With Recommended Reads For October, Merrchant’s editor brings the best reads of the month.
1. Sail Away
Sail Away is a light a frothy novel that mostly takes place on The Blue Mermaid, a cruise ship sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America. It follows the adventures of two British women, Suzy Marshall and Amanda Herbert.
After a long, dry spell, Marshall manages to bag a role in a production. The play, however, is suddenly scrapped, leaving her in a lurch. She is compelled to take up a job on The Blue Mermaid in order to make her way back home. Herbert, on the other hand, is recently estranged from her philandering husband, Nigel. When she realizes that her new apartment won’t be ready for weeks, she finds herself homeless. When she chances upon an advertisement for an Atlantic cruise, she decides to get onboard and sail the seas until her apartment is ready. Neither Marshall nor Herbert have a clue about what’s in store for them as they traverse the Atlantic and face unexpected and somewhat strange incidents. Packed with eccentric characters and humor, the murder mystery caper manages to get you turning the pages till the end.
Author: Celia Imrie
Published by: Bloomsbury Publication
Price: INR 599
This anthology of fantasy stories, collected by author Gardner Dozois, is aimed at pleasing both fantasy and fiction fans and those venturing into the genre for the first time. With short stories by KJ Parker, Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, Matthew Hughes, Kate Elliott, Lavie Tidhar, Cecelia Holland and George R R Martin, to name a few. The Book Of Swords definitely doesn’t lack variety. All the short stories retain a few similar features-valiant warriors and the clash of steel. It goes without saying that Martin’s The Sons Of The Dragon is definitely the highlight. This Game Of Thrones spin-off story traces the Targaryen’s lives, Aeny’s accession to the throne and Maegor’s rule after his brother’s death. Notoriously known as Maegor the Cruel, this character represents the true tyranny of the Targaryen rule. Like the most of the short stories in the book, The Sons Of The Dragon is exceptionally dark, just like A Song Of Fire And Ice loyalists have come to love it.
Edited by: Gardner Dozois
Published by: Harper Collins
Price: INR 1,645
Jane Austen was always so ahead of her times that even today, her characters and storyline seem so relevant. This is what Laaleen Sukhera has explored in this collection of seven short stories, written by seven women (including Sukhera herself), which pays homage to Austen’s novels. They plucked Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Lady Susan Vermont (Lady Susan) and Emma Woodhouse(Emma) from 19th century England and put them in modern-day Pakistan.
For instance, in the story Begum Saira Returns, we find traces of Lady Susan as the young, widowed protagonist, who makes a glamorous entry into a society wedding after a year of her husband’s death. Or Mrs. Jameela Baig, who like Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, is obsessed with finding the perfect match for her daughters. Read this book without expecting Austen’s witty repartee or her hidden layers of complexity, since it’s hard to emulate her legacy. But read it to experience a side of Pakistan that you might not have guessed before.
Edited by: Laaleen Sukhera
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Price: INR 399
To read recommended reads for September, click here.