Showing posts from May, 2015

Reading World Literature + 5th Blogiversary

Tabula Rasa turns five today. I would never have imagined the blog would survive so long. It has come dangerously close to stagnancy quite a few times, the most recent panic ensued last month. As a solution, I decided to write a post a month, but have managed more. What can I say, for all the real life getting in the way, I just love the blogging world.
The only thing killing my blogging spirit these past few weeks has been the terrible heat of the summer. The scorch is now dwindling, and I hope to start the new blog-year with a bang. But as a reluctant goodbye to the glorious mango season, I celebrated this fifth blog birthday with yummy mango pastries from a local bakery.

My greatest takeaway from the blogging world, apart from interacting with the friendliest most interesting people, is expanding my reading horizons, geographically. From events such as the German Literature Month and January in Japan to getting books for review from authors living in Africa, Singapore, Pakistan, A…

Guest Post at Postcards from Asia

Delia who writes over at Postcards from Asia is one of my favourite bloggers.

I love how well she interacts with her readers. "I was born in the land of Dracula..." she introduces herself on her blog, and on cue, the dark atmospheric horror fiction she writes never fails to chill me. But more than anything, her posts on culture and travel inspire me to try new things on my blog. You should really check out her site.
This year she has been posting a series of guest posts, interviewing people about their taste in books and their experiences as bloggers and writers.
When Delia asked me for a guest interview on her blog, I was thrilled and humbled. In the post that went live tonight, I share what books taught me, my favourite writers and more.
Click here to read my post on Postcards from Asia. I hope you like it!

The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford

A long time ago, I read Freakonomics and decided "pop economics" was not my breed of non-fiction. This was a mistake, because my problem with Freakonomics had mostly to do with aesthetics. Dubner's writing was gimmicky, overeager and his cult-like devotion for Levitt was plain creepy. The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford came recommended as a simple but interesting book on economics for people who know nothing about it, i.e. me.
In this book, Harford fancies himself a detective, going undercover to unearth the big stories behind simple daily interactions. But it is his approach that makes the book so appealing, especially to beginners. Like every teacher ought to, Harford steps down from his pedestal, takes your hand and guides you through the investigation. You are the undercover economist. Where Dubner spends the introduction of Freakonomics effervescing with praise about Levitt, Harford makes you the star of his show-
"My aim in this book is to help you see the…

Top Ten Favourite Songs about Books and Reading

When Delia @ Postcards from Asia wrote a post on the kind of music she likes to listen to, I was inspired to write something about music. I am still not very comfortable straying from the topic of books here on Tabula Rasa, so for today's Top Ten Tuesday freebie, I give you, my top ten favourite songs about books and reading:
1. You, by Steeleye Span - This English folk-rock band collaborated with Sir Terry Pratchett to produce an album based on his book, Wintersmith. Wintersmith is the third of the YA books of the Discworld series starring a young witch, Tiffany Aching. In this book, the wintersmith falls in love with Tiffany, and to be with her, winter turns itself into a human. You is about just that sort of obsessive love.

Favourite lines: "A statue of your likeness, floats through my dream, carved in ice and glacial blue. You're in my heart forever, or so it seems, now everything I dream turns into you."
2. Moon Over Bourbon Street, by Sting - This song was inspir…

Musings on Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, the thirst for meaning and the recipe for a good novel

This review contains no spoilers, nothing you won't find out in the first fifty pages or so.
Why I read the book: I have read The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana before and I thought it was an amazing idea with the perfect conclusion and terribly dragging middle. Recently I stumbled upon a comment Viktoria left on an old blog post of mine, saying that Foucault's Pendulum was her favourite Eco and a much-needed antidote after she pulled through The Da Vinci Code. Too intriguing a description to ignore.
About the book:Foucault's Pendulum is a novel by Italian writer Umberto Eco, translated by William Weaver. Eco spent eight years writing the book and the years of research is evident in every word.
One of the genres dominating the book world for the past decade has been thrillers involving secret societies. Foucault's Pendulum has been called "the thinking man's The Da Vinci Code", as both books no doubt deal with the same theme, but in remarkably different way…