Bookshelf spills economics, underworld, god

(IANS Books This Week)

New Delhi : As the weather slides and more clouds threaten to burst, retreat with a book and a cup of coffee. The mixed bag this week…

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1. “Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise”: Written by Raghav Bahl; Published by Penguin-Books India; Priced at Rs.699.

With telling insights into the two Asian powers’ histories, polities, economies and cultures, the book probes the difference between the way India and China have built their economic foundations. It shows that even as the dragon and elephant economies are together projected to dominate the world in a matter of decades, there is a palpable difference in the way China and India work on the ground.

China is spectacularly effective in building infrastructure and is currently investing almost half of its GDP; it is crafting a new economic idiom that has stood textbook wisdom on its head. Meanwhile, India is the classic example of a “promising” economy: more than half of its GDP is consumed by its billion-plus population.

2. “Sacred Grove”: Written by Daman Singh; Published by HarperCollins-India; Priced at Rs.200.

Master of jingles, aspiring Bay-blader and star cricketer on home ground, Ashwin is smart, funny, and sometimes bratty beyond belief. As the son of the district collector in a small town in central India, he has little to worry about except his mother’s mood swings, his father’s principles and an about-to-be-born sibling. And yes, his Masi’s occasional visits, not always with a gift in hand.

Two things happen to ripple the surface of this calm: his newfound friendship with his driver Rafiq and his best friend Ravi’s new interest in hanging out with older boys with a penchant for trouble. Before he knows it, all that he holds dear is under threat and the choices he is faced with are not those anyone would wish as a young boy.

3. “A World of Memories”: Written by Madhvi Parekh; Published by Penguin Studio; Priced at Rs.2,999.

In a pictorial world that is vivid, rich in colour and details, artist Parekh’s imaginative and extraordinary narrative outpourings continue to reverberate with a certain magical realism, holding the viewer in thrall. The book is an album of her journey as an artist. Parekh has been inspired by folk art, inspired by modern artists such as Paul Klee and Joan Miro to develop her distinct style. The book encapsulates 70 paintings by Parekh.

4. “The Dangerous World of Informers”: Written by J. Dey; Published by Jaico Publishing House; Priced at Rs.250.

Three informers operate in the murky bylanes of Mumbai that script deadly terror plots every night. The lives of three of Mumbai’s best police informers collide in this shady underworld. It is a mean world where sex, violence and money run the writ. From switching gang loyalties to selling information for cash, the trio move to big time thrill – terrorism. The hunt for information gives way to a chase as they tail India’s most wanted terrorist Riyaz Bhatkal, who has masterminded 22 blasts across the country.

5. “Krishna: Journey Through the Lands and Legends of Krishna”: Written by Dev Prasad; Published by Jaico Publishing House; Priced at Rs.295.

The book is a journey through the lands and the legends of Krishna, describing the tourist sites in Krishna country in colours and glory. It narrates the legends associated with the deity. The book is a mix of travelogue and mythological tales. The past and the present mingle, making it memorable.