Winter Reads

Reading Time: 5 minutes

New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANSlife) It’s the perfect time of the year to curl up on the couch with a good read and a coffee. Here’s a list of some of the latest releases to choose from:

I am Onir by Onir with Irene Dhar Malik

This is the memoir of the award-winning filmmaker Onir, whose directorial debut, My Brother… Nikhil (2005), broke new ground in LGBT representation on the Indian silver screen. Onir shares his fascinating journey in this book, where he narrates deeply personal experiences, laying bare the struggles and triumphs that shaped him on his path to success. The book also offers exclusive behind-the-scenes views of the making of some of his most popular films.

Four Chapters (Char Adhyay) by Rabindranath Tagore (trans. Radha Chakravarty)

Rabindranath Tagore’s last novel, and perhaps the most controversial, was Char Adhyay (1934). This new translation, intended for twenty-first-century readers, will bring Tagore’s text to life in a contemporary idiom while evoking the flavour of the story’s historical setting.

The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Poetry – Edited by Jeet Thayil

The Penguin Books of Modern Indian Poets spans over seventy-five years of Indian poetry in English since Independence. It bears witness to the struggle between the desperate regimes of power and the new world clamouring to be born, documenting a movement’s unlikely coming of age. Among the poets included are not only those who live in places other than Indian urban centres, but also in various parts of the world-writers who have never shared a stage together but have more in common than their far-flung locations would suggest. Bridging continents and generations, this volume seeks to expand the definition of “Indianness.” An essential feature of this volume is a set of rare and remarkable portraits by Madhu Kapparath.

Let Me Hijack Your Mind by Alyque Padamsee

In this one-of-its-kind book by the late Alyque Padamsee, he invites us to re-examine and think afresh about some of our most deeply held beliefs, from love, marriage, terrorism, leadership, money, gender, faith, and education. Let Me Hijack Your Mind is Alyque’s parting gift to Indians, exhorting them to throw out the old and embrace new ways of approaching everything, which will lead them towards a more exciting and contented life-and a better society and country.

Rebels Against the Raj by Guha, Ramachandra

Rebels Against the Raj tells the little-known story of seven people who chose to struggle for a country other than their own: foreigners to India who, in the late nineteenth century, arrived to join the freedom movement fighting for independence. This book tells their stories, each rebel motivated by idealism and genuine sacrifice; each connected to Gandhi, though some as acolytes while others were endlessly infuriated by his views; each understanding they would likely face prison sentences for their resistance, and likely live and die in India; each one leaving a profound impact on the region in which they worked, their legacies continuing through the institutions they founded and the generations and individuals they inspired.

Tell Me How to Be by Neel Patel

By turns irreverent and tender, filled with the beats of ’90s R&B, Tell Me How To Be is about our earliest betrayals and the cost of reconciliation. But most of all, it is the love story of a mother and son each trying to figure out how to be in the world.

Bose: The Untold Story – The Definitive Biography by Chandrachur Ghose

Was Bose really a Nazi sympathiser? Knowing very well about the strong public opinion that existed among the political leadership and the intelligentsia in India against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and imperial Japan, why did he risk his own political image by allying with the Axis powers? Bose, this definitive biography, will open a window to many hitherto untold and unknown stories of Subhas Chandra Bose.

A Little Book of India

As India completes 75 years of independence, we bring to you a slice of our beloved country in the words of our favourite author, Ruskin Bond. Drawing on his own memories and impressions of this unique land, he pays homage to the country that has been his home for 84 years. Bond talks fondly about the diverse elements that make up this beautiful land-its rivers and forests, literature and culture, sights, sounds and colours. A Little Book of India is an amalgamation of the physical and spiritual attributes of our homeland, and takes you on a journey filled with nostalgia and devotion.

Brief History of Life by Prosanta Chakrabarty

If you were looking forward to reading an absolutely engaging book on science, here it is. This book opens a window to 4 billion years of 8 million lives that we see on this planet.

Commissioner for Lost Causes by Arun Shourie

A riveting book about Arun Shourie’s many skirmishes with rulers, judges, and journalists; about his being “helicoptered” into journalism, his dismissal, and being inducted back into the Express; about the work that his colleagues and he did, work that was said to have changed the nature of journalism in the country. This book comes with a president, prime ministers, chief ministers, ministers, judges, editors, and many others peppering the pages.

Soli Sorabjee biography by Abhinav Chandrachud

How does a Parsi lawyer, deeply influenced by the principles of Roman Catholicism, fall in love with a Bahai and go on to become the Attorney General of India for a Hindu nationalist BJP government? How does a boy with a broken leg, who studied in a Gujarati medium school and lost his father at the age of 19, go on to mount a heroic defence of the Janata government’s decision to dissolve Congress state legislatures in the Supreme Court in 1977? How does a newspaper columnist who admires Nehru, who criticises the BJP for being “obsessed” with “demolishing mosques” and advises them to replace “Hindutva” with “Bharatva” or “Indianness”, get chosen by Prime Minister Vajpayee to represent the government in the Supreme Court in many cases, including the Ayodhya case? How does a lawyer with a humdrum customs and excise law practice, whose grandfather sold horse-drawn carriages in Bombay, become a UN human rights rapporteur and repeatedly defend the fundamental right to free speech and expression in the Supreme Court of India?

The Woman Robed with the Sun by K.R. Meera (translated by Ministhy)

The novel tells the tale of Jezebel, a young doctor in Kerala, and her struggle against the cruel realities of a patriarchal world-realities that not even her education, resolve, or professional brilliance can shield her from. She finds herself trapped in an unhappy marriage to a man who turns out to be gay-and the novel opens with a twist in her already contentious divorce proceedings.

The Life and Times of George Fernandes by Rahul Ramagundam

This book is a tour de force. It is probably the first definitive biography of George Fernandes. The Life and Times of George Fernandes documents the storey of a man who rose from the streets of Bombay (now Mumbai) to straddle the power corridor. Divided into fifteen chapters, the book traces the course of the Socialist Party in India from its inception in the 1930s to its dissolution into the Janata Party in the late nineteen-seventies. With nineteen-eighty as the dividing line, the book explores India’s post-independence politics. It focuses particularly on a trail of opposition parties that worked to displace the long-ruling Congress Party from its preeminent position.

Do Different: The Untold Dhoni by Joy Bhattacharjya and Amit Sinha

MS Dhoni is one of India’s most iconic sporting figures. The interest around his life and career is always at fever pitch. The thought behind the MSD Compendium is to give the fans of the cricketer a definitive guide to his life in cricket. It aims to capture the best of Mahendra Singh Dhoni the cricketer, along with providing extensive information about his life beyond the game and an insight into the mind of India’s most successful captain, who led India to 3 ICC titles.

Essays and Interviews – Satyajit Ray

An exceptional collection of essays and interviews by Satyajit Ray, selected and edited by Sandip Ray, that opens a window to Satyajit Ray’s life, philosophy, and works.

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–IANS

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