By Eshna Sharma
As the pandemic continues to hold us in its grip, summer reading means finally crossing that *one* book off your reading list or finding more books that can help you travel far and wide from your living room couch. As the first clouds of monsoon appear on the horizon, what’s a better way to hold on to that summer feeling than diving into a good book?
Bound brings you a list of books— from magical fantasies to light-hearted comedies and thrillers— for readers of every taste. Scroll down to find the perfect summer read for you!
For Lovers of Witty, Razor-Sharp Prose: ‘Gold Diggers’ by Sanjena Sathian
Soon to be produced as a TV series by Mindy Kaling, debut author Sanjena Sathian’s ‘Gold Diggers’ traces the coming of age story of second-generation immigrant Neil Narayan. Full of hilarity, satire, and magical realism, this book offers a quirky look into the life of diaspora abroad, and an effervescent escape like no other.
For Fans of Drama and Desi Weddings: ‘Destination Wedding’ by Diksha Basu
With the pandemic bringing many marriage plans to a grinding halt, Diksha Basu’s latest novel allows you to immerse yourself in an exciting desi wedding extravaganza. It is topped with memorable characters and a healthy dose of drama that promises a whirlwind of emotions. Pick up this one if you are looking to escape the drudgery of everyday pandemic life.
We discuss ‘Destination Wedding’ and more with Diksha Basu in Season 3 of our podcast Books and Beyond!
For True Crime Lovers: ‘Let Me Say It Now’ by Rakesh Maria
Former Chief of Mumbai Police, Rakesh Maria, unravels the stories behind some complicated and high profile cases. It gives the reader an in-depth look into the dark world of crime and the grit, intellect and perseverance that goes into solving a case. An ideal read for those looking for a deep dive into the working of the Indian police.
For Travelers and Lovers of all Things Goa: ‘Susegad: The Goan Art of Contentment’ by Clyde D’ Souza
Derived from the Portuguese word sossegado meaning “quiet”, Susegad is the Goan way of relaxation. In this light-hearted read, Clyde D’ Souza takes the readers deep into Goa’s villages and way of life, providing golden insights that can help them achieve a calm and content lifestyle. A must-read for anyone fascinated with Goa’s glittering beaches, its exquisite culture and mouth-watering cuisine.
We had a fun chat with Clyde about everything Goa and Susegad for Season 3 of our podcast ‘Books and Beyond’. Listen to it here!
For Lovers of Dark, Gritty Thrillers: ‘Low’ by Jeet Thayil
Thayil’s first book ‘Narcopolis’ won the DSC prize for South Asian literature in 2013. This book follows the main protagonist, Dominic Ullis, as he hurtles headfirst into a world of drugs and grief following his wife’s death. If you enjoy books that expose the dark underbelly of the human psyche, this one is for you.
For Thinkers and Knowledge Seekers: ‘Happy Moments: How to Create Experiences You’ll Remember for a Lifetime’ by Meik Wiking
How can we transform everyday experiences into something magical? The author Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark tries to answer this question in this book. He uses insights from global surveys, behavioural science experiments and data gathered by the institute to enable readers to live a more fulfilling life. If you’re looking for a read that inspires hope, pick this up.
For Poets: Girls Are Coming Out Of The Woods by Tishani Doshi
Tishani Doshi’s incandescent writing illuminates universal experiences such as love, loss, longing, and even breathes a sense of newness into the inconsequential and the mundane. Her lyrical verses capture modern life beautifully. An essential read for fans of contemporary poetry.
For History Enthusiasts: ‘The Last Queen’ by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
A heady mix of drama, betrayal and a romance between royalty and a commoner, ‘The Last Queen’ tells the tale of one of the strongest and most fearless queens of the nineteenth century—Maharani Jindan Kaur. If you’ve loved Divakaruni’s work in the past, or if you enjoy historical focus on strong female characters, this one’s for you.
For Lovers of Life-Affirming Stories: ‘The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters’ by Balli Kaur Jaswal
From the author of ‘Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows’—a book that made it to Reese Witherspoon’s book club—comes a tale that follows the journey of three British-born Punjabi sisters who travel home to fulfil their mother’s final wishes. During a pilgrimage to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the three sisters renew childhood bonds and rediscover themselves. A quirky, fun read that is perfect for those looking for a heart-warming, family-oriented story of love and belonging.
For Young Adults: ‘Pride and Premeditation’ by Tirzah Prince
A murder involving the London high society and a teen protagonist determined to find the killer. ‘Pride and Premeditation’ is a clever reimagining of the much-loved classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with a whodunnit twist. An ideal book for lovers of mystery and those looking for refreshing takes on classics.
Let us know if you enjoy these books! And listen to our podcast ‘Books and Beyond’ for conversations with your favourite authors and more exciting book recommendations!
About the author
Eshna Sharma is a student, writer and poet from Lucknow, India. She is a mentee in Write Beyond Borders, a British Council funded literary programme and the first prize winner of Wingword Poetry Prize 2019.