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March 28, 2016

8 New Books For Every Kind of Bibliophile

Text by Huzan Tata

Travel through continents and cultures with our pick of books this month

Second Thoughts — On Books, Authors And The Writerly Life
Navtej Sarna
HarperCollins India
The world of books is such that one can travel from Mumbai’s lanes to the hills of Kabul and from Chekhov’s Russia to Parisian streets with the turn of a single page. Writer and diplomat Navtej Sarna’s latest comprises over 50 essays that trace his literary adventures across the world. He pens his thoughts on writers like Truman Capote, Nikolai Gogol, Dylan Thomas and Somerset Maugham, and their acclaimed works. Look it up for a chance to travel through histories, countries and centuries with Sarna. And the monochrome illustrations through the book are but a bonus.

Detours — Songs Of The Open Road
Salil Tripathi
Tranquebar/Westland
What was it like to visit Germany soon after its reunification? How do Cambodians adjust to a war-stricken state? Salil Tripathi’s travelogues take readers through his experiences with different people, cultures and lifestyles. An engaging pick, Detours is divided into three sections — War & After, Words & Images, and Loss & Remembrance — each with stories that both move and entertain. Peppered with the writer’s thoughtful insights on travel, life, friendship and grief, the title is a great choice for those who enjoy being on the road.

The Golden Son
Shilpi Somaya Gowda
HarperCollins India
A story of friendship and displacement, Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s second novel revolves around Amit Patel’s tribulations. As the eldest child in the family, Amit is bound by duties and ties throughout his life — even as he settles down in America during his adult years.Tracing themes of love, drama, and hope, The Golden Son is a pleasant read. The descriptions of familial life are real and relatable, and the novel will also appeal to those who have had to leave their home countries to build a life elsewhere. This one is for the fans of family dramas.

Chandigarh is in India
Edited by Shanay Jhaveri
The Shoestring Publisher
The capital city of two states, Chandigarh is known for its town planning that was developed by French architect Le Corbusier. This book, edited by independent art curator Shanay Jhaveri, takes a look at the city through the creations of Indian and Western artists. Comprising scholarly essays, artist sections and over 250 colour and monochrome images, Chandigarh is in India explores the union territory’s architecture and presents it in a unique way.

Words — From Here, There And Everywhere Or My Private Babel
Farrukh Dhondy
HarperCollins India
Why is the Bombay duck called a duck when it’s actually a fish? Why is a Mozambique orange called a mosambi? Evoking a few chuckles along the way, playwright, novelist and screenwriter Dhondy’s latest book is a quirky look at how ‘Indianisms’ and Anglo-Indian words originated. This collection of shorts is a light, breezy read — and is replete with examples of the whacky Parsi humour his community is famous for. The work is a great pick for linguists and lovers of history and etymology. And, don’t skip past the nonsense rhymes — they’re sure to make one laugh!

Suchitra Sen — The Legend And The Enigma
Shoma A. Chatterji
HarperCollins India
Most Hindi film fans would remember her from the hit song Tere Bina Zindagi Se from Gulzar’s directorial, Aandhi. But Suchitra Sen was, by then, a much-revered star in Bengali cinema. This biography by film critic Chatterji takes readers through the illustrious life of the ‘legendary romantic star’. From a short chapter on her childhood years and marriage, the tome moves on to her successful pairing with Uttam Kumar and their ‘magical’ chemistry, and sheds light on her roles that were ahead of their times. ‘Suchitra Sen was an era’, quotes Chatterji in the first chapter — and readers will get to relive this era and discover the legend behind many a successful movie.

I Dreamt A Horse Fell From The Sky 
Adil Jussawalla
Hachette India
He’s arguably one of the best Indian writers in English. A collection of Jussawalla’s works from 1962 to 2015,
I Dreamt A Horse Fell From The Sky is a must-have for ardent fans of the Sahitya Akademi Award-winner. The tome is divided into separate sections for poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and covers several themes and times — from poignant poems to stories that make you smile, and accounts from his early years to ruminations on life and imagination. A true collector’s edition, this title is one for readers and aspiring authors alike.

Maharanis — Women Of Royal India
Edited By Abhishek Poddar And Nathaniel Gaskell
Tasveer/Mapin Publishing
Elegant and graceful, they photograph like a dream. A coffee-table book on the lesser-seen royals of princely India, Maharanis… includes gorgeous images of the country’s queens and princesses. Adorning resplendent saris and striking jewels, their beauty shines through the sepia-toned images. Published in association with Tasveer and The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), Bengaluru, this hardcover is a brilliant window into the life of India’s erstwhile rulers.

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