HT Picks: This week’s most interesting books

This week’s selection includees the new KR Meena, an examination of a young marriage, and a peek at capitalism in the new age
So much to read!(HT Team)
So much to read!(HT Team)
Updated on Apr 13, 2018 06:19 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Team
270pp, ₹499; Penguin.
270pp, ₹499; Penguin.

THE UNSEEING IDOL OF LIGHT BY KR MEERA

One fateful day, Deepti vanishes mysteriously. Baffled by her disappearance and consumed with grief, Prakash, her husband, loses his eyesight. For Prakash, the inexplicable loss of Deepti is doubly painful because she was pregnant with their child. And no amount of consolation can bring him solace in the years that ensue.

Into this void steps Rajani, a woman with a tormented past. Despite her initial disdain of Prakash, she steadily finds herself drawn to him. And although an intense desire brings them together, Prakash is unable to give Rajani the love she craves, just as he is powerless to dispel the luminous memory of Deepti. But where will this grave obsession lead?

The Unseeing Idol of Light is a haunting tale that explores love and loss, blindness and sight, obsession and suffering – and the poignant interconnections between them.

176pp, ₹199; Harper Collins.
176pp, ₹199; Harper Collins.

THE STORY OF A LONG DISTANCE MARRIAGE BY SIDDHESH INAMDAR

Rohan and Ira’s life takes an unexpected turn when Ira decides to leave for New York to study. They’ve been married for only fifteen months, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and Rohan is not going to come between his wife and her dream. So, sad but supportive, he stays back in Delhi, where he is on the brink of a promotion at a national daily. After all, his relationship with Ira is strong enough to survive the distance – they are new- age lovers who don’t let marriage come in the way of careers and ambitions.

Rohan prepares for a year without Ira, getting by with a little help from his friends. Yusuf, his on-call confidant who lives in Bangalore: Alisha, a colleague he likes catching up with over tea; and Tanuj, his new role model at work. Life without Ira is going surprisingly well. Until the day, that is, she reveals the real reason she left.

Beautifully written and unflinchingly honest, this is the love story of our times.

273pp, ₹599; Hachette.
273pp, ₹599; Hachette.

REINVENTING CAPITALISM IN THE AGE OF BIG DATA BY VIKTOR MAYER-SCHONBERGER and THOMAS RAMGE

For the past century, the story of capitalism has been the story of a market dominated by money and firms. We use prices to judge goods, and what we’re willing to pay signals how useful a good is to us. Firms coordinate massive efforts, such as mass-producing cars, by controlling the flow of information and centralizing decision making, while providing stable employment. But the data we generate about ourselves and the data manufacturers generate about their products enable algorithms to connect buyers and sellers much more efficiently than markets based on price ever could. These same forces make the rigid control of information unnecessary, enabling ever-smaller groups people to work together effectively. Large, centralized firms could wither away to nothing more than a person and their computer: more AirBnB than Holiday Inn.

This fusion of big data and artificial intelligence will lead a new kind of capitalism: data capitalism.

This could mean a more sustainable, egalitarian economy, but the end of the firm – including the end of stable employment – carries great risks as well. Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data will show how modern technological change is killing capitalism as we know it, and what comes nex

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Monday, December 06, 2021