The bookcase is exciting, funny and offbeat this weekend.
Looking for America
; Written by Avirook Sen; Published by Harper Collins-India; Priced at Rs.299
Armed with only an outsider's insight, a sense of humour and sturdy shoes, journalist-writer Avirook Sen sets out on a journey across America. It is the year of the Obama election - the recession has arrived and America is opening to change.
As he travels to places, both prominent and obscure, Sen finds stories everywhere: of the average Joe who feels the hands of history on his shoulder to the radioactive frogs of Knoxville.
2. Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel ; Written by Irving Karchmar; Published by Hay House/Penguin-Books India; Priced at Rs.299A chance discovery in the desert compels a modern-day Sufi master to send seven companions in search of King Solomon's ring. It is the very same seal ring of a hundred legends, given to King Solomon by god to command those terrifying spirits of smokeless fire called the Jinn.
But the quest has a strange effect on those chosen to go: visions enter their dreams, remembrances and tears fill their hearts and mysteries abound; unearthly storms and unending night, a lost city and demons of living fire. At last, the journey reveals not only the fate of the Jinn, but also the path of love and the infinite mercy of god.
Irving Karchmar has been a writer, editor and publisher for many years, and a dervish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order since 1992. He resides near New York City and is currently at work on his second novel, a sequel titled Tale of the Jinn.
3. Religion, Caste and Politics in India ; Written by Christophe Jaffrelot; Published by Ratna Sagar India; Priced at Rs.399
The book explores the transformation of the Nehruvian approach to economy and polity since the 1980s-1990s that rested upon three pillars: secularism and democracy in the political domain; state intervention in the economy; and a policy of non-alignment mitigated by some Soviet leanings after the 1960s in the field of democracy.
4. Untwine the Wind ; Anthology by Renee Ranchan; Published by Konark Publishers Pvt Ltd; Priced at Rs.750
The volume of abstract poetry is a recollection of emotional responses in tranquility to love, life, nature, human frailties, parents, filial ties, spirituality, shame, motherhood and several other posers - that do not throw up answers easily.
The poems evoke mystical empathy - a commune with the cosmic rhythm of nature. The style is random and the sonnets short. And the rhymes occur in flashes.
5. Small Wonder: The Making of the Nano ; Written by Phillip Chacko, Christabelle Noronha, Sujata Agarwal; Published by Westland Ltd; Priced at Rs.295
Once upon a time, there was a dream, born of the vision of Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata to enable middle class Indians to have a safe and affordable means of mobility, to break the shackles of the mind and go where no one had gone before, to create a motor car that would be more than just a car.
The book is a written documentary on the making of Nano - the country's smallest economy car.