Secret Projects’ Book Review

Secret Projects' Book Review

 28th Sep 2018 |  From The Heart Of... |  Fritha Mason

The Secret Projects team loves books about or related to our beloved India. Here is an ever-growing list of some of our favourites...

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts 

We love this book and its sequel The Mountain Shadow! It is inspired by the author's experience of living in a Mumbai slum, and it really captures the multi-sensory experience of India. 

God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy 

This book is set in the Southern State of Kerala, where two of our Secret Project Maker Networks are based. It is not only a story of childhood and human relations, but also an important commentary on Indian politics, religion and the caste system.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

This book of Roy's is a patchwork of characters and narratives predicated on the idea that the personal is political. The front cover of the book was shot by Delhi-based photographer Mayank Austen Soofi (aka The Delhi Walla). His pictures are so simple yet tell intricate stories of ordinary people.

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth 

This love story is set against the backdrop of a newly independent post-partition India, perfectly melding personal lives and a great national event. It is at once funny and tragic. 

Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh 

This epic trilogy deals with the Opium trade between India and China. We love this series as it provides a snapshot of all the different cultures, religions and traditions that make up the Indian subcontinent. 

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie 

This is the story of the children born at midnight in the first hour of India's independence from British rule. It is richly interwoven with magical realism, creating a real labyrinth of individual and collective histories. 

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga 

Adiga's debut novel is narrated by the complex Balram Halwai: an entrepreneur, a philosopher and...a murderer. Balram tells a terrifying and transfixing story of how he grew to be a success in life. Through this protagonist, Adiga explores the less attractive face of modern India. Adiga's second novel, Last Man in Tower, is perhaps more forgiving than The White Tiger, with a gentler tone!


Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani 

When a father falls into a coma, three Indian-American sisters reunite with their mother at his bedside. This story sees family ties unravel as they grapple to come to terms with their bruised souls. This is a convoluted story of harboured dark secrets tucked away forever plaguing a family and all of its individual members. 

The Elephant Chaser's Daughter by Shilpa Raj 

This is not just Raj's own memoirs, but a story that gives volume to the voiceless. As a Dalit, or untouchable, woman, Raj explores her own family roots and in doing so unearths and criticises entrenched social problems and inequalities in Indian society. Her memoir is a landmark in Dalit writing!   

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn 

This book is an odyssey through Africa and Asia, along which we meet extraordinary women fighting back against oppression. Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. We love this book, as it shows how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls. This is what Secret Projects is all about: turning oppression into opportunity. 


Introducing the Secret Projects Dig Dog Range for pets!

Introducing the Secret Projects Dig Dog Range for pets!

Our latest range is for our four-legged friends! Introducing the Secret Projects Dig Dog range for pets! Pets love scraps and so do we! Made from the . . . scrap pieces of fabric left over from production of our other collections, we knew that our latest range for pets would go down a storm with pets and their owners alike! Although the bandannas are perhaps more appreciated by the owners than their furry companion, every dog will just love that each bandana comes with a matching treat bag - and all pet lovers know just how important treats are! Very handily, our little bags have a secure drawstring, so treats stay safely inside whilst out on a walk. Cuteness aside, (and this range is so cute...) our Dig Dog range is made for us by our Makers (the name we give to the women who lovingly stitch our products) and each woman is paid a fair wage for her skills and is able to use the money she earns with us to support herself, her children and her family. So, your pet is responsible for empowering women economically! Woof! The Dig Dog range is available in a range of sizes and pattern and colours - so you can be sure to find something that is perfect for your pooch! Click here to view the full collection.   Image: Coco and Biscuit resplendent in their Dig Dog range bandannas!      
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Our first destash!

Our first destash!

What to do on a rainy Sunday? Hold our very first destash! You may be asking what a destash is?  In short, it's a call out to people to go through old . . . sewing supplies and fabric etc. and donate it to a good cause. With that good cause being Secret Projects! We set up in the Pulborough Village Hall (which is close to where our Business Unit is), and, through various advertising methods, the word had spread and we were delighted to welcome scores of people who came along with their very gratefully received donations. Donations weren't just brought in on the day, we had parcels sent to us and others dropped supplies round to our CEO's house in Pulborough ahead of the official destash day. In total we collected 325 kilos of delici0us pre-loved sewing supplies. Much of the fabric donated has been sorted and will be made up into our ever popular and best selling scrap packs available through our eBay and Etsy Stores. In fact, we now have over 30 different scrap packs to purchase and more will be added, so do keep visiting our stores. We are still taking donations and if you do have any fabric or pre-loved sewing supplies, please do get in touch via And of course the most enormous thank you everyone who donated to, and also helped us run our very first destash! More to come! Let's hear it for destashing!   Image: offering a cup of tea to all who came along to the destash was one way of us saying a big thank you.
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We would LOVE you to donate any unwanted sewing supplies to us!

We would LOVE you to donate any unwanted sewing supplies to us!

We can make such good use of your pre-loved sewing supplies We have added various items of pre-loved sewing supplies to our online stores, including . . . scrap fabrics and buttons for the past few years and it has developed into a small but very good source of income for our Community Benefit Society. The pre-loved sewing supplies market is only getting stronger and is something we are keen to develop and grow and are therefore putting out an 'ask' to our customers and supporters (and of course, anyone else who reads this!) for your old sewing items. We would LOVE them! Ideas for sewing supplies donations! From scrap fabric, to buttons, to pins, to needles, to embroidery equipment, we would adore to talk to you about what you have. Sewing items can often have sentimental value - in fact, our Comms Manager, Margaret was just telling us about a pin cushion she has of her mother's that she could only give away to someone who would really appreciate, and make good use of. Maybe this has resonated with you. So, if you do have sewing supplies you would like to donate, please email Fritha Vincent Mason at: We would just LOVE your pre-loved sewing supplies!  
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