book excerptise:   a book unexamined is a waste of trees

book excerptise : snatches of conversation with books

How this project started

i find it difficult to read a book without a pencil - or increasingly - without a text editor where i can take notes... over the years, thousands of extracts and quotations and reviews have accumulated in a huge file. after every book, there would be lots of excerpts...

then one day, i discovered i had more than one copy of several books. it was a time for lists. that list swelled with keywords linking them to the shelf. and then one day I wanted to share some of my favourite excerpts from several books (one of them was Jared Diamond's The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee, 1991). i ended up writing a fairly elaborate script on my favourite editor, emacs, that converted my raw text file into a webpage. thus was born book excerptise. This was around 2004. Since then more than thirteen hundred books have been added to this site...
 

I also have some compilations - e.g. this list of Poetry Anthologies, with a "top ten" list covering all genres, and sublists for Indian poetry, World poetry, British/American poetry, Humour and Children's poetry (81 of them, all told). The following is chronologically organized... There is also a separate topic-indexed list of older titles.

Recently added

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december, 2012

november, 2012

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november 9, 2010

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July 26

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june 26, 2010

june 22

the past month i've been bicycling in the himalayas. had rented some rooms in a village gazing at the snows across a vast valley - so wasn't connected, and some patches of reading had accumulated... incidentally, we rode a total of 890 km including some rather steep slopes (birthi-kalamuni-munshiyari, joshimath-badrinath-mana, bageshwar-song, gagas-ranikhet, kosi-almora, etc).

may 15

may 10

may 2, 2010

April 25

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April 15

March 5

March 2, 2010

February 17

February 5

February 1

January 25

January 13, 2010

January 7, 2010

December 5, 2009

November 15

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March 24

What is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins (1941)
Elegant. Classic. All school children should do arithmetic in non-decimal bases.

Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics by John Derbyshire (2003)
overly verbose discussion of the riemann hypothesis.

March 21

Way of Tibetan Buddhism by Jampa Thaye (2001)
The simple, lucid story of Mahayana, and its Tibetan practice.

Poems from the Sanskrit by John (trans.) Brough (1977)
Excerpts include 53 Poems like this:
   If a professor thinks what matters most
   Is to have gained an academic post...

March 17

The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food, and Ritual in Bengal by Chitrita Banerji (2007)
History and practice of bengali food, including how we learned to make chhAnA from the Portuguese.

An Eye for Excellence: Fifty innovative years of IIT Kanpur by E.C. Subbarao (2008)
Mediocre writing, but the facts are interesting.

Added March 9, 2009

sukAnta samagra সুকান্ত সমগ্র by sukAnta bhaTTachArya and subhASh mukhopAdhyAy (1967)
Despite his nephew being the Chief Minister of Bengal, Sukanta Bhattacharya's image has eroded a lot. Are his poems too overwrought with emotion?

Added on March 6, 2009

Other recent additions not in index