TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/27/2021 1:45:53 PM Books and Authors

Compiled by: TNN Bureau

1) “Tales of Hazaribagh: An Intimate Exploration of Chhotanagpur Plateau” by Mihir Vatsa

(Non-Fiction | Format: Paperback/Kindle | MRP: 334 INR)

Blurb: In January 2017, Mihir Vatsa, a young poet, gives up his life in the big city and moves back home to Hazaribagh, a small town on Jharkhand’s Chhotanagpur Plateau. Battling depression and uncertainty, he is seeking a ‘sanatorium’ amidst the sal trees and the temperate climes of home—just like the British soldiers and Bengali settlers and visitors before him.
Rejuvenated by the fresh air and lush landscape of his childhood, he spends the next three years exploring local landmarks and their fascinating history, and the deep, wondrous escarpments, the secret waterfalls and serpentine rivers of the plateau. Travelling partly on foot and partly in his trusted Alto, he encounters trees destined for death and waterfalls ravaged by mining; passes through Surajkund—the country’s hottest geological wonder—and Karanpura Valley— home to prehistoric humans ten millennia ago; and takes selfies with emus.
In between, he wonders what makes a landscape beautiful and how language shapes such notions; muses on the arbitrary boundaries of administration and government which, try as they might, cannot tame rivers and hills; and plumbs the archives of previous residents of the plateau and his own memory to understand his love of home. With empathy and in unhurried prose, “Tales of Hazaribagh” combines the best of nature, life, history and travel writing into an unforgettable portrait of a place and a journey back to one’s self.

2) “The Wish” by Nicholas Sparks

(Romance Fiction | Format: Paperback/Kindle | MRP: 335 INR)

Blurb: If you had one wish...
Maggie hasn't told this story in years. More than two decades ago, she fell in love.
She was sixteen and far from home, waiting to give her baby up for adoption. Bryce showed Maggie how to take photographs and he didn't judge her for the way her belly swelled under her jumper. They had the perfect first kiss. Theirs was a once-in a-lifetime kind of love.
Now, as Maggie sits by the Christmas tree in her gallery telling her story, surrounded by the photographs that made her famous - the photographs Bryce never saw - her new gallery assistant asks her a question.
Maggie always thought she knew the answer to that question. But before she can say 'I'd go back to that winter with Bryce', she stops herself. It is all she has ever wanted but suddenly here, on this dark night under the twinkling stars, there is something else she wants. She wants to find her baby.
... what would you wish for?
A heart-wrenching story about discovery and loss, The Wish is a reminder that time with those precious to us is the greatest gift of all.

3) “Growing Up Jewish in India”, edited by Ori Z. Soltes

(Non-Fiction | Format: Hardcover | MRP: 1053 INR)

Blurb: “Growing Up Jewish in India” offers an historical account of the primary Jewish communities of India, their synagogues, and unique Indian Jewish customs. It offers an investigation both within Jewish India and beyond its borders, tracing how Jews arrived in the vast subcontinent at different times from different places and have both inhabited dispersed locations within the larger Indian world, and ultimately created their own diaspora within the larger Jewish diaspora by relocating to other countries, particularly Israel and the United States.
The text and its rich complement of over 150 images explore how Indian Jews retained their unique characteristics as Jews, became well-integrated into the larger society of India as Indians, and have continued to offer a synthesis of cultural qualities wherever they reside. Among the outcomes of these developments is the unique art of Siona Benjamin, who grew up in the Bene Israel community of Mumbai and then moved to the US, and whose art reflects Indian and Jewish influences as well as concepts like Tikkun olam (Hebrew for ‘repairing the world’).
In combining discussions of the Indian Jewish communities with Benjamin’s own story and an analysis of her artistic output—and in introducing these narratives within the larger story of Jews across eastern Asia—this volume offers a unique verbal and visual portrait of a significant slice of Indian and Jewish culture and tradition. It would be of interest to Jews and non-Jews, Indian and non-Indian alike, as well as to history enthusiasts and the general reader interested in art and culture.

4) “Dawn: The Warrior Princess of Kashmir” by Rakesh K. Kaul

(Sci-fi | Format: Paperback/Kindle | MRP: 199 INR)

Blurb: It is AD 3000. Hiding from the world in a cave in Mount Kailash, Dawn encounters two strange beings on her sixteenth birthday. They urge the long-lost princess of Kashmir to fulfil the prophecy of fighting the Troika. This nefarious trinity-the merciless leader Arman, the AI war machine AIman and their supreme, omniscient overlord Dushita-is a vicious manipulator of stories, minds and histories. With an army of weaponized AIs and mind-controlled automatons based in Kashmir, they rule over a deadly world where men have lost their souls and women have been slain-all heading to Sarvanash, the Great Apocalypse.
With a motley group of five outlaw boys, Dawn sets upon a tumultuous journey across Time and Space to battle the most technologically lethal empire known to humanity. Her only hope is to seek out secrets hidden in the Niti folk tales of Kashmir and unlock the powers within her to become the ultimate warrior.
As the only female left in the world, Dawn will decide the fate of the Universe. But can she unleash her body, mind and spirit and ignite the fiery cosmic power of all the women who have ever lived?
A sci-fi saga that reveals eternal truths as it traverses the terrains of the Kashmir Valley-the birthplace of the greatest stories ever.

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