5 fabulous books for this week!
New Delhi: Some home truths about towering edifices and small pleasures of stories smartly told. The cache this week is a mix of serious non-fiction and fiction:
1. Book: "Tata: The Evolution of a Corporate Brand"; Written by Morgen Witzel; Published by Penguin Books India; Priced Rs 599
A series of high-profile acquisitions, together with the launch of the Nano, is set to change the perception of India`s oldest and most respected corporate brand. With a major international presence in a variety of areas, including tea, chemicals, communications and software, Tata now stands on the threshold of becoming a global brand. But what is Tata all about? What are its values? How do people perceive it in India and around the world?
Morgan Witzel, a senior consultant at the Winthrop Group of Business Historians, tries to find out all about the company. Witzel has written 15 books.
2. Book: "A Masterful Spirit: Homi J. Bhabha" (1909-1966); Written by Indira Chowdhury and Ananya Dasgupta; Published by Penguin Books India; Priced Rs 1,299
Homi Jahangir Bhabha, one of India`s most outstanding scientists, shouldered the beginnings of India`s nuclear programme. He was the first chairman of India`s Atomic Energy Commission; and the builder of two of India`s most significant scientific institutions - the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Atomic Energy Establishment, renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research in 1996.
The book presents the life and achievements of the man through previously unpublished letters, photographs and paintings; and the recollections of his family, friends, colleagues and students. It acquaints readers with the many facets of Bhabha`s personality - as a physicist, institution builder, concerned citizen, artist, designer of gardens and above all a compassionate human being.
3. Book: "Secrets and Sins"; Written by Jaishree Misra; Published by Harper-Collins-India, Priced Rs 399
Fifteen years ago, Riva Singh and Aman Khan had a passionate love affair. Despite their attraction, Riva rejected Aman for reliable Ben, the man who became her husband. Now Riva is a bestselling London novelist, while Aman is a Bollywood superstar. Both have watched each other from afar but have stayed apart since their painful split.
Fate, however, has other plans for them as they are thrown together at the Cannes film festival. Aman is torn between his desire for Riva and his young family - not to mention the impact an affair would have on his golden boy public image. Beset by guilt, Riva knows that their love could destroy everything they hold dear. With so much at stake, will these star-crossed lovers follow their hearts - or their heads?
4. Book: "The Balloonists"; Written by Rajorshi Chakraborti; Published by Tranquebar Press/Westland Ltd; Priced Rs 200
Dev, a young British Asian writer in London, is suddenly informed by his live-in girlfriend, Jo, that she’s pregnant. His reaction is to take off for Munich, leaving a note for Jo on the telephone table. What he tells her is that he urgently needs to recover a couple of old manuscripts from his ex-girlfriend, Heidi. What he doesn’t say is that although Heidi left him years ago, he has never stopped hoping for a second chance with her. Unfortunately, the only person who can help Dev to try and find her is the infuriating Rodrigo, the man Heidi left him for!
Together, Heidi’s two ex-boyfriends set off, squabbling all the time, in pursuit of their former lover. Neither of them has quite figured out what he will do if and when they do find Heidi, and they haven’t even reckoned with the possibility of there being a third man on the scene.
5. Book: "School Times"; Written by Ruskin Bond; Published by Rupa & Co; Priced Rs 71
Who would you like to meet - the adventurous four feathers from the prep-school in Shimla or the Eurasian schoolboy and his funny grandmother who detests the dirty manners of the English? There is another option: would you like to catch up with the father who became a schoolboy and attended school again or the small girl who lived on hope that her father would return home from war one day?
How about meeting a mischievous boy who always follows his master`s footsteps but never gets the expected results or the destitute lad who gets admitted to a school full of affluent students? Ruskin Bond once again takes fans down the lane of nostalgia and school days.