Books of the week: From Meena Kandasamy's Exquisite Cadavers to Taran Khan’s Kabul diary, 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 — 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 Meena Kandasamys Exquisite Cadavers to Taran Khan’s Kabul diary, our picks


Exquisite Cadavers
By Meena Kandasamy
Atlantic Books | Rs 545 | 112 pages

Critically acclaimed writer and activist Meena Kandasamy’s novel Exquisite Cadavers is about a young couple, Karim and Maya, navigating love and a life together in London. They share a home, worry about their finances, binge-watch movies together, and argue continuously. Karim is a young film-maker who carries with him dreams of the Arab Revolution. Maya grapples with a stressful father, an unstable job, a chain-smoking habit and a sudden pregnancy. When Karim’s brother disappears in Tunis and Kabir wants to go looking for him, Maya must make hard choices about her life and future.

Read more about the book here.

Whisper in the Wind
By Venita Coelho
Westland Publications | Rs 399 | 296 pages

Award-winning author and teacher Venita Coelho’s Whisper in the Wind is a gothic novel set in pre-Independence Goa. It follows Jamshed Fali Irani, the heir to a Bombay-based business empire, to Goa in pursuit of his dream of becoming a writer. Struggling to write in a decrepit mansion in the thick of the monsoon, he hears the cries of Alice, a girl wandering in the ruins nearby. She is trying to find her sister Sara, who had gone missing some years ago. As Jamshed promises to help find her, he’s drawn into a world darker than he could have imagined. With his friend Tania, he tries to unravel the mystery behind Sara's disappearance.

Read an interview with the author here.

Gunboat Jack: A Novel
By Timeri N Murari
Aleph Book Company | Rs 499 | 328 pages

Journalist and author Timeri Murari’s latest novel Gunboat Jack is based on the real life of the American boxer, who lived in Bangalore through the 1960s and 1970s. Murari recounts the story of a competition, set in early years of India’s independence, between two of his opponents, an Indian and an Englishman. Lacing more tension onto the outcome of the match is the recent departure of the British. Gunboat Jack agrees to coach the Indian player as he faces off against the stronger, more experienced British player, with much resting on his win.

Read more about the book here.


Shehnaz: A Tragic True Story of Royalty, Glamour and Heartbreak
By Sophia Naz
Penguin Random House India | Rs 599 | 200 pages

Poet and author Sophia Naz repeats the story her mother Shehnaz told her about almost being cast as Anarkali in K Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam. Shehnaz also told her daughter (the writer) about her childhood and being part of the Bhopal royal family, where she led a revolt among the women as they demanded their right to be educated before marriage; her time in Mumbai; an abusive first marriage; a divorce which resulted in her losing custody of both her children; her second marriage to a Pakistani army doctor; and her life following that. The author recounts her mother’s life, passed in grief, and the unhappy reunion she had with her older children.

Read more about the book here.

Shadow City: A Woman Walks Kabul
By Taran N Khan
Penguin Random House India | Rs 599 | 304 pages

Journalist Taran Khan’s debut novel Shadow City is an amalgamation of reporting and reflections of her time in Kabul and its hidden spaces. She arrived in Kabul in 2006, five years after the Taliban had been overthrown. She met with poets, film-makers, and archaeologists, and begins her exploration of the city. Through returning several times, she finds a city quite different from the one she had expected. In Shadow City she portrays the shimmer of this city that most associate primarily with conflict, but with her guiding readers deep into the city, Kabul’s war-fuelled past makes itself felt.

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


The Consumer Revolution: Tipping the Balance of Power
By Naren Nath
SAGE Publishing | Rs 595 | 272 pages

Naren Nath is a business professional who has worked in the high-tech industry for 30 years. In this book, he provides a narrative of revolutions that have made their impact felt since the start of the human civilisation, leading up to what he considers the most impactful of them all — the consumer revolution. It compares consumer demand to nuclear fusion, full of energy, setting off a transfer of power away from traditional institutions. The book discusses the creativity this encourages, and highlights the possible sinister implications if the energy isn’t harnessed correctly. The book is a call to consumers to wield their power, as the highest doctrine of consumer empowerment.

Read more about the book here.

Bridgital Nation: Solving Technology's People Problem
By N Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushothaman
Penguin Random House India | Rs 799 | 344 pages

Natarajan Chandrasekaran is chairman of the board of Tata Sons and Roopa Purushothaman is chief economist at the Tata Group. With a foreword by Ratan Tata, Bridgital Nation presents a vision for the future where technology is being used to aid people’s employment instead of replacing them. It paints the picture of the country in 2030 where India is among the world’s top three economies, and technology and human beings are co-existing in a mutually beneficial ecosystem. The authors survey the country to bring out stories of determination, finding the ideal way of on-ground application of the ‘Bridgital’ approach, which bridges divides like urban and rural, and illiteracy and education, creating and positively impacting millions of jobs in the next few years.

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

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Updated Date: Nov 25, 2019 10:09:56 IST

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