Italian Ways by Tim Parks, and a bonus reading list

I bought this book based on a recommendation, and a whim. An early morning breakfast with a friend, followed by a few hours at bookstores, and I conveniently forgot the many, many books on my nightstand and splurged on it; and finished it in a day and a half.

Favourites List : Hay-on-Wye edition

I spent the previous weekend at the beautiful town of Hay-on-Wye attending the annual Hay Festival. Despite the mud (and it was everywhere!), it was a fabulous weekend filled with books, interesting discussions, and an intimate mini-concert by Sandi Thom that we stumbled into almost by accident.

Flash Boys

Disclaimer: I still haven’t read Michael Lewis’ new book – Flash Boys. That said, I went to hear him talk about the book, and about high-frequency trading, at the LSE a few weeks ago. The public events team storified the tweets during the talk here – which is worth a read….

Goodbye, Marquez!

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014) From the Paris Review Issue 82. Read the full interview here.

A prayer for a daughter

I stumbled on this today on Facebook, and it has to be one of the sweetest things I’ve read in a while. Tina Fey’s prayer for her daughter begins thus… First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches….

Trivial Pursuits

An interesting tidbit from Ram Guha’s masterly book, India after Gandhi. I wish we were taught more of our post-Independence history in school. For some reason the NCERT seemed to believe that history ended in 1947, with everything that came after relegated on the civics and economics textbooks.

Long Reads

Last week I got to pick my favourite piece of long form journalism for LongReads‘ weekly newsletter, and went with Caravan’s in-depth profile of Narendra Modi – The Emperor Uncrowned It’s a compelling, well-researched portrait of Narendra Modi, an Indian politician and the chief minister of Gujarat. During his watch,…

Sam’s Story by Elmo Jayawardena

Earlier this month, Bob Herbert wrote in the New York Times about the price of war, and why it continues to be easy to wage The reason it is so easy for the U.S. to declare wars, and to continue fighting year after year after year, is because so few…

Once Again to Zelda by Marlene Wagman-Geller

Just finished reading this rather cute collection, which traces the stories behind some of the dedications in books. As the author says, some of these back stories are as, if not more, interesting than the works themselves. It tells tales of love, intrigue, lust, failure, heartbreak and the search for…