Rockets, Mahatma and army: Books to beat the chill


New Delhi : The book cart this week is a year-end holiday treat.

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1. Books: “All About Rockets”; Written by S.K. Das, Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.175

The book explores the scientific nitty-gritty of rocket science. Through a set of 75 questions and answers, one can learn absolutely everything about rockets like who makes them, how are they made, who were the scientists who have developed the science of rocketry, and what will the rockets of the future be like?

These are just some of the fascinating questions answered in this book in an easy-to-understand, jargon-free language.

2. Book: “Waiting for the Mahatma”; Written by R.K. Narayan; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.225

The book is a tribute to the struggle for Independence and its hero, Mahatma Gandhi. This humorous novel by the late R.K.Narayan, reprinted now, is set in the bustling fictional town of Malgudi against the backdrop of the freedom struggle.

Sriram, a quiet young man, falls in love with Bharati whose primary loyalty is to Gandhi and his ideas. Sriram too becomes a follower of the Mahatma and gets involved in the Quit India movement. This leads to a series of adventures and misadventures and even lands Bharati and Sriram in jail.

3. Book: “Hickory, Dickory Shock! A Tale of Techies”; Written by Sundip Gorai; Published by Rupa & Co; Priced at Rs.450

Tuten “(2010)” Chatterjee is a mathematical whiz-kid with an uncanny knack for finding patterns. He chances upon a web chat between two mysterious web-chatters, Hickory and Dickory, and learns about a conspiracy brewing inside SHIVAN Computers – his organisation. Things take a murky turn when a software innovator is murdered in a packed theatre by an invisible killer.

Another unseen assassin kills a software visionary in a locked room and a mysterious masked man sabotages a server room and vanishes with LORD, a cutting edge software invention from India. The trouble heightens when Raja, chairman of the Shivan Computers, hatches an accounting fraud by manipulating the accounting book of LORD. Chatterjee unwittingly sets out to put the missing links in place.

4. Book: “Grit, Guts and Gallantry: Officers and Gentlemen of the Indian Army”; Written by Retd Col Mahip Chadha; Published by Rupa & Co; Priced at Rs.450

This book describes the writer’s journey through the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. Colonel Chadha dispels many myths surrounding life in the armed forces to provide students on the threshold of their careers an unadulterated view of what to expect in the army.

Life in the army is marked by hard work, physical training and adherence to rules and regulations. But it is also a mix of fun and adventure.

5. Book: “Chinese Whiskers”; Written by Pallavi Aiyar; Published by Harper-Collins India; Priced at Rs.399

The book is a modern fable in the Hutong neighbourhood of imperial Beijing, where the writer spent some years recently. Interweaving real episodes in recent Chinese history such as the Olympic Games, SARS virus and tainted pet-food scandals with a richly imagined world, this heartwarming story of cats and humans will make you laugh and cry.