Editor's note: Now that we have the Advisory edition, we will be featuring the brilliant recommendations of our partner, the Champaca Bookstore, in the Read section. FYI: Champaca is an independent women-run and founded bookstore and children's library in Bangalore.
Book of the Month: ‘The Library Book’ by Susan Orlean
We’ve been reflecting on the power of communities, and what they can mean for us in times of strife. Communities are sustained and built in many ways, sometimes around shared interests—like books, and reading.
Susan Orlean’s ‘The Library Book’ is about a seven-hour fire that rages through the public library at Los Angeles in 1986. In the aftermath of the fire, a community of passionate readers come together to save the library they love. In a thrilling whodunit fashion, Orlean traces the world around the Los Angeles Public Library—we meet a host of characters from suspected arsonists, to city librarians, to Suffragettes!
What is striking about ‘The Library Book’ is that Orelan is able to masterfully blend the personal and political. She examines the library as an institution—its social and political history. The book makes us reflect on the ways in which communities weave around bookstores and libraries, and the gentle yet firm way books can tether us to ourselves and the world.
This month, we’re reading ‘The Library Book’ for the Champaca Book Subscription and Book Club. Read this book with us and join us in our book club meeting where we dive deep into the book, and what it meant for us. Join here.
A tasting platter of essay collections
We love essay collections—they’re quick, and engaging pieces of writing that are easy to dip in and out of. Read on for some essay collections we highly recommend.
Tongue In Cheek: by Khyrunnisa A. It is a collection of short essays on experiences and misadventures of an urban woman. Filled with light, relatable, everyday anecdotes, each essay is bound to make you chuckle.
These Precious Days: by Ann Patchett. This is a heartfelt collection of personal essays. From her encounter with Tom Hanks, to her relationship with the three men in her life who she thought of as fathers, Patchett ponders on the meaning of love, friendship, and marriage.
On Animals: by Susan Orlean. How do we humans interact with animals? Orlean ponders over this very question. Backed by thorough research, she profoundly examines the inherent connections between animals, and what it means to foster this relationship.
Life at Champaca: Our team has been reading a variety of books. Earlier this month, our team picked their favourites from our in-store collection and we shared it on Instagram. Find the post here! You can find more of our staff recommendations on our website. Needless to say, the onslaught of winter has been a great excuse for us to stay tucked in our blankets with a book. Instead of choosing between reading and binge watching, we decided to do both! We came up with a list of book to screen adaptations that we love, and decided to experience our favourite stories through multiple mediums. You can find the recommendation list here!
If you’re in Bangalore, we invite you to visit our store, have a cup of hot coffee, and go home with a bag full of books. And as always, you can find us and our book recommendations, and keep up with our upcoming events, on our website, Instagram, and Twitter!