It’s official: there is no truth in advertising. But these guys are amateurs in the backscratching stakes: I fondly remember the Indian poet who complained bitterly to me that a fellow practitioner had slated his most recent book. “And I gave him a really good review just three months before my book came out, to be absolutely sure he would return the favour,” said the poet bitterly. “Instead, can you imagine, he wrote what he really thought!”
The hills are alive with the sound of hobbits (and if you listen carefully, the lovely noises made by a Babu barfing in the aisles). Sorry, I’m a paid-up Tolkien fan and a hardcore Rings junkie, but I just can’t take another slushy elven love song.
The Orange longlist is out; the Guardian does the compleat roundup. Rupa Bajwa, Monica Ali and Jhumpa Lahiri are among the 20 authors featured, in case you’re wondering how the subcontinent made out. And if you haven’t visited the Woolly Thinking Rhetoric DIY guide, you’re missing out.
I forget to drop in at Butterflies and Wheels for a few months and they promptly post quantities of stuff I really, really need to link to. Meera Nanda trashes pseudo-science and explains why we really don’t need to be teaching Vedic Astrology in schools; Robert Nola reviews her book here. Latha Menon uses the Bhandarkar Institute incident as a jumping-off point for an exploration of intolerance.