Books of the week: From Vinod Kumar Shukla's A Silent Place to Farah Bashir's Rumours of Spring, our picks

Our weekly roundup of books that should be on your radar.

Tanav Karthikeya April 12, 2021 11:07:03 IST
Books of the week: From Vinod Kumar Shukla's A Silent Place to Farah Bashir's Rumours of Spring, our picks

We love stories, and even in the age of Netflix-and-chill, there's nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption — whether curled up in bed, in your favourite coffeehouse, or that long (and tiresome) commute to work. Every week, we'll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure. Get them wherever you get your books — the friendly neighbourhood bookseller, e-retail website, chain store — and in whatever form you prefer. Happy reading!

For more of our weekly book recommendations, click here.

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– FICTION

All Drama, No Queen
By Andaleeb Wajid
Penguin Random House | Rs 299 | 240 pages

Writer Andaleeb Wajid’s novel follows a girl, Fareeda, whose life is riddled with hardships. After the death of her parents at the age of 12 and the ensuing battle to protect her house from a relative, she decides to run away with her friend Priya. Nearly two decades later, Priya’s boyfriend finds Irshad ­— Fareeda’s distant cousin whom she has had a crush on since she was 12. But he is engaged to another woman. Things get complicated once Fareeda and Irshad realise the depth of their bond, and Fareeda has to find a way to deal with all the drama in her life.

Read more about the book here.

Gold Diggers
By Sanjena Sathian
HarperCollins India | Rs 599 | 352 pages

Sanjena Sathian’s witty and satirical novel follows the story of a teenager Neil Narayan, growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta. An unmotivated kid, he is unable to meet the expectations of his immigrant parents. His neighbour Anita, whom he likes, brews an alchemical potion from stolen gold along with her mother that transfers the ambition of the previous owner to the one that drinks it. When Neil gets his hands on some of it, things spiral out of control.

Read more about the book here.

A Mirror Made of Rain
By Naheed Phiroze Patel
HarperCollins India | Rs 499 | 296 pages

Naheed Phiroze Patel’s coming-of-age novel is about a bright, hot-tempered young girl Noomi Wadia, who shares a strained relationship with her mother. She grows into a troubled adult devoid of happiness, facing the pressures of addictions, anxiety and love. The book follows Noomi’s battle against the self-destructive tendencies she developed as an aftermath of a toxic relationship with her mother.

Read more about the book here.

A Silent Place
By Vinod Kumar Shukla, translated by Satti Khanna
Eka Publications| Rs 399 | 186 pages

Vinod Kumar Shukla’s A Silent Place, translated from Hindi by Satti Khanna, is a story about a forest fallen into a seemingly eternal silence, stricken by grief. It follows the plans hatched up by a group of boys who seek to bring back sound into the forest. The journey they embark upon, to restore the music of birds and the murmurs of human voices, explores the philosophy which lies at the core of a human being.

– NON-FICTION

Hostility
By Abdul Basit
HarperCollins India | Rs 799 | 340 pages

Former Pakistani high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit talks about his tumultuous tenure in New Delhi from 2014-2017. Under the prime-ministership of Narendra Modi, he takes us through the journey of failed attempts at normalising relations between India and Pakistan. Providing insight into admittedly one of the most difficult diplomatic postings anywhere in the world, Basit also discusses what goes on behind the scenes between the two countries.

Read more about the book here.

Rumours of Spring
By Farah Bashir
HarperCollins India | Rs 499 | 240 pages

Writer Farah Bashir gives an account of her childhood growing up in Srinigar in the '90s. At a time when violence, militancy and political instability pervaded Kashmir, she talks about the constant sense of fear and anxiety that gripped her while performing even the most ordinary tasks like studying for exams, combing her hair, falling asleep and so on. Under the ever-increasing animosity, she discusses moments like writing her first love letter, going to the cinema for the first time and dancing to pop songs on banned radio stations.

Read more about the book here.

– YOUNG READERS

History Dishtory
By Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam
Hachette India | Rs 450 | 242 pages

Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujan write an explorative book that traces back to a lot of major historical events, while also jotting down recipes for food made in each of those times. With twins Siya and Sam who can travel back in time using an app called WayBack, the story looks into the first meal eaten on the moon, whether the stuffed turkey was actually a part of the first Thanksgiving dinner, and if Marie Antoinette really said, “Let them eat cake!”.

Read more about the book here.

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