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ESSAYS Driving Home: An American Scrapbook By Jonathan Raban Picador 608 pages, Rs 825 Jonathan Raban is a muchfeted writer whose pieces have appeared in some of the best newspapers and magazines. This book is a collection of his essays that covers a wide spectrum from the personal to every aspect of American life. The collection begins with his move in 1990 from London to the metaphorical west in the form of Seattle, carrying with him as much of his life as would fit into a suitcase and four tea chests. In the following essays he trawls a dazzling range of topics from a fine travel piece on the Mississippi river to 9/11 to President Obama.

Quick review

October 30, 2010


ESSAYS Driving Home: An American Scrapbook By Jonathan Raban Picador 608 pages, Rs 825 Jonathan Raban is a muchfeted writer whose pieces have appeared in some of the best newspapers and magazines. This book is a collection of his essays that covers a wide spectrum from the personal to every aspect of American life. The collection begins with his move in 1990 from London to the metaphorical west in the form of Seattle, carrying with him as much of his life as would fit into a suitcase and four tea chests. In the following essays he trawls a dazzling range of topics from a fine travel piece on the Mississippi river to 9/11 to President Obama.

MEMOIR The Butterfly Mosque By G Willow Wilson Atlantic Books 255 Pages, £ 12. 99 Willow Wilson wears a hijab, speaks Arabic, and knows perfectly well when she's being overcharged at the local souk. She keeps her eyes downcast in public places, and gladly sits in the women's car in the Cairo Metro. If Willow wasn't an American convert to Islam, she would feel right at home in Egypt. Unfortunately, her heritage continues to set her apart from her friends and neighbours. Her memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, is an eye-opening account of religion and romance in what Wilson deems "hostile territory". Candidly written and strikingly sincere, this fascinating novel portrays Islamic culture through fresh eyes.

Quick review

October 30, 2010


MEMOIR The Butterfly Mosque By G Willow Wilson Atlantic Books 255 Pages, £ 12. 99 Willow Wilson wears a hijab, speaks Arabic, and knows perfectly well when she's being overcharged at the local souk. She keeps her eyes downcast in public places, and gladly sits in the women's car in the Cairo Metro. If Willow wasn't an American convert to Islam, she would feel right at home in Egypt. Unfortunately, her heritage continues to set her apart from her friends and neighbours. Her memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, is an eye-opening account of religion and romance in what Wilson deems "hostile territory". Candidly written and strikingly sincere, this fascinating novel portrays Islamic culture through fresh eyes.

BUSINESS Small Wonder: The Making of the Nano By Philip Chacko, Christabelle Noronha and Sujata Agrawal Tranquebar 149 pages, Rs 295 Starting from a doodle made by a bored Ratan Tata in a meeting showing how the ubiquitous Indian two-wheeler can be converted into a small car, to an off-the-cuff statement by him on costs that becomes a public commitment, this book is a chronicle of the Nano. If you can bear with the slightly overdone eulogies, it provides an authentic account of how the Nano was conceptualized and produced, including the Singur fiasco and all the disruption it entailed. It is light but sufficient on technology and fulsome in descriptions of the key people involved. An informative read.

Quick review

October 30, 2010


BUSINESS Small Wonder: The Making of the Nano By Philip Chacko, Christabelle Noronha and Sujata Agrawal Tranquebar 149 pages, Rs 295 Starting from a doodle made by a bored Ratan Tata in a meeting showing how the ubiquitous Indian two-wheeler can be converted into a small car, to an off-the-cuff statement by him on costs that becomes a public commitment, this book is a chronicle of the Nano. If you can bear with the slightly overdone eulogies, it provides an authentic account of how the Nano was conceptualized and produced, including the Singur fiasco and all the disruption it entailed. It is light but sufficient on technology and fulsome in descriptions of the key people involved. An informative read.

FICTION Battle for Bittora By Anuja Chauhan HarperCollins 426 pages, Rs 299. After the success of The Zoya Factor, Anuja Chauhan is back with Battle for Bittora, the story of 25-year-old Jinni (short for Sarojini), plucked out of her cushy animation job in Mumbai to contest elections from her 'family' constituency Bittora. The book is replete with allusions to and potshots at political events and figures. For instance, it's fairly obvious who the IJP and Pragati Party signify or who the bearded psephologist on TV is. Chauhan's brand of humour is spunky and her understanding of the electoral process thorough. The book is entertaining, has cinematic potential and manages to keep the reader in splits.

Quick review

October 30, 2010


FICTION Battle for Bittora By Anuja Chauhan HarperCollins 426 pages, Rs 299. After the success of The Zoya Factor, Anuja Chauhan is back with Battle for Bittora, the story of 25-year-old Jinni (short for Sarojini), plucked out of her cushy animation job in Mumbai to contest elections from her 'family' constituency Bittora. The book is replete with allusions to and potshots at political events and figures. For instance, it's fairly obvious who the IJP and Pragati Party signify or who the bearded psephologist on TV is. Chauhan's brand of humour is spunky and her understanding of the electoral process thorough. The book is entertaining, has cinematic potential and manages to keep the reader in splits.

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Reader's opinion (1)

Jayati MandalNov 1st, 2010 at 23:03 PM

Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie is THE definitive travel book about the US.I, personally do not want to read any other book dealing with travel in America.

 
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