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Here's a very happy new 2008 to all of you and families. Here's hoping that 2008 is a safe, happy and enjoyable year for all of you. All of us here at twistntales hope that we can keep adding to your reading pleasure through the year! As the auspicious festival of Makar Sankranti nears, we hope that the growth phase will increase prosperity all round. Greetings of Sankranti, Lohri and Pongal from all of us!
Thank you friends, all those of you who came with us to Sassoon Hospital to celebrate Christmas with us. A few photographs have been put up on our blog (twistntales.blogspot.com), please check it out.
As usual, we have a big harvest of books; a few marathon sessions of reviewing have got you this bumper harvest. Some absolute nuggets in there.. Don’t miss it!
New and Noteworthy:
“Kipling Sahib” by Charles Allen @ Rs. 795/- (426pgs)
A riveting account of the first part of Rudyard’Ruddy’Kipling’s life in India, between 1865and 1900 reveals what Kipling was as a true human being. The story of the forgotten ‘Ruddy’- his teenage troubles, political prejudices, literary eccentricities, doomed personal relationships and yet the writing of the evergreen, mystical ‘Jungle Book’ and ‘Kim’ make this book un put downable! Charles Allen uses his unique knowledge of the period (Kipling’s first job in London was with the author’s great grandfather) to rebuild an authentic figure of Ruddy. Cameos of every day scenes from contemporary times enliven the book just as the rare photographs of Kipling and his acquaintances.
“Purple cow” by Seth Godin @ Rs.430/- (183pgs)
Written by an author who is a professional speaker, a writer and an agent of change and contributor to ‘The Fast Company ‘ magazine, this book is a manifesto for change. A call to action. It is a look in the minds of 33 of the boldest, brightest and pioneering people in business. Written in the form of ‘nuggets’, the small doses certainly hit hard. Do not work on being the best, but work on being innovative is the bottom line here! Seth Godin has also authored-Permission Marketing, Unleashing the idea virus and Survival is not enough.
“We are like that only” by Rama Bijapurkar @ Rs.495/- (280pgs)
The book offers a comprehensive analysis of the mindset and behavioral pattern of India's consumers in an irreverent and insightful manner. It successfully fathoms the earnings, spendings, consumption and the diverse consumer behaviour of the billion plus consumers of a most varied and stratified market of today. Incisively analytical, it explains why the Indian consumer is’ like that only’, why India will not change in a hurry and what it takes to build a winning business in such a market. Rama Bijapurkar is one of India’s most respected thought leaders on market strategy and consumer behaviour.
“First Proof 3: The Penguin Book of New Writing from India” @ Rs.295/- (224 pgs)
An anthology of short stories by various Indian authors comes back once again in its third avatar. It includes authors such as Jahnavi Barua, Mridula Koshi, Tulsi Badrinath, Vijay Parthasarathy, Sankar Sridhar, Ashok Malik, Aman Sethi, Kriti Sharma etc. in an assortment of fiction as well as non-fiction stories. A must-read for all fans of Indian writing in English.
“Silverfish” by Saikat Majumdar @ Rs.295/- (293pgs)
A retired school teacher in present day Calcutta grappling with bureaucracy and political crime, a middle aged lady from a wealthy feudal family confronted with widowhood in British ruled Bengal are the protagonists of this debut novel by the author- an assistant professor of English literature at Stanford University. As their stories begin to interweave, they depict a larger narrative of historical forgetting of voices that have been gently eased off from the nation’s memory. An interesting experiment with the same geographical backdrop separated by time, experience and neglect.
“The Unwaba Revelations” by Samit Basu@ Rs.295/- (508pgs)
Samit Basu is the author of The Simoqin Prophecies and The Manticore’s Secret, parts 1 and 2 of the Game World Trilogy. In The Unwaba Revelations, the 3rd and concluding part, a way must be found to save the world, to defeat the gods at their own game. Monsters, mayhem, mud swamps, conspiracies, catastrophes, chimeras, betrayals, buccaneers, bloodshed – The Unwaba Revelations continues the roller coaster journey that began with The Simonqin Prophecies.
“Murder on Kaandoha Hill” by Rahul Srivastava @ Rs.195/- (180pgs) (Young Adults)
When thirteen year old Kabir goes to spend the vacations with his father, a railway official posted in a remote town, he comes across a great deal of secrets and intrigues, some dating back to the era of the Raj. Weaving in the stories of communities and religions, this exciting murder mystery makes a riveting read.
“The Potion of Eternity” by Sonja Chandrachud @ Rs.195/- (181pgs) (Young Adults)
Count Drunkula Von D’eth doesn’t have it easy. He has a hot- headed Indian Tantrika as his wife, a Water Sprite, a Vetal and a Psychic as his child. He also has the ugliest and meanest Hag of a witch for a mother. Drunkula, who is also a secret agent for the Wizard Organization Worldwide (WOW) has a mission. The Potion of Eternity, which will grant great powers to the children of a couple who drink it together, has been contaminated. He has to develop the antidote to brew a fresh lot of the potion. Drunkula, gradually realizes that this is no easy task. With enemies within his own house, he has to meet the Supreme One, and strike a deal in the belly of the beast. This is the first book in a series of fantasy adventures.
“Magical Indian myths” by Anita Nair @ Rs.499/- (178pgs)
This book is a treasure trove of Myths from India. How the Sun became less fierce? The various avatars of Vishnu? Why Ganga came to Earth? Why the river Saraswati disappeared? How Ganesha got his Elephant head? The book makes good bedtime reading and also makes a wonderful gift to children to educate them on our cultural inheritance.
“P.S- I love you” by Cecelai Ahern @ Rs.195/- (503pgs)
A heartwarming novel about hope after despair, this witty and engrossing storyline reiterates the fact that life is for living and working towards being happy. The story of Holly - her journey from being happily bonded with Gerry to losing him and finally finding the courage to love again and spread more happiness across the years to a very happy, welcoming new year makes a perfect, quick read at this interface of 2007-08!
“The Almost Moon” by Alice Sebold @ Rs.515/- (291 pgs)
The book explores the complex ties within families, the meaning of devotion and the fragility of boundaries separating us from our darkest emotions. It revolves around the mother –daughter duo Clair and Helen. As the novel opens Helen, a woman who spent a lifetime trying to win the love of a mother -who had none to spare, crosses a line she never dreamt she would even approach and over the next twenty four hours she re-runs through the choices that brought her to such crossroads. Alice Sebold is the author of the multi million copy bestseller The Lovely Bones and the memoir Lucky.
“The Court of the Air” by Stephen Hunt @ Rs.295/- (582pgs)
Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has been recently been apprenticed to. She scurries back to the poorhouse where she grew up but finds all her fellow orphans butchered. It slowly dawns on her that she was the intended target. Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered existence in his uncle’s home until he is framed for his only relative’s murder. He is forced to flee for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air. Both Molly and Oliver carry dark secrets that will either get them killed or save the world from an ancient terror. The two are thrown into the company of outlaws, thieves and spies as they flee their enemies, but they also have great friends who aid them in this inventive tale full of drama, intrigue and adventure.
“The Princess Diaries” by Meg Cabot @ Rs.399/- (268pgs) - (Young Adults)
The ninth book in the hilarious, best selling ‘Princess diaries’ series, this book describes how Mia deals with heartbreak (Michael – the love of her life, has dumped her) and addressing two thousand of America’s most powerful businesswomen .Mia is also confronted with a 200 year old mystery which when solved would mean BIG changes for her Kingdom-Genovia.Just how much can a princess handle?
“Once upon a time in the Soviet Union” by Dominique Lapierre @ Rs. 295/- (233pgs)
In 1956, the iron curtain was opened to two reporters of the French magazine Paris Match. Dominique Lapierre and Jean-Pierre Pedrazzini planned to drive across the Soviet Union in their two-coloured car. Nikita Khrushchev warned that their wives who were to accompany them would divorce them within a fortnight. Incidentally, there were no divorces. Their journey was a 13,000 km stretch right from the villages of White Russia to the beaches of the Black sea. Minsk, Kiev, Moscow and Rostov were a few of the places they passed through. This book presents an entirely objective view of the people of the Soviet Union. Dominique Lapierre has also written The City of Joy, It was five past midnight in Bhopal and Is Paris Burning. He has also been made ‘Citizen of Honour’ of Calcutta and was named ‘Benefactor of the Sunderbans’.
“The Elephanta Suite” by Paul Theroux @ Rs.395/- (277pgs)
Though modern, there are still an amazing variety of new discoveries that are possible in India! One such foray is ‘The Elephanta Suite’. Capturing the tumult, ambition, hardship and serenity that are part of today’s India, one comes across diverse Indian characters with refreshing uniqueness. An Americans journey of discovery leads him to places across Mumbai. Interwoven are the anecdotes of the many people he comes across during his brief stay and the lasting impression of each incident. The second part narrates the discoveries and experiences of an American lady in Bangalore, where she befriends an elephant. Paul The roux has also authored much acclaimed books Blinding Light, Dark Star Safari, Riding The Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The old Pentagonian Express and Fresh Air Friend.
“You can hear me now” by Nicholas P Sullivan @ Rs.299/- (232pgs)
Iqbal Quadir is the visionary and catalyst behind the creation of the Grameen Phone in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi villagers sharing cell phones helped build what is now a thriving company with more than $200 million in annual profits. A partnership between Norway’s Telenor and Grameen Bank, GrameenPhone confirms the power of bottom-up development. You can hear me now, talks about the “external combustion engine’. The “engine” comprises three forces: information technology, imported by native entrepreneurs trained in the West, backed by foreign investors. Nicholas Sullivan is publisher of the journal Innovations in Technolog / Governance/ Globalization (MIT press). This is his second book.
“Brushes with History- An autobiography” by Krishna Kumar Birla @ Rs.650/- (665pgs)
With a foreword by Sonia Gandhi, this autobiography by a member of the iconic Birla family is embroidered with vignettes about forging relationships with the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, B C Roy, Rajendra Prasad, Madan Mohan Malavviya, and J P Narayan. The reader gets a glimpse of the towering personalities who shaped India in the 20th century from an important player who had first hand close associations with them.
“Political and incorrect – The Real India, Warts and All” by Tavleen Singh @ Rs.395/- (313pgs)
Tavleen Singh has been writing her columns in the Indian Express from 1987 – in these 20 years, a Nation finds itself transformed. She captures the Country’s mood and its politics over these two decades and highlights the things that don't change. She makes the two decades and the people who feature come alive even to one who is not familiar with either.
“Jammu and Kashmir 1949 – '64” Edited by Jawaid Alam @ Rs.595/- (374pgs)
A compilation of select correspondence between Jawaharlal Nehru and Karan Singh, this book is a selection of over two hundred letters written in the time frame of 1950 -1963. They afford a ringside view of the momentous events in Kashmir and the rest of India that unfolded after independence and which continue to have relevance and impact on our lives to this day. They also provide rare glimpses into the personal thoughts and lives of Pandit Nehru and Dr.Karan Singh.
“A mission in Kashmir” by Andrew Whitehead @ Rs.495/- (284pgs)
The author sets out to write a full and impartial account of how Kashmir became a theatre of war. Backed by a remarkable range of first hand information, it addresses some basic queries like who were the invaders? Were they commanded by Pakistan? What support did they get from local Kashmiris? Rigorously researched and immensely readable, this book explains how the Kashmir conflict came into being and why it has proven so difficult to solve. The author is an editor of History Workshop Journal, a bi- annual OUP publication.
“Turning back the clock” by Umberto Eco @ Rs.740/- (369pgs)
With customary wit and acerbity, Eco describes and explains the tragic steps backwards that have been taken since the end of the last millennium. The advent of the ‘hot war’, the resurrection of the Yellow Peril, the right wing governments domination indicate that history, tired of the big steps forward it has taken in the past millennium, has gone into reverse. The book proposes that even if we don’t start moving ahead quickly, we should at least cease to move backwards.
“India’s Century” by Kamal Nath @ Rs.550/-(230pgs)
Mr. Kamal Nath, Indias’s minister of Commerce and Industry, who has spent his entire professional life within the corridors of power, helping the Nation to catapult to world prominence, goes beyond the ‘flat world’ view to reveal the roots of the Indian economic miracle. He traces the Nation's emergence from colonial rule in 1947 through four decades of planned economies, the gradual liberalization of India’s economy in the 1990’s and finally, the rise of the Indian global giant.
“Deception” by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark @ Rs.595 (586pgs)
Based on hundreds of interviews in the United States, Pakistan, India, Israel, Europe and Southeast Asia, Deception is the most complete account of Pakistan’s clandestine nuclear network as it has extended from Islamabad around the world. It makes two things clear: that Pakistan is a rogue nation at the epicenter of world destabilization and that the complicity of the United States has ushered in a new nuclear winter.
“Everyday Miracles” by Noelle Nelson @ Rs.295/- (258pgs)
Life is a gift and it ought to be lived as a joyous, successful, love – filled adventure-replete with ups and downs. This book aims to guide the reader to achieve these everyday miracles, through powerful insights, skills and tools, which add up to one everlasting miracle - a happy life! It contains 101 short, pithy chapters each ending with inspiring phrases.
“Daily Inspiration” by Robin Sharma @ Rs.195/-
A day and date wise collection of profound phrases and thoughts, the book ensures a motivated beginning to each new day. The short write ups are about Impact and Legacy, Personal greatness, Destiny and life’s purpose, authenticity, overcoming adversity and disappointments .A gentle reminder to take each day as it comes! Robin Sharma is the author of numerous runaway bestsellers, notably The Monk who sold His Ferrari, The Greatness Guide, The Family Wisdom, Who will Cry When You Die, Mega living and Discover Your Destiny.
"Penguin Yearbook 2008" @ Rs. 150/- (816pgs)
A book well compiled by Derek O’Brien, this is the fourth publication by Penguin India. The book teems with useful information and write ups including thought provoking articles by Dr.A P J Abdul Kalam, Bimal Jalan, Shashi Tharoor etc. It also features comprehensive, reliable data fully updated till 1st November 2007. Devoid of any advertisements, it contains two special sections entitled ‘60 Defining Moments of Independent India’ and ‘100 Indians Who Made Modern India.’
“Re-awakening the spirit in Work – the power of Dharmic Management” by Jack Hawley @ Rs.299/- (212pgs)
The key questions for today’s leaders are no longer issues of task and structure, but questions of spirit. We all yearn for spiritually rooted qualities at work – integrity, character, inspiration, belief, and even reverence – qualities that are key factors in an enterprise’s success. He provides many examples of people actually living by their inner truth at work, and shows how such people can create an improved place to work.
“Passionate Minds” by David Bodanis @ Rs.375/- (312pgs)
A brilliant, biographical book about Voltaire and Emilie du Chatelet – their association and the astounding theories in science that it produced. Although Voltaire is widely thought to have been the central figure in the 18th century revolution it was Emilie- the brilliant and astounding aristocrat – a passionate mathematician who popularized Newton and transformed our understanding of energy. It only goes on to prove that amazing discoveries are possible even at the breakfast table!
“Guru English” by Srinivas Aravamudan @ Rs.395/- (330pgs)
The author looks at religious forms of neoclassicism, nationalism, romanticism, postmodernism and nuclear millenarianism, bringing together figures like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi etc. He surveys a specific set of religious vocabularies from South Asia that, according to him, launch a new form of cosmopolitanism, in global use. The book analyzes writers and gurus, literary texts, religious movements, literary expressions of religious teachers and traces the interconnections between the Indian subcontinent, the British Empire and the American New Age.
Happy Reading and see you at the Store,
From the team at