Thursday, October 5, 2023

All the write choices

Four novelists tell us why they write, what inspires them, and what books you should be reading too

If you know anything about HT Brunch, you know we’re nuts about books. And we’ve been holding the #BrunchBookChallenge every year since 2014. Each year we set ourselves reading targets: 24 books: check. 48 books: check. More Indian authors, more women writers, more classics, more unfamiliar genres: all checked. And along the way, we’ve found a priceless community of readers and writers.

What’s the plan for 2023? Aha. Here’s where the plot thickens! This year’s challenge is a reboot. Read 24 books before the year ends. And try to read as diversely as possible. Fat novels, slim novellas, Indian-language translations, Russian sci-fi, Chilean magical realism, Botswanan detective series, Iranian graphic novels, Pakistani memoirs, American explainers – it’s all good.

Each time you finish a book, tag @HTBrunch on Twitter and Instagram using #BrunchBookChallenge. We’ll cheer you on, push you to read more, help you connect to your favourite authors and fans, maybe even send you free books.

Where do you start? Four top fiction writers recommend the titles they’ve loved. Perhaps you might too. Dig in!

I love narratives that intertwine:Priyanka Khanna

“At the age of seven, my mother gave me a journal to write in, I think that ignited my love for writing,” recalls Khanna, 41. “I also think it showed me the power of thought and expression; journalling every day is rightly touted as a way to practice self-care and to gain clarity.”

Khanna’s first article was published when she was 16. She then spent over a decade writing and editing fashion pieces. She described her first novel, All The Right People (2022), as being, “at its heart, a story of female friendship and of three women finding their own way”.

Life does indeed come full circle. “My happy place now is curled up on my favourite couch with a good book, a cup of coffee and my daughter, reading beside me,” Khanna says.

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