The background: the Indian magazine Outlook asked some Indian (and near-Indian) luminaries to choose their best books for 2007. Since a majority of the featured readers are politicians, most choices are predictably non-committal at best and boring at worst. The books mostly fall into three categories–inspirational biographies, carefully non-controversial accounts of Indian history, and that perennial favorite, all things Gandhi. Reminds me of beauty pageant contestants in India who emit the Pavlovian response “Mother Theresa” to just about any question the judges put to them.
Other readers mentioned in the article include William Dalrymple, Sonia Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto. Most of those interviewed seem to resolutely avoid fiction of any sort. Really, did none of you read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this year?
The full text of the article is here.