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IT’S RAINING BOOKS

What will be the best and the biggest books of 2013? With the Indian book publishing industry on a roll, the calendar of new book releases for the year looks more promising than ever before. So, book lovers will soon find themselves up to their eyeballs in a rich haul of must-read titles. You can expect an adventurous ride of fiction and non-fiction titles, with debutant authors (some of them celebrities), heavy-weight bylines and sequels making a splash. Here’s looking at what top publishers are rolling out in the coming months. (Footnote: this list is by no means exhaustive...)

RANDOM HOUSE INDIA

The year will open for Random House India with some big ticket launches including award-winning Pakistani author, Nadeem Aslam’s The Blind Man’s Garden. With the super-successful Maps for Lost Lovers and The Wasted Vigil in his kitty, Aslam’s story now flits between Pakistan and Afghanistan post-9/11. The plot revolves around Pakistani foster-brothers Jeo and Mikal who secretly enter Afghanistan. January will see fitness trainer Vesna Jacob give tips in her first book, Work It Out Without A Workout. Learn how you can exercise in the office, at home and even in a traffic jam!

Come March and foodies can gorge on Highway On My Plate 2 by Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma. The duo’s second book will guide you to India’s best roadside dhabas!

The other Random House authors to follow include Karma Phuntsho who will be out with History of Bhutan, the first complete study of the mountain country, and former US Vice President Al Gore. In his book, The Future, Gore explores the forces that are shaping what America and the world will become in the decades ahead. An exclusive paperback Indian edition of James Patterson’s Alex Cross, Run will hit bookshops by February.

PENGUIN INDIA

Penguin is gearing up to unleash a battery of big names. Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid is on a roll as the film adaptation of his debut novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, will release in April. His new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, will hit bookstores earlier. This playful novel follows the life of a man from boyhood to old age, from poverty to wealth.

Top historian, Ramachandra Guha promises enormous new material on Mahatma Gandhi in his new book Gandhi Before India, tracing Gandhi’s story from his childhood to his years in South Africa. More on India comes in a hard-hitting book that debates the gap between India’s growth and its actual development in An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze. For the computer revolution in India, watch out for The HCL Story by Shiv Nadar with Kevin Maney.

Penguin’s other big author, Amit Chaudhuri will be out with Calcutta: Two Years In The City in which he goes over Calcutta’s history and cuts in with his own musings on the city.

She’s certainly one first-time author that we love to gawk at. Actor Karisma Kapoor will make her debut as a writer with My Yummy Mummy Guide in which she’ll take you through the paces of managing pregnancy, losing all the excess weight post-delivery and more.

BLOOMSBURY INDIA

A busy year ahead for Bloomsbury India will be marked by the works of two acclaimed novelists — Afghan-American bestselling author Khaled Hosseini and Manil Suri. The City of Devi by Suri (the author’s boldest novel yet is the promise by the publishers) is set in a Mumbai that’s left desolate after threats of nuclear annihilation.

If Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns tugged at your heart-strings, come May and you can reach out for And the Mountains Echoed. The novel, which took six years in writing, is a multi-generational family saga that revolves around siblings, the ways in which they love, betray, honour and sacrifice for each other.

HACHETTE

Hachette also has a big haul for book lovers this year. For one, it has a roster of page-turning thrillers, science fiction and fantasy, crime fiction and even erotic fiction. A biggie will be the fifth instalment of the historical fiction, Mughal series by Alex Rutherford (pen-name for authors Diana and Michael Preston). Empire Of The Moghul: The Serpent’s Tooth, will make it to bookstores by May 2013.

ALEPH

Aleph Book Company — an independent publishing house set up by author David Davidar and Rupa Publishers — has intrepid journalist Barkha Dutt as a star draw. Dutt’s debut book, This Unquiet Land: Dispatches from India’s Fault Lines which releases in September, will record her experiences from the front-lines of every major news event in India over the past decade-and-a-half.

In September, Aleph will also launch the official autobiography of former Army chief, General V.K. Singh, whose term ended in controversy. India’s Tiger Man, Valmik Thapar, will be out with yet another book dedicated to the Big Cat titled — Tiger Fire: The Definitive Book of Tiger Writings. And of course there’s The Dynasty: The Nehrus and the

Gandhis (out in December) by bestselling author Pranay Gupte, the first major biography of the first family of Indian politics beginning with Motilal Nehru and ending with the present generation of Gandhis.

RUPA

Rupa’s stables too are filled with heavyweight writers. Bestselling author and former president of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will roll out motivational anecdotes in the aptly titled Stories From My Life (out in July).

There’s more in the non-fiction category: while fashion designer and socialite, Bina Ramani, writes about her life and times in Bird in a Banyan Tree (May), Prasoon Joshi’s The Poet Speaks: The Songs of Prasoon Joshi (January) is a collection of his works as a lyricist and screenwriter. The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous by Khushwant Singh (with Humra Quraishi) will be out in April and will introduce readers to the most unforgettable characters Singh has met.

And Anurag Mathur — the author best known for his debut novel The Inscrutable Americans — will be back with a bang in April with a new novel that’s a scathing and satirical look at the sexual underbelly of today’s Delhi.

WESTLAND

The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi opens the year for Westland. Scheduled for an early 2013 release, The Oath of the Vayuputras is the concluding part of the Shiva Trilogy. Tripathi’s other two book are The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas. RIP by Mukul Deva and Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times by Nilanjan Mukhopodhyay are the other big current releases for Westland.

HARPERCOLLINS INDIA

It’s going to be a mixed bag of authors this year from HarperCollins — and that includes tennis ace Vijay Amritraj with his Learning to Serve, Anurag Mathur’s A Modern Life and others.

Anuja Chauhan who has turned in super successful romcoms, The Zoya Factor and Battle for Bittora, will unveil her new novel, Those Pricey Thakur Girls. Set in 1988 the novel is about Debjani Thakur, the fourth of five sisters who live in a sprawling disputed family home on Delhi’s posh Hailey Road. Currently Chauhan has her hands full and is writing two commissioned Hindi screenplays — one for UTV and one for the Anil Kapoor Film Company — and also working on the sequel to Thakur Girls set in present day India.

So, you love his telly show, now here’s a book by the innovative chef Vicky Ratnani. In Vicky Goes Veg, Ratnani will offer handy tips on the art of cooking, recipes of mouthwatering dishes from his eponymous show and more.

PAN MACMILLAN

Another actor-turned-author Jayant Kripalani will debut as a writer with New Market Tales, a collection of short stories set in the iconic New Market area of Calcutta.