A Latte with Literati – Nupur Lakhe

Nupur Lakhe describes herself in three words – Dreamer, Writer, and Reader. Being a book reviewer perfectly combines her love for reading and writing. Nupur is always drawn by great story telling, and when not reading she loves to tell stories – fact and fiction. She loves it when her book reviews convinces a reader to pick up a book. Nupur has been featured on media like BuzzFeed, and her writings have been published in Delhi Poetry Slam and Prohze Online. Let’s dive into this amazing interview with Nupur Lakhe.

Website: Flip-a-leaf

Favorite Genre: Fiction and memoirs in non-fiction

Would Love to Meet: Elif Shafak

Books that Everyone Should Read: Books that explore and explain feminism.

Suggest a Good Laugh: Erotic stories of Punjabi widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Salini: Let’s start with your early days. What are your first memories of reading? What was your favorite book as a child?

Nupur: My early memories of reading as a child are with my sister. We had common favorite authors then- Enid Blyton most of all. I used to also enjoy Nancy Drew and Champak. Readers digest then was a much loved book in our household too.

Salini: How was your transition from a reader to a book reviewer? What was your inspiration to take up this unique role of a book reviewer?

Nupur: My transition from a reader to a book reviewer was rather interesting. It happened because in the later part of my life when I had started working, I used to find myself in despair when I had read a good book but had no friend to share the experience with. To release those pent up thoughts, I started my blog, a medium I took to writing the reviews first. Instagram and Bookstagram came in much later. 🙂 I loved to write, so both my interests came into the light together with my blog.

Salini: What’s the book that’s sitting on your reading desk right now? Or is it a stack of books? 😊

Nupur: Stack of books, always a stack of books! I have How We Disappeared, which I am reading currently. Apart from that, there’s also Goldfinch by Donna Tart.

Salini: What are your favorite genres? Are you a fiction or non-fiction reviewer, or do you do both?

Nupur: I love good story-telling, so fiction is like all year-round favorite. With non-fiction I mostly incline towards memoirs- which again, needs good story-telling skills as you narrate your own.

Salini: Is there any role-model for you when it comes to book reviews/critique?

Nupur: Vivek Tejuja for the efficiency with which he ticks off books from his shelves and writes about them. Some more book reviewers whose work I enjoy reading are- @frenchflaps and deckelededges, @talkbooksandmore, and @thebookishtales.

An image from Nupur’s Instagram reviews

Salini: Tell me a bit about your reading habits. Which one do you like, eBooks or paperbacks? Do you have any specific reading place/time?

Nupur: I like to read in silence 🙂 and I like to read over my kindle and from a paperback.I mostly read when my son is not home or sleeping. I also love waking up to read early in the morning. If that happens, it’s a blissful treat for me. 🙂

Salini: If you are given a chance to meet a writer, dead or alive, who will that be? And Why?

Nupur: It will be Elif Shafak. 🙂 I adore her work, her books came to me in my bleakest times and are truly special. She is also one of my favorite authors.

Salini: How do you usually rate a book? Do you have any strict set of rules, or does it vary from book to book?

Nupur: I do have some parameters to rate the book. For instance, it is a 5 star if it has impacted me deeply and if I think it is a book that must be read by everyone. Goes without saying that it also ticks of all the elements of a well-written book like character portrayal, writing, presentation, etc. At other times, the rating varies from author to author, hype, and writing.

Salini: Tell us how a reader could benefit from reading your book review? Do you give any specific pointers?

Nupur: In my reviews, I try to provide a glimpse of everything. For a reader who wants to know how the writing is, I try to elaborate on the kind of writing in the book. For a reader who is looking for a good story, the pace of the book, or wants to know about the characters, plotline, and themes- I try to incorporate it mildly. Because “writing” forms a very crucial part for me to explore in a book, I like to talk about it in my reviews.

Salini: On your journey as a book reviewer, what are the challenges you faced? Was it a smooth ride?

Nupur: I have come to believe, writing is an uphill hiccupped ride. Be it book reviews or any sort of creative writing. I often mull about what a perfect book review looks like, and that is I think a challenge I face almost every time I sit to write one.

Salini: What was one of the highest points of your journey as a book reviewer? Any unforgettable experiences?

Nupur: The appreciation and love that I receive for the book reviews overwhelm me the most. At all times. 🙂

Salini:  Which is that one book you think every human being should read? And why?

Nupur: I have a list of such books. But I think everyone needs to read about feminism. It is a misconstrued word and is often used loosely. And because it is used so colloquially, with no clear definition, a lot of people fear using the term- feminist. Reading and educating self on this topic is important and must right now.

Salini: How do you juggle your day-job and book reviewing? (if you are a part-time reviewer)

Nupur: I read like any normal working person would- while commuting, at bedtime, and on weekends. And I make time out to write the reviews. 🙂 The things you love, there’s always space for it in your routine.

Salini: We all like to have a good laugh. Could you please tell me about a book that really made you laugh?

Nupur: Erotic stories of Punjabi widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal- hands down the most hilarious I have read so far.

Salini: Are you strictly a reviewer, or do you write too? If yes, where can we read you? (website links/published articles)

Nupur: I do write, and some of my work has seen the good days of getting published in literary magazines. I write on Medium as well. My blog has all the links to navigate and check them out.

Medium: https://medium.com/@lakhe.nupur

Blog: http://flip-a-leaf.com/category/culture-life/

Salini: As a community, do book reviewers have any groups or collaborations? Who is a fellow book reviewer (of your circle) you greatly respect?

Nupur: The collaboration is mostly with the publisher for the review copy, which is gifted.

Nupur’s Social Media Handles:

Nupur’s Recent Book Reviews:

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