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HT Picks: This Week’s Most Interesting Reads

This week’s reading list includes a tome on the digital future, a listing of Hindi film lyricists, and a book of lassi recipes

books Updated: Feb 01, 2019 20:28 IST
HT Team
HT Team
Hindustan Times
A recipe book, a list of lyricists, and a look at the future! (HT Team)


691pp, Rs 799

Will the Digital future be our home? Surveillance capitalism: a global system of behavior modification that threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth. Shoshana Zuboff gave the paradigm its name. Now, as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every sector of the global economy, she brings its consequences to life.

Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new ‘behavioural futures markets’, where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold. But what starts with prediction ends with control. We find ourselves in the crucible of an unprecedented form of power, one that is distinguished by extreme concentrations of knowledge and no democratic oversight.

Zuboff’s comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a seductive ‘hive’ of total connection that promises maximum certainty for maximum profit, but whose price is human freedom. With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism menaces our present and will dominate our future – if we let it.*


347pp, Rs 499

With the advent of sound, Hindi songs acquired a grammar of their own, thanks to their introduction as part of the narrative – a tradition that is unique to Hindi as much as to other Indian cinema. This gave rise to a class of professionals who acquires a star status comparable to that of the actors themselves – the lyricists. And songs in Hindi cinema often emerge as a film’s biggest stars.

Main Shayar Toh Nahin chronicles the journeys of leading film lyricists – from DN Madhok and Pradeep to Amitabh Bhattacharya and Irhsan Kamil, including stalwarts like Shailendra and Shakeel Badayuni, Rajendra Krishen and Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Anand Bakshi, Gulzar and Javed Akhtar – and so many others who have worked magic with the written word.

Filled with trivia and never-before-heard anecdotes, this is an introduction to the contribution made by some of the finest wordsmiths to the Hindi film industry.*


191pp, Rs995

Did you know that buttermilk could be spiced up with a tempering of mustard oil and zesty spices? Would you be surprised to learn that fermented onion and lemon could add an exotic twist to the traditional yoghurt drink? Ever fancied green chillies in your glass of lassi? While smoothies are commonplace, a glass of the humble lassi is an undisputed choice for all seasons across India and beyond borders.

Lassis of India: Smoothies With a Twist is not a book of ordinary recipes. With a touch of freshness and diversity, it is every beverage junkie’s delight. For experimental enthusiasts and those looking to recreate family favourites, Lassis of India offers 74 mouth watering combinations in regional varieties and modern-day variations with a mélange of flavours, unique spice blends and mixtures. Go right ahead and whip up a storm in a glass for your dear ones.*

*All copy from book flap.

First Published: Feb 01, 2019 20:28 IST