Bourne meets Ram, hedge fund managers, tigers hunters (IANS Books This Week)

July 1st, 2010 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Thrill, money, Bihar and Ram… the book case this blistering summer weekend will stimulate imagination. Here is the list of five reads for this weekend.

1. “The Bourne Objection”; Written by Eric Van Lustbader; Published by Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group; Priced at $27.99

The high-action Jason Bourne thriller opens in the congested tech city of Bangalore with on-the-edge, supersonic action and swings across continents cutting a swathe through Asia and Africa. Russian Leonid Akradin, a CIA trained assassin on the other side of the fence, is caught in a shootout and he just about manages to save his life.

Facing mercenaries in Africa, Jason Bourne witnesses the death of an art dealer Tracy Atherton. Her murder dredges up another long-forgotten death in Bourne’s impaired memory - that of a Balinese woman who had entrusted him with a strangely engraved ring - an artifact of powerful significance that people have killed to obtain. Bourne is determined to find the owner of the ring and that leads him to Akradin. But a third person has been watching them….

A cinematic book with rich visuals of India and Asia.

2.”Nobody Does the Right Thing”; Written by Amitava Kumar; Published by Duke University; Priced $21.95

The novel captures life in India’s most densely-textured state - Bihar and its people - and in a way contemporary India.

A young poet is killed by her lover, a politician, in Bihar. Soon afterward, across India in Bombay, an idealistic journalist is hired by a movie director to write a Bollywood screenplay about the murdered poet. Research for the script takes writer Binod back to Bihar, where he and his cousin Rabinder were raised.

While Binod struggles to turn the poet’s murder into a steamy tale about small towns, desire and intrigue; Rabinder, booked for circulating pornography, sits in a Bihar jail cell, dreaming of a career in Bollywood film-making. Unlike his cousin, he is not burdened by ethical scruples. It is a riveting story of two cousins and their lives in rural Bihar.

3. “More Money Than Good”; Written by Sebastian Mallaby; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.599

Are hedge funds, the most fashionable capital pools of the century, feasible? Where do these cash pockets come from and who are the men behind them. The book, a thoughtful examination of modern hedge funds tries to answer these questions. Wealthy, powerful, and potentially dangerous, hedge fund managers have emerged as the stars of 21st century capitalism.

Based on unprecedented access to the industry, the volume provides the first authoritative history of hedge funds.

This is the inside story of their origins in the 1960s and 1970s, their explosive battles with central banks in the 1980s and 1990s, and finally their role in the financial crisis of 2007-09. Hedge funds reward risk takers, so they tend to attract larger-than-life personalities.

Sebastian Mallaby, a Paul Volcker Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Washington Post columnist, profiles all of them to narrate the hedge fund story.

4. “Tiger Hills”; Written By Sarita Mandanna; Published by Penguin-Viking; Price Rs.599

Coorg 1878. Devi is born on the day of herons; and Muthavva knows that her daughter will be special. Beautiful and spirited, the little girl quickly becomes the object of adoration of her entire family. She befriends Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died of tragic circumstances; and they soon become inseparable.

But the course of their lives changes forever when Devi meets Machu, the tiger killer, a hunter of great repute. Devi vows that she will marry Machu some day. This is a dramatic story of three-way love.

5. “Shree Ramayana Mahanveshanam”, Written by Veerappa Moily; Published by Rupa & Co; Priced at Rs.1,500

The Ramayana - the ancient Indian epic attributed to sage Valmiki - has been the most popular sacred text for Hindus across the world. The tales have been passed down the generations — and the values of devotion, justice, obedience and welfare state are part of our holistic culture.

Union Minister of Law and Justice Veerappa Moily’s modern re-telling of the epic in two volumes is rooted in the contemporary Indian context. The book explores the Ramtattwa - the philosophy of Ram. The minister has introduced several new characters and incidents. He has drawn freely from Jain and folk traditions. The bulk of the book is in verse. It has been translated from Kannada to English by a five-member team led by B.A. Viveka Rai.

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