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HT Picks: The week’s most interesting books

This week’s reading list is varied and includes a tale about friendship, stories set in Banaras, and a book on what it takes to win at sport

books Updated: Sep 28, 2018 22:26 IST
HT Team
HT Team
Hindustan Times
Banaras,sport,friendship
This week’s picks feature feisty rabbits, life in Banaras, and a study of what makes a winner. (HT Team)

THE RABBIT AND THE SQUIRREL BY SIDDHARTH DHANVANT SHANGHVI; ILLUSTRATED BY STINA WIRSEN

PP66, Rs 399

The Squirrel’s greatest joy is dancing in the forest with the Rabbit – her beloved friend and equal of heart. While the duo is inseparable, fate has other ideas: the feisty Squirrel is forcibly married to a wealthy boar and the solitary Rabbit enlists in a monastery.
Years later, a brief, tragic reunion finds them both transformed by personal defeats. And yet, to each other, they are unchanged, and their private world – where sorrow registered as rapture and wit concealed loss – is just how they had left it.
A story of thwarted love, and an ode to the enduring pleasures of friendship, The Rabbit and the Squirrel is a charmed fable for grown-ups, in which one life, against all odds, is fated for the other. *


TO DIE IN BENARES BY K MADAVANE; TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY BLAKE SMITH

186pp, Rs 499

In seven grim, macabre and sometimes darkly comic tales, Madavane traces France’s forgotten colonial presence, playfully reinterprets Hindu myths and recounts the many ways to die in postcolonial India. Recalling the pitiless world of Maupassant and animated by ghosts, gods and holy men, these haunting stories offer a fresh perspective on India’s past and present, its many ironies and idiosyncrasies.
Mourir a Benares was first published in French in 2010 and received high acclaim for its depiction of India’s most fabled town and the many unusual characters who populate it. Now available in English for the first time, To Die in Benares brings to a wide audience a rare and irresistible literary voice. *


GAME CHANGERS BY JOAO MEDEIROS

393pp, Rs 499,

In Game Changers we meet the coaches and sports scientists who rethink how sport is analysed and understood, how athletes train and perform under pressure. In Liverpool in the eighties, a motley group – a mathematician, a physiologist, a psychologist and a former basketball player – began to pioneer new ways of tracking performance. Over the decades that followed, performance analysis came of age, becoming an essential component of any elite team, from English Premier League title winners Manchester City to America’s Cup high-performance sailing teams.

Using a hybrid of scientific method and trial and error, scientists have uncovered the tenets of accelerated learning, the mechanics of physiological adaptation, the organizational principles behind elite teams, the understanding of how hormones and environment affect performance. These discoveries are not confined to athletic endeavours – they are universal and reveal what it takes to win not only in sports but are applicable across a wide range of disciplines. *

*All copy from book flap.

First Published: Sep 28, 2018 22:25 IST