The Palace of Illusions - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Meghana Kurup, journalist, Mumbai Mirror Online
We all know the story of The Mahabharata, but The Palace of Illusions will make you see the epic story in a very new light. The book charts the journey of Draupadi, right from the time she emerged out of the sacrificial fire till her final journey with the Pandavas to Kailash. It is captivating from the word go. Draupadi, known as the woman who changed the course of history, voices her deepest and darkest desires and through it keeps the reader hooked on to every word and thought of hers. It definitely belongs to the 'unputdownable' category, (if that's even a word)!
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Yashodhara Datar, production assistant, Fusion Films
"It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them."
Lines like this make East of Eden such a pleasure to read. This book got me started on reading all of Steinbeck’s works but somehow, East of Eden remains my first love. The novel is a goldmine of characters. Each character has its own uniqueness. They have their own philosophy. Each one of them has their own story and they are interconnected fluidly. One could in fact make movies on each character and not run out of story ideas.
This novel is like a package deal -- its got a great story line, amazing characters, well written conversations, simplistic philosophy and it makes a good read because its language is simple and straight forward.
Morality for Beautiful Girls - Alexander McCall Smith
Rajat Dawar, creative partner, Rediffusion Y&R, Mumbai
Before my bra burning feminist friends start throwing things at me let me assure them that the book's not offensive to women. It’s the third novel in the eleven novel televised series- The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency. Set in Africa, it’s fast, insightful and simply written. With subtle humour. If you like it you can thank me, if you don’t, you can complain to Miss Anisha Sarin (creative head at Rediffusion Y&R). She’s the one who got me hooked to this series.