Who will kill him?
Roopinder Singh
The Broker
by John Grisham. Arrow Books. Pages 467. £ 2.75 (special Indian edition).

ohn Grisham took a vacation in Italy, gained 10 pounds during an interesting gastronomically rich journey and wrote a book. By no means his best work, the latest offering from America's top storyteller makes one think that the book was not quite a priority with him this time.

Gripping tale of magnificent warrior
Parshotam Mehra
Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World
by Justin Marozzi. HarperCollins, London. Pages XXIV+449. £ 25.

hatever way one renders him—Temur, Timur, Tamburlaine, Tamerlane—the Tatar ruler ranks alongside the Greek Alexander and the Mongol Ghenghis Khan as the world’s most devastating war king.

Tribute to crusaders extraordinaire
Kanchan Mehta
Icons of Social Change
by Scharada Bail. Puffin Books, New Delhi. Pages 130. Rs 175.

cons of Social Change
is a suitable tribute to the ten agents of social change who took upon themselves the uphill task of improving the lot of destitute. With firm resolution and spirited efforts, these icons brought relief to the victims of poverty and misfortune.

Some good answers to many questions
Jaswant Singh
The Vitality of India edited by Gopal Krishan.
Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh. Pages 366. Rs 795.

itality is defined in dictionaries as "the state of being strong and active"; "the power of giving continuance of life, present in all living things"; "exuberant physical strength or mental vigour"; "capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence"; "power to live and grow".

Dark side of Soviet history
M. Rajivlochan
Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps
by Anne Applebaum. London: Allen Lane. Pages 610. £20.

ournalists merrily go into territory where historians fear to tread. Their daring often results in books of the sort that Anne Applebaum has written. Readable, informative and moralistic, it recounts the history of the Glavnoe upravlenie lagerei or the GULAG, the Main Camp Administration.

Mission statement
Shastri Ramachandaran
War and Peace: Armed Struggle and Peace Efforts of Liberation Tigers. 
by Anton Balasingham. Fairmax Publishing, England. Pages 514. Price £ 15.

he tsunami that struck Sri Lanka, far from washing away the battle lines in the war-torn nation, has actually sharpened antagonism between the Sinhala majority and the separatist Tamil guerrillas in the North East. Immediately after the embattled island was battered by the terrible tides of December 26, there was a glimmer of hope: that nature’s fury would bond the two communities and their political leadership to get on with life more harmoniously.

Bleak snapshots
Gitanjali Sharma
Under an Indian sky
Ten years in a Bihar village By Janet Ganguli. Penguin Books. Pages 203. Price Rs250

Mention any Indian village, and, particularly if it happens to be in Bihar, images of stark poverty, absence of basic amenities, acute shortage of food, and almost non-existent healthcare facilities come to mind.

Magical realism of Bollywood
he timing could not be more opportune. In keeping with the rising popularity of Hindi cinema abroad, a new book on film industry, Bollywood Unplugged-Deconstructing Cinema in Black and White, has just been released in Mumbai.

An American original
on McLarty has joined the ranks of writers of the quirky hero with The Memory of Running. His hero, Smithy Ide, is in the grand tradition of Ignatius J. Reilly of a Confederacy of Dunces and Quoyle of The Shipping News.

The case against free trade
Prakash Singh
Globalisation or Colonisation
By Kalayan Ray. Deep and Deep Publications. Pages 301. Price Rs 480

alyan Ray’s book is a collection of socio-economic articles written with clarity, continuity and lucidity. As the title suggests, his book offers a link between globalisation and colonisation.

short takes
Lyrical yearnings
Randeep Wadehra
by Sheeba Singh. Unistar, Chandigarh. Pages: 96. Price: Rs 95.

oetry comes in varied forms, its contents generally shaped by the poet’s age, circumstance and experience. Auden had described poetry as a verbal art that is reflective.

  • Poetic Musings
    by Dr Jagdish Chandra Sharma
    Concept, N. Delhi. Pages: 64. Price: Rs 100.

  • The Inner Chord
    by Vibhuti Gupta
    RRG Publications, Ambala Cantt. Pages: 69. Price: Rs 75.