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Dispatches from Champaca: June 2023

dispatches from Champaca

Hello fellow book lover,

This month was spent in long staff discussions about the books we want to send you in year four of our Champaca Book Subscription: Reading India. We love this part of our work as a bookstore: reading books from different parts of the country, marvelling at the beautiful work that indie publishers produce. We poured over endless excel sheets and book lists. We are really excited to find out what you think of our curation! 

Choosing books for ‘Reading India’ is a challenge we have enjoyed. We try to move past the obvious and stereotypical to something that gives us the pleasure of discovery while learning something new. We hope that the books that we send offer you new perspectives and lead you to more enriching reading discoveries. What are some of the ideas that come into your mind when you think about reading Indian literature? 

Meanwhile, we have read widely and happily in June, and here’s what we’ve loved lately. One of our team members read environmental journalist Aarti Kumar-Rao’s Marginlands — a timely book in which Kumar-Rao travels across the country, documenting people’s ancient wisdom of their land and how this wisdom is slipping away. She takes us to the landscapes, rivers and communities whose lives have been upturned by misguided decisions taken by people in power, writing about them with a sense of urgency and deep empathy. We also loved Angela Saini’s The Patriarchs, a fantastic work of journalistic writing that attempts to uncover the history of gendered oppression and male domination. What have you been reading this month? We’d love to know, tell us in the comments section below!

As we get ready to begin shipping our subscription boxes for July, we leave you with the famous, yet ever-relevant words of Rainer Maria Rilke: “to live and love the questions themselves”. Our month of reading and curation has convinced us that this uncertainty always leads to the most unique discoveries.

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