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Category: Books

  • Unknowingly quoting Shakespeare

    Unknowingly quoting Shakespeare

    You don’t have to know Shakespeare to quote him. Every day we quote Shakespeare, without even knowing we are using his words.  He has become part and parcel of our language.

  • Graham Greene and The End of the Affair

    Graham Greene and The End of the Affair

    Why do the most popular love stories have star-crossed lovers? Think of Romeo and Juliet. I am not ashamed to admit I was moved by Erich Segal’s Love Story. Nicholas Sparks’ handkerchief-wetting The Notebook ends with the lovers embracing, but one of them has Alzheimer’s.

  • The wonderful Jan Morris, writer extraordinaire

    Today is the birthday of Jan Morris. In my book, she ranks alongside John Updike, Lawrence Durrell and PG Wodehouse as one of the four finest 20th century writers in English.

  • Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel

    Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel

    After a long time, I came across poems by Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel. I found Love, by Kamala Das, in Penguin’s Poems for Weddings, selected by Laura Barber, and Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher, by Nissim Ezekiel, in The Picador Book of Weddings, edited by Peter Forbes. The poems stirred old memories. Kamala Das was a […]

  • JB Priestley: 50 years before Brexit

    JB Priestley: 50 years before Brexit

    Brexit shocked the world. But the writing had been on the wall. It had been foreseen nearly 50 years ago – by an English writer, naturally. Today is his birthday. JB Priestley (September 13, 1894 – August 14, 1984 ) might have been forgotten by now had his play, An Inspector Calls, not been one […]

  • DH Lawrence: Piano, and Sons and Lovers

    DH Lawrence: Piano, and Sons and Lovers

    Yesterday was the birthday of DH Lawrence (September 11, 1885 – March 2, 1930).  So I read again one of his poems which I have liked ever since I came across it in my last days in high school. The poem is called Piano.

  • If you want to write

    If you want to write

    If You Want to Write is a book I love to go back to.  I like the author, Brenda Ueland, because she genuinely encourages you to write. She doesn’t tell you how to write dialogue, construct a plot or create a character. First published in 1938, the book doesn’t go into technical details at all. […]

  • Joseph Nye and the American century

    Joseph Nye and the American century

    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 […]

  • Going down mean streets with Philip Marlowe and Raymond Chandler

    Going down mean streets with Philip Marlowe and Raymond Chandler

    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 […]

  • The secret of Rhonda Byrne

    The secret of Rhonda Byrne

    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 The New Thought movement originated in America in the 19th century and stresses the importance […]