What Publishers Read

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One of the best sources of book recommendations are editors and publishers – they read for a living and often come across books common readers would never come by organically. So, to bring you a fun varied selection, our founder, Chiki Sarkar gives you a glimpse of her reading list!
I read widely and love dipping into very different kinds of books. Here are some of the books I loved this last month

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

troubled blood

I have always loved the Cormoran Strike books, especially the 5th one, ‘Troubled Blood’, which was a baggy slow moving monster ( not words you would use to describe a crime novel) but somehow deeply satisfying. So I instantly bought her latest, ‘The Ink Black Heart’, which was great fun, but not as good as the last one. 

South VS North : India’s Great Divide by Nilakantan RS

Compare two children – one born in north India, the other in the south.The child from south India is far less likely to die in the first year of her life or lose her mother during childbirth. She will also receive better nutrition, go to school and stay in school longer; she is more likely to attend college and secure employment that pays her more.This child will also go on to have fewer children, who in turn will be healthier and more educated than her. In a nutshell, the average child born in south India will live a healthier, wealthier, more secure life than one born in north India.


Why is south India doing so much better than the north? And what does that mean?

In this superbly argued book, data scientist Nilakantan RS shows us how and why the southern states are outperforming the rest of the country and its consequences in an increasingly centralized India. He reveals how south India deals with a particularly tough set of issues – its triumphs in areas of health, education and economic growth are met with a policy regime that penalizes it; its success in population control will be met with a possible loss of political representation. How will the region manage such an assault?

Hard-hitting, troubling and full of fascinating data points, South vs North is an essential book about one of the biggest challenges that India faces today.

The Master of St. Petersburg by JM Coetzee
the master of petersburg
I think Coetzee is the greatest living novelist in the English language and I have been meaning to read this spare little novel he wrote about Dostoevsky. It’s about the great novelist visiting St. Petersburg when his beloved step son supposedly takes his life. Like all great novels it’s about many things, but flowing through everything is a keen thread of grief. The loss of a child. Coetzee had lost his own son – and this maybe one of his most personal novels. I have found the reading really intense and moving
Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Banks

When it first came out nearly twenty years ago, I had loved this sly, funny romantic or not so romantic book of linked short stories about a young woman in New York publishing- as a young girl in publishing i loved it. I returned to it last month as a not so young woman in publishing and loved its combination of sly observation and melancholy. I am reading her second book now.
Empire of Pain – Patrick Radden Keefe
Hands down the best book I will have read this year. It’s a highly acclaimed book about the Sackler family and the OxyContin scandal in USA. It’s about money, corruption, and also how wealth can almost buffer you from moral feeling. The Sacklers knew they were releasing a deeply addictive and thus very dangerous painkiller drug into the market – and they lied and concealed this even as they funded universities, museums and charities with their wealth.  Brilliantly told, this work of reportage felt to me like a Victorian novel.
Independence Day by Veena Venugopal

Seventy-five years ago, India attained its independence.What was it like to be an ordinary citizen during that time? How did they celebrate the first Independence Day? What was the atmosphere like on the streets, in cities and towns and faraway villages? How did the people feel? And how do they feel today about the country they witnessed being born?Independence Day (front cover)

In this extraordinarily moving book, fifteen Indians from across the country tell their stories of their first Independence Day
– some were no more than four or five, others, young adults about to enter college. Some lived in far-off places without the newspaper or the radio to give them the news; some had never seen an Englishman and didn’t know what freedom meant. Others lived in fear of communal riots and their lives being destroyed.

Here are stories from Bombay and Delhi and Mysore and Lahore, from riot-struck Punjab and Bengal to remote villages in Bihar and Tamil Nadu.These stories, each utterly different, make history come vividly alive, reminding us that behind the facts and the big dates lie the beating hearts of countless Indians who created history together.

Deeply inspiring and totally gripping, Independence Day will make 15 August 1947 – and a slice of India’s history – come wholly alive.



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