De-lightful portrayal of a neta’s life
Reviewed by Aruti Nayar

By Shobhaa De. 
Penguin. Pages 287. Rs 250
shobhaa De’s novel, after a hiatus of 10 years, claims to do for politics, what Starry Nights did to Bollywood. For everyone fed up of the scams and scandals, the credibility quotient of the political class is at an all-time low and the dedication right at the beginning of the book, "To our beloved politicians. May their tribe decrease," is bound to strike a chord with the middle class.

Leading from the front
Reviewed by Lt-Gen ( Retd ) Harwant Singh
Through Wars and Insurgencies
By Brig ( Retd ) Kuldip Brar.
Pentagon Press. Rs 595
Through Wars and Insurgencies, is an autobiographical account of Brig Brar's journey through an eventful military career. Autobiographies generally tend to lose objectivity and the authors attempt to gloss over their failings and lay more emphasis on achievements. It goes to Brar's credit that throughout the narrative he has succeeded in retaining objectivity and tried to tell the story as it unfolded.

The elusive cure for graft, search goes on
Reviewed by KK Garg & RS Bains
Ending Corruption? How to Clean up India
By N.Vittal. 
Penguin Books. Pages 264. Rs 499
today, corruption and India has become synonymous with each other. Few civil servants in recent times have raised their voice against it. One of them is former Central Vigilance Commissioner N.Vittal. Through this book, the former CVC has lent his powerful voice against corruption of the civil services, judiciary, big business and politicians. He does not mention the routine corruption of the Collector's office or extortion that is going on in every police station.

Loving and losing
Reviewed by Aditi Garg
The Last Love Letter
By Minty Tejpal
Hachette India. Pages 248. Rs 395
Love is a wonderful emotion that makes the world a better place but can just as well turn every living moment into a nightmare. There are a few whose companionship helps you discover the blissful side of love and others who leave you with a heart-break from which it takes you a lifetime to recover. While marriages may be made in heaven, when love leaves, it is more like living hell. A person who loses all in such a marriage has little more to lose by laying open his heart for all to peek into.

Quest for the final answer
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur
The Illicit Happiness Of Other People
By Manu Joseph. 
Fourth Estate. Pages 343. Rs 499.
unni Chacko, the 17-year-old cartoonist has done something less than comical with his life, he has ended it. The glaring lack of a suicide note implies the cause should be obvious but certainly isn't to his grieving family. While the Chacko household was far from idyllic, the late Unni seemed contradictorily happy. He was well-liked, good looking, intelligent and charming; a remarkable young man. Why did he do it? Is the question posed by Manu Joseph in The Illicit Happiness of Other People.

The end of communism
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-56 
By Anne Applebaum. Allen Lane £25
it is known as Ostalgie in Germany: "nostalgia for the East", a longing for the "guaranteed future" supposedly offered by communism. For those who still hanker after the "good old days", Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-56 will make uncomfortable reading. Analysing the processes involved and injustices endured, Anne Applebaum expertly dissects the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe post-1945 and arrives at devastating conclusions.