My Life in Books

Photo: Vipman via Shutterstock This article was inspired by My Life in Middlemarch, a bibliomemoir by Rebecca Mead, which draws on her readings of George Eliot’s Middlemarch over the years. I loved the idea of writing memoirs that are intertwined with a book. But since there isn’t a book I reread regularly, I thought that …

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My Life in Middlemarch: Rebecca Mead

Published by Broadway Books “Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like …

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Index, A History of the—A Bookish Adventure: Dennis Duncan

Published by Allan Lane “The humble back-of-book index is one of those inventions that are so successful, so integrated into our daily practices, that they can often become invisible.” Dennis Duncan has taken the index from the back pages into the forefront in this informative and entertaining book. Who would have imagined that a history …

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Podcast: Reading for our times—Reading around the world

Some years ago, a friend and fellow bookworm, Kristine Goulding, suggested on this blog that we read a book from every country in the world. And so the reading challenge was born, with only one rule: the writer has to be from the country. We've taken our time over it, but we are now up …

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Daemon Voices: Essays on Storytelling—Philip Pullman

“[T]he image of the reader is solitary. We are each alone when we enter the borderland and go on to explore what lies in it and beyond it, in the book we’re engaged with. True, we can come back and and talk about it, and if we talk well and truthfully and interestingly enough we …

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Listening to the Writer’s Voice

I'm looking at close to half an hour of standing over the stove, staring into a pot as I stir, maybe stepping away for a few seconds at a time to check on this or that, open the refrigerator and put something away, or just look out the window. I block out the impatient honks …

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Are book reviews important?

Given the content of this blog, it's pretty clear where I stand on this. But there are writers who question the point of a book review and can be scathing about reviewers. In this article in The New Statesman, Chris Power defends the point of the review. "Reviews don’t matter. 'I never really trust reviews,' …

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Recognizing the Talent of the Translator: The Subtle Art of Translating

From time to time, this blog showcases books in translation to tempt readers to explore writing from countries that do not always make it to the bestseller lists. But we often overlook the work of the translator, who has not only to be fluent in two languages but has to be able to write. The …

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Saying goodbye to an iconic bookshop: Imran Ali Khan

The Strand Book Stall in Mumbai has been an icon for readers. Books of all sorts piled everywhere, where readers were encouraged to browse and get into conversations with like-minded people. It was one of my favourite places: a trip to Bombay (as it was called then) was incomplete unless I had been to Strand. …

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