Penguin Commissioning Editor Chirag Thakkar’s 7 must read books

Kunzum Review got in touch with Chirag Thakkar, Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House. Here’s his list of seven must read books:

1. The Herbal Sutra: Indian Wisdom and Wellness Through 100 Herbs by Madhulika Banerjee
Harnessing the power of Indian herbs with the most stunning illustrations that are inspired by India’s hand block printing tradition, this beautiful book sheds light on how to live better, eat better and make holistic choices using these sacred herbs that have been a part of our generational wisdom.

The Indian Cat by B.N Goswamy
Renowned art historian the late B. N. Goswamy illustrates all the varied ways in which cats have made themselves at home in our art, literature, and speech, as well as in our hearts. It’s the most definitive and endearing biography of cats in Indian culture.

Fabulous Feasts, Fables and Family: A Culinary Memoir by Tabinda Jalil Burney
Deeply personal and intimate, this absolutely magical culinary memoir by Tabinda Jalil-Burney combines recipes and memories from the idyllic summers of her childhood which she spent with her grandparents in Aligarh. In here are family secrets for the best shami kebabs, qormas, chuquandar gosht and desserts. This richly textured, densely peopled memoir conjures the vanished world of an Aligarh family in the sixties and seventies through food and cooking, and of India long gone. 

Burning Roses in My Garden by Taslima Nasrin; translated by Jesse Waters
‘Have I not, having kept a man for years, learnt that it’s/ like raising a snake?/ So many animals on this earth, why keep a man of all things?’ writes one of the world’s most celebrated writers, Taslima Nasrin, in her first-ever comprehensive collection of poetry translated from the original Bangla into English. The poems get to the heart of being the other in exile, justifying one’s place in a terrifying world. They praise the comfort and critique the cruelty of a loved one. In these are loneliness, sorrow, and at times, exaltation.

Everything the Light Touches by Janice Pariat
A brilliant novel featuring four travellers and discoverers from across continents and centuries,  Everything the Light Touches is about people whose paths do not cross, but whose lives are connected like the neural network of a forest.

Triveni by Gulzar; translated by Neha R. Krishna
In Triveni are birds perched on branches, moonstruck musings, a house of straws, walking roses and unbridled desires of the heart. The poems are inhabited by lost lovers, unreturned books and bloodsucking rumours. 

I Named My Sister Silence by Manoj Rupda; translated by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
Manoj Rupda’s is a quietly fierce novel, a bildungsroman, that continues to burn bright in the mind long after the last page has been read. Set in Bastar, the novel is about the underbelly of violence on which the Indian Republic stands.

Pick these books from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.

About the Author
Chirag Thakkar is a writer, editor and publishing professional based in Delhi. He’s currently Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House India and has previously published books at Oxford University Press India and Roli Books. His Instagram and X handles are @chiraghthakkar

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