Books of the week: From Shivani's Bhairavi to Isher Judge Ahluwalia’s memoir Breaking Through, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal September 20, 2020 12:10:28 IST
Books of the week: From Shivani's Bhairavi to Isher Judge Ahluwalia’s memoir Breaking Through, 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.

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– FICTION

Bhairavi: The Runaway
By Shivani Gaura Pant; translated by Priyanka Sarkar
Yoda Press and Simon & Schuster India | Rs 399 | 224 pages

A beautiful woman in a dark cave deep within an ancient forest. Who is she and why did she jump from a moving train to land in the biggest cremation ground teeming with Aghori Sadhus? Translated by Priyanka Sarkar, Bhairavi by Padma Shri awardee Gaura Pant, better known as Shivani, tells the story of a woman’s life, choices, and resilience. The book also has a foreword by Shivani’s daughter and scholar Mrinal Pande.

Read more about the book here.

The Heart Asks Pleasure First
By Karuna Ezara Parikh
Pan Macmillan India | Rs 699 | 320 pages

Writer and activist Karuna Ezara Parikh’s debut novel, set in 2001, follows Daya and Aaftab who have just met in a Cardiff park; she’s studying ballet, and he’s practising in a law firm. They fall in love, but he also cannot love because he’s Muslim and there are rules. Set in a world of students, the book delves into migration, Islamophobia, and jihad, love and friendships.

Read more about the book here.

The Phoenix
By Bilal Siddiqi
Penguin Random House India | Rs 299 | 240 pages

Novelist and screenwriter Bilal Siddiqi’s novel follows Aryaman Khanna, ex-intelligence officer, who’s just been released from a Lakshadweep prison after serving time for a botched counterterrorism operation. His wife was attacked before she could publish an exposé about a bioweapon in the newspaper, and he’s now heading to Mumbai in pursuit of her attackers, who are planning an attack on Mumbai on the anniversary of 26/11.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

Breaking Through: A Memoir
By Isher Judge Ahluwalia
Rupa Publications | Rs 395 | 184 pages

Renowned economist and recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Isher Judge Ahluwalia records her life story. Born into a family with 11 children where she was among the first to attend university, she talks about her time as a student and researcher. She also discusses being a young policy economist fighting against the Indian economic orthodoxy, her time leading the think tank ICRIER, and balancing career and family.

Read more about the book here.

Gangster on the Run: The True Story of a Reformed Criminal
By Puja Changoiwala
HarperCollins India | Rs 399 | 296 pages

Journalist and author Puja Changoiwala tells the story of Rahul Jadhav, who took the name Bhiku. Gaining recognition as a tech-savvy criminal who ran his extortion ring over Skype, he soon became one of the most wanted gangsters of his time. After his 2007 arrest, ravaged by alcoholism and drug abuse, his mind was twisted into a near-schizophrenic state. Today, he’s an ultra-marathoner who has covered over 3,000 kilometres.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Rage
By Bob Woodward
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 899 | 480 pages

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward’s book reports on how the Trump presidency has been facing the pandemic, economic disaster, and racial unrest. Through 17 on-the-record interviews with Trump over seven months, he discusses how the president presents a self-portrait. The book also shows how Trump’s key responses to the crises were rooted in the instincts, habits, and the style he developed during his first three years as president.

Read more about the book here.

RAW: A History of India's Covert Operations
By Yatish Yadav
Westland Publications | Rs 799 | 400 pages

Investigative journalist Yatish Yadav’s book presents a comprehensive account of RAW, the Research and Analysis Wing. Through conversations with Indian spies, he offers insight into how operations actually work, mapping the lives and actions of real agents. He talks about India’s spy network, their intelligence gathering, and their role in securing and advancing Indian interests.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Updated Date:

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