They say you can always trust an author with a good reading recommendation. To help you find some excellent summer reads, we rounded up authors from across our different lists to answer a simple question: Which book would you recommend to your readers this summer?
Here are 6 amazing suggestions –
“I am very much enjoying Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann. It’s a thousand pages, and everything moves very slowly, which matches my mood in these COVID times. The text moves by word associations, often from homonym to homonym, and nothing is too silly to be said, which is often how my brain works as well. I expect it will last me the whole summer, going back to it in the gaps between more intense reads.”
“The book is an explosive memoir and portrays life of a Dalit in RSS. It exposes how Brahmanical politics use marginalised people as their weapons to further their agenda of superiority. I think every Indian must read this book to know about the real face of our current rulers.
“Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport is a wonderful reminder to everyone lost deep in the digital world (it reminds me of the movie Tron 😂). Those searching for happiness in likes & clicks on social media are actually running after a mirage. The book teaches us to use social media & digital gadgets optimally. And that true happiness lies only in the REAL world. For those who cannot get the book, I would recommend that you learn more about the concept of ‘minimalism’ in life.”
Draupadi: The Tale of an Empress by Saiswaroopa Iyer
“Saiswaroopa who in the past has brought strong female characters from Indians Puranas with books like Abhaya and Mauri , narrates the tale of Draupadi in her own distinctive voice. Instead of being a victim or damsel in distress, Draupadi in this book chooses to fight her battles on her own terms. Told with passion and deep understanding, Saiswaroopa’s Draupadi is an empowered and moving account of one of the most fascinating characters from Mahabharat.”
“Perumal Murugan’s twin sequels to One Part Woman, Trial by Silence and A Lonely Harvest. It’s a feat to write two equally compelling sequels to a novel that many people, including myself, thought was perfect as it was. And it’s lovely to watch Murugan play with the idea of how One Part Woman’s ambiguous end can yield two entirely different and equally rich possibilities — particularly now, when the ambiguity of our future is on all our minds. “
“One of my favourite Indian authors is Rupa Gulab. Her sense of (dark) humour is amazing and it shines through in all her writing. Very few writers are able to tickle my funny bone – she is one of those rare few. I read a delicious collection of short stories written by her recently. The title & cover intrigued me so I picked it up. Dark, whacky and twisted, I Kissed a Frog is a must-read for those who love short stories with that element of surprise.”
6. Liji Narayan
“Not long ago, I had read The Courtesan, the Mahatma & the Italian Brahmin. This collection of essays on diverse topics, characters and events from India’s historical past, by Manu S. Pillai, contained many interesting and little-known episodes about people, especially bohemian women, who managed to break the shackles of tradition. Personally hanging from a branch of a Nair family tree that has roots spread deep and wide in erstwhile Travancore, I knew The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore, by the same author, had to be my next pick. As expected, the book hasn’t disappointed. Right from the very first chapter on Ravi Varma, the painter prince, it has managed to keep me well engrossed through much of the lockdown. Well researched and presented, the portraits and black and white photographs within this thick volume offer much-needed visual break.”
BONUS book! Our non-fiction editor, Parth Mehrotra, has an amazing recommendation for you
“This is the first in a series of five novels based on the author’s life. In this book you are taken into the home of an extremely wealthy English couple and their son in the south of France. St Aubyn is a master of cold clinical observation, especially of the manners and codes of the upper classes. But this book isn’t frivolous in the least — the father is a narcissist and a sadist; the mother is a pathetic and ineffective alcoholic who loves her son but is unable to nurture or protect him. In one harrowing scene of the book the father rapes his young son. I was horrified by the book but I couldn’t stop reading. I can’t wait to get into the second book of the series.”
While you read these amazing books, how about you make yourself a refreshing drink? To help you keep those calories in check, our author and nutritionist Kavita Devgan suggests we make a glass of Kanji instead of that sugary ready-to-drink Iced Tea. Here’s a super simple recipe!