Driven by the mirage
by Darshan Singh Maini

Forbidden Love
by Norma Khouri.
Bantam Books, London. Pages 253. £ 6.99.

orbidden Love by a Jordanian Christian woman reminds one strongly of the book, The Princess, also a harrowing tale of "honour-killing" in Saudi Arabia.  The present story may not be a real-life tale told by the victim’s friend in Amman (as the author claims), it is still very horrifying, the controversy surrounding it notwithstanding. The author was determined to bring this tragic story to the notice of the outside world —especially to that of human rights groups, and to the UN agencies.

On the learning path
by M. Rajivlochan
The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present
 by David S Landes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Pages 576. £ 19.99.

family of giants, the offspring of Uranus and Gaia, used to rule the earth before the gods overthrew them. These were called the Titans. Full of pride, gregarious, enjoying life and taking care of humans, the Titans fell foul of the gods when one of them, Prometheus, stole fire from heaven and gave it to mankind.

Lessons from the forgotten childhood
by Prakash Singh
Sandbox Wisdom
by Torn Asacker. Pearson Education. Pages 121. Price not stated

nce in a while a book comes along that is simple in language, enjoyable to read and profound in its meaning. Sandbox Wisdom is one such book. Tom Asacker narrates a story about Bill West, who is on a quest to finding solutions for rescuing his sinking company.

Out of sync with self
Born Confused
by Tanuja Desai Hidier. Penguin Books. Pages 413. Rs 295.

guess I’m just not Indian enough for the Indians or American enough for the Americans, depending on who’s looking," sadly declares Dimple Lala, who is labouring under the confusion of growing up in different cultures.

books received: english

The participation diluted it
by Yogesh Snehi

Voluntary Organisations and Social Welfare
by Raj Kumar Siwach. Shankar Publications, Delhi. Pages 212. Rs 495.

t is argued, "the government has limitations in reaching out to all the segments of society and take up every development-related issue. Voluntary organisations (VOs) thus come into existence to fill this gap." It is also argued, comparing with the "top-down approach" of the State, that VOs are significant because of their "grass-root approach", their flexibility and efficiency in operations.

Tame look at unipolar world
by Rajinder Puri

The World According to Washington: An Asian View
by Patwant Singh. Rupa. Pages 224. Rs 395.

atwant Singh’s The World According to Washington is a historical appraisal of America’s interaction with Asia leading up to 9/11. His writing is flawless. In barely 200 pages he has masterfully condensed the salient points of US relations with most Asian countries. The facts are peppered with a running commentary that exposes America’s hypocrisy and ruthlessness in pursuing its hegemonic ambitions.

Man behind the blood-sucking hero
by Ian Thomson

From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram Stoker
by Paul Murray. Jonathan Cape. Pages 340.

RAM Stoker, a minor but distinguished Victorian novelist, took six years to write Dracula. Published in 1897, few novels have gripped the reader so irresistibly. It unfolds in a late Victorian England of plate cameras, phonographs and other nascent technologies. The contemporary setting thrilled his readers — this could happen here.

Cloud’s own country
by Rajnish Wattas

Under a Cloud
by Binoo K. John. Penguin. Rs 250. Pages 162.

very school child knows that Cherrapunji is the wettest place on earth. But in childhood, this is just a fact to be mugged up for exams; the real significance of this drama of nature soaks you only when you are old enough to appreciate the beauty of monsoon.

hindi review
Bitter truth artfully told
by Ashok Malik

Main Sach Nahin Bolunga 
by B S Bir. Bhartishri Prakashan, Delhi. Pages 112. Rs 120.

.S. Bir brings itinerants touch to his first collection of Hindi poems. Most of his writing has been so far are in Punjabi, but he also has two Hindi books to his name - Dhuan, a novel, and Ye Janam Tumhare Lekhe, a collection of short stories.