The pile of books this week is inspirational and exciting, featuring a mix of facts and fictions.
1. The Habit of Winning; Written by Prakash Iyer; Published by Penguin Books-India; Priced at Rs.299
An inspirational book, the stories in The Habit of Winning range from Cola wars to cricketing heroes, from Michelle Obama's management techniques to Mahatma Gandhi's generosity.
There are life lessons from frogs and rabbits, sharks and butterflies, kites and balloons. Together, they create a heady mix that will make the winner inside you emerge and grow.
2. Billy Arjan Singh: Tiger of Dudhwa; Written by Shaminder Boparai; Published by HarperCollins-India; Priced at Rs.799
Billy Arjan Singh was the only person in the world known to have hand-reared a tiger cub and returned it to the wild. This pictorial biography is a tribute to this enigmatic character who was one of the first people to put the spotlight on tiger conservation in India. It chronicles his controversial life and times, and tells the story of his pioneering experiments in bringing up leopard and tiger cubs, along with his pet dog, in harmony.
The book is a timely publication coming a year after Billy's demise Jan 1, 2010. In a world dominated by lab-coat conservationists, his voice remains a disturbing reminder of the heartfelt and uncompromising conservation values, unblemished by realpolitik, that are forgotten today.
3. The Inheritor; Written by Upendra Tankha; Published by Stellar Publishers; Priced at Rs.225
The novella unravels at a time when media jobs are far and few and the going for a freelance job is knotty. The satire moves from the bleak to the not-so-bleak.
The ironic and humorous take moves on a subtle plane, unlike the airy and brash goings on in Tankha's A Bachelor Boy. The book brings out the mood of journalism during emergency.
4. Love, Virtually; Written by Daniel Glattauer; Published by Quercus/Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.399
'Write to me, Emmi. Writing is like kissing, but without lips. Writing is kissing with the mind.' The novel begins by chance: Leo receives e-mails in error from an unknown woman called Emmi. Being polite he replies, and Emmi writes back. A few brief exchanges are all it takes to spark a mutual interest in each other and soon Emmi and Leo are sharing their innermost secrets and longings.
The erotic tension simmers, and it seems only a matter of time before they will meet in person. But they keep putting off the moment - the prospect both excites and unsettles them. And after all, Emmi is happily married. Will their feelings for each other survive the test of a real-life encounter? And if so, what then?
Love, Virtually is a funny, fast-paced and utterly absorbing novel, with plenty of twists and turns, about a love affair conducted entirely by e-mail.
5. An Identity Card for Krishna; Written by Devdutt Pattanaik; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.99
Why are identity cards important, even for gods? How can you tell a Deva from a Manava? How would you find a particular god in a crowd of gods? One day, when Krishna wanted to board an aeroplane, he was not allowed to! All because he did not have an identity card.
Then his friends Garuda and Sesha took him to meet Lata-kumari in Guwahati who told him the story of Anasuya and the Ashwini twins, and why Rishi Chavan made a rule that all gods should carry a dhvajaa (flag) with each god's very own symbol. Did Krishna get his identity card so he could ride the aeroplane finally?