Books of the week: From Kate Elizabeth Russell's My Dark Vanessa to Tejaswini Niranjana’s Musicophilia in Mumbai, 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.


 Books of the week: From Kate Elizabeth Russells My Dark Vanessa to Tejaswini Niranjana’s Musicophilia in Mumbai, our picks


My Dark Vanessa: A Novel
By Kate Elizabeth Russell
HarperCollins | Rs 629 | 384 pages

Writer Kate Elizabeth Russell’s debut novel follows Vanessa Wye who at 15, has an affair with her 42-year-old English teacher Jacob Strane. Several years later in 2017, amid a wave of allegations against powerful men, Strane is accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who also reaches out to Vanessa. Now Vanessa must decide if he was her first love or whether she needs to redefine herself as a rape victim.

Read more about the book here.


From the Trenches: India's top lawyer on his most important cases
By Abhishek Singhvi, with Satyajit Sarna
Juggernaut Books | Available for free because of COVID-19 lockdown | 248 pages

Along with lawyer and writer Satyajit Sarna, lawyer Abhishek Singhvi talks about some of the most important cases he has fought, from the Sabarimala temple case where he argued against the right of women to worship, to Cyrus Mistry against Tata Sons. Through the cases detailed in this book, he discusses issues of freedom of speech, custodial torture, the right to fly the Indian flag, animal rights, and state elections. The book also touches upon larger questions of law and the judiciary in the country.

Read more about the book here.

An Extraordinary Life: A Biography of Manohar Parrikar
By Sadguru Patil and Mayabhushan Nagvenkar
Penguin Random House India | Rs 499 | 256 pages

In An Extraordinary Life, journalists Sadguru Patil and Mayabhushan Nagvenkar detail the life of Manohar Parrikar. An IIT-Bombay alumnus, he changed the mainstream Indian outlook of Goa and greatly impacted the state’s politics. From being the son of a grocery store owner to the defence minister of the country, the book traces his politics and uses the voices of his relatives, friends, bureaucrats, and fellow IIT classmates to bring his life’s story to readers.

Read more about the book here.


Musicophilia in Mumbai: Performing Subjects and the Metropolitan Unconscious
By Tejaswini Niranjana
Duke University Press | Rs 695 | 256 pages

Head of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Tejaswini Niranjana, traces Hindustani classical music in Mumbai throughout the twentieth century, as it transitioned from British colonial power to postcolonial city. She shows how love for music created a collective listening culture, and what she calls 'musicophiliacs', whose form of expression was different from the West. She traces music in the city through historical archives, newspapers, oral histories, and interviews with musicians, critics, students, and instrument makers; and her personal experience as a student of Hindustani classical music.

Read more about the book here.

Animosity at Bay: An Alternative History of the India-Pakistan Relationship, 1947 to 1952
By Pallavi Raghavan
HarperCollins India | Rs 699 | 260 pages

Assistant professor of international relations at Ashoka University, Pallavi Raghavan, references untapped archival material to create a new narrative about the post-Partition state-making experiences. She challenges the existing idea of animosity and the rhetoric of war, showing how Indian and Pakistani relations were cordial for the first five years after Partition. The book examines the No War correspondence and early stages of the Indus Waters negotiations, arguing that such considerations should be included in an analysis of bilateral dialogue.

Read more about the book here.


Gravepyres School for the Recently Deceased
By Anita Roy
Red Panda | Rs 499 | 232 pages

Writer Anita Roy’s debut Young Adult fantasy novel follows Joseph Srinivas, latest transitioner at Gravepyres. The only thing he wants to learn is how to get home to his family. Soon he stumbles upon the secret of the Eternal Spring and the majestic vultures who are custodians of ancient knowledge. Together with his friend Mishi he sets off for the Kozitsthereistan mountains. As they embark on the adventure, the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

I Hate my Curly Hair
By Divya Anand
Penguin Random House India | Rs 250 | 40 pages

Writer Divya Anand tells the story of the curly-haired girl who does everything she can to straighten her curls, taking a lead from all the heroines with smooth, silky hair. One day a big bully comes along, and everything changes, leading to a tale of self-acceptance.

Read more about the book here.


The Coronavirus: What you Need to Know about the Global Pandemic
By Dr Swapneil Parikh, Maherra Desai, and Dr Rajesh M Parikh
Penguin Random House India | Rs 299 | 224 pages

Mumbai-based physician Dr Swapneil Parikh, clinical psychologist and medical researcher Maherra Desai, and Director of Medical Research at Jaslok Hospital Dr Rajesh M Parikh’s The Coronavirus addresses the history, evolution, facts and myths around the pandemic. It provides information to help readers understand the virus, and explains its symptoms and how to prepare for and protect against it.

Read more about the book here.

Updated Date: Mar 29, 2020 10:16:14 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.


COVID-19 Information Centre

  • 24 hrs. helpline no. -
  • +91-11-23978046
  • 24 hrs. toll free no. -
  • 1075


  • Active Cases

  • Total Confirmed

  • Cured/Discharged

  • Total DEATHS

*change over the previous day
Data Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India
Updated: Jun 03 (08 AM)
Hospitals & Testing centres


  • Active Cases

  • Total Confirmed

  • Cured/Discharged

  • Total DEATHS

*change over the previous day
Data Source: Johns Hopkins University, U.S. (
Updated: Jun 03 (08 AM)
Hospitals & Testing centres