Hello, Bookworms! Presenting to you my August TBR!
Last month I came out of my reading rut and hence I decided to be a wee bit overly ambitious by setting up this TBR for August. Ah, a girl can dream, right?
Celebrating Indian Independence, I decided to read Indian books including diaspora authors. I have a handful of books lined up and I hope you’d like them too.
My August TBR
The Heart Asks Pleasure First by Karuna Ezara Parikh
I started reading this book yesterday and I am already 100 pages in. What instantly drew me in was the poetic writing style and I have been in awe from the word go. I will definitely review the book as soon as I finish reading it.
SYNOPSIS: An extraordinary tale of love in a world being torn asunder. It is 2001 and Daya and Aaftab have just met in a park in Cardiff. She is studying ballet and he is practising in a law firm. She falls madly in love. He does, but he also cannot, because he is Muslim and there are certain rules. Set in a world of students, Karuna Ezara Parikh sets up a dazzling framework of impossible, forbidden love, difficult joyous friendship, as she delves into migration, Islamophobia and jihad in the wake of a cataclysmic terror event that will have dangerous ramifications the world over. Brilliantly crafted, this magical first novel reveals with great power and grace both the agony and the ecstasy of being human.
Rumours of Spring by Farah Bashir
This book is going to be hard-hitting for sure but I can’t wait to dwell deep into it.
SYNOPSIS: Rumours of Spring is the unforgettable account of Farah Bashir's adolescence spent in Srinagar in the 1990s. As Indian troops and militants battle across the cityscape and violence becomes the new normal, a young schoolgirl finds that ordinary tasks - studying for exams, walking to the bus stop, combing her hair, falling asleep - are riddled with anxiety and fear. With haunting simplicity, Farah Bashir captures moments of vitality and resilience from her girlhood amidst the increasing trauma and turmoil of passing years - secretly dancing to pop songs on banned radio stations; writing her first love letter; going to the cinema for the first time - with haunting simplicity. This deeply affecting coming-of-age memoir portrays how territorial conflict surreptitiously affects everyday lives in Kashmir.
Bombay Balchao by Jane Borges
This book was loved by many of my favorite book reviewers and I have been seeing this all over bookstagram for quite some time now. I was kinda waiting for August to pick it up.
SYNOPSIS: Bombay was the city everyone came to in the early decades of the nineteenth century: among them, the Goans and the Mangaloreans. Looking for safe harbour, livelihood, and a new place to call home. Communities congregated around churches and markets, sharing lord and land with the native East Indians. The young among them were nudged on to the path of marriage, procreation and godliness, though noble intentions were often ambushed by errant love and plain and simple lust. As in the story of Annette and Benji (and Joe) or Michael and Merlyn (and Ellena). Lovers and haters, friends and family, married men and determined singles, churchgoers and abstainers, Bombay Balchão is a tangled tale of ordinary lives – of a woman who loses her husband to a dockyard explosion and turns to bootlegging, a teen romance that drowns like a paper boat, a social misfit rescued by his addiction to crosswords, a wife who tries to exorcise the spirit of her dead mother-in-law from her husband, a rebellious young woman who spurns true love for the abandonment of dance. Ordinary, except when seen through their own eyes. Then, it’s legend. Set in Cavel, a tiny Catholic neighbourhood on Bombay’s D’Lima Street, this delightful debut novel is painted with many shades of history and memory, laughter and melancholy, sunshine and silver rain.
Gently Falls the Bakula by Sudha Murty
Said to be one of the best works of Sudha Murty, Gently falls the Bakula may sound like a simple Indian story but focuses on many social issues.
SYNOPIS: Shrimati and Shrikant are neighbours and star students of their school in the small north Karnataka town of Hubli. It leaves no one in surprise when they come first and second respectively in the final Board exams. Soon Shrikant discovers he is strangely attracted to Shrimati, a plain-looking yet charming person, who always does better than him in the exams. Shrimati too falls in love with the amiable and handsome Shrikant and the two get married. Shrikant joins an IT company and starts rapidly climbing the corporate ladder. He works relentlessly and reaches the pinnacle of his industry, while Shrimati abandons her academic aspirations and becomes his uncomplaining shadow, silently fulfilling her duties as a corporate leader’s wife. But one day, while talking to an old professor, she starts examining what she has done with her life and realizes it is dismally empty
The Unseeing Idol of Light by K.R. Meera
I love reading K.R. Meera’s books and The Poison of Love is one of my favorite reads ever. Originally written in Malayalam, this book is about love and letting go.
SYNOPSIS: One fateful day, Deepti vanishes mysteriously. Baffled by her disappearance and consumed with grief, Prakash, her husband, loses his eyesight. For Prakash, the inexplicable loss of his wife is doubly painful because she was pregnant with their child. And no amount of consolation can bring him solace in the years that ensue. Into this void steps Rajani, a woman with a tormented past. Despite her initial disdain of Prakash, she steadily finds herself drawn to him. And although an intense desire brings them together, Prakash is unable to give Rajani the love she craves just as he is powerless to dispel the luminous memory of Deepti. But where will this grave obsession lead? 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.
Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian
Published this year in 2021, Gold Diggers is another book that has been the talk of the town ever since its release.
SYNOPSIS: A floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is authentic, funny, and smart. He just doesn't share the same drive as everyone around him. His perfect older sister is headed to Duke. His parents' expectations for him are just as high. He tries to want this version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal. But Anita has a secret: she and her mother Anjali have been brewing an ancient alchemical potion from stolen gold that harnesses the ambition of the jewelry's original owner. Anjali's own mother in Bombay didn't waste the precious potion on her daughter, favoring her sons instead. Anita, on the other hand, just needs a little boost to get into Harvard. But when Neil--who needs a whole lot more--joins in the plot, events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart. Ten years later, Neil is an oft-stoned Berkeley history grad student studying the California gold rush. His high school cohort has migrated to Silicon Valley, where he reunites with Anita and resurrects their old habit of gold theft--only now, the stakes are higher. Anita's mother is in trouble, and only gold can save her. Anita and Neil must pull off one last heist. Gold Diggers is a fine-grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation in to questions of identity and coming of age--that tears down American shibboleths.
The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
Another heartwarming debut novel of 2021, this book is already featured in Goodreads must-read list.
SYNOPSIS: Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in the London Borough of Ealing after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries. Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home. When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list…hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.
Do you have any books from my August TBR? If you’ve already read any of these books, let me know in the comments below.
‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’