Betty Smith – A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Oh, where do I begin? Remember Cassandra from I Capture The Castle? She is one of my favourite narrators and I believe you’d be hard pressed to find a character as charming as her. Betty Smith’s Francie comes close. She doesn’t have the pleasure of living in a dilapidated-yet-romantic castle as Cassandra did – instead, she’s over […]

Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch

880 pages. All consumed on the beaches of Ko Samui, greedily, and when the book ended, I was sad. After all, wasn’t it Jane Austen who said, “If a book is well written, I always find it too short.” So, I guess that makes Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer winning novel “too short.” The book is titled […]

Ayn Rand – The Fountainhead

The fourteenth re-read. In thirteen years. That’s how much I love this book, and how much I’m totally and completely in love with the protagonist, Howard Roark. For years, I’ve longed for a world of Roarks, and all I’ve seen around me is a world of Keatings and Wynands. And at that point, I can’t […]

J.D. Salinger – Catcher In The Rye

As some of you might already know, The Catcher In The Rye is one of my favourite books of all times. I’ve read it, and re-read it, and then read it again. At the age of fourteen, the first time I read it, I fell in love with Holden Caulfield. A decade later, I still […]

Colum McCann – Let The Great World Spin

New York, 1974. The magnificent twin towers are unveiled to the world, and the consensus is that they are ugly compared to the splendid sky-scrapers that grace the New York skyline (the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Centre etc). But, a marvelous feat from an athlete, Philippe Petit, almost changes the perception. Petit […]

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 […]

David Mitchell – Ghostwritten

Ghostwritten is David Mitchell’s first novel, and on finishing it, I’ve now read all his works, which pleases me greatly. Of course, the fact that this is a tremendous debut adds to the pleasure, albeit, I really do wish there was another Mitchell on my shelf, just waiting to be read. The sub-title of the […]

Michael Chabon – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is well – amazing. Not only does this book celebrate the “great, mad, new American art form” and pays a tribute to the spirit of Americana in the 1930s, it simultaneously depicts the despair in Europe during the second World War, and how incredibly disconcerting the war was […]

18 miles and… nothing?!

I’m back from NYC, and I had a great time. Worked hard, partied hard, read little. The guys I work with were on a mission to ensure I missed at least one of my half-seven meetings after a night out. Much to their dismay, they didn’t succeed. I didn’t do any sightseeing whatsoever, barring a […]

See Me Walking Down Fifth Avenue…

So, I’m off to New York tomorrow. New York, one of my favourite cities in the whole wide world. Broadway! SoHo! MoMA! Madison Square Gardens! Central Park! You get the idea, right? It’s just for a week, and it is on work, which means I won’t get much time to take in the city as […]

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