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HT Picks: This week’s interesting books

A selection of Gauri Lankesh’s writing, a novel about a teenager, and a book about building emotionally safe spaces for creative learning - all good reads

books Updated: Dec 01, 2017 23:18 IST
HT Team
HT Team
Hindustan Times
Gauri Lankesh,Shelja Sen,Daniel Handler
A fine selection.(HT Team)

Gauri Lankesh was the definitive activist-journalist, someone whose head and heart worked as one to encompass her life. Gathered here is a selection from Gauri’s writings, spanning languages, publications and the length of her career. It flags the unfinished work and uphill struggles that remain her legacy, but also preserves her companionable voice for us to cherish, a talisman and inspiration. She was taken away from us in the middle of life, of living busily, large-heartedly, and with a clear gaze on the world - the qualities that animate this collection. *

Let me put it this way: Draw a number line, with zero is, you never think about sex and ten is, it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.

Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends.

He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls, which is beginning to earn him a not-quite -savory reputation around school. This leaves him adrift with only his best friend for company, and then something startling begins to happen between them that might be what he’s been after all this time.

And then he meets a girl.

All the Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where sex feels like love but no one knows what love feels like - a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world.

There are love stories galore. This isn’t that. The story I’m typing is all the dirty parts. *

Why do we send our children to school? How can learning be meaningful? And, most importantly, how can we build schools worthy of our children? 

From the time children are little, we start making stories about them. Schools are like factories where these stories are manufactured all the time. Some children, who are at the top of the social hierarchy, enjoy rich, diverse and colourful stories, which are told and retold. But there are many who spend most of their lives in school, clutching on to single, thin narratives where they have been judged as: ‘a failure’, ‘can do better’, ‘not up to the mark’ or ‘not reaching potential’ - every ‘not’ restricting and making their narratives thinner, limited with lesser scope for possibilities. These are the children who are forgotten , who are invisible and who are seen as never being good enough.

At the core of this book is a deep faith that learning is about the magical relationship the teacher builds with each child; it is about building emotionally safe, inclusive spaces for creative learning - this is the heart, the lifeblood, the bare bones of learning.
Imagine is a call to action for teachers, parents, counsellors, therapists, activists, thought leaders and other change agents in our society. It is a game changer that will force us to reflect , rethink and redesign schools to ones that our children truly deserve. *

*Taken from book flap

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 23:14 IST