Editor’s Pick : 8 Books You Must Read in May

“As full of spirit as the month of May, and as gorgeous as the sun in Midsummer.”  – William Shakespeare

The sun is scorching down with its full glory and all I can do is recommend extraordinary books each month to make you feel better. Here’s another intriguing list of 8 books released this month in India that you must read.

The Last Color – Vikas Khanna

Vikas Khanna is one of the few Michelin star chefs from India. He has been a celebrity television chef on shows like Masterchef India and won several awards. You might even have read a cookbook or two by him. But did you know that he has written fiction as well? And that too one, which will soon be made into a feature film!

The Last Color is a poignant story set in the age old city of Varanasi. It is the story of friendship, the story of Choti – a tight rope walker and Noor – a widow residing in an ashram. They become friends, inspiring each other, telling stories about each other’s lives – how Noor used to play Holi dressed as Radha. Choti promises Noor that they will play together but gets imprisoned under strenuous circumstances. Twenty years pass by. Will the promise be ever fulfilled? Read this gripping tale to know more. I’m sure Vikas Khanna has concocted a lovely tale and served his readers.

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Nayak – Satyajit Ray/Bhaskar Chattopadhyay

If you are a fan of good Indian cinema, I don’t think I need to introduce you to Satyajit Ray. Nayak (1966) was a cult film by Ray that received several awards and accolades. It is the story of a film star at the top of his success, Arindam Mukherjee over a journey from Calcutta to Delhi via train. A journalist, Aditi Sengupta is his co-passenger and interviews him in a manner that none has before. Arindam opens his heart out with secrets that lay deep inside.

Nayak was a phenomenal movie and Bhaskar Chattopadhyay has novelised the film recently. If you have watched Nayak, you probably will love the book. And if you haven’t yet, read the story first and then get enthralled by the legendary Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore in the film.

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The Conqueror – Aditya Iyengar

Mythology has been the genre ruling Indian English Literature for quite a few years now. There are many authors creating amazing stories around Indian mythology and it is safe to say now that some of them have developed their own style. Aditya Iyengar is a screenwriter and novelist with three books in his kitty.

The Conqueror is the story of a mighty kingdom. Haven’t we all read about the Chola dynasty in our History text books? This is the story of King Rajendra Chola I, an enigmatic emperor ruling a great kingdom. Told through the eyes of a prisoner of war and a princess without a kingdom, the conqueror is a magnificent narrative – of war and conquest, of loss and death, of kingship and legacy.

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The Unseeing Idol of Light – K R Meera

K R Meera is an award winning writer and journalist. In 2015, she won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for Aarachar. Her other books like The Poison of Love has been much acclaimed. She writes about violence, obsession and rage – in short, the reality in our society now.

The Unseeing Idol of Light has been translated by Ministhy S from Malayalam. It tells the story of a pregnant woman who goes missing, her distraught husband and another woman in his life. The Unseeing Idol of Light is a haunting tale that explores love and loss, blindness and sight, obsession and suffering-and the poignant interconnections between them. It is time for Indian readers to explore mature tales from the contemporary era.

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Calling Sehmat – Harinder Sikka

The year is 1971
Tension is brewing between India and Pakistan
One secret could change the course of history . . . 
It’s now up to her.

Most of us must have watched the film Raazi by now. Did you know that it is based on a novel based on a true story? Sehmat, a young Kashmiri lady was sent to Pakistan in the disguise of a bride for espionage. She undergoes intense training and is sent on a mission where she could have been compromised any time. But she stuck to her work and faced so many hardships to achieve what she had set out for. What happens to her later? You need to read this book to know.

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Twilight Falls on Liberalism – Rudrangshu Mukherjee

Recent political developments across large parts of the globe have made it clear that liberalism is in crisis. In order to understand this phenomenon, Rudrangshu Mukherjee goes back to the origins of liberalism to understand its substantive ideas and lineage. For lovers of non fiction and books on politics and sociology, this is an important book from a prolific writer and you shouldn’t miss this one.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee is a professor of History at Ashoka University. He has taught all around in India and abroad. He was also the editor of The Telegraph in Calcutta for long.

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The Pataala Prophecy – Christopher Doyle

Here’s another treat for mythology lovers – a new series by Christopher Doyle after his Mahabharata Quest series. A mysterious stranger’s reappearance after 5,000 years strikes fear into the hearts of powerful members of a secret society, called the Sangha. Who is he and what is he after? Fifteen year olds Maya and Arjun step into a world of fantasy and adventure to find out what The Pataala Prophecy is all about.

Christopher Doyle has been in the corporate world for quite some time before he decided to immerse in mythology and fantasy. His books have been hugely successful and readers have been entertained thoroughly. Pick this one up if you’re in for some adventure.

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In a Cult of Their Own – Amborish Roychoudhury

Are you a fan of cult Hindi movie? Some of them were so bad that they were good, like Kanti Shah’s Gunda.

‘Cults become cults, they are not made. It’s the becoming that is interesting, not the making.’ This book is an ode to all those films that have enthralled us, entertained us for real and for the sake of satire. The author celebrates his relationship with Hindi films in this book and reminisces his favourite films.

Amborish Roychoudhury is an advertising professional and this is his first book.

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Aspiring author, frequent blogger, freelance editor, book critic, movie buff, mihidana fanatic. Lives in Pune. Before the above titles, I was a PhD dropout in Soil Science from the US of A, which rather coerced me into switching gears and professions. I work in both English and my mother tongue Bengali.

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