Book Rack

Book Rack


The Confessions of Sultana Daku
Sujit Saraf
Penguin, 2009, pp 285, Rs 399

It is Sultana’s last night. In the morning, he will be hanged. Combining swashbuckling adventure with a moving story of human frailty and fortitude, this is a grand narrative that is as mesmerising as unsettling. Wrapped in a haze of nostalgia, the daku recounts tales of incredible feats and narrow escapes, of the camaraderie he sheared with his bhantu companions and of his love for the nautanki dancer, as the Englishman listens.

Mother India:A political biography of Indira Gandhi
Pranay Gupte
Penguin, 2009, pp 597, Rs 599

The fascinating story of independent India’s complex political figure, Indira Gandhi. This comprehensive biography not only explores her career and contradictions as a consummate politician, but also her relationships as daughter, wife and mother.


Laburnum For My Head
Temsula Ao
Penguin, 2009, pp 107, Rs 150

From the mythical to the modern, this collection of short stories, embrace a gamut of emotions. Heart-rending witty and riddled with irony, the stories depict a deep understanding of the human condition.



Memories of Life in Lhasa Under Chinese Rule
Tubten Khetsun, Translated by Matthew Akester
Penguin, 2009, pp 318, Rs 450

The author was arrested while defending the Dalai Lama’s summer palace, and after four years in prisons and labor camps, he spent close to two decades in Lhasa as a requisitioned labourer and ‘class enemy’. In this eloquent autobiography, he describes what life was like during those troubled years. His account is one of the most dispassionate and detailed firsthand descriptions yet published of Tibet under the Communist occupation.

The Mother of Mohammad
A Woman’s Extraordinary Journey Into Jihad
Sally Neighbor
Jaico, 2009, pp 358, Rs 295

In this book, the author, a journalist, tells the extraordinary story of how a dope-smoking beach bunny, Robyn Hutchinson, became Rabiah — a member of the jihadist elite. Known among her peers as the ‘mother of Mohammed’, and as ‘the Elizabeth Taylor of the jihad’ in CIA circles. Rabiah lived for 20 years on thr frontlines of the global holy war. In this, the author discovers a world of converts and true believers. This confronting account from inside the jihad helps us to understand the magnetism of the Islamist cause.

Global Oneness:
A Matter of Understanding
P V Jois
Vijaya, 2009, pp 558, Rs 395

The security of people and nations rest on four pillars — food, energy, water and climate. This premise is examined to conclude that progressively, mankind is corroding the steel that goes inside each of these piers. A global oneness is the only answer to combat the decay.

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