The summer reading list

One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but there are stories, pictures and narratives that create magic to make a summer delightful. Indian writing across genres is going from strength to strength with a

Published: 17th June 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2017 11:08 PM   |  A+A-

One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but there are stories, pictures and narratives that create magic to make a summer delightful. Indian writing across genres is going from strength to strength with a long-awaited novel from Arundhati Roy; a new sequel by Amish on Sita as an invincible warrior; Hari Kunzru’s music story; and Aravind Adiga’s savage take on cricket shows the variety and range. There is the unexpected thrill of the literary explorer—the discovery of Pablo Neruda’s lost poems means experiencing the delight of melodious heartache. A partly written story by Franz Kafka found decades after his death reminds you of a forgotten genius.  And, speaking of masters, another scare from Stephen King about the feral after-effects of all the women in the world falling asleep will make you keep the lights on. It also marks the debut of a prince of horror: Stephen’s son Owen who has co-authored the book.

The Brave New (and old) World of Publishing has some dogged souls—poetry is not the most commercially valuable product for publishers, but that hasn’t stopped new volumes from hitting the shelves. Not all have been mentioned here, but The Penguin Modern Poets series, which feature Michael Robbins, Patricia Lockwood and Timothy Thornton, cannot be missed. Crime fiction continues to chart a bloody course through this year’s literary landscape, and the Scandinavians have not let up on their bloodthirsty imagination: Jo Nesbo’s world-weary, battered Harry Hole is back; The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen—both about women in trouble—firmly establish the fact that crime writing from Sweden and Iceland are as inseparable as Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon.

The shy Vaseem Khan’s Inspector Chopra with a golden heart is a new star in the annals of Indian crime fiction. Dan Brown is back with another Langdon story—expect more arcane mysteries and heart-in-the-mouth chases. And the inimitable Nobel wizard Orhan Pamuk serves up another murder near Istanbul. And of course, the ever-beloved Ruskin Bond’s oh-so-propah Miss Ripley-Bean—a Miss Marple from Mussoorie—with her extraordinary sleuthing skills uncovers dastardly deeds.

Writers reflect the concerns of the age—immigration and Islam. The emotional upheavals in the lives of three sisters in a small English village, Mohsin Hamid’s dark fantasy about two lovers who escape to the West and are confronted with nightmares, an Arab diplomat’s letters to moderate Muslims and the autobiography of a radical Saudi woman’s transformation into a feminist, examine what it is to be a Muslim and immigrant.

It’s also a season of surprises for the eclectic reader; a new Indian superhero rises from Varanasi; be a Passepartout on a train and order a beer at pub inside a baobab tree in South Africa. For the romantically minded, Durjoy Datta’s bittersweet supernatural novel and Anuja Chauhan’s innovative plot of a dashing fighter pilot and his pulchritudinous love interest are two unmissable reads. Spanish, Hungarian and Marathi translations take you to other lands; the Vazas teach you all about rogan josh, and the story of Czech runner Emil Zátopek set in the Stalinist era will leave you in tears. Colouring books, fairy tales, biographies, memoirs, audio books—this month promises to be a summer of contentment.

Editor’s choice

The Massacre of Mankind
by Stephen Baxter
The man who wrote The Time Ships, the sequel to HG Wells’s The Time Machine is back with another Wellsian tour de force; a sequel to the 1898 classic The War of the Worlds. The Martians are back! History is in reverse—Corporal Hitler, Thomas Edison building anti-Martian machines, Venusian humanoids and super-intelligences from Jupiter coexist in this retro-allegory of fascism.

Kill the Father
by Sandrone Dazieri
Two damaged cops—Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre—pursue a masked kidnapper, who calls himself “the Father”, to a dark and terrifying end that goes beyond the beheading of a woman in Rome and the disappearance of her little son.

All Quiet in Vikaspuri
by Sarnath Banerjee
Delhi’s colonies are at war over water. Girish the Psychic Plumber, who first appeared  in The Harappa Files, digs for the mythical Saraswati river. A tour de force of savage artistic style and terse captions, it’s a graphic novel for keeps.

The Secret Books
by Marcel Theroux
A young Russian escapes Tsarist Russia to British India looking for a mysterious manuscript on Jesus, which could prevent the coming of the Holocaust.


The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters
by Nadiya Hussain
One of the big books of the year, this story of four sisters—Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae—forms a warm picture of family bonding amidst soul-search and tragedy in a Muslim household living in a small English village. Nadiya is a baker and television star who won the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off and got to bake for the Queen. A cake of a read.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
by Arundhati Roy
One of the most awaited books of the decade, the celebrity author’s second novel has been panned by critics as confusing, illogical and self-cannibalistic. It’s a ménage of much—Old Delhi, New Delhi, Kashmir, Naxal-infested forests; a cleverly told story of love and longing, and damaged people who love life and its challenges.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
by Balli Kaur Jaswal
A challenging semi-erotic read about the young fatherless Sikh-British bartender Nikki who teaches Sikh widows English using a novel method. Another cross-cultural novel by an award-winning Singaporean novelist.

Letters to a Young Muslim
by Omar Saif Ghobash
One of the most relevant books of the year by the author, born to an Arab father and Russian mother, who was the UAE Ambassador to Russia. The book is an appeal to moderate Muslims to unite against religious violence engulfing the world and the harm it is doing to Islam.

Sita: Warrior of Mithila
by Amish
One of the most anticipated books of the year tells the story of the protector and warrior Sita, who defends dharma in this book 2 of the Ramachandra Series as the prime minister of Mithila.

The Rise of Sivagami
by Anand Neelakantan
The first book in the series Baahubali: Before the Beginning describes the struggle of a vengeful orphan to prove the innocence of her father who was branded a traitor to the mighty Mahishmathi empire and its beloved king. Her target is the destruction of the empire and she comes across a dirty secret.

Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid
The author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist explores an Islamic dilemma of young lovers Nadia and Saeed who seek escape in enchantment from the terrible violence exploding in their city only to face the grim reality being a Muslim refugee in the West. A deeply moving story about the power of love in the age of distrust and prejudice.

Selection Day
by Aravind Adiga
Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli make appearances in the acclaimed writer’s new novel about two Mumbai boys whose father trains them to be “the number one and number two batsmen in the world”. Cricket is a powerful metaphor of modern India and the novel is a simulacrum of all that is rotten in the world of Indian cricket.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing
by Madeleine Thien
In this novel by the Canadian writer shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite home young Ai-Ming, fleeing China after the Tiananmen Square protests. From Mao’s time to the present, a poignant story of music, tyranny and revolt unfolds as their artistic lives intersect.

White Tears
by Hari Kunzru
Two young music producers in New York accidentally come upon a forgotten old blues song sung by a faceless black man in a hoodie in a public square. They tape it covertly and technically alter it to resemble a retro song which is uploaded online. It goes viral with unforeseen consequences—paranormal and racist—for both.

House of Names
by Colm Tóibín
An ancient Greek myth retold with elegance and fury, the murderous Clytemnestra avenges her daughter sacrificed by a war-thirsty Agamemnon.

Mr Iyer Goes to War
by Ryan Lobo
In Varanasi, the scripturally obsessed Lalgudi Iyer discovers by accident that he is the reincarnation of Bhima. The new superhero embarks on an adventure accompanied by sidekick Bencho to fight evil. In the process, he wins the heart of the beautiful widow Damayanti. This desi Don Quixote is fighting more than windmills and has no Rosinante of his own.

Friend of My Youth
by Amit Chaudhuri
A novelist by the same name visits Bombay after the 2008 terrorist attacks. Where has his childhood friend, the six-foot tall reformed addict  Ramu, his only remaining connection to the city, disappeared?

Namita Gokhale

Things to Leave Behind
by  Namita Gokhale
Kumaon is where Gokhale and her illustrious clan is from and the texture of this novel is taken from its exotic tapestry; an ancient lake, strong women and determined Englishmen—the Lower Mall Road (‘for dogs, servants and other Indians’), and native women in black and scarlet pichauras are all part of this ambitious literary mosaic.

by Yaa Gyasi
This debut novel narrates the century-spanning story of two sisters born in Ghana in the 18th century: one a slave and another a slaver’s wife and their descendants in America today. The title is derived from an old African belief that after death, a slave’s spirit will travel back to Africa where it finds home after passing.

Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King and Owen King
Middle America’s greatest literary historian  and his son have a new ace up their sleeve—all the women in the world suddenly fall asleep. If awakened, they become feral. Only one woman is immune; is she the devil or the deliverer?

The Red-Haired Woman
by Orhan Pamuk
Another red from the Nobel laureate author of My Name is Red on a murder near Istanbul and a homecoming that marks a tragedy and the conflict of civilisations.

The Association of Small Bombs
by  Karan Mahajan
The 2016 novel by Indian-American writer opens with Kashmiri terrorist Shockie bombing a Delhi market. The story of the aftermath is told through the eyes of the bomber, the injured and the mourning families of victims.


I’d Die for You and Other Lost Stories
by F Scott Fitzgerald
Unpublished stories by arguably America’s greatest urban writer and author of The Great Gatsby of which 16 are finished and one is uncomplete.

Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems
by Pablo Neruda
Just when one thought one had read all of the word’s most romantic modern poet’s heartbreaking verse comes along a volume of twenty-one previously unknown poems about love and politics. They were found by archivists in 2014.

The Burrow
by Franz Kafka
Posthumously published fiction, which includes an unfinished story about a mole exploring tunnels it had dug—a dark allegory of futility.


Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik
by Devdutt Pattanaik
Finally, the popular TV show Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik in book form explores stories, symbols and rituals of Hindu culture. It answers questions that have obsessed the curious mythology buff: Why are most temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva or the goddess or why did the Pandavas land in naraka?

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
by Daniel Dennett
What is the origin of the human mind? What is consciousness and its driving force? The famous philosopher finds answers in culture, responsible for the richness of thought and reflection.

How the Hell Did This Happen: The US Election of 2016
by PJ O’Rourke
America’s leading satirist is at his acidic best in this hilarious retelling of the Presidential election that brought Trump to power: And Hillary? ‘She’s the second worst thing that could happen to our nation. I endorse her.’

That’s The Way It Crumbles: The American Conquest of the English Language
by Matthew Engel
The journalist-turned-author traces the American invasion of the English language from the early days of the New World and explains how America’s cultural supremacy affects British gestures, celebrations and way of life.

by Evan Davis
The power of lies subverts reason and leads people to believe the lies of politicians while losing faith in governments. Why?

The Rub of Time
by Martin Amis
A collection of diverse essays by the master litterateur on the life and works of Vladimir Nabokov, Donald Trump, Princess Diana, Diego Maradona and Jeremy Corbyn.

Age of Anger: A History of the Present
by Pankaj Mishra
An analysis of the rise of populism and the collapse of the liberal-democratic ethos as a result of globalisation and greed. He argues popular insecurity has brought to power authoritarian leaders like Trump and Erdogan.


Death Under The Deodars
by Ruskin Bond
This is nothing less than an Indian Agatha Christie living in Mussoorie—Miss Ripley-Bean witnesses a murder and is seen by the murderer. What follows is a madcap investigation involving stranglers, terriers and a hotel pianist.

by Dan Brown
Robert Langdon returns for the fifth time to solve what the publisher’s blurb says, “the dangerous intersection of humankind’s two most enduring questions, and the earth-shaking discovery that will answer them”.

The Legacy
by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
The only witness to a sadistic murder is the victim’s ten-year-old daughter. The lead detective is ladykiller Huldar, helped by the sartorially splendid Rikhardur and go getting Erla.

The Thirst
by Jo Nesbo
The most popular Scandinavian crime novelist after Henning Mankell brings back the brooding Harry Hole who investigates the brutal killing of a woman out on an Internet date.

by Felicia Yap
In this new genre thriller by crime fiction’s new star memory is currency—a murder with political overtones is investigated by a detective with problems of his own. But how can he solve it with just a day’s worth of memory?

Wonder Woman: Warbringer
by Leigh Bardugo
The movie has brought out one of DC Comics’s enduring heroines. The book takes the script forward, introducing Diana’s new companion in arms, Alia a Warbringer—a direct descendant of Helen of Troy, who is the harbinger of an age of bloodshed and pain. How to prevent the prophecy from coming true?

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra
by Vaseem Khan
Retired police inspector Ashwin Chopra feels he simply has to help a poor woman whose son has been murdered, since the cops don’t listen. He then gets a bizarre inheritance; a “no ordinary” baby elephant Ganesha, who inspires the Baby Ganesh Private Detective Agency.

Gone Without a Trace
by Mary Torjussen
Another Scandinavian star keeps the pulse racing with a gripping thriller about Hannah’s search for her missing boyfriend. Only she can prove he ever existed.

Echoes in Death
by J D Robb
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is faced with her most challenging case yet—investigating the death of the unpopular surgeon Dr Anthony Strazza while his trophy wife Daphne describes the perp only as “the Devil”. What does he look like? Who is he?

by Joe Ide
Isaiah Quintabe solves crimes
the LAPD ignores. This time he is paid a packet for helping a notorious rap star from a mad assassin with a killer dog.

Dancing with the Tiger
by Lili Wright
A grave robber is hired by a drug lord to dig up the death mask of Montezuma. After it are a shady American collector, a double dealing antiquities curator and Anna Ramsey who wants to clear her dead father’s name.

Short stories

Men Without Women: Stories
by Haruki Murakami
A collection of seven extraordinary short stories from the gentle master of lyrical story-telling told with characteristic wry humour.

Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is at his best with ancient mythology, which plays a predominant role in his writing. Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya come alive in this retelling of old Nordic myth; savage, capricious, cunning and foolish gods using strength and guile in this panorama of divinities.

Madame Zero
by Sarah Hall
Shapeshifter wife Mrs Fox; a foster child’s relationship with a social worker; a meeting of old lovers form part of a collection of nine works of fiction from the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of
The Wolf Border.

A Life of Adventure and Delight
by Akhil Sharma
The author of prize-winning novel Family Life makes a literary announcement with a collection of stories, each of which was first published in the New Yorker. Arranged marriage and love; a divorced man who reads women’s magazines to be a perfect partner and more are about people who grapple with the challenges of forming relationships—from New York to New Delhi.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth
by William Boyd
Philandering, conscience, nostalgia, love and introspection—24-year old Bethany Mellmoth’s year-long journey of self-discovery.


by Gillian Clarke
Britain’s eminent naturalist poet sings of the rare symbiosis between the earth and man’s future.

Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood
by Hollie McNish
The winner of the Poetry Society’s Ted Hughes touches the fringe of autobiography here with the life of a young woman from seven to the Big Three O.

by Sujata Bhatt
Passionate and intense poems that travel across the conflict of cultures like the eponymous dark prairie soil of Asia, Europe and North America.


The Parable Book
by Per Olov Enquist,
translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner
An autobiographical account of an erotic encounter between the writer aged 15 with a 51-year-old woman.
No Knives in the Kitchens of this City: A Novel (Arabic)
by Khaled Khalifa,
translated by Leri Price
The story of a family’s slow decay set between the 1960-2000’s in the city of Aleppo, facing the brutality of Assad’s regime.

Man Tiger: A Novel
by Eka Kurniawan,
translated by Labodalih Sembiring
Margio, a child of domestic rape, believes he is possessed by the spirit of an avenging tiger. The novel highlights cruelty prevalent against women in Indonesian society.

Teresa’s Man and Other Stories from Goa  
by Damodar Mauzo,
translated by Xavier Cota
The collection of stories by the Sahitya Akademi award-winning author portrays the dilemma of a hungry couple; a PDA-seeking wife and an abusive husband, set amidst the rich and diverse Goan landscape.

I, The Salt Doll: A Memoir
by Vandana Mishra,
translated by Jerry Pinto
This sensitive translation of the life and times of Marathi actress Vandana Mishra, born Sushila Lotlikar in 1927—who lived in a Mumbai chawl—describes what it is to be a Mumbaikar woman, wife and actor at a time when roles of women on stage were still essayed by men in drag.

by Amos Oz, translated by Nicholas de Lange
Set in the 1960s, the story of the world’s most vilified betrayer is retold by a celebrated Israeli author examining how Judas Iscariot was the unwitting agent of  man’s salvation—all in the context of the Arab-Jewish conflict of the region.

by Juan Gabriel Vásquez,
translated by Anne McLean
A famous Colombian political cartoonist who eviscerated politicians and corrupt institutions becomes part of the establishment and a caricature of himself.

The Book of Dhaka
ed. Arunava Sinha & Pushpita Alam
Ten short stories from Bangladesh’s capital city which has seen the passage of centuries that belonged to different conquerors and different cultures. Part of ‘City in Short Fiction series’ by the same translators.

The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome
by Serge Brussolo,
translated by Edward Gauvin
Master occult thief David Sarella and inamorata Nadia plan to steal ectoplasm to be shaped into pricey art in this surreal combination of science fiction, magical realism.

A Spare Life
by Lidija Dimkovska,
translated by Christina E Kramer
The search for identity of two conjoined twins treated like outcasts by their own families. They fall in love, cry, laugh and triumph in this rare book about two ugly ducklings finding beauty.

One Hundred Shadows
by Hwang Jungeun,
translated by Jung Yewon  
Narrated by Eun-gyo, a young woman who works in an electronic  slum market. Her shy relationship with Mujae reveals the dark underside of South Korea’s economy.

Eva Sleeps
by Francesca Melandri,
translated by Katherine Gregor
Covering years, places and people, a middle-aged woman answers the call of a dying policeman. What she finds out will
change her perception of love.

The Last Wolf & Herman
by László Krasznahorkai,
translated by George Szirtes & John Batki
A collection of two stories about hunting as an allegory of obsession, taken from the writer’s second book Relations of Grace.

The Kukotsky Enigma
by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated by Diane Nemec Ignashev
The moral dilemma of a gynaecologist in Stalinist Russia dealing with the prohibition of abortions in 1936. A TV series too.


Back Pocket Pasta: Inspired Dinners to Cook on the Fly
by Colu Henry
To hell with the calories. In this book dedicated purely to pasta, smoky garganelli alla vodka, ramp and hazelnut pesto, and porchetta pasta, accompanied by a clever wine list, is a must for any kitchen.

Egg Shop: The Cookbook
by Nick Korbee
An approachable book on the difficult art of cooking eggs; poached, pickled, baked and fried, incorporated into roasted beet tzatziki salad. And 17 variations of perfect ham and egg sandwiches. From the owners of the famous eponymous New York egg cafe.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
by Julia Child
After forty years and still going strong, this ultimate Bible for French cooking contains 524 recipes for every occasion. The detailed instructions and over hundred illustrations are perfect for beginners.

East by West: Simple Ayurvedic Recipes for Ultimate Mind-Body Balance
by Jasmine Hemsley
Inspired by Ayurveda, the book has 130 recipes, and also helps you determine the ideal time to eat and sleep for every body type, accompanied by some easy rituals and traditional body cleaning methods to revive energy levels. The beautifully photographed and illustrated cook book is based on Ayurveda for the modern age.

Zero Belly Breakfasts: More Than 100 Recipes & Nutrition Secrets That Help Melt Pounds All Day, Every Day!
by David Zinczenko and Michael Freidson

All the breakfast you can eat and stay thin and preserve that flat belly—how to keep the weight off, eat less and enjoy the most important meal of the day for fat burn.
Pocket Wine Book 2017
by Hugh Johnson
This 40-year-old classic, which is the world’s bestselling wine book with over 12 million copies sold, has 340 pages which tell you what to drink when and why.

Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment
by Nina Olsson
This wide range volume is about breakfasts, soups, salads, grain bowls, noodles, desserts, porridge, curries and exotic salads such as Moroccan harissa salad and Indonesian gado gado. It also has cooking tips, plus health benefits and origin of each dish.

Crumbs!: Bread Stories and Recipes for the Indian Kitchen  
by Saee Koranne-Khandekar
A bakery travelogue through India to explore the secrets of the myriad types of Indian breads.
The Indian Cooking Course: Techniques - Masterclasses - Ingredients - Traditional Recipes
by Monisha Bharadwaj

A culinary travel through various regions of India, showcasing 450 classic and popular recipes, with chapters on rice, breads, meat and veggies. Techniques and
step-by-step instructions.

Cooking Delights of the Maharajas
by Digvijaya Singh
Exotic preparations from the royal house of Sailana, the recipes are a nostalgic tour through the great kitchens of old palaces.

Wazwaan: Traditional Kashmiri Cuisine
by Khan Mohammed Sharief Waza, photographer: Dheeraj Paul
The Waza family from Samarkand claims to have introduced wazwaan to Kashmir—a sumptuous 36-course feast consisting staple favourites such as tabakh maaz, rista, rogan josh, dhaniwal korma, aab gosh, marchwagan korma and ghustaba accompanied by firni and endless cups of kahwa.

Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India
by Chandra Padmanabhan
The perfect manifesto of traditional South Indian cooking, it reveals the secrets of sambars, rasams, chutneys and pickles, rice dishes, pakoras, payasams, poriyals, kootus, bondas, vadais and payasam.

Following Fish
by Samanth Subramanian
Not exactly a cook book but this elegant travelogue sampling piscean delicacies consists of nine witty essays on all things fishy from recipes, cultures, religions and superstitions. A definitive volume on fish curries—hilsa in Calcutta or curing asthma in Hyderabad.

Memoirs and biographies

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying
by Nina Riggs
Riggs has an illustrious ancestry—she is the great-great-great granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, America’s legendary naturalist, philosopher and author of Walden Pond. Her deeply moving memoir about her struggle with terminal cancer when she was just 38 years old derives its title from a quote from her forebear: “That is morning; to cease for a bright hour to be a prisoner of this sickly body and to become as large as the World.”

A Celebration of Prince: Best Moments Live in Concert With Quotes
by Karmen Z Bey
A collector’s item of rare quotes and photos of Prince, the famous singer who died tragically late last month, performing live as he sings some of his greatest hits to audiences around
the world.
Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening
by Manal al-Sharif
She was once a Saudi Arabian religious fundamentalist. A car drive she went on took her on the path of becoming one of the Middle East’s foremost women’s rights activist. She was filmed driving a car in the face of the Arab dictatorship’s ban on women drivers.

Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored
by Rishi Kapoor, with Meena Iyer
One of the most candid autobiographies to come out of Bollywood, the Bobby star speaks about his father Raj Kapoor’s stature, acting in Mera Naam Joker, meeting Dawood Ibrahim and more. Wife Neetu Singh has endorsed the book with much love and warmth. Expect memoirs from Nandita Das (Walk With Me) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Nawaznama) too.

Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy
by Shivshankar Menon
One of India’s most distinguished disciples comments on the pivotal choices in India’s recent history—abjuring military action against Pakistan after 26/11 Mumbai attacks; the US nuclear deal; the border agreement with China; Indian role in the last months of Sri Lanka’s civil war and why India has a No First Use nuclear policy.

Wild by Nature
by Sarah Marquis
The unusual memoir of an intrepid solo traveler’s long walk—10,000 miles—through the Gobi Desert, Siberia, Thailand and on to Australia, braving danger: dicey weather, falling sick, the mafia, drug dealers and thieves.


Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders
by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras  and Ella Morton  
From the world’s arguably most exotic travel sites—700 strangest places to visit; glowworm caves in New Zealand, a pub inside a baobab tree in South Africa, stepwells in India, the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the Bangladesh coast and other curious things.

When The Road Beckons
by Ravi Manoram  
A life-changing 4,000-km motorbike journey across Ladakh turns into a quest for the meaning of life.

Around the World in 80 Trains
by  Monisha Rajesh
She left her job, packed her bags and boarded the 14:31 from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord on a journey with a precedent: Around India in 80 Trains. Taking a leaf out of Jules Verne, she spent five months traversing the country by train with her photographer husband.

Children’s literature

Water Stories: From Around The World
Illustrated by Nirupama Sekhar,
editors: Deeya Nayar & Radhika Menon
Stories drawn from mythology and folklore to make the younger generation aware of the importance of water and how the elixir of life sustains the world.

The Lilliputians
by Kirsty Murray
Poesy and Tilly are pivotal characters in this British India era story about The Lilliputians, a troupe of Australian child performers journeying by train in India. The exciting adventure about intrigue, friendships and betrayal will enthrall children of all ages. Based on a real historical incident.

Icky, Yucky, Mucky
by Natasha Sharma, illustrated by Anitha Balachandran
A disgustingly delicious story about Maharaja Icky, the ruler of Icktapur, and his nail-nibbling queen Maharani Yucky who have most appalling table manner like licking curry off his hand. The people of Icktapur are banned from using spoons and nail cutters, and their hopes rest on the royal baby who is about to be born.

Squiggle Gets Stuck: All About Muddled Sentences
by Natasha Sharma
Another delight from Natasha introducing Squiggle, beloved of child readers. The best way to learn grammar and punctuation is by following Squiggle’s attempts to escape a dictionary in which she is trapped. Her other mission is to teach Doodle Dude about verbs, nouns, prepositions and more. They can’t escape unless they form a grammatically correct sentence to get off
the page.

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth
by Frank Cottrell Boyce,
illustrated by Steven Lenton
A twist in the tale of Laika, the first dog in space sent by the Russians in 1957 on the rocket Sputnik II. What if she didn’t die, but met some friendly alien who learns all about the earth from its new doggie friend?

Jolly Foul Play: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery
by Robert Stevens
A remarkable detective story for young kids—Agatha Christie meets Enid Blyton. The bully Elizabeth is murdered and soon the darkest secrets of many students are mysteriously revealed. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong investigate and zero in on the killer, suspected to be one of
the dead girl’s close circle.

TouchThinkLearn: ABC
by Xavier Deneux
Big Fish Little Fish
by Jonathan Litton,
illustrated by Fhiona Galloway
Catch ‘em young. Two of these best learning aids for pre-school kids are tactile teaching tools. One has raised die-cut letters, which can be traced with fingers and are incorporated with styled images. Cut-outs of eels, hammerheads, toddlers, and other sea creatures help toddlers learn about how the denizens of the deep live.

The Double Axe
by Philip Womack
The Greek legend of the Minotaur, told by Stephan, the 13-year-old son of King Minos of Crete, who explores a colourful ancient myth with a modern mindset. The prince Stephan is cursed after he kills a white hart. Is the beast bull really in the labyrinth or is it some figment of evil imagination of men who would do harm with impunity? Stephan’s sister Ariadne is quite plucky. The first in a series called ‘Blood and Fire’.

The Night Gardener
Illustrated by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
In this brilliantly illustrated picture book, William learns that a wise owl created the tree outside his window. Soon more beautiful trees appear. And a mysterious vanished night gardener brings magic in the town.


Under Star Projectors: The Unofficial Drake Coloring Book
by Sugoi Books
Each page line drawn by 15 different illustrators awaits the rainbow effect of your crayons to brighten up various scenes from the rapstar’s life.

Pusheen Coloring Book
by Claire Belton
The return of Internet’s beloved chubby tabby invites the colourful imaginations of cat lovers who prefer feline attractions to surfing the net.

Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge
by Kerby Rosanes
The Filipino photorealism illustrator’s intricately explosive invitation to define with colour the facial expressions of animals, which go beyond just faces.

The Bicycle Coloring Book: Journey to the Edge of the World
by Shan Jiang
A tour de force of the world travels of a riderless bicycle accompanied by a creature in each picture—a combo of Asian cartoons and Western street art.

Refreshing Mandala: Colouring Book for Adults Book 2
by Dreamland Publications
A colouring book to bring to life the symbols of Mandala as a destressing activity as the pictures segue into one another—a therapeutic exercise to calm the mind.

The Jaya Colouring Book
by Devdutt Pattanaik
‘Jaya’ proves the inspiration to discover the Mahabharata through 108 illustrations.

Self-help and meditation

The Compound Effect
by Darren Hardy
Mindless but insignificant choices can undermine happiness in a significant way. How to avoid taking poor calls that adversely affect your life.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R Covey
This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the classic step-by-step manual gives us wisdom and power to take up opportunities for change.

The One Thing : The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
by Gary Keller, with Jay Papasan
Destress and achieve by cutting through the everyday clutter of emails, tweets, messages and meetings for better results.

The Mind Illuminated
by Culadasa (John Yates), Immergut Matthew, Jeremy Graves
This manual on meditation according to the old Buddhist way is not for the novice. It is a guide to a holistic understanding of the practice and a constant companion to seekers for whom a page has more than just words.

The Miracle of Mindfulness
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Letters from Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist master, to young monks on how to achieve self-awareness, transcending discomfort, embracing happiness, transcending sorrow and finding inner peace through meditation.

Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy
by Sadhguru
A transformational practice of Inner Engineering developed by the master over several years on how to align the mind and the body with the energies around and within to create world of power and possibilities. Inner Engineering is your own software for joy and well-being.


Endurance: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Emil Zátopek
by Rick Broadbent
A powerfully told biography of the triumphs and tribulations of the man voted the ‘greatest runner of all time’ by ‘Runner’s World’ in 2013. In the golden age of sport, Emil becomes a victim of the Cold War, living under the shadow of the secret police. From the London Olympics of 1948 to Czech concentration camps, it’s a story of one of the greatest running machines betrayed by Communism’s paranoia.

Driven: The Virat Kohli Story
by  Vijay Lokapally
The definitive biography of arguably India’s best cricketer and captain by a respected sports writer reveals what makes Kohli tick. Little-known stories about him told by team mates, coaches and friends give insights into this young batsman who is fiercely private and a committed philanthropist

After Tendulkar: The New Stars of Indian Cricket
by  Soumya Bhattacharya
How the young team is going to take India to greater heights in the game that defines the world’s most populous democracy.

Cricket: The Game of Life
by Scyld Berry
The ace cricket reporter who has spent over 40 years covering matches offers fresh insights, bringing a new historical perspective to the game and how cricket is a positive force in sports. The social aspects and evolution of the game are dealt with in detail: West Indies rebelling against the “white man’s game”; fixers have lived to fight, how they are often coaches and commentators; and why the game is tilted in favour of batsmen.

The Sport of Kings
by C E Morgan
A powerful novel about ambition, ruthlessness, race  and sex, the story relates to the breeding of the Secretariat, the world’s greatest racehorse ever known. An American dynasty’s quest for dominance with racing as the defining metaphor.

Angels with Dirty Faces
by Jonathan Wilson
The history of Argentina told through football—Messi, Maradona, Boca Juniors and the 1978 World Cup are as much part of the narrative as Eva Peron.

The Science of theTour de France
by James Witts
The training secrets of the world’s top cyclists with tips and advice from them on strategy, technology and  mind power.

Bookstores Recommend

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Camino Island
by John Grisham
Lone Fox Dancing:
My Autobiography
by Ruskin Bond
Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Midland Book Shop
The Ministry of
Utmost Happiness
by Arundhati Roy
An Era of Darkness
by Shashi Tharoor
by Anuja Chauhan
Sita: Warrior of
by Amish
In Hot Blood
by Bachi Karkaria

Oxford Bookstore
Sita: Warrior of
by Amish
The Ministry of
Utmost Happiness
by Arundhati Roy
Camino Island
by John Grisham
Men Without Women by Murakami
Behind Bars
by Sunetra
The Boy Who Loved by Durjoy Datta
Sita: Warrior of Mithila
by Amish
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness
by Arundhati Roy
The Legend Of
Lakshmi Prasad
by Twinkle Khanna
Indian Super Foods by Rujuta Diwekar

Sapna Book House
Beren and Lúthien
by J R R Tolkien
by Angela Saini
Dragon Teeth
by Michael Crichton
And Pregnant
by Joss Wood
The Surgeon’s
by Susan Carlisle
The Greek’s
Pleasurable Revenge by Andie Brock

In The Name
of God
by Ravi Subramanian
A Murder is
by Agatha Christie
Indira Gandhi:
A Life in Nature
by Jairam Ramesh    
by Haruki Murakami Hunch
by Bernadette Jiwa

Audio books

Camino Island: A Novel (Unabridged)
by John Grisham
A gang of thieves loot priceless books from Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Bookstore owner Bruce Cable is a black marketer in stolen books and manuscripts. Mercer Mann is a young jobless novelist who turns detective to expose Bruce Cable. A suspenseful work from the master of legal thrillers.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Unabridged)
by Neil deGrasse Tyson
A universal narration by celebrated astrophysicist and author on the nature of the cosmos—the Big Bang, black holes, quarks and quantum mechanics, and the search for life in the universe. Tyson wants to take away the mental ennui of men and women waiting for a train, bus, taxi or flight.

The Witness
by Nora Roberts
Rebellious teenager Abigail Lowery witnessed a Russian mob hit. She goes into witness protection and now lives in a small Arkansas town as a recluse, until she falls in love with a cop. Old nightmares surface as she fights for her life.

Into the Water (Unabridged)
by Paula Hawkins
Two women become unintended victims of buried family secrets after another is found dead—murder or suicide?

Pulp fiction

Rich People Problems
by Kevin Kwan
The author of The Crazy Rich Asians follows up with another hard-chic narration of Singapore’s rich and ambitious. The wealthy matriarch is dying. Hanging in the balance is a vast fortune. Long buried secrets, aspirations of billionaires and cryptic affairs make it a racy read told with cynical deadpan humour.

How to Fall in Love With Anyone
by Mandy Len Catron
An intriguing bouquet of essays on how to create the climate for romance using 36 questions devised by a psychologist.

This Love that Feels Right...
by Ravinder Singh
Unlike Mandy Len Catron above, Ravinder Singh’s heroine Naina Singhania wonders whether falling in love—or even better avoid falling in love—can be planned. She who feels love is not for her is suddenly swept off her feet. But she is obsessed by the question: is this love right for her? Find out.

The Girl of My Dreams
by Durjoy Datta
Shreyasi dies in a car crash with Daman. As he changes the narrative to deal with his memory lapses in his blog, who is the vengeful girl with the hypnotic eyes who haunts him? A terrifying love story.

Everyone Has a Love Story
by Savi Sharma
The stories of Meera, Vivaan, Kabir and Nisha unfold and intermingle in a cosy cafe of dreams and deliberations.

by Anuja Chauhan
A complex novel of love and patriotism through the eyes of the handsome fighter pilot Ishaan Faujdaar and the gorgeous, but disillusioned Tehmina Dadyseth which goes to the heart of the concept of nationalism and war.

Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
The New York Times bestseller about a voluptuous teenager and a half Korean boy is set in mid-West America. The two awkwardly sit together never speaking, until they find that they share common interest in comics and good music. Once their barrier of silence is broken the two misfits are propelled into their first love.
Her Last Wish
by Ajay K Pandey
A dominating father becomes the only solace for an emotionally fragile  young man who discovers his beloved wife may not have long to live.

Royally Matched
by Emma Chase
A reality TV dating show becomes a Western swayamvar as the world’s most beautiful princesses gather in the castle of the dashing Prince Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook to woo the heart. Will the sexy, naughty, strong Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum be able to keep the playboy prince in line? A great read from the Royally series.


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