Saturday, May 27, 2017

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 26TH MAY, 2017

Two Saints: 
Speculations Around and About 
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi 
By - Arun Shourie

----------------------------- About the Book -----------------------------
The life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa ‘enables us to see God face to face’, Gandhiji wrote. Similarly, when someone in his circle was distraught, the Mahatma sent him to spend time at the Ashram of Ramana Maharshi. Such was their stature and influence.
The Paramahamsa and the Maharshi have been among the greatest spiritual figures of our country. They have transformed the lives of and have been a solace to millions. Moreover, in our tradition, words of such mystics are regarded as conclusive. They have evidentiary status: if they say there is a soul, there is; if they say there is life-after-death or reincarnation, there is. Their peak, mystic experience is what we yearn to have, even just once.
But what if several of the experiences they had - the feeling that someone higher is present next to them, the feeling that they are floating above their body, looking down at it; the ‘near-death experience’; the ecstasy; the visions - occur in other circumstances also? Should we think again about their experiences when these occur as points in the brain are stimulated with an electrode during surgery? What if they can be recreated in a laboratory non-invasively? When they occur to ordinary persons placed in extraordinary circumstances?
Did the experiences occur from some ailment? As was alleged in the case of Sri Ramakrishna? From some ‘madness’, which he feared he had? From the fits that Sri Ramana said he used to have? 
What of the experiences of devotees? Seeing the Master where he wasn’t? Seeing the Master, feeling his presence, after he had passed away? Are these hallucinations? Or do they testify to the Master’s divinity? How would conclusions about their experiences affect their teaching? That the world and everything in it is ‘unreal’? 
In the light of their pristine example, how should we view and what should we do about the godmen and gurus who control vast financial and real estate empires today, to whom lakhs flock? Are they the saints they set themselves up to be or just marketers? 
With the diligence and painstaking research that mark all his work, Arun Shourie probes these questions in the light of the recent breath-taking advances in neuroscience, as well as psychology and sociology. The result is a book of remarkable rigour: an examination - and ultimately reconciliation - of science and faith as also of seemingly antagonistic, irreconcilable worldviews.
--------------------------- About the Author ---------------------------
Scholar, author, former editor and minister, Arun Shourie is one of the most prominent voices in our country’s public life and discourse. This is his twenty-seventh book.
ISBN : 9789352645046   Price : Rs.699.00
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 12 MAY 2017

Quicksand
By -  Malin Persson Giolito 

----------------------------- About the Book -----------------------------
There could be two sides to Maja Norberg that shift silently like quicksand: the question is, which one do you believe? Is Maja a normal 18-year-old, the poster girl next door, popular and excelling at her schoolwork, caught in the middle of a terrible tragedy? Or, is she the most reviled teenager in the country? Either way, everyone knows her name. She has spent nine excruciating months in jail, awaiting trial for a mass murder that killed her boyfriend and her best friend and now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. What did she do? Or is it what she didn’t do that brought her here? Is Maja a cold-blooded murderer or is she just a girl who has lost her way and, as a consequence, now lost the ones she loved?
---------------------------- About the Author ----------------------------
Malin Persson Giolito was born in Stockholm in 1969. She has worked as a lawyer and as an official for the European Commission in Brussels, where she lives with her husband and three daughters.
ISBN : 9781471160332    Price : Rs.550.00
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Saturday, May 6, 2017

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - 05Th MAY 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon
By -  David Grann
 ---------------------------- About the Book -----------------------------
A fiercely entertaining mystery story and a wrenching exploration of evil’ Kate Atkinson From the bestselling author of The Lost City of Z, soon to be a major film starring Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattison, comes a true-life murder story which became one of the newly-created FBI’s first major homicide investigations. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled it. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage he and his undercover team began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
-------------------------- About the Author -----------------------------
David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He has written about everything from New York City's antiquated water tunnels to the hunt for the giant squid. His stories have appeared in several anthologies. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New Republic. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.
ISBN : 9781471140266   Price : Rs.599.00
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