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Top Ten Books This Week -Dec 04 , 2017
Top fiction and non-fiction works of this week | By Yentha
On Dec 04, 2017

 

Fiction
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 1. Abubakar Adam Ibrahim :Season of Crimson Blossoms :Rs 499.00


In the sprawling suburbs of Abuja, Binta Zubairu—a devout fifty-five-year-old widow, grandmother of five—woke up to the smell of cockroaches and knew something inauspicious was about to happen. What she didn’t expect was that twenty-five-year-old Hassan ‘Reza’, a weed dealer, thug for hire and street-gang leader, would scale her fence and land in ‘the puddle that was her heart’. Binta yearns for intimacy after the sexual repression of her marriage, the pain of losing her first child and the privations of widowhood. Reza seeks to fill the void left by his estranged mother and increasingly distant father. Brought together in the most unusual circumstances, the two embark on a whirlwind secret relationship. But things come to a head when Binta’s wealthy son confronts Reza, with disastrous consequences.Abubakar’s powerful debut novel—set in a conservative Muslim community in northern Nigeria, and against a backdrop of political corruption and violence—is a haunting story of love and longing that unfurls gently and memorably, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion."


2. Niccolo Ammaniti :Anna :Rs 599.00


It is four years since the virus came, killing every adult in its path. Not long after that the electricity failed. Food and water started running out. Fires raged uncontrolled across the country.Now Anna cares for her brother alone in a house hidden in the woods, keeping him safe from 'the Outside', scavenging for food amid the packs of wild dogs that roam their ruined, blackened world.Before their mother died, she told them to love each other and never part. She told them that, when they reach adulthood, the sickness will claim them too. But she also told them that someone, somewhere, will have a cure. When the time comes, Anna knows, they must leave their world and find another.By turns luminous and tender, gripping and horrifying, Anna is a haunting parable of love and loneliness; of the stories we tell to sustain us, and the lengths we will go to in order to stay alive.


3. Alan Hollinghurst :The Sparsholt Affair :Rs 650.00


The Sparsholt Affair is the long-awaited sixth novel from the supreme stylist of British fiction and previous winner of the Man Booker Prize. From Oxford during the dark days of the Second world war to contemporary London, this is a masterly novel about sexuality, art and family secrets.In October 1940, the handsome young David Sparsholt arrives in Oxford. A keen athlete and oarsman, he at first seems unaware of the effect he has on others - particularly on the lonely and romantic Evert Dax, son of a celebrated novelist and destined to become a writer himself. While the Blitz rages in London, Oxford exists at a strange remove: an ephemeral, uncertain place, in which nightly blackouts conceal secret liaisons. Over the course of one momentous term, David and Evert forge an unlikely friendship that will colour their lives for decades to come . . .Alan Hollinghurst's masterly new novel evokes the intimate relationships of a group of friends bound together by art, literature and love across three generations. It explores the social and sexual revolutions of the most pivotal years of the past century, whose life-changing consequences are still being played out to this day. Richly observed, disarmingly witty and emotionally charged, The Sparsholt Affair is an unmissable achievement from one of our finest writers.


4. Richard Flanagan :First Person :Rs 599.00


Six weeks to write for your life... In this blistering story of a ghost-writer haunted by his demonic subject, the Man Booker Prize winner turns to lies, crime and literature with devastating effect.A young and penniless writer, Kif Kehlmann, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious con man and corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl proposes a deal: $10,000 for Kehlmann to ghost-write his memoir in six weeks.Kehlmann accepts but begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. As the deadline draws closer, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghost-writing a memoir or if Heidl is rewriting him—his life, his future. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: who is Siegfried Heidl—and who is Kif Kehlmann?By turns compelling, comic and chilling, First Person is a haunting journey into the heart of our age.


5. Janice Pariat :The Nine Chambered Heart :399.00


'You, though, are as beautiful as light splitting through glass.' Nine characters recall their relationship with a young woman - the same woman - whom they have loved, or who has loved them. We piece her together, much as we do with others in our lives, in incomplete but illuminating slivers. Set in familiar, nameless cities, moving between east and west, The Nine-Chambered Heart is a compendium of shifting perspectives that follows one woman's life, making her dazzlingly real in one moment, and obscuring her in the very next. Janice Pariat's exquisitely written new novel is about the fragile, fragmented nature of identity - how others see us only in bits and pieces, and how sometimes we tend to become what others perceive us to be.

Non-Fiction
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1. Nelson Mandela And Mandla Langa :Dare Not Linger:The Presidential Years:Rs 999.00


Drawing on Nelson Mandela's own unfinished memoir, Dare Not Linger is the remarkable story of his presidency told in his own words and those of distinguished South African writer Mandla Langa'I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.' Long Walk to Freedom .In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa. Five years later, he stood down. In that time, he and his government wrought the most extraordinary transformation, turning a nation riven by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy in which all South Africa's citizens, black and white, were equal before the law. Dare Not Linger is the story of Mandela's presidential years, drawing heavily on the memoir he began to write as he prepared to finish his term of office, but was unable to finish. Now, the acclaimed South African writer, Mandla Langa, has completed the task using Mandela's unfinished draft, detailed notes that Mandela made as events were unfolding and a wealth of previously unseen archival material. With a prologue by Mandela's widow, Graça Machel, the result is a vivid and inspirational account of Mandela's presidency, a country in flux and the creation of a new democracy. It tells the extraordinary story of the transition from decades of apartheid rule and the challenges Mandela overcome to make a reality of his cherished vision for a liberated South Africa.


2. Jason Schreier :Blood Sweat And Pixels :The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games are Made :Rs 499.00


Developing video games—hero’s journey or fool’s errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today’s hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes readers on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius. Exploring the artistic challenges, technical impossibilities, marketplace demands and Donkey Kong-sized monkey wrenches thrown into the works by corporate, Blood, Sweat and Pixels reveals how bringing any game to completion is more than Sisyphean—it’s nothing short of miraculous.Taking some of the most popular, bestselling recent games, Schreier immerses readers in the hellfire of the development process, whether it’s RPG studio Bioware’s challenge to beat an impossible schedule and overcome countless technical nightmares to build Dragon Age: Inquisition; indie developer Eric Barone’s singlehanded efforts to grow country-life RPG Stardew Valley from one man’s vision into a multi-million-dollar franchise; or Bungie spinning out from their corporate overlords at Microsoft to create Destiny, a brand new universe that they hoped would become as iconic as Star Wars and  Lord of the Rings—even as it nearly ripped their studio apart.Documenting the round-the-clock crunches, buggy-eyed burnout and last-minute saves, Blood, Sweat and Pixels is a journey through development hell—and ultimately a tribute to the dedicated diehards and unsung heroes who scale mountains of obstacles in their quests to create the best games imaginable.


3. Vivek  Wadhwa :The Driver in the Driverless Car :How Technology Choices Will Create the Future :Rs 599.00


Technology is advancing faster than ever - but for better or for worse? On the one hand, astonishing technology developments such as personalized genomics, self-driving cars, drones, and artificial intelligence could make our lives healthier, safer, and easier. On the other hand, these very same technologies could raise the specter of a frightening and alienating future - eugenics, a jobless economy, a complete loss of privacy, and an ever-worsening spiral of economic inequality. How can we make appropriate decisions about whether and how to adopt new technologies? Vivek Wadhwa and Alex Salkever propose that we ask three questions: Does the technology have the potential to benefit everyone equally? What are the risks and the rewards? Does the technology more strongly promote autonomy or independence? They subject a host of new and potential technologies to these questions, but ultimately it is up to the reader to make the final decision.


4. Surjit S Bhalla :The New Wealth of Nations :Rs 599.00


The emerging world was poor and illiterate just forty years ago. Today, over 70 per cent of the world’s middle class resides in the erstwhile poor countries; world income inequality is down to levels last observed in 1870; and there has been a large reduction in absolute poverty. What accounts for such rapid development and catch-up? Distinguished economist Surjit S. Bhalla’s The New Wealth of Nations offers a short answer—the spread of education.The very large increase in college graduates in the non-Western world, the growing educational achievements of women and the radical change in gender roles is critical to the understanding of current-day mega-trends. Indeed, this unprecedented development—which creates competition globally and lowers employment costs—is also why world inflation has been low and declining, for nearly twenty years.Here is a book that breaks new ground. Besides identifying the fallacies in anti-globalization rhetoric—voiced by Brexit and Trump supporters—it points out a major lacuna in current attempts to measure wealth inequality. Through a series of compelling arguments, anecdotes, studies, calculations, tables and charts, Bhalla emphatically reminds us that education is the new wealth and is, in fact, currently of a greater magnitude than financial wealth and much more equally distributed.Even while acknowledging the giant strides made by the developing world, The New Wealth of Nations investigates the downsides to the explosion of education and technology and why countries, rich and emerging, will have to explore options like basic income and negative income tax, so that a new welfare order, appropriate for the changed—and changing—21st century can emerge.


5. Minhaz Merchant :The Nationalist :How A.M. Naik Overcame Great Odds to Transform Larsen &Toubro into a Global Powerhouse :Rs 799.00


This is the story of an extraordinary business leader, Anil Naik, and the company, Larsen & Toubro L&T, he has served for 53 years and led for the last 18. Long coveted by the Ambanis and Birlas, L&T has an annual turnover of Rs 1,20,000 crore and a market capitalisation of more than Rs 1,60,000 crore. It is involved in several critical national projects: India's first nuclear-powered submarine; strategic weapon and missile systems; space exploration including maiden missions to the moon and Mars; global infrastructure; airports; metro rail systems; and nearly all of India's nuclear power plants. L&T's Hazira manufacturing complex, Vadodara's Knowledge City and the Kattupalli shipyard have become symbols of world-class Indian engineering and technology. Author Minhaz Merchant spoke to Naik over several months to construct a compelling narrative of a remarkable company and its chairman. What emerges is a portrait of a man whose work and life have been bedrocked on a deeply felt sense of nationalism, synonymous with helping to build a strong and self-reliant India. From a south Gujarat village to the chairmanship of L&T, Anil Naik's journey has been one of grit, determination, entrepreneurial leadership, 16-hour workdays and a unique management style. What emerges is a visionary leader who ringfenced L&T from corporate takeovers by creating an innovative employee welfare foundation and transformed L&T into a global technology and engineering powerhouse. Naik also emerges as a devoted family man and a generous philanthropist who has donated most of his personal income to charities through family trusts focused on healthcare, education and community service. Naik's father, Manibhai, a teacher who spent his life serving the rural poor, was his role model who taught him to be fearless and honest with the motto: 'If you are in the right, you have nothing to fear.' This is the story of a man who surmounted great odds to reach the pinnacle of success, says Merchant. It demonstrates more than anything else that honesty - the quality Naik prizes most - pays the greatest dividend of all in the end: the respect of your peers, the loyalty of your colleagues, and the affection of your family.

 

 
 
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