Of 'untouchables', good friends, memory and mystery (IANS Books)
Know a Dalit woman's family history that goes back to the
1930s, when the Independence movement promised freedom but little changed for
untouchables; get a refreshing, nuanced take on friendship, love and this crazy
thing called life; enhance your learning methods, study techniques, and
psychological preparation; and read a crime novel that shatters the conventions
of the genre.
The IANS bookshelf has it all for readers this 1st weekend of Feb 2018.
1. Book: Ants Among Elephants; Author: Sujatha Gidla;
Publisher: Harper Collins; Price: Rs 599; Pages: 304
While most untouchables are illiterate, her family was educated by Canadian
missionaries in the 1930s, making it possible for Gidla to attend elite schools
and move to America at the age of 26. It was only then that she saw how
extraordinary and yet how typical, her family history truly was.
Her mother, Manjula, and uncles Satyam and Carey, were born in the last days of
British colonial rule. They grew up in a world marked by poverty and injustice,
but also full of possibility. In the slums where they lived, everyone had a
political side, and rallies, agitations and arrests were commonplace. The
Independence movement promised freedom. Yet for untouchables and other poor and
working people, little changed.
In "Ants Among Elephants", she tells her story. A moving portrait of love,
hardship, and struggle, the book is also that rare thing: A personal history of
modern India told from the bottom up.
2. Book: A Few Good Friends
; Author: Swati Kaushal; Publisher:
Hachette; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 310
For Aadi, Srini, Ambi, TD, Miru and Kajo, the 20th anniversary reunion of their
batch from IIM-Calcutta provides the perfect opportunity to set aside their
everyday anxieties and re-live the heady days of their youth. But things begin
to go awry when ex-lovers reunite, old grudges resurface and long-held secrets
come tumbling out.
As they navigate an eventful weekend in Goa packed with expected nostalgia and
unexpected drama, what becomes increasingly clear is that while friends are
fallible, friendships are forever. The book sparkles with wit, warmth and the
easy craft that has marked Swati Kaushal's bestselling novels.
3. Book: Maximize Your Memory
; Author: Ramon Campayo;
Publisher: Rupa; Price: Rs 295; Pages: 274
Each of us has the ability to develop and improve our minds in amazing ways. All
you need is motivation, an effective method, and an expert guide. Ramon
Campayo's method shows you the fastest, easiest and most effective way to
drastically and almost immediately increase your memorisation capacity and
The book can surely help to improve one's study habits and preparation for
4. Book: Glass Houses
; Author: Louise Penny; Publisher: Sphere;
Price: Rs 699; Pages: 391
One cold November day, a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines causing
unease, alarm and confusion among everyone who sees it. Armand Gamache and the
rest of the villagers are at first curious; then wary. Through rain and sleet,
the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.
From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now a Chief
Superintendent, suspects that the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose.
Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting
fears are not realised.
But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls on
Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.
Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in
Montreal, Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that
bitter November, from which there is no going back.
In "Glass Houses", Louise Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to
explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience -- a court that supersedes
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