10 Books to Read in May 2024

As May unfurls its vibrant offerings, beckoning readers into realms both enchanting and thought-provoking, a diverse array of literary treasures awaits discovery. From the mystical rites of spirit worship in Tulu Nadu to the shadowy corridors of political manipulation, and from the cozy comforts of chai to the chilling depths of personal and societal struggles, the selection of books for May 2024 is as rich as it is captivating. Journey through the pages of “Daiva,” where K. Hari Kumar unveils the intricate communion between mortals and divine spirits, or unravel the mysteries of Bangalore’s dark underbelly in Harini Nagendra’s “A Nest of Vipers.” Venture into the tumultuous epochs of history with “Mr Einstein’s Secretary” by Matthew Reilly, or navigate the treacherous landscapes of crime and justice in S. Hussain Zaidi’s “The Black Orphan.” Savor the aromatic essence of chai in Mira Manek’s “The Book of Chai,” or peer behind the veils of electoral deception in “The Deception Industry” by Herjinder. Traverse the serene hills of reflection with Ruskin Bond’s “The Hill of Enchantment,” or glean invaluable wisdom for navigating life’s uncertainties in Dr. Meg Jay’s “The Twentysomething Treatment.” Explore the depths of human connection and identity in Neha Bhat’s “Unashamed,” or lose yourself in the fantastical realms of Sarah A. Parker’s “When the Moon Hatched.” With each turn of the page, embark on a journey of discovery, enlightenment, and boundless imagination, as these ten books beckon readers to immerse themselves in worlds both familiar and fantastical, promising an unforgettable literary odyssey in the month of May 2024.

Daiva by K. Hari Kumar Book Cover

1. Daiva: Discovering the Extraordinary World of Spirit Worship by K. Hari Kumar

Within the mesmerizing Kola ceremonies of Tulu Nadu, dancers transcend into conduits for the revered Daiva spirits, invoking their power to dispense wisdom, resolve conflicts, bestow blessings, and administer judgments amidst a vivid tapestry of colors and captivating visuals. However, beyond the realm of mere artistry and devotion, lies a rich tapestry of lore. From the benevolent Panjurli, embodying the spirit of the boar, to Bobbarya, the guardian of the sea, this narrative unravels the myriad facets of Daiva: their diverse personas, enthralling narratives, and the intricate dynamics of their communion with the devout. In “Daiva,” celebrated author K Hari Kumar intricately weaves together the sagas of these formidable immortals with the enigmatic rituals of worship, leaving onlookers awestruck at the profound intersection of the mortal and divine.

A Nest of Vipers by Harini Nagendra

2. A Nest of Vipers by Harini Nagendra

In the labyrinthine alleys of Bangalore, a sinister presence slithers beneath the surface as the Circus descends upon the city in January 1922. With the impending arrival of The Prince of Wales amidst the backdrop of past tumultuous visits marred by vehement anti-British uprisings, the vigilant Bangalore Constabulary stands poised. For Kaveri, however, thoughts of intrigue fade into the background as she clutches VIP passes to the renowned Bangalore circus. Yet, when a famed magician, ensnared within an iron prison teeming with venomous serpents, vanishes inexplicably, her world is upended. Even more startling is the warning from her cherished confidant, Inspector Ismail, urging her to refrain from delving into the mystery. Having already unraveled the threads of two murder mysteries, Kaveri Murthy believed herself to be entrenched as Bangalore’s esteemed lady sleuth. Yet, as ominous threats materialize on her doorstep, alliances unravel, and corpses accumulate, Kaveri is confronted with the chilling realization that she now dances upon the precipice of mortal peril . . .

Mr Einsteins Secretary by Matthew Reilly

3. Mr Einstein’s Secretary by Matthew Reilly

In her quest to study physics alongside the esteemed Albert Einstein, Hanna Fischer’s life takes an unexpected turn in 1919, thrusting her into a whirlwind existence. As a teenager, she transitions into a role that encompasses facets of a secretary, scientist, sibling, and spy. From navigating through the treacherous waters of racist gangs in Berlin to confronting the underworld of New York City’s gangsters, and from witnessing the ominous rise of Nazis in the 1930s to being entrenched in Hitler’s inner circle during World War II, Hanna encounters both the brilliance of history’s greatest minds and the darkest moments of humanity. Throughout her journey, she serves under various employers, from shrewd businessmen to vile Nazis, culminating in her tenure with the unparalleled mentorship of Albert Einstein himself. Spanning four decades, Hanna’s story unfolds as a gripping saga of resilience and survival amidst the most perilous times in history.

The Black Orphan by S. Hussain Zaidi

4. The Black Orphan by S. Hussain Zaidi

In the pulsating urban sprawl, where shadows whisper of hidden truths and the balance of justice teeters on a fragile edge, three figures emerge as pillars of their respective realms: a stalwart guardian of law and order, a fervent advocate for the cause of justice, and a looming terror poised to disrupt the delicate equilibrium. Deputy Inspector General Ajay Rajvardhan of the National Investigation Agency finds his world upended by the sight of the formidable lawyer Asiya Khan, their opposing vocations drawing them closer even as a sinister web of crime and deceit ensnares them. As they navigate a landscape fraught with peril, from the chilling specter of a serial killer targeting India’s nuclear elite to the ominous machinations brewing in Mumbai’s darkest corners, time becomes their relentless adversary. With the aid of Deputy Commissioner Sagar Pratap and Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, Ajay races against the ticking clock to unravel the tangled threads of conspiracy before they unravel him. Inspired by real-life events, Hussain Zaidi’s masterful narrative weaves a tale of love, fear, and vengeance that resonates with gripping intensity.

The Book of Chai by Mira Manek

5. The Book of Chai by Mira Manek

In the serene ritual of chai, one discovers a sacred pause, a moment suspended in time to inhale deeply, awakening amidst the intoxicating fusion of tea leaves and spices. It’s a time to gaze out the window, to let thoughts drift like wisps of steam from the brew, each sip embracing warmth, infusing the senses with fragrant vitality. This celebration of chai, intricately woven into the fabric of Indian life and now revered globally, unfolds within “The Book of Chai,” offering 65 tantalizing recipes ranging from traditional blends to delectable accompaniments. Delve into its healthful properties and diverse brewing methods, and explore variations tailored to seasons, occasions, and moods, from invigorating awakenings to tranquil evenings. Uncover intriguing concoctions like dirty chai, chocolate-infused blends, or those kissed with citrus and rosewater, while also indulging in recipes for lassis, chai-spiced treats, crispy pakoras, and comforting crumbles. Through the rich tapestry of chai’s history and the author’s poignant ‘chai stories,’ this tome eloquently depicts its integral role in family, history, and culture, inviting readers to partake in its timeless embrace.

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The Deception Industry by  Herjinder

6. The Deception Industry by Herjinder

In an age dominated by the rapid evolution of technology and the pervasive influence of social media, democracy stands at a crossroads. “The Deception Industry: Unraveling the Craft of Electoral Manipulation” delves deep into this pivotal moment, exploring the tools reshaping political campaigns. From the omnipresent mobile phone, now a cornerstone of political strategy, to covert reservoirs of voter data shaping political narratives, the book lays the groundwork for an exploration into the mechanics of influence. It unveils a complex web spun by influential figures, where social media serves as a master storyteller, and the propagation of false information emerges as a strategic ploy. The murky depths of messaging platforms and the orchestrated efforts of cyber armies are exposed, revealing the unsettling extent of their influence on public opinion. Beyond tools and influencers, the book scrutinizes the deception industry itself, examining the electoral business and its dubious ethical underpinnings, challenging readers to confront the moral dilemmas inherent in the use of deceitful tactics to secure electoral victories.

The Hill of Enchantment by Ruskin Bond

7. The Hill of Enchantment by Ruskin Bond

Reflecting upon nine decades of life, Ruskin Bond, India’s cherished wordsmith, reminisces about the tapestry of his authorial journey. He delves into the crucibles that molded him, the moments that breathed life into his iconic narratives, and the profound impact of mountains, solitude, and the enchanting vista of Pari Tibba, Fairy Hill, visible from his window, on his creative oeuvre. A tome imbued with wisdom, grace, serenity, and marvel.

The Twentysomething Treatment by Dr. Meg Jay

8. The Twentysomething Treatment by Dr. Meg Jay

In the tumultuous landscape of our twenties, where anxiety and depression often loom large, Dr. Meg Jay’s “The Twentysomething Treatment” offers a groundbreaking perspective, prioritizing skills over pills to navigate the challenges of this pivotal decade. Dispelling the myth of twentysomethings’ fragility, Dr. Jay provides practical solutions and actionable advice, guiding readers through finding purpose, embracing uncertainty, and navigating the intricacies of work, love, confidence, and well-being. More than just a book, it stands as a lifeline for a generation grappling with a mental health crisis, offering a roadmap towards stronger mental resilience throughout our twenties and beyond.

Unashamed by Neha Bhat

9. Unashamed by Neha Bhat

Delve into the depths of human connection and identity with Neha Bhat’s provocative insights in “Unashamed.” Through a unique blend of empathy, reflection, and professional expertise, Bhat courageously confronts the taboo topics of sex, sexuality, relationships, trauma, and shame, inviting readers to embark on a journey of self-discovery. From navigating intimate connections with partners to supporting family understanding as a queer individual, Bhat fearlessly addresses the complexities often left unspoken in society. With engaging anecdotes, relatable case studies, and self-exploratory exercises, “Unashamed” serves as a roadmap for breaking free from the shackles of shame, celebrating diversity, and embracing the profound beauty of authentic human connections. Set against the backdrop of modern Indian society, this groundbreaking book leaves readers feeling empowered, self-aware, and, perhaps, a bit more at peace with themselves.

When the Moon Hatched by Sarah A. Parker

10. When the Moon Hatched by Sarah A. Parker

In a world of stark contrasts, he embodies fire and brimstone while I, a mere shard of shattered ice, exist in his scorching shadow. As a skilled assassin for the rebellion, Raeve executes orders with precision, but when a rival bounty hunter disrupts her world, she finds herself ensnared by the Guild of Nobles—a powerful assembly of fae elites. Meanwhile, haunted by the loss of his beloved, dragon rider Kaan Vaegor, driven by an unyielding ache, dons the crown of a fallen king. Their paths converge within the confines of the capital’s highest-security prison, where Raeve’s imprisonment intertwines their destinies. Together, they embark on a quest for truths that threaten to unravel the very fabric of their existence and the bonds between them, in a tale of magic, dragons, and a love that spans across the ages—the bestselling sensation, “When the Moon Hatched.”

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