New Delhi: The book shelf this week is delightfully light, with easy-to-grasp titles.
Book: ‘The Puffin Book of 100 Great Indians’; Compiled and published by Penguin-India; Price: Rs.250
Pioneering scientist and mathematician Aryabhatta; Missile man APJ Abdul Kalam; economist and Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen; Renaissance man Ram Mohan Roy; the immortal star in space Kalpana Chawla; master blaster Sachin Tendulkar; evergreen melody queen Lata Mangeshkar: These are some of the luminaries featured in this book of Indians who have helped shape our nation.
Featuring the 100 most iconic personalities from the fields of arts, literature, science, politics, economics, films and entertainment, this is an engaging reference book to learn about the contributions of some of the greatest Indians across the ages. From the heroic spirit of Chandrashekhar Azad to the soulful music of Grammy winner A.R. Rahman, these short biographies are informative, inspiring and thought-provoking for younger readers.
Book: ‘The Liberals’; Written by Hindol Sengupta; Published by Harper Collins; Price: Rs.350
1991 is the year the Indian economy opened up to the world and unleashed a billion desires and dreams. But who are these restless dreamers? This is a very private story of a very middle-class consumption revolution. From proselytizing American schools in Calcutta to Page 3 in Delhi and television studios in Bombay, ‘The Liberals’ brings to life unforgettable characters spawned by the the needs of the world`s largest democracy. Musician Bob Dylan jams with numerous villagers, girlfriends give lessons in capitalism, TV stylists snarl over white shirts and Akshay Kumar about what it takes to be the boy next door. Through it, the writer lives to tell the tale of a rising GDP.
Book: ‘The Purple Line’; Written by Priyamvada N. Purushottam;
Published by Harper Collins India; Price: Rs.250
When Mrinalini has to choose between science and art, it is elementary. She just follows her brain through medical college, abandoning the tug in her heart for theatre. But when it comes to choosing between the man she loves and her aspiration, it isn`t so simple. She makes her choice anyway and goes on to set up a gynaecological clinic in the heart of Chennai. It is in her consultation room that unfolds the story of six women whose dreams, struggles and intertwined yet separate lives help Mrinalini come to terms with her choices and find fulfilment.
Book: ‘The Glimpse of the Empire’; Written by Jessica Holmes Douglas; Published by Raintree-Rupa; Price: Rs 350
The book is a diary of young Irish beauty Lilah Wingfield`s journey to the glamour of colonial India, where she is hosted by royalty. Her father`s premature death from pneumonia in 1904 means that Lilah is brought to live in London and is expected to fit into polite society. Not caring much for this way of life, or for the potential suitors arranged by her domineering mother at the age of 23, Lilah manages to engineer a trip to India, accompanied by a female friend and an apparently harmless elderly man, to see at first hand the gorgeous ceremonial of the Durbar and live an adventure.
Book: "The Secret Children"; Written by Alison McQueen; Published by Hachette India; Price: Rs.350
Assam, 1925. James MacDonald is one of the sons of empire who has no yearning for England. Running a tea plantation, he loves India and is reluctant to choose a British bride from the eager crowds sent over. But when he takes a beautiful young Indian woman as his courtesan, he can little imagine what he has begun. So starts the story of Mary and Serafina. Born of two worlds, accepted by neither. Growing up beloved but hidden away, their childhood is one of contradiction. It is only as the shadow of war falls and the turmoil of Indian partition begins that the girls must face the truth about their parents and begin the search for somewhere to belong. It will be a journey full of forbidden questions, hidden answers, heartbreak and determination. As Serafina and Mary grow into women, they must risk everything and make choices with a legacy that will last a lifetime, and beyond.