On International Mango Festival Day, 8 Book Titles That Feature Mangoes! 🥭

Every year since 1987 on July 9, the International Mango Festival is held in Delhi.  This is a great opportunity for mango gourmands, sellers and growers and a mango product bonanza for visitors. Favorite mango varieties on display are Langda, Malda, Dasheri, Alphonso, Chausa, Sindheri, Himgiri, Bombay Green and many others. Besides the achars, jams and shakes available at kiosks, there are folk song shows featuring mangoes and binge-eating mango contests.

This year the festival remains closed owing to Covid.

As part of honoring the festival this year, we put together a list of some books with Mango in the title and we came across many genres from literary to chicklit. Tell us if there are any more Mango-themed titles featured in your book collection!

House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street is a story of childhood and self-discovery. Sandra Cisneros started writing the book as a memoir but the book ended up taking a life of its own and became an exploration of otherness and identity. Read about her writing process here.


The House of Blue Mangoes by David Davidar

A generational saga of three generations of Dorais set in southern India during India’s freedom struggle. The house at Chethavar which is the fulcrum of the book is surrounded by the famous blue mango trees.


A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

Wendy’s protagonist is a synesthete- she can smell colors and taste shapes. She must learn how to come to terms with her condition as her world is an explosion of the senses.

A Case of Exploding Mangoes

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

Explosive writing! A Case of Exploding Mangoes is a satirical account of the conspiracies that clouded Zia-ul-Haq’s death. He chooses satire as a medium to expose hard truths and the comic touch to touch on subjects that are very much forbidden fruit.


Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in IndiaClimbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India by Madhur Jaffrey

When you pick up a Madhur Jaffrey book, you are sure to be assaulted by a tonne of flavors. This memoir cum recipe account is a culinary autobiography not just of Jaffrey’s own experiences but India’s food journey as well.

Monique and the Mango Rains: An Extraordinary Story of Friendship in a Midwife's House in Mali by [Kris Holloway]Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali

Humor laces this book set in a West African village. The protagonist is a midwife who saves young lives and becomes a legend.


The Mango Season by [Amulya Malladi]The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

Chicklit set with a protagonist from the Indian diaspora. Priya is expected to marry a nice Indian boy but over a mango pickle culinary exercise, she is in a dilemma about whether she should reveal more about her American boyfriend.


Imaculada de Bomba Cabral's Mango Tree and other nonsense talesImaculada de Bomba Cabral’s Mango Tree and other nonsense tales

At the Pothi.com store, we found a title that matches the mango theme- a book of humorous essays with Goa as the protagonist.



Nine Times Kafka Was Splendid and Wildly Relatable


On this day, 138 years ago, notable novelist Franz Kafka was born. His writing has since become well-known for their “senseless, disorienting and menacing complexity”, with kafkaesque entering our cultural lexicon to describe situations similar to those found in his books.

Despite the reputation his books have garnered of being difficult to read and comprehend, a closer look reveals that Kafka would have fit right in with the rest of us as we navigate a pandemic, adjust to work-from-home, and juggle our emotions, needs, and physical and mental health.

Along with tempestuous and difficult personal relationships, Franz Kafka also struggled greatly with his mental health throughout his life. As a result, his writing literally represented a lifeline for this prolific author, and authors today continue to benefit greatly from his reflections on the life of a writer.

Kafka’s thoughts on depression, love, and anxiety give us a glimpse into the human condition, that has remained largely unchanged over the last one hundred years. And in the same way, one might be forgiven for thinking that he might not have been out of place in our meme-obsessed social media landscape with his bitingly sarcastic wit.


Basically it is nothing other than this fear we have so often talked about, but fear spread to everything, fear of the greatest as of the smallest, fear, paralyzing fear of pronouncing a word, although this fear may not only be fear but also a longing for something greater than all that is fearful.”





Happy birthday, Franz Kafka. And finally thank you for these evergreen words of wisdom, that we are unlikely to forget as we struggle to work from our homes and manage our anxiety.


Author Resource: Scribus the Free Formatting Tool for Scribes

Scribus has been described as ‘one of the most powerful and useful open-source projects out there.’

Scribus is a free desktop publishing program that is compatible with Windows desktop, Linux and Mac. It’s the ideal tool if you want a free tool to create a fully formatted printable document be it a book, brochure, business card, magazine, flyer, etc.

What sets it apart from Adobe InDesign is that this software is free. It has a bunch of publishing features including CMYK support, vector graphics, flow text, multiple templates and options to create PDF files.

What can you do with Scribus?

A lot.

Once you download the latest version, you can:

  • Create single or multi-page documents with texts, graphics and imported images
  • Edit objects within the different layers of a document
  • Have access to multiple templates which you can customize
screengrab of layout with scribus
Formatting with Scribus
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Layout options

Recommended or Not?

Scribus gives a lot of design freedom and is a great alternative to expensive DTP, especially if you need to format several books and can not afford to outsource formatting. The program is not exactly user-friendly but once you get the hang of it, it is invaluable.


Looking for professional help to design your book and take it to next level? Check out our formatting services.

Author Resource: Get Creative with Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator ✏️

If you are a writer of non-fiction or the author of a blog, after the initial euphoria of writing, you may run out of things to say. How can you become a prolific blogger or writer?

All you really need is a little bit of inspiration. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator helps by providing you some clues once you provide some basic inputs.

How does Hubspot Blog Generator Work?

It’s easy to use this idea generator.  Go to the website. Add five nouns that you plan to write about and click ‘Give me ideas’. Then five topics are generated. For more ideas, you can create an account.

screengrab of Hubspot Blog Topic Generator
Hubspot Blog Generator

Recommended or Not?

Interesting tool if you are stuck and in need of a prompt or suggestion to help you frame a blog post. Not all suggestions may work but it may help if you are planning a detailed blog post calendar and need a roster of topics planned.


Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.

Interview: Anna Banasiak

We spoke to the poet Anna Banasiak.

Anna Banasiak is a poet and occupational therapist. She is the winner of many poetry competitions. Her poems have been published in New York, London, Australia, Canada, India, Africa, Japan, China, Cuba and Israel.


Why do you write poetry? 

I write poetry to express the beauty of the world, to paint with words happiness and suffering, to communicate with the world and others and to better understand human nature. As I wrote in my poem Poetry

thoughtfully/slowly/I grow up to myself/I distort time with words/stopped in the land of my childhood.

Every poem is a different amazing adventure, and an everlasting process full of magic and emotions. I’m inspired by people, their histories, worlds, nature, and works of art.

lull me lull / kołysz mnie kołysz (eBook)You write in English and Polish. Tell us about the translation process of the book Lull me Lull.

It’s been a fascinating process. This book is very personal so it was not difficult to express emotions in a different language. I collaborated with Italian editor Fabrizio Frosini.

Tell us about the Duet series where you have collaborated with multiple authors from different parts of the world. What tips do you have for author collaborations?

I belong to the Japan Universal Poets Association. It’s full of wonderful and talented writers and it’s a great honor to work with them. English-Japanese duet series are edited by poet and translator Mariko Sumikura. The editions are beautiful and unique. It’s very important to read and listen carefully and constantly work on your style and poetic imagination.

Your favorite poet/poetry book?

From my childhood, it was Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz, Halina Poświatowska, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, William Collins, Edward Hirsch and Nelly Sachs. My favorite poetry book is Nothing Twice: Selected poems.

Tell us about self-publishing journey. What has your experience with Pothi.com been like?

It was a pleasure to work with Pothi.com, I recommend this wonderful platform to every author. They are very helpful.

Tell us about your latest eBook and what other poetry books you have in the works.

My latest poetry book Daddy is dedicated to Father, it’s a kind of moving tribute to every father, full of love and good memories and a fantasy book called Tales from the Land of Wasps about the Kingdom of Imagination and taming our fears. I have many writing plans.

I have many writing plans-Cuba Libro, a poetry book about love, The Wizard Comb, poems for children, etc.

Thanks for sharing your writing story with us Anna!

Writing Competitions and Opportunities (Free to Enter) Round-Up: September 2017 Edition

1. Short story competition with Juggernaut and Death of the Author 

You need to enter your contact details on this form, email your story (2000-8000 words on any theme)  to contest@juggernaut.in with the subject line: WRITERS’ SALON.  The winner gets a contract with Juggernaut Books. More details on the link. The last date for submission is 15 October 2017.

2.  DWL Short Story Contest 2017 

Email your short story entry(based on any theme with word count of up to 5000 words) to info@desiwriterslounge.net only as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) attachment. The top three entries for the contest will win $100 each and one of the top 3 stories will also receive the Dastaan Award.  The Submissions deadline is 30 September 2017. For further details visit the link.


All the best!


Textbooks, Middlemen and Bond @ Lit Browser

At Lit Browser, we talk about news that has to do with books, publishing, reading and writing in the subcontinent.

Today I came across an essay by Iain Marlow called India’s Book-Buying Habits Say A Lot About The Country’s Economy. Apparently, books have never sold better in India and desi writers are profiting from the hunger for books. The book business is worth $6.76 billion according to Nielson estimates. Educational bookdom is booming and English language books are raking in the money as are books with the word ‘India’ in them.

Some people are profiting from the gains that publishing is making in India. I stumbled upon a story in the Indian Express about how literary agents are on the rise here. If you want to know about the literary agent scene in India it would be a good idea to read this: The ‘middlemen’ who are changing India’s publishing scene.

If there has been a phenomenal writing success in India, it’s Ruskin Bond. Did you catch him on Scroll on his 83rd birthday? If you didn’t well read his book excerpt here.

Image result for ruskin bond

What is Plagiarism?

 homer simpson marge simpson episode 18 season 7 chief wiggum GIF

As readers and writers, you must be aware of what plagiarism or intellectual theft is and how you can prevent instances of it from coming through in your writing. If you use someone else’s words and ideas without attribution, it’s called plagiarism. This is common in the academic world where students copy passages without giving the author his due.  However, the consequences of plagiarism are dire. You could get expelled from college, lose a book contract and lose opportunities.

You may not be a copy cat and get involved in direct plagiarism or word to word copying on purpose, but you could get careless and accidentally plagiarize someone else’s work as well.

You can prevent this from happening by citing all your sources and writing with awareness. Many times students submit internet research without really understanding what it is they are writing about. Also while you take notes from sources, you must remember where your sources are. If you are quoting a sentence word to word, you should put the words quoted in double inverted commas. If you want to talk about the gist of an idea, you paraphrase it. It’s as simple as creating folders that hold the correct information; this is always safer than pasting information onto word docs and forgetting later where those notes came from.

More links on the whos and whats of plagiarism: