9 new books to read this October
From Pico Iyer to Kaveree Bamzai
BY Neville Bhandara | October 9th, 2019
Clear your weekend schedule because these reads will keep you hooked all day. Scroll through for our recommendations—there is a novel for every bookworm out there.
Set in colonial India, this satirical debut opens in then Bombay, where the British Chewing Gum Company, eagerto introduce its colonies to its product, has set up shop. But first it must root out that notorious local competitor, paan, which is immediately declared as the enemy. To push its product, the company chooses a cow as its mascot. But as we all know, using a cow in India, even symbolically, can backfire. Fasten your seat belts; this one’s a riproaring ride.
When one of the best-loved travel writers of our time comes out with a book that is part cheat sheet and part tribute to his home of over 30 years, it’s not an understatement to say that it is a must-read. Drawing from his wealth of personal experiences, alongside conversations with dear ones, Iyer at once opens up a new avenue for those familiar with the country while stoking the curiosity of would-be visitors.
This epic cookbook contains the closely guarded recipes to some of the most-loved dishes from the very heart of Dishoom. One of London’s most acclaimed restaurants, Dishoom took the city by storm, thanks to its reinvention of Bombay-style staples that came loaded with flavour and bursting with nostalgia. Top pick? The jackfruit biryani.
Featuring advice from the likes of Naina Lal Kidwai, Arianna Huffington, Twinkle Khanna and Sania Mirza, among others, this handbook by the senior journalist addresses topics that the woman of today needs to know—including managing money, marriage and mothers—to live her best life.
Taking readers on a journey across the US, the high priestess of punk rock and poet extraordinaire draws us into her world with this part memoir, part travelogue. Peppered with her characteristic observances, wit and wisdom, the book, and Smith’s language and poetic mastery, will hold you hostage till the very end.
The spoken word artiste and illustrator, known for her fierce feminism and devotion to social justice, makes her long-awaited print debut with this compelling collection of poetry and prose. The six sections of the book explore hot-button topics and seek to encourage conversation on sexual assault, mental health and immigration.
One of our most celebrated food journalists weighs in on the culinary world’s recent obsessions—from why turmeric is suddenly on everything to whether avocados are really all that— with his classic wit and candour. Plus, a quick refresher on India’s gastronomic history too.
The only print edition of two plays written by the legendary artist Pablo Picasso, and widely regarded as the front runner to the theatre of the absurd made famous by the likes of Samuel Beckett, this offering contains illustrations drawn by the man himself. A possible collectible, this one belongs on any reader’s bookshelf.
The historian returns with a work that traces the rise of the infamous East India Company, from its humble beginnings as an innocuous trading corporation to its transformation into a ruthless, power-hungry coloniser. It also charts the loosening hold of the British Empire, which saw its authority supplanted by a scheming private entity.
My Shelf: Mahesh Rao, author
“I’m trying to make more sense of the world we live in, as well as escape it. So, it’s two dystopian novels, Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments and Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police, alongside Elizabeth von Arnim’s The Enchanted April, which is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.”