On the bookshelves this week
1. Beyond Twilight: Explore the World of Vampires - written by Manuela Dunn Mascetti; published by Shree Book Centre & Pentagon Press; price Rs.395: The latest non-fiction tome from the archives of Count Dracula's mysterious domain tries to probe the range of historical, social, literary and even cinematographic allusions that have brought to life the myths and shadowy figure of the Vampire which skulks in the shadows of sunset.
It tries to answer questions like what is a vampire, is he a projection of our sexual and intellectual fantasies, the legend of Vlad the Impaler and how were they reined in. A racy and nail-biting journey into the crypts of the undead.
2.Faces in the Water - written by Ranjit Lal; published by Penguin Books-India; Price Rs.199: Fifteen-year-old Gurmi, the scion of the aristocratic Diwanchand, had grown up with the fact that his clan sired boys. There had been no daughters...was the proud refrain. The water of a magical well behind his house brought about this good fortune.
But one night, the well morphs into its real self - the pit of death that ensured uninterrupted supply of sons to the family. Gurmi's mama decides to dump her two newborn girls in the well in the footsteps of their predecessors who haunted the young hero in his dreams with their spooky girlie games. Gurmi swings into action to rescue his just-born sisters. And brings them back to mama and roomful of shamed faces in a daring act of adventure and bravado. A telling fictional take on female infanticide and gender atrocity.
3. How To Be Your Management Guru - written by Morgen Wiorgen; published by Penguin Portfolio; Price Rs.299: Jargon, cliches and buzzwords. Management is still red-taped in officialese. Managers, as a result, find it difficult to see the link between a big idea propounded by a biz guru and their daily work. Yet managers must learn to see and understand this link if they have to cope with change and competition and evolve as the smart manager.
The book tries to answers these key posers: How smart a manager are you? How well do you understand the art and craft of management? How smart is your management team when it comes to understanding both the fundamentals of business and new trends? How good are you in leveraging your knowledge and skills in order to provide value for your business and clients?
4. Perfect Eight- written by Reema Moudgil; published by Tranquebar; Price Rs.200: The lyrical and autobiographical fiction is a tale of travel, discovery, twists, turns, redemption and denial. The writer begins her journey from Lahore during partition. She witnesses her mother's life torn apart by hate - and bears it like a burden.
The writer lives out her own destiny in the seclusion of a tea estate at Annaville that belongs to "her loving Anna Aunty" and the elusive Samir, who understands passion, but not love. Years later, Samir re-enters the protagonist's life in a burst of flaming passion as they relive their youth briefly. Consummated, the passion is canned once again in Samir's jam box which "he would perhaps never open again". An evocative read with emotional insights into a woman's life.
5. Swami Vivekananda: The Known Philosopher, The Unknown Poet - written by Radhika Nagrath, published by Meteor Books, Kolkata; Price - Rs.100: "They bless thee all/The seers great, whom age cannot clime/Can claim their own, their fathers of the race/Well, their servant, thou hast got/The secret It's but one...man ill-voiced" - Very few of us know of Swami Vivekananda's flair for poetry.
The seer was no Milton or Shelley, but he spoke his own mind through poetry. His poetic corpus is spiritual, Vedic. The Upanishads influenced his poetry profoundly. The book tries to project Vivekananda as a mature poet who succeeds in translating romantic reality into classical vision.