Gurus envisioned
Amrik Singh

The Magic of Indian Miniatures
Ed. Avaneet Gandhi. Academy of Fine Arts
and Literature, New Delhi. Pages 204.
Price not stated.

is an unusual book. Everyone knows Arpana Cour as one of the leading artists of India. She has won acclaim both nationally and internationally. What is more, she continues to be creative and is a fervent supporter of public causes about which some details are given in these the biographical note attached to the book.

Birdwatcher’s delight
Aditya Sharma
Water Birds
by Ranjit Lal. Rupa. Pages 190. Rs 195.

Lal has written over 23 novels and anthologies of short stories for children. Apart from writing fiction, he has a keen interest in birdwatching and automobiles, which impel him to write on these subjects as well. Many books have been written about Indian birds by eminent ornithologists in the past, but very few are devoted exclusively to aquatic birds.

Books received: ENGLISH

Captivating crime thriller
Manmeet Sodhi
The Gardener’s Song
by Kalpana Swaminathan. IndiaInk.
Pages 219. Rs 295.

Rao was murdered. He was a "frail grey man of indeterminate age," gossipmonger whose curiosity was unquenchable. He was in habit of peeping at the secret lives, especially the residents of the apartment complex, Utkrusha A. He was suspicious of everybody and everything.

Quest for dignified existence
Harbir K. Singh

Human Rights: Concepts, Issues and Emerging Problems
by Suresh Kumar Soni. Regal Publications. Pages 180. Rs 480.

right to live a dignified life is to make human life more fruitful and meaningful. Though human beings have suffered indignities since time immemorial, the society is trying to remove gloomy, depressing violations to establish human honour and dignity.

View from the left
R. L. Singal

Partition: Can it be Undone?
by Lal Khan. Aakar Books.
Pages 226. Rs 450.

book by Lal Khan on the tragedy of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 has been written purely from the Marxist point of view, and therefore doesn’t analyse all the causes responsible for this unnatural division. For example, the author does not refer, much less emphasises the two-nation theory propounded by M. A. Jinnah and his relentless propaganda against the Hindu India and the Hindu Congress both of which were bent upon, as he repeatedly alleged, enslaving the Muslim Nation.

Funny and chilling: Sex in the Saudi city
Girls of Riyadh candidly, and sometimes movingly, illustrates the shackled lives of young, lovelorn women in Saudi Arabia, writes Alev Adil
Girls of Riyadh
by Rajaa Alsanea, trans. Marilyn Booth. Fig Tree Pages 300. £12.99.

Alsanea’s Saudi take on Sex and the City is an irresistible, and thought-provoking, confection. This cheeky and salacious portrait of the loves and lives of four privileged twentysomething girls in Riyadh, banned in Saudi Arabia on publication in 2005, has become a controversial bestseller across the Middle East. Unlike Bushnell’s columnist heroine Carrie Bradshaw, Alsanea’s narrator must remain anonymous, posting each chapter to a Yahoo group.

A bold new voice

On the road to a good read
Azera Rahman
in front of posh coffee joints or in subways, near multiplexes or across college gates, pavement bookshops selling original, second hand and at times pirated books are aplenty in he Indian capital. And book lovers flock to them because of the dearth of good public libraries. With their easy accessibility and attractive discounts, pavement bookshops offer everything a customer might be looking for.

Tough-love diet book in the spotlight
Emily Dugan
two years, it was a little-known diet handbook with a small handlist. But some time back, lifestyle guide Skinny Bitch rose to giddy heights on the Amazon website’s sales charts - 209th place in the US and 10th in the UK. And writers of the food manual had an unlikely literary heroine to thank: it took just one photograph of Victoria Beckham buying the book in an LA boutique this week for online sales to soar by 37,000 per cent.

Back of the book
Green Eye
by Vena Cork
Headline. Pages 341. £6.00
hedonistic lifestyle of university students can seem like an enviable one. But right now Danny Thorn — enrolled at Billings College Cambridge — can see little to be jealous of. Danny’s got woman troubles — his ex, Julie, won’t leave him alone and the beguiling Stella doesn’t seem to be interested in him. But as the term progresses, getting a date for the May Ball will be the least of his worries because dangerous and unpredictable currents are beginning to surface.