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An Evening of Journeys

Its getting hot enough to start dreaming of cooler places and better times!

Come by for an evening that will transport you to far off places and little known worlds. Attend the Mughal court at The Red Fort and hop onto the traditional palanquins to visit bustling market places and moon lit Yamuna, stop by Kerala and if you seek something farther off- get tips on how to travel through Europe on “half –a –shoestring” budget.


Ongoing : Book Swap (6:00-8:15 P.M). (Works just the way it did last time.)

Ongoing: Exhibit of new titles by various publishers.

6:00-6:30 Madhulika Liddle reads from her travel writing and novel followed by Q&A

6:30-:7:00 Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu reads from Adrift followed by Q & A

7:00- 7:30 Mridula Koshy reads from her forthcoming novel set in Kerala and in the US Midwest.

7:30-8:15 Open Mic

Entry Fee : Free!

The authors featuring at the event are women who at some point chose to take a slightly different path, as authors and as people.

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu cut loose from the pressures to conform and decided to travel through Europe-alone and for the cost of a dozen beers. Madhulika Liddle, a one time corporate employee left it all behind to wear many hats. A blogger and an author, Madhulika Liddle writes both about her journeys to far off places and about an excursion back into history with her evocative thriller set in Mughal era Delhi. She also takes a jaunt down cinema’s memory lane with her popular blog http://dustedoff.wordpress.com. Mridula Koshy has been a cashier at a Kentucky Fried Chicken, swap-meet sales clerk, backstage dresser at fashion shows, waitress, polisher of silverware, writing adviser, a professional advocate of multiculturalism, a house painter, receptionist at a law firm, collator of tax forms, union organizer and community organizer. She has also made life-altering journeys between two continents and woven her experiences into stories.

At the “Open Mic” session, share your own stories about places far and close or read from your favorite travelogue or memoir, take us to another era- past or future. Take us on a journey.

Join us for the Book Swap where you get to take back as many books as you bring to the table. Sharing is caring!

About the authors:

Madhulika Liddle worked in hospitality, advertising and instructional design before deciding to devote all her energies to writing in English. Over the years, several of her short stories have been published in anthologies or have won awards. Her story A Morning Swim, about an eight-year old orphan who dives into the Yamuna to collect coins in order to make ends meet, won the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’s Short Story Competition in 2003. Madhulika lives in NewDelhi and spends her spare time reading (mainly historical detective fiction), watching old cinema, and — whenever possible —traveling. Her first novel, The Englishman’s Cameo, is a detective story set in 17th century Delhi, and was published by Hachette India in October 2009.

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, travel enthusiast and author, is the youngest of four siblings born into an aristocratic family of Punjab. Though “Have Money, Will Travel” is the (almost) respectable adage that independent writing professional, would like to adopt as her life’s philosophy, he is currently a devoted disciple of the “Little or No Money, Will Yet Travel” school of thought. She encapsulates her inexpensive travel experiences in her forthcoming travelogue, Adrift: A junket junkie in Europe.
She has traveled extensively in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe, South Africa and SE Asia; simultaneously exploring the charms within India. She recently participated in the 3rd Indo-Bhutan Friendship Rally, the only entrant from North India. A travel & food columnist with Hindustan Times, Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu has been regularly contributing articles to travel magazines, airline magazines and national dailies for over 15 years. She is also on the book review panel of The Tribune, having reviewed numerous travel, food and human-interest stories.

Mridula Susan Koshy is the author of a collection of short stories If It Is Sweet, which won her the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award. Before returning to India, she worked as a trade union and community organiser in the US. Her stories have appeared in Wasafiri, Prairie Fire, The Dalhousie Review and Existere, as well as in anthologies in India, the UK and Italy. She is currently working on a novel. She lives in New Delhi with her partner and her three children.

Open Mic : The name says it all. This is an open forum for you to come and express yourself, tell us your story or read to us from your favorite piece of writing. It could be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose. Time allotted per speaker would be 5 minutes. Looking forward to hearing you!

Book Swap : Bring in books that you really liked but don’t want to read again and swap them out with ones that fellow book lovers have bring. Just make sure they are in great condition! Take as many as you bring.

Unusual Library Exhibits

Some of your may have caught the news about the exhibit of archival materials from Salman Rushdie at the Emory University Library. Display includes his four Apple laptops (one ruined by spilled coke) and several hand written journals. Incidentally, its not the hand written notes but all the digital stuff that’s giving archivists nightmares. With technology evolving at lightening speed your hi-tech dream gadget today will be extinct when you wake up tomorrow morning. How then does one save all the hundreds of gigabyte worth of digital information and actually be able to do so in a way that it can be “played back” later. We all (at least my generation) have dusty and chipped VHS cassettes but nothing to play them on! The question of digital vs. non digital has opened up discussion about evolution of very act of writing itself. Here’s an interesting article about the exhibit and its efforts to understand the modern complex relationship between technology and creativity.

On a very different note, the New York Public Library has displayed on its website scans of restaurant menus. If you are a food historian, an artist or plain foodie,  you can print them for free or order prints from the library. Most of them are from early 1900s and are way more beautifully decorated than the modern slap -dash print-outs that one gets at restaurants. Enjoy! (Courtesy:www.thekitchn.com)

Alice in Underland

Returning once more to yer olde topic of books into movies, Tim Burton has done it again. He took the classic and turned it around a few times clockwise, then anti clockwise, up-side down and inside out. To help him with these imaginary acrobatics was his trusted player Johnny Depp. To quote Carroll “What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?”. Same thing for movies, I guess. What good is a movie if its not going to dazzle the eyes and rattle the soul?Did you see the movie yet? What do you think? Here’s a review and another one to help you decide. (Courtesy: http://www.hbook.com, http://movies.nytimes.com)

Flick or Lit?

There is the book…and then there is the movie based on that book. If you are like me, you want to read your book and then when, hopefully at least a year later, the movie comes out, you go out with your best friend to watch it. Then, you come out shake your head and swear you’ll never let a movie ruin the book, everrr again! You learn, forget then repeat.

Scenario 2: You missed the book and now are under duress from aforementioned friend. You go out and watch the movie before you’ve had a chance to get your hands on the book…what then?

Do you:

1. Run and buy  or rent  the book?

2. You don’t care if you read the book now that you have experienced “The Experience”?

3. Swear you’ll NEVER read the book, so that you can never be disappointed?

4. None of the above i.e “I always prefer the movie anyways”

What’s your whole “made into film” experience like?

Read the review for the movie based on Rick Riordan’s popular novel The Lightning Thief here.

Memory flashes from the Book Fair…

It seems like the lull after the storm. January is a complete fog in our minds. First there was the  big move into a new office space, followed by the Book Swap & Meet and then the crazy (but fun!) gearing up for the World Book Fair stall and finally 10 days of being on the feet at the fair ( thank you Dansko shoes!)

If there is one thing you can do apart from selling books and talking about book and breathing in ink fumes from freshly bought books…it is people watching. Its like any other mela….abundant with characters and colours. All you need is a bit of patience and a busy venue and the ability to observe without malice and without prejudice…

1. Curiously (and somewhat disturbingly) there is an abiding fascination with Hitler. It starts with queries about Mein Kampf but goes to anything that has anything to do with the man with the demi-moustache. Its usually men…very serious looking men…hmmm…

2. We women ( yeah, am generalizing here…but its a complimentary one, so I guess I can get away with it)…so, we women shop the same way all our lives.  There were bunches of school girls and young college girls and women in their middle ages that descended at our stall at various points of time. They –

a) Always arrive at the stall together and leave together and never ever leave anyone behind.

b) Suggest books with passion and vehemence, talking animatedly about what they liked and disliked. Always, always help their friend make an informed choice.

c) Never let their friend buy a book that they can lend to her later.

d) Always tell each other of better deals, if any ( or in our case, tell their friend its The Best deal around ;))

3. There are people out there who really live to bargain. You tell them its 25% off, they ask for a 45% off… you tell them there’s a free bag, they want one for their neighbor’s dog, you tell them it’s “Buy one get one Free”, they want to know if they can get five for the price of two, you tell them it’s flat Rs. 100/-, they ask if they can get free dhaniya-mirchi ( not really, but you get the picture!).

There are many more memories and observations that flash like a movie montage as we all come up for air before the next round of FriendsOfBooks excitement begins! Will keep you posted. If you have any observations of your own-share ’em!

See pictures from the fair here.

What’s “Megawsome”?

What’s the point of being in the book business, which is a business of words really, if we can’t attempt every now and then to create a new word and see if it will stick and come back to us after a few days/ decades. SO, the new word we have for you is:


Conjunction of Mega + Awesome

Mega: Origin: form repr. Gk mégas large, great

Awesome: Slang. very impressive.

To spread the word about…er…the new word, we’re offering a

Megawsome Discount of 25% on all books at our stall at the World Book Fair this Saturday and Sunday.

You can use the words thusly in a conversation:

A: Did you know there’s a Megawsome Discount of 25% on all books at FriendsOfBooks stall this Saturday and Sunday?

B: Dude! That’s Megawsome!

A:  I love getting books from FriendsOfBooks Library and Online Bookstore.

B:  Yep. Me too. Saves me a Megawsome headache!

Here are details for you to come back and say the word to us:

Stall No. 181

Hall No. 5

Pragati Maidan

New Delhi