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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category


Nature Chronicles Of India
Ed. by Ananda Banerjee | Rupa | Rs 195

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.27.39 PMThis slim collection of essays on Indian wildlife has more on what the naturalists observed during the British Raj than what Indians or others may have in the last 60 years. Should one blame the editor of the compilation for this or the shrinking habitat? In this case, one fears, it’s the former. India has its share of wonderful writers on the subject but it needs a good editor to track them down and share their stories. Unfortunately, neither the publishers nor the editor seem to be too perturbed by their inabilities. Sad.

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The Top Ten Things Dead People Want To Tell You
Mike Dooley | Hay House | Rs 299

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.27.53 PMThe most interesting thing about this ‘inspirational book’ is its writer. Why? Mike Dooley was an international tax consultant before he became an entrepreneur by kick-starting a philosophical adventure club. One is not sure what sort of club this is and what its adventures are. But if you read a passage, any passage in this book, you’ll learn that “to live is meaningful”. But didn’t we know that already? Honestly, maybe Dooley should read the Bhagwad Gita, who knows what the dead may convey to him and what we may learn from him. Seriously.

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To D Or Not To D?
Vijay Nagaswami | Westland | Rs 395

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.28.06 PMIt’s very difficult to say what makes or breaks a relationship. The same is true of marriage. According to some studies in India, cruelty and desertion top the list of stated reasons for divorce. Other reasons that often feature in courts are adultery, sexual dissatisfaction and fraudulent or forced marriage. Whatever be the case, people do break up. In this book, written for Indians, the author discusses things that can help people put their relationship on track, and things that may help those who have had enough and want to divorce. It’s a wise book.

(The above reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 1 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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