My Mother's Lover to Hang Till Death: Books to look forward to this December

Good reads, Dec 2019: A heartwarming collection of short stories to chronicles of the most hard-hitting capital punishment cases in India, what to read as you head into 2020.

 |  19-minute read |   28-11-2019
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Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman 

main_norse-mythology_112819052634.jpgThe cover of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

The great Norse myths, which have inspired so much of modern fiction, are dazzlingly retold by Neil Gaiman. Tales of dwarfs and frost giants, of treasure and magic, and of Asgard, home to the gods: Odin the all-father, highest and oldest of the Aesir; his mighty son Thor, whose hammer Mjollnir makes the mountain giants tremble; Loki, wily and handsome, reliably unreliable in his lusts; and Freya, more beautiful than the sun or the moon, who spurns those who seek to control her.

About the author:

Neil Gaiman has written highly acclaimed books for both children and adults and is the first author to have won both the Carnegie and Newbery Medals for the same work – The Graveyard Book. The L.A. Times has described his multi-million-selling graphic novel series Sandman as 'the greatest epic in the history of comic books'. Many of his books, including Coraline and Stardust, have been made into films, Neverwhere has been adapted for TV and radio, American Gods and Good Omens have been adapted into major TV series. He has also written two episodes of Doctor Who and appeared in The Simpsons as himself.

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Deadly Shadows

Author: Rajinder Prabhakar 

main1_deadly-shadows_112819040533.jpgThe cover of Deadly Shadows by Rajinder Prabhakar. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

When a series of deadly attacks carried out by a mysterious weapon strike remote parts of India, it takes the country to the edge of panic and chaos. To make matters worse, the government and its intelligence agencies fear that these attacks are building up to something truly catastrophic – a final strike that would bring India to its knees and spell the end of its sovereignty.

As the clock runs down, Adit Ohri, an elite operative of the 53 SAG, a strike force buried deep inside the nation’s military infrastructure, is assigned to chase down a lead from his past and find those behind the attacks. But even as the needle of suspicion points towards India’s traditional enemies, the mission leads Adit on a trail of smoke screens and deceit, until he finds the final shocking truth.

About the author:

For more than 23 years, Rajinder Prabhakar managed several diverse and challenging corporate assignments in multiple countries, holding senior management positions at some of the top companies in the corporate world. Born into an armed forces family – his father fought the 1971 war against Pakistan – he has had the privilege of viewing the military life from the inside, which has also fuelled his interest in fitness, adventure and sports. A few years ago, Rajinder decided to take a break from the corporate world to successfully run a wildlife resort for two years in Pench National Park, where he finished writing Deadly Shadows. Rajinder has two sons, who are his best friends and whom he considers to be his best teachers.

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Krishna Yogeshvara

Author: Sanjay Dixit

main_krishna-yogeshv_112819035909.jpgThe cover of Krishna Yogeshvara by Sanjay Dixit. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Krishna Yogeshvara traces the life of Krishna in his late adolescence and adulthood, from the time he goes to receive higher education in the ashrama of Sandipani Rishi till the beginning of the Mahabharata war.

Krishna Yogeshvara, the second volume in the Lord Krishna Trilogy, seamlessly weaves a mystical, awe-inspiring narrative of the Leela of Krishna through the least explored aspect of his life — the years in between the killing of Kamsa and the start of the great war of Mahabharata.

Krishna’s favourite cousin, Uddhava, through his pristine narration, connects the episodes of how Krishna employs him to reconcile with Radha, leading to Krishna’s growing-up years as a student and a warrior yogi. The book traces the evolution of Krishna from a precocious adolescent to a person fully in control of his consciousness — someone who is capable of offering the best solution using the stratagem of sama, dama, danda, bheda to every situation in accordance with Dharma. Krishna’s understanding of Dharma is of the highest order, and his understanding transcends to that of the highest yogi. That is why he is revered as the Yogeshvara — one who fulfils Patanjali’s definition of a yogi.

The book explores the deep recesses of the minds of the various characters and how they interact with Krishna. The author intertwines the narrative of traditional Krishna stories with a touch of realism, using the technique of Uddhava’s narration with his own. As the two paths converge, the villains and antagonists of the great epic also come to the fore and are vanquished strategically by Krishna’s brilliance. Kutil Dharma, so brutal earlier, transmogrifies into a subtle but more devastating form; yet, he cannot escape the sharp eye of Krishna.

The book ends with the Kaurava and the Pandava armies arrayed against each other, with Arjuna refusing to fight, setting the stage for the recital of Bhagavad Gita.

About the author:

Sanjay Dixit, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Rajasthan, has many feathers in his cap. He graduated as a marine engineer and sailed the high seas for a few years before changing course to civil services. He is also well-recognised as a cricket administrator who once defeated Lalit Modi in a famous election for the post of the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. He considers Rajasthan’s first Ranji Trophy title triumph as his crowning achievement. He is also credited with bringing a revolutionary new technology for production of date palms on a large scale in western Rajasthan, transforming livelihoods.

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My Mother's Lover and Other Stories

Author: Sumana Roy

main_my-mothers-love_112819035925.jpgThe cover of My Mother's Lover and Other Stories by Sumana Roy. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

My Mother’s Lover and Other Stories is a collection of fourteen stories about people who suffer from curious problems: of a poet whose writing is seen to be an ailment by her family, an insomniac’s experience with sleep therapy, a woman’s obsession with getting rid of plastic, a woman in Darjeeling desperate for a drop of water, a student fixated on reading a love poem as the failed relationship of her parents, a young couple trapped in a student’s hostel during the 1971 war, a Nepali student passionate about proving that Nepalis are not stupid, a mother who can no longer differentiate between her heart and her head, a young woman on the verge of suicide, a girl who’s hidden her teeth in a palace garden, a girl who treats literature like astrology, a young lecturer who seeks fame but can’t foresee how it’ll destroy his life, a singer with a mad harmonium, and two old lovers who are on a secret holiday until one of them finds out…

About the author:

Sumana Roy is the author of How I Became a Tree, a work of nonfiction, Missing: A Novel, and Out of Syllabus: Poems. Her poems and essays have appeared in Granta, Guernica, LARB, Drunken Boat, the Prairie Schooner, Berfrois, The Common, and other journals. She lives in Siliguri and Sonipat, where she teaches at Ashoka University.

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Lose Weight & Get Fit

Author: Tom Kerridge

main_lose-weight-and_112819035947.jpgThe cover of Lose Weight & Get Fit by Tom Kerridge. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Peri peri chicken, cottage pie, fudgy chocolate brownies – this is diet food with a difference. Top chef Tom Kerridge shows you how to shed the pounds and kick-start a more active lifestyle with all of the maximum-taste, lower-calorie recipes from his upcoming BBC2 TV series.

Having lost more than 12 stone in the last five years, Tom knows from experience how important it is to motivate yourself to start dieting and exercising – and to stay on track. With light bites and veggie feasts, meal-prep to see you through the week and tasty sweet treats, Tom has got it covered. The focus is on bold flavours and big portion sizes, so you’ll never go hungry and you’ll always feel satisfied. Recipes include Quick black dhal; Steak tacos with burnt corn salsa; Charred mackerel and potato salad; Lamb bhuna; blueberry meringue sundaes and many more.

There's also a bonus chapter with a workout that will help you get started with a healthier lifestyle, no matter where you’re at now.

About the author:

Tom Kerridge worked as a chef in restaurants across Britain before deciding to set out on his own and take over a rundown pub in the quiet Buckinghamshire town of Marlow. He opened The Hand & Flowers with his wife Beth in 2005, and it went on to become the first (and only) pub in the world to acquire two Michelin stars. In 2014 he opened a second pub in Marlow, The Coach, which was followed by The Butcher’s Tap. Most recently, he and his core team launched Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, which is housed in Corinthia London. His previous books include the bestselling Proper Pub Food, Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes, Tom’s Table, Tom Kerridge’s Dopamine Diet, Lose Weight for Good and Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start.

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Hang Till Death

Author: Prateek Jain

main_hang-till-death_112819040005.jpgThe cover of Hang Till Death by Prateek Jain. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Does the story of a convict end with him being put to silence by hanging? What kind of injustice drives a person to commit an atrocious act of revenge? What motives underlie heinous crimes?

This is an account of eleven cases in independent India, where the accused were sentenced to death by hanging. Each of these cases rocked the nation, divided the people and tore families asunder. The cases are discussed in the light on the various kinds of criminal law and the history of capital punishment in India. It delves deep and traces the social, religious, political and economic background of each convict. The first case is that of Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, along with co-conspirator Narayan Apte, in 1948. The book captures ten other sensational cases — including Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon. How much do we know these people whose acts we have condemned? What led them to the heinous crimes they were convicted for? And was justice truly delivered?

About the author:

Prateek Jain is an advocate and a senior advisor to Innovis Law Partners, a law firm based in Bhopal. His expertise lies in civil and criminal law. He is also the co-founder of a snacks manufacturing company called Happee!!! Chips. Further, he is the president of a non-profit organisation called the Granth Education Society, Bhopal, and has been a visiting faculty of Vision Infinity, Bhopal — one of the premiere IIT JEE coaching institutes of Central India. Before that, he was the Director of IMS Bhopal and the Universal Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Bhopal centre, a popular CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) preparation institute. Prateek balances his teaching career and writing aspirations and wrote educational books — Logical Reasoning (2011) and Elementary Mathematics (2012). Following this, he published two fiction titles — Eleven Rhythms of Life (2013) and Dream in the Secret (2014).

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Beyond Charity

Author: Savvy Soumya Misra

main1_beyond-charity_112819040024.jpgThe cover of Beyond Charity by Savvy Soumya Misra. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Beyond Charity (10 years of Oxfam India) takes stock of the first decade of Oxfam India. The book looks at how, through its different projects, it reached out to the most marginalised — women, Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim — in seven of the poorest states in the country.

Oxfam has been in India for nearly seventy years — provided aid in cash and kind for those who needed it the most supported grassroots movements and activists, and fought for the rights of the Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims and women. Over the years, its focus has shifted to building strong communities, empowering women to smash patriarchal social norms, rehabilitate survivors of natural and manmade disasters, and make communities sustainable. In 2008, Oxfam India became an Indian NGO, and this book takes stock of the first ten years of Oxfam India. It is the story of Oxfam India’s work through stories of people — people who worked at Oxfam, people who worked with Oxfam, and people who Oxfam made a difference to. It is a story of change told through people, rather than through economic and social theories.

About the author:

Savvy Soumya Misra has been working on this book for the last couple of years because she believes that stories of people should be told. She also believes that the work that the social sector does never really reach the general reader because it is trapped in jargonistic economic and social theories. These are stories of people that need to be told in the simplest and most lucid way possible. This is her attempt at reaching out to readers like herself!

A former journalist, the trade helped her break down the complex web of information into smaller, relatable stories. She was a journalist for nearly 10 years before joining Oxfam India in 2014. She has worked with the radio (All India Radio), newspaper (The Telegraph), English news channel (CNN-IBN), fortnightly (Down To Earth) and a brief consultancy stint at Greenpeace India. She found her calling in rural reporting while working at Down To Earth, where she travelled extensively the length and breadth of the country. The transition to the development sector thus was smooth and inevitable.

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Ceremony of Aromas

Author: Vikas Khanna

main_ceremony-of-aro_112819040044.jpgThe cover of Ceremony of Aromas by Vikas Khanna. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Ceremony of Aromas brings together stories about the origins of spices, where they are to be found, and more importantly, how they can be used in the richly delicious recipes which allow you to recreate the style of this ace chef.

With a collection of more than 100 recipes from headline-grabbing Michelin star Chef Vikas Khanna, this is more than just a cookbook — it’s a combination of horticulture, cooking, travelling and an opportunity to live as a spice farmer — a much-cherished dream. It is also a tribute to his undying romance with spices.

Known fondly as the “masala chor” — the thief of spices, Vikas’s passion has taken him from the bright yellow mustard fields of Punjab, the saffron meadows in the Himalayan valleys of Kashmir, the lavender fields of Abbey Notre-Dame de Sénanque to the jungles of Vietnam looking for star anise — to understand and observe each minute detail about these wonderful ingredients.

Ceremony of Aromas brings together stories about the origins of spices, where they are to be found, and more importantly how they can be used in the richly delicious recipes which allow you to recreate the style of this ace chef.

About the author:

Vikas Khanna is an award-winning, Michelin Star Indian chef, restaurateur, food writer, filmmaker, humanitarian and the host of MasterChef India, Junior MasterChef India and Twist of Taste on FOX Traveller. Vikas was raised in Amritsar, India where he grew up surrounded by large family feasts, and seasonal produce fresh from the fields of Punjab, and of course, his grandmother’s traditional home cooking, which became the foundation of his cooking career. He started his banquet and catering business, Lawrence Gardens, and then later went on to graduate from the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration and also studied at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.

Vikas is a firm supporter of sustainable farming and is focused on cooking with produce from local farms of New York. He has received the prestigious Michelin Star for his restaurant Junoon for three consecutive years. He was honoured with the Rising Star Chef Award by Star Chefs for his role in shaping the future of American Cuisine. He has received several international awards for his books.

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Rebel Recipes

Author: Niki Webster

main_rebel-recipes_b_112819040058.jpgThe cover of Rebel Recipes by Niki Webster. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Vegan food has never tasted so good! Having worked with industry-leading brands, let award-winning blogger Niki Webster inspire you with her delicious plant-based food. Get ready for vegan food like you've never tasted before! You won't find any limp lettuce or boring old-school vegan dishes here. Instead, within these delectable pages, Niki Webster gathers some of her favourite recipes for her rebellious debut book.

Based on the hit blog of the same name, Rebel Recipes is the debut book for Niki Webster, an exciting food writer who has worked with brands like Waitrose, Holland & Barrett and many others. Rebel Recipes is unashamedly about taste; it’s all about pleasure, vibrancy and flavour – food for the soul that happens to be good for you (and the planet) too.

About the author:

Niki Webster is an award-winning blogger and food consultant for a range of household brands. Niki is no stranger to developing recipes, food styling, photography and content strategy, and her customers include Holland & Barrett, Wholefoods and Waitrose among others. She has also developed menus and recipes for restaurants and cookbooks alike. Niki is a certified Holistic Health Coach and Plantlab Level 1 Raw Chef who regularly coaches, gives workshops, and appears on panels. Niki lives near Birmingham, UK, with her husband, but spends as much time as she can travelling to the places that inspire her most.

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Wonked!

Author: Vivan Sharan

main_wonked_bloomsbu_112819040115.jpgThe cover of Wonked! by Vivan Sharan. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

More than two decades since India was forced to liberalise its economy, the country has undergone radical transformation – from a planned, centralised economy, to one that seeks to harness market forces and technological change.

Today, India is at a crossroads – even as political discourse has undergone churn, there is a distinct lack of conceptual clarity and well-defined economic policymaking. As a result, there is little that separates the economic and foreign policies of successive governments, despite divergent political ideologies, which has been the hallmark of Indian policymaking.

In Wonked!, economist Vivan Sharan breaks down the challenges facing the Indian economy today, while developing a framework through which broad policy strategies can be laid down based on principles acceptable to multiple stakeholders. How should the Indian digital economy be regulated in the days to come? How does one realise greater value from Indian agriculture? Why is there a shortage of electricity despite India being a power-surplus country? And what is the foreign policy outlook India must-have in a world where economics and politics are coupled?

Breaking down complex policymaking issues for a general reader, Wonked! asserts the need for India to have an economic ideology that will strengthen its institutions while thinking about the needs of its citizens in the years to come. This book calls upon policymakers, private sector players and the political establishment to develop a wider consensus on the paths India must pursue in the years to come.

About the author:

Vivan Sharan is a Partner at Koan Advisory, where he works at the intersection of technology, policy, and the new economy. He advises Fortune 500 companies, international organisations and governments, on a wide range of issues that lie at this intersection, including on themes such as competition, intellectual property and online markets. He graduated with a Masters in Economics from the University of Edinburgh, and Bachelors in Mathematics from St Stephens College, University of Delhi.

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Co-creating Brands

Authors: Nicholas Ind & Holger J. Schmidt

main_co-creating-bra_112819040135.jpgThe cover of Co-creating Brands by Nicholas Ind & Holger J. Schmidt. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Brand management and development has traditionally been regarded as the responsibility of the organisation – they design, produce and sell the brand, before delivering it to customers. Yet this approach can be needlessly restrictive, as the connective power of the internet and the desire of consumers to focus on experiences has reshaped branding. In this digital age, development occurs beyond the limits of the organisation so that, in many ways, brands are effectively co-created by consumers. Rather than lead, manage and control, contemporary managers have taken on the new tasks of listening, connecting and participating in brand development. The focus of brand management has shifted to the intersection between the organisation and its stakeholders. This changing environment must lead to a new paradigm of brand management: the ‘cocreation perspective’.

Co-Creating Brands is an accessible exploration of how co-created brands produce value and how the success of this approach can be measured and assured. The authors draw upon a wide array of international case studies and strategic models, which demonstrate how to both effectively deliver this method and how to deal with the situational challenges and obstacles that can occur. If organisational leaders are willing to let go complete control of their brand and recognise the supportive culture of employees, customers and stakeholders, their brand can become an unstoppable marketing force.

About the authors:

Prof. Dr Holger J. Schmidt is a Full Professor of General Management and Marketing at Koblenz University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Before his academic career, he worked for consultants, advertising agencies and a global service provider. Holger is the author of numerous books and academic publications and a respected member of the international brand management community. He was Visiting Professor at CPUT in Cape Town and guest lecturer at several other institutions.

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The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals

Author: Jonathan Kingdon

main_the-kingdon-poc_112819040158.jpgThe cover of The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals by Jonathan Kingdon. (Photo: Bloomsbury)

Originally published in 2004, the Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals quickly became the field guide of choice to take on African safaris. Its compact format makes it ideal for use in the field, while its coverage is the most comprehensive currently possible in this format. Adapted from the Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals, the greatly condensed text focuses on essential information such as identification and distribution, while the author's superb illustrations have been rearranged into an easy-to-use plate format and placed opposite the text. Complex and more obscure groups like the bats and certain rodent families are summarised by genera. Over 500 maps plot the distribution of all larger species, and for smaller mammals, the maps show distribution by genus.

This is a completely revised second edition of this popular guide. The information and taxonomy have been updated to follow the newly published second edition of the Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals (2015), and this new edition of the pocket guide contains several new species and illustrations. The maps have been completely replaced and there are now 200 more maps than in the original edition.

About the author:

Jonathan Kingdon is one of the foremost authorities on African Mammals and an acclaimed artist. His many books include the bestselling Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals (2nd edition 2015) and he was the founder and senior editor of the award-winning 6-volume series Mammals of Africa.

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