HT Picks: The most interesting books of the week

Updated on Oct 20, 2017 11:29 PM IST
Two very interesting cookbooks and a friend’s memories of MF Husain,
Good reads!(HT Team)
Good reads!(HT Team)
Hindustan Times | ByHT Team


MF Husain was many things, curious boy from Pandharpur, painter of billboards, maker of toys, aesthete , the inveterate progressive artist he soon became, and later film maker and style icon who walked about barefoot with a long brush in hand. A legend, in short.

Six years after first seeing him on a rainy day outside the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, Ila Pal met the star painter for the first time in 1961. It was the beginning of a long and enriching association between an eager student of art and MF Husain – a journey that lasted 50 years. This book is a product of that intimate relationship.

Filled with anecdotes about his charisma, his sharp wit, his sense of wonder about the world at large and his insatiable hunger for love, this warm and personal biography traces his evolution through his many avatars. It attempts to unravel the enigma of MF, who is considered the master of contemporary Indian art, and the auctions of whose works at Christie’s and Sotheby’s changed the Indian art market forever. It also delves into the artist’s exile from his homeland at the fag end of his life, exploring the question of creative licence in a climate where people’s sentiments are easily hurt and where censorship rules the roost like never before.

Husain: Portrait of an Artist gives us an up close and personal look at the life of a great painter who was hated and admired by millions alike – the one and only Maqbool Fida Husain. *


As a young bride married into a family in Bihar, Pallavi Nigam Sahay was mesmerized by the vast repertoire of Bhojpuri bhansa ghars or kitchens. This is her tribute to the region’s traditional recipes – the legendary litti chokha; choora mattar; Bihari halwai-style mutto machli ka sarsonwala jhor; the delectable bhujias; the unique parwal ki mithai, thekua and other fantastic sweets. The Bhojpuri Kitchen is not only a celebration of several recipes, lest they are forgotten in the future, but also the region’s festivals, like Chhath, which is yet another reason for the kitchens to come alive with food most befitting the Gods.*


Eat your way through Pooh Bear’s adventures one honey-crunch snack bite at a time, nibble on delicious scoop ‘n’ drop currant scones while discovering lost treasures and secret passages with the Famous Five, or suck on tangy tamarind pops as you run through the by-lanes of Malgudi with Swami and friends.

If you love to read and eat, Bookworms & Jellybellies is just the book for you. It is a joyride though some of the best-loved children’s books, with over 50 inspired recipes that can be easily whipped up in your own kitchen . It is packed with quirky introductions, simple recipe instructions, fun trivia and beautiful colour photographs that bring the featured dishes to life.

In this fresh, imaginative take on books and cooks, Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam, authors of Around the World with the Tadka Girls, give you recipes with their own dash of drama, adventure and plot twists – just like the books that inspire them.*

*All text from book flaps.

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