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Me, my shelf and I: Rahul Bose on his favourite books and authors

“I’m a bit of a climate change wonk,” says Rahul Bose. He says that none of the predictions in The Great Derangement: Climate Change seem to be exaggerated.

more lifestyle Updated: Oct 02, 2016 12:11 IST
Kaushani Banerjee
“I’m a bit of a climate change wonk,” says Rahul Bose.
“I’m a bit of a climate change wonk,” says Rahul Bose.(HT Photo)

What books are on your reading list currently?

I’m reading The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh. I’m a bit of a climate change wonk. I’ve attended Oxfam and the recent climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, and spent time with 63 climatologists. So, I can say that none of the predictions in the book seem exaggerated.

What’s your favourite book?

There’s a whole universe of best books I’ve encountered, starting with Ulysses by James Joyce. The best biography I’ve read is Brando: The Biography by Peter Manso. The best autobiography, according to me, is Elia Kazan: A Life. The best sports book would be Andre Agassi’s Open. And the best historical fiction is Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace.

What genres do you enjoy?

I’ve started enjoying historical fiction and political non-fiction a lot. I also like travel fiction. Bruce Chatwin is a great travel writer. I’m just starting Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which is about two expedition leaders who die on the same day on Mount Everest.

What do you read when you travel?

I read something that takes my mind off work. I’ll read a book by Haruki Murakami or Anthony Bourdain. Travelling is also a good time to read books that I haven’t been able to pay attention to, such as Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Name a book that made you laugh or cry.

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie made me cry, while The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend made me laugh.

I was a voracious reader, says Rahul Bose. (HT Photo)

What kind of reader were you as a child?

I was a voracious reader. My mother opened the family library to me with Shakespeare, encyclopedias, pornography, etc. The entire bookshelf was open to me from the age of 10. Shakespeare has stayed with me.

If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?

I can’t name one. I do not read self-help books. They package it in a sanctimonious twaddle. It’s a waste of time to read recycled garbage.

Which author would you choose to write your life story?

My love story can be written on a pamphlet. But my life story has to be written by someone who is irreverent, curious and gripping. I guess Anthony Bourdain would be good.