Book Reviews

Updated on: Saturday, November 09, 2019, 01:11 PM IST

Celebrity Bookshelf: Obsessed with Tintin

Voracious reader Varun Shashi Rao, recently seen in Ayushmann Khuranna-starrer Bala, gets chatty with MANASI Y MASTAKAR about his reading habits, favourite books and more...

Thus began the habit...

I was what one would call a nerd growing up. My dad would get magazines like Competition Success Review and India Today which I would read from the front page to the last. This was when I was in school. Thus, began the habit of reading...

Counting the faves

The kind of books I mostly read and also my favorite are non-fiction. Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan and Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink are two of my favorite books. They are also my favorite authors and I have read most of their books.

Both these authors have out-of-the-box perspectives and a talent to look at patterns and data and come out with some mind-numbing truths and observations.

How and what they see in between the lines and their fascinating perspectives have always enchanted me. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and The Power of Now by Eckhart Toole are some of my faves from this genre.

Travel companion

I always regret the time I don’t get to read. There is so much happening that the reading habit invariably suffers. Travelling, I have figured, is the best time to read, which is in between flights and while flying. I also try to squeeze in time during weekends to read.

Monthly quota

I wish I could say at least one a month, but that’s not always the case. I do, however, voraciously read the newspaper every day, along with a lot of magazines like GQ, Time and India Today.

Getting recommendations

Well, the answer is by reading! Very often I get those from newspapers and magazines and from visits to bookstores, where I spend a lot time scanning the shelves.

Old school

I’m old school and not too tech savvy, so I would say physical books over ebooks. I love the smell and feel of a book and using a bookmark when I stop at a page. All of this can never be experienced with an ebook.

Currently reading

Unthink by Chris Paley and Devdutt Patnaik’s Mahabharata.

Tintin obsession

As a kid I worshiped my Tintin comic collection. I was obsessed with them and whenever a new Tintin was gifted to me

I would sleep with it next to me for a few days.

From book to film

Hollywood has always been exceptional at turning books into amazing movies. I loved reading Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally and watching Steven Spielberg’s movie version.

For me, it’s one of the best films ever made. I want Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open to be made into a film. His is a fascinating story full of drama — fall from grace and an unbelievable comeback at 33 to win slams and be World No. 1 again!

Honest admission

I’m honest enough to admit what I haven't read. But, my uncle once gifted me the The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, and because I found reading Shakespearean English too cumbersome, I left the book at some point, but always told everyone I finished it.

On the bookshelf

My enviable Tintin collection...

Saving money for books

As a kid I used to save all my pocket money and birthday gift coupons to buy Encyclopaedia Britannica. They were expensive, so we used to buy one volume at a time.

Books I recommend

1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

2. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Toole.

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Published on: Sunday, November 10, 2019, 05:00 AM IST