Books of the week: From Akbar by Ira Mukhoty to a guide on the coronavirus outbreak for kids, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal April 13, 2020 10:21:22 IST
Books of the week: From Akbar by Ira Mukhoty to a guide on the coronavirus outbreak for kids, 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 Sunday, 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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Books of the week From Akbar by Ira Mukhoty to a guide on the coronavirus outbreak for kids our picks

– FICTION

A Ballad of Remittent Fever: A Novel
By Ashoke Mukhopadhyay, translated by Arunava Sinha
Aleph Book Company | Rs 699 | 293 pages

Ashoke Mukhopadhyay’s novel is set in the early years of the 20th century, when Calcutta is gripped with deadly diseases like the plague, cholera, typhoid, malaria, and more. Added to this is a people suppressed by the British rule and World War I looming large ahead. The novel follows Dr Dwarikanath Ghoshal and his family as they try to fight the diseases and cope with the world around them.

Read more about the book here.

– BIOGRAPHIES and MEMOIRS

Paresh Maity: A Portrait of the Artist in the World
Art by Paresh Maity; photos by Nemai Ghosh; text by Ina Puri
Westland | Rs 4,999 | 370 pages

The recently deceased Nemai Ghosh photographed prolific figures of India’s film and art community. In this book, along with text by biographer Ina Puri, he documents the life and work of artist Paresh Maity, who Ghosh accompanied on his travels. The two had met at an exhibition in Kolkata and decided that Ghosh would document Maity, resulting in this book.

Akbar: The Great Mughal
By Ira Mukhoty
Aleph Book Company | Rs 999 | 624 pages

Author Ira Mukhoty writes a detailed biography of Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, including his ambitions, mistakes, bravery, military acumen, empathy, and trailblazing efforts to reform governance. It also discusses his open-mindedness about religion and gender, and his curiosity about the world around him.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

White as Milk and Rice: Stories of India's Isolated Tribes
By Nidhi Dugar Kundalia
Penguin Random House India | Rs 399 | 256 pages

Journalist and author Nidhi Dugar Kundalia details the history, way of life, and customs of six of India’s isolated tribes, as they face radical change over the past century. The tribes include the Marias of Bastar, the Halakkis of Ankola, the Kanjars of Chambal, the Kurumbas of the Nilgiris, the Khasis of Shillong, and the Konyaks of Nagaland.

Read more about the book here.

The Dictionary of Hindustani Classical Music
By Pandit Amarnath
Penguin Random House India | Rs 499 | 240 pages

Indian classical vocalist and composer Pandit Amarnath’s book explains the various terms associated with Hindustani classical music, from avaart and kharaj bharna to moorchhana and shrutee, making them accessible to anyone interested in the art form. He discusses the terms of both, their etymology and implications in musical practice and listening. He also includes short profiles of masters in the field. This present version has been updated by Rekha and Vishal Bhardwaj.

Read more about the book here.

– YOUNG READERS

India's Space Adventure (Let's Find Out)
By Biman Basu
Red Panda | Rs 210 | 80 pages

Journalist and author Biman Basu’s book takes readers through India’s achievements in space and space technology, from the first rocket launch to the challenging moon missions. With pictures from NASA and ISRO, the book informs about India’s adventures in space, as well as how one can be part of these adventures.

– CURRENT EVENTS

My Hero is You: How kids can fight COVID-19!
By Helen Patuck

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings has released a story book that helps children understand and deal with the coronavirus outbreak. It is the joint effort of over 50 humanitarian organisations, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and Save the Children. Aided by Patuck’s lively illustrations, it explains to children how they can protect themselves and loved ones, and manage difficult emotions.

Download the book for free in English and various language translations here.

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