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Page Turners

Whether you prefer to traverse fictional worlds on your Kindle or through the pages of a  physical book, there never has been such plentitude in choice of  genres—from flash fiction to epic novels—as now.

Published: 30th May 2015 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2015 12:30 PM   |  A+A-

Page tur

It is the best of times and an age of variety. Whether you prefer to traverse fictional worlds on your Kindle or through the pages of a  physical book, there never has been such plentitude in choice of  genres—from flash fiction to epic novels—as now.

The short story, which made a comeback when Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize two years ago, now has consolidated its status as the genre most suited to this age of brevity. After a gap of eight years, Margaret Atwood returned last year with a short story collection, Stone Mattress, which featured nine tales written like murder mysteries that explored lives of the aged. The stories in Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning experiment with form and genres. In her The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories, Hilary Mantel explores the dark side of human nature while former US marine-turned-writer Philip Klay brings the horrors of America’s recent wars home in his debut collection Redeployment. 

Back home, the all-star cast of A Clutch of Indian Masterpieces, which included the works of Gulzar, Amrita Pritam and Saadat Hasan Manto, announced the genre’s grand revival. A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories by Siddarth Gigoo, Cyrus Mistry’s Passion Flower, Sandip Roy’s Don’t Let Him Know and Damodar Mauzo’s Teresa’s Man and Other Stories have been longlisted for the Frank O’ Connor Short Story Award 2015.

Another milestone has been the surge in translation of fiction in Indian languages, which helped English-speaking readers discover the works of literary giants such as Urdu writer Shamshur Rahman Faruqi, Hindi writer-playwrights Dharamvir Bharati and Mohan Rakesh, Bengali writers Buddhadeva Bose and Rabisankar Bal, among others.

Indian writing in English held global attention most of the last and the current year with Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others) and Amitav Ghosh (for his entire body of work) being shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Man Booker International Prize, respectively. Akhil Sharma won the Folio Prize 2015 for his flawless novel of “distilled complexity”, Family Life.

If 2014 was the year of literary diversity, 2015 promises to be legendary. Kazuo Ishiguro and Toni Morrison kick-started the year with The Buried Giant and God Help the Child. Ghosh completes the Ibis trilogy with The Flood of Fire to be out next month. June will also bring the first book in Amish Tripathi’s new Ram Chandra series—The Scion of Ikshvaku. Stephen King, too, returns to make your skin crawl with his story of an unhinged, obsessive fan in Finders Keepers, as does Czech writer Milan Kundera with a novel, The Festival of Insignificance, after 13 years.

Harper Lee’s much-anticipated Go Set a Watchman is out in July, while September will see Margaret Atwood’s first novel in 15 years—The Heart Goes Last—as well as Salman Rushdie’s Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights. And that’s not all. Gregory David Roberts is ready with his sequel to Shantaram, The Mountain Shadow, which will be out this October. Come join the carnival.

General Fiction

Flood of Fire

By Amitav Ghosh

GENERAL.jpgThe Chinese emperor has abolished opium trade, causing the British to declare war. The Hind sails from Bengal to China to participate in the First Opium War. Onboard is a motley group of travellers, each nurturing their own agendas. The third book of the Ibis trilogy follows their fortunes through the war to China’s defeat and the cessation of Hong Kong.

Sleeping on Jupiter

By Anuradha Roy

There is much darkness and evil that lurks beneath the serenity of the temple town of Jarmuli. It all comes to fore with the arrival of a mysterious, young woman who had escaped its horrors as a child.

The House That BJ Built

By Anuja Chauhan

The author returns to the Thakur mansion on Hailey Road with this sequel to Those Pricey Thakur Girls. The sisters wish to sell off their father’s house but Bonu Singh, daughter of the late Binodini Thakur, wants to honour her mother’s wishes and is dead against it. She finds herself pitted against her superhot step-cousin Samar, who had promised his dying grandfather that he would not rest till the house is sold. 

The Blind Lady’s Descendants

By Anees Salim

This 300-page-long suicide note of the narrator, detailing his unbelievable bad luck and that of his dysfunctional family, stands out for its black humour and won the 2014 Crossword Book Award.

The Book of Gold Leaves

by Mirza Waheed

It is 1991. A paper mache artist, Faiz, meets the beautiful Roohi in Srinagar and they fall in love. But will their love survive the violence and chaos that is spreading like fire across Kashmir?

The Buried Giant

By Kazuo Ishiguro

Axl and Beatrice have not seen their son in years. A strange mist has shrouded their war-ravaged land, and people’s memories have been compromised. Undeterred by the dangers involved, the couple sets out to find their lost child.

God Help the Child

By Toni Morrison

Unloved by her mother due to her midnight black skin, Bride grows up emotionally crippled despite all the success and glamour life sends her way. The man she loves is also damaged by “a love-lorn past”. Toni Morrison’s new novel explores the life-long damage done by bad parenting.

The Bone Clocks

By David Mitchell

The Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel focuses on the life of a runaway teenager, Holly Sykes. She leaves her house in England in 1984 and is discovered 60 years later in Ireland living with her grandchild. Her life in betwixt is narrated by four characters who meet Holly at different points in her life.

The Paying Guests

By Sarah Waters

Disillusionment, unemployment and hunger are rampant in post-World War I London. In a villa where the men are gone, the genteel Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, must take in lodgers to make ends meet. But little do they know that Lilian and Leonard Barber, the middle-class couple who becomes their paying guests, will upend Frances’s world forever.

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr

Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is set during World War II, and tells of its horrors through the lives of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, an albino German orphan.

Revival By Stephen King

Like many others in his small New England town, six-year-old Jamie Morton is quite taken by Reverend Jacobs and his feats of electrical wizardry. But when the Reverend loses his family in a horrific accident, he loses faith and is banished from the town. In his mid-thirties,  Jamie runs into the Reverend, who now performs faith healings. They reconnect but soon Jamie realises there is something evil about his miraculous powers.

Unbound Edited by Annie Zaidi

Combed into 11 sections, this anthology looks at Indian women’s writing over the past two thousand years. There is poetry by Buddhist nuns (circa 300 BCE); poet-saints Andal, Lal Ded; works of Ismat Chughtai, Amrita Pritam, Attia Hosian and Irawati Karve, to contemporary voices like Nivedita Menon, among others.

The Zone of Interest

By Martin Amis

Set in a Nazi concentration camp of the 1940s, Martin Amis’s novel explores the psychology of genocide through three narrators—the alcoholic Paul Doll, the lecherous Golo Thomsen, and a Jew inmate, Szmul. The question at the heart of the story is what were these people, who butchered over six million people in their death camps, thinking?

Odysseus Abroad: A Novel

By Amit Chaudhuri

This novel about solitariness and voyaging is set over the course of a day in the lives of two Indians in London, a university student and his bachelor uncle. Each is trying to deal with nostalgia and alienation in his own way.

The Lives of Others

By Neel Mukherjee

Supratik, the eldest grandson of the bourgeois Ghosh family, leaves his four-storeyed house in Kolkata to join the Maoist guerrillas. The family with its caste and gender hierarchies, petty power struggles and conflicts mirrors those in the world outside.

Fairy Tales at Fifty

By Upamanyu Chatterjee

Separated at birth, twins Anguli and Nirip meet around their 50th birthdays and re-assess their lives. Nirip was adopted by a trader of human organs. Anguli has modelled his life on that of his role-model, Angulimal—the serial killer of the Buddhist folk tale and kills “occasionally” for the joy of it.       

Short Stories

A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories

By Siddarth Gigoo

SHORT STORIES.jpgTwo school boys are assigned the task of killing their Kashmiri Pandit teacher in one of the 16 stories that make Gigoo’s new collection. In another, a monk meets a young man at a train station and receives a new perspective on life. Without taking sides, Gigoo conveys the conflicted lives Kashmiris lead, both who were forced to flee and those left behind.

Passion Flower: Seven Stories of Derangement

by Cyrus Mistry

A new mother battles depression and the desire to kill her child, a woman deals with paranoia, a mama’s boy dreams of release from his stifling life, two schoolmates carry their rivalry into adulthood. The seven stories in this collection work as portraits of urban lonliness. 

Africa39

Edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, Wole Soyinka

The short stories and

novels in progress make this terrific collection open a window into the culture, life and talent in Africa. The book is part of 39 Project of the international Hay Festival, which brings together 39 promising writers under the age of 40.

Don’t let Him Know By Sandip Roy

Somewhere between a novel and a collection of stories, with each chapter like a stand-alone tale, Roy’s book of secrets explores human relationships and failings through the lives of three members of a family.

Trigger Warning By Neil Gaiman

Stories of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, monologues, poems and even a story written as a questionnaire. Gaiman’s new collection of short fiction experiments across form and genres.

Stone Mattress By Margaret Atwood

Written like murder mysteries, Atwood’s nine short stories explore the loneliness, social ostracism, dementia and coping mechanisms of the aged.

A Clutch of Indian Masterpieces Edited by David Davidar

This giant book of Indian short stories packs in the works of many a literary star—from Ruskin Bond, Anita Desai, Gulzar, Amrita Pritam to Saadat Hasan Manto and Cyrus Mistry.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher & Other Stories By Hilary Mantel

These ten dark tales reveal the horrors hidden in the everyday and explore the grimmer side of human nature. In the titular tale, which is set in the 80s, the narrator mistakes an IRA assassin, sent to shoot  Margaret Thatcher from her window, for a plumber. With two Man Bookers to her credit, Mantel needs no recommendation.

The Emerald Light in the Air By Donald Antrim

These stories, published in The New Yorker between 1999 and 2014, are variations on the theme of mental illness. Through his suffering protagonists, Donald Atrium depicts it in all its variety—breakdowns, suicidal behaviour, relapses and psychological abuse.

Travel

Finding the Demon’s Fiddle By Patrick Jered

travel.jpgOn a visit to Rajasthan, Jered is mesmerised by the sound of the ravanhattha, an ancient musical instrument. As he delves into its origin and history, he finds himself on an adventure across India and Sri Lanka.

Goa Travels: Being the Accounts of Travellers from the 16th to the 20th Century

Edited by Manohar Shetty

This anthology of writings by travellers from different countries and eras is a rich read on Goa’s history and the evolution of its culture over centuries.

1001 Walks You Must Take Before You Die: Country Hikes, Heritage Trails, Coastal Strolls, Mountain Paths, City Walks

Edited by Barry Stone

A perfect guide to the most exhilarating walks, hikes and views around the world.

Crime

Gray Mountain By John Grisham

When she loses her job at a big Wall Street law firm due to the 2008 recession, Samantha Kofer agrees to work for free at a legal aid clinic on the promise of getting back her old job a year later. Kofer moves to Brady, Virginia, from Manhattan, but soon finds that her new job leads her into the dangerous world of coal mining where laws are easily broken and violence is just a holler away.

Tantalus Redemption By Yudhi Raman

Tantalum is used to make mobile phones. Jurvir Nair hits gold—or rather much more—when he clinches a deal on an African mine, rich in tantalum deposits. But he is in for a hard time protecting it from mercenaries.

You By Caroline Kepnes

Guinevere Beck is a beautiful, aspiring writer. When Joe takes a shine to her, he learns everything he needs to know about her from her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Stalking her online, he manipulates this knowledge to become her perfect man. Obsessed, he is ready to remove everything and everyone who gets in his way.

The Lady from Zagreb By Philip Kerr

The Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, is wooing a German actress, Dalia Dresner, and sends Berlin cop Bernie Gunther to talk her into starring in his new movie. When Gunther himself falls for her, he decides to help her locate her father in the warring Yugoslavia.

The Case of the Hail Mary Celeste By Malcolm Pryce

Jack Wenlock is the last of the Gosling class special railway detectives on duty at the Great Western Railway from 1925 to 1947. An investigation into the disappearance of a great aunt takes him to the greatest mystery in all of GWR history—the disappearance in 1915 of 23 nuns from the 7.25 Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads.

Dark Tides

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by Chris Ewan

As a child, Claire lost her mother during Hop-tu-naa, the Celtic New Year. At 18, she and her friends participated in a Hop-tu-naa dare that led to tragedy. Now a cop, Claire probes a car crash that makes her realise her past is back to haunt her and a killer is on the loose.

Non-fiction

The Empathy Exams

By Leslie Jamison

In this collection of essays, Jamison examines pain—the way we experience it and how we perceive it in others—to raise questions about our understanding of others and the multifaceted nature of empathy.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

By Atul Gawande

Surgeon and writer Gawande makes a case for not fighting for longer life and towards fighting for

the things that make life meaningful.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

By Jenny Nordberg

Journalist Nordberg broke the story of the Afghani custom of bacha posh (a girl temporarily raised as a boy) for The New York Times in 2010. In this book, she writes about those women and kids who have been raised or are raising their girls as boys in a social order where the birth of a girl is considered as misfortune.

This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War

By Samanth Subramanian

A journalist’s account of the Sri Lankan war and its aftermath, This Divided Island, studies closely what decades of violence has done to the country and how its people have coped with it. 

Mecca: The Sacred City

By Ziauddin Sardar

Some three million Muslims from all parts of the world make a pilgrimage to Mecca every year. In this book, Sardar traces the history and evolution of the holy city to the present day and how it has moulded and continues to influence Muslim culture.

The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry between India and Pakistan

By Dilip Hiro

Historian and novelist Hiro studies the Indo-Pak conflict from its violent birth in 1947 to the present.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

by Elizabeth Kolbert

In her Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Kolbert narrates the story of species, from the Panamanian golden frog to the Sumatran rhino, who are extinct or on the verge of becoming so.

Graphic Novels

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The Vanished Path

by Bharath Murthy

Drawn to Buddhism, Bharath Murthy, with his wife Alka, travelled to the historical sites in India and Nepal associated with the life of Siddhattha Gotama—from Sarnath to Lumbini and from Kudan to Bodhgaya. The Vanished Path is a visual account of their pilgrimage.

Drawing the Line

Edited by Priya Kuriyan, Larrisa Bertonasco,

Ludmilla Bartscht

A young woman turns on a group of men harassing her on the road and eats them up, another refuses to pose for a picture to be sent to prospective grooms, while a third kills a lecherous eagle stalking her in the neighbourhood. This collection of graphic art stories narrate the oppression urban Indian women face every day.

The Graveyard Book: Parts I and II Based on the novel by

Neil Gaiman

Adapted by P Craig Russell

Nobody Owens’s family is murdered when he is a baby. He manages to escape to a nearby graveyard, and is adopted by a family of ghosts. While he grows up with the dead and the undead, the man who wants to kill him is still out there, searching and waiting for Nobody. This comic book adaptation (in two parts) of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning 2008 novel delights with its beautiful and painstakingly detailed drawings and illustrations.

Nirmala and Normala

By Sowmya Rajendran & Niveditha Subramaniam

Nirmala and Normala are twins separated at birth. While Nirmala is adopted by a successful filmmaker and lives a life of high-drama, Normala is raised by nuns and lives an ordinary, “normal” life. The authors show how movies have distorted notions of love and courtship through the two young men who court/stalk Nirmala and Normala.

18 Days: The Mahabharata (Secrets and Legends Volume 2)

By Grant Morrison

Illustrated by Mukesh Singh

In this second volume of Grant Morrison’s 18 Days, an illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata, the stage has been set for an epic clash between the two great families of the Kuru

dynasty, the Pandavas and the Kauravas. As events head towards a collision,  Krishna explains the cosmological phenomenon, which originated with the Big Bang, known as the Bhagavad Gita.

Mistry, P. I.

By Ashwin Pande, Susini

In the world beyond the ordinary, exist demons, monsters, djinns, mummies, werewolves, vampires and demi-gods. Operating as Paranormal Investigators in this realm, Darius Mistry and Amos Golem are busy breaking up rings of soul-smugglers, saving the city from an outbreak of lycanthropy and are even hired by ghosts to solve their own murders.

Most  Anticipated

The Scion Of Ikshvaku

By Amish Tripathi

Ayodhya in 3400 BCE has been weakened by a terrible war. Through his trade impositions, the King of Lanka has bled the empire dry. The people of sapt sindhu pray for a saviour without realising that their leader is already among them but made to live as a pariah. Prince Ram. Releases in June

Finders Keepers

By Stephen King

A reader, obsessed with a reclusive writer, kills him for turning a famous character, Jimmy Gold, into a sell-out. When he empties the dead author’s safe of cash, he finds among other notebooks, one more unpublished Gold novel.

Releases in June

The Festival of Insignificance

By Milan Kundera

Czech writer Milan Kundera is back with his first novel in 13 years. Published first in Italy in 2013, this Faber edition has been translated from the original French. Touted as being very funny yet a solemn examination of the irrelevance of politics and life, this story is set in modern-day Paris and told through the lives of four friends. Releases in June

Go Set A Watchman

by Harper Lee

Twenty years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout visits Maycomb from New York to see Atticus. She must confront her personal demons as she sets out to understand her father and analyse her own feelings towards her hometown. Releases in July

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights

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By Salman Rushdie

Strange events follow after a storm in New York. A gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the earth, an abandoned baby identifies the corrupt with her presence, marking them with boils and a graphic novelist wakes up one morning to find an entity that looks like his own sub-Stan Lee creation. All of them are children of jinns, unaware of their powers and spread across the world. Now that the veil between our world and that of the jinns is torn, an epic war ensues that will last for a thousand and one nights—or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. Releases in September

The Heart Goes Last

By Margaret Atwood

Atwood’s first novel in 15 years, The Heart Goes Last is set in a future where the law-abiding are locked up and the lawless roam free. Sam and Charmaine live in their car and do odd jobs to survive. One day they see an ad for a social experiment that offers them steady jobs and a house in return for their freedom every second month. Releases in September

The Mountain Shadow

By Gregory David Roberts

Ten years on the anvil, the sequel to Roberts’ masterpiece Shantaram is set two years after the events in the first book. Bombay at the end of the eighties is a different world, where Lin must continue his quest for love, wisdom and redemption. Releases in October

Tishani Doshi

Hanif Kureishi’s Love + Hate: Essays and short stories are two of my favourite literary forms and Kureishi’s new book has both in spades. Tomás González’s In the Beginning Was the Sea: hailed as a masterpiece in his native Colombia. Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping on Jupiter: Another haunting seaside story by a writer ofexquisite precision and prose.

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FOOD

Apples of Uncommon Character: Heirlooms, Modern Classics, and Little-Known Wonders

by Rowan Jacobsen

FOOD.jpgIn this tribute to the popular fruit, Rowan Jacobsen takes a look at the extensive varieties of apples in the world. Did you know the Black Oxford apple is actually purple and the D’Arcy Spice leaves an aftertaste of allspice on the tongue? Includes pictures of rare and common specimens, with its history, characteristics, recipes and even a guide to the best apple festivals.

The Udupi Kitchen Malati Srinivasan & Geetha Rao

FOODdd.jpgThe authors spread out the vast variety of Udupi cuisine in this cookbook that celebrates vegetarian food from the region. Starting at the basics, it explains how to ready the powders needed for the dishes, moving on to the simple rice and lentil dishes, to the complex ones with gravies, to desserts. The book also touches upon the culinary history of the temple town of Udupi.

Amritsar: Flavours of the Golden City

By Vikas Khanna

It is a culinary-cum-cultural drive through the flavours and colours of Amritsar. Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna looks at the historical and spiritual legacy of Punjabi cuisine and also lists some of the best street-food eateries in the state. Accompanied by stunning visuals, this is a definitive guide for foodies travelling to the heart of Punjab.

80 Cakes From Around the World

by Claire Clark

Pastry chef Claire Clark travels to 51 countries across six continents and puts together 80 much-loved cake recipes. Each is given a unique twist making this cookbook a baker’s delight.

Tiffin: Memories and Recipes of Indian Vegetarian Food

by Rukmini Srinivas

In this cookbook-cum-memoir, popular TV chef Rukmini Srinivas shares recipes and anecdotes of food she has cooked over the years. Along with delectable recipes, she writes about memories of her childhood in British Poona, of college days in Madras in Independent India, cooking for author R K Narayan and of her adventures globe-trotting.

Bookstores Recommend

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Crossword, Kochi Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer

World’s Best Boyfriend by Durjoy Dutta

The Mastery Manual by Robin Sharma

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney Blossom, Bengaluru

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Mumbai Avengers by  S Hussain Zaidi Reignited by APJ Abdul Kalam with Srijan Pal Singh Being Mortal by Atul Gawande The Seasons of Trouble by Rohini Mohan

Odyssey, Chennai World’s Best Boyfriend by Durjoy Dutta Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffery Archer Mumbai Avengers by S Hussain Zaidi Memory Man by David Baldacchi One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan Landmark, HyderabadThe Mastery Manual  by Robin Sharma The Secret by  Rhonda Byrne Frugal Innovation by Navi Radjou and  Jaideep Prabhu Inferno by Dan Brown The Fault in Our Stars by John Green  Full Circle Bookstores, Delhi Granta 130: India  edited by Ian Jack The Red Sari by  Javier Moro An Indian Summer by Alex von Tunzelmann

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Romance

Your Dreams Are Mine Now: She Showed him What Love was By Ravinder Singh

romance.JPGShe is a small-town girl in Delhi University who prefers to keep her nose buried in books. He is a Delhi guy and into campus politics. When they join hands to solve a scandal in the university, they discover they have a lot in common.

My Clingy Girlfriend

By Madhuri Banerjee

Obrokranti Banerjee’s girlfriend demands an hour-by-hour report of all his activities. She must know where he goes, who he hangs out with and even what he thinks. He wants to break up with her but fears he may never find a girl again if he does.

The Arrow

By Monica McCarty

After his face is seen by the enemy, Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor, the legendary marksman of King Robert of Scotland, is forced to lie low. He goes back to his village for a while only to find himself in a new internal conflict: the orphan he took under his wing five years ago is now a very desirable woman determined to seduce him.

In Your Corner

By Sarah Castille

Even two years after she broke up with Jake, Amanda cannot forget him. And then destiny throws them together again.

The Game and  the Governess By Kate Noble

The Earl, ‘Lucky Ned’, Ashby wants to prove that people love him and not his money. So he makes a bet and switches places with his secretary John Turner. But things get complicated when Phoebe Baker, a governess, walks into their trap.

Children’s Books

The Adventures of Stoob #1 & #2

by Samit Basu

Testing Times #1

CHILDR.JPGStoob thinks the worst is over as the school year draws to an end. But he is in for a rather unpleasant surprise when he learns that class test marks have all been cancelled, and to get into class sixth he will have to clear one big exam. Now his parents keep telling him to study all the time and his friends too have no time to play. His best bud Prithvi then concocts a grand plan to crack exams without studying.

A Difficult Stage #2

CHILDRENS BOOKS.jpgNow in class sixth, Stoob thinks he has found his calling when he hears that the school is holding a play based on the hit children’s TV series Teen Rama Adventurezzz. But fate has other plans and Stoob gets the part of a table and eventually of the raksha hero. But as he gets embroiled in behind-the-stage subterfuges, Stoob realises he will need all the help he can get to save his acting career.  

Squiggle Takes a Walk: An Adventure in Punctuation

by Natasha Sharma

Squiggle doesn’t know whether she is a comma or a colon. So she travels through the pages of a notebook to find out where she belongs. Natasha Sharma both entertains and educates in this story about punctuation.

Bookasura: The Adventures of Bala and the Book-Eating Monster by Arundhati Venkatesh (author), Priya Kuriyan (illustrator)

Bookasura is a re-telling of the myth of Bakasura, the cannibal-demon slain by Bhima in the Mahabharata. At his grandparents’s house, Bala is visited by the many-headed Bookasura. Bala keeps him happy with a steady supply of books, but he knows he will soon run out of them.

Bookasura

Petu Pumpkin: Tooth Troubles

By Arundhati Venkatesh

Seven-year-old Pushkin (aka Petu Pumpkin) and his friends are desperately trying to get hold of a football. For the second graders have challenged the bullies of class IV to a match. And the losers will be henceforth called crybabies.

The Fourteenth Goldfish Hardcover by Jennifer L. Holm

Ellie hates change. She misses fifth grade, her old best friend, and her dead goldfish. Then one day she is visited by a grumpy boy, who bears an uncanny resemblance to her scientist grandfather who had been researching on immortality. Is this weird boy really

Grandpa Melvin?

The Memory of an Elephant: An Unforgettable Journey by Sophie Strady (author), Jean-François Martin (illustrator)

Marcel is an elephant on a mission. He is writing an encyclopedia. From his travels across the globe to the buildings, people, flora and fauna around him, all of life’s little delights and mysteries inspire and intrigue him. And he fills the pages of his magnum opus with rich illustrations and facts, along with his own story.

Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future by APJ Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh

This one is for the science enthusiasts. In this interactive book, the authors explore careers such as robotics, aeronautics, and neurosciences. Through experiments, anecdotes and pictures, they offer new ideas to ignite scientific curiosity in young minds.

history

Ten Cities that Made an Empire

By Tristram Hunt

history.jpgIn this fresh take on Britain’s imperial past, Tristram Hunt looks at the great colonial cities of Boston, Bridgetown, Dublin, Cape Town, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Bombay, Melbourne, New Delhi, and twentieth-century Liverpool to study the British Empire’s impact on the world.

Room 000 by Kalpish Ratna

Written by doctor-writer duo Ishrat Syed and Kalpana Swaminathan, Room 000 is a detailed narrative of the bubonic plague in Bombay of 1896 and the story of the men and women who played a pivotal role in fighting it.

Debuts

Redeployment

By Phil Klay

Written by a former US Marine, these short stories delve into what happened in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what they did to the soldiers who returned. Phil Klay’s debut book won a handful of literary awards, including the 2014 National Book Award for fiction.

The Girl on the Train

By Paula Hawkins

Rachel has been watching the houses at the signal her commuter train passes every day. There is one happy couple she admires and envies, and wishes to be like but from afar. And then one day she sees something shocking and unable to stop herself from reporting it, finds herself pulled into their lives. This debut thriller has been hailed as the new Gone Girl.

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

by Mira Jacob

After a quarrel with their family in Salem, Amina’s father, a brain surgeon, cuts short his India trip and returns to the US with his wife, son and daughter. Twenty years later, the festering wounds erupt. When he suddenly starts talking to his dead relatives, Amina’s mother calls her for help.

Fire Under Ash

By Saskya Jain

Ashwin Mehta is all set to leave Delhi for the Columbia University in New York when he meets Mallika and falls hard for her. Lallan from Patna has bought professorship in a Patna college and paid for it by marrying for dowry. The trio meets at Azad College to form an unlikely friendship.

Memoirs & Biographies

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Colours of the Cage: A Prison Memoir

By Arun Ferreira

Charged with being a Maoist leader, Arun Ferreira was detained by the court and flung into prison. However, no proof could be found in any of the ten cases that had been lodged against him. A few years later, he was released. This is his account of a life of abuse and torture in an Indian prison. 

Not That Kind of Girl

By Lena Dunham

In this autobiographical collection of essays, Lena Dunham muses on the struggles of growing up and making one’s way into the world. Her memoir, for which she was paid over $3 million, was lauded for its candour and fine writing.

H is for Hawk

by Helen Macdonald

When falconer Helen Macdonald’s father dies all of a sudden, she decides to cope with her grief by doing something she has never attempted before--tame a goshawk. As she sets off on this daring quest, she turns for help to author

T H White’s chronicle The Goshawk, making this heart-wrenching memoir a fine work of nature writing.

Becoming Steve Jobs

By Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli

Written by veteran technology journalist Brent Schlender and business journalist Rick Tetzeli, Becoming Steve Jobs is peppered with anecdotes and based on solid research. The authors, who have professionally and socially known Jobs for years, have well captured the complexity of the man behind the legend.

Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna

By Gautam Chintamani

His success is the stuff of Hindi film legends. But a three-year golden run later, actor Rajesh Khanna had a fall just as spectacular as his rise. This well-researched and extensive biography that focuses mostly on the superstar’s professional life, received acclaim for its objective portrayal of the “fallen star”.

Literature in Translation

LITERATURE.jpgOne Day in the Season of Rain By Mohan Rakesh Talented but little known poet Kalidas gets the offer of a  lifetime—the chance to be the court poet at Ujjayini. But this opportunity comes with a price. He must leave behind his muse and lover Mallika.

The Sun That Rose from the Earth By Shamshur Rahman Faruqi (also translator)

The five short novellas that make The Sun That Rose From the Earth are set in the sunset years of the Mughal Empire. Historical figures and poets like Mirza Ghalib, Mir, Kishan Chand, Budh Singh Qalandar are brought to life in these tales.

The Death of Sheherzad By Intizar Husain Translated from Urdu by  Rakhshanda Jalil

Sheherzad has saved her life by telling stories but now when her grandchildren demand bedtime stories, she remembers none. An old woman boards a train full of dead ancestors. A sage cannot control his anger and must seek help of a butcher. The stories in this collection probe the horrors of the Partition to make sense of the past and through it, of the present.

Teresa’s Man and Other Stories from Goa By Damodar Mauzo Translated from Konkani by Xavier Cota Set  across Goan villages and towns, these stories portray ordinary people in their everyday struggles while highlighting universal emotions.

Hangwoman: Everyone Loves a Good Hanging By KR Meera Translated from Malayalam by J Devika Chetna, 22, belongs to a family of executioners in Kolkata. Taking on her father’s mantle, she becomes the first woman executioner in India. Bullied by an overbearing father and controlled by a manipulative lover, she finds her true self when she learns to hold her own in this new spotlight.

A Mirrored Life:  The Rumi Novel  By Rabisankar Bal Translated by  Arunava Sinha The followers of the dervish Rumi in Konya, Turkey, entrust traveller Ibn Battuta with a manuscript of Rumi’s life stories to spread the mystic’s teachings wherever he goes.

The Love Letter & Other Stories  By Buddhadeva Bose Translated by  Arunava Sinha In the seven stories and  two one-act plays that make this collection, Bengali literary giant Buddhadeva Bose explores emotions often unexpressed and unacknowledged.

Chander & Sudha By Dharamvir Bharati Translated by Poonam Saxena In Allahabad of the 1940s, Chander falls hard for his professor’s daughter Sudha. But he asks her to marry another man without fully understanding the consequences such a decision would entail. Pushed to the edge of sanity after losing Sudha, Chander begins a destructive affair with the wily Pammi in an attempt to make sense of love.

young adult

Smitten By Ranjit Lal

Samir is delighted when he finds a friend in Akhila Handa, his new neighbour. As their friendship grows, he begins to know her family. But the 15-year-old can sense that the Handas put on a facade of normalcy. Akhila’s mother is aloof, her brother ‘slow’ and her over-affectionate father a bit too touchy-feeling towards his teenage daughter. 

Slightly Burnt By Payal Dhar

When Komal’s best friend Sahil tells her he is gay, it upends her perfect world. While still struggling to come to terms with this revelation, she learns that her younger brother and Sahil are attracted to each other. Can 16-year-old Komal find the compassion within herself to understand and accept the two people she loves the most? 

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

At 13, twins Jude and Noah are as different as day and night yet inseparable. A tragic event tears them apart and three years later they are barely speaking to each other. They narrate their story by turns with each holding one piece of the picture, not realising if they put it together, they could finally find the answers they are looking for.

Queen of Ice By Devika Rangachari

young.jpg 

Set in tenth-century Kashmir, this is the story of Didda, the princess of Lohara. Despite her beauty and intelligence, Didda has spent a childhood being loathed by her father for being a girl and being lame. More misery seems destined her way when she is married off to the depraved rule of Kashmira and must survive court intrigues and conspiracies. But Didda is no weakling, and ambitious enough to make history.

Anuja Chauhan

Shovon Chowdhary’s Murder with Bengali Characteristics: Because Shovon is so very funny in a wry, dry, black, Bengali way.

Vikram Seth’s A

Suitable Girl: Because I loved A Suitable Boy and Vikram Seth’s made us wait just too long.

Meg Cabot’s Royal Wedding: Because Micheal Moscovitz is the hottest, most perfect romantic hero ever.



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