Volume 2 Issue 9www.justbooksclc.comblog.justbooksclc.com CONNECT November 2011 For limited circulation A JustBooks Publication A time for crime Pg 10 Quiz Pg 12 Author Profile Pg 14 watching the ticking of his prodigiousAnindita Sengupta mind. His friend and biographer Dr John H Watson narrates all but four of his sto-Detective fiction is perfect for this ries and is the foil to his moodiness, Justseason that makes us want to curl up grumpiness, dopeyness and general lack of all social skill. Kidsin bed with a good book says Appearing in four novels and 56 shortAnindita Sengupta stories, Holmes remains a cult figure andT somebody who is constantly re-interpret- his season makes me lazy. The ed and retold, most recently in the BBC rains are on their way out and win- series Sherlock produced by Hartwood Peter Wimsey, an aristocrat who takes up ter is round the corner. Films. My winter pick: his third novel detection as a hobby. Together with his My garden looks like its doing well on The Hound of the Baskervilles with its manservant Mervyn Bunter, Wimseyits own (even the trees are somnolent) howling echoes of Devon and its demon appeared in eleven novels and a numberand my dog spends bulky time under the dog. of short stories.covers. Doyle may have created the most While appearing to be a perfect English The afternoons are perfect for curling famous of them all but (Dame) Agatha gentleman, aloof and stiff, in later novelsup with a good yarn, a good detective Christie was the best-selling novelist of he woos and marries Harriet Vane, ayarn. Heres a round-up of some all time and her detectives—Hercule crime novelist whom he saved from afavourite sleuths, disparate in looks, style Poirot and Miss Jane Marple—are no murder trial.and snazz but similarly sharp and slackers. Many people believe Vane to be mod-thrilling. Part of the Golden Age of detective fic- eled on Sayers herself and the last few First up is Sherlock Holmes. The most tion (during the 1920s and 1930s), her sto- cases were solved by the couple workingfamous of all fictional detectives first ries were racy whodunits which unrav- together. Clever and funny, the Wimseyappeared in Sir Arthur Conan Doyles A eled clues with enticing flurry. stories reflect the social mores of gentri-Study in Scarlet in 1887. Holmes claimed The only blot is a strain of anti- fied England in the period between theto be the worlds first "consulting detec- Semitism that has been widely remarked two wars and are littered with literarytive" and touted the high cause of logical on. Around the same time, Dorothy allusions.reasoning and much of the delight lies in Sayers introduced her detective Lord contd on pg 2...
2 JustBooks Connect - November 2011 contd from pg 1... From the Editor’s Desk T he last quarter of a year is always full of festivity. Theres Navratri, Diwali, Id, Rajyotsava, Childrens day and then Christmas. The joyous and festive mood continues till the New Years eve. This year we have one more reason to celebrate. For the last six months we have In America, in the late 1930s, a new the troubles that police face when deal- been working on bringing out a form of detective fiction was popularised ing with criminals. In England, police different but appealing literary by Dashiell Hammet: the hard-boiled procedurals were less about the nitty- magazine for one and all. And we novel. His cool, jaded but idealistic Sam gritty of the police work and more about finally reached the milestone; the Spade was markedly different from the the character of the detective. Baroness first edition of our literary maga- golden age sleuths. Ruth Rendells Chief Inspector Wexford zine INK is ready. It will be avail- What set these books apart were the is an intelligent, sensitive family man able for internal circulation only, copious amounts of violence and the who often finds it hard to come to terms in all the JustBooks branches. As a ambiguous morality of the protagonists. with the increasing violence in his small JustBooks member you will able to Spade looked for his own form of justice, town. get a complimentary copy of INK! largely ignoring the law and punishing Rendells novels are about the reason So grab your copy soon and give criminals in his own fashion. While Sam behind the crime and not merely about your feedback sooner to our INK Spade appeared only in The Maltese solving the case and while Wexford him- editor. Falcon, his character was the inspiration self may not be able to always fathom the Coming to this edition of the for Raymond Chandlers detective Philip cause of crime, Rendell talks about the newsletter, there is some exciting Marlowe. psychological reasons behind criminal news. Check out the Just Kids Another well-estab- behavior. page, we have expanded it. At lished form of the In her other, darker, JustBooks, we believe reading and detective novel is the non-Wexford novels, writing go hand in hand, and its Police Procedural in she has often taken on best to catch them young! Hence which the protagonist the perspective of the we invite and encourage all our is usually a police criminal. Her 1977 young readers from 5-13 years to detective or some- novel, A Judgment in write poems or stories of their times in an ancillary Stone, is lauded as own, book reviews or any interest- police department sharp social examina- ing article that you might want to like Forensics. tion of class difference share with others and send it to us The most remem- but my rather nostalgic along with your name, school bered police procedural novels are the favourite remains her debut novel From name and JustBooks branch name. 87th Precinct novels by Ed McBain. Set in Doon with Death (1964). Now who doesnt like to read a the fictional 87th precinct of New York A new crop of detective novels with good thriller and with the winter City, over 40 novels about Detective unusual crime settings have become pop- upon us, nothing seems better Steve Carella and his colleagues have laid ular in recent years. Dana Stabenows than been curled up with a nice bare the mechanisms that police detec- Kate Shugak series of mysteries are set in whodunit novel. tives follow while solving a crime in their Alaska and her descriptions of cold and So its the perfect time to talk district. snow are quite chilling, as are the about some good thriller novels Some stories, especially those featuring descriptions of crime. and their memorable characters. recurring criminal mastermind "the Deaf Tony Hillermans Leaphorn and Chee Do feel free to share some of your Man", are a bit far-fetched but the major- novels are famous for their descriptions favourites with us. ity are well-plotted and infused with a of Native American tribes, especially the The other interesting feature we gritty realism that, even today, reveals Navajo Indians, and how the protago- have for you is on pseudonyms nists beliefs in the religions and rituals of aka pen names used by various the tribes affect their investigations. well known writers. Why they Ellis Peters Brother Cadfael novels are used these pseudonyms and what set in an English monastery in the early interesting and creative names 12th century and acclaimed as historical- they came up with. ly accurate representations of the time. Tell us what you think of this And there are lots Ive left out like Colin edition and write in your thoughts Dexters Inspector Morse or Dennis and contributions to editor@just- Lehanes Patrick Kenzie and Angela booksclc.com. Gennaro series. As usual happy reading! Buckle on that sixth sense and arm yourself for winter with an armful of these.
JustBooks Connect - November 2011 3 Rebirth A Different Sky Jahnavi Barua Meira Chand Penguin Harvill Secker Anindita Sengupta Pushpa Achanta A T story of survival, self and hope, he lives of Indians, Eurasians Rebirth is a novel as contained as and Chinese intersected in dif- a poem, travelling smooth and ferent ways before, during and deep, charting its intimate world with after British rule and Japanese occu- profundity, lyricism and poignance. pation in Malaya and Singapore. At its centre is Kaberi, in her second In A Different Sky, Meira Chand trimester of pregnancy and carrying a weaves an engaging fictional narra- child who is both solace and secret tive against this backdrop of real (nobody knows that it exists except for events that occurred in the earlier her gynaecologist). and middle part of the previous cen- Her husband has left four months ago tury. Penning evocative prose about for another woman and a divorce is these circumstances, she makes the impending but Kaberi has held the characters seem real through herknowledge of his child because she does not want him to come insights gained from her exposure to various countries andback for the wrong reasons. researching extensively about the period. The novel, written as a monologue to her unborn child, is a A Different Sky follows the lives of three protagonistsstudy of solitude-Kaberis intense and restrained struggle to from different backgrounds and deals with various issuescope with her new life-even while it is a chronicle of maternal like colonialism, racial discrimination, war and love, but thehopes and worries. way she deals with this through her characters is not cliche. What lingers is a very meaningful sense of having known a Meira Chand has previously written six novels on variouscharacter as closely, as warmly, as one would know a familiar. subjects and historical incidents. Being of Indo-Swiss parent- This is a controlled book, subtle and assured. There are no sud- age and having grown up in England and lived in Japan andden twists of fate or revelation. Singapore, she infuses her work with her diverse experi- The book ends on a surprising and suspenseful note which is ences. Although this tome makes an interesting read, itssomewhat unconvincing, almost as if it was tacked on in a hurry. length could act as a deterrent especially if one prefers a fastThis is a tiny flaw in an otherwise beautifully written book. moving tale. The Power Of Intuition: How To Use Your Gut The Stuff of ThoughtFeelings To Make Better Decisions At Work Steven PinkerGary Klein Penguin BooksDoubledayManjula Sundharam Dr. Rajagopalan M T ost corporate executives he moral of the parable of the five learn to make decisions blind men and the elephant is not based on analysis of facts. missing the whole by focusing Does relying on just the data help only on its parts. them make the right decisions? What Perhaps a similar moral exists even do we do when we have fewer when one looks at a whole, but from the chances to try options? vantage point of any specific discipline. Author Gary Klein in his book The Biology, psychology, cognitive science, Power Of Intuition shows leaders neurosciences, computer science and how they can learn to use their accu- artificial intelligence have all made dis- mulated and compiled experiences to tinct but partial contributions to our become better at decision making. understanding of how we think. Steven To those who are skeptical that rely- Pinker, a self-confessed verbivore usesing on intuitions could be riskier, the author points out that our language, both written and oral, as a rabbit-hole to peep intobodys immune system makes decisions with high degree of human nature and thought processes.speed and accuracy. The decisions of the immune system are Is there an abstract language of thought below the layer ofmade based on matching patterns. "When we can rely on our our manifest languages?immune systems intuitive decision abilities, why not learn to use Our experience of learning languages and history in schoolour experiences as well? ", Klein asks. The author also suggests was very similar-one damn thing after another. If the plural ofthat we identify and understand the critical, difficult and fre- house was houses, why say mice and not mouses?quent decisions involved in our job. Understanding what When should we use past perfect and not past tense? Well,makes this decision difficult, what kinds of errors are often Pinker avoids such dead-ends to take us on a thoroughly enjoy-made and how would an expert make this decision differently able journey. from a novice would help learn how to tackle the decisions. For the full reviews check out justbooksclc.com
4 JustBooks Connect - November 2011The Parsi mystery A life built on blood and tears He can be kind and humane but he is a terrible state of mind. Desperate toDahanu Road also self-indulgent and cowardly enough understand his wife, Shapur Irani takes a to pass off Kusum as a servant when his step that has unforeseen repercussions,Anosh Irani parents return home unexpectedly after despite good intentions.Harper Collins she spends a night in his home. The Warli-Irani struggle is well docu- His intentions, of freeing Kusum from mented and Anosh Irani doesnt spare his her abusive husband, are good but have community in describing some of the repercussions that are far reaching and atrocities of the landlords.Reshmi Chakraborty unintended. His portrayal of the Irani community is Zairos also seems blissfully ignorant of meticulous and often hilarious, from Aspi the discomfort his decision to flaunt Irani, who is obsessed with mosquito Kusum at places frequented by fellow repellents to Hosi, who loves all thingsA Iranis has on her. grim. Warli tribals suicide acts as a cat- Despite his growing attraction towards The author is on familiar ground when alyst for a chain of events in her, the gulf of class always seems to be describing the Irani community and this Anosh Iranis Dahanu Road. It is there between Zairos and Kusum, alone makes Dahanu Road worth a read.an evocative novel about Dahanu, a town whether it is in him teaching her to pro- Weve had quite a few books that dwellclose to Mumbai, where the now Canada nounce his name or in his last act of sus- on the Parsi community but the Iranibased Irani spent part of his boyhood. It is picion with her. community, which followed the Parsis toalso a book that chronicles the Irani India, is an equal treasure trovecommunity settled in Dahanu, most of stories. The stories comeof them wealthy landowners and alive in the authors descriptionthe Warli tribals who work on the of his Irani characters and theirlands that they once owned. peculiarities and the confidence The book starts with the young with which he recounts those.Shapur Irani, waiting to go to the By contrast, the Warlis, espe-sweetshop of his dreams with his cially their history and mythsfather in 1920s Iran. An attack on come across as something fromhis father by a Muslim royals men a fairytale.prompts the two to leave Iran and You need to read the book tohead to India. know if Zairos finds happiness The book then moves to Dahanu with Kusum or without her andin 2000 and introduces us to the the terrible secret ZairosZairos and Aspi Irani, grandson unearths in his quest to knowand son to Shapur Irani, who is now his grandfather, and the landninety and a rich landowner in the he is about to inherit, better.area. However, Dahanu Road is not Zairos life of carefree existence just a three generation familialhits a bumper when he comes saga.across the body of Ganpat, a tribal At one level, it also docu-who has committed suicide on his ments how easily thegrandfathers farm. oppressed can turn into To complicate matters further, oppressor.Zairos is attracted to Kusum, The Iranis fled from PersiaGanpats beautiful daughter. because they were persecutedKusum regularly battered and by the Muslims but in Dahanu,bruised by her alcoholic husband, its a role reversal as Irani andsees in Zairos a way out even if it In a way, Zairos reflects the mistakes of Parsi landlords have taken control oversets tongues wagging. Iranis narrative his grandfather Shapur Irani, who too what once used to be Warli land.weaves back and forth between Zairos had faltered around his sweetheart Banu, They also seem to have devised newand his pursuit of Kusum to a young unable to understand her as she sinks into methods of oppressing the Warlis,Shapur Iranis life in the 1940s with his whether it is in taking any Warlimuch loved wife Banu. women they desire or opening fire on a As Zairos delves deeper into Kusums “The Iranis fled from Persia crowd of unsuspecting Warlis gatheredlife, he suspects there is more to the because they were persecuted by for a protest. Zairos, in many ways, isstory of his grandmother than hisgrandfather has let on. the Muslims but in Dahanu, its a the redeemer of the community. He shares their life but understands Iranis Zairos is a well-defined cre- role reversal as Irani and Parsi its origins and the blood and tears it hasation no doubt. Son of the eternal landlords have taken control over been built upon. It makes for good clo-prankster Aspi, hes very much theproduct of his surroundings and cir- what once used to be Warli land.” sure and in the end, despite some flaws,cumstances. a readable, good book.
JustBooks Connect - November 2011 5Adoption and Adaptation A search for her roots had no choice, was forced to abandon her The only discomfort I had with theSecret Daughter child in an orphanage. book was the kind of lopsided manner inShilpi Somaya GawdaHarper Collins T he alternative was too cruel even to consider as a viable option. The author delicately weaves into her narra- which the Indian and the American ways of life were juxtaposed, both albeit from the perspective of our young protagonist tive, the painful subject of female infanti- Asha. cide in India. The author provides intricate details, What I liked best was the conclusion. It uses colourful imageries, and delicate was the ironic twists and turns and the brush strokes to draw the portrait of lifeRajeshwari Ghose tremendously complex monologue that in India, while broad generalizations and one can imagine Asha to have had with rough sketch lines characterize life in theT he Secret Daughter is the quest of a herself before she makes her crucial deci- US. The American mother has no defin- young adult, Asha, in search of her sion. ing personality. biological parents and her own ori- I shall not take away the delight of the While I would like to think that it was agins. Asha is a child born in India of reader by giving away the conclusion. definite ploy used by the author to paintIndian parents, raised as an infant the characters through Ashasin a Bombay orphanage and eyes, I was still left feelingadopted by a middle class couple that the American world wasin America, with the father being robbed of its richness andIndian and the mother white made simplistic and reducedAmerican. almost to a caricature. The novel mainly oscillates The father too was colour-between two worlds, the Indian less-again is it that we areworld of rural poverty, followed asked to see him as Asha did,by a description of life in a brutal especially at the time in herurban slum in Bombay on the one life when she resented thehand and the world of American comfortable bleakness of heracademia and professional physi- existence? She was dealingcians in suburban San Francisco with issues of adolescenceon the other. and added to it was the mys- Asha knows very little about tery of her birth and her feel-India, as her American mother is ing of loss and that definedrather lukewarm towards Indian her world view.culture. She had visited India justonce and found it completely alien T here are instances of her not knowing anything about India that I found diffi-and was upset by the dust, thepoverty and the apathy of the well cult to understand, living asto do and made no further efforts she does in a multiculturalto acquaint herself with the com- world of California. Howeverplexities of Indian life. my white friends assured me Her father too remains compla- that it was very possible tocent and the issue of cultural iden- live isolated, sanitized livestity is never regarded as a concern even to this day in California.worthy of discussion. After all, the book was on The adolescent rebellion of the the best seller list for a veryyoung girl against parental long time in Canada and soauthority assumes an added the average Canadian readerdimension of cultural alienation, does not seem to have pickedwhich she uses effectively as a weapon The moment when she collapses in the on this as a negative feature, for theagainst her mother in the passive aggres- lobby of the apartment in Bombay, where reviews have all been very complimenta-sive manner of a typical teenager. she knows that her biological parents live ry. Her mother is at a complete loss to with their son, her brother, and her On another nitpicking detail, I couldunderstand this angst of the young girl. It intense feeling of abandonment at the not imagine how the biological motheris this very familiar mother-daughter moment decides the final move she managed to escape the scrutiny of therelationship with its inevitable friction makes-it is almost as if no rational solu- family and the village to go up tothat forms one part of the narrative. tion could be arrived at in that juncture Bombay and abandon her child. Such pri- The other part of the narrative focuses and she can only respond with her aching vacy is a luxury of the west and is prettyon the silent, every hour suffering of the heart, "for the dreams she carried in her heart hard to get in rural India. Indian mother of Asha, who, because she and in her white marble box are gone".
6 JustBooks Connect - November 2011In conversation Does familiarity breed contempt?Ram Mohan SusarlaM y previous columns were all about how reading books as a habit and a hobby can be pur-sued for pleasure and fun. While we discussed the ways andmeans to acquire books, how readingcontributes to wholesome experienceand other pleasures of the book lovers,an aspect that has not been discussed yetis whether one can have enough of booksor is there a point when reading becomesboring. The objective of reading should be toincrease pleasure and not to become putoff by books. So, one needs to be judicious whileacquiring and reading books as like otherforms of consumption certain warinesssets in with excess of it. The trick lies in knowing when to take ner. Like the warriors whoa break and pause and when to resume pick their battles, onethe habit of reading, not in stopping to must pick and choose thebuy or rent books beyond a certain level. genres, authors, topics etc. As said earlier, reading is like sipping By this, the books thatold wine, the pleasure lies in taking small one has would be dog-sips and savoring the experience. eared from use rather than My advice for book lovers would be collect dust from disuse.not to read books by the same author in And what better compli-succession. ment for authors to have Authors have a particular writing style their books in the formerthat they tend to carry in most of their fashion rather than the lat-works and hence there is a tendency to ter.be hit by repetitive turns of phrase and We live in times wherestyle. mass production rules the One could get a feeling of déjà vu if one roost and hence consump-reads the same author in succession. So tion is similarly driven bytake a break after a book and then return mass psychology. This isto the same author after reading books the case with books asby other authors. ing the books that one has. well. This way, one can avoid what the adage A self confession from me would be that With publishing houses spending for-"familiarity breeds contempt" says about reading a book from cover to cover is tunes to produce and market the books,life in general. The best way to indulge in something that I have been able to accom- one must not get carried away by thethe reading habit would be to pick up plish not too often. hype and consume books the same waybooks by different authors and preferably Once I get the gist of what the author is one consumes other items. With so manyon different topics so that one does not trying to say, I tend to skip certain por- avenues for renting and borrowingfall prey to the repetitive style or content. tions, go straight to the final chapters or books, the ideal way would be to pick Of course, there are many bibliophiles generally give the book a quick read to books from these libraries and instead ofwho swear that one just cannot have get the essence of it. accumulating a collection just for the sakeenough of books and the more the merri- This is the case with a great many other of collecting, one can indulge in the booker. book lovers as well who find reading the reading habit in the same way that one However, given the fact that in our fast entire book something of a chore and pursues other fulfilling hobbies.paced modern lifestyles, we tend to have instead, might read certain chapters or Book reading is indeed an experiencelittle time for our pursuits and with book key events in the plot. In case of non- fic- that can be savored over a lifetime andreading being a time consuming affair, tion, reading key excerpts becomes the one need not get bored with it. By takingone needs to pick and choose. norm rather than the exception. strategic breaks and timing ones reading What this means is that no matter how With this in mind, one needs to have a for leisure time, one can make the most ofmuch one likes books, there is a point sense of perspective when buying, rent- this pursuit. when one should pause and finish read- ing or acquiring books in any other man-
JustBooks Connect - November 2011 7 Whats In A Name?M ark Twain. George Eliot. Twain is an archaic term for two. Later, Wonderland and Through The Looking Munshi Premchand. Three of Clemens admitted in his memoir and Glass was actually the English mathe- many writers acclaimed world- travel book, Life on the Mississippi that matician Charles Hodgson. He wrotewide. Their works would mostly con- his famous pen name under a pseudonym so that peopletinue to be read and appreciated for was borrowed from a would not confuse his identity. But, it islong. And their names or rather their riverboat captain not clear why Dhanpat Rai Srivastavachosen names would be remembered started writing with the name ofby current and future readers. These Premchand.renowned novelists decided to writeunder - pseudonyms, pen names or Contemporary writersnom de plume - names different from and pen namestheir own. The how and why of some In most situations, novelists famous pseudonyms and poets probably take on dif- ferent names to safeguard their identity and privacy. Irrespective of George Eliot or Mary Ann Evans the specific reasons that a novelist orbelievably adopted a male name to poet writes under a different name,gain better acceptance as a serious readers, critics, fans and others mustwriter. In the period that she authored realize that the private lives of manysome of her fairly popular novels and writers often become public.poems, women writers who published As with George Eliot or Salmanwith their real names were considered Rushdie, there are several instancescapable of penning only light hearted when peers, the government, reli-romances. Interestingly, Eliot also gious establishments or the generalwrote essays and edited a literary pub- public have ridiculed and harassedlication as Marian Evans around the writers severely. Though Rushdietime her novels came out. When she never adopted another name.did reveal her identity it had no affect Kalpana Swaminathan and Ishraton the popularity of her works. Syed, who jointly practise surgery in Jane Austen published her first Mumbai primarily, write fantasy andnovel Sense and Sensibility using the other fiction together as Kalpishname, The Lady. The Bronte sisters Ratna.Anne, Charlotte and Emily, called This nom de plume is almost anthemselves Acton, Currer and Ellis anagram of their names andBell respectively for their early works translates in a combination ofsuch as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Persian and Sanskrit, as theWuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. "pleasures of imagination". This was to prevent residents in Authors like them perhaps coinlocal communities from understand- pen names for fun or out of cre-ing that people in the neighbourhood ativity.inspired some of the characters in Some authors adopt differentthese novels. However, all these names to test the marketability of theirwomen are better remembered by their called Isaiah Sellers. Mr. Sellers con- books or to ensure that existing reputa-real names. tributed brief, accurate and valuable tion does not influence sales or accept- Samuel Langhorne Clemens apparent- paragraphs of simple and practical infor- ability of new work or to separate genres.ly, had other pseudonyms before he mation about the stage and condition of Horror, suspense and science fictionadopted Mark Twain. Until 1863, he the river to the newspapers, signing them writer Stephen King apparently con-signed funny and imaginative sketches as as "Mark Twain". vinced his publishers that he would penJosh. As a new journalist on the Pacific coast, some of his initial works under the pseu- Additionally, for a series of humorous Clemens "confiscated the ancient mariners donym Richard Bachman. The truth mayletters he utilized the pen name Thomas discarded name" after learning of Captain not have been found out if not for a per-Jefferson Snodgrass. Clemens claimed Sellers death. But, Twains biographer sistent Washington D. C. bookstore clerkthat his primary nom de plume originat- George Williams III, the Territorial called Steven Brown who like some othered from being a steamboat pilot on the Enterprise newspaper and Purdue retailers and readers recognized similari-river Mississippi. There, the river boat- Universitys Paul Fatout supposedly ties in the literary styles of King andman’s cry was “mark twain” meaning, believe that “mark twain” refers to a run- Bachman.‘according to the mark on the line, the ning bar tab that the novelist regularly Thus, one can convincingly infer thatwaters depth is two fathoms (a maritime incurred at John Pipers saloon in the quality of a writers work determinesunit of depth equivalent to two yards or Virginia City, Nevada. her or his fame and not necessarily her or1.8 metres) and it is safe for boats to pass.’ Lewis Carroll, who authored Alice in his name - real or otherwise!
8 JustBooks Connect - November 2011 Reader’s Voice The best part is the hassle free issuing unavailability in the book stores. OneJ ustBooks is a first of its kind commu- and returning of books which you can do time I wanted to read a book by the nity library chain to have come up in in seconds. author Marian Keyes and I couldnt find Vidyaranyapura. I love this library because I am spoilt it in my branch. I requested the book When I first heard of JustBooks open- for choices here. They have the entire col- which was present in another branch anding in our community, I was quite lection of the P.G Wodehouse books, in a matter of a few days I got an emailpleased. from JustBooks informing me Being an avid reader and a that the book was available! Allstudent I was very aware of the I had to do was collect it.hassles one faces to acquire JustBooks has a great collec-good books to read. tion of books for Young Being a student and on a limit- Readers. There are shelves fulled budget, I used to frequent of books from Enid Blyton,second handed book stores as Roald Dahl, The Nancy Drewthey were my only source of series, The Hardy Boys seriesreading material. and many more which bring The problem with that was the back sweet memories.limited choices of books, Also present are books incramped spaces where books regional languages like Hindi,are stacked and the unnecessary Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam etc.expenditure. All the books are arranged Having a library in my area methodically by genre and verywas not a luxury I had till easy to find using the row num-JustBooks came along. bers allocated to them. Talk I have been a member of quite about convenience. And to top ita few libraries growing up, and all off, the prices are extremelyI thought I knew what to expect affordable.from this library as I contem- To me, a library is not a luxuryplated joining JustBooks. But on but a necessity of life. I remem-my first visit I was blown away. ber when I was a kid, my father I was pleasantly greeted by would drive me to the librarythe front office staff and in no and it was such a big deal for metime I signed up for a member- to go in and get my own book.ship. There are various plans to I would look forward to pick-choose from depending on your ing out a book, reading it and asreading habits. soon as it was done, to go to the JustBooks has a well-stocked library again and pick out anoth-library having a vast array of er one! Years later, thats exactlybooks in all categories namely how I feel here at JustBooks.Fiction, Cooking, Self-Help, Thank you JustBooks, andBiographies, Spirituality, keep up the good work.Travel, History, books for Young which is hard to come by otherwise.Readers and magazines. I get to read books that I would have not Pooja Rao, Vidyaranyapura been able to otherwise due to their Bangalore
JustBooks Connect - November 2011 9Reader’s contribution Once upon a typewriter we use today.Sridhar Ramachandran Documents cre- ated out of a typewriterR emember those times, when for involved fun we played cricket or bad- painstaking minton and got engrossed in the effort on part oflives of Archie, Phantom, Mandrake, the transcriber.Amar Chitra Katha heroes and heroines, Duplication ofTintin, and Asterix. effort and correc- Reminiscing about those days, with hot tion of errors waspakoda and tea on a rainy evening very expensive.reminded me of concepts that were in Typewritten doc-vogue at that time but now have been uments thereforepushed and replaced by others. The gave a sense ofgood old typewriter is one such example. permanency and A common feature of that era was a a thought ofperson working in a firm where one had behind theto know and use a typewriter. A pop-ular administrative job position was sell to a shopkeeper to pay annormally referred to as typist - cum - overdue bill for sweets and ciga-clerk. A similar sentiment is echoed rettes.by Margery Davies in her bookWomans Place is at the Typewriter, T he loyal typewriter was often referred to as part of forensic examination in most detective nov-where such jobs were in vogue till the30s. els where the detective identified The job entailed a person (for some the typewriter on which thereason typically a girl) to know the art incriminating piece of evidenceof taking down notes at the speed of was typed on.speech via Pittmans shorthand and Typewriters today are still rele-transcribing it on an appropriate piece vant in domains where theof paper using carbon (blue or black) embossed feel on the paper isfor multiple copies and after appropri- important for the reader. At pres-ate signatures, filing some copies and ent, the Braille typewriters used todispatching the original via the trusted scenes effort to get it to the shape it is in. transcribe books for visually chal-Indian Government Post. The clickety- We do not get the same sense with the lenged people are the only typewriters inclack sound of keys of the typewriter documents that we create in our comput- regular usewas the hallmark of a typical office in ers and print out in our printers these Over the years, desktops gained popu-those days. It was the in-thing for the days. larity due to their ease of use and utility Tmajority to be trained in shorthand and ypewriters have been a major player extending beyond word transcriptiontypewriting skills with exams certifying in the creation of books that we have and that brought in the end of the type-your words per minute (wpm) speed in loved and cherished. Various authors writing era.typewriting - not belittling accuracy. have sworn by their typewriters and Today if a typewriter is missed then its The more affluent households actually even expressed anguish over losing their for that embossed feel it gave the contentpossessed this machine or variants that typewriters. on the paper but more importantly forwere deemed electronic typewriters. The childrens writer, Roland Smith those days gone by.Remington Typewriters were very much was given an Underwood typewriter at Sridhar, a member of JustBooksin demand at that time. the age of five for Christmas. These were English typewriters, In an interview during the release of a Rajarajeshwari Nagar, is a health-although over the years typewriters for book in 2004, he mentioned, "I can still care product manager and an avidIndian Languages like Hindi and remember the size and sound and smell of reader with an amateur interest inMarathi came up in India. The non-elec- that typewriter." Theodore Taylor, an writing.tric typewriters did not need electricity, author for young adults, actually named His reading topics extend from non-and the only consumables used to be the his autobiography, Making Love to fiction, Dalrymple style Indian his-ink ribbon, whiteners, carbon papers, Typewriters. tory to fiction-detective, to laughingand blank papers —it was almost a Our own R.K. Narayan, recalled in an with Wodehousian books.maintenance free device. interview with affection his first type- He is also trying to make urban Typewriters gave rise to the QWERTY writer - an elephantine Smith Premierkeyboard that became a standard for 10, which had separate keys for upper vegetable gardening work at hiskeyboards and is still one in the laptops and lower cases, and which he had to home.
JustBooks Connect - November 2011 10 1. Who is reffered as the 4. Byomkesh Bakshi, the famous Bengali detective was cre- Grandfather of English detective ated by: fiction? Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay Charles Dickens W Satyajit Ray Wilkie Collins Sabyasachi Chakraborty Edgar Allan Poe 5. Sherlock Holmes first appeared in this novel: 2. This is generally considered The Sign of Four to be the first detective novel: A Study in Scarlet The Murders in the Rue Morgue The Hound of the Baskervilles The Mystery of Marie Rogêt The Moonstone 3. Who was not part of the original Queens of Crime? Margery Allingham Ngaio Marsh Sue Grafton Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone, Sue Grafton, Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, A Study in Scarlet JUSTBOOKS The K-factor TOP 5 A n apt phrase that comes to mind is Kabhi N EW A RRIVALS Khushi…Khushiyon, Khushi. The reason for this euphoria 1. The Accidental by Ali has everything to do with new locations & libraries coming Smith up either in cities or in places starting with the alphabet K. 2. A Strangers Child by Take Kochi, for instance. Kolkata, after that. Add Kondapur & Alan Hollinghurst Karkhana (Hyderabad) next. Factor in Kothrud (Pune). Kandivili in 3. Gods Without Men by Mumbai. Hari Kunzru In Bangalore, Kanakapura, as a satellite branch. Of course, theres 4. Rafa: My Story by the K letter in Visakhapatnam. We are tempted to rephrase Chennai Rafael Nadal & John Carlin as Kennai, Coimbatore as Koimbatore & Gurgaon as Kurgaon now. 5. The 3rd Alternative by Stephen But you get the idea. Explosive growth kocktail, right? R. Covey R ECOMMENDED 1. Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala 2. The Tigers Wife by Tea Obreht 3. The Mask Of Troy by David Gibbins 4. The Homage To Catalonia by George Orwell 5. Fear and Forgiveness by Harsh Mander R ENTALS 1. Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat 2. The Secret Of The Nagas by Amish Tripathi 3. The Kane Chronicles (Book 2) by Rick Riordan 4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 3) by Jeff Kinney 5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians(Book 2) by Rick Riordan From JustBooks blog - http://blog.justbooksclc.com
JustBooks Connect - November 2011 11On Beauty Is beauty really skin deep? The majority of the book is dedi-Skin Deep - An Inside Out cated to revealing the truth about “The merit of eating healthy hasApproach To Looking Good, skin foods, in particular sugars, not escaped any of us, even theNaturally! protein, fats, antioxidants, vita- junk food-lovers. But knowledge mins, and minerals.Aparna Santhanam What in the world are antioxi- alone is not sufficient. We allHarper Collins dants and why are they impor- know that sugary foods should be tant? Is the uninteresting flaxseed avoided, more grains added to our actually full of goodness? Are coloured vegetables and fruits like diets, greens are great and fruits beetroots, papaya and mangoes are fantastic, and we do try andAradhana Janga really that good for skin? Wont manage these in our usual busy Almonds and Walnuts make one lives.”T here comes a time when one looks fat? Does protein help skin tex- in the mirror and wonders if there ture? is a solution to his or her skin. And last but not the join many more on your bookshelf.With time, we grow older, we gain least, some 50- Unfortunately, reading a self-help bookweight, we lose weight, achieve mile- odd does not ensure that you can practice itstones, go through many changes, yet to its entirety.one thing we all seem to have - skin And it is quite possible that your skinissues! Either its big pimples, regimen might very well interfere oroily skin, hair, dark contradict with other diets prescribed byspots, pigmenta- other health books that you havetion, allergies, indulged in.wrinkles or the zil- The merit of eating healthy has notlion others that can escaped any of us, even the junkpossibly fight for a food-lovers.place in this long list. But knowledge alone is not suffi- Skin is the largest cient. We all know that sugaryorgan in our body and foods should be avoided, morealso one of the few organs grains added to our diets,that is in direct contact greens are great and fruits arewith the outside world. fantastic, and we do try and It might very well be a manage these in our usualreflection of our health and busy lives.well being. So the question remains Readers or followers of diet or that despite our busyexercise books are much aware schedules with family,that there is no routine whether children, work andits diet, exercise or environment home and ensuring tothat affects just one part of our body. provide a healthyYou are what you eat and so is your yet tasteful diet toskin! our loved ones, Aparna explains the characteristics of would we stillthe skin and why it behaves the way it want to go on adoes; XPECT - a group of five attrib- guilt trip because weutes, namely, X factor (Glow), Pores, craved (and gave in) for thatEvenness of colour, Clarity and Texture, dessert?which help us understand what and Read this book because it gives you anhow much to expect from our skin. new insight into whats going on with your If you werent paying close attention recipes ranging skin and helps you understand it better.in your biology class, dont despair; the from summer coolers Include a few food tips if theyre easybook provides enough and more of the to Bruschettas to Watermelon enough to incorporate into your sched-scientific explanation about the skin with Rice Crepes that are bound to bring out ule.all its cells, oil glands, pigments and the chef in you. Try some new recipes because you likewhat have you. Aparna does not restrict you to a diet, to experiment with food. But try not to Aparna then helps you to figure out but encourages you to make some small go on a guilt trip because you dont haveyour skin type, where you get to pick changes that might do you (or rather a flawless complexion. If you arefrom normal, oily, dry, combination, your skin) a world of good. Having said healthy, happy and eating right, you aresensitive and mature along with recom- all this, the fact does remain that this is doing just fine! mendations for your skin type. another self-help book that will possibly
12 JustBooks Connect - November 2011Author Profile Anne Carson Essay online atAnindita Sengupta http://www.poetry- foundation. org/poem/178364).C anadian poet, essayist and trans- It might seem a bit lator, Anne Carson defies precon- grandiose but infat- ceptions. A scholar of the Greek uation is an accurateclassics, she is steeped in the stories and word for whatthe language of the past. Yet her verse is Carson fans fre-fresh and contemporary, easy to read, quently describe asand read aloud, rhythmic with everyday her effect. Thesounds. Her books—all 15 of them— mood, when herbreak and transcend the boundaries of name comes up, is atraditional genres. Theyre poetry and bit hushed.essay, prose and translation, dialogue As if somethingand musings, many things in one. has passed over the "Her poetry casts a cold eye on the wrin- room, somethingkled cloth of the human soul and discerns a shared thatrange of human maneuvers most of us never nobodys quite sureglimpse," says reviewer Meghan poems, collages, paintings, letters, frag- how to name. Autobiography of RedORourke of her in Slate.com. And its ments, everything in other words that (1998) is a lovely example of Carsonstrue that Carsons work continually sur- represents Michael. I cant wait to get best strengths. It blends myth, contem-prises and informs because of its range. my hands on it. porary story, poetry and insight.In The Glass Essay, for example, she Based loosely on the myth of Geryoncombines ruminations about Emily and the Tenth Labor of Herakles, it IN A NUTSHELLBronte with a sharp look at the self, a tells of Red, a boy with red wings whobroken love affair and a disturbed moth- lives in the modern day. Born On: June 21, 1950.er-daughter relationship. All of this is Teased at school and sexually abuseddone in the language of the present and by his older brother, Red takes to pho- Born In: Toronto, Canada.results in lines and images of startling tography and gets involved with abeauty: young man named Herakles. Education: BA, MA and PhD from Out the window I can see dead leaves tick- Red takes to photography and gets University of Toronto. ing involved with a young man named over the flatland Herakles. Disillusionment, loss and First Book: Short Talks (1982). and dregs of snow scarred by pine filth. reconciliation echo through the book At the middle of the moor as Red struggles to come to terms with Major Works: Goddesses And Wise where the ground goes down into a depres- love and with himself. Women (1992), Glass, Irony and God sion, I remember I left Autobiography of (1995), shortlisted for the Forward Prize; the ice has begun to unclench. Red lying around on a friends desk Plainwater: Essays and Poetry (1996), Black open water comes once when I was spending a few days Autobiography of Red (1998), shortlisted curdling up like anger. My mother speaks at her place. She picked it up and for the National Book Critics Circle suddenly. squealed. I love Red. I remember see- Award and the TS Eliot Prize; Eros The That psychotherapys not doing you much ing her differently, or rather seeing her Bittersweet (1998), Economy Of The good is it? more because of that. This is someone I Unlost (1999), The Beauty Of The You arent getting over him. had known for ten years, seen through Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 dysfunctional relationship, heartbreak, Tangos (2001), winner of the T.S. Eliot Epic scales of depression described in love and marriage. And yet knowing Prize for Poetry; NOX (2010). Carson isterms of nature represent the narrators her through her liking for the book still also the translator of: If Not, Winter:internal world. The shift from that to the yielded something more. Books will Fragments of Sappho (2002), Griefouter world, into the anodyne reality of frequently do this between people. Lessons: Four Plays by Euripedes (2006).psychotherapy is quick and sharp, a Some of Carsons books more often so. Her plays have also been staged.blow to the gut. Carsons latest book NOX has been Carson is skilled at creating this sort of described as a "deeply moving, medita- Day Job: Has taught the classics at sev-dramatic tension which makes her tion on the contours of absence" by The eral colleges.longer poems not just insightful but New Yorker.also-a quality not usually associated Written in mourning for her older Awards: 1998 Guggenheim Fellow; inwith poetry-gripping. As Roger Gilbert brother Michael who died unexpected- 2000 she was awarded a MacArthursaid: "unlike many academic poets she ly, NOX is apparently typical Fellowship; won a Lannan Literarydeploys her scholarly voice as a dramatic Carsonesque genre-bending stuff: a Award; was an Anna-Maria Kelleninstrument whose expressive power lies book that looks like an accordion pro- Fellow at the American Academy inpartly in its fragility." (Read The Glass duced in full colour with photographs, Berlin, Germany, for Fall 2007.
JustBooks Connect - November 2011 13Venturing out “Plunging into the franchise owners group” The first branch of Pune, which was in How has been the customer response toSapana Rawat Aundh, was opened on 12th August 2010 JustBooks as a concept & your library, in and exactly after 7th month we went live particular?We have been profiling the franchise with the second one in Wanowarie. It Customer response has been fantasticowners of JustBooks branches to give gives me a high when I am reminded of towards JustBooks in both Aundh andan insight to our members into what owning two JustBooks branches! Wanowarie branches. I always remem-it means to run a library and how ber one of the elderly members quoting Why and how did this franchise option "Jo kaamal maathe par ek tilak karta hai,these owners got motivated to start happen? aapne wo kaamal iss community par kiya haiit. My brother-in-law stays in Marathahalli, yeh library open kar."This time we talked to Mr. Dhiraj Bangalore and we used to visit him often. Thanks to the operations team, ourKothari, Manager - Franchise He knew I liked to read so during one of members love the collection of books weDevelopment for Strata Retail and our visits he took us to JustBooks, have.franchise owner of JustBooks Aundh Whitefield library. At that time we wereand Wanowarie in Pune. in Indiranagar and JustBooks did not What do you think will be a great addi- have a branch there. We use to frequent tion in terms of value to your existing the Sai temple in Indiranagar and on one members?Tell us a little bit about your- We want to delight our customersself . by maintaining the collection, right I am basically from Akola ambience and high standards of(near Nagpur) and have com- service over the long run. Its ourpleted my studies in Pune. I aim to provide a platform to learn,was born and brought up in a interact and grow like it happenedjoint family. My dad, brother, during our Aunty Becky Storysister-in-law and not to forget, Telling Shows, where we had storymy sweet little niece live in telling sessions for youngsters.Akola now, whereas my wifeand I stay in Pune. How much of your time do you I love reading books and spend at the JustBooks outlet per-playing mouth organ but the sonally? How rewarding is the expe-current workload leaves me rience of interacting with yourwith very little time to pursue members?these interests. I am generally there at the branch- es in the evening and on weekends.What were you doing before The experience of interact-joining JustBooks as an ing with members andemployee? finding or getting for themWhile finishing my MBA, I got an offer a particular book is highlyfrom E&Y through a campus interview. rewarding, its highly satis-I was working with E&Y in Bangalore fying to see their happinessfor about 4 years as Sr. Financial when they get the bookAnalyst before joining JustBooks. they want to read.Did you move to Pune just to start What kind of books do you read personally? WhoJustBooks branch here? are your favourite authors?Yes. I am more into non-fic- tion reading but have gotHow has your experience been on work- hooked to Indian writersing full time and taking care of the like never before. I likefranchise? reading Robin Sharma, Its been lovely because it has been like such visit I saw the JustBooks library on Abhijeet Bhaduri and Chetan Bhagatwork from home for me since Strata does Indiranagar 80 Feet Road. I went to the books.not have an office in Pune! Jokes apart, temple and on my way back joinedboth of my roles are such that each helps JustBooks, Indiranagar. I was a member What is your advice to book lovers whome in performing the other one with bet- for a couple of months before plunging would like to turn entrepreneurs throughter effectiveness. It has been very hard to into the franchise owners group. I always JustBooks?manage both the roles but the helpful wanted to have my own business and What better business to add some valuestaff and good feedback from our mem- this option looked noble and lucrative. to society and that too with decent prof-bers keeps me going. its.
14 JustBooks Connect - November 2011 Just KidsA Beautiful Lie minds. But most astonishingly when his Bilal in his task to shield his Gandhian father begs for a newspaper he and his father from the truth. loyal group of intrepid school friends This novel could definitely be classi-Irfan Master even invent good news and write and fied as dude lit. Male relationships areAge group: 13+ years publish a whole newspaper. This is the at the core of the world created here.Pages: 304 "beautiful lie" of the title. The two defining relationships areBloomsbury The main cast of characters includes between Bilal and his father and Bilal and his group of friends who between the four young schoolboys. belong to different faiths. There is Bilals relationship with his father is Chota, a Hindu, Manjeet a Sikh, and unique because at one level the roles areGeetanjali Singh Chanda Saleem a Muslim like Bilal. As in adult reversed. stories, here too, there is an effort to Bilals life revolves around looking point out that in pre-partition India reli- after his sick father, and he does all theI t is unusual to have a historical mundane chores that normally an adult event like partition of India as a would do for a child. Such an evocation backdrop for a book for adoles- of a male-centric world is unusual incents. The same pattern of the slow Indian writing in English and is certain-disintegration of family, friends and ly unexpected in a book for young ado-community on the basis of religious lescents.identity that has been a part of adult The male bonding among the groupfiction is replicated in this poignant of friends is also noteworthy. Theirfirst novel by Irfan Master. friendship is simple, uncomplicated This novel is set in an India on the and direct. The single focus of theirverge of partition and independence in friendship is to band together to devise1947. Bilals father is dying of cancer. ways of protecting Bilals father fromBut the son fears that if his father hears the truth.of the communal tensions that are cor- The end is expected in that the fatherroding their small town it will not only dies. But the father too knows how tobreak his heart but it will also hasten keep secrets. Bapujis secret is revealedhis end. to Bilal in a letter which he reads after His elder brother has already left his fathers passing. The gentle, lovinghome and urges Bilal and his father to and affirming epistle is one that anyleave home because India is not going son would long for and cherish. Oneto be safe for them as Muslims. Bilal that makes the loss of the father bear-has no intention of leaving and like his able.father is committed to the idea of a sec- Young adolescents might find theular homeland. He has chosen to protect narrative a bit slow moving and willhis father from even the news of the gious differences were not a major issue. probably appreciate a more fast pacedunrest and impending partition of the The children are just children who are book. Bilal is cheerful, optimistic andcountry. for the most part immersed in their thoroughly likeable but verges on being He goes so far as to physically prevent school life, games and childish pranks. a goody two shoes. A Beautiful Lie waspeople visiting his father so they dont What makes this group of children dif- short listed for the Waterstonestalk about what is uppermost on their ferent though is their mission to help Childrens Book Prize. JustBooks Picks for Young Readers Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman Growing Up In Pandupur by Adithi and There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff Chatura Rao Brahmas Butterfly by Meena Satin: A Stitch In Time by Payal Dhar Raghunathan Room In Your Heart by Kunzang Choden The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman Song Of The Bookworm by Anushka Ravishankar Scumble by Ingrid Law