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David Sedaris versus the Chinese

American author David Sedaris does not like China or the Chinese. He penned this essay (called Chicken Toenails anyone?) for The Guardian earlier this month. And now a fan of Chinese origin is becoming a former fan rather fast – here is Jeff Yang’s essay in the San Francisco Chronicle. I’ll let you decide where […]

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Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard: big name, big man

I’m reading Peter Pan’s First XI by Kevin Telfer, which is a book about J.M.Barrie’s ‘celebrity’ cricket team, the Allahakbarries. A member of that literary team was Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard or – to give him all his titles – Major Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard, DSO, MC, FRGS, FZS. Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard (1876-1922) was a remarkable man […]

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Flipback books now in English

They’ve been increasing in popularity in The Netherlands for the better part of two years and now flipback books are making their way to English-speaking markets. These books are basically a new take on the paperback, except theoretically smaller and lighter. The books open from top to bottom, use sideways printed text and employ the […]

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Aravind Adiga on Mumbai

The Independent has Booker Prize-winner Aravind Adiga writing about Mumbai. Adiga has a new novel coming out, Last Man in Tower. I first saw the city in 1985 with my mother. We were the guests of my grand-uncle Suresh, a lawyer who lived in Bandra. Many in my family had migrated from Mangalore to practise […]

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Drinking through Wordsworth country

Ninety miles, seven days, 44 pubs – welcome to William Wordsworth country and all the pubs along the way.

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Naples ’44: Norman Lewis’ classic travel book

On Saturday, The Guardian revisited the classic travel book, Naples ’44 by Norman Lewis. Lewis describes the war-torn Italian city during the latter stages of World War II and also an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which is just across the bay from Naples. I’m glad The Guardian takes time to write about books like this […]

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Video review of Adrift by Steven Callahan

Anyone going sailing this summer? You should watch this video. My colleague Julie offers her video review of Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan. This is dramatic tale of survival at sea – a riveting firsthand account of a man who survives more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his […]

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On safari: beautiful books inspired by Africa

From colonists to adventurers and big game hunters to conservationists, many generations have been fascinated by Africa. Countless books have been produced about the world’s second largest continent – some have faded into obscurity but others have become collectible. This selection ranges from the wildlife to ordinary life on the veldt. See the books.

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Bookish travel destinations

Ever thought of doing some bookish travelling in 2011? The readers at The Guardian have good suggestions. No mention of Westward Ho! in Devon though – worth visiting just for the exclamation mark and the stunning beach. You could also visit the library in Earlsfield, south London and see where Louis De Bernieres wrote Captain […]

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For sale: Penguin’s Mini Cooper

A very orange Mini Cooper is for sale in New York for $30,000. It’s a nice little motor. No accidents and some of the drivers were lady authors. The car was used by Penguin to celebrate its 75th anniversary. The dashboard is signed by 18 Penguin authors including Garrison Keillor, Geraldine Brooks, Michael Pollan and […]

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