Book Box: Rainy Reads – Hindustan Times

Dear readers,

We have been listening to Carolina repeatedly. This happens with every newly released Taylor Swift song in our house, but this song holds special significance for me.

Carolina is the haunting title track for the novel, Where the Cradads Sing, based on the novel of the same name. With the movie being released in just a few weeks, on a rainy day, this is the perfect time to get around the house to read this book.

Book 1 of 5: A Novel of Nature

Where the Crowdads sing.
Where the Crowdads sing.

Where the Crowdods Singh is a good story of an orphan girl growing up in the swamp. Read this book for its beautiful writing and how the story is immersed in the swamp landscape. There is also a mysterious element. Interestingly, author Delia Owens is a wildlife biologist. This is his first novel, published at the age of 70.

Book 2 of 5: Geopolitical Thriller

The Sierra Six.
The Sierra Six.

The Sierra Six is ​​the 11th in an addictive Gray Man series featuring independent operator Court Gentry for the CIA. Moving from Mumbai to India, from Turkey and Afghanistan and Pakistan, I loved this book for its charming settings. There are conspiracy and intelligence agencies consisting of terrorist groups such as the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Kashmiri Resistance Front. In addition to the action there are interesting characters like drone operator Priya Bhandari.

Book 3 of 5: The Story of Japanese Time Travel

Before the coffee cools.
Before the coffee cools.

If you could go back in time, to your own life, for a few minutes, what time would you choose to go back to? This is the curious premise of the novel, set in a small cafe in Tokyo. Of course, there are rules. And one, whatever you do, you can’t change the past. Yet, these four time travel journeys in the book can have a profound impact on a traveler’s life – read on before the coffee cools down to find out how.

Book 4 of 5: River Stories

Seven Sacred Rivers.
Seven Sacred Rivers.

Books on Rivers is a perfect excuse to read both geography and history in fascinating form. It also adds anthropology. Aitken is a Scotsman with wandering love and an eye for detail. Of the seven sacred rivers, they follow 7 rivers – Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Indus, Narmada, Godavari and Kaveri. The book is a reflection of slow meditation on many things – the geographical significance of land, history, geography, religion and culture.

Book 5 of 5: Picture Book

The Sea Prayer.
The Sea Prayer.

Remember World Refugee Day celebrated earlier this week by reading this beautifully illustrated book. It was written by Khalid Hosseini, best known for The Kite Runner. The Sea Prayer is a letter from the father to his son, who, on the eve of his dangerous sea crossing, he fled the war, but left behind him, the only life he knows.

Want to protest the overthrow of Roe v. Wade? Read this book.

The Handmaid's Tale.
The Handmaid’s Tale.

For everyone who is upset, sad, and frustrated by the overthrow of Roe v. Wade in the United States, read The Handmaid Tale. It mirrors real life in a dramatic way, warning us of the results of our choices. What is most shocking to me is how the patriarchy cooperates with the women he victimizes. This co-opting takes place in the fictional world in Gilead The Handmaid’s Tale, Just like in real life. Read this book to find parallels in the two worlds. To see the power of satire and how a talented writer can use it, is to shock those of us who have seen the writing on the wall.

That’s all for this week’s read. Next week, as we celebrate National Doctors Day on July 1, we look at some fabulous fiction and non-fiction stories written about doctors and doctors.

Until then, happy reading!

Sonya Dutta Choudhary is a bespoke book service based in Mumbai and the founder of Sonya’s Book Box. Each week, they bring you specially curated books to give you an immersive understanding of people and places. If you have any reading requests or suggestions, write to them at

The opinions expressed are personal

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