Sample hard facts on the non-fiction book cart

New Delhi: The pile this week is varied and exciting - from food to different shades history.

Book: "My Great Indian Cookbook"; Written by Vikas Khanna, Published by Penguin Books India; International; Price: Rs.799

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Rajasthan to West Bengal, Vikas Khanna takes a culinary journey across India to explore the range of Indian cuisine. Khanna, who runs a restaurant called Junoon in New York, brings together the most delicious discoveries from Bharwan Murgh to Parda-Nashin Kebabs, Surat Patra to Fanasachi Bhaaji and from Shirazi Pulao to Bepadiya Rotli in this cookbook. Celebrating the richness and variety of Indian cooking, Khanna shares more than 130 exclusive recipes for delectable starters, lip-smacking chutneys and mouth-watering desserts.

Book: "Delhi`s Historic Villages"; Written by Charles Lewis and Karoki Lewis; Published by Penguin India; Price: Rs.1,499

Delhi is a maze of streets and dwellings where the historic ruins rub shoulders with modern-day pit and the expanding city encroaches on village settlements that date back centuries. `Delhi`s Historic Villages` capture the uneasy embrace of tradition and modernity. Eight old villages have been singled out for historical interest in the midst of their modern landscapes and urban jungles.

Book: "Beggar Feast"; Written by Randy Boyagoda; Published by Harper Collins India; Price: Rs.499

Sam Kandy, born to low prospects in a Ceylon village in 1899, dies 100 years later as the wealthy headman of the same village - a self-made shipping magnate and the father of 16 who has been married three times and widowed twice. Told in four parts, this enthralling novel traces Sam`s story from his boyhood - when his parents, convinced by his horoscope that he would be a blight upon the family, abandon him at the gates of a distant temple - through his dramatic escape from the temple, his daring journey across Ceylon to Australia and Singapore, to his bold return to the Ceylon village he once called home. There, he tries to win recognition for his success in the world - at any cost. A novel about family, pride and ambition set on a gorgeous, troubled island caught between tradition and modernity.

Book: "The Accidental Apprentice"; Written by Vikas Swarup; Published by Simon & Schuster; Price: Rs.350

Sapna Sinha works in an electronics store in downtown Delhi. She hates her job, but she is ambitious and determined to succeed, and she knows without the money she brings in, her family won`t be able to survive. Little does she know it, but her life is about to change forever. As she leaves the shop on her lunch break one day, she is approached by a man who claims to be CEO of one of India`s biggest companies. He tells her he is looking for an heir for his business empire. And that he has decided it should be her. There are just seven tests she must pass. And then the biggest lottery ticket of all time will be hers.

Book: "Return of the King: The Battle for Afghanistan"; Written by William Dalrymple, Published by Bloomsbury; Price: 25 pounds (Rs.2,215)

In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the high mountain passes and re-established on the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk. On the way in, the British faced little resistance. But after two years of occupation, the Afghan people rose in answer to the call for jihad and the country exploded into violent rebellion. The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain`s greatest military humiliation of the 19th century: an entire army of the then most powerful nation in the world ambushed in retreat and utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen. The book is an account of the Anglo-Afghan war told through the lives of unforgettable characters.