Books of the week: From SL Bhyrappa's Brink to Abeer Kapoor's The Most Notorious Jailbreakers, our picks

Our weekly roundup of books that should be on your radar.

Aarushi Agrawal September 16, 2020 10:12:21 IST
Books of the week: From SL Bhyrappa's Brink to Abeer Kapoor's The Most Notorious Jailbreakers, our picks

We love stories, and even in the age of Netflix-and-chill, there's nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption — whether curled up in bed, in your favourite coffeehouse, or that long (and tiresome) commute to work. Every Sunday, we'll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure. Get them wherever you get your books — the friendly neighbourhood bookseller, e-retail website, chain store — and in whatever form you prefer. Happy reading!

For more of our weekly book recommendations, click here.

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– FICTION

Rumble in A Village: A Novel
By Luc Leruth with Jean Drèze
Aleph Book Company | Rs 699 | 308 pages

Writer Luc Leruth and economics professor Jean Drèze’s novel follows Anil Singh, a London banker, who finds out he is the sole heir to his uncle who has died in Palanpur. On his way to India, Singh discovers his uncle has been murdered and that his domestic help, a Dalit woman named Neetu, has been arrested, but no one believes she is the killer. While being a murder mystery, the book also offers a larger narrative about life in an Indian village as Singh bumbles along.

Read more about the book here.

Twilight in a Knotted World
By Sidhhartha Sarma
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 599 | 296 pages

Journalist and historian Sidhhartha Sarma’s novel follows Captain William Henry Sleeman, who administers the Jabalpur district during the hold of the East India Company. He is tasked with investigating a group of criminals who strangle their victims, called the 'Phansigar problem'. He soon starts to uncover language, beliefs, lore, and superstition from the countryside. As his investigation makes him confront the nature of the homeland he has adopted, he comes across uncomfortable truths.

Read more about the book here.

Brink
By SL Bhyrappa; translated by R Ranganath Prasad
Niyogi Books | Rs 595 | 420 pages

Translated by R Ranganath Prasad, Kannada author SL Bhyrappa’s novel is a love saga between widower Somashekhar and Amrita, an estranged woman. It meditates on the moral, philosophical, and physical aspects of love between a man and woman. He brings love and warmth into her life, but she often loses her temper and has swift mood changes, inflicting pain on him during these times. Will Somashekhar be able to help Amrita overcome her depression?

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

Running Toward Mystery: The Adventure of an Unconventional Life
By Tenzin Priyadarshi and Zara Houshmand
Penguin Random House India | Rs 599 | 256 pages

With Iranian-American writer Zara Houshmand, The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, President and CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, records his lifelong journey as a seeker. He shares his thoughts on science and technology, meditation and spiritual disillusionment, and the relationship between Buddhism and the modern world. And encourages readers to contemplate one's meaning and purpose, and to embrace the deeper mystery of what it means to be alive.

Read more about the book here.

The Most Notorious Jailbreakers: Untold Stories of Escaped Convicts
By Abeer Kapoor
Rupa Publications | Rs 195 | 184 pages

Journalist Abeer Kapoor’s book records stories of 16 criminals who have escaped from prisons all over India. Among the stories are those of Sher Singh Rana, who killed Bandit Queen Phoolan Devi, and walked out of prison with his friends wearing uniforms of the police officers who were to escort him to Roorkee for his hearing; and conman Natwarlal, sentenced for 113 years, who promised to pay a policeman if he helped him escape and later, the entire bundle of cash mysteriously caught fire.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

The Making of Aadhaar: World’s Largest Identity Platform
By Ram Sevak Sharma
Rupa Publications | Rs 595 | 240 pages

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman Ram Sevak Sharma provides a first-hand account of the making of the Aadhaar, the world’s largest identity project. He was among those leading the team in developing the technology that undergirds it, creating an online authentication system for the digital world. A case study of a major governmental project, Sharma also discusses how it continues to change and redefine India.

Read more about the book here.

The Story of China: A Portrait of a Civilisation and Its People
By Michael Wood
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 899 | 624 pages

Author and historian Michael Wood lays down the story of China, one of the oldest civilisations on earth. The book presents its grand history, interspersed with personal stories from Wood’s own travel journals. He discusses archaeological discoveries, court cases going back to the Qin and Han dynasties, stories from Silk Road merchants and Buddhist travellers, and more. In the modern era, he also presents manifestos of feminist revolutionaries Qiu Jin and He Zhen, the 1989 Tiananmen Square crisis, the new order of President Xi Jinping, and more.

Read more about the book here.

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