Aruna Nambiar is the author of The Monsters Still Lurk, a funny yet moving saga of family and aging that unfolds against the backdrop of post-liberalization India, and Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth, a coming-of-age story and social satire set in 1980s Kerala. Here are a few book recommendations by her:
The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes
The Lemon Table is the second collection of short stories written by Julian Barnes and has the general theme of old age.
Here is what Aruna has to say about the book, “For those readers who find themselves too distraught these days to read a full-length novel, I recommend this short story collection, a set of stories about aging in the trademark elegant style that the author is known for.”
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s
According to her, “At a time when we are re-evaluating our relationships with our domestic workers, this novel makes for an entertaining but thought-provoking read. Set as it is against the backdrop of racism and exploitation of domestic help in 1960s Mississippi, the reader might find parallels in much of the casual discrimination of that time and the attitudes of today’s Indian society.”
We Are All Completely beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a 2013 novel by the American writer Karen Joy Fowler.
According to Aruna, “A unique, moving tale of family bonds with a couple of breathtaking twists that you will not see coming. All I will say is that one of the underlying themes is of the man versus nature relationship that is in the news today.”
Rude Food by Vir Sanghvi
“No reading list of mine is complete without some humor, and God knows we need to laugh now more than ever. If you’re one of those who compulsively browse through Instagram posts of sourdough bread while opening that packet of Maggi, you might enjoy the savage wit of this collection of articles on food.” said, Aruna.
Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson
Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe is a 1991 humorous travelogue by American writer Bill Bryson. It documents the author’s tour of Europe in 1990, with many flashbacks to two summer tours he made in 1972 and 1973 in his college days.
“If you only recall the pretty landscapes and magnificent architecture, the author’s hilarious documentation of uncomfortable travel experiences will make you miss Europe a little less.”