François Bizot – The Gate

I visited Cambodia in September 2013, and prior to the trip, I purchased Bizot’s memoir detailing his days in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge. While I didn’t have the time to read the book before landing in the Cambodian capital, I did visit the Killing Fields and the Museum of Genocide. Both left me speechless, […]

George Orwell – Down and Out in Paris & London

Let’s defy convention for  a second, and instead of quoting the opening lines of this fantastic classic, below are the closing lines: I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by being hard up. I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be […]

Jeannette Walls – The Glass Castle

I think sometimes people get the lives they want. This is a rather unflinching nonfictional memoir, in which Walls traverses her childhood days. For the most part, the book focuses on her parents, who were ill-equipped to raise children in the real world. Yet, it’s the affection and lack of judgement leaping off the pages, […]

JG Ballard – Empire of the Sun

World War II literature is a genre that interests me tremendously. It would be wrong to say that I find it enjoyable, but the fact remains that I actively seek out books on WWII. So far though, most of the WWII fiction (and non-fiction) I’ve perused has taken place in Europe, so Ballard’s much acclaimed […]

William S Burroughs – Junky

Junky is William S. Burroughs semi-autobiographical story, about being a drug-addict – a “junky,” if you will – in the 1940s in the good ol’ US of A. At less than two hundred pages, this is an extremely short, albeit insightful read. This first-person narrative is an unapologetic unemotional documentary of Burroughs’ experiences, the friends […]

Helene Hanff – 84 Charing Cross Road

If there ever was a perfect book, this would be it. Yes, I know that’s an extremely strong and subjective statement, but I don’t think many people who have read this will disagree. It’s feel-good, happy, and just… perfect. 84 Charing Cross Road revolves around two people living halfway across the world from one another, […]

Maya Angelou – I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I’ve wanted to read this book for ages, simply for the title, which is one of the most beautiful titles I’ve ever come across. So, I finally picked it up, and it’s probably one of the most beautiful autobiographies I’ve ever read. On reading the blurb, I thought it would be similar to the Pulitzer […]

J.M. Coetzee – Summertime

And so, my Booker shortlist (2009) journey continues with Coetzee’s fictional memoir, which completes the trilogy, already containing Boyhood and Youth. I haven’t read either of them, so, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Summertime, although my experience with Coetzee told me it wouldn’t be a very “summertime” book. Needless to say, I was […]

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – News of a Kidnapping

Background: This is another one for the Take A Chance Challenge, hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here: Public Spying. I commute for a couple of hours daily, and loads of people around me are reading something or the other; some books that I’m intrigued by, and some books I see and go: […]

Haruki Murakami – What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

This is a short hundred and eighty page book, which has Murakami talk about his life, and the importance of running in it. It’s a quick-paced interesting read for everyone – be it a marathon runner, or a marathon reader. You can call it an autobiography, a memoir, a travel journal, or a training diary […]

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