Overriding economic issues
Reviewed by Shelley Walia
Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy
by Joseph Stiglitz.
Allen Lane, London. Pages 361. Rs 499.
I first met Joseph Stiglitz, the Economics Noble laureate, in Oxford before his famous lecture in the Examination Halls where he would be speaking on the fallout of globalisation and the mechanisms by which developed countries exert an excessive influence over developing nations. Dr Stiglitz, I remember, argued that through tariffs and subsidies the world is being both economically and politically destabilised.

Understanding Hinduism
Reviewed by Kavita Chauhan
Hinduism in the Context of Manusmriti, Vedas & Bhagavad Gita
by R. Ramachandran.
Vitasta Publishing. Pages 365. Rs 495.
IN this serious attempt to understand the ancient religion, the author tells us that the term "Hinduism" does not occur in any old Sanskrit text. "This word is of Persian origin and it was extensively used by the medieval rulers of India who used Persian as their court language. The word Hindu was first applied to the people of India in general and later to its religions as well."

How to live a better life
Reviewed by D. S. Cheema
Be. Do. Live
by Rajeev Dewan.
Rupa. Pages 260. Rs 295.
TODAY, we are living in a world of uncertainties which are shaping our lives. These are wonderful but difficult times to live a life with our values and belief systems firmly in place, because we are powerful as well as vulnerable at the same time. In such times, self-development skill books, which provide practical ready-to-apply wisdom, can become a person’s best friends.

A walk down memory lane
Reviewed by Harbir K. Singh
The Thread of God in my Life: An Autobiography with a Difference
by R. M. Lala.
Penguin-Viking. Pages 194. Rs 399.
IN this engaging autobiography, R. M. Lala has narrated his life’s journey in a simple yet effective way. He has portrayed a vivid picture of his life since childhood till now and has given the readers an opportunity to glimpse into his personal memories. The author has full faith in God, and the strength of this belief has guided him through serious illnesses, broken marriage, financial adversity, etc. He believes that there is always a "thread of God" in everyone’s life, but it depends on individuals how they weave that thread and make their lives better.

Racy medical thriller
Reviewed by Cookie Maini
The Scalpel: Game Beneath
by H. S. Rissam.
Rupa. Pages 321. Rs 195.

THE genre of Indo-Anglian writing has catapulted to the international literary map from its post-colonial mode with many authors like Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth and Aravind Adiga bagging coveted national and international awards. From being a curious smattering of native explosion in the days of yore, Indian English has become a new form of Indian culture, a voice in which India speaks and the world listens, owing to the massive profusion of Indian English writing in the international market.

Author uninterrupted
Humra Quraishi
When the Oxford University Press (OUP) hosted a reception at New Delhi’s India International Centre sometime back to "celebrate two decades of publishing with acclaimed historian Mushirul Hasan", little did one realise the very extent of his writings, the range of his focus and the diversity in volume after volume. In fact, the OUP alone has published several of his books. The latest additions to the long list are: Between Modernity And Nationalism – Halide Edip’s Encounter with Gandhi’s India and Exploring The West — Three Travel Narratives.

'Books' that you can talk with
Kinjal Dagli-Shah
Ever looked at a person and wished you could read his mind? Now you can. The Living Library, an NGO based in Copenhagen, Denmark, has made it possible to 'borrow' humans on loan and 'read' them. It works like a regular library, except that you can ask questions, and the 'books' talk back.

Princely state that set progressive precedent
Madhusree Chatterjee
Travancore: The Footprints of Destiny
Konark Publishers. Pages 274. Rs 2,000
In 1924, when Mahatma Gandhi asked young Chithira Tirunal, the 12-year-old prince of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore in Kerala, if he would remove untouchability and throw open the temples to all castes when he became king, the boy answered, "Of course". And he lived up to his word.