Voices Pushpesh Pant S Vaidhyasubramaniam Ravi Shankar Anu Aggarwal Anirban Bhattacharyya Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev THE new sunday express MAGAZINE Buffet People Wellness Books Food Art & Culture Entertainment january 29 2023 SUNDAY PAGES 12 Editor’s Choice Smoke and Ashes: A Writer’s Journey Through Hidden Histories by Amitav Ghosh There’s tea and opium, there’s China and Europe, there’s also indigenous understanding of the environment combined with personal history— it is in a way a memoir on Ghosh’s literary preoccupations over the last two decades. On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory by Thomas Hertog A compilation of the brilliant scientist’s final thoughts on the universe from one of his closest collaborators, Thomas Hertog. During their research, they revisited their Big Bang origin theory to come up with a ‘striking fresh vision of the universe’s birth that may ultimately prove to be Hawking’s greatest scientific legacy’. Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor From the rugged hinterlands in Uttar Pradesh to the urban life in Delhi, Kapoor’s latest is an actionpacked story of a crime family told in the backdrop of a mysterious accident. It has been called India’s answer to the Godfather. The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise by Pico Iyer The renowned travel writer reflects on his half a century of travels —from Iran to North Korea, from the Himalayas to the ghostly temples of Japan—in an attempt to find the ‘elusive’ paradise where ‘anxieties, struggles and burdens of life fall away’. Victory City by Salman Rushdie Set in a city called Bisnaga in India, the Booker-winning author’s first novel since Quichotte in 2019 brings his quintessential magic realism into play as it follows the journey of a woman who builds a fantastical empire that lasts over 250 years. romance about what happens beyond the happily-ever-after, and how one finds love for their partner and themselves in a ‘marriage in crisis’. The Naani Diaries by Riva Razdan Reading List 2023 By the Book Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood By trisha mukherjee N o one quite understands the problem of plenty like a bibliophile. Too many books to read, too little time. Industry markers and reading patterns over the last two years alternated between the shadow of the pandemic, hope and good-old celebrity goss. Sales of Prince Harry’s Spare rocketed up in proportion to his popularity; Michelle Obama didn’t want old pal Meghan Markle anywhere near her book tour of The Light We Carry. Current affairs has currency: Blowing Up Ukraine: The Return of Russian Terror and the Threat of World War III by historians Yuri Felshtinsky with Mikhail Stanchev sold its film rights at the London Book Fair. The pandemic did prompt a surge of delightfully dark content. The New York Times Magazine commissioned a collection of short stories—The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic (2020)—by Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange, Edwidge Danticat et al. In Just the Two of Us (2020), Jo Wilde writes about how a couple on the brink of divorce rediscover love during lockdown. Crime, mystery and thrillers as usual stay on their high perch: among the anticipated reads are Srinath Rao’s Meow Meow, the true story of Baby Patankar. The much-awaited second instalment in the Lady Joker series by Karol Takamura is due this year. Self-help books remain an evergreen genre—read Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab and Attention Span: Find Focus, Fight Distraction by Gloria Mark. The Greatest Self-Help Book (Is the One Written by You) by Vex King and his beauty-influencer wife Kaushal is meant to encourage readers to love themselves. For historical fiction and non-fiction fans, come Kate Thompson’s The Wartime Book Club, Akshat Gupta’s Hidden Hindu 3 and Black on Black by Daniel Black. Going with the times, Indian history and mythology are having their spotlight moment, with children’s books such as Daaji’s Tales from the Puranas and A Complete History of India by Roshen Dalal wooing young minds with new narratives. Technology is the arbiter of the 2000s and has altered the biblioscene considerably The main challenge for publishers, booksellers and libraries . is from audio books, the global market for which was valued at $4,219 million in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.4 percent till 2030; although e-books are far ahead with the market value likely to be $18.7 billion in 2026. To measure up, libraries are offering podcast rooms with studios and even renting out equipment. Bookending 2023 looks to be fun. When an overachieving New Yorker gets dumped, she is devastated. For hope, she turns to her grandmother’s love story recorded in a diary in this novel about love and family . A yet another heartwarming romance from the bestselling author that revisits the opposites-attract trope, but this time between two competing physicists who, after ‘academic feuds and fake dating shenanigans’, predictably fall for each other. Happy Place by Emily Henry In this romantic comedy— almost begging for a Hollywood reproduction—the American writer gives us two former lovers who pretend to be together for a week for the sake of their closest friends who are visiting. Will the play-act rekindle old emotions or will it give their lie away? Rootless by Krystle Zara Appiah A debut that looks at romance from an unconventional lens. The British-Ghanaian author writes Fiction Yellow Face by RF Kuang The darkly funny contemporary thriller by the bestselling Chinese author is the story of a white woman, told in first-person, who claims her dead Asian author friend’s unpublished work as her own Minor Disturbances at Grand Life Apartments by Hema Sukumar If you are an Alexander McCall Smith fan, you will love this debut novel set in Chennai. This is a heartwarming tale of a retiring dentist, an engineer and a British chef, who despite their differences and complicated lives, join hands to save the one thing they have in common—the Grand Life Apartments. Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein From the Commonwealth Short Story Award-winning Caribbean writer, here is a book that juxtaposes luxury with poverty and , talks of race and class in the Trinidad of the 1940s. What happens when the opposing worlds collide and two families set up in different worlds are forced to come together? Old Babes in the Woods by Margaret Atwood After her Stone Mattress in 2014, the Booker-winning author is back with another bouquet of short stories. Ageing, loss, grief, friendship and love, all find a mention in this anthology , some of which have earlier appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. Chronicle of an Hour and a Half by Saharu Nusaiba Kannanari Petty grievances and savage speculation fuel this chaotic story set in a WhatsAppobsessed village in Kerala. Suddenly nothing seems simple or safe, as resi- dents—spurred by rumours—bay for each other’s blood in this edgy and tautly written story . The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende Here are two characters in different timelines, with the immigrant crisis in the US and Europe as a backdrop. The award-winning Spanish writer effortlessly weaves together the past and the present in this tribute to parent-child bonding. The Guest by Emma Cline From the bestselling writer of The Girls, comes a story set in the chilling and evocative world of 1969 California. Alex—pretending to be someone she isn’t—is your perfect storybook literary heroine, who has a long-standing relationship with destruction and turmoil. The Ghost Theatre by Mat Osman With the London plague and the Elizabethan theatre as a backdrop, the story is told through the eyes of two fantastical outcasts— a trainer of hawks who sees the future in bird patterns, and another, an aspiring theatre star. It is all about dreaming big, achieving and losing it all. How Dinkar Lost His Job and Found a Life by Gurpartap Khairah A coming-of-age story of a not-soyoung Indian boy , who gets control of his life only after he is fired from his job. A significant book for the current times when the rat race to success is only getting tougher. Mister, Mister by Guy Gunaratne A Syrian poet after fleeing his war-torn country finds himself in a detention centre in the UK. Through his conversations with his interrogator, the Sri Lankan-origin British author sheds light on the ramifications of war and explores what it means to belong. Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton Back after a decade of her Booker win, this psychological thriller with its satirical writing is a sort-of Macbeth in New Zealand. As for who Macbeth is, you can take your pick from the plateful of characters. The Bee Sting by Paul Murray Are you trying your best to be a good person in a world that is constantly challenging you to do otherwise? Then this tragicomedy should be your go-to book this year. As a family is caught on the wrong foot at the wrong time, is there still a shot at a happy ending? I Am Homeless if This is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore Moore is back after 14 years with her signature humour, exploring love and rebirth, passion and grief. As she lets her pen spout wit and wisdom, we come across a mysterious journal from an era gone by a therapy , clown and an assassin, all thrown in together in a theatrical ghost story . A Spell of Good Things by Ayobámi Adébáyo Set in modern-day Nigeria, the novel focuses on the ties of family and the moments and secrets that weigh on it. It also exposes the gaping divide between the haves and have-nots and what happens when the fragile wall that separates them comes crashing down. The Light at the End of the World by Siddhartha Deb Crisscrossing different timelines—from the present to the 19th and 20th centuries—the author writes about buried truths, parallel universes, spacecraft and aliens. Coming out with his first novel in 15 years, the narrative encompasses all that is magical and more. The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks The actor writes about how a young boy’s fascination with his soldier-uncle inspires him to create a comic book that finds its way to a filmmaker who wants to turn it into ‘a colossal, star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film’. Turn to page 2
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