The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich

Alexievich lets each of the veterans own their narrative, giving us brief glimpses from a hundred different perspectives… voices of defiance, reluctance, denial of the war, its glorification, the tragedy, the acceptance… conflicting stories, each narrative is private, emotional and coloured by personal biases… but authentic, you know? Human.

Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth by Audrey Truschke

Aurangzeb Alamgir, the sixth Mughal emperor, the last of the greats, as it were. His reign lasted nearly fifty years, I was not aware of that somehow. What I have been made consistently aware of in popular local media, is that he’s a much-hated figure in Indian history; known more than anything else as anContinue reading “Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth by Audrey Truschke”

Whispers From The Wild by E.R.C. Davidar (edited by Priya Davidar)

About a couple of months ago, one of my friends lent me this book called Whispers from the Wild which I had been immersed in for a couple of weeks. A beautiful read, just the perfect one to satisfy my newfound interest in memoir-style non-fiction. Written by an expert and activist, it’s a love letterContinue reading “Whispers From The Wild by E.R.C. Davidar (edited by Priya Davidar)”

Kashmir in two books – Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer and Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years by A.S. Dulat

I’ve been on a non-fiction mission these past two months, catching up, one might say, on history the only way I know how – through books. Most of my last reads have been about Kashmir and the territorial conflict between Pakistan and India, written from many points of view and dealing with different times ofContinue reading “Kashmir in two books – Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer and Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years by A.S. Dulat”

Peeling the Onion by Günter Grass

(I had to finish this in November, for German Literature Month, but it spilled into December.) The first book I finished this weekend was a beautiful autobiography of German Nobel-Prize-winning author Günter Grass. The title, Peeling the Onion, is a running metaphor for peeling back the layers of memory, gradually, carefully, taking care not toContinue reading “Peeling the Onion by Günter Grass”

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air is an incredible, honest book. Written in the face of cancer by a man who happened to have spent the better part of his life trying to gain an understanding of death, the book has the urgency of a story that needs to be told. There is no scope for pretences,Continue reading “When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi”

Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

In the last post, I mentioned a project. That is what has been killing my creativity for the past three months. The topic is metaphorical language; how it is stored and processed in the mind. Now, I don’t know if I am built for research, have a research bent-of-mind. I don’t know, for instance, howContinue reading “Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson”

The Tribes on My Frontier by E. H. Aitken

I have found non-fiction much lighter to read in the past few months than fiction, the best of which is too absorbing, dense and intricate. I was delighted to find this gem in the library, a book called Zoo in the Garden which comprised two of the most popular books by E.H. Aitken. EHA wasContinue reading “The Tribes on My Frontier by E. H. Aitken”

The Fall of a Sparrow by Salim Ali

The other day I read that they named a Himalayan thrush after Dr. Salim Ali, the ‘Bird Man of India.’ The better part of my childhood was spent cultivating a happy interest in birding. The interest still lingers, but it has been long since it has greeted the break of dawn and the flutter ofContinue reading “The Fall of a Sparrow by Salim Ali”