2020: Turning a new page

Intriguing debut novels, investigative biographies, sizzling weddings, polemics and polity, myth and history...here's our pick of books to look forward to in 2020
Last Updated 28 December 2019, 19:09 IST

No Straight Thing Was Ever Made

By Urvashi Bahuguna

This book discusses the many facets of living with mental illness — family, physical fatigue, professional impact and romantic relationships, among others. It is a collection of deeply honest essays that shift between personal
narratives and research-driven storytelling.

What's Wrong With You, Karthik?

By Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

Popular cricket writer @sidvee's debut novel is set in an elite Bangalore school. A coming-of-age story that promises to be heartwarming, it has been shortlisted for the 'Restless Books Immigrant Writing Award'.

Hunted by the Sky

By Tanaz Bhathena

This is an adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India -- perhaps the fantasy young adult novel India has been waiting for. 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. Cavas lives in the tenements, and is ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort — a world with deadly secrets.

India’s China Challenge

By Ananth Krishnan

Ananth Krishnan moved to Beijing in 2008, hoping to come away at best with a smattering of the language. His modest plan turned into a decade-long journey, during which he witnessed the country's remarkable rise.

He had a privileged opportunity that few Indians have -- to travel China’s length and breadth and get close to its pulse. One question troubled him. For a country that is perhaps more important than any other to India’s future, why do we know so little about China?

The Vault of Vishnu

By Ashwin Sanghi

A Pallava prince makes his way to a distant land in the north carrying with him secrets that will be the cause of great wars centuries later. Two travellers from China trek southwards searching for the missing pieces of a puzzle that could make their king the mightiest among the mighties. At a remote temple in China, monks worry that thousands of young lives may be lost. And caught up in the storm, a young investigator must race against time to alter the world’s power balance.

Our Hindu Rashtra: What is it and How We Got Here

By Aakar Patel

This book seeks to explore what the idea of Hindu Rashtra is and how it has come to be adopted by India despite having a secular constitution. The book looks at the aspects in which this thinking today engages with the state and the changes that it has produced.

The Women Who Forgot To Invent Facebook And Other Stories

By Nisha Susan

Nisha Susan’s debut is a collection of stories that tap into the rich vein of love, violence, intimacy and strangeness that technology, particularly the Internet, have brought to the lives of Indians. A woman in Mumbai becomes obsessed with a dead woman’s online relics, a writer in Bangalore gets stuck in a strange (and familiar) troll war, a cook in Delhi wonders whether her daughter’s cellphone is making her insane — these are unexpected stories of a country relishing and resisting technology and globalisation.

Why Is My Hair Curly?

By Lakshmy Iyer

This the story of 10-year-old Avantika, adopted at the age of six months. In a family where everybody has sleek, straight hair, she has a headful of unruly curls. Avantika’s preoccupation with her hair serves as a way of exploring genetics and the fabric of a family. This middle-grade chapter book, for 8-12-year-olds, deals with the aches and pains of an adopted child and growing up, in a light-hearted manner.

Insha’Allah Nation: The Glorious Chaos of Pakistan

By Declan Walsh

This book challenges the common perception of Pakistan as a rogue state filled with terrorists by telling the compelling stories of ten extraordinary Pakistanis, offering a fresh, unvarnished, yet upbeat view of Pakistan, subverting Western clichés and portraying the country not just as a land of paradox and danger, but of beauty and delight.

The Tashkent Files: Who Killed Shastri

By Vivek Agnihotri

After defeating Pakistan in the second biggest armed conflict since World War two, the second Prime Minister of independent India Lal Bahadur Shastri arrived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to sign a peace accord with Pakistan.
Hours after signing the peace accord, at 1:32 AM, Shastri died in his dacha. Mysteriously. Few hours later, his official Russian butler and other cooks were arrested by the 9th district of KGB under the suspicion of poisoning Shastri. No post-mortem was done. There was no judicial inquiry ever. It has been fifty years since his death and
we still don’t know the truth.

Destination Wedding

By Diksha Basu

Thirty years after leaving India for a better future in America, Tina and her family head to Delhi for her cousin's great big Indian wedding extravaganza and wonder if they may have got it all wrong... An insider look at celebrity-strewn, diamond-studded, brocade-swathed Indian wedding extravaganzas at a time when real life Indian weddings like the Ambani nuptials are embraced by international media.

Camino Winds

By John Grisham

This is the next novel in the bestselling Camino Island series. Set on an idyllic Florida Island with all the classic Grisham ingredients and charm, this is the ultimate beach read for book lovers who like thrillers.

(Published 28 December 2019, 18:51 IST)

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