THE NEW SUNDAY EXPRESS VOICES PUSHPESH PANT S VAIDHYASUBRAMANIAM SATHYA SARAN RAVI SHANKAR ANUJA CHANDRAMOULI SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV BUFFET MAGAZINE PEOPLE WELLNESS BOOKS FOOD ART & CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT JULY 12 2020 SUNDAY PAGES 12 The Book List T Reading Minds he season for reading arrived with the year and refuses to leave. As Stephen King so put it, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” These three months, the written word and the spoken word as in audio books and podcasts have become personal teleporting machines to take readers into the grim realms of Stephen King and Dean Koontz as well as romance in the Big Apple and the unknown side of Kasturba Gandhi. Had Alistair MacLean been alive, he would have chuckled that fear is the key Ebooks of The Eyes of Darkness, a fictional work by . Koontz on a virus attack, came third on Amazon’s charts, up by an incredible 3,000 percent in just three weeks. Kindle sales in India rose by 80 percent in March. Social distancing crept into literature as book readings, author interactions and even literary festivals like the prestigious JLF came home online. The pandemic offered the unmatched experience of solitude. However, all wasn’t grim. Adult fiction diva Sara Desai’s new novel with the usual multicultural twist is part of an increasing fascination for the global Indian’s life abroad. Thrillers from Scott Turow and Sam Bourne are totally edge of the seat. Children learn why mothers cry when onions are peeled. Ruskin Bond has something for anyone who has the blues. What if Hillary refused to marry Bill? How did secretive corruption plague Samsung that dominates the world? Ghost brides possess men and a priest with a yen for human flesh haunts Japanese ghost stories. Many readers went back to the classics, others caught up with new exciting books such as The Witcher and The Hunger Games that stormed OTTs. Colouring books for both children and adults amused the stay-at-home folks. JK Rowling, Ruskin Bond and Sudha Murty were perennial favourites as usual. Self-help books and health advice calmed nervous germophobes. Cookery books saw their fair share of downloads with amateur chefs being born by the minute. The government was flooded with requests to declare books essential items during the lockdown. While that did not happen, stores are opening shutters to buyers and browsers. The world has turned a new page. So must we. FICTION Rodham By Curtis Sittenfeld It is based on the premise what if Hillary had said ‘No’ to Bill Clinton. Would the White House be the same? Would it have had a President Clinton? Could there be a President Rodham? Wittily written, it reimagines a different future, making it a must-read. EDITOR’S CHOICE The Marriage Game By Sara Desai It’s sexy it’s roman, tic and it’s ruthless. Heartbroken Layla Patel living with Michelin chef dad meets corporate downsizer Sam Mehta. Dad puts her on an online dating site with hilarious results for both in this “enemies to lovers’ adult romance”. Pizza Girl By Jean Kyoung Frazier This roaring debut novel revolves around a pregnant pizza delivery girl, Jane (Frazier herself was one, though not pregnant) and Jenny , whose rebellious son wants a rare pizza not on the menu. Full of warmth. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind By Dr Joseph Murphy We often wonder how exactly our subconscious mind functions. Murphy guides us in how to understand that mind better and in turn control its depths. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R Covey The author talks about the values of virtuous habits. He discusses in detail seven essential habits that one must incorporate for a better life. The Secret By Rhonda Byrne It focuses on the importance of gratitude. The book is considered one of the defining works on inspirational writing. Maha Samparka By Manu An alternative narration, it uses the Mahabharata, Rigveda and more to arrive at the evolution of Bharata. The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood One of the best known books of Dystopian Literature, this book presents a haunting image of a world where women are just commodities. Friends and Strangers By J Courtney Sullivan In this literary chronicle on modern life, Sullivan writes about privilege meeting egalitarianism. Wealthy New York mother Elizabeth and her innocent au pair Sam become unlikely friends in a moving story about family and parenthood. NON-FICTION THEIR PICKS RAKSHIT SHETT Y Actor The Margot Affair By Sanaë Lemoine Margot Louvre, the teenage daughter of an ambitious politician and an actress, wants to expose a 17-year-old secret. If public, it will destroy lives and loves. Will she take the fatal step? This debut novelist is bad for your nails. Samsung Rising By Geoffrey Cain Once nothing but a small Korean agricultural company Samsung , became the world’s most powerful company 40 years later. This is the inside story of this secretive mammoth corporation that involves corruption, scandals and triumphs in the merciless world of technology . The Other Side of the Divide By Sameer Arshad Khatlani One week in Lahore can give birth to a lifetime of anecdotes coupled with memories of good food, good conversation and old world etiquette. Khatlani discovers all this and more in this brilliantly written snapshot of his time spent across the border. Our House is on Fire By Svante and Greta Thunberg Thunberg is the most successful environmental franchise today The . title is the call Greta made at the World Economic Forum to save the world. As her family’s pain and Nature’s become mutual metaphors, the book examines her hopes and prescription. Superhuman River By Bidisha Banerjee Tracing the path of the Ganga to diagnose what ails the river, Banerjee has interwoven myth, folklore and modern science to make sense of the 2,525-long serpentine flow of India’s holiest of holies. Upstream By Dan Heath How to solve a crisis? Preventing it from happening. With the help of extensive research, Heath shows how this is not a fantastical proposition and can easily be turned into reality . The New World Disorder and the Indian Imperative By Shashi Tharoor & Samir Saran A new world order is on the due. Can India lead from the front despite the many hurdles that stand in the way? New actors and ideas are emerging everyday , and who takes the reins remains to be seen. The Room Where It Happened By John Bolton As the American presidency unravels, the former NSA reveals Donald Trump’s descent into megalomaniacal chaos, deals with dictators, bribery and familial corruption. His ignorance is startling in the world’s most powerful leader who didn’t know the UK is a nuclear power, or that Finland isn’t part of Russia. Into the Heart of the Himalayas By Jono Lineen After his brother meets with a tragic death, Jono Lineen seeks inner peace through a journey of faith. It takes him from the Muslim Himalayas to the Buddhist Himalayas, till it finally culminates at the Hindu Himalayas. A must-read for travel aficionados. Jennifer By Nandita Puri An eight-year-old’s childhood is illegally traficked from India to the US where she is sexually abused and assaulted for two decades until she is deported to India. This is her voice warning against another child from sharing a similar fate. Listen. A Burning By Megha Majumdar This debut novel exposes India’s violent social landscape, helplessness, hatred and naivete. A girl seeking social media fame is tortured by cops to falsely admit to terrorism. A transgender pathetically attempts to gain sexual legitimacy and sophisticated acceptance. A schoolteacher witnesses a horrifying lynching in a village. Majumdar’s India will appeal to the consciencekeepers who are fighting a losing battle. Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens Kya Clark has forever lived with the stigma of being the ‘Marsh Girl’. But she yearns for love. Even as the town hunts her down as the suspected killer of an eligible young man, she finds solace in two new friends. But will her haunting past catch up? Grown Ups By Marian Keyes Another heart-warming family saga. Through the Caseys, we witness familial bonds of love, jealousy secrets stashed , away and ego clashes with a difference... the book begins at the end. Jaipur Journals By Namita Gokhale Set against the Jaipur Literature Festival, there is something for everyone here. Part love letter-part satire, it celebrates the greatest literary show ever in style, but unsparingly . Amnesty By Aravind Adiga Adiga addresses the cause celebre of the times—the refugee’s plight. It deals with identity crisis that immigrants, legal and illegal, face. Written in his trademark witty prose, the book raises uncomfortable questions about race, prejudice and belonging. Waiting for Tom Hanks By Kerry Winfrey Annie Cassidy wants to be the next Nora Ephron. And, she wants her own ‘Sleepless in Seatleesque’ Tom Hanks. But neither seems to be happening till one day a movie is set to be filmed in her neighbourhood. Now she is determined to script her perfect real life story . The Cliffhangers By Sabin Iqbal A tourist is raped and a group of teenagers are the suspects. Proving their innocence is not an easy task as they realise soon. Communal intolerance rears its ugly head and small incidents keep occurring to add to the tension. Chosen Spirits By Samit Basu A sex scandal, a company takeover and betrayals collide in dirty water, starved and smog-infested Delhi. In the midst of this chaos, Joey rescues Rudra and together they battle for sanity to find the lives they want to lead. Low By Jeet Thayil Destruction is Dominic Ullis’ middle name. After the death of his wife, his life has been on a downward spiral. This is a drug-laden joyride through a kaleidoscopic La La Land infested by pain and darkness. The Death of Jesus By JM Coetzee In this concluding volume of the Nobel Prize-winning author’s trilogy pampered , orphan David leaves home to learn soccer, leaving Simon and Ines behind. Safety , death and the afterlife imbue this ending with the message that even if memory is ignored, love cannot be. Turn to page 2
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