Battered psyche
Aradhika Sharma
The Waiting Room
by Anupa Mehta. Penguin. Pages 156. Rs 195.
MAYA or illusion`85we Indians love to name our protagonists maya, especially if the protagonist is slightly fey, whimsical and tragic. So is the case with the female protagonist of this book, a tragic heroine, being shoved from one experience of abuse to another.

You mean, there is no God?
Kuldip Dhiman
The God Delusion

by Richard Dawkins. Bantam Press. Pages 406. £8.50.
basis of a belief in God, in most cases, is fear of damnation, of hell, not love. The French mathematician Blaise Pascal suggested that no matter how statistically improbable the existence of God might be, there is safety in believing that he exists. Why? Because if he does not exist, we lose almost nothing; but if he does, then the penalty could be quite severe.

Exploits of a cyber coolie
Amarinder Sandhu
Big Apple 2 Bites
by Arunabha Sengupta. Frog Books, Mumbai. Pages 275. Rs 275.

in the US on either sides of 9/11, Big Apple 2 Bites is a contemporary novel. The name of the protagonist Anirudhdha Sen Sharma is quiet a mouthful, he is simply referred to as Sen. He is a statistician holding a mundane job of a consultant with Technomind, India. It is his job which brings him to the US.

Stories from Down Under
Himmat Singh Gill
Black Juice
by Margo Lanagan. Viva Books, New Delhi. Pages 218. Rs 160.
To put it simply, Margo Lanagan's short stories are refreshing and strikingly different in plot and content to what many writers of fiction are penning today. Whether it is young adult fiction, a fantasy-packed journey or plain reality mirroring the brutally taxing lives being led by the middle class today, her tales are certainly unique and exceptional.

Lead, follow, or fizzle out
D. S. Cheema
Breakout Strategy
by Sydney Finkelstein, Charles Harvey and Thomas Lawton. Tata McGraw-Hill. Pages 346. Rs 450.
are very few companies, big or small, which keep winning year after year. Why is it so, and what maintains their momentum? On the other hand, many companies start with a lot of promise but fizzle out in due course of time. Why and how do some companies taste long-term success and why some others experience persistent failure?

The root of rebellion
Stevie Davies
by Nikita Lalwani. Viking. Pages 288. £16.99
Lalwani was born in Kota, Rajasthan in 1973 and raised in Cardiff. After several years of directing factual television and documentaries at the BBC, she has returned to writing fiction. Gifted is her first novel. She lives in London.

Long on insight
Kanchan Mehta
Blind Manís Buff: Scintillating Short Stories
by Chetan Joshi. Stellar. Pages 383. Rs 295.
the preface to his maiden collection of Scintillating Short Stories, the writer, Chetan Joshi, justifies the strange title, Blind Manís Buff, which pertains to a childrenís game : "The game begins when you pick up the book... you senses, are, infact, sharper than ever, through you are blinded to the world... browsing through the stories".

Who inspired Graham Greene
Cahal Milmo
RAHAM Greene was fond of a practical joke. He once anonymously entered a competition for short stories parodying his work and took second prize, beaten only by his brother.

Good Earth manuscript resurfaces
typewritten, hand-corrected manuscript of Pearl S Buckís novel set in China, The Good Earth, surfaced in a Philadelphia auction house 40 years after it disappeared, US authorities said. The auction house had been asked to estimate the value of the manuscript, but took it to the FBI, instead. "The manuscript is considered to be priceless," said an FBI statement. It was known to have been missing from the writerís archives since at least 1966.

World Book Capital 2009
After New Delhi and Amsterdam now it is Beirut, which has made an impact. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has selected Beirut as World Book Capital, 2009.

Back of the book

  • Free Fall
    by John Francome Headline. Pages 314. £ 6.00.

  • First Lady
    by Michael Dobbs. Headline. Pages 375. £ 6.00.

  • The Year of the Cobra
    by Paul Doherty. Headline. Pages 401. £ 2.99.