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A reading retreat

The Daily Telegraph writes about a reading retreat – a lovely place on the Suffolk coast where you go to do nothing but read. That evening, I retreated to the little library area on the landing to examine my pile of prescribed books. It’s an intriguing collection, ranging from a biography of the intrepid travel […]

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Heathrow’s new writer-in-residence

The English novelist Tony Parsons is going to be writer-in-residence at Heathrow Airport. He’s been commissioned to write a collection of short stories about the workers and travelers found in this huge airport, reports The Guardian. Parsons is following in the footsteps of Alain de Botton, who wrote a book about his experiences as writer-in-residence […]

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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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