Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler
I have read much good non-fiction while judging the Samuel Johnson prize this year. But Hessler’s Oracle Bones (John Murray), a personal account of contemporary China, is an exceptionally insightful book. I am also reading Spectrum: From Right to Left in the World of Ideas (Verso), Perry Anderson’s new collection of penetrating essays about political thinkers and literary magazines.
Mani Shankar Aiyar
Negotiating For India: Resolving Problems Through Diplomacy by Jagat S. Mehta
Former foreign secretary Mehta’s book is a riveting account of his negotiations for India with various foreign governments. I have also recently read and enjoyed Inder Malhotra’s lucid, balanced and eminently readable short biography of Indira Gandhi; Tariq Ali’s Bush in Babylon which can be summed up by the slogan: "If you have an ugly occupation, you can’t have a beautiful resistance"; and Narendra Singh Sarila’s In the Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition, a fascinating, unusual take on Britain’s decision to divide the country.
Konkona Sen Sharma
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
It’s a very well-paced book and I like the thriller genre in which it is written but unfortunately it is not good consistently. Still, I was feeling a little lost after I finished it, so I have just started reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway that’s been lying around in the house for ever.
The Gosho by Nichiren Daishonin
I love reading novels but haven’t dared to read any in the last few years because I can’t do anything else until I finish reading it. But I read a page or two every night from The Gosho which is like my Bible, carrying an answer to most of my problems, creative and personal.