Books of the week: From Benyamin's Body and Blood, to Bobby Sachdeva’s Once There Was Me — our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal June 21, 2020 09:52:32 IST
Books of the week: From Benyamin's Body and Blood, to Bobby Sachdeva’s Once There Was Me — 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 on 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 Benyamins Body and Blood to Bobby Sachdevas Once There Was Me  our picks

– FICTION

Body and Blood
By Benyamin; translated by Swarup BR
HarperCollins India | Rs 499 | 240 pages

Translated by Swarup BR, award-winning author Benyamin’s novel tells of Midhun's death, after being injured in a hit-and-run, soon dies. His organs are donated and help save several lives. However, his friends Rithu and Ragesh, and lover Sandhya, suspect there’s more. As they delve deeper into the events and the people behind a religious fellowship of which they are all a part, they discover a world of criminally orchestrated accidents and medically induced comas.

Read more about the book here.

Camino Winds
By John Grisham
Hachette India | Rs 399 | 320 pages

Bestselling author John Grisham’s novel follows his Camino Island, with heroine Mercer Mann. When Hurricane Leo threatens Camino Island, most residents quickly flee, but a small group decides to remain. Among them is Bruce Cable. As the hurricane rages, his friend Nelson Kerr, who wrote political thrillers, dies – but the storm doesn’t seem the cause of death; he’d received several blows to the head. As Bruce looks through the manuscript of Nelson’s new novel, he finds shocking things between the lines.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

Once There Was Me: The Extraordinary Life of an Unknown Indian
By Bobby Sachdeva
Pan Macmillan | Rs 450 | 427 pages

Writer Bobby Sachdeva’s memoir tells the story of a life caught repeatedly in the web of communal violence. As a 14-year-old he sees his house burn by the mob of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. He later travels across the US and China, experiencing life unhindered by religious animosity. Then dreaming of an emergent India, he submits a PIL in the Supreme Court for religious entities to distribute their excess income among the downtrodden. And then religious hardliners turn against him.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Breathless: Hunted and Hounded, the Tiger Runs for Life
By Deshdeep Saxena
Manjul Publishing House | Rs 250 | 154 pages

Journalist Deshdeep Saxena’s Breathless is an account of tiger conservation and the global threats they face. It details incidents of tiger killings for body parts, and discusses the government’s environmentally unviable projects, like linking the Ken and Betwa rivers which threatens the Panna Tiger Reserve. As existing jungles witness increasingly lethal fights between tigers for territory, the book stresses on the importance of conservation and further developing existing national parks.

Read more about the book here.

Young Mental Health
By Amrita Tripathi and Meera Haran Alva
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 399 | 256 pages

Journalist Amrita Tripathi and psychotherapist Meera Haran Alva’s book answers questions like ‘How do we talk about Mental Health?’ and ‘Are we having the sometimes-difficult conversations that we need to with our children?’ among others. Through interviews, collecting lived experiences, and storytelling through comics, the book offers insight into what it means to be an adolescent or young adult in India today, and discusses how some important conversations can be approached.

Read more about the book, and an excerpt from the book, here.

The King and the People: Sovereignty and Popular Politics in Mughal Delhi
By Abhishek Kaicker
Oxford University Press India | Rs 1,295 | 376 pages

Assistant Professor of History at the University of California Abhishek Kaicker’s book is an exploration of the relationship between the Mughal emperor and his subjects, challenging the assumption of passively ruled urban masses. The book places ordinary people at the centre of its narrative, offering a fresh perspective on imperial sovereignty, and discusses urban culture and political satire, uncovering a neglected urban population.

Read more about the book here.

– YOUNG ADULTS

Hunted by the Sky
By Tanaz Bhathena
Penguin Random House India | Rs 399 | 384 pages

Author Tanaz Bhathena’s follows Gul, who has spent her life running. In the kingdom of Ambar, girls who have star-shaped birthmarks like the one she does have been disappearing for years. It’s the mark that caused her parents’ murder by King Lohar’s soldiers and drove her into hiding. Until a group of rebel women called Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue and train her in warrior magic. Now she only wants one thing: revenge.

Read more about the book here.

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