For adults and young readers, 15 book recommendations that make for perfect reads during coronavirus lockdown

#LockdownList: Four HarperCollins India editors weigh in on books that are ideal companions for coronavirus crisis-related lockdowns, shutdowns, quarantines and self-isolation. This is list 3.

More reading recommendations here.

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Diya Kar, publisher and rights director at HarperCollins India, on six perfect lockdown reads —

The lockdown has been a strange and difficult time: We’ve had to take each day as it comes. Social media can be overwhelming. Apart from the news that leaves one feeling utterly hopeless, the race for productivity and accomplishment is enough to leave you completely paralysed.

Routine helps keep anxiety and despair at bay. As do books.

Books are great companions. They help keep your mind off things. They also allow you to travel. So if you find the time — in the midst of baking bread, making Dalgona coffee, sweeping, swabbing, and all those Zoom meetings — here are six books (all available as ebooks) that are perfect lockdown reads.

1. The Swap, Shuma Raha — a stylishly written, risqué novel about sex and marriage. Especially for those who want to live vicariously!

2. Baking a Dream: The Theobroma Story, Kainaz Messman Harchandrai and Tina Messman Wykes — for all who love entrepreneurial stories (and home bakers who dream of making it big), a no-holds barred account of one of India’s best-loved family-run businesses. And for those baking during lockdown, the book includes their signature brownie recipe!

3. The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage, Siddhesh Inamdar — as much an ode to marriage, warts and all, as it is a celebration of Delhi. For all who are separated from their beloved and for those who miss being outside as the city sees the seasons change.

 For adults and young readers, 15 book recommendations that make for perfect reads during coronavirus lockdown

4. Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, Sujatha Gidla — While the world is practising ‘no contact’, ‘social distancing’, there are sections of society that have always been ‘untouchable’. What is life like for them? This searing page-turner is a must-read for all who want to know real India.

5. No Regrets: The Guilt-Free Woman’s Guide to a Good Life, Kaveree Bamzai — Someone once said, ‘A woman’s work is never done’. This book is for all who celebrate women in their many avatars. An essential read if you’re a woman who wants it all; also essential reading for all men who have women in their lives. Worth reading also for the author’s references to books and films (they are fabulous recommendations).

6. The Forest of Enchantments, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni — Each time you read this novel (and you should read it more than once) you will discover something new. Sita’s version of the Ramayana is a powerful meditation on love. It will make you reflect on the relationships you hold most dear. It will make you look at nature, and the world, anew.

Happy reading!

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Tina Narang, publisher — children’s books, HarperCollins India, on engaging reads for children —

FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

1. Meet Zippy, Anitha Balachandran —

Zippy the zebra and his friends learn life lessons and discover the world around them. This warm and lively series is fun, educational and interactive, and very exciting for children who have just been introduced to reading.

FOR YOUNGER READERS:

2. The Gopi Diaries: Coming Home, Sudha Murty — A trilogy about a dog called Gopi, Coming Home is the first book in the series and narrates how Gopi settles in with his human family. Written in Sudha Murty’s inimitable style, these are simple stories that talk of basic values, and which children and adults will both treasure.

3. Koki’s Song, Ruskin Bond — A beautifully illustrated and lyrically written story of an unlikely, almost unspoken friendship between a young girl called Koki and a boy Somi, who plays the flute.

4. Lucky, it’s Summer!, Nalini Sorensen — A dog. A parrot. A tortoise. Summer holidays. Nana and Nani’s house. Can things get more fun? Lucky, it’s Summer! will make you shriek with laughter and wish summer never ends.

FOR MIDDLE READERS:

5. M Series: Magical Tales, Shashi Warrier — because life with magical creatures can never be dull!

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6. Flipped Book 3: School Stories and Sports Stories, Various — Choose between exciting sports stories or hilarious school stories. The Flipped Anthology series gives you two themes, two covers and two sides to open the book from.

7. The Good Indian Child’s Guide to Eating Mangoes, Natasha Sharma — Does eating mangoes need a guide book? Do you need a personality quiz before you eat a mango? Natasha Sharma’s delicious humour makes for one crazy story.

FOR OLDER READERS:

8. Being Gandhi, Paro Anand — Through the lens of a teen called Chandrashekhar, Paro Anand’s novel explores not Gandhi the man, or his life as a leader, but the Gandhian way — a philosophy that must remain relevant to us especially today, when the world is becoming increasingly steeped in violence and hate.

9. All of Me, Venita Coelho — A historical mystery unlike any other, involving the Koh-i-Noor, a young Maharaja Duleep Singh and Coelho’s memorable protagonist Castor.

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Updated Date: May 03, 2020 11:03:23 IST

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