Drama wins over history on bookshelf

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2012, 18:40 PM IST

New Delhi: Cart your books away from the pile of super titles this weekend...

Book: "Boats on Land"; Written by Janice Pariat; Published by Random House; Price: Rs.399

"Boats on Land" is a unique way of looking at India`s northeast and its people against a larger historical canvas - the early days of the British Raj, the World Wars, conversions to Christianity, and the missionaries. This is a world in which the everyday is infused with folklore and a deep belief in the supernatural. Here, a girl dreams of being a firebird. An artist watches souls turn into trees. A man shape-shifts into a tiger. Another is bewitched by water fairies. Political struggles and social unrest interweave with fireside tales and age-old superstitions.

Book: "Low Pressure"; Written by Sandra Brown; Published by Hachette; Price: $26.99

Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Now 18 years later, Bellamy has written a novel about sister`s murder and published it under a pseudonym to protect the family. But when the opportunistic reporter discovers the book is based on facts, Bellamy`s identity is exposed with her family scandal. But Bellamy will not stop till she reveals Susan`s killer. That is if the killer does not strike her before Bellamy does...

Book: "Tso and La: A Journey to Ladakh"; Written by Vikramjit Ram; Published by Harper Collins-India; Price: Rs.325

Seeking a respite from a novel that has hit an impasse, Vikramajit Ram accepts an invitation from his friend Manoj Bawa to join him on a drive to Ladakh. It is the start of the Himalayan summer of 2009; he abandons his doomed work of fiction to write instead of this journey. As the journey progresses, Vikram finds that the quirky company at the wheel and the otherworldly beauty of this Shangri La are the perfect fix for his jaded senses. Weaving together elements of art and architecture, natural history and biography, "Tso and La" is a tribute to this enigmatic and deeply mystical corner of India. Against a backdrop of uncontainable grandeur, Manoj and Vikram find prayer flags and child-monks, magpies and wild asses, vast glacial lakes and surreal sand dunes. Four weeks and 8,200 kilometres later, the friends return home to Bangalore. One throws himself into a new job; the other embarks on a new journey of words.

Book: "Who Let the Dork Out"; Written by Sidin Vadukut; Published by Penguin India; Price: Rs.199

Twelve months to go before the 2010 Allied Victory Games in New Delhi, there is pandemonium in the Ministry for Urban Regeneration and Public Sculpture. Specially appointed by the prime minister to oversee preparations for the Games, the ministry now finds itself in the centre of a media storm. Preparations are months behind schedule - they had completely forgotten about taekwondo - and the minister, Badrikedar Laxmanrao Dahake, has to deal with not only an irate prime minister but also high intrigue in the Lok Sabha, fiendish investigative journalists and a relentless BBC reporter who insists on interviewing him live in English. Dahake is about to resign when he runs into an unlikely saviour: master strategist, media expert and international financial wizard Robin "Einstein" Varghese, currently running the Delhi Lederman office. Let the Games begin!

Book: "The King in Exile: The Fall of the Royal Family of Burma"; Written by Sudha Shah; Published by Harper Collins-India; Price: Rs.799

In 1879, as the king of Burma lay dying, one of his queens schemed for his 41st son, Thibaw, to supersede his half brothers to the throne. For seven years, King Thibaw and Queen Supayalat ruled from the resplendent, intrigue-infused Golden Palace in Mandalay, where they were treated as demi-gods. After a war against Britain in 1885, their kingdom was lost, and the family exiled to the secluded town of Ratnagiri in British-occupied India. Here they lived, closely guarded, for over 31 years. The king`s four daughters received almost no education, and their social interaction was restricted mainly to their staff. As the princesses grew, so did their hopes and frustrations. Two of them fell in love with `highly inappropriate` men. In 1916, the heartbroken king died. Queen Supayalat and her daughters were permitted to return to Rangoon in 1919.

IANS

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