This is my first commitment to my blog. I am going to make a monthly list of books you must read. This will have books I’ve just finished reading and I’m going to bully my friends and family into sending me the last memorable book they read. Yes, crowd yourself around those who read (my sister doesn’t, so no point crowding around her). Since Bombay is drowning in rain and sewage, I’m staying indoors and turning into a social recluse (just a little) and getting a truckload of reading done. I settle in with chocolates and cake and occasionally a ludicrously chocolatey hot chocolate. I mean you must get a sugar rush as you start reading something!
Here’s the #ReadingList I’ve compiled for July!
1. Abhijit Dutta; a travel writer
Octavio Paz, In Light of India: “this book has all the intellectual depth needed to get a meaningful understanding of the vastness that is India, but it has none of its weight. In page after page lit with his lyrical prose, Paz glides through centuries and millennia of ancient texts, teasing out insight, inviting reflection. It is not a history book but has more history in it than Guha’s India After Gandhi; it is not a travel book but creates a sense of place more authentic than a Michael Palin or a Colin Thubron; it is not a political book but it has the most frank and unsentimental analysis on the Hindu-Muslim rift in India and its implications. It is not a tome, it is not a pamphlet, it is not a novel, it is not “expat literature”. It is a rare book.
2. Shibani Nayak; a consumer researcher
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale: “The Thirteenth Tale- is about a mysterious estate called the Angelfield House and it is an unbelievably gorgeous and yet, creepy and mysterious story. The book is plain magic. In its narrative, in its revelations, its usage of words- the story is just pure wonder. You cannot wait to get to the end of the book to find out what the deal is, but when the book is over (like all good books) there is a BIG sense of loss”.
3. Suvajeet Duttagupta; a photographer
Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: “The story ‘October in the Chair’ is my favorite from the book. October narrates a story about the bitter life of Runt, who is bullied by his brothers and pitied by his parents. He runs away, befriends the ghost of a boy”.
4. Rohitesh Dutta; a start-up junkie
Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones, Coffee, Tea or Me by Donald Bain: Two lusty flight attendants narrating their experiences from 1967! If you love the humor, you could go back for more. Donald Bain, the author, has three sequels – the Coffee Tea or Me Girls’ Round-the-World Diary (1969), The Coffee Tea or Me Girls Lay It on the Line (1972) and The Coffee Tea or Me Girls Get Away from It All (1974).
5. Samarpita Mukherjee; an avid reader and book lover friend from Twitter
2000 Years of Indian Women’s Writing edited by Annie Zaidi: “The book is divided into section – based on the era and the genre – covering both prose and verses. An extremely interesting read, what was delightful was that I kept going through the index and picking (and re-picking) the author/poet I’d want to read, and read to my heart’s content”. 6. Varun Rana; a fashion features editor
John Man, Mongol Empire: Genghis Khan, his heirs and the founding of modern China and the book has pictures too!
7. Abhik Bhattacherji; blogger at seventhbreakfast.com
Paul Theroux, A dead hand: A crime in Calcutta: “A travel writer with writer’s block, a dead boy in a cheap hotel, philanthropy and a very dark and eerie narrative of obsession and need, set in Calcutta”.
Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warnings: “Bizarre, creepy, spooky and really unputdownable”.
8. Rahil Bose; my 5-year-old cousin
Enid Blyton, Mr. Meddles: If you have any children around you, quickly read them some Mr. Meddle. If you’ve forgotten about Mr. Meddle, please do yourself a favor and go re-read one right away!
9. Suchitra Guha; the perfect aunt
Amitav Ghosh, Flood of Fire: “the research and narrative are brilliant and after Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke, I eagerly began reading this”.
10. Rishabh Gupta; an entrepreneur
Peter Theil, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future: Rishabh recommends this for all working or aspiring entrepreneurs because it has a unique perspective on what people assume to be the truth. Go read it if you want a contrarian point of view.
11. Shaoli Rudra: a murder-mystery lover
James Patterson, NYPD Red: “Pure vacation reading, can be read in two hours, by the pool, with a cocktail in hand”.
What did you read last? What did you think about it? Do let me know by sending me an email on email@example.com or on twitter @abhikbee oh! do let me know if you’ve read any from this list!
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