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Monday, October 19, 2015

Operation India One by Shiv Kumar

Blurb (from the jacket):

Dedicated police officer, ACP Gautam Dhaliwal, takes it upon himself to root out the MAF, a major Naxal organization based in the remote village of Bhagatpur, Bihar, as part of the central government backed, ‘Operation India One’. As his investigations on the ground progress, however, he uncovers behind the official facade of development that he had set out to defend, an ugly nexus of unscrupulous politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen feeding off the oppression of the underprivileged. 

Torn between his commitment to the Indian State and the sympathy he begins to feel for the miserable plight of the people of the area and the supposed terrorists fighting for them, an agonized ACP Dhaliwal is forced to rethink his earlier views on the meaning of one’s responsibility towards one’s fellow countrymen.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bliss of Dark Solitude by Amitava Chaudhuri

Blurb (from the jacket):

We are afraid of the dark. We are also afraid of solitude.

However, a potent combination of these two conditions can indeed be a blissful - for it gives us the opportunity to discover the most alien thing we have within us - our own heart. As we delve deep within ourselves, we find surges of emotions, sometimes dark, sometimes euphoric.

And what better medium we have other than poetry to bring out such emotions, Bliss of Dark Solitude is a collection of such emotions - joyous, hearthbreaking, rebellious, remorseful. Let us explore the dark - alone, unaided. Let us savour the bliss it brings.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Blurb (from the GoodReads):

There are two sides to every story...

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi

Blurb (from the jacket):

Mamoon is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England - but now, in his early 70s, his reputation is fading, sales have dried up, and his new wife has expensive taste.

Harry, a young writer, is commissioned to write a biography to revitalise both Mamoon's career and his bank balance. Harry greatly admires Mamoon's work and wants to uncover the truth of the artist's life. Harry's publisher seeks a more naked truth, a salacious tale of sex and scandal that will generate headlines. Meanwhile Mamoon himself is mining a different vein of truth altogether.

Harry and Mamoon find themselves in a battle of wills, but which of them will have the last word?

The ensuing struggle for dominance raises issues of love and desire, loyalty and betrayal, and the frailties of age versus the recklessness of youth.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Logicops by Vaibhav Mukim

Blurb (from the jacket):

A new department of police which solves crimes using the technique of logical communication—a method that allows communication through walls, over long distances and simultaneously with a lot of people. It uses nothing but the person’s surroundings. And just as peculiar as the method, are the crimes they solve.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tat Tvam Asi by Pinky Acharya

Blurb (from the jacket):

Life's beautiful moments are all around us, if only one stops enough to notice. 

A random gesture of compassion has the power to reverberate multifold between a pair of strangers, a teacher's passion to fulfill her unsung duties goes a long way to mould a child's personality, a poor carpenter travelling a substantial distance to return a pittance proves his immense wealth of character, and sometimes, your own child surprises you with a maturity way beyond their years. These and many more soul-searching anecdotes are brought to you by Pinky Acharya to stir the spirit into thinking about the finer nuances of life.

Tat Tvam Asi (that art thou) is Pinky Acharya's veridical journey that propagates empathy through inner cleansing. As the title suggests, once realisation dawns that each one of us is a mere drop in the ocean of the Supreme Being - though a tiny extension of the same - it is difficult to have thoughts or perform actions that are unworthy of the Almighty.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer by Cyrus Mistry

Blurb (from the jacket):

At the very edge of its many interlocking worlds, the city of Bombay conceals a near invisible community of Parsi corpse bearers, whose job it is to carry bodies of the deceased to the Towers of Silence. Segregated and shunned from society, often wretchedly poor, theirs is a lot that nobody would willingly espouse. Yet thats exactly what Phiroze Elchidana, son of a revered Parsi priest, does when he falls in love with Sepideh, the daughter of an aging corpse bearer...

Derived from a true story, Cyrus Mistrys extraordinary new novel is a moving account of tragic love that, at the same time, brings to vivid and unforgettable life the degradation experienced by those who inhabit the unforgiving margins of history. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Carrie by Stephen King

Blurb (from elsewhere):

A modern classic, Carrie introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction -- Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is...Carrie.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Reef by Romesh Gunesekera

Blurb (from the jacket):

At the age of eleven, Triton goes to work as a houseboy to Mister Salgado, a marine biologist obsessed with the island's disappearing reef. It was the biggest house he had ever seen. People from all over the world came here to sell their wares, to talk, to live, for this was where life took place. Even the sun would rise from the garage and sleep behind the del tree at night. But beyond Mister Salgado's house and their Sri Lankan village, there is a world falling apart and it is in this world that Triton must become a man. An absolute classic, Reef is a luminous coming of age novel.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Guide by R. K. Narayan

Blurb (from the jacket): 

Railway Raju is a disarmingly corrupt tourist guide, who lives by his wits and falls in love with a beautiful dancer. More by chance than skill, he seduces her away from her husband, a lonely writer who is obsesses with local rock-carvings, and transforms her into a celebrity courted by wealthy and influential dignitaries wherever she performs. Raju makes and loses a fortune, finds himself in jail, and - through a series of hilarious, ironic circumstances - become one of India's great holy men.

The history of his success and unexpected fame has all the excitement of a suspense story, told with Narayan's customary tolerance and delightful humour. At the same time it raises many profound and disturbing questions.

THE GUIDE floats as gently as a lily pad on the surface of Indian life and yet suggests the depths beneath. It manages to describe a saint who is neither born nor made but simple happens, almost like a weather.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Japanese Wife by Kunal Basu

Blurb (from the jacket):

An Indian man writes to a Japanese woman. She writes back. The pen-friends fall in love and exchange their vows over letters, then live as man and wife without ever setting eyes on each other – their intimacy of words tested finally by life’s miraculous upheavals. 

The twelve stories in this collection are about the unexpected. An American professor visits India with the purpose of committing suicide, and goes on a desert journey with the daughter of a snakecharmer. A honeymooning Indian couple is caught up in the Tiananmen Square unrest. A Russian prostitute discovers her roots in the company of Calcutta revolutionaries. A holocaust victim stands tall among strangers in a landscape of hate. 

These are chronicles of memory and dreams born at the crossroads of civilizations. They parade a cast of angels and demons rubbing shoulders with those whose lives are never quite as ordinary as they seem.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ubik by Philip K. Dick

Blurb (from the jacket):

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Fistful of Earth and other stories by Siddhartha Gigoo

Blurb (from the jacket):

Set in a land ravaged by political upheaval and war, A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories depicts a surreal world where people find themselves trapped in circumstances over which they have no control.

In a series of bizarre incidents, a researcher is baffled by the secrets he unearths about a dying clan; a monk encounters an enigmatic stranger at a railway station; a municipal commissioner suddenly goes mad for no discernible reason; a medical intern discovers a shocking secret after a patient’s death; two chess-loving inmates are unable to escape from a prison long after it has ceased to be one; and a refugee undertakes an odyssey through time and memory in search of his lost friend. 

Written in elegant and lyrical prose, and traversing a range of themes, these stories will transport you to a world of conflict and persecution, of banishment and exile, of loneliness and despair, but where still glimmers a hope for redemption.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Patna Manual of Style by Siddharth Chowdhury

Blurb (from the jacket):

'Go to any party, in any country, on any moonlit terrace of the world, the best dressed man is always the one from Patna. ' 

In these nine interlinked stories we meet the not so quintessential Patna man Hriday Thakur, Literature junkie, aspiring writer, inveterate lover of women and rain, Jishnu da, his acquaintance from Delhi University, who is now an 'importer of blondes', Samuel Crown, the fastidious proofreader who mentors Hriday and instils in him an irrevocable love for the art of 'book-making', the parade of women in Hriday's life: austere, doe eyed Charulata, love of his youth, the one who got away, Chitrangada, his wife, who works hard to be accepted in his world of books, art, politics and activism, the beautiful Anjali Singh Nalwa, ex-flame who is now a fiery, controversial novelist, Imogen Burns, the intrepid chronicler of graveyards, Sadaf Khan Abdali, who loves the smell of Listerine early in the morning and 'Sophia Loren', dream girl of many schoolboys, now a mother of two.

Unsentimental to a fault, Siddharth Chowdhury's stories deal with relationships that are intimate and sensuous and sometimes hard to define, taken together, they are an affectionate nod to an idealist generation, insulated in a world of publishing, academia, gin-soaked brunches and Marxist philosophy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator)

Blurb (from the jacket):

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine', and Oumi, ‘blue sea', while the girls' names were Shirane, ‘white root', and Kurono, ‘black field'. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Curse of Brahma by Jagmohan Bhanver (Krishna Trilogy #1)

Blurb (from the jacket):

The man who became a brahmarishi.
The curse that banished him to the hell of hells.
And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds.

When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swaeglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma's unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in Tamastamah Prabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in Pataal Lok, who swears to destiny Brahma.

The power of the Dark Lord soon begins makes its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansaa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.

Only one person threatens the Dark Lord's well-laid plans - Devki, the beautiful princess of madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.

Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna - the person who has been prophesised to destriy him - to be born?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

India Shastra by Shashi Tharoor

Blurb (from the jacket):

This has been a time of unprecedented change in the country. The transformation of India’s politics, economy, foreign policy, media, civil rights, governance and a myriad other aspects of our society and government has been swift and disruptive, sometimes brutally so. Narendra Modi, the nation’s new Prime Minister, and his Bharatiya Janata Party, dominate the political scene, as the Congress once did, and are attempting to change the way we work, think, pray and conduct ourselves as citizens of the planet’s most populous democracy. There are signs that the nation is moving in directions that will benefit its people—the economy has begun to revive, its foreign policy appears to be purposefully pursuing a visible place in the world, polls show that a significant percentage of the nation’s youth are optimistic about the future; at the same time, there are serious concerns about the rise of majoritarianism and religious fundamentalism (often, this is one and the same thing), a disquieting intolerance of free speech, dissent and religious freedom; moreover, there appears to be no end to corruption, hate speech, criminals in politics, terrorism, violence against women, bureaucratic lethargy, governmental incompetence, endemic poverty, environmental degradation, and a host of other problems that India has been struggling to overcome for decades. 

What does the future hold? Is the promise of good times a mere illusion? Have we forgotten the democratic, humane, secular and liberal values that our founding fathers endowed us with? Are high-speed trains and missions to Mars eclipsing the vital need to achieve universal literacy, eradicate poverty, and provide food, shelter and health-care for all? 

Shashi Tharoor, one of our most distinguished and insightful writers, attempts to answer these and other important questions and demystify the complex issues that have been thrown up by the ongoing transformation of the nation. After chronicling India’s transformation over the years in several previous books, he brings his insights into Indian society, economics and politics up to date in wide-ranging short essays that extend the narrative right up to the present time. Lucid, brilliantly argued, balanced and illuminating, India Shastra is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand today’s India.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Shattered Dreams by Shubha Vilas (Ramayana: The Game of Life #2)

Blurb (from the jacket):

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana - The Game of Life. Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.

Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail. 

With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Blurb (from the jacket):

Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight Club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter and dark, anarchic genius. And it's only the beginning of his plans for revenge on a world where cancer support groups have the corner on human warmth.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

KARM by Aditya Mukherjee, Arnav Mukherjee

Blurb (from the jacket):

2020. Mumbai a fetid city, full of crime and violence.

Rising above it, a flattened obelisk of polished black granite, stands the Rustomji Group's imposing headquarters the One World Tower. And at its very tip, is Babylon, Vishnu Rustomji Mistry's famous garden on top of the tallest building in Mumbai the centre of its wealth and power.

It's the day the flamboyant billionaire will make his big announcement. Yet, it'll be one of the few days in the year when his won't be the biggest story. It's the day a letter will be found that could change the meaning of everything. A simple letter, signed ‘The People's Guardian', which threatens the Chief Minister with dire consequences.

When model-turned-newscaster Tara and rookie journalist Sudhir Navkar stumble upon clues about this possible vigilante, they are led on a breadcrumb trail from the eerie slums of gangland Mumbai to the high-rise towers of SoBo. 

As the two of them try desperately to solve the mystery, they begin to uncover a frightening conspiracy that threatens to cast a shadow on the entire nation and on their lives. 

In a choice between love, life and their karm, will they have the courage to pursue the truth?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Blurb (from the jacket):

'Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies. . .'

Six interlocking lives - one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, Cloud Atlas erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity's will to power, and where it will lead us.


Blurb (from GoodReads):

The narrators hear their echoes in history and change their destinies in ways great and small, in a study of humanity's dangerous will to power. A reluctant voyager crosses the Pacific in 1850. A disinherited composer gatecrashes in between-wars Belgium. A vanity publisher flees gangland creditors. Others are a journalist in Governor Reagan’s California, and genetically-modified dinery server on death-row. Finally, a young Pacific Islander witnesses the nightfall of science and civilization.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Elephanta by George Mitchell

Blurb (from the jacket):

The 6th-century rock-cut cave temple on Elephanta island, in the middle of Mumbai harbour, is the home of Shiva, the greatest of all Hindu gods. Elephanta leads the reader through this magnificent cave temple, examining its overall architectural scheme and interpreting the myths of Shiva that are depicted so forcefully in the extraordinary stone sculptures. The outstanding photographs capture the beauty and magic of the cave.

This book also contains fascinating accounts of European travellers, documenting their discovery of Elephanta from the 17th century onwards and includes information on the ongoing efforts to preserve this monument that was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Palestine by Joe Sacco

Blurb (from the jacket):

In late l991 and early 1992, at the time of the first Intifada, Joe Sacco spent two months with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, travelling and taking notes. Upon returning to the United States he started writing and drawing Palestine, which combines the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling to explore this complex, emotionally weighty situation. He captures the heart of the Palestinian experience in image after unforgettable image, with great insight and remarkable humour.

The nine-issue comics series won a l996 American Book Award. It is now published for the first time in one volume, befitting its status as one of the great classics of graphic non-fiction. 

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