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August reads for you!

From stories of hope to the charm of friendships – our bookshelf for this month is all about life, love, companionship, and individual potential. We are sure everyone will have something to take away for those growing TBR piles!

 

Some Sizes Fit All
Some Sizes Fit All || Akhil Gupta

An oft-repeated dictum every time a company fails to replicate its past successes when introducing a new product or entering a new market is that one size does not fit all. Business gurus advise that every new situation, market and environment calls for a fresh approach and requires ‘unlearning’ what one might have learnt elsewhere, even if that had met with great success.

This is a must-read for anyone trying to build a robust and financially sound business.

 

 

 

The Victory Project
The Victory Project || Saurabh Mukherjea, Anupam Gupta

India’s economy has tripled in size over the past twenty years. And yet, the generation that propelled this growth is facing rising levels of stress and depression. Furthermore, the new generation entering the workforce today dreams big but faces a highly competitive work environment. How can both these generations fire on all cylinders and lead fulfilling lives?

The Victory Project is the ultimate guide to surviving and thriving in the professional and social domains, which are increasingly becoming tough, competitive, often cutthroat and deeply political.

 

 

Between Life and Death
Between Life and Death || Dr. Kashyap Patel

Dr Kashyap Patel is a renowned oncologist in the US who works with terminally ill cancer patients. Through him, we meet Harry, who, after a life full of adventure, is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. As he stares death in the face, Harry leans on Dr Patel, an expert in understanding the process of death and dying.

His questions and fears are addressed through the stories of many other patients that Dr Patel has treated-from the young and vivacious to those who had already lived full lives, from patients who could barely afford their rent to those who had been wildly successful.

 

 

 

The Magic of Friendships
The Magic of Friendships || Shubha Vilas

Today, more than ever, friendship has become more important than any other relationship. The warmth and companionship that a good friend can provide is unmatched and each one of us craves for that special friend to whom we can unburden our heart or seek help from in troubled times.

Shubha Vilas discusses, in a simple and straight-forward manner, what is missing in our friendships today and the various scenarios that prevent people from making and maintaining good friends.

 

 

 

 

To You, With Love
To You, With Love || Shravya Bhinder

Right from their childhood, Sahil and Arya have been very different from each other. While Sahil is careless, carefree, ‘new money’ and ‘the brat’, Arya is too sensitive, reserved, shy and not easy to talk to. Slowly and very delicately their story progresses, and in comes love and things begin to take on a golden hue.

However, soon their life begins to unravel. Sahil learns why Arya is so private when the most damning truth about her life is revealed. And as soon as they cross that bridge and move on, another cruel blow threatens to tear them apart.

 

 

 

Running Toward Mystery
Running Toward Mystery || The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi’s profound account of his lifelong journey as a seeker. At its heart is a story of striving for enlightenment, the vital importance of mentors in that search, and of the many remarkable teachers he met along the way, among them the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mother Teresa.

Running Toward Mystery is the beautiful story of a singular life compelled to contemplation, and a riveting narrative of just how exciting that journey can be.

 

 

 

 

You People
You People || Nikita Lalwani

The Pizzeria Vesuvio looks like any other Italian restaurant in London – with a few small differences. The chefs who make the pizza fiorentinas are Sri Lankan, and half the kitchen staff are illegal immigrants.

At the centre is Tuli, the restaurant’s charismatic proprietor and resident Robin Hood, who promises to help anyone in need.  But when Tuli’s guidance leads them all into dangerous territory, and the extent of his mysterious operation unravels, each is faced with an impossible moral choice.

 

 

The Three-Box Solution Playbook
The Three Box Solution Playbook || Vijay Govindrajan, Manish Tangri

Along with Manish Tangri, a corporate dealmaker at Intel, Govindarajan goes deeper into the most crucial box of all: creating the future. Together they provide a repeatable process for companies to create new breakthroughs–from ideation through incubation to scaling.

Full of worksheets, exercises, tools, and examples, The Three-Box Solution Playbook is the guide you and your team need to drive innovation and growth–and continually revitalize your company.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus: Leadership and Recovery (Insight Series)
Coronavirus: Leadership+Recovery || Harvard Business Review

Lead through the crisis and prepare for recovery.

As the Covid-19 pandemic is exacting its toll on the global economy, forward-looking organizations are moving past crisis management and positioning themselves to leap ahead when the worst is over. What should you and your organization be doing now to address today’s unprecedented challenges while laying the foundation needed to emerge stronger?

 

 

 

 

Think Like a Rocket Scientist
Think Like A Rocket Scientist || Ozan Varol

In this accessible and practical book, Ozan Varol reveals nine simple strategies from rocket science that you can use to make your own giant leaps in work and life — whether it’s landing your dream job, accelerating your business, learning a new skill, or creating the next breakthrough product. Today, thinking like a rocket scientist is a necessity. We all encounter complex and unfamiliar problems in our lives. Those who can tackle these problems — without clear guidelines and with the clock ticking — enjoy an extraordinary advantage.

 

 

 

Leading Without Authority
Leading Without Authority || Keith Ferrazzi

The world of work is changing at an unprecedented rate leaving many organisations struggling to cope. At a time when constant innovation, agility, and speed often mean the difference between success and failure, we can no longer afford to waste time navigating the complex bureaucracy present in most companies.

Drawing on a decade of research and over thirty years helping CEOs and senior leaders drive innovation and build high-performing teams Ferrazzi reveals how we can all transform our business and our relationships with the people around us.

 

 

 

The Body
The Body || Bill Bryson

Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.

A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again.

 

 

 

Rodham
Rodham || Curtis Sittenfeld

‘Awfully opinionated for a girl’ is what they call Hillary as she grows up in her Chicago suburb. Smart, diligent, and a bit plain, that’s the general consensus. Then Hillary goes to college, and her star rises. At Yale Law School, she continues to be a leader- and catches the eye of driven, handsome and charismatic Bill. But when he asks her to marry him, Hillary gives him a firm No.

How might things have turned out for them, for America, for the world itself, if Hillary Rodham had really turned down Bill Clinton?

 

 

 

The Authenticity Project
The Authenticity Project || Clare Pooley

Julian Jessop is tired of hiding the deep loneliness he feels. So he begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life.

Leaving the notebook on a table in his friendly neighbourhood café, Julian never expects Monica, the owner, to track him down after finding it. Or that she’ll be inspired to write down her own story.

 

 

 

 

Redhead by the Side of the Road
Redhead by The Side of The Road || Anne Tyler

Micah Mortimer isn’t the most polished person you’ll ever meet. He is content with the steady balance of his life.

But then the order of things starts to tilt. His woman friend Cassia (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a ‘girlfriend’) tells him she’s facing eviction because of a cat. And when a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son, Micah is confronted with another surprise he seems poorly equipped to handle.

 

 

 

Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs – from Delhi to Detroit – Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley
Out-Innovate || Alexandre Lazarow

Startups have changed the world. In the United States, many startups, such as Tesla, Apple, and Amazon, have become household names. The economic value of startups has doubled since 1992 and is projected to double again in the next fifteen years.

For decades, the hot center of this phenomenon has been Silicon Valley. This is changing fast. Thanks to technology, startups can now take root anywhere–and they are, from Delhi to Detroit to Nairobi to Sao Paulo.

With rich and wide-ranging stories of frontier innovators from around the world, Out-Innovate is the new playbook for innovation – wherever it has the potential to happen.

 

 

 

FAKE: Fake Money, Fake Teachers, Fake Assets: How Lies Are Making the Poor and Middle Class Poorer
Fake || Robert Kiyosaki

Robert kiyosaki ― author of the #1 personal finance book of all time ― has built a legacy around simplifying complex and often-confusing subjects like money and investing. He continues to challenge conventional wisdom and asks the questions that will help readers sift through today’s information overload to uncover ways to assess what’s real… and what isn’t. And use truth and facts as a foundation for taking control of their financial lives.

Twelve book recommendations to unshackle the mind | #ReadingSetsYouFree

Some read to escape the burden of their lives, while others read because it is the only way they can face their realities. Whatever be your reason, we can all agree that reading affords us the freedom to be our authentic selves. This August, come celebrate with us as we make our way through twelve books that will help liberate your spirit and mind.

 

India’s Struggle for Independence

India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra, Mridula Mukherjee

This is the first major study to examine every one of the varied strands of the epic struggle for individually and collectively and present it in a new and coherent narrative and analytical framework. Basing themselves on oral and other primary sources and years of research, the authors take the reader through every step of the independence struggle from the abortive Revolt of 1857 to the final victory of 1947. More important while incorporating existing historiographical advances, the book evolves a new and lucid view of the history of the period which will endure.

 

 

My Seditious Heart || Arundhati Roy

My Seditious Heart: Collected Non-Fiction by Arundhati Roy

My Seditious Heart collects the work of a two-decade period when Arundhati Roy devoted herself to the political essay as a way of opening up space for justice, rights and freedoms in an increasingly hostile environment. Taken together, these essays trace her twenty year journey from the Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things to the extraordinary The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Radical and readable, they speak always in defence of the collective, of the individual and of the land, in the face of the destructive logic of financial, social, religious, military and governmental elites.

 

 

 

Train to Pakistan || Khushwant Singh

Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

Khushwant Singh, one of India’s most widely read and celebrated authors, makes his readers share the individual problems of loyalty and responsibility faced by the principal figures in a little village on the frontier between India and Pakistan where the action takes place. In the summer of 1947, a train full of dead Sikhs stirs up a battlefield in the peaceful atmosphere of love and loyalty between the Muslims and the Sikhs. It is then left to Juggat Singh-the village gangster who is in love with a Muslim girl- to redeem himself by saving many Muslim lives in a stirring climax.

 

 

 

 

Republic of Rhetoric || Abhinav Chandrachud

Republic of Rhetoric : Free Speech and the Constitution of India by Abhinav Chandrachud

Exploring socio-political as well as legal history of India, from the British period to the present, this book brings to light the idea of ‘free speech’ or what is popularly known as the freedom expression in the country. Analysing the present law relating to obscenity and free speech, this book will evaluate whether the enactment of the Constitution made a significant difference to the right to free speech in India.Deeply researched, authoritative and anecdotal, Republic of Rhetoric offers arguments that have not been substantially advanced before.

 

Sixteen Stormy Days || Tripudaman Singh

Sixteen Stormy Days by Tripurdaman Singh

Sixteen Stormy Days narrates the riveting story of the First Amendment to the Constitution of India-one of the pivotal events in Indian political and constitutional history, and its first great battle of ideas. Drawing on parliamentary debates, press reports, judicial pronouncements, official correspondence and existing scholarship, the bookchallenges conventional wisdom on iconic figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru, B.R. Ambedkar, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel and Shyama Prasad Mookerji, and lays bare the vast gulf between the liberal promise of India’s Constitution and the authoritarian impulses of her first government.

 

 

Ambedkar’s Preamble || Aakash Singh Rathore

Ambedkar’s Preamble by Aakash Singh Rathore

On 26 January 1950, the Constitution of India was adopted formally and came into effect. Its preamble set out in brief the enlightened values it enshrined and hoped to engender. In a radical shift from mainstream constitutional history, this book establishes Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s irrefutable authorship of the preamble by uncovering the intellectual origins of its six most central concepts-justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, dignity, and nation.

 

 

 

The Man Who Saved India || Hindol Sengupta

The Man Who Saved India by Hindol Sengupta

The Man Who Saved India is a sweeping, magisterial retelling of Sardar Patel’s story. With fiercely detailed and pugnacious anecdotes, Hindol Sengupta brings alive Patel’s determined life of struggle and his furious commitment to keep India safe. Through ravages of a failing body broken by decades of abuse in and outside prison, Patel stands out in this book as the man who, even on his deathbed, worked to save India.

 

 

 

 

 

India’s Most Fearless || Shiv Aroor, Rahul Singh

India’s Most Fearless by Shiv Aroor, Rahul Singh

The book covers fourteen true stories of extraordinary courage and fearlessness, providing a glimpse into the kind of heroism our soldiers display in unthinkably hostile conditions and under grave provocation. The Army major who led the legendary September 2016 surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC; a soldier who killed 11 terrorists in 10 days; a Navy officer who sailed into a treacherous port to rescue hundreds from an exploding war; a bleeding Air Force pilot who found himself flying a jet that had become a screaming fireball, the book narrates their own accounts or of those who were with them in their final moments.

 

 

 

We, The Children of India || Leila Seth

We, the Children of India by Leila Seth

Former Chief Justice Leila Seth makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest reader. What is a democratic republic, why are we secular, what is sovereignty? Believing that it is never too early for young people to learn about the Constitution, she tackles these concepts and explains them in a manner everyone can grasp and enjoy. Accompanied by numerous photographs, captivating and inspiring illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Bindia Thapar, and delightful bits of trivia, We, the Children of India is essential reading for every young citizen.

 

 

 

Fearless || Amneh Sheikh Farooqui, Aziza Ahmad

Fearless by Amneh Sheikh Farooqui, Aziza Ahmad

Through the ages, strong, inspirational women and girls have risen in response to uncertainty and injustice. A timeless call to arms that many like Fatima Jinnah, Asma Jehangir, Sheema Kirmani, Nighat Dad and Malala Yousafzai have always been answering.Demonstrating that one girl can change everything.

Fearless: Stories of Amazing Women from Pakistan chronicles the lives of fifty such incredible women-scientists, lawyers, politicians, activists and artists-who incite hope, inspire action and initiate dialogue. Fiercely bold, this beautifully illustrated book holds up a mirror to South Asians across the world and highlights that their voices are crucial.

 

 

Let’s Go Time Travelling || Subhadra Sen Gupta

Let’s Go Time Travelling by Subhadra Sen Gupta

Go time travelling through the alleys of history and take a tour through the various ages, from Harappa to the Maurayan, Mughal to the British. Through short snapshots and wacky trivia, this book gives you a glimpse into the vibrant culture of India, as you learn about the life and times of kings, queens, viceroys and even ordinary children!

 

 

 

 

 

The Handmaid’s Tale || Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

Commemorate the brave on Kargil Diwas with these eleven books

 

On 26 July every year India remembers its brave heroes of the Kargil war. Today we are bringing to you eleven books that speak of the sacrifices and valour of the Indian Armed Forces.

Vijyant at Kargil || Col. V.N Thapar, Neha Dwivedi

Vijyant at Kargil

Vijyant was twenty-two when he was martyred in the Kargil War, having fought bravely in the crucial battles of Tololing and Knoll. A fourth-generation army officer, he dreamt of serving his country even as a young boy. In this first-ever biography, we learn about his journey to join the Indian Military Academy and the experiences that shaped him into a fine officer. Told by his father and Neha Dwivedi, a martyr’s daughter herself, the anecdotes from his family and close friends come alive, and we have a chance to know the exceptional young man that Vijyant was. His inspiring story provides a rare glimpse into the heart of a brave soldier.

 

1965: Stories from the Second Indo-Pakistan War

On 1 September 1965, Pakistan invaded the Chamb district in Jammu and Kashmir, triggering a series of tank battles, operations and counter-operations. It was only the bravery and well-executed strategic decisions of the soldiers of the Indian Army that countered the very real threat of losing Kashmir to Pakistan. Recounting the battles fought by five different regiments, the narrative reconstructs the events of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, outlining details never revealed before, and remembers its unsung heroes.

Shoot, Dive, Fly: Stories of Grit and Adventure from the Indian Army

SHOOT, DIVE, FLY aims to introduce teenagers to the armed forces and tell them about the perils-the rigours and the challenges-and perks-the thrill and the adventure-of a career in uniform. Ballroom dancing, flying fighter planes, detonating bombs, skinning and eating snakes in times of dire need, and everything else in between-there’s nothing our officers can’t do. Read twenty-one nail-biting stories of daring.

 

The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories

Twenty-one riveting stories about how India’s highest military honour was won. Talking to parents, siblings, children and comrades-in-arms to paint the most vivid character-portraits of these men and their conduct in battle and getting unprecedented access to the Indian Army, Rachna Bisht Rawat takes us to the heart of war, chronicling the tales of twenty-one of India’s bravest soldiers.

 

Kargil: Untold Stories from the War

Rachna Bisht Rawat takes you into the treacherous mountains where some of Indian Army’s bloodiest battles were fought. Interviewing war survivors and martyrs’ families, Rachna Bisht Rawat tells stories of extraordinary human courage, of not just men in uniform but also those who loved them the most. With its gritty stories of incomparable bravery, Kargil is a tribute to the 527 young braves who gave up their lives for us and the many who were ready to do it too.

 

Despatches from Kargil

The Kargil war in the summer of 1999 was a tale of brutality and courage. Here was war in its essence: barren, icy peaks held by a strongly entrenched enemy, and the only way to dislodge the intruders was to climb up in the face of overwhelming fire. By the end of the war many more heroes were added to the list of the nation’s brave. Their exploits in this harrowing battle read like the stuff of legend. In Despatches from Kargil, Srinjoy Chowdhury, who covered the war for the Statesman, recounts what it was like for journalists to battle against deadlines, shellfire–and particularly vicious bedbugs–to transmit their reports.

 

India’s Most Fearless: True Stories of Modern Military Heroes

The book covers fourteen true stories of extraordinary courage and fearlessness, providing a glimpse into the kind of heroism our soldiers display in unthinkably hostile conditions and under grave provocation. The Army major who led the legendary September 2016 surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC; a soldier who killed 11 terrorists in 10 days; a Navy officer who sailed into a treacherous port to rescue hundreds from an exploding war; a bleeding Air Force pilot who found himself flying a jet that had become a screaming fireball, the book narrates their own accounts or of those who were with them in their final moments.

 

India’s Most Fearless 2: Untold Accounts of the Biggest Recent Anti-Terror Operations

First-hand reports of the most riveting anti-terror encounters in the wake of the 2016 surgical strikes, the men who hunted terrorists in a magical Kashmir forest where day turns to night, a pair of young Navy men who gave their all to save their entire submarine crew, the Air Force commando who wouldn’t sleep until he had avenged his buddies, the tax babu who found his soul in a terrifying Special Forces assault on Pakistani terrorists, the highly anticipated sequel to India’s Most Fearless brings you fourteen more stories of astonishing fearlessness,and gets you closer than ever before to the personal bravery that Indian military men display in the line of duty.

 

My Mother is in the Indian Air Force

Rohan thinks his mom is a bit like a a superhero-she flies in to save the day, she loops and swoops between the clouds, she even jumps off planes wearing parachutes! But her job demands that she keep moving from place to place, and Rohan doesn’t want to move again. Not this time. Can he find a way to stay? Read on to find out about the people in the uniform and their families whose big and small acts sacrifices make the Indian air force formidable!

 

My Father is in the Indian Army

Beena’s dad is in the Indian army, which means that when duty calls, he’s got to get going at once. Beena knows her dad’s job is important, but her birthday is coming up. She really, really wants her dad to be at home to celebrate with her. Will he be able to make it back in time?

 

My Sister is in the Indian Navy

Nikky’s sister is in the navy. When her ship is in port, she and Nikky get to do lots of fun things together. Nikky would like to spend more time with his sister, and he doesn’t want her to leave, but he knows that, eventually, her sailing orders will arrive. Read on to find out about the people and their families whose big and small acts of heroism make the Indian navy exemplary!

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We salute our soldiers and their indomitable spirit to serve the nation!

What to read as an introduction to Perumal Murugan’s work

Perumal Murugan’s body of work boasts of several novels, short story collections and poetry anthologies. An author and scholar, Murugan writes in Tamil. His works have not only garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success but also have been translated in many languages.

Here are 6 books by him, that are the perfect introduction to his work.

 

Rising Heat

 

Rising Heat || Perumal Murugan

Murugan’s first novel, which launched a splendid literary career, is a tour de force. Now translated for the first time, it poses powerful questions about the human cost of relentless urbanization in the name of progress.

Young Selvan’s family’s ancestral land has been sold in order to make way for the construction of a housing colony. In the ensuing years, as the pressures of their situation simmer to a boil, Selvan observes his family undergo dramatic shifts in their fortunes as greed and jealousy threaten to overshadow their lives.

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One Part Woman

 

One Part Woman || Perumal Murugan

Kali and Ponna’s efforts to conceive a child have been in vain. Hounded by the taunts and insinuations of others, all their hopes come to converge on the chariot festival in the temple of Ardhanareeswara, the half-female god. Everything hinges on the one night when rules are relaxed and consensual union between any man and woman is sanctioned. This night could end the couple’s suffering and humiliation. But it will also put their marriage to the ultimate test.

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Songs of a Coward: Poems of Exile

 

Songs of a Coward || Perumal Murugan

By turns passionate, elegiac, angry, tender, nightmarish and courageous, the poems in Songs of a Coward weave an exquisite tapestry of rich images and turbulent emotions. Written during a period of immense personal turmoil, these verses are an enduring testament to the resilience of an imagination under siege and the liberating power of words in one’s darkest moments.

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Trial by Silence

 

Trial by Silence || Perumal Murugan

In Trial by Silence-one of two inventive sequels that picks up the story right where One Part Womanends-Kali is determined to punish Ponna for what he believes is an absolute betrayal. But Ponna is equally upset at being forced to atone for something that was not her fault. In the wake of the temple festival, both must now confront harsh new uncertainties in their once idyllic life together.

Trial by Silence was shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Fiction 2019

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A Lonely Harvest

 

A Lonely Heart || Perumal Murugan

In A Lonely Harvest– one of two inventive sequels that pick up the story right where One Part Woman ends -Ponna returns from the temple festival to find that Kali has killed himself in despair. Devastated that he would punish her so cruelly, but constantly haunted by memories of the happiness she once shared with Kali, Ponna must now learn to face the world alone.

A Lonely Harvest was longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 and shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Fiction 2019

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Current Show

 

Current Show || Perumal Murugan

Slick, visceral and startlingly inventive, Current Show unfolds in a manner that simulates rapid cinematic cuts. Murugan’s keen eye and crackling prose plumb the dark underbelly of small-town life, bringing Sathi’s world and entanglements thrillingly to life.

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Curl up with these monsoon reads!

With the monsoon season coming up, there is nothing better than opening your windows and sitting down with a good book and the soothing smell and sound of rain filling your house. Don’t have a good book? We can help you with that, all you have to do is check out the bookshelf below!

An Extraordinary Life

An Extraordinary Life || Sadguru Patil, Mayabhushan Nagvenkar

Over the last two decades, the exploits of one man changed the way mainstream India looked at Goa and the political goings-on in the country’s smallest state. An Extraordinary Life traces the times of Manohar Parrikar through the informed voices of people in his life. His daily battles are brought to the fore as he encounters love and vices, showcasing his rise in politics from the son of a grocery store owner in a nondescript town, a sanghachalak in Mapusa town, an Opposition MLA and leader, to a chief minister (on multiple occasions) and, finally, to a defense minister.

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Goner

Goner || Tazmeen Amna

She’s a young woman trying to deal with the dark and intoxicating side of life with haunting memories of an abusive ex-boyfriend, a broken family, and obvious mental health issues. Finding herself on a consistent downward spiral, she tries to grapple with her incessant attraction to all things that are bad for her, ultimately culminating in the form of a medical emergency.

With no job, months of expensive therapy, and a mystery man in her life will she be able to recover from her embarrassing wastefulness?

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Hunted by the Sky

Hunted by the Sky || Tanaz Bhathena

Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. So when a group of rebel women called the ‘Sisters of the Golden Lotus’ rescue her, take her in and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.

Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army to save his father who is terminally ill. As the chemistry between the two grows undeniably, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance, bringing Gul and Cavas together in a world with secrets deadlier than their own.

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Rising Heat

Rising Heat || Perumal Murugan

Young Selvan’s life is no longer the same. With his family’s ancestral land sold to make way for the construction of a housing colony, his childhood has been denuded. In the ensuing years, as the pressures of their situation simmer to a boil, Selvan observes his family undergo dramatic shifts in their fortunes as greed and jealousy threaten to overshadow their lives.

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Lallan Sweets

Lallan Sweets || Srishti Chaudhary

Tara Taneja lives in the small town of Siyaka, running a Maths Centre and working for Lalaji, her grandfather, at the famous Lallan Sweets. The laddoos sold are made using a secret family recipe that contains a magic ingredient known only to Lalaji. Choosing to retire, Lalaji decides that Lallan Sweets will be earned, devising a quest for his three grandchildren. With the help of her long-time crush and neighbor, Nikku, Tara pursues the quest to battle old secrets, family legacies, and unexpected dangers.

Will this journey bring them together or lead to a bittersweet end?

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Girl, Woman, Other

Girl, Woman, Other || Bernardine Evaristo

Grace is a Victorian orphan dreaming of the mysterious African father she will never meet.

Winsome is a young Windrush bride, recently arrived from Barbados.

Amma is the fierce queen of her 1980s squatters’ palace.

Morgan, who used to be Megan, is blowing up on social media, the newest activist-influencer on the block.

Twelve very different people, mostly black and female, more than a hundred years of change, and one sweeping, vibrant, glorious portrait of contemporary Britain. Bernardine Evaristo presents a gloriously new kind of history for this old country: ever-dynamic, ever-expanding, and utterly irresistible.

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Sex and Vanity

Sex and Vanity || Kevin Kwan

The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon, Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the fiancé of her family’s dreams and the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story. Here’s a daring homage to A Room with a View, a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.

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Yes to Life In Spite Everything

Yes to Life In Spite of Everything || Viktor E. Frankl

Just months after his liberation from Auschwitz, renowned psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl delivered a series of talks revealing the foundations of his life-affirming philosophy. The psychologist, who would soon become world-famous, explained his thoughts on meaning, resilience, and his conviction that every crisis contains an opportunity. Despite the unspeakable horrors in the camp, Frankl learned from his fellow inmates that it is always possible to say ‘yes to life’ – a profound and timeless lesson for us all.

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Always Day One

Always Day One || Alex Kantrowitz

At Amazon, ‘Day One’ is code for inventing like a startup with little regard for legacy. Day Two is, in Jeff Bezos’s own words, ‘stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by an excruciating, painful decline, followed by death.’ Through 130 interviews with insiders, from Mark Zuckerberg to hourly workers, top tech journalist Alex Kantrowitz drills down into exactly how each CEO has implemented their own radically innovative culture – and how your business, startup or team can do the same

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A World Without Work

A World Without Work || Daniel Susskind

New technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. In the past, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. In A World Without Work, Daniel Susskind shows why this time really is different. Advances in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk and Susskind argues that machines no longer need to reason like us in order to outperform us.

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The End of October

The End of October || Lawrence Wright

At an internment camp in Indonesia, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When Henry Parsons–microbiologist, epidemiologist–travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi prince and doctor in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city, in this race-against-time thriller that predicted it all.

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Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar

Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar || Oliver Craske

Over eight decades, Ravi Shankar was India’s greatest cultural ambassador who took Indian classical music to the world’s leading concert halls and festivals, charting the map for those who followed. Indian Sun is the first biography of Ravi Shankar. Benefitting from unprecedented access to family archives, Oliver Craske paints a vivid picture of a captivating, restless workaholic, who lived a passionate and extraordinary life – from his childhood in his brother’s dance troupe, through intensive study of the sitar, to his revival of the national music scene; and from the 1950s, a pioneering international career that ultimately made his name synonymous with India.

Authors’ roundup: Mental health recommendations for you!

As we collectively grapple with unprecedented challenges, crises and uncertainties, mental health struggles have become more important to address than ever. In a socially distanced world, it is easy to feel cut-off and lonely. But taking care of ourselves and our minds is priority.

As our most trusted companions, finding the right books can go a long way in us helping ourselves feel better and understand how to take care of ourselves. We reached out to some experts and authors for their recommendations for books that can help us cope with our mental health struggles.

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Seema Hingorrany, Clinical Psychologist/Author/Trauma Expert

 

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Option B || Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

This is a wonderful book for overcoming setbacks and building resilience in these trying times

 

M is for Mindfulness by Carolyn Suzuki

M is for Mindfulness || Carolyn Suzuki

A book I refer to all my clients for introducing children to concepts of mindfulness.

 

My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel

My Age of Anxiety || Scott Stossel

This one is revealing memoir of life with anxiety.

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Anjali Chhabria, Psychiatrist

 

With the world going through a pandemic and a resulting economic crisis, we are going to see a lot of emotional upheaval. Mental health has never been as significant as it is today. It is important that each one of us learns to pick up signs and symptoms of distress in people around us so that we can give them the necessary emotional first aid immediately.

In a time like this, I recommend reading:

Inside a Dark Box by Ritu Vaishnav

Inside a Dark Box || Ritu Vaishnav (Author), Rujuta Thakurdesai (Illustrator)

How to Travel Light by Shreevatsa Nevatia

How to Travel Light || Shreevatsa Nevatia

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Himanjali Sankar, Author and Editor

 

I wouldn’t call my recommendations essential mental health reads as much as stories that have stayed with me, because of the intensely troubled, attractive and sensitively drawn protagonists in each. From the young neurotic woman in the very powerful 1892 short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, to the wild and marvelous Antoinette in Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea – a feminist, anti-colonial response to the representation of the mad woman in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre – to more recent explorations of troubled minds as with Theodore Finch (charming, volatile, wise, yet ultimately unable to help himself in a way that is both tragic and life-affirming) in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are books that are special to me and I would love for everyone I know to read them if they haven’t done so already.

 

All the Bright Places || Jennifer Niven.
Jane Eyre || Charlotte Bronte
Wide Sargasso Sea || Jean Rhys
The Yellow Wall-Paper || Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Nandhika Nambi, Author

 

Gone are the days where mental health was stigmatized, misunderstood, cast aside and ignored. Now, more than ever, we need to be conscious of our mental health and its undeniable importance.

What better way to delve into these pressing problems than through the pages of a book? Read to understand, read to help and read to heal. Here are my recommendations:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down || John Green

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a Tree || Lynda Mullaly Hunt

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story about Anxiety by Sarah Wilson

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story about Anxiety || Sarah Wilson

Straight Jacket by Matthew Todd

Straight Jacket || Matthew Todd

This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets

This Too Shall Pass || Milena Busquets (Author), Valerie Miles (Translator)

Untamed: Stop Pleasing, Start Living by Glennon Doyle

Untamed || Glennon Doyle

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Ritu Vaishnav, Author and Journalist

 

Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh

Fear || Thich Nhat Hanh

This is the book that I turn to whenever I need to find some calm within. The perspective it offers might be great for your mental health too. I tend to gift this one a LOT!

 

How to Travel Light by Shreevatsa Nevatia

How to Travel Light || Shreevatsa Nevatia

This is a memoir about living with bipolar disorder. It talks about both depression and mania. The candour and humour keep it from turning too heavy or intense despite the subject matter.

 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar || Sylvia Plath

This one is dark and disturbing, made even more painful by the fact that its brilliant author died by suicide shortly after it was published. This one is not for everyone, but pick it up if you can handle a hard and gut-wrenching look at the mind’s capacity to torment.

 

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

The Rabbit Listened || Cori Doerrfeld

I would especially recommend this picture book to those who wish to support someone going through a difficult phase. Go ahead and be their rabbit!

 

After the Fall by Dan Santat

After the Fall || Dan Santat

What happened to Humpty Dumpty after his great fall? This beautiful picture book talks about recovering from trauma and getting back on your feet.

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Tazmeen Amna, Author

 

My life in the recent past has been extremely fast-paced. I often find myself experiencing depressive symptoms, or in an emotionally excessive hyper state. Honestly, there is no better way for me to calm myself down and feel good about myself than reading. There are certain books that smell and feel like home- they’re like a warm cup of hot chocolate, like melting marshmallows over a bonfire on a winter night!

My go-to feel-good books are Penguin Classics: Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, David Copperfield.

David Copperfield || Charles Dickens
Great Expectations || Charles Dickens
Little Women || Louisa May Alcott
Pride and Prejudice || Jane Austen

Sometimes, for fun, I read children’s fiction such as Sleepovers by Jacqueline Wilson– that book takes me back to childhood days of sincere friendships and miniscule struggles.

Sleepovers || Jacqueline Wilson (Author) Nick Sharratt (Illustrator)

Contemporary Fiction is always relatable and fun to read too; I am a fan of Namita Gokhale, (Paro: Dreams of Passion, Priya: In Incredible Indyaa), and I love me some Sophie Kinsella (My Not-So-Perfect-Life), and Jojo Moyes. I recently enjoyed Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin too!

Ayesha at Last || Uzma Jalaluddin
Paro || Namita Gokhale
Priya || Namita Gokhale
My Not So Perfect Life || Sophie Kinsella

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Jane De Suza, Author

 

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

A Long Way Down || Nick Hornby

A hilarious, life-affirming book about four people who set out to commit suicide. An incisive look at missed opportunities, being left out and finding others like you.

 

Wild Child and Other Stories by Paro Anand

Wild Child || Paro Anand

Riveting stories about children’s reactions to abuse, loneliness, failure, racism. The story cores down fearlessly to issues that should be discussed with the young.

 

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time || Mark Haddon

A young teen who the world dismisses as autistic, triumphs over his disabilities to find the truth.

 

Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto

Em and the Big Hoom || Jerry Pinto

A brave account of a mother swayed from manic highs to lows.

 

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Here’s our Penguin Pride roundup!

Books see us. Book hear us. Books love us all equally.

We are seen by stories and heard by words.

As we close Pride Month, we decided to look back at the diverse range of stories exploring gender identities, queer experience, sexuality, and love in India.

Here’s our round-up – which we hope will last well beyond June for you!

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The Carpet Weaver

A love forbidden by a death penalty, and a desperate search for a place to call home.

 

The Carpet Weaver|| Nemat Sadat

 

In Afghanistan of 1977, Kanishka Nurzada, the son of a leading carpet seller, falls in love with his friend Maihan, with whom he shares his first kiss at the age of sixteen. Their romance must be kept secret in a nation where the death penalty is meted out to those deemed to be kuni, a derogatory term for gay men.

What follows is an intimate, powerful tale of a young gay man’s struggle to come of age and find love in the face of brutal persecution.

 

Shikhandi and Other ‘Queer’ Tales They Don’t Tell You

What constitutes male and female?

 

Shikhandi and Other Queer Tales They Don’t Tell You|| Devdutt Pattanaik

 

Queerness isn’t only modern, Western or sexual, says mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik.

A closer look at the vast written and oral traditions in Hinduism – some over two thousand years old – will tell you many overlooked tales. There’s Shikhandi, who became a man to satisfy her wife; Mahadeva, who became a woman to deliver his devotee’s child; Chudala, who became a man to enlighten her husband; Samavan, who became the wife of his male friend.

 

The Pregnant King

Blurring lines between men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.

 

The Pregnant King|| Devdutt Pattanaik

 

‘I am not sure that I am a man,’ said Yuvanashva. ‘I have created life outside me as men do. But I have also created life inside me, as women do. What does that make me? Will a body such as mine fetter or free me?’

This is the untold story of Yuvanasha from the Mahabharata, a childless king, who accidentally drinks a magic potion meant to make his queens pregnant and gives birth to a son.

 

Same-sex Love in India

An incontestable history of same-sex love and desire in the Indian subcontinent.

 

Same-sex Love in India|| Ruth Vanita & Saleem Kidwai

 

Covering over 2000 years, from the Mahabharata to the late twentieth century, the book contains excerpts from stories, poems, letters, biographies and histories in fifteen languages. These trace the changing depictions of and debates around same-sex relations, illuminating their social, political and literary contexts; all works of scholarship that will shed new light on Indian culture and society.

 

Facing the Mirror

Hidden, forgotten, distorted, and ultimately triumphant stories of the lesbian experience across India.

 

Facing the Mirror|| Ashwini Sukthankar

 

Going back as far as the 1960s, the book brings to readers a remarkable history that illuminates the blood and the tears, the beauty and the magic of the queer movement in India.

 

Yaraana: Gay Writing from South Asia

True meaning of ‘yaraana’ or male bonding, as an ignored facet of South Asian life and sexuality.

 

Yaraana || Hoshang Merchant

 

From Ashok Row Kavi s autobiographical piece on growing up gay in Bombay to Vikram Seth s brilliantly etched account of a homosexual relationship in The Golden Gate, the stories, poems, plays and prose extracts in this collection cover a range of literary styles, themes and sensibilities.

Apart from the pieces written originally in English, there are works translated from Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and other Indian languages, which speak of the agony and the joy of being a man in love with other men.

 

The Man Who Would Be Queen: Autobiographical Fictions

Personal vignettes of hidden sexuality and love.

 

The Man Who Would Be Queen || Hoshang Merchant

 

In an unflinching autobiography, Hoshang Merchant talks about his encounters with gay and bisexual men and how he was the one who was mostly hurt and betrayed, since none of them had the courage to come out and lived their lives hiding their sexualty. He talks about all his sexual experiences, out of which, some involved love and affection, but some did not.

 

The Truth about Me: A Hijra Life Story

A hijra fighting ridicule, persecution, indignities and violence.

 

The Truth About Me || A. Revathi

 

Revathi was born a boy, but felt and behaved like a girl. In telling her life story, Revathi evokes marvelously the deep unease of being in the wrong body that plagued her from childhood. To be true to herself, to escape the constant violence visited upon her by her family and community, the village-born Revathi ran away to Delhi to join a house of hijras to find a life of dignity.

 

Red Lipstick

Window to a brave new world of a powerful transgender activist.

 

Red Lipstick || Laxmi

 

The world keeps taunting him as girlish but the fact is that, biologically, he is a boy. And, he is always attracted to guys. Is Laxmi both a man and a woman? Or, perhaps, neither a man nor a woman?

Struggling with such existential questions, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, eminent transgender activist, awakens to her true self: She is Laxmi, a hijra. In this fascinating narrative Laxmi unravels her heart to tell the stories of the men–creators, preservers, lovers, benefactors and abusers–in her life.

 

Babyji

A subversive story of sexuality, desire, and seduction.

 

Babyji || Abha Dawesar

 

This is the story of Anamika Sharma, a spirited student growing up in Delhi. At school she is an ace at quantum physics. At home she sneaks off to her parents’ scooter garage to read the Kamasutra.

Before long she has seduced an elegant older divorcée and the family servant, and has caught the eye of a classmate coveted by all the boys. With the world of adulthood dancing before her, Anamika confronts questions that would test someone twice her age.

 

The Three of Us

An intimate exploration of bisexuality, fidelity, infidelity, and sexual passion.

 

The Three of Us || Abha Dawesar

 

When we meet Andre he’s a blank slate: a freshly minted 24-year-old college grad on his first day of work at a Manhattan-based investment bank…Within days he’s seriously boffing the sensuous Nathan, his boss’s boss, and has been seduced by the elegant Sybil, Nathan’s young wife. Before long he’s halfheartedly sleeping with the frumpy office secretary, Martha (eventually getting her pregnant). Along the way he reconnects with levelheaded Madhu, the Indian woman he dated and nearly married in college.

Dawesar creates an intricate, often hilarious story with swift, crisp prose and clean, short sentences which deliver steamy sex scenes, and passages of reflective introspection with equally engaging directness.

 

Hostel Room 131

An irreverently funny and deadpan look at India’s gay subculture.

 

Hostel Room 131 || R. Raj Rao

 

Siddharth, a twenty-three year old Bombay-born guy. His unconventional views make him a very interesting personality. He believes that in Sholay, Jai and Veeru have the hots for each other, rather than for the two heroines. One cold winter day in 1978, Siddharth meets Sudhir in Pune’s Engineering College Hostel and falls in love. In Hostel Room 131, Gaurav and Vivek, a gay pair, decide to help the protagonists fight against homophobia.

 

The Boyfriend

A tragi-comic gay love story from the jumbled up heart of Mumbai.

 

The Boyfriend || R. Raj Rao

 

One Saturday morning in late 1992, Yudi, a forty something gay journalist, has hurried sex with a nineteen-year-old Dalit boy in the Churchgate loo. There is nothing to set this brief encounter apart from numerous others, and Yudi returns to his bachelor’s flat and sex with strangers. But when riots break out in Mumbai, Yudi finds himself worrying about the boy from Churchgate station. He is in love.

Unsentimental and full of dry humour and wit, R Raj Rao examines with unsparing irony the realities of caste, class, religion, masculinity and the gay subculture in India.

 

A Life Apart

An intimate look at dislocation and alienation, outsiders and losers.

 

A Life Apart || Neel Mukherjee

 

A life apart tells two stories. Ritwik, twenty-two and orphaned, escapes from a devastating childhood of abuse in Calcutta to what he considers to be a new world, full of possibilities, in England, where he has a chance to start all over again. But his past, especially the all-consuming relationship with his mother, is a minefield: will Ritwik find the salvation he is looking for?

 

Eleven Ways to Love

A collection of eleven essays showing us that there is no such thing as ‘the love that dare not speak its name’.

 

Eleven Ways to Love || Sreshtha, Sangeeta, Nadika Nadja, Dhrubo Jyoti, et al.

 

People have been telling their love stories for thousands of years. It is the greatest common human experience. And yet, love stories coach us to believe that love is selective, somehow, that it can be boxed in and easily defined.

This is a collection of eleven remarkable essays that widen the frame of reference: transgender romance; body image issues; race relations; disability; polyamory; class differences; queer love; long distance; caste; loneliness; the single life; the bad boy syndrome . . . and so much more.

 

Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West

Same-sex marriage dwells not at the margins but at the heart of culture.

 

Love’s Rite || Ruth Vanita

 

This is the first book to examine the same-sex weddings and same-sex couple suicides reported in India over the last two decades. Ruth Vanita examines these cases in the context of a wide variety of same-sex unions, from 14th century narratives about co-wives who miraculously produce a child together, to 19th century depictions of ritualized unions between women, to marriages between gay men and lesbians arranged over the internet.

Funny Boy

Story of a ‘funny boy’, who prefers dressing as a girl to playing cricket with his brother.

 

Funny Boy || Shyam Selvadurai

 

In the world of his large family – affluent Tamils living in Colombo – Arjie is an oddity. But as he comes to terms with his own homo-sexuality and with the racism of the society in which he lives, Sri Lanka is plunged into civil war as fighting between the army and the Tamil Tigers gradually begins to encroach on the family’s comfortable life. Sporadic acts of violence flare into full scale riots and lead, ultimately, to tragedy.

 

Cobalt Blue

Rapturous love and fierce heartbreak told with unsparing clarity.

 

Cobalt Blue || Sachin Kundalkar (Author), Jerry Pinto (Translator)

 

A paying guest seems like a win-win proposition to the Joshi family. He’s ready with the rent, he’s willing to lend a hand when he can and he’s happy to listen to Mrs Joshi on the imminent collapse of our culture. But he’s also a man of mystery. He has no last name. He has no family, no friends, no history and no plans for the future. The siblings Tanay and Anuja are smitten by him. He overturns their lives and when he vanishes, he breaks their hearts.

 

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi

An examination and confrontation of our most deeply held stereotypes.

 

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi || Neel Patel

 

In eleven sharp, surprising stories, Neel Patel gives voice to our most deeply held stereotypes and then slowly undermines them. His characters, almost all of whom are first-generation Indian Americans, subvert our expectations that they will sit quietly by. We meet two brothers caught in an elaborate web of envy and loathing; a young gay man who becomes involved with an older man whose secret he could never guess; three women who almost gleefully throw off the pleasant agreeability society asks of them; and, in the final pair of linked stories, a young couple struggling against the devastating force of community gossip.

 

Memory of Light

Desire, distances, loss and same-sex love woven through poetry and melodies.

 

Memory of Light || Ruth Vanita

 

Preparations for King George the Third’s fiftieth birthday gala are in full swing in Lucknow. As poets and performers vie to be part of the show, Chapla Bai, a dazzling courtesan from Kashi, briefly enters this competitive world, and sweeps the poet Nafis Bai off her feet. An irresistible passion takes root, expanding and contracting like a wave of light.

 

Talking of Muskaan

Life, death and secrets – and the young people caught in-between.

 

Talking of Muskaan || HImanjali Sankar

 

Three classmates—her former best friend Aaliya, the hottie Prateek, and the class topper Subhojoy—talk about Muskaan, and themselves. About school, home and the larger world, the school bus and the basketball court; about secrets that become burdens. And through their stories are revealed the twists and turns that drove Muskaan to try to kill herself.

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Which stories spoke to you this month? Share with us by dropping us a line in the comments!

Team Penguin wishes you safety, wellbeing, and pride.

Check in with yourself today through these books

Books and stories are invaluable companions – especially to connect with and accept ourselves on a deeper, rawer level.

Times are challenging, and recent events have brought to the fore a dire need to address mental health concerns that most of us grapple with in silence and solitude. It’s crucial for us and our loved ones to know how to help and cope.

From personal stories to fictional characters that will speak to you and your struggles – scroll down below for a diverse list of books that will help you develop deep insights into your mind and your mental and spiritual health.

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I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier by Shaheen Bhatt

I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier, Shaheen Bhatt

I don’t write about my experiences with depression to defend the legitimacy of my pain. My pain is real; it does not come to me because of my lifestyle, and it is not taken away by my lifestyle.

Unwittingly known as Alia Bhatt’s older sister and diagnosed with depression at the eighteen, this tell-all memoir is an intimate and raw look at the day-to-day experiences of living with depression.

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Battles of the Mind by Anna Chandy

Battles in the Mind, Anna Chandy

Our minds fight battles, trials and tribulations on a daily basis. Anna Chandy, the chair of the Live, Love, Laugh Foundation along with actress Deepika Padukone, shares here a personal story of survival through pain and lows – a story that we all can take away something from. Above all, her story teaches us to hope.

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Death is Not the Answer by Anjali Chhabria

Death is not the Answer, Dr. Anjali Chhabria

Did you know that India is the world’s suicide capital with over 2.6 lakh cases reported every year?

From recognizing covert suicidal intentions to timely interventions – it has become more important than ever to develop insights into the minds of suicidal patients. Psychiatrist Dr. Anjali Chhabria attempts with to help thousands who are questioning the motive of their life, or dealing with grief – as well as people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

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Beating the Blues by Seema Hingorrany

Beating the Blues, Seema Hingorrany

According to a WHO study, a mindboggling 35.9 percent of India suffers from Major Depressive Episodes (MDE). India’s leading clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and trauma researcher Seema Hingorrany provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to treating depression, examining what the term really means, its signs, causes, and symptoms; and some accessible self-help techniques you can adopt to manage it in your day-to-day life.

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On Meditation by Sri M

On Meditation, Sri M

In today’s challenging world, don’t you wish you knew how to quieten your mind and focus on yourself?

Spiritual leader Sri M breaks down the practice of meditation into a simple and easy method that any working man or woman, young or old, can practise in their everyday lives.

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Happy for No Reason by Mandira Bedi

Happy for No Reason, Mandira Bedi

Mandira Bedi is a fitness icon. But behind the six-pack is also a snotty, complaining, can’t-get-out-of-bed-today girl who, in her own way, is still searching for true and unconditional happiness.

In her book, she invites you along on an ongoing discovery of some kind of non-scientific, non-spiritual and as-yet-non-existent formula for finding peace in everything; of how to be happy for no reason.

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How to Travel Light by Shreevatsa Nevatia

How to Travel Light, Shreevatsa Nevatia

Diagnosed as bipolar at twenty-three, a young journalist struggles for a decade, fighting a cycle of depression, and euphoria.

In this candid, stylish journey, we visit diverse former loves and eccentric fellow sufferers; mental health institutions and Benares; his moments with Diana Eck and Deepika Padukone-and reckonings with past wounds.

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The Beauty of Ally My Days by Ruskin Bond

The Beauty of All My Days, Ruskin Bond

 

‘So here I am, delving into the past like Monsieur Poirot, not to solve a mystery, but to try to understand some of the events that have helped define the sort of person I have become.’

India’s most loved storyteller embarks on a self-reflective journey alongside his readers. Each chapter of this memoir is a remembrance of times past, an attempt to resurrect a person or a period or an episode, a reflection on the unpredictability of life. Some paths lead nowhere; others lead to a spring of pure water. Take any path and hope for the best. At least it will lead you out of the shadows.

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The Younger Ones Struggle Too

 

Flyaway Boy by Jane De Suza

Flyaway Boy, Jane De Suza

Spirited and powerfully imaginative, Flyaway Boy is a story about embracing everything that makes you uniquely you.

Kabir doesn’t fit in. Not in the wintry hill town, he lives in, and not in his school, where the lines are always straight. Backed into a corner with no way out, Kabir vanishes. With every adult’s nightmare now coming true, finding this flyaway boy will mean understanding who he really is.

This one is a must-read for every parent to understand, accept, and connect with their child better.

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Inside a Dark Box by Ritu Vaishnav

Inside a Dark Box, Ritu Vaishnav

When you get trapped in darkness, finding your way out can be a long and lonely battle, especially when the war is within your own head. Here’s a peep inside a mind struggling with itself.

Powerfully illustrated and extremely accessible, Inside a Dark Box is a simple book about what depression can feel like.

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The Lies We Tell by Himanjali Sarkar

The Lies We Tell, Himanjali Sankar

 

Seventeen-year-old Irfan Ahmed is handsome, easy-going and deeply in love with his girlfriend, Uma. However, when Uma dumps him for his best friend, Rishi, Irfan’s life begins to unravel. Things haven’t been good at home ever since his sister left. And soon, they get worse.

when a photograph of Uma begins to circulate among their classmates, everyone suspects it’s Irfan taking his revenge on his two erstwhile best friends.

Is Irfan really going out of his mind or is there someone else out there playing games with him?

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Unbroken by Nandhika Nambi

Unbroken, Nandhika Nambi

 

So okay, I’m a monster.

But look what I have to deal with–my brother is a frightened little freak, my father is selfish and ill-tempered, my mother is an ignorant doormat and my friends are just plain irritating. And I’m in a prison surrounded by them all, with nowhere to escape.

But one day, something happens … and suddenly I see what these relationships and people (however annoying) mean to me. I’ve been a monster for such a long time now, I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be human. Is it too late?

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In the end, all these books and characters come together to convey a simple yet strong message – you are seen, and you are not alone. It is okay to reach out. Your mental health matters.

Team Penguin wishes you safety, health and wellbeing.

Yoga Reads for Everyone!

Yoga really has something for everybody. It has a number of benefits for the mind, the body as well as the soul. There have been many books that inform us not only about the practice, its tips and tricks, but also the fascinating story behind all of it.

In celebration of the International Day of Yoga, we’ve put together a list of six books for you and your child that can act as an introduction into the world of yoga, or for improving your knowledge and practice.

 

For you:

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

A contemporary interpretation of the foundational text for the practice of yoga. Patañjali’s Yoga Sutra (second century CE) is the basic text of one of the nine canonical schools of Indian philosophy. In it the legendary author lays down the blueprint for success in yoga, now practiced the world over. Patañjali draws upon many ideas of his time, and the result is a unique work of Indian moral philosophy that has been the foundational text for the practice of yoga since.

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Laughter Yoga

Laughter yoga is a revolutionary idea: simple and profound. A practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter, it is based on scientific studies that have concluded that such laughter offers the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. This comprehensive book by the founder of the laughter yoga club movement, Dr Madan Kataria, tells you what laughter yoga is, how it works, what its benefits are and how you can apply it to everyday life.

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Beyond Asanas

Have you ever wondered how the names for yoga poses came about, inspired from animals, nature, and even sages?
Using thirty carefully researched asanas, yoga teacher Pragya Bhatt draws upon her own yoga practice and research to make a connection between ancient Indian mythology and modern yoga practice in Beyond Asanas.

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The Story of Yoga: From India to the Contemporary World

This comprehensive history sets yoga in its global cultural context for the first time. From arcane religious rituals and medieval body-magic, through muscular Christianity and the British Raj, to the Indian nationalist movement and the arrival of yoga in the twentieth-century West, we discover how the practice reached its present-day ubiquity and how it became embedded in powerful social currents shaping the world’s future, such as digital media, celebrity culture, the stress pandemic and the quest for an authentic identity in the face of unprecedented change.

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For your little one:

Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves Yoga

It is a very busy day at Peppa and George’s playgroup, but they have a very special visitor coming in the afternoon. Miss rabbit is going to teach the children how to calm down and relax with yoga. The children love learning all the different positions… And the parents love picking up their calm children! Read more here.

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Om the Yoga Dog: Fun and Easy Asanas for Happy Kids

 

It’s fun yoga time with Om the Yoga Dog, Prana the Frog and Moksha the Elephant! Learn and master essential asanas like Roaring Lion and Tummy Sandwich, pranayama techniques like Anulom Vilom and meditation exercises like Yoga Nidra.

Books to Read Together, this Father’s Day

Every day is father’s day but let’s be extra nice and make this a super special day for him! Shower him with lots of love and pampering. We believe one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is quality time. How about a lovely evening at home (hello, social distancing!) with a good book to read?

We’ve put together a list of books for you to choose from and enjoy a cozy reading- eve along with your family! There’s something for everyone, even the little ones! Many of these books explore unique relationships with fathers, and all are topics your father might enjoy! Whatever your preference, we’re sure you’ll find something you love.


The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer

Ever since he first read Graham Greene, Pico Iyer has been obsessed by the figure of the writer and by one of the great themes of Greene’s work: what it means to be an outsider. Wherever he has travelled-usually as an outsider himself-Iyer has found reminders of Greene’s life, observed scenes that might have been written by Greene, written stories that recall Greene. Yet, as Iyer recounts the history of his obsession, another phantom image begins to assert itself, one that Iyer had long banished from his inner life-that of his father.

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Red Lipstick by Laxmi

Struggling with existential questions, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, eminent transgender activist, awakens to her true self: She is Laxmi, a hijra. In this fascinating narrative Laxmi unravels her heart to tell the stories of the men-creators, preservers, lovers, benefactors, and abusers-in her life. Racy, unapologetic, dark and exceptionally honest, these stories open a window to a brave new world.

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An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma

Ram Karan, a corrupt official in the Delhi school system, lives in one of the city’s slums with his widowed daughter and his eight-year-old granddaughter. Bumbling, contradictory, sad, Ram is a man corroded by a guilty secret. An Obedient Father takes the reader to an India that is both far away and real – into the mind of a character as tormented, funny, and ambiguous as one of Dostoevsky’s anti-heroes.

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Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik

Among the many hundreds of characters who inhabit the Mahabharata, perhaps the world’s greatest epic and certainly one of the oldest, is Yuvanashva, a childless king, who accidentally drinks a magic potion meant to make his queens pregnant and gives birth to a son. This extraordinary novel is his story.

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We That Are Young by Preti Taneja

Jivan Singh, bastard son, returns to Delhi after fifteen years of exile to find a city on fire with protests and in the grip of drought. On the same day, Devraj, father of Jivan’s childhood playmates, founder of India’s most important company, announces his retirement, demanding daughterly love in exchange for shares. Sita, his youngest child, refuses to play, turning her back on the marriage he has arranged. Her sisters Gargi and Radha must take over the Company and cement their father’s legacy. As they struggle to make their names, a family and an empire begin to unravel.

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? Yuval Noah Harari challenges everything we know about being human in the perfect read for these unprecedented times.

Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us.

In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going.

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Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

We all have an Ikigai. It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meet. Finding your ikigai is easier than you might think. This book will help you work out what your own ikigai really is, and equip you to change your life. You have a purpose in this world: your skills, your interests, your desires and your history have made you the perfect candidate for something. All you have to do is find it.

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Feel Better In 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Feel Better in 5 is the first daily 5-minute plan that is easy to maintain, easy-to-follow and requires only the smallest amount of willpower. Drawing on Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s twenty years of experience and real-life case studies from his GP practice, Feel Better in 5 is your daily plan for a happier, healthier you at no extra cost.

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The Body by Bill Bryson 

Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.

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The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It’s also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology.

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For the little ones:

Looking for the Rainbow by Ruskin Bond

At age eight, Ruskin escapes his jail-like boarding school in the hills and goes to live with his father in Delhi. His time in the capital is filled with books, visits to the cinema, music and walks and conversations with his father—a dream life for a curious and wildly imaginative boy, which turns tragic all too soon.

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In My Heart by Nandana Dev Sen

A very special story to be read with loved ones, In My Heart takes us on a child’s journey of discovering who she really is and where she comes from. Warmly illustrated and deeply felt, this is a fearless and tender celebration of the magical ways in which different kinds of families are born.

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Pops by Balaji Venkataramanan

My name is V. Arun. I am seven years old. My father’s name is Venkatesh. He is very good. He never gets mad at me. He buys me a lot of toys and chocolates… I love My father. That’s a big bluff. Arun has never met his dad. He has only seen his photograph in the wedding album. And he hates him. Then one day, his father comes back.

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My Daddy and theWell by Jerry Pinto

As a child in Goa, Daddy used to jump in a well, to water the bananas. Years later, the bananas are gone. But the pump is there, the well is there, Daddy is there… Splash! The hook books are for very small readers, aged five and above (for being read to) and six and above (for reading independently). written by some of the best-known writers for children, and illustrated in exuberant colour by some of India’s most-loved illustrators. Hawaldar hook is the endearing mascot of the hook books.

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Puffin Classics: Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster

A trustee of the John Grier orphanage has offered to send Judy Abbott to college. The only requirements are that she must write to him every month and that she can never know who he is. Judy’s life at college is a whirlwind of friends, classes, parties and a growing friendship with the handsome Jervis Pendleton. With so much happening in her life, Judy can scarcely stop writing to ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’, or wondering who her mysterious benefactor is…

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Puffin Classics: Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Little Heidi goes to live with her grandfather in his lonely hut high in the Alps and she quickly learns to love her new life. But her strict aunt decides to send her away again to live in the town. Heidi cannot bear being away from the mountains and is determined to return to the happiness of life with her grandfather.

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Where’s Home, Daddy Bear? by Nicola O’Byrne

From the creator of open very carefully, Nicola o’byrne, comes a tender, touching story that voices all the worries a child has about change, and celebrates the loving bond between father and daughter. Making her debut to the Walker list, bestselling author Nicola O’Byrne tells a heartfelt, emotionally true tale inspired by her own experience. Particularly pertinent for children who may be going through some kind of change – whether that be moving to a new house, a new school, or a new country.

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A novel that explores the tragedy of racism in the 1930s and the dramatics of the ‘Great Depression’, Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is a tale that infuses humour and sorrow into a touching story that lives on eternally in the minds of the readers. Set in a town that has its roots in a history of prejudice, violence and hypocrisy, the story follows the lives of Scout and Jem Finch as they come of age and experience the discrimination that floods their society. They watch their father (a lawyer) struggle for the justice of a black man who is charged with the rape of a white girl.

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Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley – but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London.


Let us know which book you pick!