One for the book club

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New Delhi– A book brings up strong emotions and gives you a break from dumb scrolling and screen times. Here are some enriching reads for the weeks ahead.

Only Love Can Hurt Like This

Neither of them expected to fall in love. But sometimes life has other plans.When Wren realises her fiancé is in love with someone else, she thinks her heart will never recover. On the other side of the world, Anders lost his wife four years ago and is still struggling to move on. Wren hopes that spending the summer with her dad and step-family on their farm in Indiana will help her to heal. There, amid the cornfields and fireflies, she and Anders cross paths and their worlds are turned upside-down again. But Wren does not know that Anders is harbouring a secret, and if he acts on any feelings, he has for Wren it will have serious fall-out for everyone. Walking away would hurt Wren more than she can imagine. But, knowing the truth, how can she possibly stay?

The Devil’s Flute Murders

An ingenious and highly atmospheric classic whodunit from Japan’s master of crime. Amid the rubble of post-war Tokyo, inside the grand Tsubaki house, a once-noble family is in mourning. The old viscount Tsubaki, a brooding, troubled composer, has been found dead. When the family gather for a divination to conjure the spirit of their departed patriarch, death visits the house once more, and the brilliant Kosuke Kindaichi is called in to investigate. But before he can get to the truth Kindaichi must uncover the Tsubakis’ most disturbing secrets, while the gruesome murders continue…

Other Peoples Husbands

Sometimes friendship crosses a line . . . A group of close friends, their bonds forged at the nursery gates two decades ago, have celebrated, commiserated and grown together: they thought they all knew each other so well.Until the affair. Now a crack appears in everything.

Could one betrayal really destroy it all?

Much Ado About Nada

Once they were sweethearts, now they’re strangers. Worse than strangers – practically enemies.

But will a chance encounter offer Nada and Baz a second chance at love? Nada Syed is stuck. At twenty-eight, she’s living with her parents and mourning the failure of her start-up baby, which failed because of a double-crossing business partner.

Nada’s best friend Haleema is determined to pry her from her shell – and what better place than at the giant annual Muslim conference? And did Haleema mention that Baz will be there? What Haleema doesn’t know is that Nada and Baz have a secret history. And in their chance encounter at the conference, that history comes hurtling at Nada, bringing a moment of reckoning. Will Nada find a way to let go of the past but hold onto her dreams?

The House of Doors

It is 1921 and at Cassowary House in the Straits Settlements of Penang, Robert Hamlyn is a well-to-do lawyer and his steely wife Lesley a society hostess. Their lives are invigorated when Willie, an old friend of Robert’s, comes to stay.

Willie Somerset Maugham is one of the greatest writers of his day. But he is beleaguered by an unhappy marriage, ill-health and business interests that have gone badly awry. He is also struggling to write. The more Lesley’s friendship with Willie grows, the more clearly she see him as he is – a man who has no choice but to mask his true self.

As Willie prepares to leave and face his demons, Lesley confides secrets of her own, including how she came to know the charismatic Dr Sun Yat Sen, a revolutionary fighting to overthrow the imperial dynasty of China. And more scandalous still, she reveals her connection to the case of an Englishwoman charged with murder in the Kuala Lumpur courts – a tragedy drawn from fact, and worthy of fiction.

From Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Tan Twan Eng, The House of Doors is a masterful novel of public morality and private truth a century ago. Based on real events it is a drama of love and betrayal under the shadow of Empire.

Hello Beautiful

From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward comes a beautifully tender, heartbreaking, and moving story of four sisters over three decades.

Meet the Padvano girls. Best friends and sisters, they are thought of as inseparable by everyone in their close-knit Chicago neighbourhood. Julia, the eldest, is the “rocket” of the family – she always has a destination in mind and clear plans for how to get there. Sylvie, the dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book and imagines a life for herself other than the expected path of wife and mother. Cecelia and Emmeline, the twins, are the artist and the caregiver. From childhood, the four sisters complete each other, expecting that their family will always be intact.

When Julia falls in love with William Walters, a history student and college sports star, she’s delighted by the way her plans for adulthood are coming together. A husband, a house, a family. But when darkness from William’s past begins to block the light of his future, it is Sylvie, not Julia, who steps in to help. Suddenly, things shift. Dynamics and relationships, priorities and secrets – everything that was once a given no longer is.

Rich and vivid, heartbreaking and heart-mending, Hello Beautiful captures the joy, tragedy, trust, and betrayal to ask: what does it mean to be a family? And once shattered, can it be pieced back together?

The Missus

The follow-up to the No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller The Mister, a passionate and thrilling love story from E L James, author of the phenomenal bestselling Fifty Shades Trilogies.

Alessia regards her husband through heavy-lidded eyes.

You’ll have to fight for him. Her mother’s words from their call this morning ring through her head. And fight, she will. Using every available weapon she has. She loves him. She knows this. She wants him.

And she wants him to want her.

What happens once the glass slipper fits…?

Maxim Trevelyan, reluctant Earl of Trevethick, has pursued the woman he loves to the wilds of Albania. Having fought for and won her, he now has to wed her, at the sharp end of a shotgun.

But can a reformed rake like Maxim ever make a good husband – or will his own notorious reputation and the scandalous secrets of his aristocratic family destroy his new-found happiness?

Alessia Demachi has defied and outwitted kidnappers and traffickers, and won the heart of the man she loves, but can she make this marriage work? Confronted by Maxim’s lurid past, his forbidding family, and the looks and whispers of London’s elite, will she ever be seen as Maxim’s countess – or will she always be his former cleaner?

From the majestic mountains of Albania, through the rural idyll of the English countryside, to the shady glamour of contemporary London, The Missus is a spellbinding journey of love, longing, acceptance and redemption.

Summer Reading

Sam set out to spend the summer resurrecting her career as a chef but instead, has to chaperone her half-brother to a robotics competition at the local library.

And naturally, because the universe hates her, the library’s interim director, Ben, turns out to be the Hot Reader Guy whose book she accidentally destroyed on the ferry to the island. Sam doesn’t do reading. Ben doesn’t do romantic relationships. But when Ben inspires Sam to create the cookbook she’s always dreamed about, they discover there might be more than just a creative spark between them.

Will this summer be a recipe for disaster… Or love?

Beach Rivals

One bookshop in paradise. Two bitter rivals. A whole summer to get through…

Clare thought that by now she would have her life figured out. Instead, she’s living with her parents, working a job she hates and has absolutely no idea what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

When she sees a viral job advert for a three-month bookseller position on a Bali beach, she jumps at the chance. But it’s not until she arrives in Bali that Clare realises she won’t be working in the bookshop alone.

Instead she’s sharing the bookshop – and a flat – with a handsome but infuriating American man. Jack is Clare’s opposite in almost every way, and it’s not long before they’re driving each other crazy. But fighting with Jack is also the most fun Clare’s had in years, and it’s only a matter of time before their relationship turns less than professional…Beach Rivals is an escapist, slow-burn enemies-to-lovers rom com – the ideal summer read!

Office Secrets by Harish Bhatt

The corporate masks we wear hide many a secret. The most potent are not the secret financial numbers or confidential strategy documents hidden away in locked drawers or in safes but the simple ones-good filter coffee, generosity and thirty minutes of me-time.

This book offers a selection of fascinating and useful secrets that can help you be far more successful at your workplace. As a bonus, they can make you happier as well. You will find within a range of subjects-whether the best methods of fighting exhaustion, organizing your work desk, the power of listening, why kindness is so important, workplace lessons from Hercule Poirot and what you can learn from the cookies that your colleagues eat.

Harish Bhat wields his pen with his signature insight to delight, inspire, provoke and change the way you see offices forever.

Just FYI, for the second consecutive year, Forbes has ranked Tata group’s brand custodian Harish Bhat as among the top ten most influential CMOs.

Pitchside by Amrit Mathur

In 1992, when BCCI President Madhavrao Scindia handpicked Amrit Mathur as manager of the Indian team on the historic tour of South Africa, he became one of the youngest to hold that position. In the three decades that followed, Mathur transformed into a seasoned cricket administrator working closely with BCCI presidents and state cricket associations. He was involved with shaping the initial plans for the IPL and held a key position with the Delhi Daredevils.

On the many tours and cricket seasons in India and abroad, Mathur kept a diary and detailed notes on the day’s play, as well as of conversations and events off the pitch. He builds on these to show us what happened behind the scenes, allowing us to experience the excitement of play on the ground, as well as dressing-room conversations, team meetings and discussions.

An intimate, insightful, authentic account of some of Indian cricket’s most memorable moments, Pitchside is replete with compelling storytelling and delightful trivia. It evokes nostalgia and laughter, and curiosity about all that has been and all that may be.

Lost Islamic History by Firas Alkhateeb

Over the last 1,400 years, a succession of Muslim polities and empires expanded to control territories and peoples stretching from southern France to East Africa and Southeast Asia. Yet many of the contributions of Muslim thinkers, scientists and theologians, not to mention statesmen and soldiers, have been overlooked. The bestselling Lost Islamic History, now in a new, updated edition, rescues from oblivion a forgotten past, charting its narrative from Muhammad to modern-day nation-states.

From Abbasids and Ottomans to Mughals and West African kings, Firas Alkhateeb sketches key personalities, inventions and historical episodes to show the monumental impact of Islam on global society and culture.

Brooming Brands by Harsh Pamnani


What sparked Ashish Hemrajani’s idea of an online ticketing business, BookMyShow, at a time when Indians had not yet moved their lives online? How did Anupam Mittal’s own experience of finding a life partner lead him to create Why did ‘India’s Pad Man’ Arunachalam Muruganantham get involved with menstrual health? How did the people behind Paper Boat hit upon the secret sauce of childhood memories to connect with customers? What made the founders of Zomato and BYJU’S think that food and education can be delivered to people’s doorstep (or their screens)?

In Booming Brands, Harsh Pamnani shares the journeys of eleven ‘Made in India’ brands that have made their mark in highly competitive markets. This fun, informative read blends business lessons for new-age entrepreneurs with insights into the humans behind these remarkable brands.

Tales from the Puranas and Itihaas by Daaji (Kamlesh Patel)

Prince Yudhishtir who gets his dead brothers back from an enchanted pool, King Trishanku who desired to go to heaven while he was still alive, and the Monkey God Hanuman who learns a lesson in humility. Curious, aren’t you?

These stories and many more form the heart of the Puranas and Itihaas, among the oldest written Hindu texts.

Daaji’s keen curatorial selection brings an array of ancient tales of adventure, quests and wisdom. He engages with the narratives and simplifies the ancient wisdom to make it understandable and at the same time feed the imagination of children and set them on a path to self-discovery.

These stories provide insights into the mind, heart and consciousness of human beings and their relationships with others. They are intended to leave children with life lessons to be cherished through their lives.

This book is an excellent place for young minds to start learning about the fascinating Vedic era with stories that are relevant for anyone who is interested in understand the meaning of life. Accompanied by Gayatri Panchpade’s charming illustrations, this is an easy-to- understand introduction to the otherwise complex world of ancient Hindu scriptures and literature.

India Rising by R. Chidambaram with Suresh Gangotra

INDIA RISING, first book on the life of R. Chidambaram- India’s Nuclear Man, one of India’s foremost scientists.

The book looks at the life of one of India’s foremost scientists, Dr R. Chidambaram, who served as principal scientific advisor (PSA) to the Government of India and as chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee and examines his relationship with the political leadership.

A Padma Vibhushan awardee, he played a leading and integral role in the design and execution of the peaceful Nuclear Explosion experiment at Pokhran in 1974 and led the team of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), which designed the nuclear devices and carried out in cooperation with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) the Pokhran tests in May 1998. During his stewardship of the DAE, the nuclear power programme got a big boost and the capacity of the nuclear power plants increased sharply.

Ruminating about his interactions with the scientific community and the political leadership, Dr Chidambaram describes key events in India’s journey to self-reliance in nuclear energy. India Rising is not only a memoir of one of India’s eminent scientists, but also a fascinating account of India’s ascendance in the world of science and technology.

Identity and Marginality in Northeast India: Challenges for Social Science Research by Hoineilhing Sitlhou (Ed.)

Northeast India is home to numerous ethnic communities. Considered a marginal geographical space, this region is as diverse as India itself in terms of its languages, cultures, and ethnicities. However, the dominant tendency is to conceptualise the Northeast as a singular, homogenous territory, and this problematic construction both implies a shared identity among different ethnic communities and determines the way the region is governed by the Indian state. Identity and Marginality in Northeast India rectifies this construction and highlights the heterogeneity of the different groups and their unique experiences, contestations, and conflicts.

The volume explores the connection of the history of the Northeast to the present issues affecting the region, such as intra- and inter-ethnic conflicts that result in human security concerns, the racism faced by Northeasterners outside the region, discrimination against non-normative sexualities, and state violence in the form of AFSPA. The book inspects how colonial policies transformed internal social relations within the tribal and non-tribal communities and led to a state of marginalisation. This was further reinforced and reproduced in post-Independence India not only through an exclusion from mainstream society, but also through the invisibilisation of Northeasterners in official statistics, state policies, media and research.

The Nilgiri Hills: A Kaleidoscope of People, Culture, and Nature by Paul Hockings (Ed.)

The year 2019 marked the bicentenary of British contact with the indigenous people of the Nilgiri Hills, in south India. This contact was initiated by John Sullivan, a local official from Coimbatore, who over a few years founded the town of Ootacamund from scratch.

Interestingly, and contrary to many accounts of colonial expansion, there is no indication anyone here was harmed by the outsiders, let alone enslaved or killed. Thus south India’s first hill station came into being, in 1821.

Selected Works of C. Rajagopalachari: Vol. VIII, 1946–48 by Ravi K. Mishra and Narendra Shukla (Editors)

The present volume is the eighth in a series of ten volumes of the Selected Works of C. Rajagopalachari, being published in association with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

This volume covers the period from April 1946 to December 1948, detailing Rajaji’s important role in the governance of the country, first as a Cabinet Minister, then as a Governor, and eventually as the first Indian Governor-General of India and also the last Governor-General.

This was also a transformative period in the history of India because of Independence and Partition.

The volume also covers subjects such as the deep impact of the tragic loss of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajaji’s vision for independent India, his correspondence with Lord Mountbatten, and negotiations with the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Rajaji believed that the youth were the principal force in shaping the country’s future. His addresses to the students and youth of the country, including those of the universities of Madras, Nagpur, Benares and Aligarh, emphasising this, form an important part of the volume.

Writings from the Sundarbans by Indranil Acharya; Sayantan Dasgupta

This anthology aims to document and disseminate in English translation, literary narratives on the Sundarbans composed in Bangla by authors belonging to this great riverine ecosystem. The collection foregrounds the many issues that continue to haunt marginalised communities across the world. An attempt has been made to give voice to the subaltern concerns over agency and participation, inclusion into the mainstream, individual as well as collective rights and sociopolitical and cultural recognition.

The Bookbinder of Jericho: War brings new freedom. What will she choose?

As World War One draws in over Oxford, it brings women unexpected new freedoms. Peggy, working as a bookbinder, has the chance of a new future. But will the chaos of war force her to choose between duty and her dreams?

When the men of Oxford University Press leave for the Western Front, Peggy, her twin sister Maude and their friends in the bookbindery must shoulder the burden at home. As Peggy moves between her narrowboat full of memories and the demands of the Press, her dreams of studying feel ever more remote. She must know her place, fold her pages and never stop to savour the precious words in front of her.

From volunteer nurses to refugees fleeing the horrors of occupation, the war brings women together from all walks of life, and with them some difficult choices for Peggy. New friends and lovers offer new opportunities, but they also make new demands – and Peggy must write her own story.

The Collected Regrets of Clover: An uplifting story about living a full, beautiful life

Clover Brooks has forgotten how to live. It might be because she spends her time caring for people in their final days, working as a death doula in New York City. Or it might be because she has a regret of her own – one she can’t bring herself to let go of.

But then she meets Claudia: a feisty old woman who has one last wish . . .As Clover begins a new adventure, will she remember how to live her own big, beautiful life?

Girl, Goddess, Queen, by Bea Fitzgerald

To hell with love, this goddess has other plans…Thousands of years ago, the gods told a lie: how Persephone was a pawn in the politics of other gods. How Hades kidnapped Persephone to be his bride. How her mother, Demeter, was so distraught she caused the Earth to start dying. The real story is much more interesting. Persephone wasn’t taken to hell: she jumped. There was no way she was going to be married off to some smug god more in love with himself than her.

Now all she has to do is convince the Underworld’s annoyingly sexy, arrogant and frankly rude ruler, Hades, to fall in line with her plan. A plan that will shake Mount Olympus to its very core.

Private Beijing: A brutal attack

Private Beijing is ripped apart after an attack leaves three agents dead and the head of the team missing. With the Beijing branch in turmoil, Private’s owner and global head, Jack Morgan, immediately gets on a plane from LA. Soon after Jack lands in China, another Private office is attacked. It’s clear that the entire organisation is under threat. As Jack launches a global investigation from unfamiliar territory, he will need the loyalty of his team now more than ever.

Beyond Fear by Ian Cardozo

True Stories on Life in the Indian Armed Forces. In the Indian Army soldiers are taught how to conquer fear – it is often called ‘Biting the Bullet.’ These are a compilation of short stories about normal people doing extraordinary things about conquering fear.

Attitude: The Shit They Never Taught You About by Adam Ashton & Adam Jones

The ultimate book for the 21st century. An eclectic collection of the best ideas from the world’s top thinkers.

Beyond Fear by Ian Cardozo

These are some of the stories featured in Major General Ian Cardozo’s book Beyond Fear, stories that inform the reader that fear is not exceptional. It is common to all human beings. The question is: Do we face fear or run away from it? Through these thirteen stories, he reveals to the reader how military personnel conquer fear. He calls it ‘biting the bullet’.

Through the twists and turns of his stories, he brings out how honour, love, courage, trust, hope, faith and loyalty help the soldier in his quest to conquer fear and that these very qualities can help the reader deal with fear in their everyday lives. These stories also show that real life can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

Back to Bharat by Nagaraja Prakasam

Back to Bharat by Nagaraja Prakasam offers sustainable alternatives to the economic dilemma and environmental threats for Indian entrepreneurs and consumers. Lead angel investor, mentor and fund adviser, Nagaraja has three decades of global experience. He serves on the boards of several companies and is consulted by government and not-for-profits as well.

Written in an engaging and anecdotal style, the book addresses farming and agricultural practices and how we can grow for a better tomorrow. He advocates for making farming tigers and mainstreaming the marginalized trees and tribal communities. He identifies different regions in the country and speaks about enterprise in every corner and how we can collectively make healthier choices for happier outcomes.

It is enriched with case studies from Nagaraja’s investment career. It consolidates many observations and insights from the experience he has as a professional, investor and mentor for entrepreneurs across the country. It strongly expresses the belief that India’s strengths are its people, problems, and technology (PPT).

As it draws on real-life examples of struggle and success, the book illuminates many questions that are most relevant to our present dilemma, both in terms of economic development as well as environmental threats that compel us to look at more sustainable alternatives to patterns of production and consumption.

Strange Burdens by Sugata Srinivasaraju

Strange Burdens is not a biography but a book of political commentary. It examines and analyses Rahul Gandhi’s ideas and leadership since he officially entered politics in March 2004. It journeys all the way to the conclusion of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar on 30 January 2023 and captures the dilemmas of his disqualification a couple of months later.

The narrative here crawls across two decades with the intention of understanding Rahul Gandhi’s politics and predicaments, confusions and contradictions, triteness and triumph, as well as his burdens and benignity. It is not the purpose of this book to understand his failures and successes in tabular columns but speculate in the best traditions of political commentary why he is where he is, both politically and as an individual. The book does not seek to answer questions about his suitability or unsuitability for a public role but is rather focused on how he has been caught in the currents of history. It is not a myth-busting or myth-making exercise, nor is it an inquisition; it is a pursuit of political insight.

Since the book is about Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party, it cannot not be about Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Examining one automatically illuminates the other. The book looks at the contrasts and convergence of the two personalities and the two parties they represent.

Unlocked by Gezim Gashi

Unlocked: The Power of You proves that unlocking our authentic selves unleashes our greatest potential in a no-limits, post-pandemic world. While sharing his remarkable story-from escaping the Kosovo genocide to Sweden to speaking at Harvard University as the first Albanian-Swede to ever launch a high school institute in the United States- Gezim Gashi maps the way to personal success and fulfillment for the reader. Gezim Gashi is currently on the ‘Unlocked: The Book Tour’ in North America with stops such as Harvard University and A&M University to encourage people to reach the next level in life. (IANS)


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