“All of us face hard choices in our lives. Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become,” that’s how author Hillary Rodham Clinton started this engaging memoir, chronicling her four-year tenure as America’s 67th Secretary of State. During this period, she had faced challenging political and diplomatic issues, encountered economic inequality and witnessed changes happening in key areas like energy, climate and health. Of course, one catches a glimpse of the working of global powers (the Iran nuke deal is very much in focus) but it is not an in-depth account by any means and the ‘spicy anecdotes’ are missing altogether. However, the plain vanilla treatment, the staid voice and the comfort level conveyed here may very well serve the campaign if Clinton chooses to run for president in 2016.
Getting India Back on Track: An Action Agenda for Reform
What has slowed down Indian economy and how can we hit the high road of recovery? Edited by Bibek Debroy, Ashley J. Tellis, and Reece Trevor (with foreword from iconic industrialist Ratan Tata) this book published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a unique collection of in-depth analyses and policy suggestions from experts who have put under scanner every key aspect of Indian economy and endeavoured to provide a clear roadmap to sustainable growth. The write-ups focus on a number of domestic and foreign issues that the government must tackle without delay – in fact each chapter reads like a concise memo for the powers that be. But the collection still appeals to the general reader who wants to understand how India is changing and how the change will impact the world.
Sahara: The Untold Story
Penned by veteran journalist Tamal Bandyopadhyay, here is a close look at one of the most controversy-ridden conglomerates of India. Post its recent legal battles, the Supreme Court ordered two of the Sahara Group firms to refund the money they had collected in the form of deposits/debentures within 3 months. Plus, there were Sahara’s legal wrangles with the IT department back in the 1990s when it was widely alleged that the company parked the ill-gotten wealth of the politicians. What you get here is a comprehensive picture of shadow banking and the politics-business nexus. Interestingly, Sahara filed a defamation suit of Rs 200 crore against the author and the publisher, but it was settled out of court and the book now comes with this disclaimer: The book portrays Sahara in bad light by attributing unfound facts and incidents… The book at best can be treated as a perspective of the author with all its defamatory content, insinuation and other objections.
Hello Bastar: The Untold Story Of India’s Maoist Movement
Another great non-fiction that reveals the history and true nature of the ongoing Maoist movement. Written by journalist and former war correspondent Rahul Pandita, this is not a watered-down version of the neo-liberals; neither does it reiterate the movement as a security threat. Instead, the writer has sought to portray an unbiased analysis while chronicling real-life encounters and interviews with Maoist leaders. In a bid to explore the root cause of insurgency, Pandita has created a rare human document that exposes how lack of development and policy failure lead to a dysfunctional system and armed struggle. A thought-provoking read.
If you swear by Stephen King and nothing enthrals you more than a dollop of suspense, you are bound to love this creepy summer thriller. Of course, there’s no paranormal element here, but King has masterfully gelled cars and crimes, and you get a psychotic killer hell-bent on mass destruction. But the victims are not faceless entities – a fact that provides an emotional connect and gets you involved from the word go. The vibrant, dangerous world of crime, powered by King’s unique twists and turns, keep you on tenterhooks while a failed investigator and his allies fight against a megalomaniac. Lucid, fast-paced and totally entertaining, this one “will transport you into a world filled with gritty characters living on the bleeding edge of reason. Be prepared...”
The Substance and the Shadow: An Autobiography
When the star speaks, fans and followers listen spellbound. And this time, Yousuf Khan (well, we all know him as the legendary actor Dilip Kumar) has decided to give us an account of his life and Bollywood career, the latter spanning nearly six decades. It is the sincere, candid voice of a man willing to tell the world how his life has been – on-screen and off it. The journey starts right from his childhood, dwells on the determination and hard work behind every mesmerising performance that has taken him to the height of stardom, his bonding with people from every walk of life, political connections, relation with co-star Madhubala and his fairy tale wedding with actress Saira Banu. With this autobiography, Dilip Saab seeks to set the record straight as he feels most of the coverage concerning him are “full of distortions and misinformation.” And in doing so, he reveals a personality that is larger than the silver screen.
The Golden Hour
A bouquet of 14 short stories by Shetall Ramsinghani, a writer by passion who also works for a diplomatic mission. This is her second book (first book Love beyond Veils was a book of poems), a potpourri of lucid narratives, mostly taken from rural/city life and everyday occurring. Yet, one can hardly miss the occasional surreal undertone that transforms the mundane, jolting us back to a super-reality of sorts. Everything is possible in Ramsinghani’s apparently humdrum world – here you will find fairies with ego, malevolent and not-so-malevolent witches or just ordinary men and women who experience sudden tweaks in their life and a better comprehension of the cosmic scheme of things. The language is deceptively simple, without much word play or stylistic jugglery, but drives the point home with ease and clarity.
Here is the latest crime fiction from Robert Galbraith or should we say JK Rowling? I personally prefer the new pen name as Rowling is too closely associated with the Harry Potter saga and a new genre requires a new identity. This is the second novel of the Cormoran Strike series and this time, the private detective surviving the mean streets of London is looking for a missing novelist, Owen Quine. Does Quine’s unpublished book Bombyx Mori (Latin for silkworm) hold the key to the mystery? What follows is a series of baffling events or “twists at every turn” that would befit a classic murder mystery. And the downside? The plot is too structured and made too complicated, but is this mystery series destined to be as popular as the legendary Sherlock Holmes?