Book your date with 2023: What to read in new year – top picks | The Financial Express

Book your date with 2023: What to read in new year – top picks

Here are some titles to look forward to in the new year

book review, lifewstyle
Amitav Ghosh

Victory City

Salman Rushdie

Penguin Random House

Salman Rushdie’s newest novel is a masterful product of his transcendent imagination. It is an epic tale of a woman, Pampa Kampana, who whispers the fantastical empire, Bisnaga, into existence and ties her fate with that of the empire for two hundred and fifty years. As years pass, rulers come and go, battles are won and lost, and allegiances shift, the very fabric of Bisnaga becomes an ever more complex tapestry—with Pampa Kampana at its centre. Brilliantly styled as a translation of an ancient epic, this is a saga of love, adventure and myth, that is in itself a testament to the power of storytelling.

Smoke and Ashes

Amitav Ghosh


Amitav Ghosh’s wide-ranging, compelling, and absolutely fascinating new book, Smoke and Ashes, is about China, and India; tea and opium; Europe and Asia; capitalist enterprise and indigenous understandings of the environment; personal history and a writer’s experience. And everything that lies in between.

Ratan Tata: The Authorized Biography

Dr Thomas Mathew


The definitive account of the life of one of modern India’s great icons spans 85 fascinating years—from Ratan Tata’s birth and his growing up years to his joining the Tatas as a junior and building his career from the ground up, the creation and consolidation of the Tata Group, the many innovations and challenges, the succession dilemma, among others.

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The Forever Prisoner

Adrian Levy, Cathy Scott-Clark


Some argued it would save the US after 9/11. Instead, the CIA’s enhanced interrogation programme came to be defined as American torture. The Forever Prisoner exposes the full story. The book is based on four years of intensive reporting, on interviews with key protagonists, and on thousands of previously classified documents.

Defeating the Dictators: How Democracy Can Prevail in the Age of the Strongman

Charles Dunst


While leaders like Viktor Orbán disrupt democratic foundations from within, autocrats like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin do so from abroad, eroding democratic institutions and values and imperilling democracies that appear increasingly fragile. There are even those who think authoritarianism can deliver them a better life than democracy has or could. They are wrong. Autocracy is not the solution—better democracy is. But we have to make the case for it.

Why We Die

Venki Ramakrishnan


After describing his journey of discovering the structure and function of the ribosome (for which he shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Thomas A Steitz and Ada Yonath) in his popular science book, Gene Machine (2019), Venki Ramakrishnan is coming out with a new book on

why we age and die.

Sahela Re

Mrinal Pande


In this novel, Mrinal Pande harks back to a forgotten era when music had worshippers rather than followers. The style is not that of a straight-forward novel rather that of a jigsaw puzzle, in the form of letters, interviews, anecdotes and legends, that the author invites its readers to put together—much in the way the protagonist Vidya follows the trail of Anjali Bai and the people who knew her.


KR Meera


KR Meera is one of the most important novelists writing today. Her novel, Hangwoman, was a classic, and with Assassin, she has crafted her most urgent and ambitious work to date. Meshing real events with fictional incidents, an engaging plot with biting social commentary, the personal with the political—Assassin is a genre-defying magnum opus that investigates the dangerous times we live in, while laying bare the hidden depths of human nature.


Sanjeev Sanyal


The official narrative of India’s freedom struggle has almost entirely been about the non-violent political movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. However, it is Sanjeev Sanyal’s contention that there was a continuous, parallel armed struggle against British colonial rulers that can be traced to the very beginning of colonial occupation.

Adman Madman

Prahlad Kakkar


In this bare all, tell-tale memoir, ad guru Prahlad Kakkar serves up scoops of his most unforgettable experiences, peppered with viciously funny anecdotes from his personal life and seasoned with lessons on storytelling. Learn the secrets of the trade to create memorable brands through the mastery of storytelling— how to tell a riveting story in 30 seconds.

Book of Compassion

HH Dalai Lama & Kailash Satyarthi with Pooja Pande

Penguin Random House

What happens when you put two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates together? This book takes us on a journey through the lives of the 14th Dalai Lama and Kailash Satyarthi and how we can apply compassion to our everyday lives. Through extensive research and interviews, the book is a must-read for everyone interested in making the world a more beautiful place.

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The Amul Story

RS Sodhi

Penguin Random House

RS Sodhi is the managing director of GCMMF and has spent over 35 years at Amul. He joined the business when the revenue was Rs 101 crore and under his stewardship, Amul has grown to a revenue of over Rs 23,000 crore. This book seeks to burst the established myth that successful, profitable businesses cannot be run without a community purpose as a first imperative. It highlights how an Indian company can give the world’s most dynamic MNCs a run for money.

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First published on: 01-01-2023 at 02:30 IST