Interesting Reads 2022

Interesting Reads - Fiction

Book : City of Incident: A Novel in Twelve Parts
Publisher : Aleph Book Company


City of Incident tells the story of six women and six men, each of them struggling to keep their balance in a metropolis that affords them little power, little hope, and little chance of redemption. Their stories twine together to give us an unsettling look into the lives that take place on the peripheries of our vision.

These are people you may encounter on the Metro, glimpse from the window of your car, or read about in brief items on the inside pages of the newspaper. They might be among those who watch as you hurry past, from silent balconies, under flyovers, and behind the glass partition at the bank: people who don’t particularly interest you until a fragile moment shatters.

The lives of the characters in the City of Incident coalesce into a great darkened lens that presents an unnerving view of a great city and its most powerless inhabitants.

Book : A Novel
Publisher : Aleph Book Company


A Novel tells the story of a nameless wanderer—a writer—as she moves between two cities and across centuries, coming to terms with her myriad emotions and strange experiences. It is also, in a sense, a tale of two cities that are dear to the protagonist for ‘C’ is the name of the dark, sunless city she visits on a writing sabbatical, and also a reference to her bright native city that she has left behind. The story is narrated in two voices: one of the protagonist and the other that of the city without the sun, where her every waking moment is suffused with memories of a distant lover, and where she meets an ethereal woman from another time.

Written in prose and poetry, Anupama Raju’s remarkable debut novel takes readers on multiple journeys with the protagonist through time and the winding streets of the cities she is in thrall to. And as we journey with her we are given profound and memorable insights into love, pain, loss, regret, history, joy, hope, and possibility.

Book : Independence
Publisher : HarperCollins India


The book traces the journey of a mother from an unborn child to an infant. She realizes how in the biological birth of a child; a psychological mother is also born. The feelings, aspirations, and expectations of a mother towards her child are reflected in the narrative. It depicts what a woman has to undergo while giving birth to a child. The process of creation is a divine process and the feeling is cherished. The book revolves around the mother-child relationship and the ecstasy felt by a mother in sharing the little joys and pains in the upbringing of a child. It is a privilege on the part of a woman that she shares an extra advantage of nine months wherein she builds an unbreakable bond with the child. It is part of nature that motherhood is endowed with such capabilities and potential that she is able to bring a new life into the world. It is a collection and recollection of those memories which are crucial in a mother’s life. The book starts with the past and comes into the present and the last line takes into the future. The book is not a guide to parenting but is instrumental in creating a universal bond between mothers in sharing their experiences as each had to travel her own path of being a mother. It lays down how the birth of a child brings turmoil in the life of a parent and how the whole of her life and its priorities change when a newborn comes.

The uniqueness of the book lies in the thought that every chapter starts with a stanza conveying a meaning. It is crucial to tell what is in the chapter and the stanza serves the purpose. The mother has to accommodate her daily routine and keep thinking of the well-being of her child in every possible manner to ensure the best of the child. The book also talks about the bond between two sisters and a mother’s exhaustion in raising two children. A child is a gift of God and it is very special to have a child who looks like your miniature all the activities that a child does keep a mother busy and engaged having no time for her own looks. It talks about all that a mother can give and the selfless love she has for her child. It is not easy for any woman to be a mother as it is pedestalized as the highest. Moreover, there are various challenges and sufferings one confronts in being a mother. One cannot be circumscribed by the four walls of the home and has to step out of the world to carve out one’s identity. Motherhood is not a destination, rather it is a journey as the growth of a child is the growth of a mother too and she too has to learn, unlearn and relearn many things in the process.

Book : Spirit Nights
Publisher : Simon & Schuster India


‘Tiger has eaten the sun!’ screams Tola the seeress when darkness suddenly descends at midday, and the great spiritual struggle begins to restore the light.

An ancient prophecy is fulfilled when darkness envelops a number of villages for days on end. The only thing they know is that a terrible taboo has been violated in the spirit world. Only by crossing the borders between the natural world and the spirit world, and acting with wisdom and courage can they get the light back, but who will dare to do that?

Accounts of sudden darkness descending on the land exist in at least two tribal histories of the Naga people, the Rengma and the Chang. The story of Spirit Nights is inspired by a story of darkness narrated by the Chang Naga tribe. Names and incidents are borrowed from the original tale, but it follows the path of fiction to achieve its telling.

Book : Everything the Light Touches
Publisher : HarperCollins India


In Everything the Light Touches we meet many travelers: Shai, a young Indian woman who journeys to India’s northeast and rediscovers, through her encounters with indigenous communities, ways of living that realign and renew her. Evelyn, an Edwardian student at Cambridge who, inspired by Goethe’s botanical writings, embarks on a journey seeking out the sacred forests of the Lower Himalayas. Linnaeus, botanist, and taxonomist, famously declared God creates; Linnaeus organizes” and led an expedition to Lapland in 1732. And Goethe himself, who traveled through Italy in the 1780s, formulated his ideas for a revelatory text that called for a re-examination of our propensity to reduce plants – and the world – into immutable parts.

Drawing richly from scientific ideas, the novel plunges into a whirl of ever-expanding themes, and the contrasts between modern India and its colonial past, urban life and the countryside, capitalism and centuries-old traditions of generosity and gratitude, script and “song and stone.” At the heart of the book lies a tussle between different ways of seeing – those that fix and categorize, and those that free and unify.

Everything the Light Touches brings together, with startling and playful novelty, people and places that seem, at first, removed from each other in time and place. Yet all is resonance, we discover; all is the connection.

Book : Escaping the Land
Publisher : Speaking Tiger Books


Combining history, myth, and contemporary politics, Escaping the Land is a saga of a beautiful but sometimes turbulent land and its people. Acclaimed poet-novelist Mamang Dai takes us on an unforgettable journey from the land of Kojum-Koja, a sacred place beyond time, to the formation of the modern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Maying, a woman who has lived away from the state, returns in order to write a history of the people she has known and who have shaped her land. As she speaks to them and leafs through old records, a myriad of stories and destinies unfold—an ancient flood and a lake full of stars; conflict and curiosity that led to the establishment of NEFA (North-east Frontier Agency); hardy men and women like Lipun, who walked the highest mountain passes and thick forests establishing connections with remote tribes; the ‘Rainman’, who can read the elements because he is so closely tied to them; Umsi, who has to go far away in order to know herself; and Lutor, the shaman’s child, who can feel the pulse of his people, even when he is disillusioned with public life.

But there are also land and forest mafia, corrupt politicians in cahoots with violent militants, and friends who can turn foes to satisfy their ambitions.

Maying recoils from the murky theatre of the modern state, but realizes, too, that ‘our hearts are taken, given, mistaken, lost’ but ‘what is never lost is the original obsession that was a dream of love’.

Lyrical, vital and epic in scale, Escaping the Land is the story of a people and a place that is, like the best novels, the story of all humanity.

Book : Black River
Publisher : Westland Books


‘Munia in the sunlight, smiling up at the man.’

In the village of Teetarpur, a few hours from the capital city of Delhi, Chand’s peaceful life is shattered as he is forced into a dangerous quest for justice.

At the station house, the jurisdiction of which extends to Teetarpur and the neighboring villages, Sub-inspector Ombir Singh, who has known Chand’s daughter Munia since she was born, wrestles with his conscience and the vagaries of his personal life as the increasingly murky case unfolds under the watchful eyes of the ‘Delhi boy’, SSP Pilania.

Meanwhile, in the rough bylanes of Bright Dairy Colony, Chand’s old companions Rabia and Badshah Miyan fight for their right to home and country as the politics of religion threaten to overwhelm their lives.

Framed as a police procedural, Black River is fast-paced and relentless, yet tender and reflective, in its exploration of friendship, love, and grief.

Book : Geeta Rahman at Championship Point
Publisher : Simon & Schuster India


A young girl’s fight to live her dream in a country trying to break free from its past.

It’s 1993 in New Delhi, the Babri Masjid demolition has just happened, and India is on the verge of opening its economy to the world. Growing up in this new, fast-changing India, Geeta is caught between her great wish — to become India’s biggest badminton star — and the grief she is experiencing along with her father. Geeta Rahman at Championship Point is the story of twelve-year-old Geeta Rahman, a badminton prodigy on one hand and an aspiring servant of the Government of India on the other, she is also trying to come to terms with the recent death of her mother.

In this moving and distinctively original novel, Saskya Jain brilliantly weaves the personal and the political — as Geeta’s life within her tightly-knit community unfolds, the story of a liberalized India desperate to channel its newfound ambitions to finally silence the ghosts of Partition also comes to the fore. The answer to whether or not Geeta succeeds, and at what price, is tied to this constantly changing landscape. By using the game of badminton as a metaphor, Jain’s inventive prose establishes a strong sense of place and meticulously explores the sense of a young girl’s unique mindset, presenting us with an unforgettable narrator learning to find her place under the sun.

Interesting Reads - Non-Fiction

Book : Onam in a Nightie: Stories from a Kerala Quarantine


Onam in a Nightie is a searingly funny book about what happens when the author leaves her home in Delhi to visit her aging parents in Kerala, which is thousands of miles away, to keep them company during the pandemic. Tropical Kerala, otherwise known as ‘God’s own country, is as different from Delhi as can be and the book is about the discovery of that, the author’s relationship with her parents, and her idea of belonging and identity. It is about what makes Kerala so unique and what it is to be a Malayali.

It’s not just the language or the food and the sights that are different in Kerala, it is the sense of community, the quirks of people who are first-world, albeit trapped in a third world, and much more.

With very little to do during a pandemic, the small things matter and make life big. Set in a hopeless time, the book is about hope and resilience captured through 40 real stories. This is part travelogue, part memoir, peppered with enough
humor and empathy to uplift any reader.

It is a book that takes you to a small town and keeps you there. It also weaves in other places the author has lived in from London to Singapore, with deft
comparisons that show how we are all alike and yet so different.

The book has got outstanding reviews and the writing has been compared to that of literary giants such as William Faulker and RK Narayan. It was No. 1.
on Amazon. in the travel category shortly after its release.

It was also No.2 in the WH Smith non-fiction category and No.1 on the New Indian Express book list.

Book : Chemical Khichdi: How I Hacked My Mental Health


Some said children were out of the question, but she is a mother of two boys.

Some said she couldn’t handle business life, but she has interviewed over a hundred CEOs, and counting. Some said she wouldn’t be able to write a book on mental health, but here it is.

Aparna Piramal Raje is happy, thriving, and bipolar. And this is her story.

Part memoir and part self-help guide, Chemical Khichdi provides a pathway for anyone with a mental health condition and the family, friends, colleagues, and medical professionals that love and care for them.

Empathetic, candid, and accessible, it outlines ‘seven therapies’ that have enabled Aparna to ‘hack’ her mental health and find equilibrium over the years, and shows how you or someone you know can also do the same.

Book : To Hell and Back
Publisher : Humans of COVID (Juggernaut Books)



Book : Rising: 30 Women Who Changed India

Publisher : Rupa Publications


With stories of 30 amazing contemporary Indian women, this book looks at what shaped them, the challenges they faced, the influences they had, the choices they made, and how they negotiated around or broke the boundaries that sought to confine them, either through society or circumstance.

From diverse backgrounds, different generations, they have risen through sheer grit, determination, bolstered with passion, and are, today, names to look up to, to hold out as examples to the next generation of young women and girls, giving them the courage to reach out to their dreams. From politics to sport, from the creative and performing arts to cinema and television, from business leaders to scientists, legal luminaries, and more, this book features the stories of these much-celebrated, fabulous women: Sushma Swaraj, Sheila Dikshit, Fathima Beevi, Mahasweta Devi, Amrita Sher-Gil, Amrita Pritam, Sonal Mansingh, Lata Mangeshkar, Anita Desai, M.S. Subbulakshmi, Harita Kaur Deol, Madhuri Dixit, Bachendri Pal, Rekha, Chhavi Rajawat, Karnam Malleswari, Shailaja Teacher, Hima Das, Naina Lal Kidwai, Shakuntala Devi, P.T. Usha, P.V. Sindhu, Ekta Kapoor, Kiran Bedi, Mary Kom, Menaka Guruswamy, Tessy Thomas, Aparna Sen, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Gayatri Devi, among others.

Book : Rani Durgawati
Publisher : The Forgotten Life of a Warrior Queen


Gond Rani Veerangana Durgawati, queen of the tribal kingdom of Garha Mandla, ruled more than 450 years ago and died fighting for her dharma. A survivor who was not afraid to stand up for her rights, she was a warrior smart enough to use terrain to counter much larger manpower and artillery strength, a devoted mother and a model monarch who looked after her people till her last breath-the fact that she lived in blood-soaked medieval India, makes her story even more remarkable.

The feisty and formidable Rani Durgawati lives on in the folk tales and songs of her people. These songs and tales have now been used by Nandini Sengupta to create a meticulously researched and accessibly written biography of a forgotten female hero and one of India’s most underrated monarchs.

Book : Lies Our Mothers Told Us
Publisher : The Indian Woman’s Burden


Savitribai Phule, Mahasweta Devi, Amrita Pritam, Medha Patkar, Kamla Bhasin, and countless others have, since the nineteenth century, fought for and won equal rights for Indian women in a variety of areas—universal suffrage, inheritance and property rights, equal remuneration, prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace, and others. Pioneering feminists believed that due to these hard-won rights, their daughters and granddaughters would have the opportunity to have rewarding careers, participate in the social and political growth of the country, gain economic independence, and become equal partners in their marriages. On paper, it would appear that the lot of Indian women in the twenty-first century has vastly improved but, in reality, the demands of capitalism and the persistence of patriarchal attitudes have meant that they continue to lead lives that are hard and unequal, especially when compared to their male counterparts.

Indian women are among the most overworked in the world—they spend on average 299 minutes on housework and 134 minutes on caregiving per day, shouldering 82 per cent of domestic duties. They are burdened with work from such a young age that many are forced to drop out of schools, leave the labour force, and give up dreams of financial independence. For those who have the privilege of choosing to have a career, the only way they can make this viable is by doing the ‘double shift’: women are expected to do most of the housework, childcare, and caregiving, whether they have jobs or not.

While these problems apply to all women across the country, those in India’s middle class face an altogether unique challenge because middle-class families have mastered the art of simulating an environment of empowerment in their homes. Lies Our Mothers Told Us: The Indian Woman’s Burden takes a close look at the gender inequality that forms the bedrock of India’s middle class—this forces women to try and be ‘superwomen’ while ignoring the deleterious effects on their mental and physical health. Using available data and anecdotal evidence from the real lives of Indian women across the country, journalist Nilanjana Bhowmick asks if, in our patriarchal society, the assertion that ‘women can have it all’ comes at too high a price.

Book : Sisterhood Economy: Of, by, for Wo(men)
Publisher : (Simon & Schuster India)


The new Indian woman is dreaming big and seeking change. Wanting to break from the triptych of bechari, badass, or bitch, women are talking of being stronger together. What can a ground-up sisterhood of determined women mean for a country like ours and just how can it unleash and harness the dormant economic potential of half the country’s population?

This book is a power-packed insight into the lives of the women of the world’s largest democracy who are struggling every single day to get their voices heard, presence felt, and make their economics matter. Shaili Chopra puts a fresh lens on what’s powering or stopping women to seize the opportunity ahead of them, by talking to more than five hundred different women (and men), across classes, castes, cities, ages, ambitions, and desires. Can the mother-in-law trigger a change in a country’s GDP? What are beauty parlor economics? Are women claiming independence and can intimacy drive better economic outcomes? Why are single women rocking it?

Sisterhood Economy makes a bold, empathetic, and collective call for women to believe in their transformative abilities and put themselves first. Wrapped in emotional anecdotes and stories, this book is deeply authentic and essential reading for anyone looking to understand women beyond statistics.

India could do a lot better if only it treated its women better. How difficult can that be?

Book : Handle with Care
Publisher : Travels with My Family (To Say Nothing of The Dog)


Shreya Sen-Handley’s Handle with Care is a blithe and zippy travelogue that chronicles her adventures around the globe. In tow, most of the time is the ‘quirky clan’ comprising her British husband, their two children, and their dog.

Here are tales of the world beyond south Kolkata and Sherwood Forest – places they call home. From much-loved Indian locales like Rajasthan and Kerala to bustling international capitals like New York and Paris, from English idylls like Dorset and Haworth to the sleepy pleasures of Corfu – the journeys are described in vivid detail, seasoned with humor, and sprinkled with wise trip tips. No matter how grueling the trek, you weather the storms well, and while you’re about it, have tons of fun, food, and epiphanies. Mishaps or not, one learns, there is always magic to find.

These are delightful stories that’ll take you places without having to move an inch!

Interesting Reads - Children’s Category

Book : Savi and the Memory Keeper
Publisher : Hachette India


If Savi were to make a list of things that were the absolute worst, moving to Shajarpur would be right on top. Well, right after the point about missing her father. And death. And her new school, with the most stuck-up of classmates.Worse, she is now part of an eco club in which they make fun of her for not having enough green gyaan. And those stuck-up classmates seem to be her new friends. Wait, what? How did that happen? But Savi is too busy figuring out why in the world she, a certified brown thumb, is suddenly able to talk to us (her plants) and to the ginormous ficus tree, whose heartwood seems full of secrets. Funny, thoughtful, and deeply moving, this is a story of loss, climate change, and the magical power of… Ahem. Actually, why don’t we just let Savi tell it now?

Book : Stories of Trees from India
Publisher : Shree Book Centre


There is a whole world of greens outside our window, but the hustle and bustle of our busy lives give us little time to see and admire these greens. The book, ‘Stories of Trees from India’, tends to highlight this quiet but much needed backdrop of our lives. Indeed, the book is a well-researched one and offers, not only interesting and regaling stories of each of the twenty three trees commonly seen in our country, but also gives detailed descriptions and photographs which can help the reader to identify the tree once he or she has read it. The book also enlightens the origin of the various scientific names. Added to this is the trivia at the end of each story which helps the reader to feel an emotional connect with the tree. Thus, in a very subtle way, the book is sure to kindle in all its readers, young or old, the love and the urge to conserve and protect our greens.

The stories bring out the fact that every tree has its own characteristic seasonal behavior. Every tree is an ecosystem by itself, being home to so many other creatures.

The book also highlights certain important features of the diverse trees. Why would a tree be called a ‘Rain Tree’? Why do we never get to see the flowers of a Banyan Tree? Why does the Ashoka Tree bring smiles? The answers to these puzzles and many more, are all in this comprehensive book.
In conclusion, it may be said that stories are a great way to learn and leave a lifelong impression. This book with its own package of stories, is sure to do that.

Book : Childre’purfexz n of the Hidden Land
Publisher : Speaking Tiger Books


A drone that captures a deadly secret, children who are missing, and a shadowy figure known only as the Dragon. Who will unravel the secrets running below the surface of this land…and at what cost?

Fifteen-year-old April lives in Imphal valley and has grown up learning to save herself from tear-gas shells and hearing stories about children disappearing. But when her best friend Henthoiba goes missing, she is determined to find him. April finds an unlikely ally in Shalini Gupta, her new schoolmate and the daughter of an army man recently posted in Imphal. With no real leads except for a bag with some of Henthoiba’s belongings and sharp deduction and combat skills, the two set out to find him.

As they get sucked into the investigation, they stumble upon a dangerous, unknown world—where children disappear and are trafficked and trained to be soldiers. A world where drugs, arms and gold are peddled across borders.

Was Henthoiba abducted because he knew too much about this world? What awaits Shalini and April at the floating island on Loktak Lake where Henthoiba was last seen?

Unflinching, tender and action-packed, Children of the Hidden Land is a story about two girls who overcome their prejudices to question their existing ideas about nation, friendship and ambition. Above all, it is a story of hope and courage.

Book : Searching for the Songbird
Publisher : Zubaan Books


Kastura, ‘the Songbird’, has disappeared. She is the prime suspect of a burglary in the Himalayan foothills, and twelve-year Johnny Raut is determined to find her and prove her innocence. The problem is that he has just moved to the mountains from Mumbai, and knows almost nothing about his new surroundings. While coping also with his parent’s separation, he joins forces with three of his classmates and sets out to find the missing Songbird.

As Johnny solves the mystery of her disappearance, he must also come to terms with his own fears, understand the social prejudices that affect people close to him, and become familiar with the songs and sounds of this alien environment.

Book : Vahana: Vehicles of the Gods
Publisher : Srishti Publishers & Distributors


The book is a collection of fifteen stories – some telling us how gods got their vahana – or vehicles; others narrating their fun and adventures together. These are some interesting and hilarious stories about Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, Durga, Ganesha, Kartikeya, and Indra, among others, and their adorable vahanas.

Have you ever wondered why Shiv ji’s mount – Nandi, the bull – sits opposite him in all the temples? He never lets Mahadev out of his sight.

Goddess Lakshmi is organizing a race for all the birds and animals in the forest. Wonder why? Because she wants to choose her vahana, her mount.
Even Indra, the king of gods, is tired of walking around. He is requesting Brahma ji for a majestic mount. Will he get one?

VAHANA: VEHICLES OF THE GODS will answer all these questions. You can read cute stories associated with gods and how they got their beloved vahanas.
You will find in this book:

• Fifteen entertaining stories about gods and their mounts
• The perfect book to introduce Hindu gods and goddesses to children
• Beautiful illustrations with all stories
• Puzzles and coloring pages for fun
• Great for parent-child bonding

Book : The King Who Turned Into a Serpent and Other Thrilling Tales of Royalty From Indian Mythology
Publisher : Hachette India


A princess who inspired a cowherd to become a great poet.

A king so generous he sacrificed himself to feed a bird.

A prince born with four arms and a third eye.

A queen skilled beyond compare in warfare.

Awe-inspiring fighters, feisty leaders, exemplary friends, mighty monarchs, expert cooks and super-strong sleepyheads… Who were these multifaceted rulers who stood out among the hundreds in the lore of our land? From Shibi Chakravarthy to Bhoja, from Vidyottama to Meenakshi, from Yudhisthira to Nahusha, and from Shishupala to Nala – what was extraordinary about them and their times?

In over 15 fascinating stories, this charmingly illustrated book takes you to the kingdoms, courts, palaces and battlefields of glorious royals, who shaped our values and made their place forever in our epics and legends.

Book : Batata, Pao, and All Things Portuguese
Publisher : People Place Project


The Portuguese had no idea they would stay in India for over four centuries after arriving at India’s west coast on 20 May 1498. But what exactly happened during that time?

Watch places, monuments, ruins, and random objects come to life as you read this book. A caravel recounts Vasco da Gama’s first trip from Lisbon to India. A hidden temple shares how Da Gama met the Zamorin of Calicut. A printing press reminisces how the Portuguese made Goa its headquarters. A cannon describes everything from bloody battles to pristine beaches. A memorial narrates the story of how the Portuguese left India.

But wait! What do batata and pav have to do with their history? What can one see in this bird’s eye view of Estado da India?

Experience and understand history from very different perspectives only to form your own. Join us on this exciting and grand voyage from Portugal to India.

Interesting Reads - Debut

Book : Highway to Swades
Publisher : Rediscovering India’s Superpowers



In 2014, when Bhairavi Jani got into a car with three friends and drove 18,181 km across India, from the remote districts of Nagaland to the villages of Rann of Kutch and from the Kashmir Valley to the interiors of India’s Deccan she was searching for the threads that weave the people of the world’s largest democracy together. What she discovered from the many highways she took to swades form the beating heart of this book.

Highway to Swades is a quest to explore and rediscover the inherent civilizational powers shared by all Indians. Jani identifies twelve such superpowers and maps out how these can be called to action for the future of the republic and its citizens. In ‘Power of Enterprise’, for instance, she explores the values that connect India’s street vendors and tech entrepreneurs of Bengaluru. In ‘Power of Nature’, she shares the unlikely bonds that bind the Changpa people of the cold desert wildlife sanctuary in Ladakh, the Khasis of Meghalaya and an Oxford-returned young woman in Kumaon. And, in ‘Power of Creativity’ she throws light on how our inherent superpower of creativity can help us build a thriving creative economy using new-age tech and AI.

Through an amalgamation of data, travel anecdotes and stories of people from different corners of India, Jani intertwines the country’s past, present and future seamlessly.

Book : In a Better Place: A Doctor’s Journey
Publisher : Bloomsbury India


A doctor’s white coat is like an armour against the world. Cool and confident behind it, smiling to reassure nervous patients, while the doctor’s own anxieties and uncertainties remain well hidden. In a Better Place takes us to the world behind that self-assured exterior through the lives of Sudha, practising in a busy hospital in the heart of Delhi, her husband, Girish, and their close circle of doctor friends and colleagues.

It is a world of sudden crises and long hours in bleak hospital wards, courageous fights to save a life and heartbreak, personal dilemmas and aspirations for a better life, but also the great satisfactions of a job well done. Always there is the pulsating canvas of the city—first the hospital in Delhi, then in England. From minor observations to broader strokes—a doctor evaluating quickly what to do to save a patient, the rusty screech of a screen as it is pulled to give privacy to a patient being given emergency care, to a tea seller near the IIT gate and a dhaba which serves excellent food, the details help us connect to Sudha, Girish, Jai and Sanjay with a rare immediacy. Always, like a good doctor does her patient, Bornali Datta carries the reader along with her. Sudha and her husband do get to be where they think they want to be, but, as this engaging novel develops, it is not quite what they wanted, they realize.

Book : Open Book: Not Quite a Memoir
Publisher : HarperCollins India


At five, she took the stage by storm as Indira Gandhi. At eight, she was bullied. At ten, she hit rock bottom. At thirteen, she discovered a personality development programme that changed her life forever…

From being an awkward teen in braces to becoming a sought-after master of ceremonies to successfully portraying the transgender Cuckoo on the hit Netflix series Sacred Games, Kubbra Sait has broken boundaries and made a name for herself. Her ordinary upbringing notwithstanding, Kubbra is an extraordinary woman who quickly learned how to deal with the harsh ways of the world and shape her life successfully despite them. The bullying she encountered in school as a child helped her face nepotism in Bollywood, an industry known to favor its own, often at the cost of talented ‘outsiders’.

Part memoir, part inspirational treatise, Open Book lays bare the struggles, achievements, joys, and failures, and the many reinventions of a shy and anxious Bangalore girl who dreamt of making it in the competitive world of cinema.

Book : The Death of Kirti Kadakia
Publisher : A Temple Hill Mystery


LONGLISTED FOR THE 2022 CWA DAGGER AWARD There is nothing more tragic than the loss of face – not even the loss of life. Radhi Zaveri returns home to Mumbai’s posh Temple Hill in search of a salve for her broken heart. What she finds instead is a terrible tragedy. Her best friend Sanjana, who is expecting her first child, has just lost her father, Kirti Kadakia, to suicide. Cantankerous and pigheaded, Kirti has never walked away from a fight; yet, just hours after telling Sanjana that he couldn’t wait to hold his grandchild in his arms, he kills himself.

Something seems off to Radhi. Why is their young maid so terrified? What is their meddlesome neighbor hiding? Who was that second cup of tea for-the one they found in his study? As Radhi helps Sanjana look for answers, she realizes that Kadakia’s own family knows much more than they are letting on, and more than one life might hang in the balance. A whodunit like no other, The Death of Kirti Kadakia unearths the secrets and lies lurking beneath the diamond-studded satsangs and the lavishly catered ‘pure-veg’ brunches, and exposes the dual lives we often live.

‘Unfolding like an Agatha Christie mystery, the book delivers on pace, plot and climax.’-The Hindu

‘A well-crafted mystery’ – Mint Lounge

‘Pick of the week’ – The Hindustan Times

‘Unputdownable’ – The Telegraph India

Book : Happy Endings
Publisher : HarperCollins India


Krish is the latest ‘it’ thing. The Indian-export, award-winning lesbian author, who is being actively pursued by Bollywood’s darling Karan Raichand for movie rights to her Booker nominated book.

But her past catches up to her on the 14-hour flight back to India when she’s seated next to Mahi, the woman who broke her heart ten years ago. Mahi, now Mahek Singh, is India’s #1 actress and Karan’s biggest star.

As old memories and anger resurface, Mahi and Krish have to contend with Bollywood glamour, interfering relatives, crazy fans, and zealous best friends, all of which complicates their already star-crossed relationship.

Traversing the past, present and a hopeful future, can Krish move beyond her heartbreak? Will Mahi have to choose between her career and her love all over again?

Or will a second chance finally lead to happiness?

Book : Half-Blood
Publisher : Speaking Tiger Books


‘You see, Moonie, I did a terrible thing for which I had to leave Bombay. I don’t want to burden you, in this letter, with the details of my deed—or my life. It’s a long story and I’m not a man of words.’

It is 2009, more than a decade after Maya read this intriguing letter addressed to her. The awkward, adopted child of an odd Bengali couple, she’s now a 34-year-old journalist in an existential mess that she alleviates by smoking pot and going on long walks with her latest boyfriend. But in order to find the meaning she craves, Maya must confront her past, and open a box of objects she inherited. When she finally does, she’s led on a startling, sparkling journey of discovery.

At the centre of this journey is Burjor Elavia, a ‘fifty-fifty’, an ‘Adhkachru’—the illegitimate child of a Parsi man and a tribal woman—born in a nondescript village in Gujarat. In 1952, not yet eighteen, he made his way to Bombay, where he lived a colourful life—promiscuous, reckless, involved in a string of shady businesses, but also compassionate and a charmer. His greatest achievement was an audacious venture for fifty-fifty Parsis like himself, many of them strugglers, some of them on the make and all of them eccentric. In their tangled, mixed-up, funny life stories, Maya tries to find her beginnings—and maybe her future.
Set in the teeming, varied universe that is Bombay, Half-Blood is an entertaining, full-blooded novel about dysfunctional families, plucky survivors, chancers, mavericks and good-hearted rogues. A celebration of vitality, impurity and other true virtues of life, it is a marvellous debut.

Book : Arribada: The Arrival
Publisher : Rupa Publications


Joy and Ollie. two souls from different worlds who don’t speak each other’s language. The universe brings them together to embark on an unusual, unforgettable journey. Sometimes together, sometimes apart.

From living in London with a high-powered job and a lovely family, to losing everything and becoming a handyman in a small Maasai village in Africa, Joy wades through happiness, grief, loss and despair; while Ollie swims in the slow lane of life.

When truth, as they perceive it, begins to collapse around them, it exposes their brokenness, shatters their beliefs and reveals their worst fears. It leaves them completely devastated.

As they unlearn falsehoods, they discover the truths of life. Helped by the wind, the sea and an indigenous tribal elder, Joy experiences the power of the universal energy that heals all. Ollie finds a friend and the real meaning of existence.

Book : Stars from the Borderless Sea
Publisher : Readomania


Book : The Shotgun Wedding: A Novel
Publisher : Aleph Book Company


When Dita Roy is appointed as an English lecturer in a college in the sleepy little village of Phulpukur, she puts aside all her doubts about the institution’s dubious credentials and accepts the position. In Phulpukur College, she meets the mysterious Raja, a tall, handsome man with startling grey eyes, who serves her tea on her first day on the job. For Raja, Dita is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise claustrophobic environment. What the two do not know is that their chance encounter will soon gain them, and Phulpukur College, lifelong notoriety….

A comic, hilarious tale about romance tangled up in the complex politics of rural Bengal, The Shotgun Wedding is a sparkling debut showing us, once again, the power of love.

Book : The Immortal King Rao: A Novel
Publisher : HarperCollins India