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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

HT Picks: The most interesting reads of the week

A book on the Andaman and Nicobar islands, another on Japan, and one on fantastic Parsi characters! 

books Updated: Nov 22, 2019 20:22 IST
HT Team
HT Team
Hindustan Times
This week’s list of recommended reads includes a book on the spectacular islands in the Bay of Bengal, another on Japan, and one on the Parsis.
This week’s list of recommended reads includes a book on the spectacular islands in the Bay of Bengal, another on Japan, and one on the Parsis. (HT Team)


232pp, Rs 899; Bloomsbury
232pp, Rs 899; Bloomsbury

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a group of 572 islands, located in the Bay of Bengal, form a beautiful canvas of vivid colours. A paradisiacal landscape, the islands are blessed with unique tropical rainforests , varieties of forest animals, exotic sea beaches and exclusive tourist attractions.

The Great Nicobar Island helps us understand how Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in general, and Great Nicobar, in particular, can be a keystone of India’s strategic and development trajectory. It also describes the fascinating collection of the exotic flora and fauna of the island and discusses the identity and tradition of the Nicobarese and Shompen tribes. Author Rehan Raza accounts his journey to Indira Point, Navy Dera, Mount Thullier, Galathea, Makachua and Afra Bay and thus parts of the book read like a delightful travelogue. It gives a vivid description of the potential tourism sites of Great Nicobar Island along with illustrating all the popular tourist destinations of Andaman Islands. In a personal account, Raza captures the ordeals of the tsunami survivers and the efforts made by the administration in the aftermath.

In his professional capacity as the SDM and Assistant Commissioner, Campbell Bay, Raza outlines the challenges to and discusses the prospects of unlocking the potential of growth and development in the Great Nicobar Island and transforming it into a strategic asset. A treasure of information, this book will be of immense value to scholars, strategic experts, bureaucrats and tourists visiting the islands. *


330pp, Rs 399; HarperCollins
330pp, Rs 399; HarperCollins

For the average Indian, Japan is the land of the bullet train, zippy cars, and geishas – as also hard to understand. However, what appears to be opaque and insular to the world outside turns out toe be a society that is friendly, intimate, and loosely knit when you get to know it better.

In Japan Made Easy, Sandeep Goyal, an old hand at explaining the country, takes us on a joyous roller-coaster ride through Japanese aesthetics, business, culture, food, philosophy, spirituality and much else to make this land of mystery and mystique familiar to us.

With India’s rising number of tourists to Japan and Olympics 2020 on the horizon, this book is the best guide to a complex, nuanced and an utterly loveable country.*


229pp, Rs 299; Zerodegree Publishing
229pp, Rs 299; Zerodegree Publishing

Fifty Parsi portraits include:

The city father assassinated in broad daylight

The aristocratic sisters owing allegiance to the British monarchy, fifty years after independence

The principal who bent all this principles for a masseuse

The accountant who organized tax raids on his own clients

The thumri humming high priest of Navsari

The conman who met Marilyn Monroe through time travel

The renowned forensic expert who hypnotized roosters

The stud who fathered half a village in Pune

The serpent avatars with their Bollywood glitz

The serial philanderer who seduced countless domestics behind a water tank*

*All copy from book flap.