From Suchita Malik’s The Nest of the Recluse to Vaasanthi Sundaram’s Rajinikanth

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We love stories, and even in the age of Netflix-and-chill, there’s nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption — whether curled up in bed, in your favourite coffeehouse, or that long (and tiresome) commute to work. Every week, we’ll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure. Get them wherever you get your books — the friendly neighbourhood bookseller, e-retail website, chain store — and in whatever form you prefer. Happy reading!


The Eminently Forgettable Life of Mrs Pankajam
By Meera Rajagopalan
Hachette India | Rs 399 | 200 pages

Author Meera Rajagopalan’s novel follows Mrs S Pankajam, who has always lived two lives: a fulfilling one as a wife and mother, and the other one of desires that only her mind knows about. When she starts losing her memory, her doctor recommends she keep a diary. As she starts writing, she finds that her childhood keeps rearing itself as she tries to document her present.

The Oracle of Karuthupuzha: A Novel
By Manu Bhattathiri
Aleph Book Company | Rs 699 | 320 pages

Writer Manu Bhattathiri’s novel is set in the town Karuthupuzha, where Nareshan sells milk to the inhabitants until his daughter Sarasu is possessed by the demon-god Chaathan. Faithful now come to visit and receive blessings. The sceptics believe this is a ploy to make money. When the rich widow Ponnamma comes to seek help for her son Nanu, the fate of Nareshan and his family is set to change forever.

Ghosts in Our Backyard: The Ramsays’ real-life encounters with the supernatural
By Alisha ‘Priti’ Kirpalani
HarperCollins India | Rs 299 | 200 pages

Writer Alisha Kirpalani tells the story of the Ramsays, India’s first family of horror, synonymous with gore and the supernatural. Through their series and films, they introduced the country to churails, ghouls, and ghosts. But behind the production and sets was a more sinister story. For the Ramsays, the supernatural didn’t just stick to the screen; it creeped into their lives too.

The Nest of the Recluse
By Suchita Malik
Rupa Publications | Rs 295 | 288 pages

Author Suchita Malik’s novel follows five characters who are tangled in complex relationships that make them break away from routine and seek refuge in art, spiritualism, travel, and more. Shubhojit is living in a hut, exploring a rural way of life. Yashodhra, his wife, finds peace in travelling. There’s also Manidhar, who caused a ripple in all their lives, and their children Neelakshi and Hemant, who are trying to grapple with their own lives.


Rajinikanth: A Life
By Vaasanthi Sundaram
Aleph Book Company | Rs 699 | 280 pages

Writer Vaasanthi Sundaram presents a biography of Rajnikanth, born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, who went from working as a coolie and bus conductor in Bangalore to a superstar who defies all conventional analyses. With over 150 films to his name, the devotion of his fans hasn’t waned in the 40-odd years of his stardom. Over time, he has emerged as a ‘thalaivar’ or leader, and is worshipped by many as if he were their god.


Age of Anxiety: How to Cope
By Amrita Tripathi, Kamna Chhibber
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 399 | 384 pages

Writer Amrita Tripathi and therapist Kamna Chhibber present a book about anxiety, answering questions like ‘what does it mean when someone says they have anxiety?’ and ‘will I ever get better?’ among others. They distinguish between as temporary and anxiety as a disorder which needs treatment. They also detail what can be done about anxiety, given the global pandemic we’re all living through.


Teaching A Horse to Sing: Tales of Uncommon Sense from India and Elsewhere
By Delshad Karanjia
Aleph Book Company | Rs 699 | 364 pages

Journalist Delshad Karanjia retells some of the best-known stories featuring characters like Akbar and Birbal, Krishnadeva Raya and Tenali Raman, Vikram and Vetal, and Mullah Nasruddin, among others from around the world.


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