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Book Reviews

This category contains 31 posts

Itineris – my review

Cards on the table, I know the author personally. I hope my known antipathy towards free verse would neutralize some of my bias in the reader’s mind though. 🙂 Raw. Naked. These words best describe most of the works in the book. Jyoti doesn’t hide behind the paper, nor does she wash the stains off … Continue reading

Shikhandi – my review

For an author embracing populism as a newly-minted TV personality, this is a bold premise indeed. But then I always find Devdutt Pattanaik much more adventurous and open in his books compared to his TV avatar. “Shikhandi: and other tales they don’t tell you” is a book focussed on alternate sexuality – the queerness, the … Continue reading

Lahore – My review

I bought this book for the purpose that Pran Neville wrote it; to get a flavour of a city that I probably wouldn’t get to visit, and an era that I surely cannot. My links to Lahore are through my grandfather and his father before him; students of medicine at King Edward Medical College (now … Continue reading

The History of the First World War – My review

There are many, many ways in which history can be recounted. Over the last few decades, the trend in reporting history has taken a decidedly Marxist tone. From the rulers and their deeds the focus has shifted to the ruled and their lives. From the grand palaces we have moved to unearthing modest homes; and … Continue reading

Ashoka (the search for India’s Lost Emperor) – my review

It’s a rare book that I finish without having sketched out the outline of my review of it. Ashoka (the search for India’s Lost Emperor) by Charles Allen falls into this category. Starting with one of the greater tragedies to befall this oft-blighted subcontinent – the destruction of Nalanda university by Muslim invaders – Allen … Continue reading

The Taste of Words – my review

My father bought this book last year and I took it along as a light read on a recent trip. And boy, was I glad I did! I must start though, by stating that if you’re into Urdu shayari deeply, this book does not have much to offer you. You would already know the life … Continue reading

Time Warped – my review

Let me start by stating that I bought this book by mistake. I thought I was getting a book on the physics of time, of how the perception of time changes with speed for example, and what research is being done in this field. What I got instead was a book on the biology of … Continue reading

The Longest August – my review

History is not science. This fact is so strongly forced upon the reader by Dilip Hiro that it cannot but color every aspect of the narrative you have in your hand. “The Longest August” is a catchy title and promises a cold, hard look at the origins and development of one of the trickiest and … Continue reading

Daniell’s India – my review

  A lovely collection of engravings, printed on excellent, quality paper. It’s an art book and a must have collectible for connoisseurs with an interest in Indian history. These are beautiful snapshots of India at the end of the eighteenth century and offer an unparalleled glimpse into a long gone time. Each picture is to … Continue reading

A Strange Kind of Paradise: India through Foreign Eyes – My review

William Dalrymple called this book a “love letter to India”. I fully agree. “A Strange Kind of Paradise” isn’t intended as a history text-book, nor a dry list of “facts” (*cough* Romila Thapar *cough*). What you have in your hands though, is an incomparable collection of selected writings from non-Indian writers about India as they experienced … Continue reading