Monday, August 13, 2012

Read independent publishers available at independent bookstores on Independence Day !

Hi all,

As we celebrate the closing of one of the greatest sporting spectacles and get ready for the season of the Gods in our country, here’s a look at what lovely books we have in store for you to pick up to read on your Independence Day holiday!

Some lovely, some whacky and some absolutely wow books here, some of which reviewed for you.


‘dates.sites: Project Cinema City Bombay/Mumbai’ by Madhushree Dutta & Shilpa Gupta @ Rs. 995/- (pgs 234)

‘dates.sites’ presents a timeline of the city of Bombay/Mumbai in the 20th century, anchored to its most adored public institution: cinema! The text and images have been stitched together from formal/informal, acknowledged/discarded sources, public domain or personal archives. The relationship between text and image, far from being umbilical is playfully associative making these snippets from the past of Bombay cinema an absolute WOW!

This book is under the ‘Majlis Project’, a centre for rights discourse and multidisciplinary arts initiative based in Mumbai.

‘The Obliterary Journal: Volume 1 A Blaft Joint’ comic by Straatkunst @ Rs. 695/- (pgs 269)

Here are snippets from the pool of graphic novels which ‘reign supreme’. I say this as the Obliterary journal seeks to eradicate lengthy passages of unadorned text. Instead they want to fill the world with comics, picture books, graffiti and wacky art! Come check out their awesome book and if you agree you can support them in their revolutionary mission!

‘Random: Thrills! Suspense! Romance! Gajras!’ from Twenty Onwards Media Pvt. Ltd. @ Rs 495/- (pgs 158)

India’s longest running humor anthology ‘Random’ present together for the first time ‘Simpoo’ Sodhi and Lola kutty! This new avatar (No, no references to those blue people) of Random is definitely out of titanic proportions… only an alien will not find this funny! This book contains everything humorous, lots of lola-ness and attempts to get countless more generations to abandon their responsibilities and laugh like the legend of Random laughs!

Pop Culture Graphic Novels: Pop Culture Graphic Novels are comics with a Desi twist. Some are crude, some are filled with Indian superheroes doing extreme stunts and some are even jam-packed with gooey emotions, but rest assured they all are extremely funny!

‘The Best of Quest’ Edited by Laeeq Futehally, Archal Prabhala and Arshia Sattar @ Rs. 695/- (pgs 660)

In 1954 a new magazine appeared out of Bombay with Nissim Ezekiel at its wheel. This magazine was called Quest, a magazine which was led by an ideologically free-wheeling enterprise. It survived for nearly two decades till its collapse during Indira Gandhi’s emergency. ‘The Best of Quest’ contains the most remarkable essays, poems, stories and even advertisements that appeared in the quarterly issues of the magazine. Quest was born and flourished in a time when independent thought reigned supreme. Hence, while reading passages from the book, even though it may be from a long time ago, the relevance of themes and ideas to the present world are striking. The reader is compelled to understand the ideas and visions of writers who have broadened the horizons of literature by setting a strong landmark in Indian Journalism.

Fiction/ Indian Writing

‘Pantheon’ by Sam Bourne @ Rs. 325/- (pgs 426)

In a frantic search for his wife and young son, James Zennor a brilliant young Oxford don travels through wartime England (1940), across the Atlantic and finally into the heart of America. There he stumbles upon a terrifying plot: one that could swing the balance of power in a volatile world. Now he is a man who not only is searching for his wife and children but must also save his country… In a fast paced, action-packed thriller, Sam Bourne, one of the most successful British writers, takes us on a journey where we are balancing on the edge.

‘Days of Gold and Sepia’ by Yasmeen Premji @ Rs.399/- (pgs 419)

This is a story of a penniless orphan boy born in the desert homeland of Kutch, who later grows up to fame and fortune as ‘Bombay’s Cotton King’. Set between 1857 and 1947 the book not only covers India’s struggle for Independence but introduces vibrant characters- merchant’s, maharaja’s, courtesans, soothsayers, pirates, freedom fighters and rulers of British Raj. And in the midst of these difficult times unfolds the story of Lalljee Lakha. ‘Days of Gold and Sepia’ is a gripping tale of pain of the passionate, the doom of love and human frailty. In her fiction debut Yasmeen Premji, wife of Azim Premji has already mastered the art of storytelling and reflects a rare sensitivity to the many shades of human passion and suffering.

‘Goat Days’ by Benyamin @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 255) (Ind‘Goat Days’ by Benyamin @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 255) - translations

While pursuing his dream to work in the Gulf and earn enough money to send back home, Najeeb is hurled into a grim and absurd, slave-like existence herding goats in the middle of the Saudi Desert. Tormented by his anguish to return home, Najeeb finds his solace in his companions, the goats. After much torment he plans a dangerous escape from his desert prison. Benyamin with his tender style of storytelling transforms the strange and bitter comedy of Najeeb’s life into a tale of loneliness and alienation. ‘Goat Days’ was originally published in Malayalam and instantly became a bestseller. Benyamin is one of the most brilliant writers in Malayalam literature today.


‘March of the Aryans’ by Bhagwan S. Gidwani @ Rs. 599/- (pgs 657)

Based on his imaginations and oral history tradition (ancient songs from prehistory which are not recorded physically but are ingrained into the traditional memory of people from Egypt, China, Tibet and many other countries) as his only source of information Bhagwan S. Gidwani author of acclaimed ‘The Sword of Tipu Sultan’ transports us back to the dawn of civilization (8000BC). He reasons why the Aryans left India -their homeland- for foreign shores and paints a portrait of their victorious return to India. ‘March of the Aryans’ consists of over a thousand characters who wage wars, are consumed by love and who determine the rise and fall of civilizations. Through this tale of kings and poets, gods and seers, Bhawan S. Gidwani has again cast his magic and written one of the greatest historical fiction novels ever.

‘The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco Da Gama’ by Nigel Cliff @ Rs. 550/- (pgs 547)

The trip to India from Portugal led by Vasco Da Gama, is the longest and one of the most perilous voyages known to history. Traveling across the Indian Ocean these brave sailors discovered the fabled wealth of the East in India. But the discovery was not only at the price of facing death by storm or diseases, but also facing death in wars that were fought over six years between the Muslim ruling East and Vasco Da Gama’s small forces. In two battles that spanned over six years over the sea, ‘The Last Crusade’ narrates the story of spies, treachery and intrigues. As the East was dominated by the Mughals and it was a time when old hostilities between Christianity and Islam had intensified, hence book also explores the issue of one of the oldest religious and cultural disputes, which are even observed in present society.

‘The Second Empress’ by Michelle Moran @ Rs. 499/- (pgs 353) – Historical fiction

The courts of Napoleon have some terrible news for the empress’ family. He intends to divorce his wife of thirteen years who has failed to provide an heir and take a younger bride, an Austrian princess. For Napoleon’s sister Pauline Bonaparte, it is yet another woman stealing her brother’s attention. For his new wife, it is a horrible duty she must take on in her father’s name. Their lives weave arousing Napoleon’s history, thereby painting a vivid, colourful story!


‘Tubes: Behind The Scenes at the Internet’ by Andrew Blum @ Rs. 499/- (pgs 294)

Andrew Blum says that the Internet is not a concept or a culture and he says that it is certainly not a ‘cloud’. Instead it is a bunch of tubes. He explains how thousands of miles of optic-fibre across the globe, pulsing with trillions of photons of light, makes an e-mail appear just a few seconds later on the other side of the globe, after you have hit ‘send’. The book portrays Internet as you’ve never seen it before, introducing us to remarkable people who design run the internet. A ‘wow’ book which enlightens us on one of mans greatest creations in a profound style.

‘Rabbit Rap: A Fable for the 21st Century’ by Musharraf Ali Farooqi and Michelle Farooqi @ Rs. 499/- (pgs 296)

Rabbit Rap is a fable for Adults. It is set in an age when Rabbits lived in happy freedom and were the ones who ruled and tamed Nature. But some of them seeked to liberate themselves from their old ways and hence confided in Rabbit Hab, a modern head rabbit. But as Hab made changes for the better with ambition and a futuristic vision, he was faced by opposition, sabotage and other vile plots. This fable is about politics, ecology, feminism and greed for power. It is a tale relevant for our day and age.

‘Seriously Strange: Thinking Anew About Psychical Experiences’ Edited by Sudhir Kakar & Jeffrey J. Kripal @ Rs. 499/- (pgs 306)

After ‘Dreams and Dreaming’, ‘Seriously Strange’ is the second volumeof a series on ‘Boundaries of Consciousness’ which explores the uncharted territory at the end of our current psychological knowledge. Though many of us don’t believe in the ‘paranormal’, it is a topic which has intrigued us for centuries. In ‘Seriously Strange’ a group of nine people have complied some of the most baffling experiences (physical paranormal experiences) on record. Through essays, they tell us how these experiences can be broken down as an object of scientific study. They also shed light on Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud’s perceptions on the matter and recount the humorous memoir of a physicist who spent over a decade running a secret psychic spying program for the US during the Cold War. A mind-bending and extraordinary book for all those who are intrigued by questions of the ‘Paranormal’.

‘Dare to Do: For the New Generation!’ by Kiran Bedi @ Rs. 299/- (pgs 257)

Putting forth her own track record on how she converted challenges into opportunities and refused to buckle under pressure from some of the most influential people in the corridors of power she leads by example to motivate today’s youngsters. In this volume, she has added a highly relevant chapter on the empowerment of women to explain how, in several situations of their own making, even educated women disempower themselves. She emphasizes on the fact that qualities of honesty, dedication, diligence and commitment to one’s profession are vital if one wants to succeed in life and drives home the point that there are no shortcuts to success! Read and be inspired!

‘Dreaming of Baghdad’ by Haifa Zangana @ Rs. 375/- (pgs 169)

Here is a story of a brave woman who in the 1970s dreamed of a better Iraq and hence was one of the activists who stood in opposition to the Baath party and its charismatic leader Saddam Hussein. She writes of her first days in exile, of the heady days of her activist youth, confinement in Iraqi prisons and a forced departure from family and country. Deftly sketched and simply poetic Zangana’s story is heartbreaking, but her clarity and resilience inspire awe. A must read for one who wants to understand the sociology, culture and politics that has formed the ‘Iraq’ of today.


‘Tso and La: A Journey in Ladakh’ by Vikramajit Ram @ Rs. 325/-(pgs 232)

During the start of summer of 2009 Vikramajit Ram, author of acclaimed ‘Elephant Kingdom’, with his friend Manoj Bawa drove to Ladakh. He was grasped by the beauty of the land and decided to abandon his work of fiction and began writing about this trip. Mixing elements from art and architecture, history and biography ‘Tso and La’ is a book that is truly a tribute to this unfathomable corner of India. Also compiled with pictures of their trip the author strives to discover Ladakh beyond the prayer flags, child-monks and magpies, hoping to find peace for their jaded senses.


‘Endgame: The spectacular rise and fall of Bobby Fischer’ by Frank Brady @ Rs. 399/- (pgs 450)

Who was Bobby Fischer? What motivated him from such a young age, and what was the source of his remarkable intellect? How was it that the ‘Mozart of the Chessboard’, a mind so famously disciplined could unravel so completely? From Fischer’s meteoric rise to an utterly dominant prime and his eventual descent into madness, ‘Endgame’ paints a complete picture of one of America’s most enigmatic icons, a fascinating man and an extraordinary life!

New Books

‘Nani A. Palkhivala: A Life’ by M.V. Kamath @ Rs. 499/- (pgs 524)
‘Oriental Mythology’ by Joseph Campbell (Volume two in The Masks of Gods Series) @ Rs. 750/- (pgs 560)
‘Occidental Mythology’ by Joseph Campbell (Volume three in The Masks of Gods Series) @ Rs. 750/- (pgs 564)
‘The Purple Line’ by Priyamvada N. Purushotham @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 216)
‘You Have to Stop This’ by Pseudonymous Bosch @ Rs. 295/- (pgs 360)
‘Radhika Takes the Plunge’ by Ken Spillman @ Rs. 125/- (pgs 56)
‘Wings of Silence’ by Shriram Iyer @ Rs. 199/- (pgs 244)
‘The Daughters of Joy’ by Deepak Chopra @ Rs. 299/- (pgs 237)
‘The Indus Intercept: In The Badlands of Balochistan every Step is a Minefield’ by Aruna Gill @ Rs. 299/- (pgs 330)
‘The Small Print of Success: The little details which will make BIG difference to your career’ by David Thompson @ Rs. 599/- (pgs 188)
‘Titans of History’ by Simon Sebag Montefiore @ Rs. 399/- (pgs 656)
‘Negotiate To Win: Talking Your Way to What You Want’ by Patrick Collins @ Rs. 175/- (pgs 202)
‘The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk’ by Sudha Murty @ Rs. 199/- (pgs 212)
‘The Tiller of Waters’ by Hoda Barakat @ Rs. 375 (pgs 200)
‘A Current of Blood’ by Namdeo Dhasal @ Rs. 180/- (pgs 118)
‘The Itch You Can’t Scratch’ (A Graphic Novel) by Sumit Kumar @ Rs. 350/- (pgs 178)
‘Melodrama and The Nation: Sexual Economies of Bombay Cinema 1970-2000’ by Karen Gabriel @ Rs. 595/- (pgs 390)
Pop Culture Comics
‘The Adventures of Timpa: Operation Rescue’ @ Rs. 150/- (pgs 38)
‘The Adventures of Timpa: The Red Hooded Gang’ @ Rs. 150/- (pgs 34)
‘Widhwa Ma Andhi Behen’ written by Adhiraj Singh with artist Harsho Mohan Chattoraj @ Rs. 125/- (pgs 31)
‘Munkeeman’ created by Abhishek Sharma (Director of ‘Tere Bin Laden) @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 63)
‘Retrograde’ written by Akshay Dhar with artist Avik Kumar Maitra @ Rs. 125/- (pgs 24)
‘Zombie Talkies’ written by Anish Patel with artist Harshvardhan Kadam @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 73)
‘Chairman Meow’ written by Anant Singh with artist Abhijeet Kini @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 51)

Enjoy your books,

See you at the Store!

From the team at,


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