Books of the week: From India during the Cold War to Rachel Cusk’s Coventry, our picks

  • We love stories and there's nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption

  • Every Sunday, we'll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure.

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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 Books of the week: From India during the Cold War to Rachel Cusk’s Coventry, our picks

– FICTION

Girl in White Cotton
By Avni Doshi
HarperCollins India | Rs 599 | 288 pages

Flirting the lines between memory, identity, and the subjectivity of truth, Girl in White Cotton explores the shifting relationship between Antara and her mother Tara. While Tara leaves home and family to follow a guru, she soon starts to lose her memory. Antara is forced to make peace, facing her past and present, stumbling upon the realisation that she might be more similar to her mother than different. A tale of love and deception, Avni Doshi’s debut novel weaves a surprising and unsettling narrative.

Read more about the book here.

– SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

Strange
By Shreya Sen-Handley
HarperCollins India | Rs 350 | 208 pages

The protagonists of Shreya Sen-Handley’s stories are ordinary people whose lives take unexpected turns, placing them in situations that reveal the deeply buried parts of their psyches. From a wife trying a casual sexual encounter to a man stealing office stationary for no discernible reason, the stories examine the behaviour and responses of ordinary people to the many situations life throws at them. Each story promises to leave the reader with many questions and haunted by the characters they have read.

Read more about the book here.

Who Wants to Marry a Mamma’s Boy and Other Stories
By Manjula Pal
Rupa Publications India | Rs 195 | 128 pages

Writer and journalist Manjula Pal tells the stories of women at different stages of their lives, diving into their mental and emotional journeys. The stories hold a mirror up to the every day challenges women face, from a teenager buckling under social pressure to a woman trying to manage her time between her career and a boyfriend. Pal focuses on relationships, the social and cultural influences affecting these relationships, the guilt women often carry with them, and more. The main takeaway from the stories is to strike a balance between compromising and committing as a means to happiness.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Who Blunders and How
By Robin Banerjee
SAGE Publishing India | Rs 550 | 312 pages

A handy guide-book for business owners, Who Blunders and How: The Dumb Side of the Corporate World discusses the causes for a business to fail. Not even the biggest multi-nationals are immune to these, including Nokia, BlackBerry, Lehman Brothers, and more. From mediocre quality to improper management and from bad leadership to disrespect of customers, there are many pitfalls one must avoid. The book, through analysing common mistakes, highlights the different elements that must be carefully balanced to keep a business running.

Robin Banerjee, also author of Who Cheats and How? Scams, Fraud and the Dark Side of the Corporate World is a corporate executive with over 35 years of experience.

Read more about the book here.

Coventry
By Rachel Cusk
Faber & Faber | Rs 419 | 256 pages

Rachel Cusk is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction. Drawing upon themes that have resonated throughout her body of work, Cusk’s Coventry is a collection of essays that make for an immersive reading experience, offering new insight into the writer’s way of thinking. Ranging from memoir to literary criticism ringing with clarity and socio-political commentary, the essays are fearlessly expressive of Cusk’s emotional sensibility.

Read an excerpt from the book here. Read more about the book here.

– YOUNG READERS

Rattu and Poorie’s Adventures in History: 1857
By Parvati Sharma
Penguin Random House India | Rs 299 | 112 pages

Writer and editor Parvati Sharma’s work with adult historical fiction and children’s books focuses on Indian history. Her writing resonates with children in delightful and engaging ways. With illustrations by Meghna Menon, in Rattu and Poorie’s Adventures in History: 1857, Sharma takes readers through a fantastical journey of this landmark of Indian history.

Rattu’s elder sister Poorie has gone away to play without her. In her foul mood, she wishes for a soldier who would look out for her. The ground shakes and two soldiers are suddenly in the room with her. The two sisters embark on an adventure through the Great Revolt of 1857, meeting notable personalities like Rani Lakshmi Bai and Nana Sahib, among others.

Read more about the book here.

– INDIA IN FOCUS

India’s Lost Frontier
By Raghvendra Singh
Rupa Publications India | Rs 995 | 536 pages

Raghvendra Singh is an IAS officer, former secretary of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Textiles, and Director General of the National Archives of India, with a keen interest in conservation.

In India’s Lost Frontier: The Story of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan Singh lays out an exhaustive study of the region’s past – from having a Congress government to joining Pakistan through a strategic manoeuvre of the British. Singh argues that with the increasing Chinese presence, the 1947 loss of the NWFP might have serious repercussion on India’s security in the future.

Read more about the book here.

India and the Cold War
Edited by Manu Bhagavan
Penguin Random House | Rs 599 | 280 pages

This essay collection draws on a range of resources, from archival material recently made available, to media like literature and cinema, to understand the decisions of India’s policymakers and the effects of the country’s diplomatic history. It traces the narrative of India from decolonisation to non-alignment and its instrumental nature in encouraging dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union, all coming together to make the book a definitive text on the subject of India during the Cold War.

Read more about the book here.

Updated Date: Aug 20, 2019 10:40:41 IST