World Book and Copyright Day: From Tisca Chopra to Subhash Ghai... Celebs reveal their favourite books, and more

Every avid reader has favourites and quotes and books that resonate with their philosophy. Their dilemma remains that there are books in the personal library that are yet to be read... Most have a book in their mind that they want to write... Some celebs share their thoughts...

Asiya AnwarUpdated: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 10:43 PM IST
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Photo: Freepik

Tisca Chopra, actor

Lover of thriller and drama, author of two books — Acting Smart and What’s Up With Me? — Tisca Chopra defines herself as a solitary type of reader and dreams of starting a book club someday. She is also writing a film, reading a screenwriting book, and Priyanka Chopra’s memoir Unfinished.

Tell us about your favourite books and authors.

I love Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

A quote that comes to your mind when you hear the word book?

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” by Oscar Wilde

Book-to-movie adaptation you loved and why?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn because it’s more entertaining, almost better than the book.

A movie you wish was originally written as a book?

Two movies actually: As good as it gets, And A few good men.

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

Winged it! or Life Soaked.

Takeaway from the books that you have read?

...With a book you are never alone.

Has becoming a reader changed you as a person? How?

I was an only child for many years till my younger brother arrived. Books were and are my best friends (now that includes films and series). They are an introvert’s best friends.

Do you have any favourite reading spots?

My home and office both have the most comfortable reading chairs. A reading nook is a must when we are doing places up. My husband is a writer too, and my nine-year-old is compiling a short story collection, so you know what I mean.

Subhash Ghai, filmmaker

A frequent visitor to bookstores, Subhash Ghai believes all biographies are lies. He shares he will therefore write a fiction based on non-fiction ‘a perspective — that's life’, if time permits. He is currently reading The Difficulty of Being Good by Gurucharan Das. He finds Sadhguru’s Death amazing and eagerly recommends it.

Tell us about your favourite books and authors.

My most favourite author is Osho and his book, India My Love.

Book-to-movie adaptation you loved and why?

Steven Spielberg’s Schindlers List. It moved deeply.

A movie you wish was originally written as a book?

Iqbal.

What is your favourite genre?

Fiction enhances my imagination for cinema and non-fiction amplifies my understanding of life and happiness.

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

Karma's Child.

A quote that comes to your mind when you hear the word book?

‘A reader who is interested in someone else's narrative — a perspective of other’s story’.

Has becoming a reader changed you as a person?

Yes it has. It helps you understand the psychology of characters, people and philosophy of life…

Do you have any favourite reading spots?

My sweet home. However, I enjoy spending time in bookshops looking at various titles and their content. Mostly, I visit Mumbai's Crossword Bookstore and Granth Bookstore. I love the smell of bookstores. But I am yet to visit e-books with such fondness.

Quasar Thakore-Padamsee, theatre actor and director

A member of Literature Live! Committee, The Mumbai International Litfest, and QTP’s playreading club, The Great Texts, Quasar Thakore-Padamsee considers himself barely a fiction reader. He is currently reading Evita Burned Down Our Pavilion, a book about the origins of cricket in South America and recommends Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi.

Tell us about your favourite books and authors.

Douglas Adams - Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Ram Chandra Guha's Beyond The Boundary, even though it's a cricket book, it's made me appreciate the city I live in so much more.

Book-to-movie adaptation you loved and why?

I enjoyed the Dirk Gentry series on Netflix. The series is completely reimagined for the visual medium in different way, but still holds on to all the bizarreness of the author. There's also, 1984 (with John Hurt), it is just superb.

A movie you wish was originally written as a book?

Heat or The Insider by Michael Mann. There is a lot that is unsaid in both these films, and it would be great to know more about the characters.

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

I'm not sure, but friends who know me seem to think it should be called Back Story Because I'm always giving some random context to things.

Has becoming a reader changed you as a person?

Very much so. It changes how one articulates things. It provides perspectives that ordinarily you wouldn't have access to.

Do you have any favourite reading spots?

I love the vibe of Mumbai's Kitab Khana, Title Waves and Trilogy Library. Then there's Leaping Windows because of the Graphic Novels, and the Prithvi Bookshop for books on theatre and performance. Recently, my favourite reading spot has become my rocking chair at home. I used to love reading on the bus or train, but now I get easily distracted by the phone.

Sanjana Sanghi, actor

The Dil Bechara actress takes pride in having been brought up on a strict dose of reading. Reading books from all genres has always fascinated her. Non-fiction and psychology books are her favourite. She recommends 21 lessons For The 21st Century by Yuval Noah Hariri.

Book-to-movie adaptation you love and why?

The Fault in Our Stars. I was obsessed with the novel and the Hollywood film when it came out. But, to be selected as the Indian Hazel Grace Lancaster for Dil Bechara... felt surreal.

A movie you wish was originally written as a book?

Dil Chahta Hai. It would have made for an amazing urban slice-of-life fiction novel.

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

The Insatiable Wanderer. It’s very hard for me to feel satisfied and that sense of wanting more is what pushes me to take up challenges that I myself could never have thought I would do.

First thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word book.

The windows to the world.

Are you a part of any book club? Do you see yourself ever opening a book club of your own?

I am currently not a part of a book club, but I have grown up putting multiple book clubs together.

Has becoming a reader changed you as a person? If yes, how?

I don’t think people who know me can separate the reader me from Sanjana me. It’s literally a part of my identity, something that I gravitated towards when I was a little child. I wouldn’t spend hours reading fiction, rather I read non-fiction because I never felt gratified by how much we were being taught. I had so many questions so I took it upon myself to find the answers.

Ajay Chopra, chef

Ajay Chopra, a lover cookbooks, a member of a book club called Zion Food Inspiration, the chef is awaiting the publication of his own book, which is with publishers. Currently on his reading shelf are Rich Dad Poor Dad and Good To Great along with the Bible.

Tell us about your favourite books and authors.

My favourite book is the Bible.

Book-to-movie adaptation you loved and why?

Dev D, inspired by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel, Devdas.

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

Eat Pray Love.

A quote that comes to your mind when you hear the word book?

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe,” by Chef Thomas Keller.

Has becoming a reader changed you as a person?

Yes it has. I read Bible every day. It guides me on each and every step.

Do you have any favourite reading spots?

My home is my favourite spot for reading a book.

Have you penned a book?

During the first lockdown, I wrote a cookbook — The Big Daddy Chef Cookbook, It’s in publication stage. It encourages fathers to cook for and with their children. The idea is to help men that always say I don't know how to cook... I am helping them with recipes that are simplified to the ‘T’.

Ramesh Narayan, Advertising veteran

Author of ‘A Different Route To Success’, Ramesh Narayan reveals non-fiction is currently his favourite genre and recommends any book written by Sadhguru. He believes Sadhguru’s are not very religious, just very real. He isn’t keen on bookclubs and shares he has no plans of ever opening a book club of his own.

Tell us about your favourite books and authors.

My favourite book is Sunbird by may favourite author Wilbur Smith.

Book-to-movie adaptation you loved and why?

I loved the adaptation of The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. It manages to capture essence of the novel in the limited screen time available.

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

Grace. It comes in various forms.

A quote that comes to your mind when you hear the word book?

'A book is a world you can enter and exit at will.' (Ramesh Narayan)

Takeaway from the books you have read hitherto?

Most of the things I have learnt in the latter part of my life were from books, I was never asked to read.

Has becoming a reader changed you as a person?

I'd like to believe it was books on spirituality that have kept me sane.

Do you have any favourite reading spots?

I have read most of the books either at home or on long flights.

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