Chirdeep Malhotra . Updated: 10/12/2022 10:13:12 PM Books and Authors

Compiled by: Chirdeep Malhotra

1) “The Last War: How AI Will Shape India’s Final Showdown With China” by Pravin Sawhney

(Non-Fiction | Format: Hardcover/Kindle)

BLURB: If India and China were to fight a war in the near future, India faces the prospect of losing the war within ten days. China could take Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh with a minimum loss of life, and there is very little that India could do about it. This is because the Indian military is preparing for the wrong war. In this eye-opening and disquieting book, military expert and bestselling author Pravin Sawhney explains in great detail how this alarming scenario could play out.
China’s war with India will be reminiscent of the 1991 Gulf War. The US military’s battle networks connecting sensors to shooters and guided munitions with support from space assets had induced shock and awe in militaries worldwide. Similarly, China’s war with India will stun the world with the use of artificial intelligence, emerging technologies, multi-domain operations, imaginative war concepts, and collaboration between humans and intelligent robots. China has been preparing for this since the 2017 Doklam crisis after which it permanently augmented its troops across the Line of Actual Control.
The author argues that China’s superpower status will only grow and the ‘capabilities lag’ between the two countries will expand. And if there is outright war, the Indian military will be no match for China’s AI-backed war machines. In such a war, traditional conventional forces will be at a huge disadvantage, nuclear weapons will have no role to play, and the valour of individual soldiers will be of no consequence. India is honing its strengths to fight a war in the three physical domains of land, air, and the sea, whereas the PLA is working on becoming the overwhelmingly superior force in seven domains—air, land, sea (including deep-sea warfare), outer space, cyber space, the electromagnetic spectrum, and near space (aka the hypersonic domain). The PLA’s disruption technologies will overwhelm India within the first seventy-two hours of hostilities commencing, and will lead to the quick end of India’s resistance. The primary battleground will not be on land but in cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum.
“The Last War” explains why it’s critical that India works to prevent such a war ever taking place.
It should avoid focusing on joint combat with the US, whose power in the region is weakening. Instead, India should seek to make peace with China and Pakistan, its main adversaries at the moment, while simultaneously working to enhance its military and technological strengths in areas that it hasn’t focused its resources on. Only then will the country’s borders be firmly secure, and the region’s future peace and prosperity be assured.

2) “Paachakam: Heritage Cuisine of Kerala” by Sabita Radhakrishna

(Cookbook | Format: Hardcover)

BLURB: Step into God's own country with “Paachakam”, a beautifully-illustrated cookbook that offers authentic insights into Kerala's most popular recipes by drawing attention to the communities that cherish them - Syrian Christians, Namboodris, Cochin Jews, Nairs, and Moplas, to name but a few. In exploring their diverse foods and customs, interviewing community elders, and researching preferred spices and flavours, Radhakrishna uncovers special commonalities between them that serve to define Kerala cuisine as a whole. With easy-to-follow recipes, “Paachakam” invites you to enjoy the many tastes of Kerala from the comfort of your own kitchen. The next time you're in the mood for a rich Thalassery Biryani, or a refreshing glass of Pacha Maanga, you know where to look!

3) “The American Roommate Experiment” by Elena Armas

(Romance Fiction | Format: Paperback/Kindle)

BLURB: From the author of “The Spanish Love Deception”, the eagerly anticipated follow-up featuring Rosie Graham and Lucas Martín, who are forced to share a New York apartment.
Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking―for lack of a better word―on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armour. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.
Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control―but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.

4) “India After 1947: Reflections & Recollections” by Rajmohan Gandhi

(Non-Fiction | Format: Hardcover/Kindle)

BLURB: Seventy-five years after Independence, India faces stark questions. Some of the most pressing ones relate to jobs and the cost of living. But questions about the state of our democracy are equally critical, if not more so. When India won independence and prepared to become the world’s largest democracy, the people, through their leaders and elected representatives, looked to create a nation built on the ideals of equality, liberty, and fraternity. That this seemed a successful exercise—in a densely populated country with high levels of illiteracy and poverty, a bewildering variety of religions, castes, and languages, and a history of internal conflict—surprised many and gave hope to many more. However, over the years, these ideals have repeatedly come under attack.
In the book, the author reflects on key issues that India will need to deal with. He asks if India’s future will be dictated by the resentful victimhood that seems to grip the champions of Hindu nationalism in a country where Hindus dominate the economy, the polity, the media, the culture, and everything else. Or will calm, thoughtful, self-critical yet confident young Indians—Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and others—prevail and continue to build a country that treats everyone as equal? He addresses debates about the idea, image, and personality of Ram throughout India’s life and history; analyses the fallout of Partition and the concept of Akhand Bharat; and delves into what Mahatma Gandhi stood for and against—all of them issues that are contested in today’s India. In addition to these reflections, the author looks back at the history of the nation from 1947 onwards and examines what we, the people of India, should do to remain a viable and vibrant democracy that ensures that none of its citizens are left behind or feel oppressed, unwelcome, or unsafe.
A timely study of the state of the nation from one of our foremost thinkers, “India After 1947” is an essential read that reminds us of who we are as a nation and what we should aim to be.

5) “Tears of the Begums: Stories of Survivors of the Uprising of 1857” by Khwaja Hasan Nizami, translated from the Urdu by Rana Safvi

(History | Format: Paperback/Kindle)

BLURB: Apart from the fifteen years that Sher Shah Suri snatched upon defeating Humayun, the flag of the grand Mughal Empire flew over Delhi undefeated for over 300 years. But then, 1857 arrived and the mighty sword fell helpless in the face of a mightier British force. After the fall of Delhi and Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar's tragic departure from the Red Fort in 1857, members of the royal Mughal court had to flee to safer places. Driven out from their palaces and palanquins onto the streets in search of food and shelter, the dethroned royals scrambled to survive. Some bore their fate with a bitter pride, others succumbed to the adversity. Through twenty-nine accounts of the survivors of the Uprising of 1857, Khwaja Hasan Nizami documents the devastating tale of the erstwhile glorious royalty's struggle with the hardships thrust upon them by a ruthless new enemy.
In vivid and tragic stories drawn from the recollection of true events, Nizami paints a picture of a crumbling historical era and another charging forward to take its place.
With the reminiscence of past glory contrasted against the drudgery of everyday survival, “Tears of the Begums” - the first ever English translation of Nizami's invaluable Urdu book “Begumat ke Aansoo” - chronicles the turning of the wheel of fortune in the aftermath of India's first war of independence.

6) “Sisterhood Economy: Of, By, For Wo(men)” by Shaili Chopra

(Non-Fiction | Format: Hardcover/Kindle)

BLURB: The new Indian woman is dreaming big and seeking change. Wanting to break from the triptych of bechari, badass or bitch, women are talking of being stronger together. What can a ground-up sisterhood of determined women mean for a country like ours and just how can it unleash and harness the dormant economic potential of half the country’s population?
This book is a power-packed insight into the lives of the women of the world’s largest democracy who are struggling every single day to get their voice heard, presence felt, and make their economics matter. Shaili Chopra puts a fresh lens to what’s powering or stopping women to seize the opportunity ahead of them, by talking to more than five hundred different women (and men), across classes, castes, cities, ages, ambitions and desires. Can the mother-in-law trigger change in a country’s GDP? What are beauty parlour economics? Are women claiming independence and can intimacy drive better economic outcomes? Why are single women rocking it?
“Sisterhood Economy” makes a bold, empathetic, and collective call for women to believe in their transformative abilities and put themselves first. Wrapped in emotional anecdotes and stories, this book is deeply authentic and essential reading for anyone looking to understand women beyond statistics.
India could do a lot better if only it treated its women better. How difficult can that be?

7) “His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 100 Anecdotes” by Arthy Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy

(Children’s Books | Format: Hardcover/Kindle)

BLURB: On 6 July 1935, a mischievous boy was born in a remote village in Tibet, who, at the age of two, was recognized as the fourteenth reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. His eventful boyhood in Lhasa, thrilling escape to India and subsequent exile in Dharamsala, captured the imagination of thousands. With an endearing smile and childish humour, he has become a symbol of optimism and hope for the oppressed.
Tracing his life through 100 lesser-known and inspiring incidents, unusual trivia and gorgeous illustrations, this one-of-a-kind book explores the Dalai Lama’s vision, teachings and philosophies. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 100 Anecdotes” is a classic tribute and a collectible edition that celebrates the various facets of an extraordinary spiritual leader from his birth through his eighty-seventh birthday.

8) “How the Mango Got its Magic” by Sudha Murty

(Children’s Books | Format: Hardcover/Kindle)

BLURB: We all love the sweetness of mango and how it quenches our thirst on a hot summer day, but have you ever wondered how the mango got its magical sweetness? The tale of how such sweetness came into existence is a fascinating one indeed. India's favourite storyteller brings alive this delightful tale with her inimitable wit and simplicity. Bursting with captivating illustrations, this gorgeous chapter book is the ideal introduction for beginners to the world of Sudha Murty.

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