Books of the week: From spymaster RN Kao's story, to Aimless in Banaras by Bishwanath Ghosh, our picks

  • We love stories and there is 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 spymaster RN Kaos story, to Aimless in Banaras by Bishwanath Ghosh, our picks

– FICTION

So All Is Peace
By Vandana Singh-Lal
Penguin Random House India | Rs 499 | 416 pages

Writer and policy adviser Vandana Singh-Lal’s So All Is Peace revolves around the lives of twin sisters Layla and Tanya. The two are found starving in their apartment located in a posh neighbourhood of their city, soon attracting media attention and frenzy. Several theories about them are afloat, but when journalist Raman speaks with Tanya, he uncovers dark truths about the sisters’ lives.

Read more about the book here.

– SHORT STORIES

My Mother's Lover and Other Stories
By Sumana Roy
Bloomsbury Publishing India | Rs 499 | 252 pages

Author Sumana Roy’s My Mother’s Lover and Other Stories is a collection of 14 stories. From a poet whose family thinks her writing is an illness, to an insomniac attending sleep therapy; from a woman obsessed with getting rid of plastic to one living in Darjeeling, desperate for a drop of water — the stories revolve around the lives of oddballs, suffering from strange conditions of the body and mind.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS AND BIOGRAPHIES

Aimless in Banaras: Wanderings in India's Holiest City
By Bishwanath Ghosh
Westland | Rs 399 | 264 pages

Author and journalist Bishwanath Ghosh’s Aimless in Banaras is a memoir of the time he spent roaming the streets of India's holiest city. From seeing a sadhu showing off his penile power, to sharing a boat with a woman who’s been prophesised to have seven marriages; from conversing with atheist writer Kashinath Singh to sharing tea with a travelling priest and a god-fearing doctor — Ghosh captures the many moods of Banaras, thereby also presenting a portrait of the city.

RN Kao: Gentleman Spymaster
By Nitin A Gokhale
Bloomsbury Publishing India | Rs 599 | 248 pages

Strategic analyst, author, and journalist Nitin A Gokhale’s RN Kao: Gentleman Spymaster is the story of Rameshwar Nath Kao, founder of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's foreign intelligence agency. He led an intensely private life, and is considered among India’s greatest spymasters. A ruthless professional, Kao put national interest above his own, and among his countless career highlights is the role he and RAW played in the creation of the nation of Bangladesh.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Final Frontier: India and Space Security
By Dr Bharath Gopalaswamy
Westland | Rs 699 | 272 pages

As more nations rely on space programmes for strategic and military influence, Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation Dr Bharath Gopalaswamy discusses India’s approach to space security and its position as a player in space weaponisation. Final Frontier: India and Space Security examines the ethics, and technical and political options of defence, when using space assets. He argues that non-terrestrial weaponisation is an inescapable reality, and calls for bold steps in order to reconfigure India’s plans in the near future.

Hang Till Death: India's Most Notorious Cases of Capital Punishment
By Prateek Jain
Bloomsbury India | Rs 399 | 150 pages

Advocate, teacher and writer Prateek Jain recounts 11 cases from independent India, where the accused were sentenced to death by hanging, after being examined through the lens of criminal law. It also considers the background, circumstances and motivations of each convict, — from Nathuram Godse to Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon — in order to understand their reasons for committing such crimes. And after all, was justice truly served?

Read more about the book here.

Vision for a Nation: Paths and Perspectives
Edited by Aakash Singh Rathore, Ashis Nandy
Penguin Random House India | Rs 499 | 240 pages

Philosopher Aakash Singh Rathore and writer Ashis Nandy present essays about nation and nationhood, and the idea of India in the inaugural volume of the series titled Rethinking India. The book serves as a reminder of a progressive, inclusive and equitable nation that's committed to individual dignity. It provides a narrative to reclaim the centrality of the ideals of the Constitution, and adopt a fresh approach for a nationwide discourse on subjects of national interest moving forward.

Read more about the book here.

– YOUNG READERS

Boys Will Be Boys: Inspiring Stories for Smart Kids
By Aparna Jain
Context | Rs 799 | 192 pages

Author Aparna Jain’s Boys Will Be Boys: Inspiring Stories for Smart Kids offers inspiration to young boys, laying before them the possibilities of all that they can be. Jain presents to readers stories of 45 men, going beyond cricketers, movie stars and businessmen that one may have heard of already. The book upholds men who followed their hearts and changed lives, — from a sailor who compassed the earth, to a designer who took Indian fashion to Paris; from a doctor whose work revived rivers, to a barefoot artist, — and includes stories of rocket scientists, entrepreneurs, journalists, writers, and activists as well.

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Updated Date: Dec 23, 2019 10:31:47 IST