The best of what to eat/shop/do in your city, delivered in a brown paper bag

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Palace Of Illusions, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: A fast paced re-telling of our most familiar story, this vivid montage of the Mahabharat’s sexiest bits and characters is easy to get into and deeply engaging. Works every time.

South Of The Border, West Of The Sun, Haruki Murakami: Murakami is to fiction what Tom Friedman is to foreign policy – meant to make novices feel smart. South Of The Border is the author’s most heartfelt and least strange novel, drenched in jazz and melancholy.

The Art Of Drowning, Billy Collins: The former US Poet Laureate upends traditional ideas of “serious” poetry with his heartwarming, approachable verses, in which he tackles questions of great importance like how it feels to be ten years old or how many angels can comfortably dance on a pin-head. A bpb favourite.

Just Kids, Patti Smith: The coming-of-age account of a hot rock-star chick and the men who loved her, all set in gritty, glittery New York. This is an easy sell.

Haroun & The Sea Of Stories, Salman Rushdie: A highly entertaining, raucous parable, this is more entertaining and much shorter than the Harry Potter series. Plus, who can resist Princess Batcheat, Prince Bolo and a water genie called Iff?

The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien: When Tolkien was charming he was very charming indeed. This introduction to Middle Earth has all the sword-fights and riddle-games anyone could want, and any lingering sense of doom is very well-hidden. (Also, your honey has probably seen the movie already.)

Image credit: Instagram / Hot Dudes Reading.

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