The Revenge of the Non-vegetarian by Upamanyu Chatterjee: The novella is set between 1949 and 1973 and we find civil servant, Madhusudan Sen making a reappearance from English, August. In fact, the story is set earlier in Sen’s career, where Chatterjee strives to make a wry comment on the demonisation of meat consumption in current political climes. Its beauty lies in the straightforward, tongue-in-cheek nature of the narrative which traces the fate of a servant who has murdered a family because he was hungry for the meat they cooked.
Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer (Pan Macmillan India): Arguably Archer’s best since Kane and Abel, this is the story of Alexander Karpenko and his mother, who flee the Kremlin and toss a coin to decide which ship they should board at stowaways, the one going to England or the one going to USA. We love this book for its clever format, and, of course, the twist in the tale, which comes with the very last word of this fast-paced novel.
A Century is not Enough by Sourav Ganguly (Juggernaut Books): The former Team India skipper takes readers through the highs and lows in his career, giving us a keep into the man behind the Maharaja of Indian cricket.
Becoming by Michelle Obama (Viking): This memoir by the former First Lady of the US is winning hearts all over the world with its candid yet thoughtful style, and inspiring readers to overcome adversities and be the best versions of themselves.
The Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber): The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018, this is a complex novel, with unknown places and unnamed characters. Though not spelt out, the setting appears to 1970s Belfast. Yet it a contemporary novel of stunning depths, especially in this post-truth #MeToo era of us and them.
Jasmine Days by Benyamin (Juggernaut): A young girl who moves to the Middle East with her family and works as a radio jockey there gets embroiled in revolution and must choose between family and friends. Translated from Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib, Jasmine Days won the JCB Prize for Literature.
The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (HarperCollins India): This is the story of the Ramayana, told from Sita’s perspective. The book also foregrounds the experiences of other women whose stories are often sidelined in the original epic. It is a fine successor to Divakaruni’s bestselling book, The Palace of Illusions, which retold the Mahabharata in the voice of Draupadi.
Goyendapith Lalbazar II by Supratim Sarkar (Ananda Publishers): After the phenomenal success of Goyendapith Lalbazar, top cop Supratim Sarkar returns with the second volume of his riveting true-crime stories.