Month: May 2005

  • For all of us confuzzled lingweenies

    I’m a sucker for word lists. Especially when you can’t look them up in the dictionary. Here’s the results of Merriam-Webster’s poll on… Top Ten Favorite Words (Not in the Dictionary) 1. ginormous (adj): bigger than gigantic and bigger than enormous 2. confuzzled (adj): confused and puzzled at the same time 3. woot (interj): an […]

  • ‘Swot we call a Eureka moment

    From The Stanford Report: “The palimpsest is a 1,000-year-old parchment made of goatskin containing Archimedes’ work as laboriously copied down by a 10th century scribe. Two centuries later, with parchment harder to come by, the ink was erased with a weak acid (like lemon juice) and scraped off with a pumice stone, and the parchment […]

  • Shalimar the Clown…

    …is coming out in September 2005, and what I want to know is, did The Book Standard really scoop everyone else by getting a review copy of Rushdie’s ninth novel ahead of time, or is this just a very long blurb with a few comments chucked in? “It begins in 1993, when former U.S. Ambassador […]

  • Samuel Johnson shortlist

    From The Independent: “Three first-time authors have found themselves on the shortlist of Britain’s richest non-fiction prize. The new talent, half of the six-person shortlist for the £30,000 BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize, includes an Indian-born writer’s journey through Bombay and topics from addiction to 19th-century grave robbery.” Suketu’s on a roll, hmmm? Last month, […]

  • Deb, Shamshie, Hussein: recent reviews

    The Sunday Times runs a review of Kamila Shamsie’s Broken Verses and Siddhartha Deb’s Surface. I suppose there’s a tenuous connection between the two books; Aasmani in Broken Verses is obsessed with the disappearance of her mother some 14 years previously, Deb’s cynical journalist in Surface sets out in search of a woman identified only […]

  • Dark sunglasses and a cheap disguise

    Ruth Reichl’s new book inspired two deep urges in me: I want to read Garlic and Sapphires, and I want to see Vir “Rude Food” Sanghvi in a wig.From the New Zealand Herald:“From her perch as the restaurant critic of the New York Times, Ruth Reichl once wrote a review of a famous restaurant, Le […]

  • My other blog is a Rolls Royce

    As in, it’s of some vintage but it’s been lying idle in the garage for a while. Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta’s agreed to take the wheel, so if she’s not around at her usual haunt, it’s because she’s doing virtuous blogging at Animal Rights India. If I’m not around at Kitabkhana, I’d like to have you all […]

  • Travelling band

    This is what happens when you start reading good writing on the web, you forget to link. Belatedly…here are the winners and runners-up from the Outlook-Picador Nonfiction competition. The theme was travel, and did these guys ever. Dilip D’ Souza: Ride Across the River (winner) “On the way back, I keep watch out the right […]

  • Author soundbyte of the week

    “I was lying in a pool of blood. I could see it because I was lying face down. I thought I was going to drown in my own blood,” Gregory David Roberts [author of Shantaram] says, smiling. “Then I thought it was wonderful material! Only if I survived.”Notice the absence of the terms “writerly” and […]

  • The Lady and the Monk

    Sonia Jabbar summed up my attitude to Mishi Saran’s Chasing the Monk’s Shadow at the launch when she spoke at length of what an awesome journey it must have been, travelling between the seventh century and the 21st, following the Silk Road, landing in Kabul under the Taliban just before 9/11 etc etc and finished […]