All The Fishes Come Home To Roost by Rachel Manija Brown When Rachel was seven, in the early 80s, her parents whisked her off from America to join an ashram in a backwater town in India. They were followers of Meher Baba, best known for the slogan Don t worry, be happy . The ashram was populated by holy madmen and unhinged ageing hippies. Rachel was the only foreign child in a 100-mile radius.
As if wasn t enough to contend with, Racheal, the daughter of Jewish Baba-lovers, was bundled off to the Holy Wounds of Jesus Christ the Saviour School, a last vestige of the British empire staffed by nuns with a penchant for keeping their charges standing in the midday sun until they fainted. Surrounded by adults who were patently mad, and classmates who communicated by throwing rocks a t her, Rachel buried herself in comics, tamed the local wildlife and spent a lot of time avoiding her mother.
By turns heart-breakingly sad, jaw-droppingly strange and very very funny, this is a brilliant memoir of a distinctly odd childhood that makes you splutter with laughter and thank your lucky stars you grew up safely in the suburbs.
Tamarind City: Where Modern India Began by Bishwanath Ghosh This is just one of the author's many keen observationsof Chennai. With mordant wit, this biography of a cityspares neither half of its split-personality: from moody,magical Madras to bursting-at-the-seams, tech-savvyChennai. And, a minute into the book, the readerknows they are inseparable-and Bishwanath Ghoshrefuses to take sides.And yet, he tells us, while Chennai is usually knownas conservative and orthodox, almost every moderninstitution in India-from the army to the judiciary,from medicine to engineering-traces its roots toMadras's Fort St George, which was built when Delhihad only just become the capital of the Mughal Empire,and Calcutta and Bombay weren't even born.Today, the city once again figures prominently onthe global map as 'India's Detroit', a manufacturinggiant, and a hub of medical tourism. There have beensweeping changes since pre-Independent India, buteven as Chennai embraces change, its people hold itsage-old customs and traditions close to their heart.'This is what makes Chennai unique,' says Ghosh, 'themarriage of tradition and technology'.Read More...Hide Pages: 344
Hot Tea Across India by Rishad Saam Mehta On Rishad Saam Mehta's journeys - and as a travel writer and all-round road-trip junkie, he's been on many - there's a particular thing he noticed. There's not a highway, road or dirt track in India where you can't find a cup of chai whenever you want it. And with those cuppas come encounters and incidents that make travelling in India a fascinating adventure. In this riveting book, which includes stories of honey- and saffron-infused tea shared with a shepherd in Kashmir, and a strong brew that revives the author after almost getting lynched by an irate mob in Kerala, Rishad takes you across the length and breadth of India, from Manali to Munnar, from the Rann of Kutch to Khajuraho, with a wonderful combination of wit, sensitivity and insight.
East of the Sun by Siddhartha Sarma In the spring of 2008, Siddhartha Sarma (who never fails to remind everyone how awesome he is) went on a land trip across east Assam. Nagaland and Manipur, into western Myanmar. This is his account about travelling over a part of the country it takes a great deal of convincing to cross alone, but is totally worth visiting.
Peppered with anecdotes, accounts from history and about the people of these lands, East of the Sun talks, at a breakneck quirky pace, about what to do and what to avoid doing while on the road here, how the people here came to be what they are, and why there is more to Indias eastern frontier than just what you read in the newspapers. Sarma exhorts us to be circumspect in trusting his account. And yet the story of this road is enough to make us hang up our disbelief.
As you discover which language you must not speak in Imphal, what Dimapurs City Sport is, why Assams national hero wears a tremendous frown on his face, how to become an international body and why tea and conspiracy with a Myanmar army officer could be a bad idea, you will see how travel can be unending entertainment, if you are kooky enough.
Have Pen, Will Travel: Observations of a Globetrotter by M.J. Akbar Have Pen, Will Travel is a highly engaging collection of reportage and travel pieces that appeared originally in leading journalist and author M.J. Akbar?s column, Byline. The intrepid author ambles ? or sometimes jogs ? through Africa, America, Asia and of course the innumerable corners of India to record an engrossing mix of piquant observation, geography and history. With a keen eye, deft insight and wit, Akbar assembles a rich mosaic of a world that enlightens and entertains.
She is not lost. She is not queuing up to find herself. She is not going away to connect with the vice wthin. Nor is she on the path to self- discovery. On the contrary, this seasoned traveller is merely making a long overdue Pause in Europe, taking an entire fun- filled summer to press play again.Read More...Hide Pages: 106
Beyond the Three Seas: Travellers┤ Tales from Mughal India by Michael H.Fisher Many of the European travellers that visited Mughal India left behind enthralling accounts of their experiences. Beyond the Three Seas is a collection of the best of these writings, starting from the mid fifteenth century and spanning two hundred years. There are stories of hunting with the emperor Akbar and his blindfolded panthers; of being stripped penniless in Surat and fleeing from angry villagers in Bengal in the middle of the night; descriptions of the Mughal roadside sarais, trying paan for the first time and of the lax morals of Indian women. The travellers themselves could not be more different: from the god-fearing, petulant Russian, Afanasy Nikitin to the Portuguese Father Antonio Monserrate desperately trying to convert Akbar to the plucky eighteen-year-old Venetian Niccolao Manucci who finds himself a patron in Dara Shukoh. Full of colour, detail and the occasional tall story, rarely has Mughal India been brought so vividly and fascinatingly alive.Read More...Hide Pages: 198
American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville by Bernard-Henri Levy What does it mean to be an American, and what can America be today? To answer these questions, celebrated philosopher and journalist Bernard-Henri LÚvy spent a year traveling throughout the country in the footsteps of another great Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in America remains the most influential book ever written about our country.
The result is American Vertigo, a fascinating, wholly fresh look at a country we sometimes only think we know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim communities in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, LÚvy investigates issues at the heart of our democracy: the special nature of American patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and religion (including the religion of baseball), the prison system, the -return of ideology- and the health of our political institutions, and much more. He revisits and updates Tocqueville's most important beliefs, such as the dangers posed by "the tyranny of the majority,"explores what Europe and America have to learn from each other, and interprets what he sees with a novelist's eye and a philosopher's depth.
Through powerful interview-based portraits across the spectrum of the American people, from prison guards to clergymen, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, LÚvy fills his book with a tapestry of American voices-some wise, some shocking. Both the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of American life are unflinchingly explored. And big themes emerge throughout, from the crucial choices America faces today to the underlying reality that, unlike the "Old World," America remains the fulfillment of the world's desire to worship, earn, and live as one wishes'a place, despite all, where inclusion remains not just an ideal but an actual practice.
At a time when Americans are anxious about how the world perceives them and, indeed, keen to make sense of themselves, a brilliant and sympathetic foreign observer has arrived to help us begin a new conversation about the meaning of America.Read More...Hide Pages: 308 Accolades New York Times Best Seller
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America-majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you're going to take a hike, it's probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you'll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way-and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).Read More...Hide Pages: 394
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson Bill Bryson adores it, of course, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond the beaten tourist path. Here is a place where interesting things happen all the time, from a Prime Minister lost--yes, lost--while swimming at sea to Japanese cult members who may have set off an atomic bomb (sic) entirely unnoticed on their 500,000-acre property in the great western desert.
Wherever he goes (and Bryson goes just about everywhere) he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging--the beaming products of a land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine. On occasion the Aborigines, a remote and mysterious race with a tragic history, make a haunting appearance in this book. But by and large Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide. Published just in time for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, In a Sunburned Country offers the best of all possible introductions to what may well be the best of all possible nations. Even with those jellyfish.Read More...Hide Pages: 325
What happens when a young woman is accidentally caught up in a dangerous murder investigation, having merely been in the wrong place at the wrong time?What happens when she is placed under protective care, forced to give up her identity and move to another part of the country, at least until the killer can be firmly identified and apprehended?
What happens when in her new life she meets and falls in love with the perfect man, only she can't marry him because she can't tell anyone -- even him, especially him -- who she really is?
The Diary of a Young Girl
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It documents the madness of the Holocaust, and remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit.
Esio Trot (Puffin Fiction)
Esio Trot (Puffin Fiction) by Roald Dahl
A shy man, Mr Hoppy has only the courage for polite conversation with Mrs Silver, as she tends her pet tortoise Alfie, on the balcony below. But, when he learns that her dearest wish is for Alfie to grow bigger, he hatches a plan involving a giant pair of metal claws and 140 tortoises.