Books of Note-May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month


Take this opportunity to read some interesting fiction with an Indian influence

The Immortals by Amit Chaudhuri.
Trained in the classical idiom but teaching popular modern songs to wealthy clients whose lifestyle he covets, voice teacher Shyam Lal accepts sixteen-year-old Nirmalya as a student of Indian classical music.

Enlightenment for Idiots: a novel by Anne Cushman
A disillusioned freelance writer travels to India to write a how-to book on enlightenment, and finds her spiritual journey to be difficult but satisfying.

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
In a crumbling house in the remote northeastern Himalayas, an embittered, elderly judge finds his peaceful retirement turned upside down by the arrival of his orphaned granddaughter, Sai.

Vine of Desire by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
After a year of living separate lives, Anju and Sudha are reunited and rekindle their friendship in America, a link that helps both women as they establish new relationships with their families and with men and women outside the Indian immigrant community.

The Case of the Missing Servant: from the files of Vish Puri, India’s “most private investigator” by Tarquin Hall
Introduces mustachioed Vish Puri, a respectable family man who styles himself as India’s forefront private investigator and who runs background checks for prospective brides and grooms until more sensational cases take him into India’s increasingly divergent communities.

The Indian Clerk: a novel by David Leavitt
In 1913, the eccentric G. H. Hardy, Britain’s leading mathematician, receives a letter from a self-professed mathematical genius, Indian clerk Srinivasa Ramanujan, and sets out to persuade the enigmatic Ramanujan to come to Cambridge.

Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee
Chronicles the journeys of three Brahmin women as they follow divergent paths from their home in Calcutta and a rigid Indian society to seek new lives for themselves on two separate continents.

Vine of Desire by Bharati Mukherjee
After a year of living separate lives, Anju and Sudha are reunited and rekindle their friendship in America, a link that helps both women as they establish new relationships with their families and with men and women outside the Indian immigrant community.

The Cosmic Clues by Manjiri Prabhu
In Pune, India, Sonia Samarth is launching a new kind of detective agency, one that combines investigative techniques with Hindu astrology, but her growing success could plunge her in over her head when it brings her into the orbit of a dangerous international criminal with murderous intentions.

The Age of Shiva: a novel by Manil Suri
Marrying in order to escape an overbearing father, Meera is further victimized by her physically demanding husband and lustful brother-in-law, a circumstance from which she finds fleeting escape through her relationships with her sister-in-law and young son.

Q & A: a novel by Vikas Swarup
Arrested for unbelievably answering all twelve questions on the Indian game show, “Who Will Win a Billion?” semi-literate waiter Ram Mohammad Thomas explains to his lawyer how he knew the answers due to events in his personal life.

The Elephanta Suite by Paul Theroux
Three intertwining novellas portray Westerners in India, as a middle-aged couple travel on vacation, a lawyer discovers Mumbai’s slums, and a woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore.

The Space Between Us: [a novel] by Thrity Umrigar
Captures the delicate balance of class and gender in contemporary India as witnessed through the lives of two women–Sera Dubash, an upper middle-class housewife, and Bhima, an illiterate domestic hardened by a life of loss and despair.

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Books of note


April is the month for us to think about the environment. Try a book with an environmental theme.

Carson, Rachel Silent Spring
The classic book about the reckless annihilation of fish and birds by the use of pesticides that warns of the possible genetic effects on humans.

Coraghessan, T. Boyle A Friend of the Earth
A novel set in a grim near-future Southern California follows the adventures of an ecoterrorists whose efforts to save the planet unwittingly place his own family at risk.

Friedman, Thomas Hot, Flat & Crowded
The bestselling author brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy.

Gloss, Molly The Dazzle of Day
In this SF adventure, interstellar Quaker pioneers leave a ravaged Earth to seek a new home in space. Their new world, when they reach it, has a cold climate, scrabble earth and is subject to earthquakes.

Gore, Al An Inconvenient Truth
The former vice-president details the factors contributing to the growing climate crisis.

Grisham, John Appeal
When a judge returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste in a small Mississippi town, the company’s billionaire owner seeks to influence the appeal process.

Harrison, Jim True North: A Novel
The son of a wealthy family of timber barons struggles to reconcile himself with the damage his family has done to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Zahn, Timothy Manta’s Gift
A SF tale about the Qanska, creatures living in the atmosphere of Jupiter, with rumors on Earth of a powerful top-secret stardrive, it is soon discovered that the Qanska environment is inexplicably failing.