China in transition
Path to Power: Party, Military and the Politics of State
By Jagannath P. Panda. Pentagon Press. Pages xx+234. Rs
THE importance of China as a global superpower needs no
emphasis. Nearer home, it is an important neighbour with whom we have
to fashion a relationship that is at once friendly as well as mutually
beneficial. In other words, any study that promises to delineate the
varied strands that have brought this about deserves close scrutiny.
And as our scholarship on China is meager at best, this work is doubly
Working towards happiness
Reviewed by Roopinder Singh
Ready for Takeoff: A Leadership Story
By Sachit Jain.
Rupa. Pages 253. Rs 195.
PEOPLE who do not earn their living through writing often pen down something because they feel that what they truly believe in needs to be shared with the world. For Sachit
Jain, this is a simple mantra: “To be a successful boss, be nice, listen to your workers, keep channels of communication open, and take advantage of your wife’s intelligence and experience.”
No man’s island
Reviewed by Shalini Rawat
By Gopal Gandhi.
Penguin Books. Pages 203. Rs 250.
ANYONE who begins to write a story has a choice—to
depict the violence inside his mind or that which exists outside of
it. Gopal Gandhi, with exquisite art, caricatures the agents and the
systems which perpetrate the violence outside, and with great finesse,
sketches the upheavals taking place within the characters as
An offering of love
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu
Love Stories of Shimla Hills
By Minakshi Chaudhry
Rupa. Pages 151. Rs 195.
AFTER many a Himachal-centric book
showcasing her heightened fascination for the outdoors, adventure and
trekking—Destination Himachal, Exploring Pangi Himalaya, Guide to
Trekking, to name a few—Minakshi Chaudhry shifted gears with Ghost
Stories of Shimla Hills and Whispering Deodars (an
anthology of writings about Shimla). In Love Stories of Shimla
Hills, she returns with an offering of love. This, her most recent
book, is a collection of 16 stories based on the love affairs of the
rich and famous as well as lesser mortals. Based on the premise that
it is the idyllic environs of the Queen of Hills, unmindful of
consequences, which encouraged romance to flourish or wither away.
Ringside view, incisive observations
Reviewed by Ram Varma
First Draft: Witness to the Making of Modern India
By B.G. Verghese.
Tranquebar. Pages 573. Rs 695.
Born with a silver spoon in his
mouth, George Verghese studied at the elite Doon School which had
opened just a year before his sojourn began; among his fellow students
was Prince Karan Singh from Kashmir. He later joined St. Stephen’s
College in Delhi and went on to do his tripos from Trinity College in
Cambridge following the footsteps of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Among
his contemporaries there were I. G. Patel and Abdus Salam, the Nobel
laureate, Jagat Mehta and Romesh Bhandari, later to become Foreign
Secretaries, and S.D. Sharma who rose to become the President of
Obama on the shelves
President Barack Obama’s recent visit pushed his books up on the Indian bookseller lists
US President Barack Obama has
found pride of place on Indian bookshelves. Obama's Wars, which
arrived in the country recently, is climbing the popularity charts
fast and furious and also fuelling interest in previous works by and
on the man. Priced at Rs 972, the book by journalist Bob Woodward
explores Obama's interfaces with the White House staff, his equations
with them and the deep divisions that exist. It has been published by
US-based Simon & Schuster.
Hay lit fest in Kerala brings Indian writing to the world
Viewing global cultures through domestic detail of private lives often
told by authors, learning to use maths to bend a football like
Beckham, listening to climate change authority Nicholas Stern — an
international literature festival that made its debut in Kerala this
month offered all this and more. The Hay Festival, which began 23
years ago in Wye, UK, has over the years expanded into countries like
Spain, Colombia and Kenya, now marked its entry into India in
Thiruvananthapuram with a three-day event that started on November 12.
Indira as inspiration
Sudeep Chakravarti's book,
The Avenue of Kings, draws upon the assassination of Indira Gandhi, whose birth anniversary is this week
The assassination of former
prime minister Indira Gandhi 26 years ago is one of the subjects of
writer Sudeep Chakravarti's new book, The Avenue of Kings, a
set of three novellas.
Back of the book
Party queens to pyramids
The Death Instinct
By Jed Rubenfeld
Hachette. Rs 295. pages 464
Beautiful from this Angle
By Maha Khan Phillips
Penguin. Rs 250. pages 231
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
By Roopa Somasundram
Diamond Books. pages 285
The Cult of Osiris
By Andy McDermott
Hachette. pages 533. Rs 295