Book picks similar to
Binya's Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond


Bombay Bhel

Ken Doyle - 2013
    The interlinked stories are set in the late twentieth century, before a wave of anticolonialism crested across India and resulted in Bombay's rechristening. The stories feature everyday characters who face challenges unique to Bombay life, from the schoolboy who forms an unlikely friendship with a street vendor to the retired serviceman whose livelihood is threatened by the city's notorious bureaucracy. Readers familiar with Bombay will reawaken their memories, while those new to the city will experience a taste of its varied flavors.

Arzee The Dwarf

Chandrahas Choudhury - 2009
    He has been crowned as head projectionist at the Noor, the Bombay cinema where he has been working since his teens. Arzee thinks that the worst of his troubles are behind him, and that he can marry and settle down now. But not for the first time, Arzee has it all wrong! Arzee the Dwarf follows Arzee through day and night, slow time and fast time, agitation and reverie, beautifully setting off the inner world of Arzee’s jagged ruminations against the beating and pulsing of the great city around him. The narration vividly brings to life not just the protagonist, but also a host of characters to whom Arzee turns in his hour of need. Can Arzee find a place for himself in ‘the world of the fives and the sixes’? This bittersweet comedy, shuffling between hope and dread, between the yearnings of body and soul, is a book about the strange beauty of human dreaming.

The Lost Daughter of India

Sharon Maas - 2017
    One impossible choice. Her daughter or her happiness ...When Caroline meets Kamal the attraction is instant. He's enchanting, charismatic and she can't wait to set up a new life with him in India. Both their families are against the union but Caroline is convinced they'll come round, especially when she gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Asha.Asha is an adorable child but Caroline, homesick and beginning to hate the remote Indian village they live in, struggles with motherhood. Kamal is hardly ever there and she feels more and more isolated. In the grips of severe depression, Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind. Ten years later ...Caroline recovered from her illness, is consumed by thoughts of the daughter she abandoned. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal, intent on tracking her down. Will they ever be able to find their lost daughter? If they have any chance, they must confront the painful truths of the past and a terrible secret that has been kept for many years, until now.

Someone Else's Garden

Dipika Rai - 2011
    Standing out among works by Shobhan Bantwal, Chitra Divakaruni, and other emerging Indian writers, Rai’s Someone Else’s Garden offers a rare look at life in the Indian countryside, far from the more well-trafficked literary settings of New Delhi and Mumbai, in an evocative, atmospheric story of one woman’s soulful fight to take control of her life.

Khushwant Singh Selects Best Indian Short Stories.

Khushwant Singh - 2001
    'A good read . . . engaging . . . The names live up to their reputation.' - India Today 'Tremendous richness of characters on display.' - Deccan Herald 'Offers much . . . to the discriminating reader.' - Deccan Chronicle 'An eminently readable book . . . The range of geographical areas and social backgrounds that this selection represents are truly vast.' - The Tribune

Stories from Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore - 1983
    I really believe that in all her life she has not wasted a minute in silence. Her mother is often vexed at this, and would stop her prattle, but I would not. To see Mini quiet is unnatural, and I cannot bear it long. And so my own talk with her is always lively. One morning, for instance, when I was in the midst of the seventeenth chapter of my new novel, my little Mini stole into the room, and putting her hand into mine, said: "Father! Ramdayal the door-keeper calls a crow a krow! He doesn't know anything, does he?" Before I could explain to her the differences of language in this world, she was embarked on the full tide of another subject. "What do you think, Father? Bhola says there is an elephant in the clouds, blowing water out of his trunk, and that is why it rains!"


Frances Mary Hendry - 1995
    But when he dies shortly after their wedding Chandra realizes that she is now the property of her husband's family who blame her for their son's death. She escapes into the desert and eventually finds her way home - but her husband's family are hot on her heels.

The Stolen Girl

Renita D'Silva - 2014
    She stole you.’For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child?

A Hustler's Promise

Jackie Chanel - 2011
    Faced with the task of raising her two sisters, Jaicyn reluctantly resorts to boosting clothes and selling them.Rayshawn and his twin brother, Dayshawn, were 11 when their father killed their mother. In order to avoid foster care, they were taken in by their grandparents. The situation is unbearable, but Rayshawn has a up with the city's drug kingpin, Andre "King" Carter.When Jaicyn and Rayshawn meet, it's not teenage puppy love. It's fate. Shouldered with the task of making a better life for them and their siblings, the pair take on the streets as washington Height's teen Bonnie and Clyde. They earn their money the old fashioned way...guns and drugs.Full of ambition and goals, Rayshawn and Jaicyn's lives are full of high points and the lowest of lows. Their need to survive for each other as well as with each other is the fuel that keeps them hustling. A Hustler's Promise is the story of two young lovers who are commited to one another, their family, and their dream.


Uma Krishnaswami - 2003
    But in the bustle of street and marketplace, everyone is watching, waiting for those magical clouds to bring their gift of rain to the land. Through the observations of one young girl, the scents and sounds, the dazzling colors, and the breathless anticipation of a parched cityscape are vividly evoked during the final days before the welcome arrival of the monsoon.Rhythmic prose and vivid chalk pastels flood the senses and take the reader on a tour of diverse urban India.

The Apu Trilogy

Satyajit Ray - 2005
    The trilogy is the story of growing up in India. It traces Apu´s growth from childhood - cruelly poor but brightened by a passion for creativity and learning - to battered maturity. This 50th Anniversary volume, containing a foreword and working sketches by Ray presents the first authorized publication of these scripts in their entirety along with extensive interviews with Ray himself. Fresh material special to this edition includes an expansive interview with Ray by Shyam Benegal, himself a leading filmmaker with several award winning films to his credit. In the interaction between the two directors, Ray talks about early influences, the experience of making the Apu Trilogy, the importance of music and the portrayal of women in his film as well as other aspects of his craft. This edition also includes a complete filmography.

Katie Woo Has the Flu

Fran Manushkin - 2011
    She feels yucky and has to miss a few days of school. Will she ever feel like herself again?

Sugar Isn't Everything

Willo Davis Roberts - 1987
    "For young diabetics, it is bibliotherapy. For non-diabetics, it is informative about a silent, potentially life-threatening illness and its treatment".--School Library Journal. Full color.


Deborah Kerbel - 2016
    If I get scared or the loneliness comes over me, I run my fingertip over the tiny scar and dream about the day the rest of my feathers will grow in. That's the day I'll fly away from here." For eleven-year-old Finch, there couldn't be a better time to fly away from her life. Her dad died last year and her mom hasn't been the same since, her best friend dropped her, and her brother's awful classmate is too mean for words. But when a girl named Pinky moves in next door, a girl from India who also doesn't seem to fit in, Finch feels a flicker of hope that her life might just be turning around. And when something terrible happens and it seems Finch may be the only one who can help her new friend, she comes to understand that flying is not the answer -- sometimes right where you are is the best place to be. Author Deborah Kerbel has created a central character readers will connect with immediately in this captivating middle-grade novel. With a keen understanding of the particular difficulties facing girls as they enter adolescence, this powerfully written book is about learning to believe in yourself, finding the courage to do what you think is right and recognizing the difference you can make in the lives of others. It is both a compelling page-turner and an excellent reference for classroom discussions on loss, bullying, racism, learning difficulties and mental health.

The Lost Generation: Chronicling India's Dying Professions

Nidhi Dugar Kundalia - 2015
    In The Lost Generation, Nidhi Dugar Kundalia narrates the unforgettable stories of eleven professionals—from the hauntingly beautiful rudaalis to the bizarre tasks of a street dentist—uncovering the romance, tragedy and old-world charm of India’s ageing bylanes and its incredible living history.