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Book Reviews

This category contains 33 posts

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

Ramayana-the Game of Life – My Review

There are books you read for what they give you. And there are those you read for what you can take from them. “Ramayana-the Game of Life” falls squarely into the second category. The Ramayan is not a new tale; it has been told and retold, cast and recast innumerable times. “Game of Life” is, … Continue reading

Poet Robot – An introduction to E. I. Wong – My review

The Robot is quite poetic. Do not be baffled though, if you think that the various pieces in the book are written by very different individuals. As the back cover of the book helpfully explains, there are many E.I.Wongs and you can make a pretty good game out of it, like I did, by trying … Continue reading

The Jesus Wars – My review

This isn’t a book for the lay reader. If you’re looking for a thriller filled with blood and gore, with schemes and machinations galore, this isn’t the book for you. What it is, instead, is a very deep, very erudite, very skilful dissection of the internal politics of the Christian world as it came to … Continue reading

Perpetual City – My review

It’s a small book, not a scholarly tome on the origins and development of India’s capital. That is not what Malvika’s book is about. What it does instead, is act as a time capsule. It brings to life a Delhi nestled between the powerless masses and the powerful classes. A genteel, upper middle class life … Continue reading

The First Spring – my (very long) review

It is difficult, when writing history, to stay distant from one’s own prejudices, our pet ideas, our personal viewpoints. This, of course, makes history organic and imbues it with a life that the sciences do not have. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why history never can become a science (which is a little ironic, … Continue reading

Agent Garbo – my review

It’s a tough act to pull off. To strike a perfect balance, especially when writing a biography. What do you keep and what do you discard? How far do you go and where do you stop? These are difficult questions to answer, so when an author manages to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the … Continue reading

The Invention of God – My review

It gets one star for one chapter that is plausible; at least it seems so after wading through the rest! I started this book with high hope. I had interacted with the author on FB and I thought I was in for an in-depth study of how geologic phenomena influenced and shaped nascent human comprehension … Continue reading

A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something rather than Nothing – My Review

The author fails to explain his central thesis, which is how he perhaps succeeds. Once you read this book you might appreciate the quirky wit in the opening sentence, and see how inevitable it truly is. If you can wrap your head around that preamble, go ahead and read this book. Be warned, this is … Continue reading

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