Treatise on human rights
Reviewed by V. Eshwar Anand
World of All Human Rights, Soli Sorabjee — A Festschrift
R.N. Trivedi (Ed)
Universal Law Publishing Co. Pages 283. Rs 595
Soli J. Sorabjee is an eminent jurist and constitutional expert. In a distinguished career spanning over five decades, he has been championing the cause of human rights, the rule of law, constitutional values and probity, integrity and rectitude in public life.

Books received

Illusions and delusions
Reviewed by Rumina Sethi
The Flaws in the Jewel
Roderick Matthews
Harper Collins, New Delhi. Pages 312. Rs. 350.
Other than recounting a full and detailed history of the British Raj in India, The Flaws in the Jewel is unremarkable. The well-trod issues of studies about British rule in India are all there: the wonder how a small nation like Britain could control a gargantuan Indian population; the motives behind British colonialism; the extent to which the British actually realised their own significance and power; the worthiness and advantages of British rule, both for us and them; and the real reasons for their departure from India, leaving behind the debris of partition.

Tick your way to efficiency
Reviewed by Jayanti Roy
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
By Atul Gawande.
Penguin Books. Pages 209. Rs 399.
The world is becoming more and more complex. With an avalanche of new technologies and an enormous amount of knowledge and information input, even our daily lives are becoming confusing labyrinths of details, deadlines, do’s and don’ts. Most of us will agree that we all seem to drown in a deluge of this complexity. Now, add to this increasing complexity a crisis situation where human lives are at stake. For example, operation theatres where a single mistake can be the only difference between life and death or a flight in midair where a pilot’s forgetfulness may cost hundreds of lives.

Who killed her father-in-law?
Reviewed by Harbir K Singh
No Flying from Fate
By Saurbh Katyal.
Gyaana Books, Delhi. Pages 328. Rs 295.
The story begins with a telephone call to a private detective, Vishal Bajaj, informing him about the murder of Anil. The call is from his old flame, Aditi. He recognises her voice even after three years of no contact. The call fills him with nostalgia as his mind goes back to their college days and the time spent together. He notes down her address and promises to reach the farmhouse at the earliest. There he meets Aditi and other family members. Vishal finds Aditi even more beautiful and alluring. She tells him about the party organised to celebrate the 60th birthday of Paras Kapoor, her father-in-law. The deceased was one of his three sons.

Delving deep into darkness
Reviewed by Rajbir Deswal
The Chaotic Age
By Dr Balbir Singh.
Omega Publications. Pages 90. Rs 150.
The present anthology of poems laments the travails, turmoils and tribulations of present times, woven into a frilled treatise, embroidered with pangs and pains, flowing from the pen of the author, and breaking free only to allow some nostalgia of the eras gone by, and wilfully forgotten. Balbir Singh celebrates life sans lifelessness, in a kind of chaos and crisis—of faith, honesty, righteousness, beauty, trust, aesthetics, compassion and social and humanistic concerns.

A life out of sync
Reviewed by Charandeep Singh
House Rules
By Jodi Picoult.
Hachette India. Pages 532. Rs 595.
A perfect potboiler for a typical Bollywood movie, this book Makes one draw an analogy with My Name is Khan, in which Shah Rukh Khan suffers from Asperger's syndrome. The main protagonist of the book is Jacob Hunt, an 18-year-old autistic boy, who suffers from Asperger's. But what Jodi Picoult has been able to tell the world about the character suffering from autism, Karan Johar hasn't been able to justify. The movie is now in pale in comparison to the riveting account that Picoult presents in her book.

No child’s play
Writing kids' books is tough, says Shubhadra Sen Gupta
Madhusree Chatterjee
t is a tough job being a children's book author, but the heartening news is that the number of young readers in India has increased in the last decade, says much-loved writer Shubhadra Sen Gupta.

Back of the book
Cinema, celestial beings and a curse
Sex in Cinema
by Fareed Kazmi;
Rupa & Co; Rs.395.
Female sexuality has held Indian cinema together for nearly 80 years. The women leads play a decisive role in a movie's rating at the box office. This book traces the history of female sexuality and its portrayal in movies. From Meena Kumari to haughty mother-in-law Lalita Pawar - women characters have been known for particular traits in Indian cinema, be it Pyaasa or Salaam Namaste.

  • The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow:

  • Last Day of My Life

  • Flaws in the Jewel

  • The Word-Keeper