Chronicling a community
Roopinder Singh
The Illustrated History of the Sikhs
by Khushwant Singh.
Oxford. Pages 280. Rs 2,500.

histories go, this is a short one, considering that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, was born less than five and a half centuries ago. It has been chronicled several times, notably by the late Dr Hari Ram Gupta. However, the most popular account has been Khushwant Singh's A History of the Sikhs, which was first published almost three decades ago.

True patriot
Jaswant Singh
Subhas Chandra Bose: the Man and his Times
by Lt-Gen Eric Vas (retd).
Lancer Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi.
Pages 269. Rs 695.

there was one man in India’s freedom struggle who fascinated milliona irrespective of their religion, caste or language, it was Subhas Chandra Bose who received unabashed hero-worship from his followers. If Mahatma Gandhi represented the noble spirit of the country, Subhas was the living symbol of national unity and the aspirations of the nation.

Family truths
Deepika Gurdev
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
by Marina Lewycka.
Viking/Penguin. Pages 325. 9.

problematic father, feuding sisters, disputes over a will or lack thereof might sound like a script out of any typical family melodrama. Besides the title, what really sets Marina Lewycka's A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian apart you might wonder.

Finding facts in memoirs
Linell Smith
what standards of accuracy is a writer of memoir required to observe?
That question is at the center of a storm now blowing around James Frey, author of the best-selling, Oprah-endorsed A Million Little Pieces, which purports to be about his history of substance abuse. Many of his readers have described his book, which has sold more than two million copies according to The New York Times, as inspirational.

Battle against fate
Kavita Soni-Sharma

I Promise to be a Good Girl, God
by Kamini Banga. Penguin.
Pages 97. Rs 150.

a first attempt at a book of poetry, Kamini Banga’s work reads well. It takes one on a "roller coaster" ride of hype, fear, anxiety, despair, and then appropriate hope for those afflicted with cancer. The book dispelled my otherwise firm belief that one should not dwell upon those things, which perpetuate a negative line of thought. Banga who has been successfully battling with breast cancer for the last 10 years states that grieving is a big healer, as it helped her realise what must stay and what she could leave behind.

A very likeable oddball
Randeep Wadehra

Sunday Sentiments
by Karan Thapar
Wisdom Tree, N. Delhi.
Pages: ix + 232. Rs. 395

wrong can one be while judging people, especially, when one hasn’t met them in person. After that televised interrogation of the sports icon, Kapil Dev, I’d developed a strong dislike for Karan Thapar. When I read a couple of his pieces in the Hindustan Times, I labelled him as an Anglophile and hence unpatriotic. Therefore, it was patriotic to ignore his writings. The loss, I concluded after reading this volume, has been entirely mine.


Books received: Punjabi

First-time lucky
Ian Herbert

a marathon, 10-day auction, Diane Setterfield, a French teacher from Harrogate, has been paid 3800,000 by UK publishers and a further $1m from a US publishing house for her debut novel The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield’s deal with Orion is one of the biggest fiction debuts of the year.

Back of the book
Beasts of No Nation
by Uzodinima Iweala. John Murray
Pages 180 £ 6.25

During a brutal civil war in an unnamed country, a young boy’s world is uddenly transformed. When war arrives in Agu’s village, his father tells him, ‘Run! Run! Run!’ and Agu does run—straight into the path of the rebels and their leader, the Commandant.

The Road to Dune
    by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
   Hodder & Stoughton. Pages 494. £11.99

Sound and fury of language
The dexterous use of rhetoric lends vigour to Faulkner’s prose, writes Darshan Singh Maini
distinguishes man from animal is language; otherwise, the appetites, the emotions and the inclinations are virtually the same. Such critics like Leo Spitzer and other stylistic critics have written in detail about the power of language.