Read on: Parenting, ladies, India’s democracy (IANS Books This Week)

February 24th, 2011 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) This weekend, browse through a pile of thought-provoking tomes. 1. Book: “Spiritual Pregnancy”; Written by Gopika Kapoor; Published by Hay House/Penguin Books; Priced at Rs.250.

While having a baby is a time of great happiness, it can also be the most bewildering experience for those involved. Luckily, this book provides the perfect antidote to all your pregnancy and baby concerns. Right from deciding whether to have a baby to choosing the best hospital for the D-day (delivery-day!), “Spiritual Pregnancy” shows you how to make the most of your pregnancy so that you come through those nine months not only relaxed, but also confident and prepared.

This unique volume shows the best ways to handle the dilemmas that accompany having a baby, while preparing you for the incredible job that lies ahead - becoming a parent.

2. Book: “The Last Pretence”; Written by Sarayu Srivatsa; Published by Harper-CollinsIndia; Priced at Rs.299.

Machilipatnam, a small town on the Coromandel coast in South India where the British first landed to trade in dyes, comes to life through a lively cast of characters - Ammamai, who is resigned to her widowhood but is a fighter; Saroja, the pseudo-intellectual who owns and runs the Victorian dyes factory; Kamala, the eunuch who carries within her a painful past; and Raman, the mosquito-scientist whose experiment with the malarial insect comes to be known as the Raman Technique.

Then there is the ghost of Elizabeth Gibbs, the bored English woman who slept with her equally bored brother George and gave birth to a hermaphrodite. And Nayantara, who teaches Mallika all there is to know about love. But above all, this is the story of Mallika and Siva - a mother and son in a complex and deeply-disturbing relationship.

3. Book: “Leading Ladies”; Written by Sudha Menon; Published by 42Bookz Galaxy; Priced at Rs.795.

“Leading Ladies” is an inspirational book that follows the journeys of some of India’s most-admired women achievers who have made a difference to society with their work and other pursuits that touch our lives, in more ways than one. This volume brings alive their stories with personal anecdotes that will serve as a beacon for many of us.

The book aims to highlight the guiding principles of their lives and the personal and professional beliefs that drive them, the life and management practices that have always stood them in good stead, and the non-negotiables that have guided them on their path to success.

4. Book: “The Bed of Procrustes”; Written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb; Published by Penguin Books-UK; Priced at Rs.250

The playful book presents the writer’s ideas about life in the form of aphorisms, the world’s earliest - and most memorable - literary form. Procrustes was a character from Greek mythology who abducted travellers and invited them to spend the night in a special bed, which they had to fit to perfection. They never did.

Those who were too tall had their legs chopped off; those who were too short were stretched. Every aphorism here is about a Procrustean bed of sorts - we humans, facing the limits of our knowledge, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditised ideas. Only by embracing the unexpected - and accepting what we don’t know - can we see the world as it really is.

5. Book: “India’s Parliamentary Democracy on Trial”; Written by Madhav Godbole; Published by Rupa & Co; Priced (Rs.1,362)

India is the world’s most vibrant and stable democracy. This is largely because of Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision and firm commitment to parliamentary democracy and his carefully nurturing of it in the formative years.

But there is a widespread disenchantment in the country today about parliamentary democracy. The downhill journey began during the Indira Gandhi regime and has continued since then. The book analyses these disturbing developments and takes a close look at the experiences of Western democracies on issues relevant to India.

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