An iconic villain of Tamil cinema, great women scientists, and a powerful Hindu deity, all feature on HT Picks this week!(HT Team)
An iconic villain of Tamil cinema, great women scientists, and a powerful Hindu deity, all feature on HT Picks this week!(HT Team)

HT Picks: The most interesting books of the week

A book on great women who have changed science, another on a well-loved villain of Tamil cinema, and a slim volume on a powerful Hindu deity - all that on HTPicks this week!
Hindustan Times | By HT Team
UPDATED ON MAR 22, 2019 07:42 PM IST

THE RELUCTANT FAMILY MAN; SHIVA IN EVERYDAY LIFE BYT NILIMA CHITGOPEKAR

183pp, Rs 299; Penguin
183pp, Rs 299; Penguin

Shiva – the one in whom the ascetic and the householder merge. He’s the destroyer of evil, the pervasive one in whom all things lie. He is brilliant, terrifying, wild and beneficent. He is both an ascetic and a householder, both a yogi and a guru. He encompasses the masculine and the feminine, the powerful and the graceful, the Tandava and the Laasya, the darkness and the light, the divine and the human.

What can we learn from this bundle of contradictions, this dreadlocked yogi? How does he manage the devotions and the duties of father, husband and man of the house, and the demands and supplications of a clamorous cosmos?

In The Reluctant Family Man, Nilima Chitgopekar uses the life and personality of Shiva – his self awareness, his marriage, his balance, his detachment, his contentment – to derive lessons that readers can practically apply to their own lives. With chapters broken down into distinct frames of analysis, she defines concepts of Shaivism and interprets their application in everyday life.*

NAMBIAR SWAMI; THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE HOLY BY MN DIPAK NAMBIAR

177pp, Rs 499; HarperCollins
177pp, Rs 499; HarperCollins

Few actors in Tamil cinema have been as loved as MN Nambiar. Admired for his intense acting prowess, particularly his portrayals of villains, he was also revered as a guruswami (spiritual leader). Nambiarswami provides an in-depth look into his public persona and personal life, which he fastidiously kept separate from one another. From growing up in Ooty and joining the gritty world of travelling drama troupes to achieving stellar success in the Tamil film industry, this book takes the reader on an engaging journey narrated by the man himself, as told to his grandson Dipak Nambiar.

The foreword y J Jayalalithaa and stirring anecdotes from his family and industry friends make this book a fascinating portrait of the legendary actor.*

10 WOMEN WHO CHANGED SCIENCE AND THE WORLD BY CATHERINE WHITLOCK AND RHODRI EVANS

306pp, Rs 599; Hachette
306pp, Rs 599; Hachette

Ten Women Who Changed Science tells the moving stories of 10 outstanding female physicists, biologists, chemists, astronomers and doctors who helped to shape our world with their extraordinary breakthroughs and inventions, and outlines their remarkable achievements.

These scientists overcame significant obstacles, often simply because they were women; and their science and lives were driven by personal tragedies and shaped by seismic world events.

What drove these remarkable women to cure previously incurable diseases, disprove existing theories or discover new sources of energy? Some were rewarded with the Nobel Prize for their pioneering achievements – Madame Curie, twice – others were not. Even among those who were, very few are household names.

Despite living during periods when the contribution of women was disregarded, if not ignored, these resilient women persevered with their research, whether creating life-saving drugs or expanding our knowledge of the cosmos. By daring to ask ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ and persevering against the odds, each of these women, in a variety of ways, has made the world a better place.*

*All copy from book flap

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