The onset of winter brings with it the promise of an amazing reading list – titles ranging from Taslima Nasrin's latest memoir or Shashi Tharoor's take on the British Raj to Jane De Suza's Happily Never After or Estelle Maskame's Did I Mention I Miss You? Readers are in for a book bucket this November.
If you haven't already bought yourself a copy of Taslima Nasrin's latest memoir, Exile, hurry! It is a moving and shocking chronicle of Taslima Nasrin's struggles in India over a period of seven months. Dark, provocative and at times surreal, this memoir will resonate powerfully with readers in the present socio-political scenario. Published by Penguin India, the title is wonderfully packaged in a splendid cover.
For a change, we finally have Jane De Suza's Happily Never After from HarperCollins. Tina Raja's average day involves a houseful of kids, animals, fleas, leaking pipes and sundry relatives. Is this the marriage she signed up for? And anyway, with an absentee husband, can she be certain she's still married? Loneliness and bad plumbing aside, her 10-year-old daughter is writing a super-secret diary of her own and her sister is being a dolt as usual. There just might be one silver lining, though: a kissable dentist. Can an often invisible lover trump an always absent husband? This book is the laugh-out-loud chronicle of Tina's quest for love, lust and understanding and you are not going to have a bad experience reading this offering.
For those with interest in mythology, Devdutt Pattanaik's most ambitious and anticipated book, Olympus: An Indian Retelling of the Greek Myths, is also round the corner. It is for the first time an Indian mythologist is reversing the gaze. Devdutt in this book decodes the Greek mythology. Is there is a connection between Greek and Hindu mythology. Does it have something to do with a common Indo-European root? In this book, Devdutt Pattanaik turns his attention to ancient Greek tales, and explores a new world of stories. Long have Europeans and Americans retold Indic mythologies. It is time for Indians to reverse the gaze.
Another title that may interest some for a quick read is 13 Steps to Bloody Good Wealth. In this second book in the 13 Steps series, bestselling author Ashwin Sanghi and co-author Sunil Dalal explore how one can become wealthy even if one is not blessed with the proverbial silver spoon. Taking a radically fresh view of wealth, they show that the journey to becoming wealthy is difficult, but not impossible. With some thought and work, wealth is well within anyone's reach. The steps presented in 13 Steps to Bloody Good Wealth are easily implemented and do not require anything more than your attention and belief.
Moving on, Estelle Maskame's Did I Mention I Miss You is already creating a stir in bookstores. It's been a year since Eden last spoke to Tyler. After his sudden departure, she left for Chicago for college and found a new boyfriend, who hopefully won't run when things get tough – like Tyler did. But as school breaks up for the summer, she heads back to Los Angeles. And she's not the only one with that idea. Despite their break-up, Tyler is determined to rekindle what they once had. He has restarted his life and wants her in it. Eden is not sure about forgiving him. But when a tragedy draws them together, can Eden search her heart and decide if Tyler is worth the risk once and for all? Read “Did I Mention I Miss You?” to know the interesting tale.
Penguin recently released the translation of Moti Nandi's Shiva by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay. Seventeen-year-old Shiva is young and penniless, eking out a living at a small tea stall in north Kolkata. When a boxing trainer notices him and takes him under his wing, Shiva believes that his luck has finally turned. Steadfast and hard-working, he punches his way up through local matches, finding prestige and money for the first time in his life. However, when adversity unexpectedly robs Shiva of his new-found fame, he finds himself broken and destitute, vowing never to throw a punch again. But when an unmissable opportunity presents itself, will he stay away from his true calling for long? From the grittiness of life on Devdas Pathak Road to the euphoria of being in the boxing ring, Shiva is a heart-warming tale of hope, resilience and a hero determined to triumph against all odds.
At the same time, Aleph Book Company has just released Living with Tigers by Valmik Thapar. Thapar first went to Ranthambhore, in 1976, at the age of twenty-three. He was a city boy, unsure of what lay ahead. When he entered the forest, which would go on to become one of the last strongholds of wild tigers, it had a profound effect on him, changing his life forever.
For the next forty years, he studied nearly 200 Ranthambhore tigers, spending every waking moment in close proximity to these magnificent animals. Of the various tigers he observed a handful became extra special and it is these which come to glorious life in this book. This book will surely become some sort of a Gospel for animal lovers.
After his speech at an Oxford Union debate went viral, writer and politician Shashi Tharoor was asked by his publisher to write a book on the British Raj in India and it resulted in this offering called An Era of Darkness. Written with extensive research and a blow-by-blow account of the self-motivated interests of the Raj, Era of Darkness will serve to correct many misconceptions about one of the most contested periods in Indian history.
By Saket Suman