The Rediscovery of India
Meghnad Desai
Penguin, 2009, pp 498, Rs 699

In this magisterial analysis of the last 500 years of Indian history, the author looks at India’s colonial past, its struggle for independence and its many contemporary conundrums, to discover answers to the questions that have confronted India-watchers for decades. Desai draws on a wealth of sources to illuminate India’s journey to the 21st century.  

Imran Khan: The Biography
Christopher Sandford
HarperCollins, 2009, pp 402, Rs 499

Imran Khan has always been a controversial figure, a man who gives rise to hot debate on account of his strong convictions and hard-line views. His story is full of colour and contradiction — the practising Muslim who was equally at home in London nightspots like Annabel’s and Tramp and campaigning among the slums of Lahore.

The Five Greatest Warriors
Mathew Reilly
Hachette, 2009, pp 460, Rs 595

With the end of the world approaching, Jack West must rebuild the final pieces of the fabled, ancient ‘Machine’ — the only thing that can prevent global catastrophe. From the deserts of Israel to the storm-lashed coasts of Japan, to the wastes of Mongolia and the most mysterious island on Earth, experience stupendous action, white-knuckle suspense and an adventure beyond imagining.

Fidel Castro Reader
Edited by David Deutschmann and Deborah Shnookal
Left Word, 2009, pp 525, Rs 450

Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader, has been an articulate and incisive political thinker and leader, who has outlasted 10 hostile US presidents. With the wave of change now sweeping Latin America, this book sheds light on the continent’s future as well as its past.  As the first selection of Fidel Castro’s speeches to be published since the 60s, this is an essential resource for both scholars and general readers.

Post-Hindu India
Kancha Ilaiah
Sage, 2009, pp 302, Rs 295

A thought-provoking critique of Brahmanism and the caste system in India, while anticipating the death of Hindusim as a direct consequence of what the author  says is, its anti-scientific and anti-nationalistic stand. This work challenges Hinduism’s interpretation of history with a virulent attack on caste-politics and also takes a refreshing look  at the necessity of encouraging indigenous scientific thought for the sake of national progress.

50 Indian Film Classics
M K Raghavendra
HarperCollins, 2009, pp 321, Rs 350

This book provides detailed critical accounts of the most important Indian films beginning with Prem Sanyas (1925) to Rang De Basanti (2006) in languages ranging from Bengali, Hindi to Manipuri and Malayalam and representing a whole gamut of themes: from the 1930s mythological Sant Tukaram to the politically radical Calcutta ‘71, from art-house favourites likeMukhamukham to blockbusters like Sholay and Lagaan. Illustrated with rare posters and stills, this is an invaluable guide to the most significant cinema India has produced.

The Cat is My Grief Today & Other Poems
Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan
Translated by P P Raveendran
Sahitya Academy, 2009, pp 112, Rs 85

Kadammanitta, one of the pioneers of Malayalam poetry, was instrumental in folklorizing Malayalam modernism. The public recitals of his poetry that were organised were popular among poetry-loving audiences in Kerala in the 70s. This is a collection of his poems.