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History as a site of struggle
K N Panikkar
Three Essays Collective, 2013, pp 653, 1,200

This collection of essays by K N Panikkar chronicles contemporary South Asia as it has unfolded in the last three decades. His being a historian of modern India has lent to his analysis of contemporary concerns a unique vantage point not available in most commentaries of contemporary South Asia.

The Fault in our Stars
John Green
Penguin, 2013, pp 316, 399
Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

DisPatches From The Arab Spring
Edited by Paul Amar & Vijay Prashad
Left Word, 2013, pp 415, 550
The book lays out a tentative map for the future, hewed of a comparative agenda for introducing the Arab world and all its recent happenings, especially the revolts and struggles, to students, the public and researchers, for tracking new actors, structural economic formations, and political possibilities.

Scandal Point
Fahad Samar
Harper Collins, 2013, pp 289, 250
Not only is Ricky Kumar, handsome hunk and mama’s boy, being prepared for his launch as a Bollywood star, he has also just managed to score with the love of his life. But things begin to go horribly wrong when London-born playboy and restaurant tycoon Gautam Goyal checks into a drug rehab facility in Mumbai. A case of mistaken identity looks like it will lose Ricky everything he has been poised to achieve.

Afghan Rumour Bazaar
Nushin Arbabzadah
Hachette, 2013, pp 256, 399
Arbabzadah reveals for the first time Afghan’s own vibrant internal deliberations — on sex and soap operas, conspiracy theories, drugs and diplomacy, terrorism and Taliban, and how the long-dead soothsayer from Bulgaria accidentally shut down a newspaper. Many different Afghan sensibilities are presented in this book, yet together they offer an unvarnished, at times heartwarming, at times tragic, insight.

The Lure of old tunes
Shikha Biswas Vohra
Blue Jay, 2013, pp 396, 295
The narrative revolves around the tumultuous lives of Ramukaka, the faithful family retainer, inspector Iftikhar, constable Jagdishraj and Prannath, the prototypical villain. This is a blockbuster of epic proportions casting the top stars of Indian cinema and showcasing their intertwined real and reel lives, neatly folded into paperback with complimentary soda and popcorn.

Elizabeth’s Bedfellows — An Intimate History of the Queen’s Court
Anna Whitelock
Bloomsbury, 2013, pp 462, 599
Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant faith to England. At the heart of the new queen’s court lay Elizabeth’s bedchamber, closely guarded by the favoured women who helped her dress, looked after her jewels and shared her bed. Elizabeth’s private life was of public, political concern. Her bedfellows were witnesses to the face and body beneath the make-up and elaborate clothes.