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December 15, 2014

To Matilda’s Delight…

Text by Nittal Chandarana

Santa likes bookworms: 10 books that should make it to your 2014 gifts list

The year is about to end and are you really thinking of buying another box of chocolates to gift out? Time to change that strategy. Verve simplifies this task and gives you a list of page-turners to present to friends and family alike, and come across as a merry pseudo-intellectual. Do it before you’re forced to send Kindle downloads instead! (Feel free to read the detailed reviews by clicking on the title hyperlink.)

1. Family Life by Akhil Sharma First off, buy it for yourself and allow the words to seep through. Enjoy the originality of thought and the bittersweet feeling that remains after turning the last page. Inflict this on somebody and they’ll be grateful to you all your life.

2. Seahorse by Janice Pariat To be bought for avid readers and ones who prefer the semi-inception state achieved while devouring a fantastic novel. Those that prefer their language poetic and thoughts to meander seamlessly from one tangent to another. Also, art and mythology freaks.

3. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob For those who avoid judging a book by its title (we made the mistake and were greeted by the tragic occurrence of hardly any dance). Whimsical, ethereal and touching, Jacob weaves a gobsmacking tale.

4. Khushwant Singh (99 unforgettable fiction, non-fiction, poetry & humour) by, ahem, Khushwant Singh All those who’ve ever read anything by the legend know that he spares no one and really does write with malice to one and all. The man who lived short of completing a century lives on through his caustic writing.

5. Sachin Tendulkar: Playing It My Way by Sachin Tendulkar and Boria Majumdar Oh, go ahead and purchase this one for any Indian (and I’m sure a few Australians won’t mind) for it is heresy to claim our nationality and not be raving about it. It will always inspire conversation and look princely on the coffee table. Also, super ice breaker.

6. Stolen Years by Pavit Kaur A daughter pens down the story of the unlawful imprisonment of her father, Simranjeet Singh Mann, by our government. Five years of torture for both, the brave man and his brave family. For those who prefer to be dunked into a turbulent sea of reality.

7. A Town Like Ours by Kavery Nambisan A prostitute narrates the story of her town-mongers; each nestling a secret more deep-rooted than the other. A sharp account of the history and present of each one’s life. For those who’d like a peek into the devilish human mind.

8. Shikhandi And Other Stories They Don’t Tell You by Devdutt Pattanaik Well, because it is authored by the go-to man for mythology. We enjoy his writing and those pertinent illustrations he does. Golden for a fan of Indian epics and his sketches.

9. Fire Under Ash by Saskya Jain The national capital region, weed-induced parties and glaring class divides is the stuff this book is made of. It speaks of the complexities and dilemmas of the human mind and how it struggles to focus amidst all the attraction offered by the world. For lovers of fiction and those who prefer reading Indian literature many notches above token bestsellers.

10. Hangwoman by K.R. Meera (Translation: J. Devika) A fictitious tale tracing the timeline of the country’s first Hangwoman. It is a promising story of feminism, love and betrayal brought together by a reality television show. Yes, that bit baffled us too. Get it to satisfy that nagging instinct of hanging that you have.

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