Home > How To Lounge > Books > 5 books on our shelf

5 books on our shelf

From erotic poetry to breezy fiction, this is what we're reading

Five new titles to read. Photo via Unsplash

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 04.04.2024  |  04:12 PM IST

Wild Women: Seekers, Protagonists and Goddesses in Sacred Indian Poetry edited by Arundhathi Subramaniam (Penguin, 999)

Our sanskar-driven society doesn’t endear itself to wild women easily, even to those who come trailing divinity. But Arundhathi Subramaniam, one of our finest poets, has thrown a double whammy at the custodians of propriety by bringing seekers, protagonists and goddesses under this rubric. From Meerabai to Andal, women in sacred Indian poetry have always stood out for their singularity, shattering norms and questioning the status quo. In this collection, we feel their power, majesty, melancholy and a stunning variety of worldviews.

'Wild Women: Seekers, Protagonists and Goddesses in Sacred Indian Poetry'

Manohar Kahani by Raghu Srinivasan (Hachette India, 399)

Looking for a fun read? Look no further than this slim novel, the perfect light read for a lazy afternoon. In Manohar Kahani, a seemingly ordinary family faces a seemingly ordinary problem. A real estate shark has eyes for the homestay owned by the Mehtas, who are far from amenable to the idea of selling it. Neither the lure of money nor the menace of a rogue businessman can sway the household, more so because it has the support of a hidden army to fight back.

'Manohan Kahani'

How to Love In Sanskrit by Anusha Rao and Suhas Mahesh (HarperCollins, 599)

Among the many things we ought to learn from our ancients is the art and science of love. Sanskrit poetry abounds with the invocation of moods and strategies to attain love, practical tips to seduce and consummate desire, even instructions to master the best modalities of self-love. Be it erotic, sensual or spiritual love, there’s something in this volume that offers a remedy to finding your true love, manipulating your beloved to surrender, mend broken hearts, or even to make up after a fight.

'How to Love In Sanskrit'

Boy, Unloved by Damodar Mauzo, translated from the Konkani by Jerry Pinto (Speaking Tiger, 499)

It’s no surprise that Jerry Pinto has translated this novel by one of the finest writers from Goa into English. The story of a lonely and isolated boy, growing up under the hawk eyes of a tyrannical father into a lonely and isolated young man, finds a strong resonance in several of Pinto’s own fictional works. Slow and sinister, the prose will startle the reader with its breath-taking clarity and hard-hitting truths.

'Boy, Unloved'

Maktub by Paulo Coelho (Thorsons, 499)

What do bestselling authors do when they run out of new ideas? They dig deep into their archives and serve us stale wine in a new bottle. Paulo Coelho’s Maktub suffers from this rehash syndrome. It’s a mishmash of his earlier writings and newspaper stories, even though the publisher has brazenly marketed it as ‘The essential companion to global bestseller, The Alchemist.’ While the hodge-podge of aphorisms and motivational advice in Maktub isn’t too far away from the treacly preachiness of The Alchemist, there’s nothing resembling a story or plot here. Fans beware of the hoopla and tread with caution.