Unputdownable, nifty narrative
Reviewed by Shalini Rawat
Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse 
by Suraya Sadeed Virago Press. Pages 280. Rs 375
First the similarities: The title of the book sounds eerily similar to Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir In Books, where lovers of English literature surreptitiously meet up, the plot where a "now-well-settled-Afghan-immigrant-in-America-comes-home-to-recount-the-tale-of-humanitarian- effort-in-the-war-ravaged-home-country" too resonates with Khaled Hosseini's reason for picking up the pen for catharsis.

A vivid portrait of a poet and his craft 
Reviewed by Geetu Vaid
I Swallowed the Moon: The Poetry of Gulzar
by Saba Mahmood Bashir Harper Collins. Pages 243. Rs 399
A poet is a magician who conjures images and captures emotions with his words, and the mystery of this art has baffled and intrigued many. I Swallowed the Moon, by Saba Mahmood Bashir, is an attempt to decipher and decode the craft of a poet; map the evolution and growth of this art; and trace the genesis of his thought process.

Blend of topicality and scholarship
Reviewed by Harbans Singh
Frankly Speaking Essays and Opinions
by Raghuvendra Tanwar  Hope India Publications. Pages 224. Rs 150
The book is a compilation of writings that appeared from time to time in various daily newspapers of the region as a response to news, events and opinions appearing in the newspapers. Often such responses are made on the spur of the moment but not so in the case of Raghuvendra Tanwar, whose academic training is all too evident in most of these articulations.

Unexpected end of formula
Reviewed by Parbina Rashid
The Virtual and The Real A Wild Rose by Uzma Zafri Mahaveer Publishers. Pages 263. Rs 150
Love hurts. Not just emotionally but physically too. If anyone has doubts that love, which germinates on Facebook, blossoms on WhatsApp and ends in disaster, has the power to hurt anyone so much, then the answer is ‘yes’. Virtual or otherwise, love when it blossoms has that power. Uzma Zafri, in her debut novel A Wild Rose, tells us one such story.

Starry stories
Reviewed by 
Aradhika Sharma
Faction by Khalid Mohamed
Om Books. Pages 293  Rs 395
The book by 22 film personalities is the brainwave, and a good one, of Khalid Mohamed, the eminent film journalist, writer and director of movies like Zubeidaa, Mammo, Sardari Begum. These films are remarkable for his sensitive exploration of strong woman characters. Faction, the blending of fact and fiction, is a collection of short stories by starry writers, with whom he has been in contact with.

Non Fiction