Spooky tales, cosmic blues on the bookshelf this week

This week the book stack has some horror stories from the hinterland, a crime solved using astrology, an astronaut`s journey and cyber-junkies for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

1. Book: Lamplight: Paranormal Stories From the Hinterlands; Author: Kankana Basu; Publisher: Pan Macmillan; Pages: 190; Price: Rs. 299

The year is 1934. The picturesque town of Monghyr, in Bihar, lies devastated after a massive earthquake. The mansion of the Chattopadhyays - an old aristocratic family - continues to stand upright though a wall is cracking right down the middle. The members of the big joint family find their lives suddenly touched by the eerie and the inexplicable. The ancient house has always had its share of creaks and quirks, but now strange incidents suddenly start occurring.

The eight short stories in Lamplight walk a fine line between the ordinary and the paranormal. Family bonds form the backdrop to the stories, and old-world values and the laid back lifestyle of a bygone era lend them a unique charm.

Book: The Cosmic Clues; Author: Manjiri Prabhu; Publisher: Jaico; Pages: 316; Price: Rs. 299

Sonia Samarth couldn`t have predicted it. It had only been a day, but her first advertisements had drawn dozens of responses. In the bustling city of Pune, with its winding alleys and exotic customs, Sonia has launched a brand new business - private investigation might raise eyebrows but before long, she seems to have found her niche.

When a cat leads Sonia to her very first investigation, she uses astrology to unmask the killer. Suddenly, clients begin streaming in - a persistent, handsome TV personality; a terrified bride-to-be; a missing husband with suicidal tendencies. These cases initially seem like isolated experiences, but Sonia soon finds that they are bound by an invisible thread.

Book: An Astronaut`s Guide to Life On Earth; Author: Chris Hadfield; Publisher: PanMacmillan; Pages: 296; Price: Rs. 699

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a space station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft.

With this book, the author takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible.

Book: Domechild; Author: Shiv Ramdas; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 382; Price: Rs. 299

In the city, where machines take care of everything, lives Albert, an ordinary citizen with an extraordinary problem: he is being blackmailed into becoming the first person in living memory to actually do something.

What begins as a chance encounter with an outlaw child swiftly spirals out of control as Albert is trapped between the authorities and the demands of his unusual blackmailer. Forced to go on the run for his life, he finds himself in a shadow world of cyber-junkies, radicals and rebels, where he discovers the horrifying truth behind the city, a truth that will make him question everything he has ever known.