With the rains and the pandemic wreaking havoc in our lives, books seem to be our only constant source of comfort right now. This August, fans of mythology, fantasy and adventure will have their hands full with a host of new releases. Be prepared to set out on a mythical journey of India with the stories of Kunti, Ahalya and the enchantress Mohini. Set out on a marvellous adventure with Satyajit Ray’s Professor Shonku, or go on a culinary journey with the famous Bong Mom. If debut novels pique your interest, there’s a speculative fiction due this month that is set to enthral Indian readers. From impressive speculative fiction to feminist mythical retellings, fiction by Indian authors releasing in August 2020 is bound to be a treat.
Chaturanga (Baahubali: Before The Beginning)
Chaturanga is the second book in the Bahubali series. Here, Sivagami, who wanted to assassinate the king in the first book, finds herself saving his life and earning the title ‘Bhoomipathi’ – the executioner. Meanwhile, King Somadeva’s sons, Bijjaladeva and Mahadeva, are fighting over the throne, but remain unaware of another player – one who is capable of toppling over the entire royal family. Will the king be able to stop his enemies like before, or will he finally be defeated? Anand Neelakantan weaves his magic in this breath-taking prequel to the Bahubali films to bring us the ultimate Indian historical fiction novel.
Releasing on August 06, 2020. Buy it here.
Boons & Curses
There is a myth that Kunti sought to fulfil her ambition of a kingdom through her sons, the Pandavas. Her ambition leads to the carnage at Kurukshetra. Filled with guilt, she asks Krishna to be her moral guide, which leads to deep conversations about the role of women in mythology. Boons & Curses is the culmination of the stories of these women – from Soorpanakha and Anasuya to Kaikayee and Devaki. These are women who played an important role in the myths, and their stories – of sacrifice and courage – are as essential as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Releasing on August 10, 2020. Buy it here.
Mohini: The Enchantress
Mohini is the mystifying avatar of Vishnu, designed to steal amrita from the demons. In Mohini, we read about her entire story – right from her birth to her adventures in the mythological world. We learn of her plan to get the amrita, a love triangle that could lead to a war, her union with Shiva, and the birth of her son Shastha. Mohini is enchantingly herself through it all – the enchantress who belongs to no one, and yet is sought out by everyone. Anuja Chandramouli’s novel intertwines the tales of love, lust and desire to show us the real Mohini.
Releasing on August 10, 2020. Buy it here.
The city of Sumer has been enclosed by the Wall for 2,000 years. It remains bound by the humongous structure, and its people are content living within its boundaries. But Mithila is nothing but wilful. Her curious mind pushes her to understand the Wall’s origins, and what lies behind it. As she begins her investigations, powerful enemies threaten to destroy everything she holds dear if she dares to cross the Wall. What will Mithila do? Gautam Bhatia’s debut speculative fiction stands poised to take us on a wondrous journey where rules can only be broken in lieu of a powerful payment.
Releasing on August 13, 2020. Buy it here.
The Final Adventures Of Professor Shonku
Satyajit Ray, Indrani Majumdar (Tr.)
Our favourite Professor Shonku is back, this time with more adventures! In this last volume, we see Shonku travelling the world with his cat, Newton, and his faithful servant, Prahlad, as he solves mysteries upon mysteries. The book also shows us how Shonku’s own invention gets him in trouble, how his enemies hide his wonder drug and his discovery of a 3,500-year-old diamond necklace. Filled with wit and adventure, this book should definitely be on your TBR list.
Releasing on August 17, 2020. Buy it here.
Those Delicious Letters
Sandeepa Mukherjee Datta
Shubha, never one for cooking, starts receiving letters and recipes from a woman in Calcutta who claims to be her grandmother. Intrigued, she starts preparing these old-world dishes, and is applauded for the delicious food by those around her – all except her busy husband. As Shubha tries to balance her search for the mysterious woman, her newfound love for cooking and her crumbling marriage, the letters give her the courage to take a leap of faith. Written by the author of Bong Mom’s Cookbook, Those Delicious Letters is a tale of love, life, and food and is bound to be a beautiful read.
Releasing on August 20, 2020. Buy it here.
Ahalya paid the price for King Indra’s deceit when her husband Gautam cursed her for entering into a physical relationship with another man. But was this what really happened, or was there something hidden behind the myth? Koral Dasgupta’s Sati series shows us the stories of five women from Indian mythology who were known for the chastity of their minds, but still had relations with someone other than their husband. The first book examines Ahalya from a modern feminist perspective and attempts to understand her journey from innocence to adultery.
Releasing on August 21, 2020. Buy it here.
Note: We erroneously included The Empire Of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty in this list, but it has since been removed. We apologise for the mistake.
Disclaimer: Some of these books were previously available on Kindle or as international editions which were available for import. This list features Indian editions of these books, which tend to be more affordable. The information featured here is accurate as of July 30, 2020.