What better time than our birthday month to introduce you to the Champaca staff — read about them, and books that they have picked especially for you. Find all their recommendations on our online store.
Radhika is the proprietrix of Champaca. She spends much of her time figuring out how to run an independent bookstore, while also reading and spending time with her dog, cat and plants.
The Visitor by Upasana Mehindratta
Sometimes you get an unexpected visitor, and sometimes you wish this visitor went away. A wordless graphic novel and picture book by Kokaachi for adults and children to dip into and explore. I keep coming back to it for the eye-catching illustrations and multiple meanings.
The Last Wave by Pankaj Sekhsaria
Set on the Andaman Islands, exploring a culture, community and ecology, amidst a love story and a tsunami, this book is quite unique and sensitive in the way it opens up a new world for you.
Nirica is twenty-two and spent most of her childhood in a bookstore near her house. She likes speculative fiction, coconut water, and the 2010 film The Social Network directed by David Fincher. At any point in time, she is reading at least six books.
We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson weaves witchcraft with everyday life in this disarming novel. This is a book about sisters, about strangeness, and about who poisoned the sugar (!), narrated by an unforgettable and unreliable narrator.
Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch
A linguist challenges the idea that the internet is “killing” language in this fascinating & well-researched book. McCulloch explores how punctuation can change the tone of a text, what it means if you type “LOL” instead of “lol”, and how language evolves and takes new forms in the digital space.
Kavya has eaten 112 varieties of mangoes from India and thinks they’re all amazing (except…), and is writing a book about this most lovely fruit. She lives in Mysore, misses dancing the tango, and is re-reading Watership Down.
One Day a Year by Christa Wolf
In 1935, Maxim Gorky made a call in a Moscow daily for people to write about ‘A Day in the World’. Christa Wolf wrote about every 27th of September for nearly 40 years, of which this book from Seagull presents her last years in 2010-11. A beautiful sense of the private & intimate, political & global that we all carry simultaneously, and an intriguing journal practice project if you choose to do it!
Magadh by Srikant Verma, translated by Rahul Soni
The poems of Magadh were written in Hindi by Srikant Verma (a key Nai Kavita poet) between 1979 and 1984, important years in India’s political history. They are allegorical descriptions of the ancient cities of Ujjaini, Vaishali, Amrapali, Takshashila and Magadh, speaking of the decay of civilisation in modern times. The poems are sparse, presented in a bilingual format by Almost Island. Rahul Soni is not the first translator of these poems but a deft and able guide, especially for non-Hindi readers.
When Thejaswi began reading in childhood, the Indian tectonic plate was farther away from the Eurasian plate by 66 cm. He likes to track the consequences of this plate movement during annual hikes in the Himalayas while continuing to read history, geology, natural history, music, picture books and much fiction while in Bangalore.
Sebastian and Sons by T M Krishna
A fascinating read exploring the intersection of the family histories, caste identities and artistry of the makers and stage performers of the mridangam, a percussion instrument that is pivotal to the expression of south Indian art music.
The Collector of Leftover Souls by Elaine Brum
A collection of brilliant and insightful sketches of marginal lives from the length and breath of Brazil’s densely forested interiors to densely populated coastal cities.
Pooja collects newspapers, loves languages and spends her time in a house full of books and plants.
Empires of the Indus by Alice Albinia
Tracing the journey of Albinia along the course of the river Indus from Pakistan to India to Tibet, Empires of the Indus is a fascinating look at the communities that depend on the river.
I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tale, illustrated by Ramsingh Urveti
A quintessential example of Tara Books’ unique book design, this book contains a single trick verse presented in a beautifully-illustrated and whimsical way.