|Click on the title to access the full review. Books are listed alphabetically by author.|
|Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief by Stephen Alter
Hooray for Bollywood! • Writing about Hindi cinema, novelist Stephen Alter offers an insider’s view of the making of Omkara–the Indianization of Shakespeare’s Othello–in Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief. Originally introduced into the Hindi film industry by his cousin, actor Tom Alter, the author understands and depicts the magic of moviemaking at its most intense. From pre-production to premiere, Alter consults with Director Vishal Bhardwaj and his team and chronicles how Shakespeare takes on a decidedly mirchi flavor in a modern retelling for a culturally-dissimilar audience.
|Eating India by Chitrita Banerji
Food for Thought • This book should carry a warning: Caution! Do not read while hungry! It hardly matters, however, because even if you aren’t hungry, you will be once you sink your teeth into Chitrita Banerji’s latest offering, Eating India: An Odyssey into the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices. Starting from her native Bengal, U.S.-based Banerji documents her journey to find the meaning of “authenticity” in Indian food. This proves to be futile, for the author encounters innumerable exceptions to each culture-identifying rule as she travels through India, quizzing local food critics, chefs, friends, and natives who happily educate her about their food.
|Second-Greatest Baseball Game Ever Played, The by Drew Bridges
Stretching for Home • The 7th game of the 1955 World Series is considered the greatest baseball game ever played. Less than two years later, 10-year-old Drew Bridges played in his first baseball game, a tossed-together affair that is the foundation of his memoir, “The Second-Greatest Baseball Game Ever Played.” Drew’s brother, Mills, was on the team, and his father, Charlie, served as coach. Along with a handful of other baseball hopefuls from town, that one game helped to pave the way for organized sports in the Burke County town of Hildebran, North Carolina.
|King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema by Anupama Chopra
Hooray for Bollywood! • Film critic and author Anupama Chopra’s latest labor of love is one that boldly attempts to define Hindi films through a new twist. In King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema, Chopra examines three converging forces as they come together in the last decade of the twentieth century and into the new millennium: the rise of a superstar; the growth of and changes in contemporary India; and the modernization of Hindi cinema. While the title may deceive a reader into believing the book is yet another biography of dynamic actor and personality Shah Rukh Khan, it is, in truth, as much an assessment of the changing social and economic conditions in India that enabled Khan to become a box-office giant without star parents and facilitated the development of the industry’s increasing global stature. The actor, the country, and the industry are placed into context, one to the other, in a way that even the uninitiated will understand and appreciate.
|Karma Gone Bad: How I Learned to Love Mangos, Bollywood, and Water Buffalo by Jenny Feldon
Embracing the Difference • When Jenny Feldon learns she and her new husband would be moving to India for two years, her imagination runs wild. Exotic locales! Fabulous food! Colorful experiences perfect for posting on her blog, Karma in the City! Her life’s rhythm emanated from the non-stop energy of Manhattan, draped head to toe in designer labels, and she imagines that lifestyle will continue forever. But that’s not how it turned out. With as much self-deprecating and honest humor as hard-learned realizations, her travel memoir, Karma Gone Bad, candidly chronicles her valiant fight as a corporate wife trying to survive life and marriage in India.
|Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India by Anita Jain
What’s Love Got to Do with It? • With a “Sex in the City” strut, Anita Jain’s memoir, Marrying Anita, hurls itself at readers with this desperate realization: “I had become precisely the kind of woman I was determined not to become before I’d come to New York: that proverbial single thirtysomething female propped up at the bar waiting for her ship to come in.” Frustrated with having failed to find romance and a husband through the dating system practiced in the West and the arranged-marriage system attempted by her parents, Jain decided in 2005 that she would uproot herself from New York City and transplant herself in Delhi. There, she thought, she would have an easier time in her search for marital bliss. Three years later, we have the book that records her quest.
|White Gloves and Collards by Helen Pruden Kaufmann
The Gray Areas of a Southern Childhood • Helen Pruden Kaufmann grew up a happy and privileged white child in Edenton, North Carolina, and her memoir, “White Gloves and Collards”, provides a beautifully-composed snapshot of a girl growing up in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. It’s also a portrait of a girl concerned about cancer as she loses both parents: her father when she was very young and her mother when she was a teen.
|Chronicles of a Yella’ Dog by Paul A. Kreiling
For the Love of Dog • Who can resist big paws and a bigger personality? Not many people can walk away from that combination, and Paul Kreiling is the biggest fan of one particular set of paws and personality. In “Chronicles of a Yella’ Dog,” Kreiling shares his collection of down-home stories featuring his yellow Labrador retriever, Moose. The collection resonates with everyone who loves dogs, loves a good story, or loves a tail – oops! tale – that teaches while it entertains.
|Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America edited by Pooja Makhijani
Peeling Off the Layers • “I decided that everything I am is important,” writes Devorah Stone in her essay, “Except.” She and the 20 other women who contributed to Under Her Skin share this celebration of self but not without reliving what made them the women they are today. Edited by Pooja Makhijani, this collection of essays expresses everything from residual anger to amused sadness. Never easy, always honest, often innocent, rarely less-than-complex, these stories share the thoughts and emotions of women who, in their childhoods, realized that while race is inherent, racism is learned.
|Greetings from Bury Park by Sarfraz Manzoor
Hungry Heart • “At the age of thirty I was comfortably British, occasionally Pakistani, and only technically Muslim,” states Sarfraz Manzoor in his memoir, Greetings from Bury Park. Manzoor’s struggle for identity began early and found him straddling various fences: cultural, ethnic, religious, and—interestingly enough—communicational. The author, who was born in Pakistan in 1972 and transplanted to England two years later, is a journalist, an author, and a broadcaster—a man of words. Who would have thought that the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen, American rock’s working class hero, would become the raison d’être and guiding spirit of a Pakistani boy in Luton, England?
|Yes, My Accent Is Real and Other Things I Haven’t Told You by Kunal Nayyar
The Last Laugh • Russell Peters, Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari. They are comedians and comedic actors of Indian background who have written books. Now, it’s Kunal Nayyar’s turn. The actor who plays astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali on the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory freely and openly takes the reader on a ride – bumps and all – in his collection of over 30 personal essays titled Yes, My Accent Is Real: And Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You.
|Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins
Award-winning author Mitali Bose Perkins contributes to and edits this lively collection of short fiction and non-fiction pieces that puts a humorous spin on an otherwise serious subject. Drawing on their own experiences, ten Young Adult (YA) authors tell stories that break down cultural and racial barriers. In the introduction, Perkins states, “Once you’ve shared a laugh with someone, it’s almost impossible to see them as ‘other’.”
|The Home Office That Works! Make Working at Home a Success – A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Telecommuters by Dr. Joseph W. Webb and Richard Romano
So you want to work from home? Read this book first! • Many people dream of working from home, thinking it’s an easy, laid-back way to make a living while wearing pajamas. The Home Office That Works! Make
Working at Home a Success – A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Telecommuters by Dr. Joseph W. Webb and Richard Romano hits the brakes on those runaway notions. Written with humor and insight, this book is a must-read for anyone who has a home office or is entertaining the thought of working from home as a small business owner, a freelancer or independent contractor, or telecommuter.
|I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christine Lamb
Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai rejected the notion that females are meant to remain in the home and illiterate. Reared in a rural Pakistani family that encouraged her dreams as if she were a son, she fought for the right to an education. The Taliban, enraged by her conviction and hoping to make their point, shot her in the head at close range. The result? This young girl has become a worldwide symbol of fearless strength and peaceful protest. Her autobiography is a remarkable story of inspiration and empowerment.