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Spent the last few weeks reading this really slowly and enjoyably. It's @granta_magazine's Pakistan issue, published in 2010 and perhaps more relevant today than ever before. My favourite pieces were Basharat Peer's essay 'Kashmir's Forever War', Fatima Bhutto's essay on Pakistan's black Sheedi community, Kamila Shamsie's absolutely wonderful look at the history of pop music in Pakistan, and Nadeem Aslam's haunting piece of fiction - Leila In The Wilderness. There's also a superb piece on Jinnah, poetry by Daniyal Mueenuddin and pieces by Mohammad Hanif, Mohsin Hamid, Declan Walsh, and many others. The issue gives one an incredibly holistic view of the young country, is harsh where necessary, and forgiving where one must be. The issue is widely available in Indian bookstores and on Amazon. Xx #grantamagazine #granta #pakistan #booksneedpeople #read

Gorgeous, the way you know an Ondaatje is going to be. The way it seeps into you and stains you. The way it will hurt you by showing you other people's wounds. I never realised how little I know about Sri Lankan history or the conflicts that ripped apart that small island so famous for bikini clad surfers and sunsets that I now know come from all that spilled blood. Also a delight for anyone interested in archaeology, forensics or just plain old good literature. PS: the candle is honeysuckle #prose #poetry #ondaatje #anilsghost #booksneedpeople

Spent the day at the beautiful Earthcare Books, Calcutta - a magical little bookstore complete with Mughal arches. With a carefully selected collection including titles like Malabar Muslim Cookery and The Hour Of The Goddess - Memories of Women, Food & Ritual in Bengal, the spot is a haven for the free thinker. It has an entire section for Dalit authors, huge amounts of books on agricultural revolution, tons of rare Chomsky, and gems like Galeano. It has a magical selection of children's books, old wooden children's toys, and special edition collections including Songs of Sappho and Japanese Fairy Tales under Peter Pauper Press. I also located Dr BR Ambedkar's Annihilation Of Caste! Please visit if you're in town...because #booksneedpeople. Xx PS:The picture shows only half the store.

I got mail! Thank you @atreyiehouse for these delicious books. Funnily, I was at a bookstore two days ago and thought of buying The Handmaid's Tale (I used to have an unread copy and no longer know where it is), and also thought "I really want to read more Khushwant Singh." Voila. Manifested wishes right before your eyes 😱✨Okay QUESTION: How important is it to read The Handmaid's Tale before watching it? Please share opinions. (Still can't believe a clothing brand sent me these. Finally, someone who understands.) #booksforgifts #readmorebooks #booksneedpeople #atwood #khushwantsingh

Two years ago my friends started a little book club called Between The Covers and we've managed across many continents to somehow keep it going. The last book we read was the completely bizarre 'The Night Ocean' by Paul La Farge. Not sure any of you have read it but it follows the life of 1930s cult hero horror and fantasy author HP Lovecraft and dwells on his friendship with the young anthropologist to be - Robert Barlow. After which Barlow's life begins to take over the book and give me a second because it's about to get complicated. The entire story is told to us by Marina Willet, the wife of a certain Charlie Willet who researches and writes a book on Lovecraft and Barlow after he claims to have met Barlow. Then...he disappears. Marina, in an attempt to find her husband (presumed dead), begins tracing the entire story for us. Essentially a royal tribute to the horror genre of the 1920s and '30s, the book is a treat for anyone interested in that time period or topic. It also brings to life the author William Burroughs before he wrote any of his epic drug infused work and was just hanging around Mexico with Barlow. Astoundingly researched, and hiding every theory and story on Barlow and Lovecraft within its layers and layers, the book tends to be given either five stars or one, by amateur reviewers and one can see why - one is either completely fascinated or fairly disinterested in what in many ways is an encyclopaedia of a very niche and specific movement in a specific era. I personally loved the first half, having been exposed to Lovecraft through Tim Burton, and to Burroughs through the Beatniks...but somewhere along the way it felt like the editor had vanished into The Night Ocean too. The finest thing about the book is really the eerie feeling it leaves one with where one wonders what is real and what isn't. In that, it's the perfect Lovecraft tribute. 🕷🕸🌑 (TOP MARKS for cover design!) #thenightocean #paullafarge #booksneedpeople #betweenthecovers #erotonomicon

I read and wrote a small review for Arundhati Roy's new book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - link to the blogpost is in my bio. Please go read it! Here's an excerpt:
When I began the book, despite on-the-fence reviews and a generally sceptical audience, I was enthralled. Planting her feet firmly in Old Delhi, Roy begins the book with a hermaphrodite born in the same space as RoohAfza, a graveyard that very quickly becomes a guest house, a boy indirectly blinded by Subodh Gupta and enough satin and sequins for the entire cast of Cats. What starts out a cross between the brilliance of City Of Djinns and Middlesex, turns very quickly into a scrapbook of Arundhati Roy's own socio-political journey over the last two decades. So much so that at times you pause and say, "Oh Arundhati separate the novelist from the activist for Chrissake!" But with her the personal has always been political, so I'm not sure why we expected less. Its genius is its humour - dry and dark but definitely there, a survival skill beneath all that sorrow. Often searingly painful and a reminder of everything we should be fighting for (and have already lost) as a country, told with the broken-hearted elegance, nonchalance, rage and charm of an Old Delhi courtesan with both boy and girl parts, the book is a bomb which under the right gaze will detonate a thousand thoughts, a thousand feelings. At one point she asks, "What is the acceptable amount of blood for good literature?" And truly - who gets to decide? #arundhatiroy #literature #books #theministryofutmosthappiness #betweenthecovers2017 #read #booksneedpeople

With a cover spared the praise of other writers and speaking to you in art work (beautifully done by Kriti Monga) and magical title alone, The Girl Who Ate Books is a wonder-read. Essentially it charts the history of Indians writing (and reading) in the English language. It contains a collection of essays, a super series of interviews with some of the finest Indian writers writing in English, and has of course a good dose of adventures in general. It addresses big intellectual questions like - "who are Indian authors writing for", the issue of plagiarism and says goodbye to some of Indian literature's favourite real life characters (think book sellers and one grand old sardarji) but feels all the while like Nilanjana is chatting with you over chai or walking you through the streets of Kolkata or Old Delhi. Packed with anecdote, light and amusing yet somehow profound, brimming with knowledge and deeply personal all at once, it is a treasure trove for the avid reader and a pair of magical binoculars into the windows of the great mansion of Indian writing. Moving smoothly from pre-1857 to the last two tumbling decades of journalism and novels, the short pieces leave you in awe of the journey. Honestly, so good...you'll want to eat it.

@nilanjanasroy @kritimonga_ @harpercollinsin
#thegirlwhoatebooks #booksneedpeople #nilanjanaroy #read #betweenthecovers #betweenthecovers2017

Over a year ago my friends @mihi.at.sea and @diyanayar started a little book club called Between The Covers (@betweenthecovers2017 ) and we just got our own Instagram page! If you're looking for book recommendations, for ideas or suggestions on what to read, or small write ups on books...if you'd just like to get involved, or just feel a bit "literary", follow us for some fun. Here's my first post for the club. Hoping to do many more. If you have recommendations, hashtag your posts with #betweenthecovers2017 ✨📚☕️✨
.
.
.
#Repost @betweenthecovers2017
・・・
I've been meaning to read this book for years, mainly because I've lived in Delhi for almost 30! Ironically decided to read it as I shifted away from the city. Perhaps that's why I found it all the more poignant but honestly, I felt anyone who's visited the city even once, or plans to, should read this book. It goes through 3000 years of history with such a light touch, is full of anecdote and incident, and is all told through the humorous Scottish voice of a then 25 year old Dalrymple. You'll fall so in love with the incredible past he presents - he works backwards through Indira Gandhi's death, partition and the coming of the Punjabis, to the British occupation, the Twilight Years, the Mughal Empire, Prithviraj Chauhan and eventually the time of the Mahabharata when Delhi was Indraprastha. What's additionally lovely though are his present day characters like Balvinder Singh of International Backside Taxi Service, and Sufi scholar Dr Jaffrey. Made the city I've called home for so long, finally come alive, with more than just blaring horns and terrifying newspaper headlines. My favourite book of 2016. ~ Love, KP #dalrymple #cityofdjinns #betweenthecovers #bookclub #reading #booksneedpeople #delhi

I hadn't been keeping track of him of late, so imagine if you can my absolute delight when I saw this new Nadeem Aslam book at the airport the other day. I bought it in under 45 seconds, shoving aside one poor Mallu student to pay first, lest the book evaporate or I wake from the dream. I thought I'd start it next week, but one single page in I started getting that feeling: I have one foot off the cliff already and I shouldn't turn the page but I do...and I am off, I am floating, then I am falling, I am tumbling and before I know it I am down the rabbit hole and I've landed in a field of Aslam's delicate, incredible prose, his unwavering voice of perfection, his bruised world full of beauty, his honourable characters and their dark fates. I am in a world of frozen moths and bird wings and whale vertebrae and wooden mosques. His world is always so much more elegant than ours.
I once had the utmost privilege of interviewing Aslam and I asked him if he knew how hard people thought his books were to read...he laughed and said, "Well I know they're hard to write". Reading one of Aslam's books is like reaching for the highest fruit on the tree...finishing one of Aslam's books is like tasting that fruit and knowing it was indeed the sweetest.
Never more relevant than now, his books are a whirlwind of the elements of Islam, and like a true Sufi he draws light to the most refined parts and in turn exposes the horrors of the others. This one is based in Pakistan and four chapters in is already heartbreaking.
Each page contains a hundred sighs. Begin now, I beg you. .
#nadeemaslam #betweenthecovers2017 #betweenthecovers #booksneedpeople

MOST RECENT

I got mail! Thank you @atreyiehouse for these delicious books. Funnily, I was at a bookstore two days ago and thought of buying The Handmaid's Tale (I used to have an unread copy and no longer know where it is), and also thought "I really want to read more Khushwant Singh." Voila. Manifested wishes right before your eyes 😱✨Okay QUESTION: How important is it to read The Handmaid's Tale before watching it? Please share opinions. (Still can't believe a clothing brand sent me these. Finally, someone who understands.) #booksforgifts #readmorebooks #booksneedpeople #atwood #khushwantsingh

#Repost @ezarawrites
・・・
Two years ago my friends started a little book club called Between The Covers and we've managed across many continents to somehow keep it going. The last book we read was the completely bizarre 'The Night Ocean' by Paul La Farge. Not sure any of you have read it but it follows the life of 1930s cult hero horror and fantasy author HP Lovecraft and dwells on his friendship with the young anthropologist to be - Robert Barlow. After which Barlow's life begins to take over the book and give me a second because it's about to get complicated. The entire story is told to us by Marina Willet, the wife of a certain Charlie Willet who researches and writes a book on Lovecraft and Barlow after he claims to have met Barlow. Then...he disappears. Marina, in an attempt to find her husband (presumed dead), begins tracing the entire story for us. Essentially a royal tribute to the horror genre of the 1920s and '30s, the book is a treat for anyone interested in that time period or topic. It also brings to life the author William Burroughs before he wrote any of his epic drug infused work and was just hanging around Mexico with Barlow. Astoundingly researched, and hiding every theory and story on Barlow and Lovecraft within its layers and layers, the book tends to be given either five stars or one, by amateur reviewers and one can see why - one is either completely fascinated or fairly disinterested in what in many ways is an encyclopaedia of a very niche and specific movement in a specific era. I personally loved the first half, having been exposed to Lovecraft through Tim Burton, and to Burroughs through the Beatniks...but somewhere along the way it felt like the editor had vanished into The Night Ocean too. The finest thing about the book is really the eerie feeling it leaves one with where one wonders what is real and what isn't. In that, it's the perfect Lovecraft tribute. 🕷🕸🌑 (TOP MARKS for cover design!) #thenightocean #paullafarge #booksneedpeople #betweenthecovers #erotonomicon

Two years ago my friends started a little book club called Between The Covers and we've managed across many continents to somehow keep it going. The last book we read was the completely bizarre 'The Night Ocean' by Paul La Farge. Not sure any of you have read it but it follows the life of 1930s cult hero horror and fantasy author HP Lovecraft and dwells on his friendship with the young anthropologist to be - Robert Barlow. After which Barlow's life begins to take over the book and give me a second because it's about to get complicated. The entire story is told to us by Marina Willet, the wife of a certain Charlie Willet who researches and writes a book on Lovecraft and Barlow after he claims to have met Barlow. Then...he disappears. Marina, in an attempt to find her husband (presumed dead), begins tracing the entire story for us. Essentially a royal tribute to the horror genre of the 1920s and '30s, the book is a treat for anyone interested in that time period or topic. It also brings to life the author William Burroughs before he wrote any of his epic drug infused work and was just hanging around Mexico with Barlow. Astoundingly researched, and hiding every theory and story on Barlow and Lovecraft within its layers and layers, the book tends to be given either five stars or one, by amateur reviewers and one can see why - one is either completely fascinated or fairly disinterested in what in many ways is an encyclopaedia of a very niche and specific movement in a specific era. I personally loved the first half, having been exposed to Lovecraft through Tim Burton, and to Burroughs through the Beatniks...but somewhere along the way it felt like the editor had vanished into The Night Ocean too. The finest thing about the book is really the eerie feeling it leaves one with where one wonders what is real and what isn't. In that, it's the perfect Lovecraft tribute. 🕷🕸🌑 (TOP MARKS for cover design!) #thenightocean #paullafarge #booksneedpeople #betweenthecovers #erotonomicon

Spent the day at the beautiful Earthcare Books, Calcutta - a magical little bookstore complete with Mughal arches. With a carefully selected collection including titles like Malabar Muslim Cookery and The Hour Of The Goddess - Memories of Women, Food & Ritual in Bengal, the spot is a haven for the free thinker. It has an entire section for Dalit authors, huge amounts of books on agricultural revolution, tons of rare Chomsky, and gems like Galeano. It has a magical selection of children's books, old wooden children's toys, and special edition collections including Songs of Sappho and Japanese Fairy Tales under Peter Pauper Press. I also located Dr BR Ambedkar's Annihilation Of Caste! Please visit if you're in town...because #booksneedpeople. Xx PS:The picture shows only half the store.

Gorgeous, the way you know an Ondaatje is going to be. The way it seeps into you and stains you. The way it will hurt you by showing you other people's wounds. I never realised how little I know about Sri Lankan history or the conflicts that ripped apart that small island so famous for bikini clad surfers and sunsets that I now know come from all that spilled blood. Also a delight for anyone interested in archaeology, forensics or just plain old good literature. PS: the candle is honeysuckle #prose #poetry #ondaatje #anilsghost #booksneedpeople

Spent the last few weeks reading this really slowly and enjoyably. It's @granta_magazine's Pakistan issue, published in 2010 and perhaps more relevant today than ever before. My favourite pieces were Basharat Peer's essay 'Kashmir's Forever War', Fatima Bhutto's essay on Pakistan's black Sheedi community, Kamila Shamsie's absolutely wonderful look at the history of pop music in Pakistan, and Nadeem Aslam's haunting piece of fiction - Leila In The Wilderness. There's also a superb piece on Jinnah, poetry by Daniyal Mueenuddin and pieces by Mohammad Hanif, Mohsin Hamid, Declan Walsh, and many others. The issue gives one an incredibly holistic view of the young country, is harsh where necessary, and forgiving where one must be. The issue is widely available in Indian bookstores and on Amazon. Xx #grantamagazine #granta #pakistan #booksneedpeople #read

With a cover spared the praise of other writers and speaking to you in art work (beautifully done by Kriti Monga) and magical title alone, The Girl Who Ate Books is a wonder-read. Essentially it charts the history of Indians writing (and reading) in the English language. It contains a collection of essays, a super series of interviews with some of the finest Indian writers writing in English, and has of course a good dose of adventures in general. It addresses big intellectual questions like - "who are Indian authors writing for", the issue of plagiarism and says goodbye to some of Indian literature's favourite real life characters (think book sellers and one grand old sardarji) but feels all the while like Nilanjana is chatting with you over chai or walking you through the streets of Kolkata or Old Delhi. Packed with anecdote, light and amusing yet somehow profound, brimming with knowledge and deeply personal all at once, it is a treasure trove for the avid reader and a pair of magical binoculars into the windows of the great mansion of Indian writing. Moving smoothly from pre-1857 to the last two tumbling decades of journalism and novels, the short pieces leave you in awe of the journey. Honestly, so good...you'll want to eat it.

@nilanjanasroy @kritimonga_ @harpercollinsin
#thegirlwhoatebooks #booksneedpeople #nilanjanaroy #read #betweenthecovers #betweenthecovers2017

#Repost @karunaezara
・・・
I read and wrote a small review for Arundhati Roy's new book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - link to the blogpost is in my bio. Please go read it! Here's an excerpt:
When I began the book, despite on-the-fence reviews and a generally sceptical audience, I was enthralled. Planting her feet firmly in Old Delhi, Roy begins the book with a hermaphrodite born in the same space as RoohAfza, a graveyard that very quickly becomes a guest house, a boy indirectly blinded by Subodh Gupta and enough satin and sequins for the entire cast of Cats. What starts out a cross between the brilliance of City Of Djinns and Middlesex, turns very quickly into a scrapbook of Arundhati Roy's own socio-political journey over the last two decades. So much so that at times you pause and say, "Oh Arundhati separate the novelist from the activist for Chrissake!" But with her the personal has always been political, so I'm not sure why we expected less. Its genius is its humour - dry and dark but definitely there, a survival skill beneath all that sorrow. Often searingly painful and a reminder of everything we should be fighting for (and have already lost) as a country, told with the broken-hearted elegance, nonchalance, rage and charm of an Old Delhi courtesan with both boy and girl parts, the book is a bomb which under the right gaze will detonate a thousand thoughts, a thousand feelings. At one point she asks, "What is the acceptable amount of blood for good literature?" And truly - who gets to decide? #arundhatiroy #literature #books #theministryofutmosthappiness #betweenthecovers2017 #read #booksneedpeople

I read and wrote a small review for Arundhati Roy's new book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - link to the blogpost is in my bio. Please go read it! Here's an excerpt:
When I began the book, despite on-the-fence reviews and a generally sceptical audience, I was enthralled. Planting her feet firmly in Old Delhi, Roy begins the book with a hermaphrodite born in the same space as RoohAfza, a graveyard that very quickly becomes a guest house, a boy indirectly blinded by Subodh Gupta and enough satin and sequins for the entire cast of Cats. What starts out a cross between the brilliance of City Of Djinns and Middlesex, turns very quickly into a scrapbook of Arundhati Roy's own socio-political journey over the last two decades. So much so that at times you pause and say, "Oh Arundhati separate the novelist from the activist for Chrissake!" But with her the personal has always been political, so I'm not sure why we expected less. Its genius is its humour - dry and dark but definitely there, a survival skill beneath all that sorrow. Often searingly painful and a reminder of everything we should be fighting for (and have already lost) as a country, told with the broken-hearted elegance, nonchalance, rage and charm of an Old Delhi courtesan with both boy and girl parts, the book is a bomb which under the right gaze will detonate a thousand thoughts, a thousand feelings. At one point she asks, "What is the acceptable amount of blood for good literature?" And truly - who gets to decide? #arundhatiroy #literature #books #theministryofutmosthappiness #betweenthecovers2017 #read #booksneedpeople

I hadn't been keeping track of him of late, so imagine if you can my absolute delight when I saw this new Nadeem Aslam book at the airport the other day. I bought it in under 45 seconds, shoving aside one poor Mallu student to pay first, lest the book evaporate or I wake from the dream. I thought I'd start it next week, but one single page in I started getting that feeling: I have one foot off the cliff already and I shouldn't turn the page but I do...and I am off, I am floating, then I am falling, I am tumbling and before I know it I am down the rabbit hole and I've landed in a field of Aslam's delicate, incredible prose, his unwavering voice of perfection, his bruised world full of beauty, his honourable characters and their dark fates. I am in a world of frozen moths and bird wings and whale vertebrae and wooden mosques. His world is always so much more elegant than ours.
I once had the utmost privilege of interviewing Aslam and I asked him if he knew how hard people thought his books were to read...he laughed and said, "Well I know they're hard to write". Reading one of Aslam's books is like reaching for the highest fruit on the tree...finishing one of Aslam's books is like tasting that fruit and knowing it was indeed the sweetest.
Never more relevant than now, his books are a whirlwind of the elements of Islam, and like a true Sufi he draws light to the most refined parts and in turn exposes the horrors of the others. This one is based in Pakistan and four chapters in is already heartbreaking.
Each page contains a hundred sighs. Begin now, I beg you. .
#nadeemaslam #betweenthecovers2017 #betweenthecovers #booksneedpeople

Over a year ago my friends @mihi.at.sea and @diyanayar started a little book club called Between The Covers (@betweenthecovers2017 ) and we just got our own Instagram page! If you're looking for book recommendations, for ideas or suggestions on what to read, or small write ups on books...if you'd just like to get involved, or just feel a bit "literary", follow us for some fun. Here's my first post for the club. Hoping to do many more. If you have recommendations, hashtag your posts with #betweenthecovers2017 ✨📚☕️✨
.
.
.
#Repost @betweenthecovers2017
・・・
I've been meaning to read this book for years, mainly because I've lived in Delhi for almost 30! Ironically decided to read it as I shifted away from the city. Perhaps that's why I found it all the more poignant but honestly, I felt anyone who's visited the city even once, or plans to, should read this book. It goes through 3000 years of history with such a light touch, is full of anecdote and incident, and is all told through the humorous Scottish voice of a then 25 year old Dalrymple. You'll fall so in love with the incredible past he presents - he works backwards through Indira Gandhi's death, partition and the coming of the Punjabis, to the British occupation, the Twilight Years, the Mughal Empire, Prithviraj Chauhan and eventually the time of the Mahabharata when Delhi was Indraprastha. What's additionally lovely though are his present day characters like Balvinder Singh of International Backside Taxi Service, and Sufi scholar Dr Jaffrey. Made the city I've called home for so long, finally come alive, with more than just blaring horns and terrifying newspaper headlines. My favourite book of 2016. ~ Love, KP #dalrymple #cityofdjinns #betweenthecovers #bookclub #reading #booksneedpeople #delhi

I've been meaning to read this book for years, mainly because I've lived in Delhi for almost 30! Ironically decided to read it as I shifted away from the city. Perhaps that's why I found it all the more poignant but honestly, I felt anyone who's visited the city even once, or plans to, should read this book. It goes through 3000 years of history with such a light touch, is full of anecdote and incident, and is all told through the humorous Scottish voice of a then 25 year old Dalrymple. You'll fall so in love with the incredible past he presents - he works backwards through Indira Gandhi's death, partition and the coming of the Punjabis, to the British occupation, the Twilight Years, the Mughal Empire, Prithviraj Chauhan and eventually the time of the Mahabharata when Delhi was Indraprastha. What's additionally lovely though are his present day characters like Balvinder Singh of International Backside Taxi Service, and Sufi scholar Dr Jaffrey. Made the city I've called home for so long, finally come alive, with more than just blaring horns and terrifying newspaper headlines. My favourite book of 2016. ~ Love, KP #dalrymple #cityofdjinns #betweenthecovers #bookclub #reading #booksneedpeople #delhi

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