Way to live a good life
Reviewed by Ashok Kumar Yadav
Perfect Health in 20 Weeks
by Amar Chandel. 
Konark Publishers.
Pages 146. Rs 195.
THIS book is certainly not a sermon. It is in fact an interactive dialogue, between the author and the reader. But there is a difference. Here the reader does not ask questions, and he does not have to, in fact. It is rather the author who peeps into the mind of the reader, anticipates what the latter may need to clarify, addresses his doubts and guides him to regain what he has already lost by sheer aberration in his lifestyle.

Disparate vignettes
Reviewed by Aradhika Sharma
Kanya and Other Tales
by Amreeta Sen.
Pages 196. Rs 175.
THIS is a collection of Amreeta Sen’s works, carefully picked out from her many publications in The Statesman, The Times of India and The Tribune. Amreeta Sen, journalist, writer, mother, and above all, woman, brings in all the sensibilities of the manifold roles that she has played in her life into the pages of this book.

Understanding Islam
Reviewed by Parbina Rashid
Muslims in India: Perceptions & Misperceptions
Edited by Ishtiyaque Danish.
Global Media Publications.
Pages 168. Rs 400.
LET me start with a confession. As a journalist, my brush with religion has been limited to its periphery, the cultural aspect of it to be precise, and, as a person, I do not understand religion at all. However, my lack of interest or ignorance has not been able to save me from those pointed questions thrown at me at times: Why does Islam breed violence or why do Muslims multiply mindlessly?

Moving portrayal of human pathos
Reviewed by Ramesh Luthra
Venus Crossing
by Kalpana Swaminathan.
Penguin Books.
Pages 244. Rs 275.
Kalpana Swaminathan’s Venus Crossing stands tall in the genre of short story in English. It is a masterpiece of craftsmanship of story writing that brings forth very artistically the deep complexities of human relationships. She focuses on "the instant of transit, that moment when the impossible—the unthinkable—is absorbed into the fabric of life so that life can be lived again. That moment is everything; revelation, challenge existence". The stories are a fine study of female psyche in the context of various situations.

Woven masterpieces
ndian Saris: Traditions, Perspective, Design, by Vijai Singh Katiyar, a faculty member at National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, is a coffee-table volume with which the author and NID students, who also turn into models, have taken a contemporary look at an ageless apparel.

Soldiers, poets and prisoners of hate
Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra
The Soldiers’ 2nd Innings 
by Maj Gen Surjit Singh (retd) & 
Lt Col Kanwal Dev Singh (retd)
Pages: xx+139. Rs 495.

  • A Poetic Panorama
    by Prof. RN Kaul
    Pages 70. Rs 105.

  • Prisoners of Hate
    by CV Murali.
    Cedar Books.
    Pages 259. Rs 195.

Tween talk
Renu Rakesh
At 60, Shobhaa De reaches out to GenNext with tween title
ometimes referred to as the Jackie Collins of Indian fiction, author Shobhaa De has, through her books and columns, reached out to a wide spectrum of readers. Her latest book S' Secrets sees her blending a promise she made to her six children of writing a book for them and her rich experiences as a receptive mother into her latest tale that is moved forward by teenager protagonist Sandhya. De says the book is "for tweens, not a preachy handbook on modern-day parenting but a real book dealing with real tween issues".

Seeking balance
Nonika Singh
T was legendary Amrita Pritam who set him on the poetic path some three decades ago by publishing his poem in her prestigious Punjabi magazine Nagmani. Since then, eminent poet Jaswant Deed has come a long way. Back then, his teacher, noted writer Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana, told him: "Now you consider yourself a poet". Today, the literary galaxy seems to have acknowledged his poetic mettle. While in 2007 he won the coveted Sahitya Akademi award, this year he has been honoured with the Shiromani Punjabi Kavi Samman that carries a cash award of Rs 2. 5 lakh. Yet, instead of walking on cloud nine, Deed exclaims, "Awards do not offer the same fulfilment as, say, writing a poem or a piece of prose".