Editor’s note: Here’s your reading inspiration for the month. Anushree Kaushal is back with her popular reading habit list—with books on her radar and literary reads that caught her eye. Over to you, Anushree.
Hello fellow readers. The longlist for the International Booker Prize was recently announced. The prestigious award honours the best book from around the world that has been translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland. Last year, ‘Tomb of Sand’ by Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell, won the whole damn thing and I was ecstatic. This year, I was thrilled again to see ‘Pyre’ by Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, on the list! It is the first ever Tamil novel to have been nominated, and I am of course praying for it to take home the trophy. See the full longlist and some unique facts about this year’s nominees here.
Books on my radar
The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth: Gabe and Pippa have moved into their dream cottage on a cliff. But the cliff is notoriously used by people to jump off from to end their lives. Gabe, however, has unfailingly been present at the cliffs, literally talking scores of people down and saving their lives. But one day, someone does manage to jump, and Gabe seems to have known her… Soon, the many secrets of their perfect lives begin to unravel. I quite like the sound of this.
The Secrets of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden: “It’s 1852 and Margaret Lennox, a young widow, attempts to escape the shadows of her past by taking a position as governess to an only child, Louis, at an isolated country house in the west of England.” That’s enough for me to go and seek out this atmospheric gothic mystery that has undertones of ‘The Turn of the Screw’ by Henry James.
Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman: It is 1799, and aspiring jewellery artist Dora Blake has teamed up with antiquarian scholar Edward Lawrence to unearth the secret surrounding the mysterious Greek vase that’s been delivered to her parents’ once-famed antiquities shop. But what she uncovers soon has her questioning reality as she knows it.
Under Alien Skies: A Sightseer's Guide to the Universe by Philip Plait: We may never see for ourselves what Saturn’s rings from a spaceship sailing just above them, or the insides of a black hole, look like, but we can read astronomer and science communicator Philip Plait’s engaging, entertaining and highly immersive guide to ten spectacular sites in our universe where no man or woman has been before. Having recently read and loved ‘Project Hail Mary’ by Andy Weir, I for one cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this one.
I am currently reading ‘American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI’ by Kate Winkler Dawson, and I am a little torn about it. One the one hand, it is the thrilling tale of American forensic pioneer Edward Oscar Heinrich who rose to prominence in the 1920s with his esoteric methods and his unmatched crime-solving rate. On the other hand, I felt that Winkler, from time to time, gives in to the problematic true crime trope where the crime is described almost to the point of sensationalism. Still, Winkler manages to paint a comprehensive picture of Heinrich, the man and the legend, and how the science of crime scene investigation evolved in the USA over the years.
A list of good literary reads
Book Riot has a good list of the 25 best historical fiction books of the past 10 years. It has ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson, one of my favourite books of all time, in addition to gems like ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr, ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ by Amor Towles and ‘The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton—all TBR-worthy stuff.
Do you ever find yourself juggling two books at a time—sometimes even three and *gulp* more? I’ve started doing that a lot recently: I have a regular book and an audiobook, which is usually non-fiction, going at the same time almost always. On his blog, Austin Kleon talks about how doing just this can mean “bombing your brain with lots of different inputs, recognizing patterns, and pulling a thread of meaning out of it all.” If it’s good enough for Octavia Butler, it’s good enough for me.
Can’t get enough of Succession season 4 and want to get inside Kendall’s head between episodes? LitHub has a list of all the books that Jeremy Strong has talked about in interviews. I’m not surprised to see ‘Knausgaard’ here, and ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel seems more than appropriate to prepare oneself to play a Roy.