Volume 2 Issue 8www.justbooksclc.comblog.justbooksclc.com CONNECT October 2011 For limited circulation A JustBooks Publication Potter: More or Less? Pg 10 Quiz Pg 14 Just KidsAnindita Sengupta Pg 15 Dursleys, McGonagalls early love affair- these are the tidbits hinted. Going by Rowlings tone, its going to be one gim-JK Rowling has announcedPottermore, an online store and fan micky ride. She has tied up with Google Author books for this and will be selling eBookswebsite, which Anindita Sengupta without paying the dark lords of Amazon Profilefeels could be the beginning of writ- or eBay. She has also indicated that theers taking marketing into their books will be DRM-free (free of Digitalhands. Rights Management ) and available for all eBook devices including the Kindle and work the internet just like everything else T he release of Harry Potter and the iPad. does. Writers must not only be savvy Deathly Hallows II, eighth and According to the official release: "As the with web stats, FB pages and site hits, final edition of the craze-inducing Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that they must also be willing to hustle.movie franchise was one of the biggest it should include further products designed It has not been greeted with unequivo-movie news. Millions queued to watch specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a cal enthusiasm.bespectacled Harry meet hard-to-name potential outlet for Sony products and servic- Some discomfort lies in our unwilling-nemesis Voldemort. Daniel Radcliffe has es related to Pottermore." ness to look at writers as professionalsmorphed into a hot, tormented man and As Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch.com who need to make a living just like any-Hermione holds her own. The movie, points out, besides being the first outlet one else.most agreed, was the best in the series. for Harry Potter eBooks, it will also be the We prefer them in the age-old role ofMeanwhile, JK Rowling calmly and not- first official HP fan base on the Internet. the mystic, the bard, the eccentric beard-so-quietly announced Pottermore. Kincaid predicts that it will be driven by ed or long-haired person in an attic. Pottermore is a website that promises the HP video game which Sony may Rowling abolishes these stereotypes. SheHarry Potter fans continued and everlast- release in the future or perhaps, a HP- is out of the tower and on our TV screens.ing excitement. It will not only offer themed social network. Either way, She seems as cozy with the market as sheeBooks but also dish out gargantuan Pottermore points to a trend of writers is with the muses.amounts of back story. About 20,000 taking marketing into their ink-stained I have mixed feelings. Some of the ...words of it. Details about the dreadful hands. It seems to say that books must contd on pg 2...
2 JustBooks Connect - October 2011 contd from pg 1... From the Editor’s writers peddled their own Desk books aggressively: Woolf set up Bloomsburg Press, Dickens wrote weekly H serialised novels. They were arry Potter. Much and working the market. But the then some, has been writ- dynamics of promoting ten about its books and work have changed in our movies. And just when you times, become more thought what more can one talk demanding. about Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling In an earlier column, I came up with Pottermore! wrote about the interview For Potter fans, this is great glut syndrome, the writer as news. For those who grew up celebrity in an age when reading the series, this site might celebrity comes at the click of give a sense of continuity of their a button. It is not entirely innocent terri- ture of our times. relationship with Harry and his tory. There are trigger-happy opinions, The internet is often blamed for taking world. The aspect we tried to distracted responses, views aired without people away from books and toward explore in this edition is how this enough forethought. With marketing games and social media. Pottermore whole Pottermore concept could added to the task list, some writers may might prove that it can cut both ways. (To be one of the ways for the writers feel additional pressure. some extent, were already seeing this in to take up marketing and control Plus what happens to writers who are a niche genre like poetry where online of their books and characters in not so marketing-savvy? Will great books journals have connected poets every- their own hands. suffer for lack of their authors ability to where and created a global network. In We all know well, how good churn out the promo jinks? Some stories the absence of publishing and distribu- marketing and packaging can give lend themselves to video games, quizzes, tion systems, readers hunt through cyber high visibility and help a book emoticons, merchandise and other alleys to find poems they may enjoy. break into the list of best sellers. peripherals. Others less so. Not all great Often, this leads to book-buying if they The increasing visibility of Indian writing is cult material. like a poem enough and want to read books and authors in different lit- Are we liable to miss out on books that more of the same poet.) erary festivals and book fairs rais- generate less noise? Coming back to the Whatever else, Pottermore does es a debatable question —Has book at hand, there are concerns about demonstrate the enormous potential of Indian writing arrived on the Harry Potter overshadowing all other the internet. It takes power away from world stage? Everyone has his or child heroes thanks to its persistent pro- online shops and puts its back where it her opinion on it. We talked to motion machine. Pottermore is another belongs-with the writer. some, inside and outside the writ- cog in this wheel. It also lights up the way to new and ing community to find out what is Its not all bleak. We know popular potentially unbounded freedom for writ- the general consensus and why. movies act as bait for people to read the ers to do whatever they want with their And here is some exciting news books they were based on but what about books. on our upcoming literary maga- games, websites and other hoopla? Whether this will mean pressure, profit zine. We are planning to bring out If new people read the book because of or pleasure remains to be seen. Like our first edition in the next couple something they see on Pottermore, it says many good things in life, probably a bit of months; its focus will be on joys interesting things about the reading cul- of everything. of reading. As we stated before, the main goal of bringing out this magazine is to promote reading. At JustBooks we believe, if we can bring out the various facets of our literary, publishing and print- ing industry and people involved in them, in form of interesting sto- ries, feature articles, interviews, etc. and put them together in a magazine format; it might inspire people to take up a book. Lastly do tell us what you think of this edition and dont forget to send your contributions to our newsletter. You can avail the one month reading-fee free offer if your con- tribution gets published here. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JustBooks Connect - October 2011 3 Love in a Headscarf The Good Muslim Shelina Zahra Janmohammed Tahmima Anam Amaryllis Penguin Pushpa Achanta Anindita Sengupta I T n her delectable, intriguing and can- here have been few books writ- did first book, popular radio and tel- ten in English about the war evision commentator, columnist and between Pakistan and award winning blogger Shelina Zahra Bangladesh despite the intriguing Janmohammed opens up herself to the politics and history of the country. world. Tahmima Anams second book deals While tracing her prolonged quest for a with the aftermath of the war of 1974 suitable life partner, she reveals interest- when East Bengal gained its inde- ing and humorous tidbits about herself, pendence and became Bangladesh. her girlhood dreams of marrying John The Good Muslim unravels the Travolta, her family, faith, interests and story of war but also of interpersonal ambitions. conflict as Maya, the liberal idealist, As the various attempts to select a hus- clashes with her brother Sohail whoband through their contacts do not bear fruit, Shelina and her has become a religious conservative.friends attempt to find them through blind dates, matchmaking What emerges is an exploration of conflict, escapism and thewebsites et al. dodgy lines of idealistic certainty. And, from time to time, Janmohammed wonders if she is ask- There are many good reasons to argue with religious con-ing for too much while her father wisely advises her to be a bit servatism. Maya does allude to some of them but she muddlesflexible. All is well when she finally meets and marries The One, along the rest of the time focusing on inconsequential or irra-half unexpectedly. tional blaming. While one may sometimes question if it is necessary to try so The language is eloquent in many places and some of thehard to seek a mate, people would empathize with the author descriptions of wartime incidents both stark and affecting.and enjoy and admire her frankness. Janmohammed manages to There are points though that the narrators inherent dislike-hold the attention of her readers by interspersing her personal ability distracts from the story. I had to struggle past my irri-stories with various facts about Islam. tation. Was it worth it? I suppose so. A Mercy Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits,Toni Morrison Passion, and PurposeKnopf Tony Hsieh Business PlusAnindita Sengupta Manjula Sundharam F T or the first time since her much- ony Hseih, shares his decisions, acclaimed novel Beloved (1987), experiences and lessons while talk- Toni Morrison returns to ing about profits, passion and pur- Americas past to examine its most pose of his life. lasting stain: slavery. Set in the 1680s, Written in an autobiographical style, A Mercy goes back further than its the book engages the readers with anec- predecessor to a time when slave dotes and quotes. trade was in its infancy. Jacob Vaark, Delivering Happiness is not just a ref- an Anglo-Dutch trader, arrives at a erence book for the new hires at Zappos; clients home to learn that the man it is an inspirational read for all aspiring cannot return the money he owes business leaders. Jacob. Instead, he offers him a slave Discussing his knowledge and views from his retinue. Jacob has little use on the science of happiness, the authorfor a teenage girl in too-large shoes but guided by different encourages businesses to make their customers and employeeskinds of mercy, he agrees and acquires Florens. When a free happier.African blacksmith comes to the farm, she falls in love with He says happy customers and employees would help growhim. And later, when her mistress falls ill, she is sent after him their businesses.because he knows a cure. With his engaging narration, the author takes the readers In the telling of Florens story, Morrison illustrates the fragili- along on the roller coaster ride he had been through in business.ty of all these lives, so helplessly flung about by forces beyond Entrepreneurs, Customer service executives and Humantheir control. This tight novella packs into its pages enough Resource professionals would find Delivering Happiness anlove, reality and pathos to last a while. So the next time you inspiring read and the author leaves the reader with this inspir-want to juice a lot of wisdom from an hour or two of reading, ing note: "Work towards maximizing the happiness of yourself and thepick up A Mercy. people you have relationships with." For the full reviews check out justbooksclc.com
4 JustBooks Connect - October 20113 Novella’s The Moment of Possibility while her real passion for Oriya writingThe Artist of Disappearence especially the work of Suvarna Devi moulders in the recesses of her soul.Anita Desai Her chance encounter with a school friend who runs a publishing houseRandom House launches her into translating Suvarna Devis short stories. The success of the translation embold-Geetanjali Singh Chanda ens her to cross the fine line between translation and transcreation and ends in disaster and a return to the monotony of her previous existence. The final storyA from whence the title — The Artist of nita Desais The Artist of Disappearance is the story of Ravi who cre- Disappearance comes some 7 ates a natural secret garden, a bower that years after her last novel The Zig is an artistic expression of his onenessZag Way. Desai is a leading name among with nature. A bunch of activists — envi-Indian writers in English and has been ronmental film makers ruin this sanctu-referred to as the Virginia Woolf of India ary by "discovering" it and exposing it tofor her deeply psychological novels. the public gaze. weary despair as he walks through the Her exquisite writing style and delicate In each of the stories in The Artist various rooms in the Mukherjee homesensibility are evident from her first novel of Disappearance recalls Taras sense of claustrophobiaCry, the Peacock to the latest The Artist when she revisits their crumbling, ances-of Disappearance and dozen or so in tral Delhi-home, "where everything wasbetween. Desai has been preserved here as if this were the storeroomthrice short listed for the of some dull, uninviting provincial muse-Booker Prize and has won um." Similarly the theme of the hierar-other numerous prestigious chies of languages that was so beauti-awards. Her childrens book fully delineated in In Custody (whichThe Village by the Sea was also made into a film by Ismail(1982), won the Guardian Merchant) is re-examined inChildrens Fiction Award. Translator Translated.Currently Desai lives in the Translator Translated is the mostUnited States and teaches cre- evocative, complex and poignantative writing at the story in this collection.Massachusetts Institute of It can be read as a story that cap-Technology. tures a moment of possibility in the This collection of three novel- otherwise dull life of the protago-las or long short stories share the nist Prema. It plays her along andsame elegiac and regretful tone, then lets her fall back into a lifeother than that they are not linked that she describes as stretchingto each other. The first story The out before her "like an empty,Museum of Final Journeys recounts a unlit road."young government officers strange It can also be read as an ele-encounter on his first posting in a gant philosophical examina-remote outpost. An old caretaker tion of the privileging ofvisits him to seek his help in main- English writing and the lan-taining an old house and family guage itself over regional ormuseum. A once wealthy land-own- bhasa literatures. And finallying family gradually declines as first, it demonstrates with empa-the father dies and, then the young son thy how easily a faithfulleaves his widowed mother to run the translator can cross the lineplace. He sends her cartons of a won- from translation to transcre-derful assortment of kitsch and collec- ation.tors items from his journeys. Ultimately it is possible to In Anita Desais work, as she has noted,the widow also abandons the home to trace certain tropes or themes that survival is often heroism enough. Onelive in Varanasi leaving the loyal caretak- recur hauntingly and with some insis- does not therefore look for heroes in herer to manage the house. tence in Desais other works. novels. But a Prema becomes a hero The second story Translator Translated The Museum of Final Journeys for because she is a survivor. However, allrecounts the story of Prema, a middle instance vividly recalls The Clear Light three novellas leave one wondering if thisaged college teacher, who teaches canoni- of Day. The young officers sense of kind of survival is enough. cal English texts to her bored students
JustBooks Connect - October 2011 5Re-invention Is Management Education too important to be left to Management Schools?Rethinking the MBA S Another concern is about peer learn- ing and outside class learning being perceived by students as more significant tanford offers compulsory courses at three different levels to cater to stu- dents with different levels of prior learn-Srikant Datar, David A.Garvin, than classroom learning. Worse, the cur- ing and experience. This avoids studentsand Patrick G. Cullen riculum changes being introduced seem wasting their time in their first year.Harvard Business Publishing to support this view: Exchange pro- However, it raises the question whether grams, Immersion trips to foreign the core requirements of an MBA is shores, out bound programs outsourced merely a credit quota requirement. AfterDr. Rajagopalan to others etc. all, European Business Schools like To be fair to the business schools, they INSEAD have been offering equally are more vulnerable to criticisms from effective MBA programs of just 10T his book is based on research con- society. They are expected to fend for months! It is a well-known secret, at least ducted in the centenary year of the themselves in raising resources. Unlike amongst Indian management schools, Harvard Business School. It gives long established disciplines in physical that the second-year is a virtual washoutus a summary of impressions from a and social sciences, academics in profes- as far as classroom learning is concerned.broader survey of opinion amongst In the U.S, they call it networking,business leaders, academics and stu- internships, interviewing for jobs,dents. global immersions etc. Six detailed case studies of the That raises the question of the relevancechanges being introduced in leading of Rethinking the MBA to the Indianmanagement schools in the USA and context. The need for periodic curriculumEurope offer additional insights. revisions and innovations in manage-There seems to be a decline in the ment education is clear. However, thepopularity of the two-year, full time regulator, All India council for TechnicalMBA programs. Recruiters seem to education (AICTE), is a disaster stiflingvalue the selectivity of MBA pro- any innovation and differentiation. Thisgrams more than the value added by came out quite clearly in a conferencethem. The business schools are being held recently to discuss the implicationsforced to revamp their curricula and of this book for management education inbroaden their concerns beyond share- India. Like for politics, there is no legallyholders profits, especially after the required education for becoming a2008 financial crisis. manger. If so, why should the education This book would be of immense for management be regulated? A largeinterest to two types of audiences. number of participating institutions inMBA aspirants would get a wealth of that conference described several innova-useful insights from the six chapters tions they are trying out, in spite ofin Part 1 which can help them make AICTE and not because of it.an informed choice. Academics in Intentions apart, availability of suitablebusiness schools can learn why and faculty is essential to sustain any reforms.how they need to periodically renew The authors cite this as the major chal-their curricula, pedagogy and lenge even in significantly betterresearch programs. endowed management schools in the Some of the changes highlighted sound sional education like management are not USA and Europe, who are free from reg-merely as old wine in a new bottle. It is a yet seen as rock stars amongst ulations. A more acute faculty shortagelong held view that education should tar- researchers and are still fighting for their looms over IIMs and other well-knownget improvements in knowledge, skills as place under the sun. management schools in India. Is a lesswell as attitudes (KSA). This book calls itknowing, doing and being. Nothing S ome of the management schools, like Chicago Booth and Harvard, are banking on economies of scale of large ambitious reform agenda a more reason- able immediate goal for management education in India? Is an AICTE approvalmuch seems to have changed. Studentengagement in curricular activities comes class sizes to fund their activities. being used as a mere official fig-leaf byonly second, after hunting for jobs. The Introducing any change in such pro- fly by night educational entrepreneursgrip of those rooting for the status quo, grams is a logistical nightmare. making a fast buck?among the faculty, continues to thwart Something has to give in. In Chicago, Unlike business, it seems better if edu-any fundamental redesign of the MBA. A both students and faculty enjoy a free cation has only one stakeholder to beyou scratch my back, I will scratch yours market, with very little compulsory com- served: the student. Are the managementattitude dominates the old as well as the ponents in the curriculum; Harvard has a schools ready for it? The same questionsrevamped curricula. regimented first year and case pedagogy, have become relevant for engineering Do whatever, as long as ones own never mind the heterogeneity amongst education too in India because of thecourse or pedagogy can be kept as it is! entrants. dominance of IT recruiters.
6 JustBooks Connect - October 2011In conversation Has Indian writing come of age?Pushpa Achanta awards are not the single defining bench- in their native languages, when they mark, they certainly contribute to the could express themselves in multiple popularity of a writer. tongues. The term "Indian writing" general-ly refers to the literary work of peo- What the Booker prize did to the likes of Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, Kiran Desai and Arvind Adiga is well known. B ut to their credit, they are famous across the country and the world thanks to the rendition of their work inple who trace their ethnic origins to Of course, Vikram Seth may not have other languages by themselves or others.our country or identify themselves received too many awards but he is "When one talks about Indian writing, onewith it. The primary subject of these among the most "sought after" interna- must consider publications in English and theliterary works is this land and any- tional Indian writers. And lets not forget vernacular medium including translations. Amitav Ghosh, Rohiton Mistry, Many Indian languages have treasure trovesthing connected with it - people, Ramachandra Guha and Jhumpa Lahiri. of literature", said Nandula Suseela Devi anature, traditions, politics, religions Telugu novelist, short storyet al. It includes contemporary and writer and social worker.ancient works penned by Indians, in So how did these authorsEnglish or any other Indian language. achieve so much fame and fan With the global acceptance, recog- following? It is a combination ofnition and demand for Indian writers various factors such as theof fiction and non-fiction especially appeal of the story or poem, thein English; a flourishing local pub- speciality of the theme, unique- ness of the presentation style, thelishing industry and Indian authors distinct characters etc. Forexperimenting with digital releases - instance, R. K. Narayan grewan interesting question arises. Not into a popular writer due to thejust amongst the literati but all of us. imaginary town of Malgudi heHas Indian writing arrived on the created. Many readers believedworld stage? that this town actually existed! It looks like it has, if you were to Vikram Seth is renowned forbelieve me and some of the avid read- employing lyricism, wit and can-ers and authors I know of. dour as seen in The Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy. In the case of Mahasweta Devi Indian writers on the world (Hazar Chaurashir Maa or map Mother of 1084) or Khushwant Singh (Train to Pakistan) it isA yesha Aleem, a journalist and winner the richness of the language and of this years Deccan Herald annual the poignancy of the subjectsshort story contest says, "As a reader, I feel chosen.that Indian writing in English has come of age Nowadays, fine marketing, anin some sense. Becoming more comfortable attractive book cover or out-with English, Indians use it to articulate their standing design and illustrationthoughts frankly.” increases a books saleability. She adds, “However, Ive noticed that All these modern gimmicksunless the author has lived overseas consider- require astute and experiencedably, his or her account of Indian life is too literary agents, publishers andrudimentary. Authors probably require that talented graphic artists.external vantage point for a meaningful or "Indian writing would be won-interesting perspective. For instance, derful if it were more sophisticated,Maximum City by Suketu Mehta, Sonia vibrant, colourful, hearty and soul-Faleiros Beautiful Thing, Red Carpet by ful while remaining simple. The lastLavanya Sankaran and Anand Girdhardas makes it more enjoyable and is oneIndia Calling evince this thought. But the of its most striking qualities." addswriters hardly seem Indian enough in the con- Aleem.ventional sense as an extended period of time Writing by Indians has alwaysabroad can greatly affect ones sense of identi- been appreciated in places likety. So, as a reader, Id like more "Indian Then there are legends such as Amrita Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Nepal due toIndian" authors capture the spirit of the Pritam (Punjabi), Munshi Premchand shared histories, culture, geography,Indian scene in a language that rises beyond (Hindi), Mahasweta Devi (Bengali), food, wildlife, etc.basic." Kamala Das alias Madhavikutty And the presence of the Indian or South Some believe that Indian writing in the (Malayalam), Sadat Hussain Manto Asian diaspora in various parts of thevernacular medium came of age when (Urdu) and Kalki R Subramaniam (Tamil) globe enhanced the popularity of IndianTagore won the Nobel Prize. Though who have lived here and wrote primarily
JustBooks Connect - October 2011 7 (Oriya poems and translations),writing. Literary festivals like the Rastrakavi Kuvempu, (Kannadaones in Hay-on-Wye, Edinburgh plays and poetry) and Vijayor in Jaipur and book fairs like Tendulkar (Marathi plays).those of London and Frankfurtthat attract established foreignnovelists and large publishers T hen there are internationally established English authors such as Anita Desai, Gita Mehta,played a good part in showcas- A. K. Ramanujan, Ved Mehtaing Indian authors and its litera- and V. S. Naipaul, who haveture. also penned novels, poems and These events continue to pro- works of non-fiction based onmote Indian English and vernac- this country irrespective ofular writings onto the global where they are.stage. It is probably difficult to find a On the other hand, reviews of writer with roots in India whoseIndian writings in reputed inter- work is not influenced by thenational literary publications country.like the New York Review of In fact, the books of RuskinBooks and The Times Literary Bond, Mark Tully and WilliamSupplement, is providing a Darlymple, who have chosen tomajor boost to the demand and be in India, are often about thiscredibility of Indian writing. land. People who believe that Indian writing is all about Writing from India - Shobhaa De, Chetan Bhagat, and the Rs. 99 per book "Metro through the ages Reads" or the "chick-lits" that are flooding the market are perhaps not aware of the depth and vari-M ulkraj Anand, Raja Rao and R. K. Narayan areoften believed to be the initial ety of works by Indian authors and poets. For vernacular writers, gain-stalwarts of Indian writing in ing acceptance in other lan-English. But before them were guages (Indian or foreign) isKalidasa (Sanskrit), Sant tough.Tukaram (Marathi), Allasani But that is sometimes alsoPeddanna (Telugu), true of English writing as itThiruvalluvar (Tamil) — all needs to be translated into otherrenowned vernacular gurus of languages to increase its reach.their respective times. Sunday Heralds book review- Apart from the extraordinary er and regular contributor,literature of these geniuses, their Melanie Priya Kumar sums uplives, contemporaries, environ- aptly, "Indian writing in Englishment and influences are studied has certainly come of age since thein India and abroad even today. themes are local and there is no In the 20th and 21st century, longer any hesitation to speak ofIndian vernacular writers who issues that were earlier sweptwon worldwide acclaim consist- under the carpet.ed of people like Ishmat Chugtai The interesting thing is that(Urdu novels, short stories and writers from the diaspora are alsoessays), Volga (Telugu essays choosing India-related subjects.and novels), Meena Kandasamy I think the country has always(poetry, feminist and political had a strong base of regional fic-writing in Tamil), K tion, which has been mature andSatchidanandan (Malayali robust -there is no question of com-poems, translations and literary ing of age here !” criticism), Sitakant Mohapatra
8 JustBooks Connect - October 2011 Reader’s Reader’s contribution Adventures on Uncle Ram’s farm Voice Valli Kamath adopts as a friend and pet. But he cannot take Lakshmi back to the USA with him on a plane, so he leaves her behind at Uncle Rams farm, promising to return F every year. Reubens next round of or Ram Halady, it all started as aI adventures brings him two more friends am a real bookworm and my mom hobby. He began writing entertain- - Ali, the crocodile and Moti, the dog. He was finding it hard to keep buying ing stories for his nephews, Reuben also discovers that these animals talk to books (we have so many that my and Andrew. It was a happy revelation children all the time. You only have tomom would say that we will need more for him, that he could write short stories listen! Reubens older cousin Andrew,bookshelves than wardrobes). I was for children. It also provided him with a also visits the farm and together thedone with most of the books at home wonderful escape from his business and cousins have other encounters with moreand was wishing for a good library. professional life. Although Ram relocat- animals. With each adventure, they gainSurprisingly JustBooks opened after the ed from India to Chicago almost 20 years new friends and learn something alongfirst term holidays in the next street and ago, he carried with him fond, childhood the way.my mother, most willingly agreed to memories of visiting his uncles farm.become a member. In each of us, there lives a child who Reubens Adventures on Uncle Rams She wanted to try it first so we became longs to have adventures with unusual Farm Book 2a basic plan member and have been reg- pets, but safe within the circle Cousins Reuben andularly using it. It not only has a wide of a protective and loving fami- Andrew love to spendcollection of fiction but also has good ly. So Ram based his stories on their long summerquality non-fiction. It has helped me in a real family, at vacations visiting theirmy school projects to read them. The an imaginary Uncle Rams farm inthings I like about JustBooks are: farm in India. India. This is their sec- 1. People are very friendly and help He put the chil- ond visit to the farmme select books. I am now allowed to go dren in charge together and Reubenall by myself to select books. of this world, had loved the summer 2. We can borrow in any branch and assisted by ani- he had spent there the return in any branch of JustBooks. mals that could year before. There wereThere is one near my grandparents communicate, so many things to do atplace; this has really been useful during especially with the farm - so manyvacations. them. places to explore in the 3. We dont have a last date for return, The success of surrounding country-so I can do my reading at my own pace Rams first side - and so many friends likewithout my mom worrying about the attempt at writ- Lakshmi,the elephant, and Moti, thefine. ing and pub- dog. There was also Ali, the crocodile. 4. I always look forward for the activi- lishing a collec- And this time, Andrew had bought alongties that they come up with. Once I par- tion of short stories for children, his pet fish - Speedy. Through the hotticipated in a drawing competition and Reubens Adventures on Uncle Rams summer days, the cousins meet differenteven won a prize in that. Farm, led to a second book in the series. animals in the course of their adventures 5. I can request for the books and they In these tales, Reuben and Andrew, visit their uncles farm in Bangalore, meet dif- and learn big and small things - aboutget it promptly. The books here areclean and free of dog-ears. ferent animals in the course of their the animals and about themselves. JustBooks is an amazing library and I adventures - and learn small and big Valli, an avid reader, is a member ofhope to be its member always. things along the way. JustBooks Frazer Town. Reading this series of books created a special world Sahana S, 13 years Reubens Adventures on Uncle Rams which took her back to her childhood Malleshwaram Farm days. She wanted to share her delight- When five-year-old Reuben visits his ful experience with those who enjoy Uncle Rams farm near Bangalore, in reading books. "Thank you, JustBooks, India, he has a small adventure and for the extensive collection of books meets Lakshmi, the elephant, whom he that brings such joy to all book lovers." she says.
JustBooks Connect - October 2011 9Reader’s contributionThe life and love of Kamala DasThe Love Queen of Malabar :Memoir of a Friendship withKamala DasMerrily WeisbordMcGill-Queens UniversityPress/Research PressArati Koppar Merrily Weisbord is the perfect instru- for love, like "alms looking for a begging ment, encapsulating in lyrical prose the bowl." many moods of this brilliant, yet much- Although Dass writing is now pre- misunderstood writer. scribed reading at universities in India Using lines from Dass poems to accen- and abroad, this book is a must-read for tuate her writing, this memoir is as much those seeking deeper insights into what a freewheeling conversation about the made Das who she was, and most perils of being woman, as a tribute to importantly, what made her write what surviving the same. she wrote. Weisbord is an accomplished writer, Dass life, as she so candidly revealed "My Hindu relatives and friends keep a and has won many accolades interna- in My Story, her autobiography fromdistance from me. They wish to turn me into tionally. Yet in the interviews that ensue 1988, provided ample fodder for the sen-a social outcast. My sister visited me twice between the two so-different-yet so-simi- sationalist tabloids when it was first pub-but wept all the time. I cannot visit my old lar women, Weisbord offers Das the lished. It was they who labeled her Themother. Otherwise life is exciting…" spotlight, and Das obliges with her Love Queen of Malabar.R charismatic presence that seeps through But, the memoir is a compassionate eferring to her conversion to the pages of the book. look at Das, the abused woman who Islam, Kamala Das wrote these The memoir begins when Das was served her sick husband until his death; words in a letter to Merrily widowed and continues till her death it is a gentle re-telling of betrayal; it isWeisbord, the author of The Love three years ago. also a candid account of sexuality, andQueen of Malabar : Memoir of a Along this eventful journey, the two Dass quasi-erotic verse.Friendship with Kamala Das. Dass tor- women reexamine their own under- All said and done, Love is the one ele-rid encounter with organized religion is standing of what constitutes woman- ment that holds the book together; Lovejust one of the many delicate issues that hood. between man and woman, Love betweenWeisbord boldly deals with, in what can Weisbord simultaneously encounters mother and daughter, Love between twosafely be called, a biography of Kamala the turbulent writer in Das, and the frag- soul sisters whose paths cross to result inDas. ile, sensitive soul that speaks of looking deep, cathartic expression. Provocative in content and evocative in This is a fascinating look at whatits style, The Love Queen of Malabar “The memoir is a compas- makes women, and writers, and womeneffectively captures the spirit of perhaps, writers tick. Read it. For loves sake.Indias most controversial writer. Dass sionate look at Das, thewords flow through this book like gentle abused woman who served her Arati Koppar, a JustBooks memberwind passing through a hollow bamboo. sick husband until his death; of Vijayanagar branch, is a GermanSometimes the music is bittersweet, as Language Trainer.Kamala speaks about the status of wid- it is a gentle re-telling of Having lived in Germany, she isows in India. betrayal; it is also a candid Bangalore-based now. A qualified Sometimes its soft and lingering, as account of sexuality, and journalist, she has also been ashe speaks of love and its many manifes-tations. But never is it discordant. Dass quasi-erotic verse. “ German-speaking Tour Guide.
JustBooks Connect - October 2011 10 1. What is the full name of 4. What is the spell to light the end of a wand? Professor Dumbledore? Lumos Albus Peter Wilbur Brian Accio Dumbledore Confringo Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore 5. Name the 3 magical schools participating in the Triwizard Albus Peter Wulfric Brendan Tournament. Dumbledore Hogwarts, Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts, Durmstrang 2. What is the number of the Gringotts vault in which the Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang Philosophers Stone was kept? Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Wizarding Academy of 713 Dramatic Arts 317 173 3. Half horse, half eagle. Name the creature. Blast-ended Skrewt Thestral Hippogriff Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, 713, Hippogriff, Lumos, Hogwarts; Beauxbatons and Durmstrang JUSTBOOKS JustBooks Founder involved in a shooting! TOP 5 B efore you go into a fit of curiosity, let us clarify that JustBooks Founder, R. Sundar Rajan was shot for an episode of CNBCs N EW A RRIVALS popular television programme, Young Turks at our 1. Aleph by Paulo Coelho Marathahalli office. 2. Crescent Dawn by ‘Young Turks’ puts the spotlight on young entrepreneurs poised to Clive Cussler be tomorrows leaders. The show traces their journey from who they 3. The Beautiful And The were to who they have become. Damned by Siddhartha ‘Young Turks’ has been awarded the Best Business Talk Show Deb Award twice at the News Television Awards, has been recognised 4. As I See It by Lal by the Villgro foundation and also conferred the Karmaveer Krishna Advani Puraskar for Citizen Action. 5. Unusual People Do Things Hosted by the popular anchor, Shereen Bhan, the show has com- Differently by T.G.C. Prasad pleted over 350 episodes featuring over almost 800 young and dynamic entrepreneurs. R ECOMMENDED 1. The Girl In The Garden by Kamala Nair 2. Netherland by Joseph ONeill 3. No God In Sight by Altaf Tyrewala 4. The Women Of The Mahabharata by Chaturvedi Badrinath 5. India Calling by Anand Giridhardas R ENTALS 1. Only Time Will Tell by Jeffery Archer 2. The Secret Of The Nagas by Amish Tripathi 3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 3) by Jeff Kinney 4. The Kane Chronicles (Book 2) by Rick Riordan 5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 2, 4, 5) by Jeff Kinney From JustBooks blog - http://blog.justbooksclc.com
JustBooks Connect - October 2011 11Book Launch If you follow all the rules, you will miss all the fun and rememberedSapana Rawat her as a studious, dedicated and fun loving student.B ased on friendship, fun, freedom, Geetanjali read faith, and fashion, Geetanjali Jha her favorite para- launched her debut novel titled F graph from theFactor in Reliance TimeOut, book and answeredCunningham Road last month. a variety of ques- Geetanjali Jha is a member of tions from theJustBooks, Koramangala. The young 25- audience pertain-year old residing in Bangalore was born ing to her book.in Jharkhand. She completed her four- She wrapped theyear course in NIFT, Kolkata. Geetanjali event by signingalways loved writing and decided to the books for thewrite a college memoir in form of F audience.Factor. She sent a couple of chapters to Addressing theLeadstart publishers, who readily agreed audience Geetanjalito publish her first book. Jha, said, "The book Apart from writing and reading, makes for an interest- Geetanjali Jha with her NIFT teacher Mrs. Shubholaxmi KropeGeetanjali loves cooking,photography and travel-ling and is currently Book Excerpt:working on her second “book titled Trajectory - If you follow all the rules, youPath To Oneself. She is will miss all the fun. This wasa Visual Merchandiser the first thing which caught myby profession. eyes when I entered room number F Factor aims to con- twenty four, which was my addressnect to all the college- for next four years. I tried to have agoers, graduates and better look.those who are yet to go A computer with speakers every-to college. where was kept on table. Posters of The fun-frolic move- Archies and a mood board withment is based on friend- graphics, designs and silhouettes, andship of the protagonist one picture board covered the walls.Ojal with her fab four There were pictures of five schoolfriends - Max, a straight girls in white shirts and coffee col-forward, practical, any- ored skirts, one picture of mother andthing-for-friends type of daughter in Darjeeling, one picture ofguy; Karan, a kool, a smart girl with smarter Aditikalkulative, no-nonsense Govitrikar, one picture of NIFTtype of guy; Stuti, a girl entrance with logo prominently shin-who is NIFTian in every ing in back drop.sense and Ojals first love I noticed that there was no picture ofSam. Daddy and daughter. This was the Along with them are start of my journey to be a NIFTianthe faculties, fest, fashion and belong to that place.shows, family, future Will a simple, small town girl adaptdreams, campus, fights, herself to the big, bad, glamorous andand their journey in overcoming every- ing read for all those who believe in living glittering world of Fashion? Will thisthing to achieve their dreams and dis- each and every moment to the fullest. I am studious girl successfully match up tocover themselves. sure many of the readers will be able to relate the limelight of the Fashion industry? Reliance TimeOut organised an exclu- to Ojal, the main protagonist in the book." Haunting questions, but only was tosive launch of F Factor. The event start- "This is one of the proudest moments of be answered by future. ”ed with Geetanjalis friend and colleague my life and thanks to everyone who has beenSneha introducing the author, and show- a part of this beautiful journey," she con-ing of a video on story of F Factor. cluded. The book was then unwrapped by her F Factor is available across all Reliance For more information on book andNIFT teacher Mrs. Shubholaxmi Krope, TimeOut stores and priced at Rs. 250. author: http://www.facebook.com/who was all praise for the young author pages/Ffactordbuk/163190093694051
12 JustBooks Connect - October 2011Musings Your own home libraryRam Mohan Susarla Flipkart and Infibeam type online book does not happen overnight or even in stores will help. weeks. Acquiring rare titles and out of print Instead, one needs to start slow, gather books for the collection requires patience the titles patiently and then continue theH aving a home library full of and effort. process at length. ones favourite titles is indeed a Since many out of print books are It would be advisable to keep looking boon for many. There is this lux- available in the nooks and corners of out for books to buy whenever one isury of picking up any book from the col- bookstores that specialise in these kinds out either shopping, relaxing or travel-lection as and when the mood strikes of books, a visit to such stores is a must ling.and reading that book at leisure. as well as spending enough time there to Bibliophiles would attest to the quest The joy of owning books of ones browse their collections. for collecting books that is almost anfavourite authors and on topics that are In Bangalore, there are dedicated ingrained and subconscious trait forclose to ones heart is indescribable. bookstores like Select, Bookworm, them.Given these benefits, it is only natural to Blossoms and English Edition catering One of the most important points toask: How does one start his or her own out of print and used books, these can note when one is building a homehome library? be the treasure trove of books for a library is to keep track of the books To start with, one bought and have anneeds to have a fair inventory.idea of what books one Building a library iswants in the library. one thing and main- This is easier said taining is another.than done as the mind- So, even if one hasboggling array of titles succeeded in collect-and the sheer variety of ing a large number oftopics that are available titles, care has to bein the market means taken to not lose thethat one needs to pick books.and choose. Have a safe storage Given the fact that place for the bookspublishing all over the which will ensure thatworld has taken off in a the books will not fallbig way in recent years, prey to termites orthere is no dearth of become damp andtitles. dog-eared. So better to first pre- Considering thatpare a list of topics and many of the collec-authors whose books tions would be com-one would like to have posed of used books,in the library. which have changed Rushing to pick up hands, it is necessaryall the available titles to take steps to pre-by a single author is not advisable, as home library. vent their decay.many bibliophiles will vouch that once In other metros, one can consider Finally, building a home library is adone with a book by a particular author, going to: Luz (Chennai), Park Street time consuming yet fulfilling process.the subsequent books of the same author (Kolkata), RK Puram (Delhi), Dadar The reward of seeing the books neatlymight not really appeal to our tastes the (Mumbai) and Abids ( Hyderabad). lined up on ones bookshelf and the joyway the first or the second book by that The art of collecting books and build- of reading them whenever one desires isauthor did. ing a home library is something that something to be savoured. Hence once gotten used to a par- The feel of leafing through coverticular writing style, having more to cover is something that needs tobooks by the same author would be be experienced.repetitive and trite. Of course, this “Building a home library is a Whether its a novice starting outcaveat does not extend to those time consuming yet fulfilling or a seasoned book collector, every"paperback kings and queens" who process. The reward of seeing the new addition to a home library is anever fail to excite us even if one is pleasure and hence, to all thosereading the nth title published by books neatly lined up on ones aspiring bibliophiles who want tothem. bookshelf and the joy of reading build their home library, the advice The next step would be to devise a them whenever one desires is is that do not get bogged down bystrategy for procuring the books. the numbers and just collect booksVisiting the famous book shops of something to be savoured. “ for books sake. the area, or ordering through
JustBooks Connect - October 2011 13Venturing out Finding his true loveSapana Rawat ations and issues and ofcourse our mem- simply loved the new collection in the bers have been very understanding. branch and got their friends to join too. I guess everybody was happy to see aThis time we met and talked to Mr. Why and how did this franchise option clean, airy, big space filled with books toSubhash Bhushan, head of the tech- happen? the brim, contrary to the "garage"nology department of Strata Retail Sundar had ingrained this thought in libraries they have been to earlier. Mostand franchise owner of JustBooks me that people who believe in a concept, were also thrilled to see the technology should show their commitment by enablement in library space that enabledIndiranagar. Subhash is also a regu- investing in it. It so happened that them to quickly issue and return bookslar contributor to JustBooks Connect. Indiranagar area was available at the without the hassle of waiting in long time I came in, and as luck would have it, queues.Tell us a little bit about yourself . I found a real good property. I must also I am a member, a franchisee and an say, deep down inside, my love for books What do you think will be a great addi-employee of JustBooks. Born, brought up, probably inspired me to take the risk. tion in terms of value to your existingstudied and now working in members?Bangalore. I have spent a good We have a huge collection ofpart of my childhood loafing 12,000 books, which gets replen-around areas close to my ished every month with latesthome and school, searching releases and newer copies. Whilefor libraries. No sooner would that happens, we need to bring inI find one, when it would be more clarity in our classificationtime to move on as I would and search mechanisms. I amhave read all the books in also looking out at options of set-there! ting up a coffee shop or juice bar I can be called a bookaholic close to the library.and given a chance, I wouldlove to laze around at home on How much of your timea couch, with a book. I am also do you spend at thea techie for whom music is an JustBooks outlet per-integral part of his life and so sonally? How reward-is travelling. ing is the experience of JustBooks also helped me interacting with yourfind my true love! My wife members?Sumedha, used to handle Initially I used toIndiranagar franchise when we started in operate out of2009. She will don the role of a franchisee Indiranagar branch. Butsoon, and she has been gearing up excit- now handlingedly for it. Technology depart- ment at Strata makes itWhat were you doing before joining very difficult for me toJustBooks as an employee? spend time with my I joined Strata (or just JustBooks then) own franchise. A capa-in July 2009 after doing stints at i-flex ble team goes far in(now known as Oracle Financial Services) Indiranagar started its operations on 16th maintaining a branch in good conditionand Logica CMG. Sundar Rajan, my col- Sep, 2009. and I have always aimed at getting theleague and founder at JustBooks, used to right people in. I still keep in touch withbe my boss at i-flex. How has been the customer response to our first members, but my interactions JustBooks as a concept & your library, in with new members have reduced drasti-How has your experience been on work- particular? cally. Though I make sure they are hearding full time and taking care of the fran- In general, customers love the concept when they have any issue.chise? of JustBooks. And my branch was the one JustBooks Indiranagar has 2400 mem- of the initial ones, 4th to be precise, so What is your advice to book lovers whobers and its still growing. Handling this most of the customers who came in had would like to turn entrepreneurs throughkind of scale is difficult, especially while not experienced anything like this. They JustBooks?working full time. When the branch was were delighted to see a nice modern If you love reading and you havebeing setup, I had to do a lot of running library in their neighborhood. Many of grown up reading, you already knowaround and we faced many challenging them were just glad they did not have to how deeply knowledge influences peo-moments. Some capable staff members at buy books anymore etc. But many more ple. If you want to play a role in shapingthe branch helped it grow steadily in its had felt the need for a community place peoples lives and influence a generation,earlier days and managed everyday oper- where readers could just chill. Children JustBooks is one solid avenue.
14 JustBooks Connect - October 2011 Just KidsThe Ruby in the Smoke The Rajahs ruby naturally is the centre tasies like His Dark Materials to quaint of attention though only to Sally and Chinese tales like The Firework Makers someone else. Daughter. He used to be an EnglishPhilip Pullman In one of the most desolate areas of teacher, but is also a notable scienceAge group: 16+ years London, this someone else in the form of buff, which can be seen in His DarkPages: 230 an incredibly sinister old woman wants Materials trilogy.Laurel leaf books the ruby so badly that she is prepared to It is quite commendable that Philip do anything, even things beyond mur- Pullman managed to script this story in der to lay her hands on it. Will Sally a way which closely resembles the writ- manage to survive the encounter? ing style of the 1850s. Conventional sto-Jayanthi Harsha Read on to find out what actually hap- ries these days rely on astral characters pens! and improbable events. This book was first published in But this novel, typical of the 1850 styleL ong ago, in medieval India there of writing makes simple things look was a great Rajah who had in his meaningful like Sallys ability to use a possession a ruby of incalculable gun is seen as remarkable. Romance isvalue. It was said to have destroyed also simplified without many complica-more lives than any other precious tions.stone, even the Kohinoor. The flaws in this story are relatively The Rajah, however guarded the minor, the only thing of concern is thestone well and it stayed safe for years, violence involved. The opium tradeuntil a fateful event —the 1857 seopy plot of the story is not exploited to itsmunity — led to the his murder and fullest potential. But these flaws pale inthe stones disappearance. significance, seeing the way Pullman This story is about sixteen year old portrayed the main villain, the oldSally Lockhart. It begins with the news woman, Mrs. Holland. She has a pow-of her fathers death in a shipwreck. erful sinister aura about her, whichSally suspects that there is more to her makes even the most courageous readerfathers death after she receives a mys- fear her.terious note, talking about the Seven Overall this book is an incredibleBlessings. read, filled with tense situations involv- These Seven Blessings turn out to be ing conflicts between the main charac-fatal - leading to the death of one of ters. The reader feels a constant sense ofher fathers friends after it was men- apprehension; as the story is told fromtioned. Soon after, Sally finds herself both Mrs. Holland and Sallys point ofentwined in a much greater mystery of view and these two central charactersdeeper proportions than she had expect- appear to draw closer with every pass-ed, involving several people of all walks September 2002 and later re-published ing page towards a final conflict. Theof life. in June 2004. author successfully manages to bring It brings to light the state of things in The author, Philip Pullman is a highly about an ending which the reader could-the Victorian era - the complex criminal experienced, versatile author who has nt have professed beforehand. That issystem there, betrayals made readily for written stories of all types throughout what makes the story all the more cred-money, and the dangerous opium trade. his career, ranging from magical fan- itable. JustBooks Picks for Young Readers Rangoli by Anuradha Ananth Monkey Magic by Grant S. Clark How The Whale Became by Ted Hughes A Twist In The Tale by Aditi De Lord Ganeshas Feast Of Laughter by Meera Uberoi Jatayu by Anu Kumar Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler The Yellow Bird by Lila Majumdar, The Keys To The Kingdom: Lord Trans. by Kamala Chatterjee Sunday by Garth Nix