Book rack

Book rack

Post-mauryan India

Irfan Habib

Tulika books, 2012, pp 139, 320


This book, as part of the People’s History of India series, deals with the 500 years that, in the political sphere, are associated with the dominance of Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushans and Satavahanas. This book should be of use to both the general reader and the student, in that it covers topics that people’s history should especially deal with.

In the city of gold and silver

Kenize Mourad

Fullcircle, 2012, pp 428, 350

Little known, little remembered, this is the story of Begum Hazrat Mahal. The soul of the 1857 War of Independence; orphaned poetess of the chowk; captivating wife of King Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh; Rani of Jhansi’s contemporary soul sister; freedom fighter and misunderstood mother; illicit lover and intrepid war leader — she risked everything only to face the greatest betrayal of all.

The walls of Delhi

Uday Prakash

Hachette, 2013, pp 224, 350

Three stinging darkly comic tales capture in telling detail life and survival in today’s India. The title story is about a sweeper who discovers a cache of black money and escapes to see the Taj Mahal with his wife. The second, ‘Mohandas’, is about a Dalit who races to reclaim his life. And in ‘Mangosil’, a baby’s head gets bigger and bigger, and he gets smarter and smarter, while his family tries to find a cure.

Accidental apprentice

Vikas Swarup

Simon & Schuster, 2013, pp 434, 350

What would you do if, out of the blue, a billionaire industrialist decides to make you the CEO of his company? No prior business experience necessary. There is only one catch: you need to pass seven tests from the ‘textbook of life’. This is a compelling, suspenseful tale of the power of dreams, the lure of money, and the universal need to know who we are.

The sergeant’s son

Ashim Choudhury

Rupa, 2012, pp 246, 250

In the late 60s, Sergeant Samar, a minor Air Force employee, his wife and four sons move from a small town to Bombay. Kalu, the third son, dreams of being an artist. His parents drift apart and he finds it hard to keep up with his rich English-speaking friends from school; only art gives him solace. Kalu is now faced with the impossible choice between joining the Air Force and living his dream.

Fallen angel

Sandipan Deb

Rupa, 2013, pp 240, 295

Based on extensive research, this book is an insightful account of the remarkable man and the events surrounding him: this is the real story of Rajat Gupta, an orphaned immigrant from India who managed to reach dizzying heights in the US corporate sector. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by a New York court. Why did this happen? Greed? Anti-immigrant bias? Or, simply bad luck?

Boar in boots — A business travelogue

Parthasarathi Swami

Fortytwo, 2012, pp 302, 495

In the 20-plus years of liberalisation, India has been down various bylanes and dead-ends. Liberalisation has a lot going for it; most of us would not have it any other way. But it has also seen the power of money, megabuck scams in which the only crime is getting caught. This book is not concerned with relicts of history; it profiles people who have something new to offer.

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