Books of the week: From Malathi Ramachandran's Mandu to Zadie Smith’s Intimations, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal August 04, 2020 17:46:10 IST
Books of the week: From Malathi Ramachandran's Mandu to Zadie Smith’s Intimations, 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

Mandu: The Romance of Roopmati and Baz Bahadur
By Malathi Ramachandran
Niyogi Books India | Rs 395 | 260 pages

Author Malathi Ramachandran’s novel, set in 16th century India, is inspired by the legend of the young sultan Baz Bahadur and the peasant girl Roopmati, who come together because of their love for classical music. Each night in the city of Mandu they sing together, and soon fall in love. But in Agra, Akbar is planning to capture Mandu. Will Baz be able to protect his capital, and the woman he loves?

Read more about the book here.

The Endgame
By S Hussain Zaidi
HarperCollins India | Rs 299 | 240 pages

Crime reporter and author S Hussain Zaidi’s novel follows Shahwas Ali Mirza and Vikrant Singh. Three years ago, they had foiled a terrorist attempt to leak State secrets from a naval server in Lakshadweep. Now, BSF Special Director General Somesh Kumar, who they were tasked with protecting, is murdered. As they follow leads and dig deeper into the tangle, the whole team from Lakshadweep soon finds itself together for a new mission.

Read more about the book here.

The Family Saga: A Novel Set in The Time of Partition
By Narendra Luther
Niyogi Books India | Rs 350 | 236 pages

Author and former civil servant Narendra Luther’s novel follows Ram Lal Khanna, who has built up a lucrative business. One evening, their mansion is torched and daughter killed. Soon after, driven across the border, they start rebuilding their life. The novel traces the story of the family, from Lahore to Delhi and from Amritsar to Berkeley.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

Song of India
By Ruskin Bond
Penguin Random House India | Rs 299 | 128 pages

Author Ruskin Bond details one year of his life in Song of India. As a 16-year-old, he is living with his stepfather and mother in Dehradun. Struggling to begin writing, he tries to journey to England. But as he prepares, the idea of saying goodbye to India looms large. From the longing for familiarity he felt to receiving his first money order and publishing his stories, Bond recalls his year as a teenager.

Read more about the book here.

Partap Singh Kairon: A Visionary
By Gurinder Kairon, M Rajivlochan, Meeta Rajivlochan
Rupa Publications | Rs 595 | 312 pages

Partap Singh Kairon’s son Gurinder Kairon, IAS officer Meeta Rajivlochan and Panjab University professor M Rajivlochan come together to tell the story of the former Chief Minister of Punjab province. Sardar Partap Singh Kairon led Punjab following the Partition, steering it away from confusion and controlling divisive forces, and successfully getting people to work together. A leader with vision, the book also discusses his eventual assassination.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Intimations: Six Essays
By Zadie Smith
Penguin Random House | Rs 299 | 112 pages

Author Zadie Smith’s collection of essays, written during the early months of lockdown, explore ideas and questions prompted by this unprecedented situation. From “What does it mean to submit to a new reality – or to resist it?” and “How do we compare relative sufferings?” to “What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis?” to “When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?”.

Read more about the book here.

Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias
By Pragya Agarwal
Bloomsbury | Rs 440 | 288 pages

Behavioural and data scientist Dr Pragya Agarwal’s book discusses how one’s ‘unintentional’ biases affect the way we communicate and perceive the world. With research, statistics, and stories, it shows the effect of unconscious biases on day-to-day life. The book also discusses scientific theories about the same, and answers questions like “Do our roots for prejudice lie in our evolutionary past?” and “What happens in our brains when we are biased?”, among others.

Read more about the book here.

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