Book rack

Chef
Jaspreet Singh

Penguin, 2010, pp 248, Rs 450
Kirpal Singh is returning to Kashmir after 14 years, where he once served as a military chef. Shuttling between the present and the past, the novel exults in culinary delights as it paints a moving portrait of war-scarred Kashmir. Sensuous and evocative, it melds beauty and horror in a brave tale of hope, love and memory.

The Carrie Diaries
Candace Bushnell
HarperCollins, 2010, pp 389, Rs 299
Before ‘Sex and The City’, Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town girl who knew she wanted more. She’s ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. This is the story of how a regular girl learns to think for herself, and evolves into a sharp, insightful writer. Through adventures both audacious and poignant, you’ll see what brings Carrie to New York City, where her new life begins.

Cinema Bhojpuri
Avjit Ghosh
Penguin, 2010, pp 297, Rs 399
Considered garish and crude by some sections of the urban elite, Bhojpuri cinema’s astounding box-office success can only be explained by its overwhelming popularity among the other half of new India. What is it that makes Bhojpuri cinema tick? This book probes the history and themes of this genre that is dismissed too often as Bollywood’s poor cousin.

The Lessons
Naomi Alderman
Penguin, 2010, pp 279, 12.99 pounds
Following the lives of a group of friends, first at university and then years later, when hopes have been shattered, and friends and lovers betrayed, this is a novel about shattered hope, destructive love and dark family secrets.

Memories of a Rolling Stone
Vina Mazumdar
Zubaan, 2010, pp 183, Rs 350
This witty, self-deprecating memoir documents the life of one of the leading figures of the contemporary Indian women’s movement. The author, one of the key researchers and writers of the landmark report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, ‘Towards Equality’, here documents her early life, her gradual politicisation in a household of liberal, educated Bengalis, and her involvement in women’s issues.

Short Takes: Stories From Bangladesh
Tanvir Malik
Frog Books, 2010, pp 136, Rs 150
This collection of short stories takes a long and hard look at all that constitutes the life of a nation that came into existence after a bloody war of liberation. The 18 stories presented are vignettes of life as lived out by citizens in the city of Dhaka.

Autobiography: Rajendra Prasad
Penguin, 2010, pp 602, Rs 499
The memoirs of India’s first President, this is a testimony to Rajendra Prasad’s deep humanity, his unswerving nationalism and belief in democracy. It discusses not only his personal tribulations, but is also an examination of the last years of British colonial rule in India.

The Great Depression of the 40s
Rupa Gulab
Penguin, 2010, pp 215, Rs 250
At 43, Mantra decides to quit her job to experience the pleasure of retirement while she’s still able to walk without a nursing attendant in tow. But to her horror, she has to smooth the wrinkles in her marriage before she can get to work on the ones on her face. A take on mid-life crises and the bizarre ways in which people cope with them!

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