Book Rack

 

Rafina

Shandana Minhas

Picador, 2018, Rs 450, pp 163

Rafina, living in Karachi, is too poor for college and dismissive of marriage. So, she cajoles her mother’s friend to take her as an apprentice at the local beauty parlour. What follows is the story of how she makes it big in the world of fame.

 

How Democracy Ends

David Runciman

Hachette, 2018, Rs 599, pp 249

All political systems come to an end, and this book addresses the problem with verve and rigour, and helps us to think about the previously unthinkable: what will democratic failure mean in the 21st century? Might there be something better after democracy?

 

Yasodhara

Vanessa R Sasson

Speaking Tiger, 2018, Rs 399, pp 304

Who was Yasodhara? The Buddha’s abandoned wife, or an enlightened being in her own right, who was denied space in the stories and histories about the founder of the faith? The author combines the spirit of fiction and fabulism of Indian mythology to tell the evocative and deeply moving story.

 

Jadoowallahs, Jugglers and Jinns

John Zubrzycki

Picador, 2018, Rs 699, pp 457

It is said that Indian magic descended from the domain of the gods to become part of daily ritual and entertainment. This book traces its transformation from the streets to the stage, culminating with the rise of P C Sorcar Sr. It infers from religious texts, colonial records and newspapers to build a quality narrative.

 

The Conqueror

Aditya Iyengar

Hachette, 2018, Rs 350, pp 260

It is 1025 AD and the mighty Chola empire controls much of the southern land. Rajendra Chola I, known for his might and vision, heads the kingdom. Now, he is all set to conquer the Srivijaya empire, and what follows is a tale of loss and legacy.

 

Weird Maths

David Darling & Agnijo Banerjee

Harper Collins, 2018, Rs 499, pp 267

In this journey of discovery, David Darling and child prodigy Agnijo Banerjee draw connections between the cutting edge of modern maths and life as we understand it, venturing out on quests to consider the existence of free will and the fantastical future of quantum computers.

 

Kitty’s War

Daman Singh

Tranquebar, 2018, Rs 350, pp 243

It is December 1941. The Japanese are closing in on India. That’s when Katherine Riddle comes home to Pipli with bruised dreams and a broken heart. Fed on gossip and fuelled by rumours, the little railway colony is on the edge. And, nobody is immune from becoming the controversy.

Facts and Fears

James R Clapper

Viking, 2018, Rs 629, pp 432

The former director of American national intelligence gets candid on the successes and failures of intelligence when he stepped down in 2017. Here, Clapper traces the journey of his career when he was part of the agency during some tough times for America. He also touches upon the Russian connection.

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