Books

The book in my hand

A weekly column on what well-known personalities are reading and planning to read. This week, it is Romila Thapar and Alexander McCall Smith

Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar

 

I am currently reading Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time — interviews with people during the collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s a touching commentary on what to some was the end of an expected utopia and for others the end of terror. Prior to that I had taken a very brief holiday and stayed with friends in Pune. I discovered among their many books the century-old book by Frances Burnett, The Secret Garden. Written for early teenagers, which is what I was when I first read it, I was once again deeply moved by the sensitivity as well as the confidence of the two young teenagers at the centre of the action. Seventy-odd years later I still found it riveting. I look forward to reading Felix Padel’s Sacrificing People.

Romila Thapar is Professor Emeritus in Ancient History, JNU.

Alexander McCall Smith

I am reading Proust in Love by William Carter. This is about the very complicated life of Marcel Proust. The last book I read was The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons by Ashok Ferrey. I was given an advance copy of this and loved it. Ferrey is a magnificent writer. Rediscovering Homer by Andrew Dalby is the book I plan to read next. There is constant discussion about whether the Greek poet Homer actually existed. This book examines the proposition that Homer may have been a woman.

Alexander McCall Smith is a British writer, most well known for The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 2:59:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/article16756303.ece

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