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Books to read this week

books Updated: May 14, 2010 13:24 IST

IANS
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BooksReaders, here come five new books to keep you turning the pages...

1. The Monochrome Madonna: Written by Kalpana Swaminathan; published by Penguin-Books India; priced at Rs.250

Kalpana Swaminathan's Lalli is the first credible Indian woman detective in the English language. The third book of the series, The Monochrome Madonna, begins with the violent death of a man in a strange apartment, 4, Kalina Sputnik, inhabited by S. Shah and V. Dasgupta.

Detective Lalli, a retired police inspector in her 60s, is out of town and her niece is entrusted with the task of investigating the murder before Lalli returns. The novel is a part psychological thriller and part mystery penned in a racy coloquial English that is easy to identify with. The book sees Lalli "use her most astute instincts to interpret a murder without any motive". Swaminathan is a surgeon and writer.

2. Chef: A Novel: Written by Jaspreet Singh; published by Penguin-Books India; priced at Rs.450

The book carries with it the scent of nostalgia - the familiar emotion that every Kashmiri exile is assailed with on return. Kirpal Singh - Kip - to his friends, a military chef, is on his way home after 14 years. Haunted by his past, he walks down memory lane to recall his days with General Kumar, in a camp in the icy heights of Siachen glacier. Kip met his mentor, the fiery chef Kishen, at the camp who guided him to the hedonistic realm of women and food.

Amid the turmoil that churned the Valley, Kip learnt to cook a host of delectable dishes - from rogan josh to tiramisu. But one day, a Pakistani terrorist with flowing locks was swept up the banks… and life changed forever.

3. The Bridge to Nowhere: Written by Mona Verma; published by Depot (Self Publishing); priced at Rs.225

The novelist's debut endeavour has an eerie aura to it in the footsteps of Ruskin Bond. The element of mystery lends it an edge. A Bridge Across Forever is a collection of four stories about the lives of people who have embarked upon a journey that may never be complete.

George wants to relive a fragment of his dream; Vasudha's emotional erosion leads her to punish the one she loves, Rosanna hones her behaviour to perfection to mask a smudgy mind and Manya realises that the man she loves does not exist. The novel climaxes on a fateful bridge that crosses to "forever...", carrying the protagonists along.

4. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get: Written by Atul Gawande; published by Penguin-Viking; priced at Rs.399

The best-selling author of Better and Complications reveals the power of the ordinary checklist. We live in a world of great complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. The constrained circumstances often leave room for grave errors. Surgeon-writer Gawande finds the remedy to check the errors in the humble check-list.

Cheklists are ubiquitous. Introduced decades ago by the US Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircrafts of mind-boggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world. They dominate almost every sphere of professional life - and spill over to personal lives as well.

5. The Wild Geese and The Water: Written by Osho; Published by Tranquebar Ltd; Priced at Rs.350

The book, compiled from the works of late godman Osho, exposes the hypocrycies of all the establishments - or great religions - which lay down guidelines for people to lead their lives. The book is a challenge to all as Osho declares the inner potential of every human being to recognise and realise his own godliness.

Illustrating his answers with life studies of historical personalities, Osho guides the reader towards the path of meditation.