Queers, self-help, Delhi on book shelf (IANS Books This Week)

November 17th, 2011 - 12:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) The book cart is an exciting mix of fun, practical knowledge and visual delight this weekend.

1. “The Man Who Would Be Queen”; Compiled by Hoshang Merchant; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.250

The book is a collection of lyrical essays about homosexuality and flaunted as an autobiographical fiction. In the words of the writer, “The art of living is the art of creating life fictions.”

The first and second sections of the autobiography take us through the garden of delight or the man’s land of childhood; and the circle of hell or the coming of age years. It is towards the end of the book in the section, “How I Write/Why I Write?”, that the writer achieves his desired garden of bliss.

2. “Harvesting Feminist Knowledge For Public Policy”; Written by Devaki Jain and Diane Elson; Published by Sage Publications; Priced at Rs.795

The anthology brings together 14 essays by feminist thinkers from different parts of the world, reflecting the flaws in the current patterns of development and arguing for political, economic and social changes to promote equality and sustainability.

The essays are written in the context of the “triple crisis” of food, fuel and finance and the underlying deep-seated problems of growing inequality and squeeze on time to provide unpaid care to family and environmentally unsustainable patterns of economic growth.

3. “Gautama Buddha”; Written by Rohini Chowdhury; Published by Penguin Puffin Live; Priced at Rs.150

Gautama’s ideas went against the established beliefs of centuries. Even though he was one of the most influential men who ever walked the earth, very little is known about the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the man we call Buddha.

The book is the tale of his life - from his youth as a privileged prince to his renunciation and attainment of nirvana; how his teachings changed all those who came in contact with him; and the story of the tumultuous lives of people and kingdoms in ancient India. A must read for children and adults alike.

4. “Get To The Top: The Ten Rules of Social Success”; Written by Suhel Seth; Published by Random House; Priced at Rs.250

When it comes to getting ahead in life, who we know is as important as what we do. How do you draw people to you? Impress the powerful? Make an impact and extend your circle of acquaintances? Cultivate influential friends? The writer, who knows almost everyone there is to know in the country, brings you the ultimate guide to social success.

From the secret to throwing a successful party to the benefits of befriending the less important half of a couple, he gives you canny advice and strategies to become a successful networker. Inspiring, provocative and wise, it teaches one to wield soft power.

5. “Beato’s Delhi”; Written by Narayani Gupta; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.1,499

“Beato’s Delhi” is a pictorial account of the capital brought vividly to life by famous 19th century photographer Felice A. Beato who came to India in 1858 to record the last days of mutiny and Jim Masselos who retraced Beato’s journey in 1997 - and photographed the same sites.

Beato’s luminous photographs of the capital in the 19th century are a contrast to the bustling snapshots of the metropolis shot by Masselos. The book is a document of the changing face of Delhi, which has hit the century mark as the capital of India.

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