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History, crime & edgy drama on bookshelf

New Delhi: The bookshelf this weekend is a colourful and racy pile of books that tickles readers` imagination and sensitivities... Browse on.

Book: "The Maharajas of Bikaner"; Written by Rajyashree Kumari Bikaner; Published by Amaryllis; Priced Rs.695

Rao Bika, a young Rathore Rajput prince dared to penetrate the Thar desert - endless stretches of sand dunes, the sun blazing down mercilessly with temperatures often exceeding 45 degree Celsius, and an acute shortage of water. He laid the foundation of a dynasty in 1465, more than 500 years ago. In recent times, Maharaja Ganga Singh was the most outstanding ruler, who transformed the large areas of dry parched land of the state into lush green fields by building the Gang Canal in 1927. He was a stubborn soldier, a great builder and a famous statesman. His successor Maharaja Sadul Singh was a co-architect of India`s unity and played an eminent role in the accession of the princely states to the Dominion of India in 1947. His son Dr Karni Singh was a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) for 25 years and a world-renowned sportsman. The book explores the erstwhile royal history of Bikaner - the town known for its munchies and crispy snacks across the world.

Book: "The Newsroom Mafia"; Written by Oswald Pereira; Published by Westland-Grey Oak; Priced Rs.245

When supercop Donald Fernandez declares an all-out war against the invincible don, Narayan Swamy, he fights back with a formidable mafia - a private army of armed thugs and a motley gang of corrupt police officers, backed by powerful politicians. What follows is a battle of raw power, sleaze, wits and dirty tactics by both the lawbreakers and the law enforcers blurring boundaries between good and evil. To save his skin, the Don fires his most lethal weapon, The Newsroom Mafia. In this novel, veteran-journalist-turned-novelist, Oswald Pereira provides an insider`s view of the growing culture of planted news and reveals the fine line between fact and fiction in the newsroom. A racy, crime thriller, the book captures the unholy alliance between the fourth estate, the underworld and the government.

Book: "The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi"; Written by Sadia Dehlvi; Published by Harper Collins-India; Priced Rs.699

For centuries, the dargahs of Delhi have attracted large numbers of devotees belonging to different countries, faiths and backgrounds who seek spiritual solace and pray for their wishes to be granted. The magnetism of "dargahs" emanates from the personalities of the Sufi saints buried on the premises. The wisdom of these Sufis and the quest for blessings and intercession with god are what continue to draw devotees to Sufi courtyards. Through a simple narrative that combines storytelling with a wealth of historical detail and stunning photographs, Sadia Dehlvi recreates the Sufi ethos of Delhi and also takes the readers on a journey through the famous and lesser-known dargahs of Delhi.

Book: "Guilty Wives"; Written by James Patterson & David Ellis; Published by Little, Brown & Company; Priced US$ 27.99

Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known. In the morning`s harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happened - something impossible, unthinkable. Abbie, Winnie, Serena, and Bryah are arrested and accused of the foulest crime imaginable. And now the vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime - for survival. Guilty Wives is the book about indulgence, nonstop joy-ride of excess, friendship, betrayal, and danger that only Patterson can create.

Book: "The Silent and the Lost"; Written by Abu Zubair (Bangladesh); Published by Pacific Breeze Publisher; Priced Rs.1,350

Alex Salim McKensie, a war baby of the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence, is adopted by the McKensies, an American family that has lost their only son in Vietnam. Years later, Alex falls in love with Sangeeta Rai, but their happiness is threatened when the enigma of his birth casts a dark shadow over their relationship. The narrative opens with the wedding of Alex and Sangeeta in Brentwood, California, in 1997, and then travels back to the political clashes in East Pakistan in early 1971. Through the eyes of newlywed Nahar Sultana, her husband, student activist Rafique Chowdhury, the book recreates the nine months of Bangladesh revolution. Two generations spread across two continents are brought together when Alex begins his search for answers to his beginnings. He discovers that his own struggle for happiness is inextricably linked with the genocide of 1971. Author Zubair is a California-based Bangladesh-born farmer.

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