Serious and heavy, the books this weekend tease the intellect.
Written by S.B. Mishra
Published by Roli Books
Priced at Rs.250
The book chronicles the extraordinary life of the writer, a scientist who turned his back on a life of glory to be ordinary. He spurned what the affluent west had to offer him and returned to India to serve the rural poor.
His is a story of a brilliant scientist from India - whose fame of discovery was snatched by his colleagues. However, his colleagues had to honour him decades later; acknowledging his feat.
Written by Aneesha Kapur
Published by Harper-Collins India
Priced at Rs.299
Brought up in a convent in India and married to a man who has made Nairobi his home, Mira knows no life beyond the walls of her bungalow, until the phone rings one day and a voice informs her that her husband has died. In the midst of an attempted military coup, Mira is left without any income and with a young child to support. Her response is to withdraw into herself, and it is left to Wairimu, their African housekeeper, to bring up Shanti.
While Mira searches for memories from pasts that are not quite hers, Shanti struggles to make sense of her mother's seeming indifference as she rapidly approaches adulthood. Set against the vast landscape of modern Africa, the novel is tale of a mother and daughter coming to terms with history even as they grapple with their precarious present.
The Harappa Files (A Graphic Novel)
Written by Sarnath Banerjee
Published by Harper-Collins India
Priced at Rs.499
Every Thursday, long after office hours, 17 retired bureaucrats sit around an outsized government-issue table at an undisclosed location in the heart of an unnamed city. Their mission is to catalogue a society on the brink of great hormonal changes.
But is that really what the Greater Harappa Commission is attempting to do? Or does it have a hidden agenda? In this book of graphic commentaries, the graphic novelist turns an insider's eye on a speedboat nation that changes velocity as often as it changes direction.
Romancing the Microphone: Be a Radio Jockey
Written by Swati Gupta
Published by Rupa & Co
Priced at Rs.223
Written in an easy to understand, conversational style, the book offers valuable advice on how to be a Radio Jockey. It explains the history of FM in India, the prerequisites of being a good RJ, classifications of RJs and career opportunities available in radio.
Since it is written by a radio jockey, it offers an exciting insider's view of the industry. RJ-ing is now a much sought-after profession. The writer adds jingles and quotes to the chapters to make it a fun read.
The Invisible Hand: Groundwork For a New Economics
Written by Kaushik Basu
Published by Penguin-India
Priced at Rs.399
The volume is an impassioned and sharply-nuanced critique of mainstream economics from one of India's leading economists. One of the central tenets of economics is that, given certain conditions, self-interested behaviour by individuals leads them to social good, almost as if orchestrated by an invisible hand.
However, over the past two centuries, this proposition first put forth by Adam Smith has been taken out of context, contorted and used as the cornerstone of free-market orthodoxy.
The writer lays bare the implications of this gross misrepresentation of Smith's theory which, he argues, has resulted in hampering our understanding of how economies function, why some economies fail and some succeed.