HT Picks; New Reads - Hindustan Times
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HT Picks; New Reads

ByHT Team
May 10, 2024 09:56 PM IST

On the reading list this week is a new and expanded edition of an old classic about working for the conservation of reptiles and their habitat, a volume on people from small towns and their lives, and a picture book for children that adults will also love

See you later, alligator

This week’s pick of interesting reads includes an old classic about working for the conservation of reptiles, a book on people from small towns, and a picture book featuring a female auto driver (HT Team)
This week’s pick of interesting reads includes an old classic about working for the conservation of reptiles, a book on people from small towns, and a picture book featuring a female auto driver (HT Team)

344pp, ₹479; Indian Pitta (On working for the conservation of reptiles and their habitat)
344pp, ₹479; Indian Pitta (On working for the conservation of reptiles and their habitat)

Originally published as Snakeman over 30 years ago to great acclaim, this is a new, expanded edition.

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From cobras in her kitchen to crocodiles in her backyard, Zai Whitaker has seen it all. For years, she and her ex-husband Rom Whitaker worked together for the conservation of reptiles and their habitat, and continue to do so as friends. Scaling Up is their story – funny, observant and a truly “wild ride”.*

Of small town lives and living

303pp, ₹899; Aleph (How those from small towns are fully the equal of their urban peers)
303pp, ₹899; Aleph (How those from small towns are fully the equal of their urban peers)

Distinctive. Brilliant. Ambitious. Rooted. These and many other such attributes are the hallmarks of people from the small towns and peripheries of India. In this extraordinary, eye-opening book, Sumana Roy, a proud provincial, shows us how those from small towns are fully the equal of their urban peers. She builds her thesis by introducing us to a diverse array of individuals — writers, artists, filmmakers, cricketers, tour guides, English tutors, lovers, and chroniclers — whose stories and creations provide answers to the question — who is a provincial? Blending personal narrative with the cultural, sensory, and emotive heritage of overlooked communities, Roy puts paid to the notion that metropolitan culture is superior while unearthing the exuberance and magic of provincial life, with its quirks, jests, passions, and poignant absurdities.

Through a captivating collection of “postcards” from the outskirts of India (and further afield — Europe, America, and the Middle East), Roy immerses us in the imaginative realm of those who revel in their provinciality. Delving into the lives and works of Rabindranath Tagore, the Bhakti poets, Kishore Kumar, William Shakespeare, John Clare, TS Eliot, JM Coetzee, VS Naipaul, the Brontës, Annie Ernaux, and others, she celebrates the wit, mirth, whimsy, and irony of small-town lives and living.*

Brimful of Asha

₹195; Tulika Books (A book for children that adults will also love)
₹195; Tulika Books (A book for children that adults will also love)

Asha’s first trip in her colourful auto every morning is to the flower market, where she buys a big bag of jasmine buds. Follow her through the week and through the city, as she picks up and drops off passengers at the railway station, the beach, the cricket stadium… stringing and selling jasmine all the way.

Vibrant pictures liven up the route and offer snapshots of a city – Chennai!*

* All copy from book flap.

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