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5 out of 6 books from Penguin are in the run for The Booker Prize 2022!

We have just been updated that we have 5 out of 6 books from Penguin have been shortlisted for The Booker Prize 2022! The winner will be announced at the Roundhouse in London on October 17, 2022. Stay tuned! 

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

Booker Prize 2022!
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Booker Prize 2022 shortlist

Colombo, 1990. Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler and closet gay, has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time when scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghouls and ghosts who cluster around him can attest. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka. Ten years after his prizewinning novel Chinaman established him as one of Sri Lanka’s foremost authors, Karunatilaka is back with a rip-roaring epic, full of mordant wit and disturbing truths.

 

 

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Booker Prize 2022 shortlist
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Booker Prize 2022 shortlist

It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him – and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church.

The long-awaited new work from the author of FosterSmall Things Like These is an unforgettable story of hope, quiet heroism and tenderness.

 

 

 

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

Booker Prize 2022 shortlist
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Booker Prize 2022 shortlist

Glory is an energy burst, an exhilarating joyride. It is the story of an uprising, told by a bold, vivid chorus of animal voices that helps us see our human world more clearly. It tells the story of a country seemingly trapped in a cycle as old as time. And yet, as it unveils the myriad tricks required to uphold the illusion of absolute power, it reminds us that the glory of tyranny only lasts as long as its victims are willing to let it. History can be stopped in a moment. With the return of a long-lost daughter, a #freefairncredibleelection, a turning tide — even a single bullet.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Booker Prize 2022 shortlist
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Booker Prize 2022 shortlist

Oh William! captures the joy and sorrow of watching children grow up and start families of their own; of discovering family secrets, late in life, that alter everything we think we know about those closest to us; and the way people live and love, against all odds. At the heart of this story is the unforgettable, indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who once again offers a profound, lasting reflection on the mystery of existence. ‘This is the way of life,’ Lucy says. ‘The many things we do not know until it is too late.’

 

 

 

The Trees by Percival Everett 

Booker Prize 2022 shortlist
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Booker Prize 2022 shortlist

An uncanny literary thriller addressing the painful legacy of lynching in the US, by the author of TelephonePercival Everett’s The Trees is a page-turner that opens with a series of brutal murders in the rural town of Money, Mississippi. The murders present a puzzle, for at each crime scene there is a second dead body: that of a man who resembles Emmett Till. As the bodies pile up, the MBI detectives seek answers from a local root doctor who has been documenting every lynching in the country for years, uncovering a history that refuses to be buried. In this bold, provocative book, Everett takes direct aim at racism and police violence, and does so in a fast-paced style that ensures the reader can’t look away. The Trees is an enormously powerful novel of lasting importance from an author with his finger on America’s pulse.

Must read JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

The JCB Prize for Literature has just unveiled its 2022 Longlist and we have three books in the run. Shortlist to be announced on 7th October 2022. Stay Tuned! 

 

 

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell

Tomb of sand JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 
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JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

In northern India, an eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband, and then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a transgender person – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two.

To her family’s consternation, Ma insists on travelling to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

Rather than respond to tragedy with seriousness, Geetanjali Shree’s playful tone and exuberant wordplay results in a book that is engaging, funny, and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders.

 

 

 

The Odd Book of Baby Names by Anees Salim

The odd book of baby names JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 
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JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

Can a life be like a jigsaw puzzle, pieces waiting to be conjoined? Like a game of hide-and-seek? Like playing statues? Can memories have colour? Can the sins of the father survive his descendants?
In a family – is it a family if they don’t know it? – that does not rely on the weakness of memory runs a strange register of names. The odd book of baby names has been custom-made on palace stationery for the patriarch, an eccentric king, one of the last kings of India, who dutifully records in it the name of his every offspring. As he bitterly draws his final breaths, eight of his one hundred rumoured children trace the savage lies of their father and reckon with the burdens of their lineage.
Layered with multiple perspectives and cadences, each tale recounted in sharp, tantalizing vignettes, this is a rich tapestry of narratives and a kaleidoscopic journey into the dysfunctional heart of the Indian family. Written with the lightness of comedy and the seriousness of tragedy, the playfulness of an inventive riddle and the intellectual heft of a philosophical undertaking, The Odd Book of Baby Names is Salim’s most ambitious novel yet.

 

Rohzin by Rahman Abbas

Rohzin
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JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

Mumbai was almost submerged on the fatal noon of 26 July 2005, when the merciless downpour and cloudburst had spread utter darkness and horror in the heart of the city. River Mithi was inundated, and the sea was furious. At this hour of torturous gloom, Rohzin begins declaring in the first line that it was the last day in the life of two lovers, Asrar and Hina.

The arc of the novel studies various aspects of human emotions, especially love, longing and sexuality as sublime expressions. The emotions are examined, so is love as well as the absence of it, through a gamut of characters and their interrelated lives: Asrar’s relationship with his teacher, Ms Jamila, a prostitute named Shanti and, later, with Hina; Hina’s classmate Vidhi’s relations with her lover and others; Hina’s father Yusuf’s love for Aymal; Vanu’s indulgence in prostitutes.

Rohzin dwells on the plane of an imagination that takes readers on a unique journey across the city of Mumbai, a highly intriguing character in its own right.

Trying to land your dream job? Think out of the box with Get Job Ready!

“A jack of all and master of none” is a quote that all of us are familiar with, but a majority of people do not know that the original quote is longer.

“A jack of all and master of none is still better than a master of one.”

Interesting isn’t it? When we pursue our academic dreams and try to land that dream job, extra-curricular activities often take a backseat. Here’s why you need to think out of the box to Get Job Ready!

Extracurricular activities help you go the extra mile

Your participation in extracurricular activities can help build your resume and land an internship or job in the future. While in college, extracurricular activities are amazing avenues to build core employability skills. Extracurricular activities are activities that fall outside of your regular academic work. In addition to helping you build necessary skills, extracurricular activities offer additional benefits. They can expand your thinking and perspective, increase your self-confidence, and build a network of friends. There is no one best extracurricular activity. What is best for you may be different from what is best for your classmate.

How to pick an extracurricular activity

Find an activity that you can enjoy and that helps you grow. A number of research studies have shown that students who participate in extracurricular activities perform better academically. Here are a few examples of extracurricular activities to help showcase and develop your employability skills:

  • Leadership in student government
  • Visual and performing arts participation
  • Community service volunteering or leadership
  • Academic clubs
  • Clubs representing professions and associations
  • Participation, awards, or outstanding achievements in hobbies and special interests
  • Tutoring experience
  • Sports-Team member, captain, or coach
  • Research projects
  • Leadership or other participation in on-campus media
Get Job Ready
Get Job Ready||Vasu Eda

Don’t hesitate to use your extracurricular activities to highlight your accomplishments and to illustrate your successes. Have you started an on-campus club, or had a significant role in one? Do your extracurriculars involve skills such as leadership as head of a club, managing events, marketing, writing, website design and development, creating policies, such as in student government, or research projects? Are you on a cricket, racquetball, badminton, or soccer team? Are you the captain of a team? Do you coach younger students? Do you have significant responsibility for taking care of a family member? All these skills can be important in a professional environment and can impress an employer.

 

If there’s an area that you want to be involved in or a leadership role that you want to take on, and the opportunity doesn’t exist on-campus, then create it. This will show future employers that you can take initiative, are a creative thinker, and a leader, and are not afraid to take on a challenge.

Grab your copy of Get Job Ready and get expert guidance on how to land your dream job straight out of college!

 

Leaders and Legacies: Understanding the connect with Leadership To Last

Have you ever wondered what inspires the most iconic leaders you know today to build empires and legacies that last for decades?

Leadership To Last
Leadership To Last||Geoffrey Jones, Tarun Khanna

Leadership is multifaceted and multi-dimensional. It is not a linear function: it exists and thrives in every aspect of a leaders’ life, be it personal or professional. In Leadership to Last by Tarun Khanna and Geoffrey Jones, the lasting aspect of wonderful leaderships that ultimately turn into legacies is highlighted. Through several interviews with leaders, entrepreneurs, and successful visionaries which include the likes of Ratan Tata, Adi Godrej, Shabana Azmi, Ela Bhatt, Seema Aziz, Narayana Murthy, and many more!

What sets Leadership To Last apart from other books that talk about leadership is its diversity in setting and a unique interview-like approach. Through these interviews, you are transported to a completely different world, and it’s almost as if you’re in the same room as the leader you’re reading about!

Emphasizing what makes this a riveting read for people from all walks of life, the co-authors also highlight how the focus of the book is on the long durée. By selecting cases that have led to lasting institutional changes, triggered by individuals over multiple decades, the book brings out what truly helps successful leaderships become long-lasting legacies!

Divided into 7 sections that talk about different factors that help create iconic legacies, Leadership to Last also helps you understand the importance of aspects such as managing families, committing to values, innovating for impact, contesting corruption, challenging gender stereotypes, promoting inclusion, and creating value responsibly.

Finally, the learnings from comprehensive interviews of different leaders are summarized to help you understand their experiences better, while also creating a lasting impact through a skillful writing style.

Learn how great leaders leave legacies behind, and everything in between with Leadership to Last!

Five Traditional Morning Routines to Optimize Your Energy

Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda Cover
Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda||Janesh Vaidya

In a post-pandemic era, your immunity is your only savior. The following five traditional routines to optimize your energy can help you feel energized not just physically, but also mentally. According to Janesh Vaidya’s Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda, the morning is the best time to start a good habit. This is because when we choose good thoughts in the morning, it sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. Moreover, following this, every day can bring in positivity for the rest of the week, and eventually, your entire life will be a cycle of positive energy.

If you’re struggling to find a good morning routine to help you get started, don’t fret! Here are five traditional Ayurveda practices to help you start your day with healthy habits. The following morning routines have been practiced by the traditional Ayurveda practitioners in India, known as Vaidyas. No matter what your presently dominating elements are, you can incorporate them into your morning routine and optimize your energy, both mentally and physically!

 

 

Clear your mind

Physical Practice: When your mind wakes from sleep in the morning, instead of rising, stay in your bed for a couple of minutes, lying in savasana and breathing gently, with eyes closed.

Note: Savasana is the corpse pose in yoga.

Mental Practice: Be grateful for being alive today. Cultivate affirmative thoughts and connect with your positive feelings, contemplating what you would love to do today to fulfill your heart’s wishes.

 

Clean your mouth and your mind

Physical Practice: Brush your teeth and tongue and massage your gums with your index fingers. (If you are following a clean, plant-based diet and you brush your teeth with toothpaste in the evening, you only need to use warm water to clean your teeth in the morning.) If you have any Kapha symptoms, such as mucus congestion in the throat, gargle with warm saline water.

Mental Practice: Look in the mirror with a smile from your heart, seeing a reflection of your good sides. Plan how you can invest your positive energies in the coming hours of the day to find joy and peace in your life, and prepare to greet the people you meet with a smile.

 

Cleanse your esophagus, stomach, and mind

Physical Practice: Practice water therapy or drink herbal tea as prescribed for your Pre-Dominant Element or PDE. For more information on water therapy, you can consult Janesh Vaidya’s website here.

Mental Practice: Sit in a comfortable position, with a focused mind leading to affirmative thoughts. Drink slowly, as if you are eating the water/tea.

 

Eliminate waste particles and toxins from your intestines, and release tension from your belly

Physical Practice: Make a habit of sitting on the toilet for a few minutes in the morning after drinking the water/herbal tea. This routine helps the brain program the excretory organs to eliminate waste matter from the intestines every morning, even for people who have difficulty emptying the bowels regularly

Mental Practice: While sitting on the toilet, try to connect your mind to the bottom of your abdomen by placing your palms over your belly. Inhale, filling the diaphragm until the belly expands to its maximum, then exhale, gently drawing the belly toward the spine.

 

Vitalize your body and mind

Physical Practice: Follow your daily morning exercise/yoga therapy program. You can find specialized yoga programs for your PDE in Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda by Janesh Vaidya.

Mental Practice: When you are on the yoga mat, keep your complete focus inward and observe your body from head to toe while making a rhythmic flow of breath through your inhalations and exhalations.

The morning often brings with itself a set of new opportunities, and according to ancient health practices, the early morning sun rays can heal many illnesses in our system. The sunlight improves Agni, the fire element, which controls the immune power in the body, and the morning sun rejuvenates the brain and supports the production of hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for our mental function.

Follow these five traditional morning routines to optimize your energy throughout the day. For more insights into ayurvedic practices and how they can help your immune system, grab a copy of Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda today!

Investonomy: Your ultimate guide to investing in the stock market

“A good beginning is half the journey.”- Pranjal Kamra

Investonomy by Pranjal Kamra
Investonomy||Pranjal Kamra

 

You’ve heard of the stock market before, and you might even have thought of investing in it. But something has always stopped you, an itch that has always held you back. According to the National Stock Exchange (NSE), there are 1.2 crore active investors in India, a country of 138 crore people, as of 2021. This means that the Indian stock market is severely untapped. Investing, contrary to popular belief, is more than just a numbers game. In fact, investing gives you more insight into human behaviour than any other field. Investonomy is your ultimate guide to investing in the Indian stock market and helping your wealth-creation journey through equity investment!

 

 

Leveraging experience

When it comes to investing, be it in the stock market or otherwise, investors who have been in the game for a long time have the upper hand. Essentially, experience is of paramount importance in the investing world. However, Investonomy can help you bridge this time gap and invest like a pro from day one. Through meaningful insights, it not only explains modern value investing principles but also unveils certain secrets of the stock market. This is something that usually takes years of experience to uncover. Through Investonomy, you can reach your personal wealth goals with ease , regardless of whether or not you’ve invested before!

Understanding popular strategies

Smart investing is crucial to make it big in the stock market. While there are a plethora of investment strategies available for you to choose from, it isn’t as simple as it seems. Understanding popular investment strategies and choosing the most suitable one for your investment goals is a hefty task. Investonomy explains these strategies in detail and helps you make the right pick, effortlessly. Time is money, and with Investonomy, you will be able to chart your investment plan to boost your wealth creation journey!

Decoding the psychology behind investing

The stock market is more than numbers, and smart investing often involves understanding the psychology behind how and why people invest.  Stock market investment is for anyone who has the willingness and patience to learn the art of investing. Unlike in science, there is no fixed formula in stock investment to make profits, nor can you control the key factors to get your desired outcome. Stock market investment is an art that needs to be learnt with experience and knowledge. Hence, you need a comprehensive guide like Investonomy, to help you navigate the complexities of the stock market and help you get the best returns in the long run.

Investonomy is a roadmap to convert your love–hate relationship with the stock market into an unshakeable bond. Get your copy and start your investment journey today!

Leadership or Management? Both. Transform explains why!

Leadership and Management. What comes to your mind when you think about these concepts?

We often read about being successful, but how often do we really think about making the people around us successful? That is exactly what Transform, Chandramouli Venkatesan’s latest and final book talks. It also aims at helping people navigate people management and how intricately it’s connected to being successful professionally, as well as flourishing socially.

The word ‘management’ often has a one-dimensional approach for a majority of people However, Chandramouli explains how it’s irrevocably connected with another aspect of success: good leadership. They are both different sides of the same coin. Managing is the art of impacting people while being involved directly, and leading is the art of impacting people without being directly involved. They are mutually inclusive and even though they can be executed independently, the best results can only be achieved when they are practiced simultaneously.

Catalyst by Chandramouli Venkatesan
Catalyst||Chandramouli Venkatesan

In Catalyst, Chandramouli’s first novel, there was a great emphasis on career management and life management. It had crucial insights about the important strategies and decisions people take to move forward in their respective careers. Catalyst focused on helping people win where it matters- the second half of their careers. Moreover, it also took into account life management, and how success is not limited to professional boundaries. Excelling both personally and professionally is possible.

 

 

 

front cover Get Better at Getting Better
Get Better at Getting Better|| Chandramouli Venkatesan

Get Better at Getting better was the sequel and the second guide in this series, and eloquently talked about improving consistently. While it’s great to be good, you can always be better, and even hack the process of getting better. With a heavy emphasis on improving one’s skills, capabilities, judgements, communication, and decision-making abilities effectively, it talked about how to grow rapidly as a professional and remain relevant.

Getting Better Continuously, Career Management, and Life Management are three out of the four of the author’s pillars when it comes to effective management. They focus on bettering themselves to excel and have an inward approach. However, management and leadership are functions that involve people. Hence these three pillars and their success depend on the fourth and final concept: People Management.

 

Transform book cover
Transform||Chandramouli Venkatesan

Transform, the ultimate guide to lead and manage, is an insightful and interactive read for anyone struggling or striving to be better at being a good leader and manager. By keeping leading and managing as pre-conditions instead of mutually exclusive alternatives, Transform puts into perspective the importance of being good at both. With revelations and key learnings in all four sections, it helps managers who aren’t leaders and leaders who are struggling to be good managers understand how the two are connected through their own experiences.

Transform stands out from the long list of books on people management by facilitating two-way communication instead of a jargon-rich monologue. With exercises to improve self-awareness and steps to create practical action plans, it also takes into account that different things can work for different people. People management is the pillar that supports the other three, and according to Chandramouli, “It is not important whether you are a leader or a manager, what is important is whether you are leading and managing.”

Renew the way you approach success at the workplace and in life and evolve into a more self-aware professional with Transform!

Kalki Koechlin Busting Myths About Pregnancy and Parenthood

Parenthood is a challenging process, no matter who you are. Ask actress Kalki Koechlin! 
In her graphic narrative The Elephant in the Womb, Kalki records the physical, mental, and emotional reckonings that she and her partner had to face, before and after childbirth. While archiving these raw feelings, she manages to bust a lot of myths surrounding pregnancy. Below are some of the many myths that the author dismantles while experiencing childbirth for the first time. 
 

Elephant in the Womb front cover
The Elephant in the Womb||Kalki Koechlin

Myth 1: Miscarriages should not be talked about

Kalki starts her memoir right off the bat with a crucial point: miscarriage is not a matter of shame. It can feel tragic, can trigger grief and depression, but the guilt and shame are aggravated by treating miscarriage itself like a myth. 1 in 4 pregnancies experience a miscarriage, and most women experience this in the first trimester itself. Because most people hush it up and bring up other superstitions like the evil eye, the psychological effects of miscarriage are often felt by the mother, all by herself.    

 

Myth 2: Pregnant women should restrict their movements  

It doesn’t take long for people to change their behaviour around pregnant women, and The Elephant in the Womb describes this in fun, illustrative anecdotes. Once Kalki got pregnant, people around her began treating her like a porcelain doll, ready to break. When in fact, she wanted nothing more than to still hang out with friends and socialize! This myth is harmful especially because pregnant women need exercise in preparation for childbirth. 

 

Myth 3: ‘Standard Procedure’ should be followed  

The medical routines and processes which most expecting mothers are told are ‘standard procedure’, are sometimes myth. With the help of other mothers’ anecdotes, Kalki quickly realizes that she gets to decide how her body should be treated during her pregnancy. From discovering that anomaly scans are not mandatory to choosing both a doula as well as a gynaecologist for advice, Kalki establishes boundaries early on in her pregnancy. Most pregnant women let go of the authority of this process, often falling victim to unnecessary invasive procedures, not knowing that they are most likely to know what is best for their body.  

 

Myth 4: Maternal instinct 

Haven’t we all grown up hearing ‘mommy knows best’? Every mother has experienced being a mother for the first time, which means that making mistakes, looking out for support, having more people involved with the care of the baby is not an option but crucial for the mother’s physical and mental wellness. With postpartum depression being a real issue, it is unfair that women are expected to magically know and take care of all the affairs of the home after such a life-changing event.  

 

The Elephant in the Womb is a unique graphic memoir that creatively expresses the hopes and anxieties of a modern mother in an ever-changing world.  

Must-read books of August

We know that the little ones are busy adoring the blue sky these days turning into purple-pink and are wondering whether to mutter ‘Oh! August is finally here!’ or ‘Aww! It’s only August’. So, taking care of their visual palette, we intend to captivate their attention with our vibrant and colourful covers of our latest releases in August and promise to keep them entertained, engrossed, and ecstatic. The curated list ranges from care to courage, mantra to nostalgia, and struggle to success. It’s time for you to make some space in your bookshelves for these amazing titles.

Here is a list of our recommendations for August.

 

A Giant Leap
A Giant Leap || Thomas Scotto,  Translated by Nakashi Chowdhry

This is one of the books in the One Day Elsewhere series. It’s 20 July 1969. At home, June is waiting for a big event, the biggest of her life: the birth of the baby that’s in her mother’s belly. But in the hospital, on the streets, everyone else is waiting for another big event: a man is about to walk on the Moon.

 

My Father’s Courage
My Father’s Courage || Anne Loyer,  Translated by Nakashi Chowdhry

Aslam helplessly witnesses his father’s arrest: he disobeyed the British authorities by harvesting salt-a heavily taxed item. The boy is assailed with doubt. Why did his father break the law? Why doesn’t sea salt belong to everyone? When he learns that Gandhiji is going to be marching through his village of Jalalpore, Aslam feels hopeful. He is the only one who can oppose the authorities and, maybe, free his father.

 

The Black Tide
The Black Tide || Marie Lenne-Fouquet

Yann, the son of a fisherman in Portsall, loves selling fish at the port with his father. He lays out the ice, puts the fish on it and plays shop. But one day, the sea is very rough. The storm and the wind bring a terrible smell and devastating news: there has been a shipwreck and an oil spill!

 

Shyam, Our Little Krishna
Shyam, Our Little Krishna || Devdutt Pattanaik

In this all-in-one storybook, picture book and colouring book, India’s most-loved mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the story of Krishna, fondly known as Shyam, to a new generation of readers. Told simply in his inimitable style, Shyam, Our Little Krishna is perfect as a read-aloud to acquaint young readers with the beauty, wisdom and love that Krishna embodied. The book is curated with fascinating bite-sized stories, myths and trivia about the young god, and it features over forty playful artworks accompanied by pages dedicated for colouring.

 

How the Earth Got Its Beauty
How the Earth Got Its Beauty || Sudha Murty

Have you ever stopped to marvel at the earth’s beauty: at snow-capped mountains and oceans so deep; at colourful flowers and extraordinary animals? The tale of how such beauty came into existence is a curious one indeed. India’s favourite storyteller brings alive this timeless tale with her inimitable wit and simplicity. Tricked out with enchanting illustrations, this gorgeous chapter book is the ideal introduction for beginners to the world of Sudha Murty.

 

10 Indian Heroes Who Help People Live With Dignity
10 Indian Heroes Who Help People Live With Dignity || Somak Ghoshal

This book tells the stories of ten Indian heroes who have been working in diverse fields to help society’s most vulnerable live a better life–from securing mobility rights for people with disability to abolishing the practice of manual scavenging. While their challenges are different, what they have in common is the desire to see all human beings live a life of dignity. Journalist Somak Ghoshal writes about the below-mentioned women and men who are trying to make the world a more just and equitable place for everyone.

  1. Irom Sharmila Chanu
  2. Aruna Roy
  3. Bezwada Wilson
  4. Medha Patkar
  5. Dr Devi Shetty
  6. Bhanwari Devi
  7. Menaka Guruswamy
  8. Anup Surendranath
  9. Satinath Sarangi
  10. Mahantesh GK

Bringing Back Grandpa

Bringing Back Grandpa || Madhuri Kamat

As his Grandpa gets ill and more confused, Xerxes’ life becomes correspondingly difficult. There are boys at school playing all kinds of mean tricks on him and his mother wants him to excel, as usual-but it is hard when his main ally Grandpa is not himself. How is Xerxes going to cope with the different things people expect of him? Will he make peace in school? And most importantly, can he help Grandpa become better?

 

Let’s Go Time Travelling Again!
Let’s Go Time Travelling Again! || Subhadra Sen Gupta

How did Indian mulmuls make it into Cleopatra’s wardrobe? Who popularized the Mahabharata in households across the country? Did our ancestors really identify Jupiter and Saturn without even a telescope?

Find the answers to these and many other unusual questions about the India of yesterday. Go time travelling through the alleys of history and explore the many occupations that have existed through time-from dancers and playwrights to farmers and doctors. Sift through snapshots of the rich life led by ordinary Indians and discover unexpected titbits about language, food and culture.

Told through portraits of children growing up in the villages, towns and courts of our country, this sequel to the award-winning Let’s Go Time Travelling is a vivid glimpse into our past.

 

A Cello on the Wall
A Cello on the Wall || Adèle Tariel, Translated by Nakashi Chowdhry

On an ordinary afternoon in West Berlin, Charlie discovers a cello that once belonged to his grandmother. His parents had fled East Berlin with this cello many years ago, while Charlie,s grandparents still live on the other side of the wall. But the year is 1989 and revolt rumbles in the streets of Berlin to tear down the wall. This book is another one in the One Day Elsewhere series.

 

Postbox Kashmir
Postbox Kashmir || Divya Arya

Do only Muslims live in Kashmir?

Why do girls in Kashmir do stone pelting?

Whom do they want freedom from?

Can you imagine being confined to the four walls of your home with no internet, no social media?

Are Kashmiris really invisible to the rest of the country?

These are some of the questions two teenagers–Saumya in Delhi and Duaa in Kashmir–asked through letters they exchanged over almost three years.

Framing these letters is the detailed history and commentary provided by Divya Arya, a BBC journalist who asked them to be pen pals, which places their conversations against the backdrop of the political history and turbulent present of Kashmir and India. Postbox Kashmir takes on the challenging task of attempting to portray life in Kashmir from the perspective of the young minds growing inside it and providing a context of understanding for the young generation watching it from the outside.

A walk in the shadow city

When Taran N. Khan first arrived in Kabul in the spring of 2006-five years after the Taliban government was overthrown-she found a city both familiar and unknown. Shadow City is an account of Khan’s expeditions around the city of Kabul, a personal and meditative portrait of a city we know primarily in terms of conflict.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

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In the bluster and immensity of war—the one that began in 2001 and the ones before it—it is easy to forget that Kabul existed 3000 years ago. Years after I arrived, I read a description of the city that seemed to ring true. ‘Like some people, certain cities suffer from amnesia,’ it said. ‘Not that they have no past. Rather, this past, no matter how glorious it may have been, will have left so few reminders, so few architectural vestiges, so few visible traces, that it remains something obscure, if not completely invisible.’ In this ‘amnesiac city’, I found that walking offered a way to exhume history—a kind of bipedal archaeology—as well as an excavation of the present…

Exploring Kabul, I found, required the same principles that help in the reading of mystical Persian poetry, in the relationship between the zahir, or the overt, and the batin, the hidden or implied. This works on the tacit understanding that what is being said is an allegory for what is meant or intended. To talk of the moon, for instance, is to talk of the beloved; to talk of clouds across the moon is to talk of the pain of separated lovers; to talk of walls is to speak of exile. Such wandering leads through circuitous routes to wide vistas of understanding. Like walking through a small gate into a large garden. It is also a useful reminder that in this city, what is seen is often simply one aspect of the truth. What lies behind—the shadow city—is where layers are revealed…

Kabul is an island, or so it appears to the outsider standing on one of its nondescript, potholed streets. It deceives you with its high walls streaked with brown mud, punctuated by steel-topped gates. It hides behind the fine mist of dust that hangs over its streets and homes, so that the city appears as though from the other side of a soft curtain. Like a mirage, a place that is both near and far away…

Shadow City || Taran N. khan

A walk through the history of Kabul would begin where the city itself began—a settlement by a river, at the heart of which is a citadel. Inside the walls of this Bala Hissar, or High Fortress, was a city in itself, with barracks, homes and bazaars. Over time Kabul expanded along the southern bank of the river that flows between the Koh-e-Sher Darwaza and the Koh-e-Asmai. The remains of Kabul’s thick wall radiate over the sprawl of the Sher Darwaza; they are said to date back as far as the fifth century…

Kabul was captured by the Tajik rebel leader Habibullah Kalakani, who was derisively called Bacha-e-Saqao (son of the water carrier) because of his humble roots.16 Kalakani’s reign lasted only nine months. By October 1929, Amanullah’s cousin Nadir Khan had managed to retake Kabul. He was declared king and attempted to introduce more measured reforms. But he also met a bloody end and was assassinated while attending the graduation ceremony of a high school in Kabul. His son Zahir Shah took the throne in 1933. He was to be the last king of Afghanistan, ruling for forty years.

Through these political changes, Kabul continued to spread further on the north bank of the river, with the suburb of Shahr-e- Nau laid out in the 1930s. Its orderly grids of houses, surrounded by gardens and high walls, contrasted with the congested lanes of the Shahr-e-Kohna. Embassies and foreign missions of the nations that were establishing relations with Afghanistan through the 1940s were set up here, beside the residences of Kabul’s upper and middle classes.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, the capital grew steadily, due in part to migration by rural families from the provinces. Walking through its streets, it would have been possible to see houses and shops expanding the city’s edges, spreading to both sides of the Kohe-Asmai, climbing over the slopes of its hills. By the early 1970s, Kabul was the mostly peaceful capital of a small country, home to around half a million people. And then everything changed.


Part reportage and part reflection, Shadow City is an elegiac prose map of Kabul’s hidden spaces-and the cities that we carry within us.

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