Hot summer afternoons are best spent indoors with an interesting book, don't you think? So what's on your reading list?

Books are a great pasttime. They not only take you to regions unexplored but also give you a glimpse of life outside your own comfortable sphere. What better time than the vacation to catch up on your reading. Here are some interesting reads that could get you through the hot, sticky days.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid was first published in 2007 and since then there have been a few more…Rodrick Rules, The Last Straw, Dog Days and the Ugly Truth. To top it off, there is even a Do-it-yourself book where you can have your own Wimpy Kid diary, draw WK cartoons and write your WK journals.

If you are a lover of sci-fi there is Pittacus Lore's The Power Of Six which is the sequel to I Am Number Four. These are a part of the Lorien Legacies. A heroic story of nine people from the planet Lorien.

For yet more magic there is The Familiars: Animal Wizardry by Adam Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. This is their first book in the trilogy and it has humour, action and a host of unforgettable characters. Aldwyn, a streetwise cat, unwittingly runs into a pet shop and as luck would have it Jack a trainee wizard, comes into the shop to choose his pet. And Aldwyn it is!

Away from all this action, take a break with Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine. George feels he has to change his grumpy, grouchy grandmother who is so unlike all the other grandmothers he knows. So, he gets down to making his own “marvellous medicine”.

When the clock strikes 12 and you hear the owl hooting, it's time to bring out the spine chilling collection! The Haunted School and Other Stories by Nandini Nayar, Face in the Dark and other Hauntings by Ruskin Bond, The Ruskin Bond Omnibus: Ghost Stories from the Raj; Nightmare Tales, Book of Haunted Houses; Scary Stories. Spinetinglers: Ghoulish Ghost Stories consists of 22 stories, guaranteed to make you shiver. There are contributions from Charles Dickens, Guy de Maupassant and other well known writers.

Monkeys In My Backyard by Scharada Dubey tells the tale of displaced animals. Living space is limited and humans and animals like monkeys, cattle and stray dogs have to fight for space. There are fewer open spaces for animals pushing them to near extinction.

And now, take a look at cooking. The Secret Diary of the World's Worst Cook by Subhadra Sen Gupta will keep you laughing and at the same time almost tasting Robin's attempts to recreate the recipes from Hasnu's (a chef's son who cannot cook) diary.

For some fun and excitement go for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrel Boyce. It has its magical moments with a car that thinks on its wheels and has the Tooting family doing its bidding. The only problem is once you have finished reading this book you will want to own a car like this! So be prepared…

It is time to bring out the detective in you. Young Sherlock Holmes has four books — Red Leech, Black Ice, Death Cloud and Fire Storm featuring a teenaged Holmes. The author Andy Lane hopes to give an explanation on the Sherlock Holmes character. The detective, as portrayed by Conan Doyle is scientific and analytical, yet moody and artistic. Lane introduces two people in these books. They are Holmes' tutors — Amyus Crowe and Rufus Stone, who perhaps shaped his character.

Closer home, you have Trouble at the Taj by Sonja Chandrachud. The only hitch is that you have to travel back in time to solve this particular mystery, for it is dated in Agra, India, 1636! The chief architect of the Taj, Ustad Ahmed Lahauri has been kidnapped and his wonderful masterpiece is left incomplete! So the DOA detectives are called in.

Another book you might want to delve into is Riddle of the Seventh Stone by Monideepa Sahu, for in that you can find out what happens in a rare herbs store.

That's quite a list, but do not let this restrict you. Just walk down to the nearest store or library and browse the shelves. You are sure to find many more books that are sure to interest you.

Happy reading!

Incredible India

For a taste of India you can read Buro Bangla: The Big Adventures of a Little Hero by Abindranath Tagore. The story is about Ridoy, a little boy who causes havoc wherever he goes. If you like mythology then you should try getting hold of the Myth Quest series by Anu Kumar. The three books - Jatayu - Saviour from the Skies, Nandi - The Divine Gatekeeper, Jambavan - The Immortal Bear King are sure to keep you captivated till the very end. Mix that with a bit of history and you have Tamburlaine's Elephants by Geraldine McCaughrean. The story is about Tamburlaine, a brutal and powerful ruler. In the midst of war there is a connection between Rusti, a Mongol warrior and Kavi, an elephant rider. This book was shortlisted for the UKLA Children's Book Award.

Puffin Books has brought out three absolutely delightful books — Funny Stories, Animal Stories and Magic Stories. Ideal for a hot summer afternoon. Ruskin Bond the evergreen children's writer has some delightful titles — The Kashmiri Story Teller, Adventures of Rusty and Secrets to name a few.

In other lands

If you want to tackle some serious issues then the book for you would be On Two Feet and Wings by Abbas Kazerooni. A story of a 10-year-old who has to run away from his country – Tehran. If he does not he will be inducted into the army.

Chinese Cinderella: The Mystery of the Song Dynasty Painting by Adeline Yen Mah is a haunting tale. One of slavery, friendship, wealth, poverty, arranged marriage — a life lived centuries ago, and it comes to the protagonist in her dreams.

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