Strengthening defence
Himmat Singh Gill
Winning India’s Next War
by Group Captain T. D. Joseph VM. Pages 261. Rs 820.
Budgeting for Indian Defence
by Wing Commander V. N. Srinivas. Pages 230. Rs 720.
Both titles by K.W. Publishers and the Centre for Air Power Studies.
Reflections of an Air Warrior
by Group Captain Arjun Subramaniam. K.W. Publishers. Pages 150. Rs 460.
three senior serving officers of the Indian Air Force and the publishing house concerned have set a welcome trend by bringing out professional books that even a layman could read with considerable ease. Admittedly, all the books here pertain to service matters only, yet the time has come to open up all genres of writing for all those in uniform, endowed richly as they are, with plenty of experience and the propensity to call a spade a spade.

Brown man’s burden
Sridhar K. Chari reviews a new biography of Rudyard Kipling which examines his ambivalent attitude towards the land and the people that inspired his best writings
Kipling Sahib
India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling
by Charles Allen. Little, Brown. Pages 426. Rs 795.
YOU can’t think of a better way to prepare for writing a review of a book on Rudyard Kipling, than to do as the man did, more than a hundred years ago – take a morning ride through the fields of the Punjab. "Oh! A ride in an Indian dawn, there’s no such pleasure in life..." I was not quite on the banks of the River Ravi as was young Kipling riding out from Lahore, but even on the fields near Siswan, on a black Kathiawari mare, not much may have changed – the kite still calls in the air, like in the poem quoted above, and the peacocks, wild pheasants and rabbits dart out of bushes just as they might have done a century ago.

Words of wisdom
Manju Joshi
Wanderings with Poetry
by Dilip Sankarreddy. Peacock Books. Pages 98. Rs 125.
dilip Sankarreddy is a marketeer and a technologist. As a poet, his first collection entitled Song of a Bard and Other Poems is about things that one believes but which never really exist and they continue to reside in the psyche of a man. The poet here accepts that this collection is a result of his strong urge to articulate his muse. For him, there are certain things that exist in reality but are considered as mere abstractions.

Fascinating tales for children
Laxmi Kant Verma
Chicken Mama and Other Stories
by Margaret Bhatty. Puffin Books. Pages 125. Rs 175.
aS children, we took great interest in listening to stories told by our grandparents. However, as we grew up, the craze for stories was taken over by storybooks, which were easily available at bookshops and the school library. Today, children have TV cartoons, magazines, Internet, etc., for recreation, but storybooks have their own different world, which will never lose its power to charm, for there is hardly anyone who doesn’t like to read and listen to stories. Chicken Mama is a collection that will attract you towards this world.

Of fear, guilt and suspicion
Harbans Singh
Viral Match
by Rajesh Khullar. Rupa and Co. Pages 280. Rs 195.
This is a gripping story of a young couple that gets caught in a web of fear, guilt, suspicion and alternately a sense of despair and betrayal. When Vandana, the young wife of Vishal, discovers her medical status she is understandably apprehensive of the future and when she prevails upon her husband to undergo tests to determine his status, he panics.

A forgotten prophet
Ashish Alexander
N the sixtieth year of Independence, the nation looks forward to build on the struggles and sacrifices of freedom fighters, social reformers and entrepreneurs. It is also the time to reflect on the lives and thoughts of those revolutionaries whose names are not so readily remembered. Year 2007 marks the death centenary of Bengali firebrand reformer, educationist, theologian, journalist, teacher and revolutionary Brahmabandhab Upadhyay.

Charting 100 years of Indian migration to New Zealand
ID you know an Anglo-Indian from Goa, Edward Peters, was the first to discover gold in the Otago region of New Zealand that led to the gold rush of the 1860s? Such nuggets of information can be found in the book Indian Settlers: The History of a New Zealand South Asian Community, published by Otago University Press. From low-wage work to high-profile jobs, from facing discrimination to integrating with the mainstream, the book traces the journey of Indian migrants in New Zealand.

Here’s why superheroes never lose
HE rules of the Comics Magazine Association of America that restrict glamorous presentation of criminals may be a reason why superheroes never lose to villains in the children books, says a study. Physicist Pablo Gleiser of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina, analysed the social webs in 12,942 issues of Marvel Comics, comprising of 6486 characters.

Back of the book

  • Governance of Rural Electricity Systems in India
    Ed Haribandhu Panda. Academic Foundation. Pages 376. Rs 895.

  • Writing A Nation
    An anthology of Indian Journalism
    Ed Nirmala Lakshman. Rupa. Rs. 795. Pages 715

  • The 13th Apostle
    by Richard & Rachael Heller HarperCollins Rs 195 Pages 42.