Is the American Century Over? That is the title is a slim, little monograph by the American political scientist Joseph Nye published in 2015. He agrees with Time magazine founder Henry Luce, who wrote a remarkable essay in 1941 during the Second World War that the 20th century was the American century. No, the American […]
Has there ever been a more haunting crime writer than Raymond Chandler? I was about to say “stylish”, but that hardly describes a writer so romantic, with a voice so distinct, as Chandler. Born on July 23, 1888, he died on March 26, 1959, but he is readable as ever. He will still put a […]
Why is The Secret such a phenomenal bestseller? Written by the Australian Rhonda Byrne and published in 2006, the book about the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction is still No 1 in the New Thought category on Amazon.com. The New Thought movement originated in America in the 19th century and stresses the importance […]
You find Hemingway in love in A Moveable Feast, his account of his life in Paris as a young man in the early 1920s.
You can use the power of your subconscious mind to write better and be a successful writer, says Kelly Stone in her book, Thinking Write. What you need, she says, is genuine intent, repetition, and a burning desire. These are the three things you need to get whatever you want, say those who believe in […]
I was reminded of Yeats’s poem, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, while I was reading Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War. The author, Raghu Karnad, tells the story of his maternal grandfather and two great-uncles who died young, serving the British in the Second World War, long before he was […]
Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation and grammar, just keep writing, says Natalie Goldberg. Keep your hand moving so you can put down whatever comes to mind – your very first thoughts – on paper. That’s how your writing can be fresh and alive, she says in her book, Writing Down the Bones. It’s all about […]
How to be well read? Try John Sutherland. His How to be Well Read is a guide to 500 great novels and “a handful of literary curiosities”.
How many remember it was soldiers from the Bengal Army who helped the British defeat the Chinese and take Hong Kong? Amitav Ghosh tells the story in Flood of Fire, which brings his epic Ibis trilogy to a close.
Oh, to read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is like going to the library and coming home with all the books you wanted. It makes you feel that good, this story about a bookseller and his bookstore. Though it’s not all sunshine and roses – more than one person dies in […]