You might not normally associate the title A Book of Simple Living: Brief Notes from the Hills with Ruskin Bond. A lyrical and spare new work, it is full of little notes from Bond's everyday life in Mussoorie, part writer's workshop, part meditation. Bond is as candid as ever, in speaking of his reconciliation with a certain kind of loneliness, his willed choice of a certain kind of monkish existence. 

Greatest of all is his union with the natural world around him, his lifelong love for his mountain home. At one point in the book, Bond breaks into verse – as he is wont to do – and likens himself, in spirit, to a dancing fox he encounters in the night. Bond is that fox when he is writing, in his elements, almost a force of nature. 

Anyone as yet unacquainted with Bond’s enduring grace could well start here. And if you thought he wrote mainly for children, here are seven more examples of his works that are decidedly not (or not just) for children.  

A Flight of Pigeons
It is 1857 in Shahjahanpur, and the Indian foot-soldiers of the Raj are rebelling. Ruth Labadoor's father is cornered and killed in front of her, inside a church. She and her mother, Mariam, have to go into hiding. They are discovered and taken into the home of a man who wishes to marry Ruth. This was adapted by Shyam Benegal, and made into the film Junoon.

The Sensualist: A Cautionary Tale
This novella – very different from Bond's usual repertoire – was first serialised for the magazine Debonair in 1974, and led to obscenity charges against Ruskin Bond in Mumbai. It was published 21 years later by Penguin. Structured as a conversation between a traveller and an ascetic, it records their observations on the latter's experience of sensuality – primarily sex, but eventually food, clothing, and other comforts.

Susanna's Seven Husbands
This was originally a short story, first made into a novella, and then adapted into a script for Vishal Bharadwaj’s film 7 Khoon Maaf. It is now possible to read and compare all three in one volume. The basic storyline, threading all three narratives together (because they do differ in key details) is that the character of Lady Susanna – seen through the eyes of the narrator Arun – leaves a trail of dead husbands in her wake.

Delhi Is Not Far
This story is set in small-town Pipalnagar, in which the young writer of pulp Urdu detective fiction, Arun, dreams of escaping to the big city. He falls in love with Kamla, a sex worker, and makes friends with Suraj, an orphan. This is a gentle story about ambition, relationships, and, ultimately, homecoming. It reflects Bond's own experiences of moving to Delhi, becoming disenchanted, and moving back to Dehradun.

Love Among the Bookshelves
Ruskin Bond had a solitary childhood. During this time, he found comfort and solace in books. Undoubtedly, his devouring of books shaped his own writing practice, and led to early and spectacular success at the age of seventeen, with the publication of The Room on the Roof. In this memoir, Bond brings the reader a selection of the books that shaped him, with charming descriptions of his encounters with them.

Tales of the Open Road
This collection of travelogues gathered over fifty years, and cements his reputation as a luminous travel writer. Bond is an inveterate walker, and that, combined with his trusting nature, and astute skills of observation, make these travelogues powerful. The collection takes the reader to the hills of Garhwal, to the bustle of Delhi, to the towns Chhutmalpur and Najibabad. And it contains rare, old photographs taken by Bond on these journeys.

Time Stops at Shamli and other stories
Bond's short stories number in the hundreds, and there are quite a few collections to choose from. But one must start somewhere, and Time Stops at Shamli, perhaps Bond's most renowned short fiction collection, is the place to do so. This collection is vintage Bond: it tackles a whole gamut of human experience with exceptional clarity, and deals with the lifes and dreams of characters in small town India.