Category Archive: Arm Chair Critic – The Joy of reviewing a book

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” Mark Twain

Feb 18

THE ONLY STORY – JULIAN BARNES

The Only Story

Reading “The Only Story” by Julian Barnes is akin to setting out random thoughts on paper after ingesting a couple (or more) of high quality alcohol. The state of mind is not (yet) impaired by the beast of inebriation but is just alert and carefree enough to induce a flow of feelings and a rich …

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Jan 31

The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal

Heart by Maylis De Kerangal

In this where A.J.Cronin-meets-Sebastian Faulks-meets-Atul Gawande, Ms.Maylis De Kerangal reaches her apogee of narration and imagination. This is a book which will poleaxe, pummel and pulverise you and yet leaving you craving for more once the covers have come down. Easily one of the best books to have been published in 2017, “The Heart” is …

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Dec 23

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business – Rana Foroohar

An acerbic and scathing indictment of the pernicious practices, perilous ventures and impetuous outlook that has almost become symptomatic of Wall Street. Rana Foroohar’s “Makers and Takers…” (The Book”) is an essential reading for grasping the mechanics of Wall Street which brought the entire global financial machinery to the brink of ruin. Laying out bare …

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Nov 18

The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi

A book that lays out practical and logical methods for disposing clutter, “The Art of Discarding”, is a timely addition for a more organised, if not a totally minimalist lifestyle. All of us are attached to our belongings, parting with which induces a sense of nostalgia, not to mention a sense of loss. Nagisa Tatsumi …

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Nov 13

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H.Frank

What is the importance played by luck in success? Are achievements purely attributable to hard work, talent and skills alone? Do high achievers over emphasise the ‘Bismarkian’ motto of blood, sweat and tears at the expense of the crucial factor of luck? Robert H. Frank, the H. J. Louis Professor of Management and Professor of …

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Nov 11

The Retreat Of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

In the bleak and vaudevillian backdrop of both Brexit and the meteoric rise of Donald Trump, Edward Luce’s “The Retreat of Western Liberalism” (“The Book”) provokes a hard but welcome introspection underlying the rise of populism in settings of democracy. The pervasive spread of “Illiberal democracy” (a term coined by the journalist Farid Zakaria in …

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Nov 06

Talking to my Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism – Yanis Varoufakis

The one most arresting reason why I love reading the books of Yanis Varoufakis is the degree of accessibility which he accords. Although an expert in the domain of Economics, he has the unique and compelling ability to shed the garb of an expert and make himself comprehensible to every layman whose curiosity has piqued …

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Nov 04

Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus by Matt Taibbi

Writing with raw irreverence, impetuosity and in an irascible vein, Matt Taibbi combines shades of Gonzo journalism popularized by the famous Hunter J. Thompson with his own in your face style of trenchant reporting to chart the unimaginable and meteoric rise of the eccentric Donald Trump, first to the pinnacle of the Republican Nomination and …

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Oct 31

I Can’t Breathe by Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi has penned an essential, excoriating and evocative work that can be considered to be a pioneering effort in the realm of Social Sciences. On the 17th of July 2014, forty four year old Eric Garner was put in a choke-hold (a maneuver deemed to be illegal by the Police Department decades ago), by …

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Oct 26

Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm by Kurdo Baksi, Laurie Thompson (Translator)

In this touching tribute to his mentor, friend and ‘big brother’, Stieg Larsson, Kurdo Baksi, the Swedish social commentator and author lays bare his candid reminisces about a friendship that lasted a decade under the skies of Stockholm. The world needs no introduction to Stieg Larsson the author as exemplified by the roaring success of …

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