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Booker Prize Illuminates South Asia

The Booker she won for the novel translated into English by Daisy Rockwell revolves around an elderly woman confronting depression who decides to visit Pakistan after several years of the partition has not only illuminated her work but also brought into focus the entire South Asian region…writes Sukant Deepak

Even as she gives final edits to her upcoming novel titled ‘Sah-sa’, Geetanjali Shree, International Booker Prize winner (2022) for ‘Ret Samadhi’, translated as ‘Tombs of Sand’, for who the last year has been about attending multiple literature festivals, book launches and giving talks; says a writer’s life is always about striking the desired balance between how much to be in the midst of everything and how much to go into retreat and solitude to mull over things and create.

Adding that Booker has brought home that negotiation in a very dramatic and intense way, and overnight, she stresses that currently she is catapulted by it into a very public space, of much visibility and audibility, which is daunting for a person with the opposite leanings that she is.

“It is also rattling to be seen as an expert of well-nigh anything and answer questions about any and everything. Even more traumatic if you will, is the aggravated embroilment with forces such as the market, advertising, and selling. The final edits of ‘Sah-sa’, need a concentrated slot of time, which I am not able to get, so it is happening spread out over several slots of time,” she tells.

Shree also feels that on the converse side, Booker has ‘returned’ literature to her.

Stressing that it came soon after the world started to open post-pandemic, the author says, “The latter had turned the future into a big gloomy question and writing too despaired, though it carried on because while you are alive you breathe! But suddenly – overnight, as I said – I was back in the world of readers, writers, and books, with a vengeance. It has been overwhelming to connect with so many more of my community and my love. Of course, I need my writer’s space back. I am slowly getting it back…”

The Booker she won for the novel translated into English by Daisy Rockwell revolves around an elderly woman confronting depression who decides to visit Pakistan after several years of the partition has not only illuminated her work but also brought into focus the entire South Asian region.

Shree says, “How can I feel anything but good about it? After all, however much of a loner one might be, we all represent more than just our own single self. I carry my community, my world, my times, and society in me, and in a mysterious symbiotic umbilical cord link, we are made of whispers and echoes of each other. I am happy that through me, the light is shed on a larger world around me – it is my moment but also a collective one.”

Mention the fact that the entire conversation is around ‘Ret Samadhi’ only, and a lot of her other important work (including ‘Khali Jagah’, ‘Hamara Shehar Us Baras’, ‘Tirohit’ and ‘Yahan Hathi Rahate The’) not getting the attention they deserve, and she asserts, “What is the attention one deserves? Who gets it? A mishmash of things, especially in today’s world of hype and market, affects that. I have never been the sort of writer who stresses about how much or how little attention I am receiving. Readers must reach out and search out books, I am hardly going to spend my time beckoning them! Yes, ‘Ret Samadhi’ is in focus because Booker pointed that way. Serious readers know an award is recognition but does not ‘birth’ the author. I like to believe they are interested in the writer’s entire oeuvre. ‘Ret Samadhi’ is enjoying its ‘moment’. Lovers of literature will explore further, or else…their loss …!”

For someone who prefers to stay away from social media, a space now being used quite aggressively by many writers and artists, Shree feels that the medium is a mixed blessing — It has worked well for quick communication and relaying of ideas, and debates, but on the converse side also led to wile conversations and rumour-mongering.

“It has also often dumbed down debate and arrogated to itself the presumption that it is a reliable judge of quality and will make and break reputations. I prefer to keep far from it, much as I keep away from ‘market’ considerations as a guide to my writing life. Marketing is not of primacy to me and certainly not what I wish to expend my energies on.

“Of course, I am a creature of my times, caught in the winds that blow. So I cannot claim that market forces do not touch me, but I just do not concern myself with them. What happens and does not happen there is a dynamic of things not of my will or desire. I prefer it that way. The writer and her work belong to her time but – people aggressively in a market rat race forget this – importantly, also to a space and time that is beyond today and which is where Literature revels and resides. We can only do what we are doing sincerely and time and space will give us a slot. Or not,” she adds.

However, she does say that encounters with readers can be most life-affirming for a writer. Citing an example of an emotional son who approached her during a literature festival and said her book was the last book his mother read, and after reading it she folded her hands together – he repeated her gesture. “I cannot exactly replicate it – and she said to him that she wants to meet this writer. It was sad and joyous to connect with her son and feel her humanity, appreciation, and presence. It certainly makes you grateful for the community you belong to and humbles you ‘proudly’ for a small joy you have been able to give.”

Even as debates rage on the role of a writer/artist about recording political and social scenarios of their times, and the observation that the divisiveness of Partition is not just a thing of the past, she believes that recording stories, all stories, is important, and they don’t just belong to the present, but also to the past and the future that we imagine, want or fear.

“But it may not be a conscious agenda of the writer to record something. Rather her sensitivity, which hones her observation and intuition, takes her naturally along that way. Partition is a reality in North India. It continues to ramify into new and undesirable effects. I do not have to try to write about it. It is in my and our being. But partition is also a universal human experience and mostly a painful one. From which emanate innumerable stories which will continue to be told in all parts of the world,” says Shree, who was recently in Chandigarh for ‘Literati’.

The writer, who believes in ‘discovering’ the stories already fluttering inside her or in those around, intuition plays a huge role. However, she believes in intuition, not as some glorified super-human place, but rather a source in us, which is refined as we go along – by our locations of all kinds be it history, geography, autobiography, biographies, sensitivities, observations, imagination, aesthetic sense, even chance.

“I can hardly make an expert exhaustive list! I often quote Ustad Ali Akbar Khan on this – that when he starts he plays the sarod and soon the latter takes over and plays him. That is the beauty of artistic creation. Also, some of our deepest possibilities, both good and bad, lie in our subconscious, our entrails, if you will. A writer takes courage to discover those lights and darknesses, both.

“One is, of course, surprised at various points in the creative process – where did that come from? But that is precisely where that undefinable energy or breath lies, which enlivens a work of art,” she says.

While the past decade has seen a major rise in translations from Hindi and other languages into English, and there may also be fears of something being ‘lost’ in the process, she feels there is a need for translations among other languages.

“The hierarchy with English on the top is limiting and has mono-language repercussions, which feeds into all kinds of monocultural impulses. And that monocultural impulses make easy link-ups with dictatorial ambitions. Besides, there is such a rich conversation out there for humanity in celebrating the plurality of languages as language comes with its culture and philosophy, and the vocabulary of seeing, being, and expressing gets extended for all. The writer and the translator are matchingly important; mutually so, too. One facilitates the other and also extends the other.

“Something is always lost in translation. But let me hasten to add that everything is translation starting from rendering an inchoate, inarticulate thought/feeling into words. Just shifting from one set of expressions to another is translation and that is a process, not a complete exercise. So something constantly changes, but also opens another world. ‘Lost’ must not be seen as a negative here. Perhaps changed is a better word. Translation – approximating towards – that is exciting, enriching, ongoing, evocative. No closure here.

“Most importantly, translation is not about moving technically from some exact meaning to the same meaning – replicas are not being sought or possible, except by machines, and maybe not even there. The endeavour is to carry across a feel, an experience, a sensibility and sensitivity, a cadence, a philosophy, and it acquires a new dimension as soon as it is uttered in another language. ‘Pyar’ and love echo their own separate worlds. So translation is the same and also always different and it is an energy that does not end. This inconquerability, uncontrollability, has to be enjoyed for it’s all about the ephemerality, changeability, malleability, volatility, and fluidity of experience. Translation is life, not death,” she concludes.

ALSO READ-Booker list helps me develop faith about view of life

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Why Reading Matters?

Storybooks often address emotions, feelings, and social situations that children might be encountering for the first time. Reading about characters who experience similar emotions helps children understand their feelings and develop empathy…writes  Priyanka Shah

Every successful person ends up having one thing in common- their thirst for knowledge. And what do they do to gain such intellect? They read! They read and read about everything on god’s green earth and then form their own thoughts about the many things they’ve read. Sounds easy enough, right? However, it is not.

Let’s be honest, none other than habitual readers can pick a book and start reading it. Developing this habit is a lot harder when you are 30 years old. As consumable content duration shrinks and our tolerance with it, parents must recognise that now is the right time to develop a love for reading early in kids which will surely help them when they grow up. This will give them an early advantage and set them up for success.

Reading storybooks should be a part of every child’s life and it should start as early as possible. One can even start with reading board books to one’s 6 months old baby. In fact, reading books early has many lesser-known benefits such as:

Reading plays a crucial role in a child’s development and overall well-being. The importance of reading and exposure to storybooks cannot be overstated, as they contribute to a wide range of cognitive, emotional, social, and educational benefits.

Reading stimulates brain development by encouraging critical thinking, imagination, and problem-solving skills.

Exposure to books and reading from a young age lays the foundation for early literacy skills, such as letter recognition and understanding the structure of written language.

Storybooks often address emotions, feelings, and social situations that children might be encountering for the first time. Reading about characters who experience similar emotions helps children understand their feelings and develop empathy.

The habit of reading is something that pays off for a long time! Children who enjoy reading are more likely to seek out knowledge and continue exploring new ideas as they grow older.

However, the screen time dilemma has become every parent’s nightmare. No matter how much parents try, the screens dominate every child’s life and it is close to impossible to keep them away from screens all the time. Finding the right balance and managing screen time effectively is crucial for the healthy development and well-being of children.

But in a screen-dominated world where do the pretty little paperbacks fit? How does one walk the tightrope between screen and story? While we are surrounded by technology, we often forget that we are living in the age of knowledge where we can find solutions to many challenges. Here is a list of platforms that took this challenge head-on. These platforms are constantly working on bridging to make screen time worthwhile by helping kids develop cool reading habits in a digital playground:


Jumbaya brings a curated library of just the best storybooks from around the world covering genres like folktales, mythology, adventure, animals, morals, sci-fi, bedtime stories and many more! All their storybooks are done in a thoughtfully animated read-along format with SLS (Same Language Subtitling) that can help significantly improve a child’s reading abilities as well as develop vocabulary and language skills. They also have storybooks in Hindi and plan to bring storybooks in other Indian and global languages.


Epic is a platform dedicated to bringing storybooks from the page to the screen. This app makes books more accessible to kids. A lot of their books have a read-aloud feature that makes it easier for kids to follow the words while reading. 


An initiative by Pratham books, this is a free library of multiple books from around the world for kids. Most of their storybooks are also available in many Indian and international languages. They even follow a unique system of ‘Levels’ which can be used to map out a book to a kid’s reading ability.

In a world where screens beckon from every corner, finding meaningful experiences becomes a need of the hour. But with moderated content and platforms you’ll soon find that your child’s screen time can be a source of smiles through the pleasure of reading! In the digital playground, let literature be your guide to a more fulfilling and enriching use of technology. With these cool reading habits, the digital world becomes a playground for the mind and soul.

ALSO READ-Best books for your July reading list

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Tapestry of Narratives in Ten Captivating Books

Arsh Verma’s debut thriller, “The Velvet Hotline”is an adrenaline-fueled ride. This gripping novel introduces readers to Ayingbi Mayengbam, a kind-hearted kindergarten teacher turned crisis hotline operator, whose journey spirals into a world of supernatural terror and suspense…Reports Asian Lite News

In the tenth volume of the Rethinking India series, some of India’s most eminent persons from Sonia Gandhi, Margaret Alva, Hamid Ansari to Mallikarjun Kharge write of how we can think of re-engineering India’s hardware (redressing structural flaws in India’s existing institutions, creating new institutions equipped to address fresh challenges and re-engaging all of India’s systems), as well as ensuring progressive forces radically reinvent their political strategies and operational methodologies to socialize Indians to constitutional values.

In the midst of India’s political evolution, this game-changing book emerges to challenge the norm and spark a dialogue that captivates the nation. “Rethinking India: The Great Indian Manthan” confronts critical issues head-on and offers a fresh perspective on India’s socio-economic and political landscape.


Celebrating his 60th year of life, Harish Bhat, renowned for his business acumen, surprises his audience with his first poetry collection. This accessible and beautifully crafted book offers a fresh perspective on modern life, providing moments of solace within the chaos.

The modern age is characterized by speed, impersonality, and absurdity. It is easy to get caught up in the rush and forget the small, everyday things that string together to build the everyday. At times pleasing, at others disturbing, the lines within these pages promise to give pause, inspire and stir emotion.


The year 2014 was a consequential one for the Bharatiya Janata Party and for India. Will 2024 also be so?

Released on November 15th, this thought-provoking work delves into whether the 2024 election will be as pivotal for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and India as the transformative year of 2014. The authors skillfully dissect the concerns of the INDIA bloc regarding Narendra Modi’s vision for the country and his alleged distortion of the ‘idea of India.’ Through evocative, anecdotal, and deeply researched arguments, the book chronicles the emergence of a new republic, raising questions about the potential shift towards a ‘Hindu Rashtra.’ Whether you’re interested in politics, history, or the future of India, this book promises a sharp, incisive, and revealing exploration of the battle for Bharat.


Arsh Verma’s debut thriller, “The Velvet Hotline”is an adrenaline-fueled ride. This gripping novel introduces readers to Ayingbi Mayengbam, a kind-hearted kindergarten teacher turned crisis hotline operator, whose journey spirals into a world of supernatural terror and suspense.

In this fast-paced narrative, Verma weaves a tale that transcends genres, offering readers a perfect blend of mystery, noir, and spine-chilling horror. Ayingbi, a resilient Manipuri woman, becomes an unlikely heroine as she battles not only the demons on the other end of the line but also the haunting secrets of her enigmatic boss, Dr. Rastogi.


What if a book could completely challenge your perspective on religion and social justice, and pave the way for a more just and equitable society?

‘Muslim Politics in India’ will take you in a profound exploration of the intricate relationship between religion and social justice. This transformative journey challenges preconceptions, sparking discussions on the role of faith in shaping a more just society. Authored by Hamid Dalwai, a fearless advocate for reason and justice, this book is a courageous narrative that inspires readers to question, understand, and contribute to positive change. Discover Dalwai’s compelling analysis of Muslim politics, a timeless voice of reason for our contemporary times.


How can we be resilient in the face of universal pain?

In this transformative guide, Kirti draws from her public grief over Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death to offer insights on rising above suffering. Blending science, spirituality, and philosophy, the book serves as a roadmap for finding inner peace amid life’s challenges. A beacon of hope, it inspires readers to embrace pain as a catalyst for personal growth. This is not just a memoir; it’s an invitation to discover the transformative power within pain. Shweta Singh Kirti’s wisdom makes “Pain: A Portal to Enlightenment” a must-read for those seeking resilience and understanding.


“Getting Dressed and Parking Cars” by Alok Kejriwal is a riveting chronicle of entrepreneurship and resilience. Kejriwal, CEO of Games2win, takes readers on a rollercoaster journey through the highs and lows of startup life, sharing real-life stories that capture the essence of creation and success.

In this must-read book, Kejriwal bares it all— from getting arrested to facing the theft of top games, and the humbling quest for a chief technology officer in San Francisco. The narrative unfolds as a celebration of spirit, a testament to the unpredictable yet rewarding path of building a business.


‘Every Indian is familiar with the Ramayana. Shantanu Gupta’s book will make every reader relate to it’—Bibek Debroy

Drawing from twenty-five stories of the Ramayana, Shantanu Gupta offers simple solutions for real-life challenges, from handling negative influences to fostering meaningful friendships. “Teachings from the Ramayana” offers a unique blend of ancient wisdom and modern applicability, providing readers with actionable insights for navigating the complexities of family life.

This interactive edition invites readers to reflect, take notes, and engage in family discussions, making it a delightful and essential read.


Arab News Books Saudi Arabia

Bits Pilani Alumnus Sandhya Prakash’s Book Is Now No 2 In Gender Studies On Amazon

Sandhya Prakash unveils a riveting tale of resilience in her first book as debut author of “Shifting Sands of Saudi” .

Debut-making Indian Author Sandhya Prakash (Iyengar ) launches her first book on life in the Arab World . “Shifting Sands of Saudi” . It’s an expatriate’s account of life in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s .A resident of the Middle East for over two decades and now returned to  Bangalore, a  thought Leader, champion of sustainability and environmental issues, alumnus of BITS Pilani ,  TEDx speaker, 

Entrepreneur and Singer, known for her storytelling prowess and her ability to transport readers to diverse and engaging worlds, Sandhya unveils a riveting tale of resilience in her first book as debut author of “Shifting Sands of Saudi” .

Sandhya is famous for her work with individuals, companies and communities to help them fix the foundation and get the right product market fit. She has a background in management studies, 25+ years of work experience in the middle east in trading, software and sustainability, launching 8 companies, expert in Energy Sustainability and Management and she is a licensed Energy Healer.

Her  work of fiction, “Shifting Sands of Saudi.” Set against the backdrop of 1990s Saudi Arabia, this  captivating novel delves into the challenges faced by the protagonist, Saakshi, as she navigates the  complexities of the era. “Shifting Sands of Saudi” is a compelling narrative that offers a poignant glimpse into the life of  Saakshi, a woman determined to overcome the societal restrictions and the watchful eyes of the  Muttawas in Saudi Arabia. In this 212 page novel, Sandhya weaves multiple incidents across timeline in 1990s

“Shifting Sands of Saudi” is a must-read for those who appreciate gripping short stories of personal  triumph, set against the backdrop of a unique and culturally rich environment.

ALSO READ: Goa’s First Mainstreet Art Festival: A Feast for the Senses

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‘The Winter Within’ : Unspoken Realities of Kashmir

One would expect the director to be upbeat about the attention he draws to the Valley, but he tells that he feels bereft after making it, as he does not know how many people it will reach. ..writes Sukant Deepak

In the bleak cold of Kashmir, Nargis’ gaze cuts right through. The atmospherics scheme with her tragedy and silences become a partner to reveal the conflict that is not just external.

National award-winning filmmaker Aamir Bashir’s latest film ‘The Winter Within’, that was screened during the latest edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF), premiered at the 27th Busan International Film Festival and revolves around Nargis (Zoya Hussein), a domestic help whose husband Manzoor has been picked by the security forces and is ‘missing’. Forced to return to her village as a ‘half widow’, in a subversion to the Greek Penelope, where she weaves an intricate Kani shawl awaiting her husband’s return, she is unable to move on despite the attention shown by the weaving workshop owner Yaseen.

One would expect the director to be upbeat about the attention he draws to the Valley, but he tells that he feels bereft after making it, as he does not know how many people it will reach. 

“I do begin to question myself as we are in these bubbles where like-minded people turn up at festivals, but does it change anything on the ground? I am quite pessimistic. Frankly, I have been banished by many for talking about the contemporary social and political scenario around us. Even when I was studying in a college like St. Stephen’s, students aroud me would talk about how the Army should be given a free hand to fix things.”

Stressing that for him, making a film like this is about taking an individual stand, he does believes, “The only way Kashmiris can draw support is by telling their stories even if they are in whispers.” 

Not considering himself an insider despite being from the Valley, the actor-director, who shot to prominence with his roles in ‘A Wednesday’ and recently in ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Inside Edge’, says that he has lived in Kashmir for more than 30 years now, and the distance has brought a perspective that is objective. 

“Of course, there is a part of me that still remains an ‘insider’ for I do feel the many assaults. But I must add that there are very few people willing to tell the story, and fewer who want to receive it.” 

While his directorial debut film ‘Harud’ that premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival won the National Film Award for ‘Best Urdu Feature Film’ at the 60th National Film Awards, he is still reluctant to call himself an artist. 

“Filmmaking was never planned, and it was mainly the situation in Kashmir and the fact that the narrative was not in the Valley’s control, that pushed me to make these films.”

It need not be said that getting funds for a film like this is seldom easy. 

“This one has been in my mind since 2011. People do question why such a movie needs to be made, many do not have an idea about the ground situation in Kashmir. So more than spending energy on making the film, I need to thoroughly explain about the situation there,” he says.

Talk to him about this time of democratication of technology when young Kashmiri musicians are making music about issues there, and using social media for distribution, and he feels filmmaking is much more difficult as one needs an elaborate infrastructure to tell a story.

“Yes, there are rap artists who are staying more true to themselves as a Kashmiri voice, but the masses do not really get to listen to them — you need a studio and a label. The same is with films, even if something is made — where will it reach?” he asks.

Initially, he had planned a trilogy — Autumn (‘Harud’), Winter (‘The Winter Within’) and Spring.

“But I am still grappling — is there a point? I really do not see the possibility of the movie on Spring. But it can be a fantasy, no…?”

ALSO READ-SPECIAL: Recall the Kashmir massacres of 22 October 1947

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Bassem Youssef’s Insightful Journey from Gaza to Stand-Up Comedy

Bassem also let his packed audience in on his journey of living in America, parenthood, and his book The Magical Reality of Nadia during an insightful and witty dialogue…reports Asian Lite News

In a candid discussion on Friday evening at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2023), author and comedian Bassem Youssef revealed fresh, undisclosed details about his two viral interviews with Piers Morgan about the ongoing war in Gaza.

“When the events in Gaza unfolded, Morgan’s producer contacted me for an interview to discuss the matter. The image portrayed in Western media was very negative, and I felt that talking about it at that time was akin to career suicide. I initially refused, but as the repeated requests and abundant misinformation continued to pile on, I decided to speak and set the record straight. I considered approaching it comedically, knowing this interview would be a double-edged sword”, Youssef shared with Emirati entrepreneur Anas Bukhash, who moderated the dialogue.

Getting the facts straight

Bassem Youssef went on to explain that after realising the incredible resonance and impact of the first interview, he decided to conduct another in-person interview with Morgan. The preparation for the second interview was different, intending to explain an issue inaccurately he said, adding that he collaborated with researchers, forming three teams from around the world, including historians from the West Bank, Gaza, and other locations.

He said, “They conducted extensive interviews over two weeks, gathering significant information. The challenge was finding the appropriate way to present it, which I did calmly, allowing the interviewer his space and successfully delivering my message”.

Bassem also let his packed audience in on his journey of living in America, parenthood, and his book The Magical Reality of Nadia during an insightful and witty dialogue.

Focusing fully on the present

The Egyptian comedian told the audience that the idea of doing stand-up comedy in English emerged because he needed a source of income to establish himself in the media. “The first two years were extremely challenging and frustrating due to the audience’s response to my performance”.

Youssef then transitioned to hosting a show in Arabic.

Sharing his learnings from this period, he opined, “You should not look at the journey as a whole, nor should you anticipate how it will end. Instead, focus on the present and what you have today. The future will come, so don’t preoccupy yourself with what you will be. You will only reach there if you concentrate on what you are doing now, without neglecting proper planning.’

Children’s book on embracing differences and diversity

About authoring The Magical Reality of Nadia, Youssef said the idea emerged from a talk with his agent. “The protagonist, Nadia, named after my daughter, faces challenges in school because she comes from a different background, but possesses a tool that allows her to revisit her ancient history. The book’s main idea was to discuss diversity and how one can learn and benefit from this diversity. I believe that life is a continuous journey of learning”.

On the importance of reading, Youssef stressed the need to choose a book based on personal interest and read it through. He enjoys reading about history from different points of view and appreciates the diverse perspectives that enhance communication.

At the end of the session, Youssef shared the three most significant lessons he learned in 2023: the importance of continuous learning; empathy towards others, especially towards those who are different; and the virtues of patience and in achieving one’s aspirations’.

ALSO READ-Sharjah Named Guest of Honour at Thessaloniki Book Fair

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A Literary Treasure Trove on Amazon

Here we have curated a list of the top 5 best-selling books on Amazon, a treasure trove of literary gems. With countless books available at your fingertips, choosing your next literary adventure can be a daunting task.

From gripping thrillers to insightful self-help, this list of books offers something for every reader. Let’s dive into our selection:


The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” is a popular self-help and personal development book written by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles. The book was published in 2016 and explores the concept of “Ikigai,” a Japanese term that roughly translates to “a reason for being” or “a reason to wake up in the morning.” It is often seen as the intersection of four elements: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. The book delves into the idea that finding your Ikigai is the key to a fulfilling and purposeful life. It draws on the authors’ research and interviews with people from the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is known for having a high number of centenarians and a strong sense of purpose and contentment among its inhabitants.

Author: Francesc Miralles


The Psychology Of Money

Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness is a bestselling personal finance and behavioral economics book written by Morgan Housel. Published in 2020, the book explores the complex relationship between money and human psychology, offering insightful lessons and anecdotes about the way people think about and handle their finances. Morgan Housel uses a combination of personal anecdotes, historical examples, and psychological research to make financial concepts accessible and relatable to a wide audience. It is well-received for its simple yet powerful lessons on personal finance, investing, and the psychological factors that influence our relationship with money. It encourages readers to reevaluate their financial mindset and make more informed and sustainable choices.

Author: Morgan Housel 


Master Residential Real Estate by ZebraLearn

An indispensable guide to navigating the complex world of residential real estate in India, this book equips homebuyers, investors, students, and real estate professionals with the essential knowledge to make informed decisions. Authored by Ashwinder R Singh, a renowned figure in the Indian real estate industry with over two decades of experience, this valuable resource covers due diligence, location selection, price negotiation, and legal considerations. Ashwinder’s expertise is evident through his recognition as Real Estate Person of the Year (South), Most Enterprising CEO of the Year, and a Top 15 Real Estate Influencer. As Co-Chair of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Regional Committee on Real Estate, his insights shine through, empowering readers to secure their financial and emotional future

Author: Ashwinder R Singh 


Don’t Believe Everything You Think

The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking” is a thought-provoking book by Thomas E. Kida. Published in 2006, this book delves into the realm of critical thinking and human cognition, exploring common cognitive errors and biases that people often make when processing information and making decisions. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in enhancing their critical thinking skills and making more informed, rational decisions. It offers a compelling exploration of the human mind’s vulnerabilities and provides readers with tools to navigate a world full of information and misinformation. The book’s approach is both educational and empowering, helping individuals become more discerning and analytical thinkers.

Author: Joseph Nguyen


Do It Today, Overcome Procrastination, Improve Productivity, and Achieve More Meaningful Things

It is a self-help and personal development book that focuses on addressing the common challenge of procrastination and offers actionable strategies to enhance productivity and achieve meaningful goals. Published in 2019, the book provides readers with practical insights and advice for conquering procrastination and making the most of their time. Do It Today is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to overcome procrastination and improve their productivity. It combines insights from psychology, time management, and personal development to create a comprehensive guide for turning procrastination into action and achieving more meaningful outcomes in both professional and personal life

Author: Foroux Darius 


ALSO READ-Picture books to spark your child’s imagination

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‘The Exchange’ Set to Thrill Readers

When a new case takes Mitch to Libya, danger awaits him: he finds himself embroiled in the biggest hostage negotiation in recent history with terrorists who have murdered and will murder again…reports Asian Lite News

Three decades after he launched his writing career with the global bestseller, ‘The Firm’, John Grisham’s publishers have announced that his new novel, The Exchange, will be released in India on October 27.

Billed as the “epic follow-up” to ‘The Firm’, ‘The Exchange’, says a media release issued by the publishers Hodder & Stoughton and Hachette India, “will take you on a rollercoaster journey across the globe, from New York to London, and Rome to Marrakech”.

The two-line blurb that follows the book’s title says: “Ten days to save a life. One second to end it.” Here’s how the story unfolds in the words of the publicity release:

The new legal suspense thriller marks the return of Mitch McDeere, who has cheated death and come out on the other side. Fifteen years ago, he stole $10 million from the mob and disappeared. Now, with his enemies jailed or dead, he has fought his way to the top of the biggest law firm in the world.

When a new case takes Mitch to Libya, danger awaits him: he finds himself embroiled in the biggest hostage negotiation in recent history with terrorists who have murdered and will murder again.

Their demand is staggering: a ransom of $100 million must be paid within 10 days. But this isn’t a random kidnapping — it’s personal. And no one, not even Mitch’s wife in New York, is safe.

With the clock ticking, can Mitch stay one step ahead of his enemies? This time, there’s nowhere to hide.

Speaking about the sequel, Grisham said: “When last seen in ‘The Firm’, Mitch McDeere and his wife Abby were fleeing Memphis with the bad guys in hot pursuit. Now they’re back, 15 years later, and living in New York where Mitch is an international lawyer and a partner in a mega-firm. His work takes him across the globe, and not always to safe places.

“During a trip to Libya, his trusted associate is kidnapped and an execution is threatened unless an enormous ransom is paid. Only Mitch can facilitate the exchange.”

Beginning with ‘The Firm’ in 1991, Grisham has published at least one No. 1 bestseller every year. His books have been translated into 45 languages and have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide. Ten have been adapted to film, including ‘The Firm’, ‘The Pelican Brief’, and ‘A Time To Kill’.

His Theodore Boone series for young readers is now in development at Netflix. An avid sports fan, he has written two novels about football, one about baseball, and in 2021 he published ‘Sooley’, a story set in the world of college basketball.

His lone work of non-fiction, ‘The Innocent Man’, was adapted into a six-part Netflix docuseries.

A graduate of Mississippi State University and Ole Miss Law School, he lives on a farm in central Virginia, around the corner from the youth baseball complex he had built in 1996. Grisham still serves as its commissioner.

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Books Lite Blogs Woman

The Queendom Within

A vision for a new way of living for women who are ready to kiss themselves awake. Rewrite your Fairy tale and create your own happily ever after. A feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International

In The Queendom Within, Heidi Hauer lays out a practical and explorative plan for women to reclaim their energy, rediscover who they are, decide what they want and take tangible steps towards it – with or without a romantic partner by their side.

It’s for women who despite their own successes, confidence and fulfilment in many parts of their life, can’t quite shake the idea that their ‘real life’ won’t truly begin until a loving parnter arrives.

“At some point I realised that my life was massively off track from what I had dreamed of. I had ticked off many goals but was still on auto-pilot, waiting for someone to kiss me awake. I needed a Plan B. I had to take matters into my own hands. It was time to become my own saviour, and create the life I was waiting to build with ‘him’. In short, I had to let go of the fantasy of being whisked away to a magical Kingdom and instead start proactively building something more authentic – my Queendom from within.”Heidi said.

The Queendom Within is as much a guided program, as it is a memoir and companion for all women who have ever felt that they or their life is not enough without a partner by their side.

Its 28 practical exercises are conveniently split into four key chapters, designed to support you to reconnect with yourself – and have plenty of fun while doing so!

We all have moments in life that feel like a crossroads. You may have that sinking feeling that you’re in the wrong life – whether you feel trapped in a bad relationship, friendship or in a dead-end job – and secretly you hope for Mr Right to come along and sort everything out. This book will help you find your way back to your truest self.

Part 1

Rediscover and define in detail who you are and what you REALLY want

Part 2

Practice authentic living and feeling good within your skin. You’ll take the awareness gained in Part I and channel it into inspired action.

Part 3

Understand how your relationships and environments are influencing you, and where you can better put your true self out into the world.

Part 4

Connect with your boundaries as a tool for expressing and protecting your authentic truth. Prepare to put people-pleasing firmly to rest!

Meet the Author

Heidi Hauer is a Leadership & Holistic Health Coach for women who are ready to bring health and happiness on the road to professional success. Qualifications in nutrition and coaching complement her background in corporate leadership.

Heidi guides her clients to step into their power, find that highly sought-after work/life balance and reach for deeper levels of personal fulfilment – in and outside of work. The Queendom Within is her first book.

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Books Lite Blogs

A Fall Feast of Literature

With its meteoric rise to bestseller status, Masala Lab has captivated readers across generations, and now returns as an irresistible collector’s edition, adorned with ingenious additions, illustrations, infographics, and charts: it’s the collector’s edition you know your kitchen-laboratory needs…reports Asian Lite News

Reading should be practiced throughout one’s life. Good literature may teach you, illuminate you, and guide you. Learn about the most recent Penguin Random House’s publications, as well as the highlights from September to November 2023. PAIN by Shweta Singh Kirti No human is unacquainted with the concept of pain. It is an inescapable universal experience. Shweta Kirti’s pain has been, unfortunately, very public because of the death of her thirty-four-year-old brother, the Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. What she learned, however, is that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. It is pain that can teach us how to rise above suffering and the limits we create for ourselves with our attachment to material goals like money, fame, success, and relationships. In this book, Shweta shares her learnings so that no one is alone on this hard but necessary odyssey. Synthesizing science, spirituality, and philosophy, Pain: A Portal to Enlightenment is an invitation to embark on a transformative journey to find inner peace and fulfillment no matter what life throws at you. Another Sort of Freedom by Gurcharan Das

It is a funny, moving, and honest memoir of a man’s struggle to break free from expectations. Gurcharan Das was born in Lyallpur, Punjab, during World War II, when Hitler, Churchill, and Hirohito were bashing everyone around. His mother noted in her diary, ‘This is a restless baby.’ By age two he had become ‘a difficult child’, and by three she was calling him a ‘troublemaker’. He discovered one day that he could run, and he has been running ever since.

Candid, witty, and wry, the memoir is filled with moments of deep introspection at every turn alongside wise observations on the author’s encounters with history on four continents. This is Gurcharan Das as you have never seen him before.

Muslim Politics in India by Hamid Dalwai

Hamid Dalwai has been called a Muslim modernizer who relentlessly worked towards promoting reason and justice among Muslims. Historian Ram Guha writes, ‘[He] worked tirelessly to get Muslims to shed their social and religious prejudices. The pursuit of gender equality was of pre-eminent importance to him, and he waged a long battle against triple talaq.’

Dalwai’s Muslim Politics in India is arguably the most perceptive analysis of Muslim politics to appear in post-independence India. It retains the same freshness and relevance that it had when it was first published some three decades back. First published in 1968, an enlarged edition was later published under the title Muslim Politics in Secular India by Hind Pocket Books, Delhi, in 1972.

This translation, the first of its kind, is a product of numerous meetings that Hamid Dalwai had with noted poet Dilip Chitre, during which the latter made extensive notes and rendered them into articles in English. It combines his most evocative and fiery essays and emerges as a fine voice of reason relevant to our contemporary times.

The Perfect 10 by Yasmin Karachiwala

The brains behind the beauty of some of India’s biggest celebrities, Bollywood’s fitness instructor extraordinaire, Yasmin Karachiwala is all set to launch her upcoming release, PERFECT 10: 10-Minute Workouts You Can Do Anywhere. Yasmin is widely credited with bringing Pilates to India. Her list of certifications includes BASI (Body Arts and Science International) Certified Pilates Instructor, Balanced Body Comprehensive Master Instructor, and Balanced Body MOTR Master Instructor, among others. Her multidisciplinary approach to fitness includes weight training, HIIT, cardio, functional training, Pilates, and more, and can be accessed at the Yasmin Karachiwala Body Image (YKBI) chain of studios located both in India and internationally.

The Illustrated Masala Lab: Beautiful New Edition of the Bestselling Book on the Science of Indian Cooking by Krish Ashok

With its meteoric rise to bestseller status, Masala Lab has captivated readers across generations, and now returns as an irresistible collector’s edition, adorned with ingenious additions, illustrations, infographics, and charts: it’s the collector’s edition you know your kitchen-laboratory needs. Ever wondered why your grandmother threw a teabag into the pressure cooker while boiling chickpeas, or why she measured using the knuckle of her index finger? Why does a counterintuitive pinch of salt make your kheer more intensely flavourful? What is the Maillard reaction, and what does it have to do with fenugreek? What does your high-school chemistry knowledge, or what you remember of it, have to do with perfectly browning your onions?  In this special edition, Meghna Menon’s vibrant illustrations effortlessly complement Krish Ashok’s light-hearted approach to the demystification of culinary science, making it the perfect vehicle to absorb the exhaustive testing, groundbreaking research, and scientific rigor that went into the making of this revolutionary book.

The Art of Habits by Gauranga Das

As the final book in the three-volume series (after The Art of Resilience and The Art of Focus), The Art of Habits presents forty simple stories filled with deep revelations. What will enthrall the readers is the engaging narration, the dynamics of the situations that manifest, and the deep learnings from such episodes. While The Art of Resilience presented ingredients for the reader to inculcate resilience in challenging situations manifested at the beginning of the pandemic, The Art of Focus inspired the resilient heart to develop a focused mind during the multiple COVID waves. Now, The Art of Habits provides ideas for the focused reader to cultivate conducive and sustainable habits to adapt to the paradigm shift created by the pandemic, instilling in the reader a resolute mindset to handle multiple such unexpected transformative events in the future.

Memoirs of Valmiki Rao by Lindsay Pereira

A second novel from Lindsay Pereira, whose debut novel Gods and Ends was critically acclaimed and shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature and the Tata Lit Live award.

Set in Parel, THE MEMOIRS OF VALMIKI RAO is a contemporary retelling of the Ramayana, set against a Mumbai burning post the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Lindsay continues to write the Bombay novel and gives a view of the decrepit lives of those in suburban Mumbai.

This story may end with sadness, but the author wants you to remember that it started with love. This is the story of Rameshwar Shinde and Ravinarayan Kumar, a young woman called Janaki, and the neighbours they live with, in the shadows of towers. It is a story of families torn apart by bigotry, an unmissable retelling of the epic Ramayana set at a time when blood mixed with the grime of Mumbai’s streets. A tale more pertinent than ever, in a country once again teetering on the edge.

Restless Lives by Harish Bhat

The modern age is characterized by speed, impersonality, and absurdity. It is easy to get caught up in the rush and forget the small, everyday things that string together to build the everyday.

Restless Lives offers an oasis of quiet contemplation. In this beautiful poetry collection, author Harish Bhat contemplates various aspects that make up daily life. At times pleasing, at others disturbing, the lines within these pages promise to give pause, inspire, and stir emotion. This is Harish Bhat as you have never seen him before.

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