Ecology, India and Koran on the bookshelf (IANS Books This Week)

August 11th, 2011 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) The books on the shelf this weekend are meaningful and thought-provoking — encompassing a return to roots, be it the hometown or the country — and what we find on our return to ways to maximise life, a guide to a religion and on India through a new prism. Read on….

Book: “Gift in Green”; Written by Sarah Joseph (translated by Valson Thampu); Published by Harper Collins; Priced at Rs.350

Simultaneously published in English and Malayalam, this is an unconventional novel about the relationship between the people and the land they inhabit. Kumaran is a young man when he leaves Aathi, a serene island of mangroves for the modernity of big cities. Many years later, his return to Aathi signals the beginning of the end as roads and bridges choke the water. Birds and butterflies flee the dying mangrove forests and chemicals seep into the paddy fields that have fed generations over several hundred years. Kumaran, with a group of like-minded friends, is able to stop the chemicals from seeping into the field. The book raises pertinent questions about the delicate ecology of the backwaters - will the city with its millions of tonnes of effluents destroy the mangroves of the back waters?

Book: “The Beautiful And The Damned: Life in the New India”; Written by Siddhartha Deb; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.499

After six years in New York, Siddhartha Deb returned to India to look for a job. He discovered that sweeping changes had taken place in the country. With the globalization of the economy, the relaxation of trade rules, the growth of technology and the shrinking of the state, a new India has been born. Deb realized he had found his job - to explore the vast complex and bewildering nation and try to make sense of what was underway. It is an original and innovative work that combines personal narrative, travelogue, reportage, penetrating analysis and stories of many individuals.

Book: “Shine How to Survive and Thrive and Work: Upping your Elvis Factor”; Written by Chris-Barez Brown; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.399

We all have good days and bad days at work. Some of these days, you feel bullet-proof. People listen to you, your meetings run like clockwork and you keep having new ideas. Other days are like wading through quicksand. You can’t get anything done, and when the printer jams again you want to quit. Wouldn’t it be great if everything went your way? You can be a bit more Elvis - you can have every minute.

Book: “The Essential Koran: The Heart of Islam”; Translated by Thomas Cleary; Published by Harper Collins; Priced at Rs.199

For Muslims, the whole of Quran is sacred; but there are certain passages, which are more accessible to those from other religion seeking to understand the meaning of Islam’s holy book. The present translation has the virtue of making such passages available in easily comprehensible language, thereby opening the doors to many readers.

Name: “The India Idea”; Compiled and Published by Wisdom Tree and the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs; Edited by L.K. Sharma and Shobit Arya, Priced at Rs.2,450

“Remember that dark brown starved man bending under a scorching sun, scratching a little plot of land to eke out a living. Anything you do, do for his benefit.” When Mahatma Gandhi said this, he could not have imagined that the India that he conceived would turn into a virtual multi-nation: an India that lives in the heart of that man at the bottom of the pyramid and an India that touches the top spot in science and technology and produces some of the best talent in the world. The book has contributions by some of the best minds in the country, and beautifully captures both the ends of India’s innovation spectrum.

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