Books I Bought at The Jaipur Lit Fest 2019

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2019 began on a high reading note for me, as I devoured three books on my family vacation to Goa (read more about that here, here, and here). I’ve challenged myself to read 25 books this year on the Goodreads challenge, so I’m building a library of books that really call to me. The Jaipur Lit Fest (click here to read how to make the most of this iconic literature festival), was the ideal place to purchase signed copies of books. Read on to know which books I bought when I was there, and why I’m excited to read each one.

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  1. THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by COLSON WHITEHEAD:

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: 2 August 2016

Purchase Link: Amazon

Blurb:

“…. Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, as his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importations of Africans to the unfulfilled promises from the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage, and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.”

Why I Want to Read It:

Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” is one of my all-time favorite novels, but its narrative is slightly skewered in favor of ‘white’ people. The novel prompted me to study American history, and read other great texts pertaining to the subject. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help”, Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings” are some that really stood out. I hope this book captures my imagination like its predecessors did.

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  1. ALL THE LIVES WE NEVER LIVED by ANURADHA ROY:

Publisher: Hachette

Publication Date: 14 May 2018

Purchase Link: Amazon

Blurb:

Based in pre-partition British India and Dutch Bali, this “deeply moving novel tells the story of men and women trapped in a dangerous era uncannily similar to the present. Its scale is matched by its power as a parable for our times.”

Why I Want to Read It:

The British era of colonialism interests me even more than the Civil-War era of America. I’ve grown up on works like Premchand’s “Godaan”, Shauna Singh Baldwin’s “What the Body Remembers”, Manju Kapur’s “Difficult Daughters”, and Khushwant Singh’s “Train to Pakistan” to name a few; and this book really called my name. Its attractive cover was another point in its favour.

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  1. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A. J. FINN:

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 2 January 2018

Purchase Link: Amazon

Blurb:

Anna Fox moves into a new home and can’t help watching her neighbours, the Russels, through her window, as they seem to have a perfect life. “One evening a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she really must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?”

Why I Want to Read It:

I love murder mysteries! I’ve been a die-hard Agatha Christie fan ever since I can remember- my favorites being “And Then There Were None”, “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”, “Murder on the Orient Express”, and “The ABC Murders”. I also really enjoyed Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” recently, and this book sounds right up my alley.

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  1. THE FOREST OF ENCHANTMENTS by CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI:

Publisher: Harper Collins India

Publication Date: 7 January 2019

Purchase Link: Amazon

Blurb:

“The Ramayana, one of the world’s greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Divakaruni places Sita at the center of the novel: this is Sita’s version….. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity, and honour, it is also about women’s struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men… She makes the Ramayana more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, “Enough!”.”

Why I Want to Read It:

I’ve enjoyed Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s works in the past, including “The Mistress of Spices” and “Sister of My Heart”. At the Jaipur Lit Fest, Divakaruni raised some pertinent questions on the interpretation of traditional Indian female protagonists, which attracted me to buy the book. Getting it signed by the author was an added attraction.

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  1. HIMALAYA: ADVENTURES, MEDITATIONS, LIFE edited by RUSKIN BOND AND NAMITA GOKHALE:

Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books

Publication Date: 15 September 2016

Purchase Link: Amazon

Blurb:

“With over forty essays, this comprehensive volume brings together a dazzling range of voices- among others, Fa Hein, Pandit Nain Singh, Swami Vivekananda, Jim Corbett, Heinrich Harrer, Peter Mathiessen, Fanny Parkes, Dharamvir Bharati, Arundhati Subramaniam, Rahul Sankrityayan, Jawaharlal Nehru, Frank Smythe, Andrew Harvey, Rabindranath Tagore, Paul Brunton, Edmund Hilary, Mark Twain, Sarat Chandra Das, Dom Moraes, Manjushree Thapa- and the two editors themselves, in an unparalleled panorama.”

Why I Want to Read It:

I love travel, writing on travel, and reading about travel. The portion of India that I’ve revisited the most through my lifetime has been the north, where the Himalayas reign supreme. As my only non-fiction pick in this book haul, it seems a very promising one.

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  1. TIGER ON A TREE by ANUSHKA RAVISHANKAR AND PULAK BISWAS:

Publisher: Tara Books

Publication Date: 1 June 2014

Purchase Link: Amazon

Blurb:

“Tiger, Tiger

On a tree

Is it true? Can it be?

Did he fly? Did he flee?

Did he fall?

And hurt his knee?

Did he cry? Did he plead?

If you want to know:

Read.”

Why I Bought It:

This is the only book I bought for my toddler, and it’s also the only one I’ve already finished from this lot of books. The sweet story, and raw child-like illustrations really appeal to my son. He’s been asking for it to be read on a daily basis!

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That’s it for this book haul, folks. Don’t forget to read about my Jaipur Lit Fest tips & tricks . Do follow my blog to stay updated with reviews on these books and more. Also let me know in the comments below- what’s the last book you bought?

*All book cover pictures are from www.amazon.in. The other pictures are clicked on my phone and copyright belongs to nooranandchawla.

**This is not a sponsored post, I bought these books myself. The post contains affiliate links- just click on the link to buy the book/s of your choice. By purchasing books through my links, you’re helping to support my blog 🙂

 

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10 Thoughts

  1. Wow all the books you bought sounds interesting Anuradha Roy is my one of the favourite writer definitely going to read her book. And one more thing Love The Way You express your thoughts.

  2. I loved your book haul! All the lived we never lived sounds like something I’ll enjoy reading. Have been dying to read The Forest of Enchantments too.

  3. All the books which you have bought is really good i like the most is ALL THE LIVES WE NEVER LIVED by ANURADHA ROY.

  4. Now being a fiction lover, yet I wanna read Himalaya, as it is quite closer to me as a Travel adventurer. Would even like to grab A woman in the window, being a lover of thrill stories

  5. I am a book lover and Jaipur lit fest is like a heaven for book lovers. Your choice of books is wonderful. I would have picked the same I guess.

  6. Wow, you picked up a lot of interesting books. I’m sure they’re all very intriguing. Looking forward to your opinions about these books.

  7. The picks are just damn interesting must say! I so wanted to visit this event, and yes the book HIMALAYA: ADVENTURES, MEDITATIONS, LIFE is something I would surely love to read once!

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