Wednesday, December 31, 2008


For every book lover in India, the year 2008 was punctuated with lots of delights and disappointments. With as many as 17 indian authors making their debut, the indian writing scene has never looked this better. (at the last count, it was 17, apart from two debutante authors from our neighbouring countries. please let me know if i have miscalculated the number).

The highlight of the year, undoubtedly was, Aravind Adiga winning the Booker Prize for his debut novel, 'The White Tiger'. The book captured the imagination of the younger generation with its dark, real and stark portrayl of urban India. Inspite of receiving a lot of flak frommeminent writers, Adiga's book remains one of the most widely read books of 2008, and one of my personal favourites. A must read.

In this time of "techie lit" spawned off by Chetan Bhagat, 2008 was no different. Karan Bajaj, Mainak Dhar and Durjoy Dutta (with co writer Maanvi Ahuja) made their presence felt with 'Keep off the Grass', 'Funda of mixology: what bartending teaches that IIM doesn't and 'Of course I love you till I find someone better' respectively. Needless to say, all the books did well, though personally, I found Karan's book a lot more sensible and a worthy read.

The year also saw a doctor turned writer in Anirban Bose, out with his first novel 'Bombay girls, Bombay rains' based in a medical college. (a nice change from IITs and IIMs). As far as the content is concerned, well read it for yourself.

As many as four bloggers (yes you heard it right) made their debut on the publishing front. Meenakshi Madhvan Reddy with 'You are here' (, Preeti Shenoy with '34 bubblegums and candies' (, Meenu Mehrotra with 'Lilacs bllom in my backyard' ( and Novoneel Chakraborty with 'A thing beyond forever' (
Highly recommended out of these from my side is Preeti Shenoy's book for its simple realistic content and easy language.

Advaita Kala's book 'Almost single' was easily one of the breeziest reads of 2008, as was Anuja Chauhan's 'The Zoya Factor'. Both books are on the best seller list and are slated to be made in to movies in the near future. Anita Jain's 'Marrying Anita' reminded me of Kavita Daswani's book 'For matrimonial purpose' considering that the protagonists in both books are over 30, single and looking for a life partner. I found Anita's book a little stale.

'Homespun' by filmaker and writer Nilita Vachani and 'Dowry Brides' by Shoban Bantwal are two books which i have still not managed to read and are high on my priority list.

Bubbles Sabharwal, an eminent Delhi based theatre personality also released her book 'Tomorrow's Promise', a story stemming out from a personal tragedy. And since we are talking about famous people, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's daughter, Daman Singh also unveiled her debut novel 'Nine by Nine' this year.

Not to be left far behind in cashing on the thriving indian publishing front,, world's largest matrimonial site, unveiled its member Ravinder Singh's debut novel 'I too had a love story'. The book, based on real life incidents ,talks about finding love online and internet marriages.

From across the border, London based Paistani coloumnist released his first book 'A case of exploding mangoes' a satirical novel centered around the events before and after General Zia ul Haq's mysteroius death in the 1980s. Its a beautiful book with an amazing blend of wit and humour.
Tahmima Anam's 'A Golden Age' is a poignant saga of a Bangladeshi woman and her struggles during and after the war of independence of 1971. another brilliant debut of 2008. It will surely tug at your heart strings.

2008 has truly been the year of debutantes.


The Rat... said...

The White Tiger - check
Keep off the Grass - check
Funda of mixology: what bartending teaches that IIM doesn't - check
'Of course I love you till I find someone better'- check
'Bombay girls, Bombay rains' - check
You are here' - check
'34 bubblegums and candies - check
'Lilacs bllom in my backyard' - check
'A thing beyond forever - check
Almost single' - check
The Zoya Factor - check
Marrying Anita' - check

Yet to read...
'Homespun' 'Dowry Brides'
Tomorrow's Promise', 'Nine by Nine'
I too had a love story'
A case of exploding mangoes' 'A Golden Age'

ouch lot to read.. in btw u missed adiga's second book, "Stay hungry Stay Foolish" and another couple of books d names which escape me now.. lll get back to u...

Pinku said...

hmmm...thats a pretty interesting list you have impressed that you keep such tabs on the publishing industry.

Do a recommended list for 2009 too please.

moon's muse said...

you made a nice list,and i like the way you write.

i hope i read atleast half of them.will definitely try reading "Bombay girls,Bombay rains"

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