South Asian Challenge 2013

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Last year, I signed up for the South Asian Challenge 2012. Knowing my schedule, I allotted myself a conservative estimate of 10 books to read.

It turned out that I was busier than I thought. The figure of 10 books was way too puffed up, and finally I fell two short as 2012 hurtled to an end.

Out of 33 books I read during the year, the following qualified for the challenge:

  1. Diary of a Social Butterfly by Moni Mohsin
  2. She’s a Jolly Good Fellow by Sajita Nair
  3. Beast with Nine Billion Feet by Anil Menon
  4. Who let the Dork Out by Sidin Vadukut
  5. Broken News by Amrita Tripathi
  6. Love Over Coffee by Amrit Shetty
  7. The Red Carpet by Lavanya Sankaran
  8. Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka

I had been waiting to read Chinaman for such a long time, and absolutely loved it when I finally got around to reading it. Two of my favourite things – literature and cricket – all wrapped into one! What more could I ask from life? It is a little-known fact about me that I was a huge fan of Sri Lankan cricket even before they won the World Cup in 1996. So reading a book set in that era was quite thrilling for me.

Another amazing book I would highly recommend is The Beast with Nine Billion Feet. I can’t remember the last time I absorbed so many different ideas from one source. After reading this book, I truly felt enlightened.

Lavanya Sankaran’s exquisite writing in The Red Carpet bowled me over. A couple of her stories set in the corporate world have inspired me to try my hand at something similar, though I doubt I can achieve her level of finesse and subtlety.

I also enjoyed Broken News by Amrita Tripathi, which, for some reason, I wasn’t really expecting to like because I know nothing of the world of news and television journalists and their hectic life.

Though I haven’t signed up for the similar challenge in 2013, I have already read 3 books by Indian authors and have lined up 2 more.

What good books have you read lately?


  1. I read a lot of books, but none of them have convinced me to remember what they were called or who they were written by. A lot of them were supernatural novels and I feel like I read the same story over and over again. I’ll have to write down your choices, they sound different 🙂


  2. Some good books here, will bookmark this for reference to add to my booklist. Will send your blog post to my cousin Anil Menon, author of The Beast with Nine Billion Feet. He’ll be delighted to read and he’s an amazing person. Keep writing!


    1. Hey Swapna! You’re Anil Menon’s cousin?? That is so cool! I attended a Writing Workshop hosted by him in Dec 2011! You can ask him about me – I trouble him quite often (on email of course) for writing-related advice 🙂


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