Books of the week: From Walter Isaacson's The Code Breaker to Shrilal Shukla's Fragments of Happiness, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal March 15, 2021 10:36:15 IST
Books of the week: From Walter Isaacson's The Code Breaker to Shrilal Shukla's Fragments of Happiness, 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 week, 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

Fragments of Happiness
By Shrilal Shukla; translated by Niyati Bafna
Speaking Tiger Books | Rs 350 | 456 pages

Niyati Bafna translates Sahitya Akademi awardee Shrilal Shukla’s (1925-2011) 1973 novel from the Hindi. It follows the lives of the people left behind after Durgadas, a Delhi businessman, is arrested for murder in Lucknow. As his family and friends fight to prove his innocence, they find themselves turning on each other and figuring out their own ways of tackling the upheaval.

Read more about the book here.

A Red-necked Green Bird
By Ambai; translated by GJV Prasad
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 399 | 216 pages

Translator GJV Prasad brings the stories of researcher CS Lakshmi, writing in Tamil as Ambai, to English readers in this collection of short stories. In one story, a woman defines love for herself through amalgamating technology and spirituality through the internet. Another talks about the man who can sing Bulleh Shah and the woman who’s lost her all in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. In another, a man learns what it means to be a woman after a dip in the pond.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race
By Walter Isaacson
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 899 | 560 pages

Biographer Walter Isaacson tells the story of Jennifer Doudna, recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for CRISPR, an invention that can edit DNA. While opening up a whole new world of medical miracles and possibilities, it also raised moral questions about what it means for humanity: ‘Should we democratise the technology that would allow parents to enhance their kids?’ While bringing to life the woman leading the way, the book also examines how the discovery is changing life itself.

Read more about the book here.

Raj & Norah: A True Story of Love Lost and Found in World War II
By Peter R Kohli and Shaina Kohli Russo
HarperCollins India | Rs 699 | 420 pages

Writer Peter R Kohli and his daughter Shaina Kohli Russo detail his parents’ love story. His father Raj was a student in England when World War II broke out and having joined the army, found himself injured in Naples. There he met Norah, who was working as a nurse, and together the couple built themselves a space amidst the devastation. But soon he was sent to London, she to Rome, and they wondered if they would ever see each other again.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Leopard Diaries: The Rosette in India
By Sanjay Gubbi
Westland | Rs 599 | 272 pages

Writer and conservationist Sanjay Gubbi, who has studied and documented the leopard for almost a decade, details several facets of the animal. From food habits to shedding new light on how cubs are reared, and from exploring the human-wildlife conflict to considering the future of the animal, he also considers the ecological or local extinction this solitary animal is facing in many parts of the world.

– YOUNG READERS

The Snow Leopard Adventure
By Deepak Dalal
Penguin Random House India | Rs 250 | 224 pages

Writer Deepak Dalal tells the story of Vikram and Aditya who are in Ladakh to find the snow leopard. They join a team of ecologists and explorers in their search for this grey ghost of the Himalayas. But up in the dangerous mountains, one question echoes in every mind: how do you study an animal you cannot find?

Read more about the book here.

Updated Date:

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