In fine print: Twilight, India, vampire, mountains (IANS Books This Week)

December 2nd, 2010 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog Millionaire New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) This weekend, enjoy the winter sun with books which stimulate the mind.

1. Book: “Sunset Club”; Written by Khushwant Singh; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.399

Meet the members of “The Sunset Club”: Pandit Preetam Sharma, Nawab Barkatullah Baig and Sardar Boota Singh. Friends for over 40 years, they are now in their 80s. Every evening, at the sunset hour, they sit together on a bench in the Lodhi Gardens to exchange news and views on the events of the day - talking about love, lust, sex, scandal, religion and politics.

As he follows a year in the lives of the three men, from Jan 26, 2009, to Jan 26, 2010 - the writer brings the characters vibrantly to life.

2. Book: “The Avenue of Kings”; Written by Sudeep Chakravarti; Published by Harper Collins-India; Priced at Rs.299

A Sikh boy is set aflame in the chaotic aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination; a house party rages in Calcutta while the country mourns the fading dream of Rajiv Gandhi, and a young Muslim boy contemplates answering the call of militant fundamentalism in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. But somewhere in the debris of this lies hope.

This new India is captured by journalist Brandy Ray - whose life plays out in the backdrop of three important events. The book is a volume of three novellas - The Avenue of Kings, The Cradle of Innocents and The Well of Three Wishes.

3. Book: “Danny Boyle In His Own Words”; Written by Amy Raphael; Published by Faber & Faber/Penguin Books; Priced at around Rs.770

Danny Boyle’s journey to Oscar night began in a working class family in Lancashire in 1956. After a career in theatre and working for such esteemed companies as Joint Stock and the Royal Court, Boyle went to BBC and produced dramas in Belfast such as “Alan Clarke’s Elephant”, as well as directing “Wroes Virgins”.

“Shallow Grave” announced the arrival of a dynamic new talent to British cinema - a reputation that was confirmed with the blistering “Trainspotting” - the zeitgeist film of the 1990s. The succeeding films - “A Life Less Ordinary”, “The Beach”, “28 Days Later”, “Sunshine and Slumdog Millionaire” - established him as the leading director of his generation - one for whom the collaboration between director, producer and writer was of the essence.

Danny Boyle has become a huge household name - his films have received both critical acclaim and massive commercial success. The book documents the life of the director of “Slumdog Millionaire”.

4. Book: “Xcess Baggage”; Written by Varsha Dixit; Published by Rupa Publications India Ltd; Priced at around Rs.363

The book is a tale of Meghna Chandra - a 22-year-old girl settled abroad - her love encounter with a handsome vampire she is unaware of and her narrow escape to survival. The book is inevitably loaded with romance, mystery, suspense and paranormal events woven beautifully around this unusual love story.

The narration is crisp, witty and the characters are well etched in the book, which also explores the theme of the supernatural beings and their world.

5. Book: “On The Top of The World”; Written by Arjun Vajpai; Published by Penguin Books-India (Puffin imprint); Priced at Rs.175

A month after he had set out, 16-year-old Arjun Vajpai stood on top of the world, having scaled the Mount Everest. At that time he was the youngest non-Sherpa person in the world to do so. He remains the youngest Indian to have climbed the tallest peak on the globe.

Arjun’s fascination with mountains began at the age of 10, nurtured and encouraged by his parents, teachers, and close friends. As a trekker and an athlete, he had trained and worked hard to achieve this amazing feat of endurance. This is Arjun’s story in his own words. Accompany him on an adventure of a lifetime, read about his incredible ascent, and learn what it takes to be a mountaineer.

“On Top of the World” is an unforgettable story of inspiration, fortitude and courage; of having a seemingly impossible dream and daring to chase it.

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