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Archive for the ‘Historical Fiction’ Category


Unthink
Chris Paley | Coronet | Rs 350

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 3.52.20 PM“Consciousness isn’t designed for understanding ourselves, its for understanding other people,” says behavioural scientist, Christ Paley, in this intriguing little book. This, he explains, is because we live complicated social lives in which we a) don’t do things for the reasons we expect; b) what we imagine we do consciously, is in fact, done by unconscious; c) we understand ourselves through others and lastly, d) we are always in conflict with what we want to do. In short, don’t trust your trickster mind. Trust your consciousness instead. You’ll be happier and more successful. Wise.

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Karm
Aditya & Arnav Mukherjee | Rupa | Rs 195

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 3.52.54 PMThis thriller by Mukherjee brothers is fit for a ‘Don’ sequel starring a young handsome Bollywood hunk, a gutsy female TV news star and her secret admirer, a reporter. Instead of the big bad world, it situates all action in Amchi Mumbai like the first original Amitabh Bachchan ‘Don’ did. It imagines the city in 2019 where suburban trains have ACs, slum remain slums, high-rises pierce the city skies and the rich travel in UFO-like airships. Best part of the story is that it packs an uncomfortable truth – organised crime always wins. A chilling read.

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Urnabhih
Sumedha V Ojha | Roli | Rs 350

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 3.52.41 PMWe live in an age of confusion. This may be one reason why historical fiction is gaining large number of readers. People are tired of facts and truths. They want to re-imagine their ‘realities’ and to find comfort in fantasy. Sumedha V Ojha gives us one such tale. Set in ancient Maurya empire, the novel ‘Urnabhih’ (lit., “cobweb”) traces the story of a dancing girl who gets sucked into a spy ring. Her ‘hero’ and companion in various adventures, Pushyamitra, is a hired assassin and leader of ‘Nagrik Suraksha Parishad’. Scary.

(The above reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 8 February 2015)

 

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Grey Hornbills At Dusk
Bulbul Sharma | Aleph | Rs 295

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.14.21 PM“The Large Grey Babblers… are the only birds I know that can eat and argue at the same time,” notes Bulbul Sharma, a painter, birdwatcher and writer, best known for her books for young readers. Divided into – winter, spring, summer & monsoon – this book re-tracks the author’s rambles through parks and bird sanctuaries in and around Delhi. It also includes her charming sketches of our winged friends. Delhi is known for hosting as many as 450 species of birds, some of them from as far as Siberia. Get to know them, before they disappear.

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The Lost Language of Cranes
David Leavitt | Bloomsbury | Rs 350

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.15.30 PMEight years ago, David Leavitt, wrote ‘The Indian Clerk’ a fictional biography of S. Ramanujan’s tryst with G.H. Hardy, the leading mathematician of the western world just before the outbreak of WWI. ‘The Lost Language of Cranes’, first published in 1986 now re-issued, tells the story of human relations and sexual confusion of a New York family – when a son’s confession of being a homosexual forces the father to confront his own demons. It’s a complex and a brave novel, one that is bound to find resonance among Indian readers.

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Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You
Serena J. Dyer & Dr Wayne W. Dyer | Hay House | Rs 299

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.15.12 PMThis self-help book is a mish-mash of pop-psychology that prods the reader to listen to one’s own intuition – or song – in order to be happy and successful in life. Written by daughter-father duo it advises us to follow our dharma (interpreted here as passion or calling in life), to keep an open mind, to embrace silence, learn to solve problems, not be resentful and have courage to be what you want to be. It teaches by examples sourced from the writers’ own lives. Pick it up, if that’s what you need.

(The above reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 25 January 2015)

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