JCB longlist: 10 books to add to your TBR

This is the first time I am closely following JCB Prize for literature longlist nominees. This year consists of a good mix of some debut, translated, and contemporary Indian novels. To be very honest, this collection has often lured me into keeping my current reads aside and dive into the nominees.

What is JCB Prize for literature?

The JCB Prize for Literature is an esteemed literary award that acknowledges contemporary Indian literary works. The winner gets Rs 25 lakh (approximately $ 34158). This prize provides the much-needed appreciation for Indian authors and translated texts across the globe.


1. A Ballad of Remittent Fever by Ashoke Mukhopadhay, translated by Arunava Sinha

Set against the backdrop of Calcutta in the early ’20s. The City Of Joy is fighting against deadly diseases (cholera, plague). Never have I thought, the idea of struggling to survive through a disease would be so relatable. I am really intrigued by the blurb and straight away adding to my list.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


2. In Search of Heer by Manjul Bajaj

From the outside, this seems like a modern re-telling of the legendary love story of Heer-Ranjha. The story is set in Punjab so I am expecting lush greenery and scenic beauty complementing a love story.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


3. Undertow by Jahnavi Barua

Loya embarks upon a journey to Assam away from home in search of her grandfather. No, he is not missing in fact she has never met him before. Her trip awaits many surprises and answers to the many questions she seeks. I am suspecting a family saga toiled within experiences from the past. Definitely an interesting theme to read.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


4. Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu

A very zoomed out view of the novel after reading the blurb gives me the idea of a Dystopian, science fiction work. Admittedly, I am flinching while adding it my next reads but let us hope this turns out pretty good.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


5. These Our Bodies Possessed by Light by Dharini Bhaskar

This is a debut novel revolving around Deeya. She is married and then Neil happens. She has the baggage of her familial history, spanning over three generations. I am sure it is more than just a love story as it talks about conflicting memories and seeds from the past. Sounds like a solid read!

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


6. Moustache by S. Hareesh translated from Malayalam by Jayashree Kalathil

The story is about Vavachan who is a Puliyan. I’m assuming it means he belonged to a lower caste. He tries a moustache for a play that is tabooed for lower caste. He becomes fond of his moustache and decides to grow further. Tales of his moustache navigate through the dynamics of society and its issues. I must say, it is very unique. I loved the concept. Definitely adding it to my list.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


7. A Burning by Megha Majumdar

The story is about Jivan, a Muslim girl who carelessly comment on Facebook which makes her the prime suspect of a planned terror attack. She has an alibi to support her claims but has its own consequences to bear. It is a debut novel and I have heard raving reviews about this one.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


8. The Machine is Learning by Tanuj Solanki

Saransh is a part of a project, an artificial intelligence system that would result in 552 people being jobless. He travels the country, interviewing the employees who are unknown to the approaching destruction. I’m expecting some corporate problems that we constantly face. I would love to read about the workplace setup and cons of technology.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


9. Prelude to a Riot by Annie Ziadi

In a southern town, lives a Hindu, Muslim family peacefully unknown to the impending violence. I think the central theme of this book is religious disparity and how are riots constructed. Sounds like something that I can pass for now, but I am surely going to return to this.

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


10. Djinn patrol on the purple Line by Deepa Annappara

Jai is fond of crime and police TV shows. He generally spends his days strolling around sweet shops until his classmate mysteriously goes missing. He takes upon the responsibility of solving this case. Written from a child’s perspective, this sounds more of a suspense thriller. It would be interesting to read a thriller from children’s voices. Certainly my first!

If this sounds interesting, then get your copy from Amazon


What did you think about this longlist? Did you find any interesting titles? Did any of this book interests you?

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