Tania James, LOOT, Vauhini Vara, THIS IS SALVAGED plus a garden guide to pollinator plants

We talk with Tania James about her acclaimed new novel, Loot. It’s about a boy on a quest, a girl determined to make her way in a man’s world and a mechanical construction — an automaton — that exemplifies the Indian resistance to British colonialism.

Then, Vauhini Vara tells us about her new collection of stories, This Is Salvaged. And we do a mini-review of a stunning new book for gardeners, Planting for Pollinators.

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Key words: Tania James, Vauhini Vara, short story, fiction, pollinators, podcast, book recommendations, author interview, book podcast, book show

Tania James, LOOT

Tania James’ new novel LOOT is a page-turner about a boy on a quest, a girl determined to make her way in a man’s world and a mechanical construction — an automaton — that exemplifies the Indian resistance to British colonialism.

Set in the waning years of the 18th century, Loot is a hero’s journey, a love story, a coming of age story, and a heist novel that traces the bloody legacy of colonialism across two continents.

Beautifully written, Loot features compelling characters, a fascinating look at a little-known corner of colonial history, and a romping plot that keeps the reader guessing.

Read an excerpt from Loot

Vauhini Vara, 
Vauhini Vara is a journalist, editor, novelist, short story writer, essayist, and playwright. You might know her from her debut novel, The Immortal King Rao, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Now Vara has come out with a wonderful collection of her short stories, some of which took many years to write: This is Salvaged.

An experimental artist builds an ark based on the Biblical story of Noah. A pair of teenagers seek grapple with their grief and seek intimacy as phone-sex operators. A woman tries to rise above the drunken mess of her own life to become a loving aunt.

These are flawed characters that nonetheless remind us of the love and care we all seek to give and receive and the meaning we find in relation to others.

Read An Excerpt

Links to more of Vauhini Vara’s writing

Review: Planting For Pollinators

Fall is prime time for those gardeners who want to prepare the ground for a beautiful garden in the Spring, especially perennials.

If you want to create an abundant habitat for pollinators — and who doesn’t? — you will be inspired by a gorgeous new book by celebrated British wildlife photographer, Heather Angel, Planting for Pollinators: Creating a Garden Haven.

Filled with stunning photos and insights, the book provides inspiration for transforming your garden, balcony, or even a modest window box into a buzzing paradise for pollinators.

From bees to butterflies, Planting for Pollinators shows how these little heroes are vital for our planet and our pantry – no bees, no berries! The book offers an array of over 100 plant species, categorized by season, as well as fascinating facts about how plants and pollinators communicate, plus tips on wildlife photography.

And while the book features plants native to English gardens, the principles it promotes will help you to design a garden anywhere that will please both you and the planet.

Heather Angel was President of the Royal Photographic Society from 1984-86.