks became a favorite author after I got to read a free ebook. Continue reading

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Of Tabooed Love from the Hinterland

The Sea of Poppies is a book that is filled with parallel stories of tabooed love – Paulette’s affection for Zachary, Mrs. Burnham’s opium-laced acceptance of a lonely conjugal bed and Mr Burnham’s disquieting tendencies, the Gomusta Baboo Nob Kissin’s feminine orientation and fascination for Zachary, whom he sees as an avatar of Krishna, and the story of Jodu, the Muslim attracted to Munia, the Hindu. Each character struggles to come to terms with their feelings and find the most natural recourse that would bring them peace. But when the very affections of their heart are forbidden, joy remains as distant as the shorelines from the Ibis. Continue reading

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A Season of Sequels

When sequels are pre-commissioned the writer usually leaves certain strings untied in the first book. It may work well if there is an immediate sequel to pick up from the bookshelves but if a wait is involved, a reader is usually left feeling dissatisfied. And in the zip-zap-zoom world of modern publishing (and especially free e-publishing) you need a true fan to remain clinging to the cliff, in anticipation of a sequel. Continue reading

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Don’t Tell Me a Fairy Tale

As with most stories for children there is an element of critical thinking, imagination and of course the moral lesson, primarily of the victory of the virtuous over evil. Such themes are relevant to the emotional and mental growth of any child. But we do not necessarily need the classical fairy tales of Grimm or of Hans Anderson to expose children to these concepts. There are many more stories and many more ways of expanding the imaginative horizons and rational thought processes in children. Continue reading

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The Window Seat – A Reader’s Viewpoint

Out of the haunting stories in this collection, the story of Kashmir emerged a sad potpourri of messed up lives and aspirations. The people are squashed between militancy and the presence of Indian troops. Most want a wall built on the border; the troops to be withdrawn and if possible an independent existence wherein they have a trade agreement/partnership with India. If you ask the people of Kashmir, they will give practical solutions to their problems but would the politicians of the world listen! Continue reading

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Wanted – Storytellers!

Amidst all the shifting trends, I am wondering about the whereabouts of the serious reader and the serious literary writer. I ponder whether books with expletives and references to casual sex get publishers and readers just like quarrels and misgivings on a reality-show garner the maximum TRPs. I am concerned whether good linguistic appeal is not significant anymore and mere ramblings can be converted into coveted best-sellers. But most importantly, I am worried that are these kinds of books that the youth will get habitual of reading! Is the easy availability and general popularity of these books, pushing intellectual readers into the background and creating a barrier between readers of varied genre? Continue reading

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The Kaleidoscopic Writings of Bapsi Sidhwa

Two of her books have been a part of movie tie-ups – The Ice-Candy Man and Water. I have seen the movie based on the latter and the story of young widows was an eye-opener. I am sure the book will be a page-turner, which I am yet to read (it is currently not-available on Kindle). However, after reading The Ice-Candy Man, I can say for sure that the art of movies, exemplary in their own right, can never compensate for a priceless book. In fact, I wonder how many people did not go on to read these two books because of the revealed storyline in the movies. At the same time, there may be many who discovered this magnificent writer through the movies Continue reading

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Bapsi Sidhwa’s The Crow Eaters – Book Review

The characters – Freddie Junglewalla, his wife Putli, the boisterous mother-in-law and later in the novel, the son, Billy and his wife, Tanya – are true to their follies, prejudices, and predicaments, bringing to life the laughter, mirth, pathos, and drama so intricately laid out in the book. Continue reading

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Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel

The book is filled with juicy tid-bits, some well-known, some only whispered in the political corridors all adding to the great melodrama of this book. One of the cornerstones of this work is the gleaning of fiction and hyperbole from fact and the mundane. Although, these come towards the fag-end, Tharoor’s thoughts on the Dharma of Yudhishtara and the Karma of Krishna make for great food for though and debate. I was pleasantly surprised to read his take on the role of Krishna in the Mahabharata but I will not divulge more, for fear of spoiling the experience those who are yet to read The Great Indian Novel. Continue reading

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