Ogden Nash: Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker

During his lifetime, Ogden Nash was the most widely known, appreciated, and imitated American creator of light verse, a reputation that has continued after his death, says the Poetry Foundation. Among other memorable verses he wrote:

Reflexions on Ice-Breaking
Candy
is dandy
But liquor
is quicker [Read more...]

The love that dared not speak its name

Having returned to Singapore only last week after a long time, I have been catching up with the news. And one of the stories I have been following is the furore over two gay-themed books removed from the children’s section of the National Library.

I love the library and am sorry to see it and am sorry to see it getting its knickers in a twist with bloggers, writers and others raging against literary censorship. A blog post I read even drew a parallel with Nazi book burnings.

But I have one question: Can you name any great play or novel celebrating same-sex love? [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Happy birthday, Salman Rushdie!

He is all of 67 today. What a pity a book he began with such brio has haunted him ever since.

Few books open as memorably as The Satanic Verses. I cannot imagine any other writer describing an air crash quite like him. After the plane explodes over the English Channel, the two protagonists, Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, are the only survivors, found washed up on a snowbound English beach.

I have not read beyond the opening because I don’t want to get into any religious controversy. All religions should be respected. I don’t want to hear ill of any religion.

But the opening of this novel is unforgettable. The two characters falling from the sky, flapping their arms and singing as they fall, reminded me of Walt Disney and Mary Poppins. [Read more...]

The Circle’s a must for Google, Facebook users

Anyone who uses Google, Twitter or Facebook – and that’s practically everybody – needs to read The Circle by Dave Eggers. Fiction, but a chilling possible look into our future. Good book.

Actually, I am quoting somebody else to give my own views on The Circle, Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel. It is 1984 updated, with a Google-like company playing Big Brother’s role.

I thought it would be apt to use social media to review a book about social media. So here you see what others have been saying about the book on Twitter, Google Plus and in newspaper reviews.

Eggers was asked in a brief interview with McSweeney’s, a magazine he cofounded: “Is this book about Google or Facebook or any particular company?” [Read more...]