Deccan Chronicle

Some fine reading material

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: June 7, 2022 | Updated on: June 8, 2022

Make the most of the pre-monsoon magic with these outstanding books and your favourite cuppas and lattes, writes Neil Pate

Cover image of the work 'Lucky Breaks' by Yevgenia Belorusets. (By Arrangement)

Cover image of the work 'Lucky Breaks' by Yevgenia Belorusets. (By Arrangement)

Lucky Breaks

Author: Yevgenia Belorusets (translated from Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky)

Publisher: New Directions

What happens in the day-to-day lives of ordinary women like a florist, card players, horoscope reader, and a skin specialist amid the ruins of war in Ukraine. From the impoverished coal regions of Donbass, where the Russian secret military coexists with banditry and insurgency, the women of Yevgenia’s captivating collection of stories emerge from the ruins of war. Ever since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. The reader is drawn into the lives of these anonymous women. A refugee tries unsuccessfully to leave her broken umbrella behind; a caregiver in a disputed zone saves her elderly charge from the angel of death; a woman sits down on International Women’s Day and can no longer stand up. The writer weaves these touching stories with 23 enigmatic photographs. A stunning literary and visual narrative that will leave a lasting impression long after you have finished reading. After all, ordinary tales have the power to become extraordinary stories.

Our Crooked Hearts: A Novel

Author: Melissa Albert

Publisher: Barnes & Noble

This book is not for the lily-livered. If you like suspense, horror, and supernatural stuff, then Mellisa’s Crooked Hearts will make you skip a heartbeat. This much-awaited riveting novel is packed with secrets, lies, and witchcraft. It shuffles between the perspectives of Ivy and her mother, Dana. It is a dark and gripping story. Ivy’s (17) summer holidays kick off with a mishap and a mysterious stranger who appears in the middle of the road in the dead of the night. As time passes, strange things start to happen and there is more to her mother than meets the eye. As dark forces loom in every nook and corner, there are hints at the reckoning required between this mother and daughter duo.


Author: David Santos

Donaldson Publisher: Amistad, HarperCollins

This novel-within-a-novel is a fantastic blend of fact and fiction. A budding author writes the secret love affair between British author E.M. Forster and Mohammed el Adl, his Egyptian lover. In 1919, Mohammed spent six months in a jail cell. A century later, Kip Starling confines himself in his Brooklyn basement study with a pistol and 21 gallons of Poland Spring to write Mohammed’s story. Kip has only three weeks to juxtapose himself and Mohammed and submit the novel to his publisher. The similarities are striking. Both deal with colourism, homophobia, upper-crust education, and their white romantic partners. Greenland conjures two distinct yet overlapping worlds. Each page is electrifying and stunningly visual. A MUST read from literary gems of the past and present.

India’s Money Heist (The Chelembra Bank Robbery)

Author: Anirban Bhattacharyya

Publisher: Penguin

This is a riveting true story behind India’s biggest and most sensational bank heists. Circa 2007. It’s New Year’s Eve. A sleepy town in Kerala called Chelembra becomes top news for India’s biggest bank robbery to the tune of Rs 8 crore which includes 80 kg of gold. Through detailed research and methodical writing style, Bhattacharyya reveals the meticulous planning and execution carried out by the mastermind criminals. Not to forget, the sometimes humorous, and at times thrilling investigation of the Kerala police to crack the case. The book has first-person interviews with investigating officers and the confession details of the criminals. Anirban is the creator-producer of Savdhaan India, the producer of Crime Patrol, and the bestselling author of The Deadly Dozen: India’s Most Notorious Serial Killers.

City of Incident: A Novel in Twelve Parts

Author: Annie Zaidi

Publisher: Aleph Book Company

You may have heard the adage ‘less is more’. Zaidi manages to create maximum impact with her minimal writing style. Use words that matter and junk the rest.

Zaidi’s City of Incident delves into the lives of six men and women who constantly funambulate in an unforgiving metropolis while local trains throttle back and forth.

Zaidi manages to interweave the stories of these ordinary people, who you may have seen and whizzed past in your fancy car or noticed from the glass façade of the glitzy malls. It is an intricately carved story of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in the city that promises dreams but does not necessarily fulfill them. Unnerving, yet riveting. This book incidentally strikes all the right chords

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