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Delhi between the covers

If reading more is your New Year’s resolution, then here is our special list of some of the best books on Delhi. Mayank Austen Soofi tells more.

books Updated: Jan 01, 2009 20:15 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

There are thousands of books on Delhi. Are you feeling spoilt for choices? Don’t worry. It’s January 1st. Make a fresh start. Plan for some serious reading this year. HT City prepares a list that, thankfully, is not long. We are positive that you will be able to read all of these paperbacks in the coming 364 days. We have reasons — the books we are suggest-
ing are not dry, not academic, not boring. Instead, they will make you realise what a fantastic city you are living in.

6 books for 2009
Ahmad Ali’s Twilight in Delhi
This novel is our city’s Gone with the Wind, minus its bulk. An elegy to a city and a civilisation — with all its elegance, art, poetry, love, lust, longing — that has vanished into the black hole of time.

William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns
What, you still haven’t read it! Madhur Jaffrey’s An Invitation to Indian Cookery Don’t be fooled by the title. Jaffrey’s first cookbook is more about Delhi’s delicacies than India’s. It boast recipes that smacks of the smells and memories of Old Delhi.

Anita Desai’s In Custody
A perfect Dilli mix: a cranky Urdu poet, two sour wives and lots of rooftop biryani feasts.

Ranjana Sengupta’s Delhi Metropolitan
Your guide to a hyperactive, restless and dynamic Delhi.

Watch out for: Sam Miller’s Delhi, Adventures in a Megacity
Out next month, this book claims to capture the city’s “unexpected, ignored and the eccentric.”