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What the world is reading...

From magical thoughts to doomed societies to exploring the origin of Islam - here is what's flying off the shelves in the world of non-fiction...

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 13:41 IST
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From magical thoughts to doomed societies to exploring the origin of Islam - here is what's flying off the shelves in the world of non-fiction...

Non-fiction

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam
Reza Aslan
Random House

Aslan is concerned that Westerners know little about Islam and sees today's Islamic extremists as part of an internal reformation — one that he thinks will, in the end, reject fanaticism and return the religion to its authentic roots.

The World is Flat: A Brief History of The Twenty-First Century
Thomas L. Friedman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In this his third book on global trends, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman describes the leveling process taking place across planet Earth, driven by new technology and software. Friedman's analysis is simple, practical, and rich in insight

Did Reagan win the Cold War?
John Lewis Gaddis'
The book succinctly captures the long faceoff that shaped our world. But his analysis is marred by Reagan worship.

Epileptic
David B.
Pantheon

In this memoir of his family's struggle with his brother's epilepsy, David B. has created a stark and painful record — in a graphic novel format — of what happens to families when chronic illness moves in.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Jared Diamond
Viking

Geographer Diamond examines several doomed societies (among them the Norse settlements in Greenland and the Easter Islanders) and analyzes the reasons for their demise. His absorbing study demonstrates that insufficient attention to climate, natural resources, even neighbors — in short, to geography itself — can prove fatal.

The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion
Alfred A. Knopf

Didion's account of the year following the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, is a searing evocation of bereavement. She depicts the experience as one of near hallucinatory intensity, yet her clinical eye renders it with clarity and nuance.

(The list has been compiled from listings by Christian Science Monitor, LA Times and Salon.com)

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 21:27 IST