Books of the week: From Amanthi Harris’ Beautiful Place to The Nepal Nexus by Sudheer Sharma, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal October 27, 2019 09:19:25 IST
Books of the week: From Amanthi Harris’ Beautiful Place to The Nepal Nexus by Sudheer Sharma, our picks
  • We love stories and there is nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption

  • Every Sunday, we will have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure

  • Happy reading!

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 from — 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.

***

Books of the week From Amanthi Harris Beautiful Place to The Nepal Nexus by Sudheer Sharma our picks

– FICTION

Beautiful Place
By Amanthi Harris
Pan Macmillan India | Rs 599 | 372 pages

Author Amanthi Harris tells the story of Padma, a young girl living on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. While still a child, Padma's cunning father Sunny takes her to Gerhardt, — an old Austrian architect who had just moved in to the nearby Villa Hibiscus — in hopes of exploiting her beauty for financial gain. Instead, Gerhardt adopts Padma, pays Sunny to stay away from her until she's grown up, and plans to send her away to university in the future. However, Padma fails her exam and is alone in the city. She returns home, where Gerhardt helps her set up a guest house at Villa Hibiscus. As guests start to arrive, Padma comes close to the prospect of forging new friendships, and exploring new love, until one day, when Sunny comes back to reclaim his daughter.

Read more about the book here.

Not Just Another Story: A Novel
By Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey
Aleph Book Company | Rs 399 | 208 pages

In the year 2009, a Kolkata-based journalist is asked to track down a young woman from Sonagachi, named Lakshmi, who had participated in an award-winning documentary about sex workers and their children. After relentless searches, when the journalist finally finds Lakshmi, she’s surprised to see her striking transformation. She’s now named Anjali — a beautiful, ambitious, and posh escort, who has accepted her reality. The journalist slowly uncovers more of Lakshmi's history, learns about her mother and grandmother, and the events that led them into Asia's largest red-light area. From a village in Bangladesh to a refugee camp in India; from Kolkata’s Sonagachi to the upmarket neighbourhood of Salt Lake, this is the story of three generations of sex workers – Saraju, Malati, and Lakshmi. It is the story of Lakshmi’s struggle to lift herself out of Sonagachi, and define her own life.

Read more about the book here.

Kohinoor Express
By Rensil D’Silva
Westland | Rs 399 | 416 pages

It’s the year 1850, and the Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie has just won the Third Sikh War. He now plans on gifting the Kohinoor to Queen Victoria. But in order to reach England, they must take the route from Punjab to Bombay, which is infamous for bandits. The only person Dalhousie trusts is Captain James Ramsay. Keeping him company on the voyage is his Anglo-Indian mistress, Tara. However, Indian revolutionaries, who are conspiring to waylay the train, know a secret about the diamond that Dalhousie isn’t privy to — the precious stone, in reality, is the 5,000-year-old Syamantaka diamond, known to have belonged to Lord Krishna.

But in order to prevent the stone from leaving Indian shores, the revolutionaries will need to seek help from the country's most notorious bandit, Ajmera. If he agrees to come on board, Ajmera will first have to break out of the terrifying Khoordah prison, then face Ramsay’s men, and above all, Tara's anger, for having left her on their wedding day. Clearly, the path to the Kohinoor is long and perilous for Ajmera.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIR

I Am a Stranger Here Myself: An Unreliable Memoir
By Bhaichand Patel
HarperCollins India | Rs 699 | 272 pages

Journalist, author, lawyer, diplomat, and film critic Bhaichand Patel tells the story of his life, starting with his humble beginnings in Fiji. His tale marks a quintessential example of a self-made person, and through the course of his life, he travels to Mumbai, London, New York, Cairo, Manila, before finally settling in New Delhi. Strewn through these pages are the people that populated his life, including distinguished lawyers, judges, diplomats, journalists, politicians, authors, actors, and directors. Ultimately, Patel underlines his history by divulging the dictum he has lived by: ‘Work hard, party harder.’

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

The Great Game in the Buddhist Himalayas: India and China’s Quest for Strategic Dominance
By Phunchok Stobdan
Penguin Random House India | Rs 599 | 328 pages

Ambassador Phunchok Stobdan is an academic, diplomat, and author, with expertise in foreign policy and national security. He explains the new 'game' being played in the Buddhist Himalayan region between India, China and Tibet, with each vying for strategic dominance with the Buddhist communities. For one, the Doklam stand-off highlighted India’s inability to deal with China through military power alone. If the Dalai Lama returns to Tibet, how will India’s interests in the Himalayas be affected? And if he doesn’t, how will India and China leverage the strife that will likely intensify after the current Dalai Lama’s passing? The Great Game in the Buddhist Himalayas tackles such questions by investigating India-China, India-Tibet, and China-Tibet relationships, and exploring the confluence of politics and sacred influences.

Read more about the book here.

The Nepal Nexus: An Inside Account of the Maoists, the Durbar and New Delhi
By Sudheer Sharma
Penguin Random House India | Rs 699 | 432 pages

Author and journalist Sudheer Sharma presents a comprehensive account of present-day Nepal, tracing its geopolitics and history through the past two decades. During this period, Nepal saw a Maoist revolt, massacre in the palace, an emergency, the royal coup, the Madhes uprising, and the formulation of a new Constitution, making it a decidedly turbulent time for the country. Sharma argues that the Maoist revolt — which ultimately collapsed — played a crucial role in Nepal’s socio-political transformation, resulting from oppression, penury, and unemployment. He also looks at the complex interplay between the Maoists, the monarchy (Durbar), and India, understanding how each affected Nepal internally.

Read more about the book here.

— YOUNG READERS

Temple Tales: Secrets and Stories from India’s Sacred Places
By Sudha G Tilak
Hachette India | Rs 299 | 208 pages

Sudha G Tilak takes readers on a journey through India’s temples and the stories they enshrine. From the icy cave that contains secrets of the universe, to the shrine of a divine doctor, these temples are also architectural marvels, celebrating cultural traditions, and legends of gods and demons.

Read more about the book here.

Updated Date:

also read

Ola S1 electric scooter sales close at midnight on 16 September, price rise likely when sales resume
News & Analysis

Ola S1 electric scooter sales close at midnight on 16 September, price rise likely when sales resume

Having received purchase orders worth over Rs 600 crore on the first day of sales commencing, Ola Electric will temporarily stop taking bookings for the Ola S1 and S1 Pro.

Book Review: 'The Great Indian Mathematicians' offers a unique vantage point of India's contribution to the field
India

Book Review: 'The Great Indian Mathematicians' offers a unique vantage point of India's contribution to the field

Tekriwal discusses the decimal ruler found by archaeologists in detail. It is also known as the Mohenjo-Daro ruler because of the place where it was discovered

Abhirup Dhar probes the paranormal in new book Ghost Hunter Gaurav Tiwari
Arts & Culture

Abhirup Dhar probes the paranormal in new book Ghost Hunter Gaurav Tiwari

Dhar tells us about the challenges of approaching such explosive material, Gaurav’s legacy and what he believes about the existence of ghosts.