Books of the week: From Raghav Chandra's Kali's Daughter to the Cambridge Analytica story, our picks

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

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

  • Happy reading!

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 from — 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 Raghav Chandras Kalis Daughter to the Cambridge Analytica story, our picks

– FICTION

Imaginary Friend
By Stephen Chbosky
Hachette India | Rs 799 | 720 pages

Stephen Chbosky's second literary outing, Imaginary Friend, comes 20 years after his debut, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The story is a thriller that follows single mother, Kate Reese, who is seen escaping from an abusive relationship, and starting afresh in a new town with her young son Christopher. However, the mystery around the town begins to unravel after her son disappears into the Mission Street Woods, in a fashion similar to another disappearance that occurred in the same spot 50 years ago. When Christopher reappears unharmed six days later, he brings with him a voice only he can hear, and a warning of an oncoming tragedy. Thus begins a story waiting to unfold.

Read more about the book here.

The Aladia Sisters
By Khalid Mohamed
Om Books International | Rs 295 | 350 pages

Khalid Mohamed is a journalist and film critic. In his debut novel, The Aladia Sisters, Mohamed tells the story of six sisters being traced through investigation by a journalist, the grandson of one of the sisters. Part of a patriarchal Muslim family, the women had run away from home – a Haryana village – to take control of their lives. Eventually, each is in the race to have the best life by earning the most amount of money, being the most artistically skilled, finding the flashiest husband, and raising children to the best of their ability. Through interviews, anecdotes, research, and extensive travel through Delhi, Ajmer, Mount Abu, and London, the journalist retells stories of women who led lives on their own terms.

Know more about the book here.

Kali’s Daughter
By Raghav Chandra
Pan Macmillan India | Rs 650 | 352 pages

Raghav Chandra is an IAS officer and former Secretary to the Indian Government, whose novel Kali’s Daughter chronicles the life and conflicts of Deepika Thakur, a diplomat in India’s Foreign Service. Deepika is in Geneva, set to address the United Nations Human Rights Council on how the Indian government is focused on eradicating caste discrimination in the country, while experiencing the opposite as a Dalit woman. As memories of humiliation and cruelty come back to her, she recalls her life and how she became the first in her family to make the cut for the Indian Civil Service. She remembers the impact of two friendships — one, with a Brahmin man named Aman, and another with a fellow Dalit, Vijay. Both relations are tangled in caste and class politics, rooted in inequalities born in an ancient, fractured society. In front of the Human Rights Council, Deepika must look past the atrocities of caste discrimination. But the question is, will she? How will Deepika present India to the world?

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story
By Mihir Dalal
Pan Macmillan India | Rs 699 | 320 pages

Journalist Mihir Dalal’s debut book Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story, is a comprehensive account of what went into the making of Flipkart, India’s biggest e-commerce startup. The account is put together through exhaustive research, interviews, and privileged access to the company, which was founded by IIT graduates Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in their apartment. Dalal recounts how Flipkart, starting out as an online bookstore, slowly gained reputation and value, amassing major investments from venture capitalists, eventually building itself into a multi-billion-dollar giant. The author also tells the story of how the founders’ weakening control over their company forced them to sell their creation to Walmart, a retailer they had ironically wished to emulate in the past.

Read more about the book here.

Mindf *ck: Inside Cambridge Analytica’s Plot to Break the World
By Christopher Wylie
Hachette India | Rs 599 | 288 pages

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie is a data consultant who worked at Cambridge Analytica, and in 2018, exposed the company's misuse of user data to rig the US elections and facilitate the Brexit coup. Wylie also chronicles the activities and intentions of Cambridge Analytica's CEO, Alexander Nix. Through users’ personal information, he recounts the way large companies, like Facebook, were manipulating people's thoughts using targeted advertising and rumours. Wylie breaks down the way data was used as a tool for psychological warfare, and how the firm's work affected the outcomes of some of the biggest political events in the world. The book explores how Cambridge Analytica's actions threaten the very concept of democracy as we know it.

Read more about the book here.

The Greatest Folk Tales of Bihar
By Nalin Verma
Rupa Publications | Rs 295 | 208 pages

Teacher, author and journalist Nalin Verma has been reporting and writing on Bihar for over 30 years. In The Greatest Folk Tales of Bihar, Verma collects stories that have been passed on from one generation to the next through centuries, with the help of a thriving, long-standing oral tradition. There are human skulls conversing with men, and demonesses falling for their prey; there's a jackal impersonating a priest, and a donkey doing more than his assigned duties. Considered literature that's testament to village wisdom, the stories are firmly grounded in rural life, and caters to a readership that cuts across age groups and generations.

Read more about the book here.

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Updated Date: Oct 14, 2019 09:05:03 IST