Chic Reads: South Mumbai gets a Landmark

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South Mumbai bookworms, your book-hunting woes are over. For we have the mother of all bookstores—Landmark— within our reach now.

Located in the heart of Mumbai—the Palladium (Phoenix Mills), I paid a visit to the store soon after it opened.

I expected something a tad better than the unimpressive Crossword, and boy, was I wrong. For Landmark is at least a hundred-and-a-half times better than the puzzling bookstore (pun intended). And it’s not just to do with Landmark’s amazing collection.

There are rows and rows of books, encompassing genres and themes I never thought would find place in an Indian bookstore. And so, there’s something for everyone—kids, teens, music and film lovers, graphic novel fans, and even history and war buffs.

I was quickly lost in the store, as it surprised me with the width and depth of its collection. In the dictionaries and languages section, I discovered phrasebooks in the most unlikely languages, like Turkish!

I especially loved their Travel section, which wasn’t just about Lonely Planet guidebooks, but also travel books that bring a place alive with their words. Their fiction collection is humungous, to say the least. And the staff is helpful too.

So what’s in it for fashion lovers? Well, fashion books I never thought I’d see sharing shelf space in India—fashion marketing and design text books, fun books on fashion design and fashion illustration, books on luxury brands like Bvlgari, and even Scott Schuman’s Sartorialist (my heart leaped with joy on seeing this one). 🙂

A book lover could easily spend a day at Landmark, browsing through the store and unwinding at the gaming consoles. I’m marking such a day for when the rain gods pay a visit. 

Final word: Speaking Chic has a new favourite haunt!

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Chic Reads: Books we love

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Among the hype and hoopla over Earth Day, we forgot there’s a window of opportunity for bookworms worldwide—World Book Day celebrated April 23.

As a celebration of this day, the Speaking Chic team drew up a list of books that we find stylish. FYI, by stylish we mean: 

  • Books that we love, that make us laugh or cry, that take us by surprise or anger us.
  • Fun reads
  • Fresh styles of writing
  • Creative/ cool works of literature

Here’s our list—a mix of international and Indian writers (in random order):

  1. Cervantes’ Don Quixote—The book that everyone wanted to read, but didn’t because of its size!
  2. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar— “Friends, fans and followers, lend me your eyeballs.”  Classic. (Also: Hamlet, Macbeth and A Merchant of Venice)
  3. Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover: Late 19th century, early 20th century. Married women having affairs. Ooooh.
  4. Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone—Yeah yeah, it’s a total time pass yaar, but Chetan’s voice struck a chord with young urban Indians.
  5. J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy—The imagery, the imagination, incredibly irresistible for all fantasy lovers.
  6. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude—My introduction to magical realism. After the second reading, I was sure it’s of epic proportions.
  7. Amitav Ghosh’s A Glass Palace—Excellent historical fiction.
  8. Amartya Sen’s The Argumentative Indian—Gave me a new perspective on what it is to be an Indian.
  9. Philip Kotler’s Principles of Marketing Management—Perhaps one of the most “mugged”  books ever?

And here’s a sampling of what people thought was stylish:

1. Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point

“It was my first non-fiction and it made me look at things bit differently. Things that appear obvious on the surface might have some other phenomenon lying beneath.”

— Prakash, tech student at Austin, Texas

2. Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead

“It’s its the best book I’ve ever read, because it teaches a very important fundamental of life–
every man is capable of living a self sufficient life, instead of living like parasites dependent on others.”

— Rahul, working in outsourcing industry, Delhi

3. The Goddess Dairies

“It’s a treasure trove of stylish info on everything from being a domestic goddess, to sex goddess, to style goddess. It had great tips; from how to remove stains on silk to dressing up stylishly.”

Chelna, writer, Mumbai

4. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

“Just one thought: life-changing!”

— Sia, copy writer, Mumbai

What’s the most stylish book you’ve read? If we missed out on some super stylish books, let us know! Happy reading.

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