Ten books that you must read – Telegraph India

1. Rain Must Fall by Nandita Basu; Duckbill, Rs 299
Comic book artist, musician and author of The Piano, Nandita Basu has now written a sensitive graphic novel around gender identity, weaving a tale around young Rumi and her association with a ghost called Rain. Meant for adolescents, this book is a much-needed companion for youngsters and looks to understand gender politics and confusion around them in their formative years. There could not be a better form of communicating difficult topics than graphic novels and we can’t wait to dig our minds into this one.
2. A Tale of Two Medics by V. Srinivas; White Falcon; Rs 400
A very interesting take on the medical and healthcare industry, it is no surprise that A Tale of Two Medics comes from the table of a doctor himself. In this tale, two doctors who begin humbly on the same path soon diverge ways due to political choices. They are on two opposite spectrums of morality by choosing to indulge in ethical and unethical practices. Also in the purview are the  comparisons and parallels drawn between medical practices in India and that of the US. At 210 pages, this is a quick and enthralling read.
3. Where Stories Gather by Karuna Ezara Parikh; HarperCollins India, Rs 399
Karuna Ezara Parikh’s fame on social media was garnered for the ephemeral poetry that she frequently published on her channels. Her subtle style coupled with the poignancy of thought has repeatedly been utilised to comment on identity, feminism, womanhood and love. Collating her popular poems and some fresh material, this book of poetry is a glimpse of the world unravelling around us at breakneck speed.
4. Women of Influence: A Compilation of Ten Extraordinary IAS Careers by Rajni Sekhri Sibal; Penguin; Rs 350
An extraordinary collection of tales straight from the horse’s mouth –– that’s perhaps the best way to describe Sibal’s book Women of Influence. A former IAS officer herself from the Haryana Cadre, Sibal happens to be the first female topper of the UPSC exam. She has recounted tales of courage and resistance that 10 women officers have had to face in their administrative service career. A recurring theme is the resistance faced from the government to do good work in their jurisdiction. Tracing journeys from as far back at 1965 all the way to 2015, these tales promise to be equal parts inspiring and informational.
5. The Power of Hope, The Autobiography of a Cancer Centre by Anshu Dogra and Dr Digpal Dharkar; Hachette India; Rs 499
In today’s list of books that deserve to be read is the resilient and passionate story of cancer surgeon Digpal Dharkar. A true example of those who choose to receive and gather the best knowledge from around the world only to give it all back to their motherland, Dharkar was driven by the idea of opening an exceptional head and neck cancer centre. Graduating from New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, he founded the charitable trust Indore Cancer Foundation to provide affordable cancer care to rural people. His developed module for cancer surgery has been adopted in various hospitals and he has himself set up the Indian Institute of Head and Neck Oncology. It is said that of the many thousands of Dharkar’s surgeries, almost 30 per cent has been done for free. Here is a tale of how a single man’s resolve can indeed change the world. Helping him document his tale is author Anshu Dogra.
6. Resolve by Perumal Murugan; Hamish Hamilton; Rs 499
Multiple award-winning phenomenal writer Perumal Murugan forays into the world of marriage as a social contract with caste, gender and female infanticide as social currency. Resolve is a tremendous book that received much accolade during its Malayalam release. Now it has been translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan and narrates the tale of Marimuthu’s quest for a wife. Replete with marriage brokers, horoscopes and rejections as is signature to the tradition of Indian arranged marriages, this seemingly comical book is a treasure waiting to be discovered by a reader. Resolve launches on November 15.
7. The Story of the First Civilizations: From Mesopotamia to the Aztecs by Subhadra Sen Gupta; Speaking Tiger; Rs 499
Posthumously published after children’s author Subhadra Sen Gupta’s untimely demise, we now get this wonderful historical account about the origins of civilisations around the world. In Sen Gupta’s inimitable manner, this deeply researched book illustrated by Devashish Verma is presented with quirky information that would keep readers hooked and entertained. In her difficult to replicate style, learn about the civilisations in China, Indus Valley and Europe, replete with little-known stories of each.
8. Annapurna Devi: The Untold Story of a Reclusive Genius by Atul Merchant; Penguin India, price to be disclosed
Very rarely have we been more excited than the launch of this book scheduled for November 22 on one of the greatest musical genius of this country –– Annapurna Devi. Daughter of Allauddin Khan and first wife of Ravi Shankar, she famously renounced her public life and imposed restrictions of movement and performance on herself. Her interactions were limited to her students who have now decided to explore their relationship with her, led by her student and author of this book Atul Merchant. Her illustrious list of students include Nikhil Banerjee, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Bahadur Khan, Aashish Khan, Dhyanesh Khan, Nityanand Haldipur and Basant Kabra to name a few. Her life choices and her talent still manage to garner bemused expressions from music lovers worldwide and we look forward to the first-hand accounts of her life.
9. Best Intentions by Simran Dhir; HarperCollins India; Rs 399
Lawyer-turned-author Simran Dhir’s debut novel is the exciting airport read we often need in our lives. The kind of stories that take you on a light-hearted journey with the sharpness of wit and copious amounts of love. This is the story of Gayatri Mehra, a girl who works for a journal and thwarts her parents’ efforts of finding her a husband. Enter Akshay Grewal, her sister’s brother-in-law and as the fond trope goes, they do not appreciate each other’s existence. Throw in some family drama and political upheaval and you have yourself a fun weekend read curled up with a cup of coffee.
10. The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for an Endangered Planet by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams; Penguin, Rs 999
From the campaigner of nature and the wild comes a manifesto that is based on the power of hope. We have Jane Goodall putting together tales of her past, her encounters in the wild and the state of humanity. Drawing upon her learnings from nature, this is Goodall’s ammunition to the world on traversing the climate crisis. When everything around feels dismal and catastrophic, only an environmentalist like her can lead the path towards a better future. A must!

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