BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 29Th MAY 2015

Flood of Fire 
By - Amitav Ghosh

About the Book
It is 1839. The British, whose opium exports to China have been blockaded by Beijing, are planning an invasion to force China’s hand. Their demands—an island base on the Chinese coast from which to continue their trade and a princely sum in compensation for their losses.
In Calcutta, Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor, dreams of his lost love and of a way to make his fortunes. His chance comes when the wealthy opium merchant Mr Burnham gives him a job of a lifetime even as his wife provides Zachary with other allures.
Heading towards Calcutta is Havildar Kesri with his captain, Neville Mee, to lead a regiment of Indian volunteers in the upcoming war. Alert, battle-hardened, Kesri must turn his ragged, ill-equipped band of men, who know nothing about either China or sailing, into an efficient machine if they are to emerge out of this doomed expedition.
In Mumbai, Shireen Modi waits anxiously for news of her opium trader husband only to discover that he has died mysteriously in Hong Kong and lost all his fortune in the opium blockade. She must sail alone to China as war clouds loom to reclaim his wealth and reputation—and in risking everything find a new life for herself again.
In Canton, Neel becomes an aide and translator to a senior Chinese official as Beijing begins to prepare for war with Britain. The more he sees, the more worried he becomes—for the Chinese have neither the ships nor the artillery to match the British in modern warfare. The future seems clear but do the Chinese know it?
Fusing a profound understanding of history with page-turning narration, Flood of Fire—the final part of the Ibis Trilogy—is nothing short of a masterpiece. This is Amitav Ghosh writing at the height of his powers.
About the Author :
Amitav Ghosh is the author of ten highly acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction which include the Booker Prize shortlisted Sea of Poppies (book one of the Ibis Trilogy), River of Smoke, The Glass Palace and The Shadow Lines. He has won numerous prizes, some of which are the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Pushcart Prize and the Grinzane Cavour Prize. He divides his time between New York and India.
                             ISBN  : 9780670082162      Price : Rs. 799.00                              

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 22nd May 2015

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR 
By : Rith Rendell 
 About the Book : This is the dazzling new novel from Ruth Rendell. When the bones of two severed hands are discovered in a box, an investigation into a long buried crime of passion begins. And a group of friends, who played together as children, begin to question their past. 'For Woody, anger was cold. Cold and slow. But once it had started it mounted gradually and he could think of nothing else. He knew he couldn't stay alive while those two were alive. Instead of sleeping, he lay awake in the dark and saw those hands. Anita's narrow white hand with the long nails painted pastel pink, the man's brown hand equally shapely, the fingers slightly splayed.' Before the advent of the Second World War, beneath the green meadows of Loughton, Essex, a dark network of tunnels has been dug. A group of children discover them. They play there. It becomes their secret place. Seventy years on, the world has changed. Developers have altered the rural landscape. Friends from a half-remembered world have married, died, grown sick, moved on or disappeared. Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a grisly secret, buried a lifetime ago, and a weary detective, more preoccupied with current crimes, must investigate a possible case of murder. In all her novels, Ruth Rendell digs deep beneath the surface to investigate the secrets of the human psyche. The interconnecting tunnels of Loughton in The Girl Next Door lead to no single destination. But the relationships formed there, the incidents that occurred, exert a profound influence - not only on the survivors but in unearthing the true nature of the mysterious past. 
ISBN : 9780091958848    Price : Rs. 650.00

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 15th MAY 2015

The 13th Disciple : A Spiritual Adventure
By : Deepak Chopra

About the Book
The New York Times bestselling author of Buddha and Jesus weaves together masterful storytelling, historical narrative, mystery and intrigue, to reveal surprising discoveries about the unknown last disciple of Christ, offering a new understanding of who Jesus really was in his final days. A missing nun, a distressed young woman who wants to take back an obituary from the local newspaper and a solid gold reliquary missing from a church in Belgium that suddenly resurfaces in America. These are the ingredients that set off Deepak Chopra's new novel, the 13th Disciple.
When a young newspaper man begins to investigate the lost reliquary, at first it seems like another case of a treasure stolen during the chaos of World War II. But it soon becomes apparent that much more is at stake. Inside the medieval reliquary is a sacred relic – a single finger bone – from an anonymous saint. Why should an anonymous person's remains be considered holy? It turns out that a secret is hidden inside the gold box and a small band of people know what it is: by touching the reliquary, they have received mental images and sometimes verbal messages. These point to a figure far more remote than the Middle Ages. It's a young girl who had a chance encounter with Jesus just before he was crucified. The few people who have had visions of her have banded together as a mystery school, a closed society who preserve sacred wisdom so that it won't be lost.
As The 13th Disciple unfolds, we discover that the secrets inside the reliquary are at once fascinating and controversial, because the young girl went on a quest to discover who Jesus really was and the answers she came up with are at times far different from the accepted gospels. Did she become the last and truest disciple of Christ?
About the Author :
Deepak Chopra, M. D is the founder of The Chopra Foundation and cofounder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. He is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 40 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers.
ISBN  : 9780062400116    Price : Rs. 399.00


BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 8th May 2015

Stolen Years:  A Memoir of Simranjit Singh Mann's Imprisonment
By - Parvit Kaur
About the Book
Pavit Kaur had a sunny, idyllic childhood till 1984. The daughter of a police officer posted in small towns in Punjab, she enjoyed the carefree, pampered life of the Punjabi feudal aristocracy. She had a courageous, devoted mother, Geeta, and a tall, romantic, deeply religious father with a fanatical streak, Simranjit Singh Mann. There was also an affectionate and loyal extended family.
But when her father was posted as commandant of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in Bombay, Pavit’s world suddenly turned upside down. The Indian army stormed the holiest of holy shrines of the Sikhs, the Golden Temple at Amritsar, in a bid to flush out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his band of militants. Along with Bhindranwale, many others inside the temple were killed.
Mann was probably not actively involved with the terrorist movement, but he was an ardent sympathiser of the Khalistani cause. Upset by developments in Punjab, he gave an intemperate interview to Shobha De in Celebrity magazine, hitting out at the Indian state. On July 18, he sent his resignation from the IPS to the President of India to register his protest. In a letter, he compared the Indian army to General Dyer and its entry into the Golden Temple to the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh. For his act of defiance, Mann would have to face the full wrath of the State. He was caught at the India-Nepal border while trying to flee to the US.
A dozen officers from the Intelligence Bureau and the CBI flew down from Delhi to interrogate Mann, who was arrested under the National Security Act. Incidentally, he is the brother-in-law of Amarinder Singh, the erstwhile maharaja of Patiala and the former chief minister of Punjab (his wife and Singh’s wife are sisters). On December 5, 1984, Mann was taken to Bharatpur jail in Rajasthan. When his family finally got to meet him, they felt he had aged 10 years: he was pale, emaciated and cold. He had been given no bedding or warm clothes.
Mann was to spend the next five years in jail, slapped with charges ranging from sedition to waging war against the State, to conspiracy to murder Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated during the three months he was on the run. The book recalls the nightmarish experience of Mann and his family through his jail diaries and letters written to family members.
When national security is invoked, there is no rule of law. The State deals with its prisoners with extreme ruthlessness and barbarity. After a year, Mann was transferred to a prison in Bhagalpur, Bihar. He was kept in solitary confinement with a company of CRPF posted outside the cell. His family could meet him occasionally, usually when he was taken to court. In prison, he had to speak to them through iron bars and wire meshing. After many months, he was allowed books, newspapers and a radio thanks to a Supreme Court order. Even the biography of Guru Gobind Singh by Bhai Vir Singh was withheld. Insects and lizards were constant companions.
Mann retained his sanity in such hellish conditions, despite frequent attacks of migraine. Writing his diaries and tending to pots of chrysanthemums and gladioli in the tiny courtyard next to his cell were useful distractions. “Misfortune and hard conditions in jail have made me very pessimistic’’, he wrote in his diary.
However, in Punjab, he was a hero, a man who had sacrificed his career and freedom to fight against the injustice faced by the Sikhs before and after Operation Blue Star. Five years after he was imprisoned, he was put up as a candidate for the Tarn Taran parliamentary seat. Pavit recalls that as a child she went campaigning, begging people to vote for her father so that he could come home to his family. The crowds assured that they not would not just vote, but would walk barefoot to the polling booth to show their solidarity. Mann won with a thumping margin of nearly five lakh votes setting a record at that time. Rajiv Gandhi lost the elections and the cases against Mann were dropped by the VP Singh government.
The problem with Stolen Years is that the author does not put the five years of Mann’s imprisonment in context. The extracts from Mann’s diaries and letters paint a poignant picture of pain and suffering, but would mystify readers unfamiliar with the history of Punjab during those turbulent years. The State is unquestionably the villain, but one is left with a lot of unanswered questions.
About the Author :
Pavit Kaur lives in Chandigarh. This is her first book. 
ISBN  : 9788184004427    Price : Rs. 399.00


BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 1st May 2015

Australian Council for Educational Research
ACER provides learning tools for students, develops and manages a range of testing and assessment services for the Australian education community, and conducts research and analysis in the education sector.
"ACER's mission is to create and promote research-based knowledge, products and services that can be used to improve learning across the life span. The books on school management and training are an essential reference for all education professionals".

Leading A Digital School
By - Mal Lee
About the Book
This important new book informs educational leaders about current developments in the use of digital technologies and presents a number of case studies demonstrating their value and complexity. It encourages leaders to engage in the process of successful change for their own school community by providing guidelines and advice drawn from emerging research. Leading a Digital School is a rich source of information and advice about joining the new 'education revolution.' It shows clearly and concisely how schools can integrate digital technologies creatively and wisely in order to enliven teaching and support student learning.

About the Author :
Mal Lee is an educational consultant specialising in the development of digital technology in schools. He is a former director of schools and secondary school principal and has written extensively on the effective use of ICT in teaching practice. Professor Michael Gaffney is Chair of Educational Leadership at the Australian Catholic University in Canberra and has held a number of senior positions in schools and school systems and educational organisations.
    ISBN : 9780864318961                  Price : Rs. 700.00