Over there at IndieQuill, Amrita tags me and I have to come up with a list of Indian authors/books I’ve read or want to read. This list is by no means exhaustive and scares me when I look back – there’s too much to read and too little time (even completing one book per week is becoming difficult). The ones in italics are those I’m yet to read.

1. City of Fear, Robin David
In the shy author’s own words, “How does a mad family remain sane when it is surrounded by madness? I can’t claim to have found all the answers, but I can tell you that we survived. A little scarred perhaps, but alive. That is the City of Fear in less than 100 words.” I couldn’t find it at Crossword last weekend, but determined to get my hands on it soon.
2. Maximum City, Suketu Mehta
Every time I spend time in the Crossword reading lounge, I tend to read a few pages from this. And the words seem to melt in your eyes. Must get hold of a copy soon.

3. Shalimar the Clown, Salman Rushdie
I love this bloke. It’s a story narrated by the intricate tussles between emotions carried in the heart and the hallucinatory fantasies in the minds of its young protagonists (doesn’t that line sound just like Rushdie?), set in the backdrop of a torn paradise called Kashmir. A must read.

4. The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
It’s a pity the book is banned in India. I managed to get hold of it at Barnes and Nobles while in Ohio earlier this year. Though roughly based on the life of Mohammed and the birth of Islam, this is another of his typical long winding utterly poetic narrative you wouldn’t want to miss.

5. Touch, Meena Kandasamy
I’m astounded at the maturity of this young poet. I read a few verses here and there and I’m totally in awe of her talent. She already has the blessing of Kamala Das who has written the foreward and the book was released by Gita Hariharan – and she’s all of 23 years.

6. Code Name God, Mani Bhaumik
The author is a scientist and the inventor of the technology that made LASIK eye surgery possible today. In this very unique book, he uses Science to attempt answers to questions about God and Spirituality. An interesting read.

7. The Burden of Foreknowledge, Jawahara Saidullah
I fell in love with her writing when I read this post in desicritics earlier this year. And some known sources tell me, this is just the kind of book I’m not supposed to miss.

8. Above Average, Amitabha Bagchi
It’s a story of a typical Delhi boy with an aptitude for science and math but yearning to be the drummer of a rock band. A supposed must read.

9. Ramayana Series, Ashok Banker
One of the contemporary masterpieces that lets you see the Ramayana in a whole new light. It’s a multiple-volume series, and all I need to do now is carry myself to the bookshop on this lazy Sunday afternoon to buy the entire series. Er, may be next week.

10. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
She didn’t win the Pulitzer for nothing. There is common sense, emotion and the tendency of people to continue to obsessively associate themselves to the orthodoxy of their origins with an intense stress on retaining their ancestral identity even though they have been living away from their native for ages. I loved the book.

11. The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Haven’t watched the movie yet. But the book makes a good read. What attracts me in her writing is her fluent style of describing the minutest details, like ever-continuing strands of a noodle, starting from the color of the pillows to the mood of an individual at a given point. This is typical Lahiri.

12. The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai
This year’s Booker winner. The written and word-of-mouth reviews have been good. I don’t want to draw conclusions even before reading this book, but I would still think Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch deserved the Booker. (ok, sue me.)

13. A Piece of Cake, Swati Kaushal
A Chicklit novel. The six foot tall modern female protagonist is a marketing lead, fighting her way in a ‘dirty’ corporate world, while her parents look for the most appropriate man to get her married soon. Funny, and for people who know the corporate circle, lots of things you can relate to.

14. An Equal Music, Vikram Seth
Not often can you find an author equally flamboyant with prose as well as poetry. Vikram Seth is a class part. If you’ve read and loved his poetry “All you who sleep tonight”, you would love this book as well. An Equal Music is musical, to say the least.

15. English August: Indian Story, Upamanyu Chatterjee
Set in the mid-80s, a young man enters IAS and is posted to a remote village where he feels a fish out of water. It’s a satirical narrative, and critics say it lacks spark. But I’m looking forward to reading it.

Now, let me see – Uma, Shub, Neels, Jax, Prat, Arunima, Srividya, Savitha; make the chain longer.


10 Responses to “Booked…”

  1. Ok, this is a tag I’d love to do. Thanks, Kishore! Sets me thinking now…

  2. 2 Jax

    Hmm… a long time since I’ve been tagged…
    Looking at your list, I’ve read the Satanic Verses and five of the Ramayana series…

  3. 3 Amrita

    Go Kish! That’s a good list… Meena Kandasamy, huh? I’d heard of her vaguely but hadnt really paid attention. Will do next time I’m in a bookstore. On a separate note, were you dissing Suketu Mehta or not? :D

  4. I will do this definitely. Our list collide somewhere.

  5. wow! hm… this needs some serious thinking. Will let u know when my list is ready. Thanks for the tag :)

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  1. 1 Book Tag « IndieQuill
  2. 2 Xavier Roy

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