JustBooks Connect - August 2011 newsletter


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JustBooks Connect - August 2011 newsletter

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JustBooks Connect - August 2011 newsletter

  1. 1. Volume 2 Issue 6www.justbooksclc.comblog.justbooksclc.com CONNECT August 2011 For limited circulation A JustBooks Publication The changing face of Pg 10 children’s books in India Quiz their international bestselling adventures.Monideepa Sahu discovers that chil- Ashita Murgai, Executive Editor, Rolidren’s books in India are re-inventing Books, sees "a bright future for childrensthemselves to capture the imagina- books not just in India, but all over thetion of the new generation. world." Pg 14 Children today have more creative reading choices than ever. Apart from stories, novels and classic tales, there areMonideepa Sahu picture books, poetry and songs. Activity Just related books offer an amazing range of options for the young. Books with Kids kid-friendly recipes, how-to do projects, puzzles, games and knowledge banks are a sure-fire way to keep the young ones intelli- gently entertained. Anita Roy, Commissioning Editor, Young Pg 15 Zubaan Books, thinks that, "Indian childrens books are breaking away from moral tales, traditional comics, textbooks and classic tales retold. Author Change is happening and the bar is being raised on quality." Profile The most exciting development is the crop of imaginative, fresh, beautifully written and illustrated fiction in English by Indian authors for Indian children. Publishers and set in today, not in the once upon a time. Its authors in India agree on one point. focus is on the concerns of the present, not the “Gone are the days of Enid Blyton, footprints of the past nor the flights of the Indian children today want books set in future.” contemporary India. They also want to Indian parents, eager to cram knowl- read fun books not moralistic stories. edge into their older children, tend to Attention needs to be paid to the quali- restrict their reading to school textbooks. ty of writing too, which sadly does not For external reading, they offer childrenI seem to be a priority.” adds author Dheera books on Maths, general knowledge, or ndian children have never had it so books with some sort of valuable moral Kitchlu. good. The tremendous popularity of lesson. Children today have more cre- Ramendra Kumar, an award winning the Harry Potter books has opened a ative reading choices than ever. Well- writer of children’s books, says, “Manycornucopia of original and imaginative intentioned parents often strait-jacket established as well as emerging voices havebooks for todays children. their childrens imagination and intellec- been making attempts to move away from the New heroes such as Artemis Fowl, tual growth by not allowing them to rut of retelling mythological tales, legendsSeptimus Heap and Percy Jackson have choose freely for themselves. and folk tales and carving out a fresh genre ofensconced themselves into the hearts and writing. This genre which I would like tominds of children everywhere through name ‘Here and Now’ is the writing which is contd on pg 2...
  2. 2. 2 JustBooks Connect - August 2011 contd from pg 1... dinosaurs is a cool mix of fact and fiction, showing how dinosaurs once roamed From the Editor’s Desk T he stress should be on the enjoying and the fun aspect rather than pres- surizing children to become precocious free in our very own land. Join Sankar and Sandhya on their adventure as they find out about geniuses. Indosuchus matleyi, Indosuchus rapto- A Far from being a waste of time, story rius, Rajasaurus narmadiensis and much s we celebrate the 65th year of books offer the most enriching reading much more. There is also a map of Dino our nations Independence, experience of all, transporting children to finds in India and a timeline of Indian almost like what has become a other times and places. Dinos. habit we look back upon the achieve- Children who enjoy reading become History has never been so much fun. ments and the failures of these 65 independent learners and thinkers, who Dont miss Tales of Historic Delhi by years. rarely stray towards undesirable compa- Premola Ghose (Young Zubaan). While not delving into the bigger ny out of loneliness and Join the animals of scheme of things, one small blessing boredom. Janwar Dosti and all their that we can talk about here is the However, authors like jungle friends on a magi- growth of the Indian young readers Dheera Kitchlu believe cal history tour through genre. that Indian children still Delhi. Gone are those colonial hangovers dont have enough mate- Teenaged fantasy fic- and the western influences, now we rial to read and attention tion buffs will love Satin: have our own Indian publishing hous- needs to be paid to the A Stitch In Time by es and writers, who are looking quality of writing too, Payal Dhar (Harper inwards and going native in their sto- which sadly does not ries. seem to be a priority. In this edition, we look into what the Here are some fantas- Indian publishers are predicting about tic new titles by Indian the new trends in young readers writers: genre. And some interesting titles that Growing Up In are entertaining as well as education- Pandupur by Adithi al. and Chatura Rao (Young For parents we have two highly Zubaan) is a lovely bou- debatable books that have come into quet of short stories. the market recently and what we can Welcome to Pandupur, a learn and take from them. small but diverse com- Overall it looks like happy days are munity built around a here for the young readers. We at hydel project in JustBooks are doing our part in Karnataka. expanding our young readers title Join Pandupurs chil- collection and would love if our dren from all walks of young members will write to us regu- life as they share their larly about what they would like to laughter and tears, inse- read and contribute to JustBooks curities, small unkind- Connect. nesses and surprising Lastly, ever wondered what friendships. inspired your favourite author to pen Sports enthusiasts will those bestsellers? Want to find out be thrilled with Howzzat what and whos new in the world of Butterfingers!, by books and publishing? Need some Khyrunnisa A. (Puffin). suggestions for your vacation reading This fun adventure novel list? Its not so difficult to find answers is about Butterfingers, to these questions on the internet. around whom nothing But wouldnt it be nice if you found and no one is safe! Can answers to all these questions and Butter lead the school more in one place? A new literary team to victory and save magazine from JustBooks is going to the day? do just that. His white trousers are Stories from the publishing and the at the cleaners on the day literary world, extensive book of a crucial match; his Collins) This first of an reviews, author profiles, literary fea- wicketkeeper has the exciting new series is set tures, games, contests, kids section attention span of a but- in Kuzerazi, a mysterious and a whole lot more to satisfy the terfly; and arch rivals land where magic is for- toughest bookworm. Blossoms School do the bidden and where the Watch out this space for more news unthinkable—they include girls in their lines between magic and technology are on our upcoming magazine. team. often hard to see. Do tell us what you think of this edi- Check out Stone Eggs by Helen With such delectable delights in the off- tion and send us your feedback to edi- Rundgren with vibrant illustrations by ing, what excuse can parents have for tor@justbooksclc.com.  Soumya Menon from Tulika Books. holding their kids back from having fun This special book about Indian and learning too? 
  3. 3. JustBooks Connect - August 2011 3La’s Orchestra Saves the World A Beautiful LieAlexander McCall Smith Irfan MasterHachette BloomsburyReshmi Chakraborty Geetanjali Singh Chanda A T tale of wartime loyalties and toils, Las his debut novel was short listed for the Orchestra is unlike any other Alexander Waterstones Childrens Book Prize and McCall Smith books. Lavender Ferguson is set in an India on the verge of inde- (La for short) falls in love with a handsome and pendence in 1947. charming man and marries him, only to face Bilals father is dying of cancer and fears heartbreak and widowhood soon into her mar- that if his father hears of the communal ten- riage. She shows rare courage and moves to a cot- sions that are corroding their small town it tage in Suffolk to lead a quiet life, much unlike will not only break his heart but it will also her previous one in London. hasten his end. Bilal choses to protect his As the Second World War breaks, La decides to bring people father from the news of the unrest andtogether to form an orchestra of amateur musicians. In the impending partition of the country. When his father begs for aprocess, she falls in love with Feliks, a Polish airman who does- newspaper he and his loyal group of intrepid school friendsnt seem to reciprocate her feelings but who may be hiding a invent good news and write and publish a whole newspaper.secret that forces La to take a difficult decision.  This is the "beautiful lie" of the title. Five Plays Dreams for the DyingMahasweta Devi C. K. MeenaTranslated by Samik Bandyopadhyay Dronequill PublishersSeagull BooksPushpa Achanta Aradhana Janga S T oul stirring, invigorating, touching - there he vendor on railway platform came to is no end to the number of adjectives one know that the lady, who read Hrudayam can use to admire the writings, speeches magazine, took the train to Coimbatore and activities of Mahasweta Devi, a living leg- almost every Sunday afternoon. And then, end of Indian literature and champion of abruptly, by end of April, she vanished, and impoverished, exploited and subjugated peo- reappeared only as an image under a screaming ple. headline that announced her gruesome murder. In this short collection of five of her plays, For those who grew up with Agatha Christiesshe exposes the readers to a range of traditional beliefs and Hercule Poirot or with Perry Masons court scenes, where timepractices that have existed in Bengal through the ages. In fact, was forgotten because you just had to know "Who did it?" thissome of the seemingly regressive customs and notions pertinent book will prove just as riveting. You will be in the middle of allto caste, gender and occupation that Devi has portrayed in her the action within the first dozen pages and the south-Indian stagestories are alive in many parts of India, particularly in the rural does add its bit to this engrossing suspense. Time to take that dayareas. She has even won international appreciation and awards off from your usual routine, pick this book and try one of your oldincluding the Ramon Magsaysay.  marathon reading sessions! The Persuasive Manager: Communication Learn to Earn - A Beginners Guide to the BasicsStrategies for 21st century Manager of Investing and BusinessM.M. Monippolly Peter Lynch & John RothchildRandom House Simon & SchusterManjula Sundharam Aradhana Janga A O s a manager, how do you persuade ne look at the title Learn to Earn and peers to adopt what you propose? How you tell yourself "yet another book that do you influence policies at higher lev- promises to make you rich" and you els? How do you convince potential customers couldnt be more wrong. It is a must read for that you can meet their expectations better than anyone who is curious about how the finan- competitors? cial market or rather how capitalism started. With illustrations and anecdotes from The best thing going for this book is that it Aristotle to contemporary Indian companies, doesnt sound like a finance book in the first author M.M Monippolly shows how. place. Absence of the usual dos and donts makes it refreshing. He persuades managers to build credibility and mutual good Read it because it is one of those rare non-fictions that will keepwill to get things done through others. Written in an easy to fol- you captivated. And if you do want to invest, well, youvelow simple language, the book is an inspiring read for managers, made the right choice by picking this book first. So, get readysalesmen and entrepreneurs.  to repeat the "Go forth and multiply" mantra to your savings!  For detailed reviews check out justbooksclc.com
  4. 4. 4 JustBooks Connect - August 2011Lost and found Gone with the wind must collide terrifyingly with his need to Botox, drugs, pregnant teens and fakeMoonlight Mile protect the present. identities. While Amandas mother turns out to be For three years, Patrick has been tryingDennis Lehane as flaky as ever, all reports about Amanda to "hustle up work". At one point, he tells herself centre around self-possession, us that Angie and he are getting "numb toWilliam Morrow determination, the strange almost uncan- it, the fear, the weight of worry" and he ny way she has made herself into some- doesnt mean violence. He means being one despite her upbringing. broke.Anindita Sengupta Even without meeting Amanda, we This is a world in which money is begin to feel something of her power, a important and there isnt enough of it. maturity that belies her years, a sense thatWhich makes it more interesting that he would take on a case forP free, and that his wife ublished in 2010, Moonlight Mile would egg him to do so. harks back to Dennis Lehanes This is the kind of earlier novel Gone Baby Gone, quirkiness that makeswhich was part of a series featuring pri- Lehanes characters sur-vate investigators Patrick Kenzie and prising and unpre-Angie Gennaro. dictable. Were never The film version directed by Ben sure what were dealingAffleck became hugely popular like with because motivessome other Lehane books made into can be murky and moral-films, (Mystic River, Shutter Island). ity confusing.Gone Baby Gone was a kidnapping For example,story with a twist. Amandas adoring friend When four-year-old Amanda Sophie who is a pivotalMcCready disappears from a Boston character is taken awayneighbourhood, Patrick and Angie set from her mother by aout to find her. They do, only to realise remote father because hethat things are rather grey. Amandas disapproves of thebeen taken by her uncle and given to a mothers lifestyle.loving foster home. (Her own mother is We later learn that shea negligent boozard.) was lesbian and this is an Gennaro wants to let the child stay act of utter cruelty mas-where she is and have a chance at nor- querading as moralmal childhood but Kenzie returns her righteousness. Worse, hebecause legally, thats the right thing to gives his daughter ando. It is a decision that has haunted him ultimatum that if shefor twelve years and now, at sixteen, doesnt go on a diet andAmanda has disappeared again. shape up physically, When her aunt Beatrice contacts shell be thrown out ofPatrick, he is working for a big firm, home.bored but too broke to rebel. The last Hes a father so deter-thing he needs is more trouble. “Even without meeting Amanda, we begin mined to lead the whole- But the tug of conscience is threaten-ing to become a shriek. "I had done the to feel something of her power, a maturity some life that he causesright thing," Kenzie says to us, his face- that belies her years, a sense that here is his daughter to disappear. "I dont like sordid. There isless judges. "I knew it. I had no doubt." someone who can do whatever it takes to no place for it in a respectableAnd his mulish tone is the give-away. Of course, he has doubts. Patrick does get past her surroundings.” life," he says. It is a dark statement on upper classnot take the case so much as slip into it, here is someone who can do whatever it American values and the sort of thingalmost as if he is being guided by circum- takes to get past her surroundings. Lehane weaves in effortlessly.stances outside his control, by the subcon- Amanda too is fighting for redemption. But dont get me wrong. The tone isscious pull of guilt and memory. Lehane traces this struggle of will in both never preachy. There is a lot of humour Once in, it becomes obsession and a characters with great skill and nuance. and some of Patrick and Angies reparteechance at redemption. He is bolstered by Even their most ambiguous actions are is truly witty.Angie, now his wife, a tough gal who has defined by this compulsion. And yes, like Unfortunately, it comes off as tootemporarily stopped detecting to finish a other noir detectives, Patrick is suitably stylised and inspired by television indegree in sociology. ambiguous. some places. I found this faintly unnerv- Ironically, they are the parents of a four- Lehanes writing captures the gloom of ing but for the most part, its an enjoyableyear-old. As they get in deeper, Patricks modern, post-recession America with its read. urge to correct the mistakes of the past
  5. 5. JustBooks Connect - August 2011 5Epic taleA Princess’s Journey to find her destiny She is in fact more of aBy the Tungabhadra romantic young girl, protected from realitySaradindu Bandopadhyay and nurtured in theTranslated by Arunava Sinha mythic tradition ofHarper Perennial Ramas unswerving devotion to his only love, Sita, and it is forDr. Rajeshwari Ghose that kind of undivided attention that she is will- ing to die for.I t is the child in all of us, who has The hero, the object of grown out of the stage of believing in the princess love is an ghosts and goblins and yet when the adolescent, struggling toold storyteller begins his tale, all disbelief keep himself alive. Tois held in suspension; ghosts shriek and him the princess love isgoblins begin to dance around the flicker- fraught with danger anding flames of the dying embers. he has never allowed Such is Saradindu Bandopadhyays himself to live in a worldcraft that he holds his audience in his of pure fantasy; it is athrall. The story is written in a free flow- luxury that is beyond hising oral tradition, lines are repeated, the reach and given his classfriendly ghosts issue timely warnings and position, he cannotand the good Hindu is there to save his let himself just dream.Sovereign and his Faith against the infi- So he emerges as somedel Muslim invader from the North. kind of a half-hatched The novel opens with the Orissan character towed on byprincess setting sail to Vijayanagara, the princess dreams.where she will be married to the reigning The only reality for himmonarch Devaraya II. It is a fairy tale and is feudal loyalty and hetold in the manner of fairy tales. understands and feels it Although Bandopadhyay is a man, he with his blood and writer, it is true, presents a unilineal pic-writes a lyrically romantic tale about a bones for the king, who employs him in ture of the good Hindu versus the brutalyoung princess, who decides that her true his armed forces. But the other emotion Muslim.love cannot be a much married and hence of romantic love is too strange and sits While readings in history may make thejaded monarch. uncomfortably with him. power play a lot more complex, for we do So in her mind she rejects the king, towhose court she is being sent by her T he hero is cast much in the mode of a helpless Indian youth, caught between his newly found and improbable know that Devaraya II employed two thousand Muslims in his Turkish Archery division and their arch enemies,father. She sees the arrangement as noth-ing more than a part of a political game. romance on the one hand and his middle the Bahamani Sultans, also employed aShe, like Juliet, is waiting to fall in love class upbringing, his caste aspirations number of Hindus in their forces.and soon she finds herself in love with a and his religious zeal, which makes him Apart from this, Devaraya kept a copyman she can have just for herself. It is not adopt Vijayanagara, the last bastion of of the Quran by which to swear onesan emotionally surcharged story. Hindu rule, as his motherland. allegiance and also built a mosque and a It is a quiet tale told with great So the hero is unlike the heroes of usual Muslim quarter in the city.restraint, to resemble the unfolding of anIndian miniature painting, where emo- fairy tales. He does not feel noble, in fact he feels small at having let down his lieges trust. H owever, Vijayanagara claimed to be the great bastion of the Hindu faith and was seen as such by the people of thetions are just hinted at. Is the princess afeminist? That would be reading too As for historical authenticity, one could times. Not that there were no Hindu vil-much into the tale. nit-pick on whether the princess would lains—the kings own step brother was ever have been allowed to go out on her one and so the image of the kingdom was own, leave alone go on a tryst, whether painted simply as the ultimate refuge for “So the hero is unlike the there were too many coincidences in the Hindus running away from Muslim per-heroes of usual fairy tales. He story, whether the scene of attempted secution. assassination sounded phony and The author states that he was moved bydoes not feel noble, in fact he whether the descriptions of the sites on Sewells A Forgotten Empire and he hasfeels small at having let down the banks of Tungabhadra were probably captured for us in fiction what the histo-his lieges trust.” not accurate. rian did in his retelling the tale of the van- As for being ideologically irksome, the ished glories of an ancient empire. 
  6. 6. 6 JustBooks Connect - August 2011Musings Reading Fiction vs. Reading Non-FictionRam Mohan SusarlaS hould one read fiction or non-fic- tion? This is an existential dilemma that is faced by all book lovers asthey go about acquiring books (buying orborrowing). In this column I share myexperiences in this regard and I do hopethat my thoughts on this topic would helpclear some cobwebs of doubt in the mindsof book lovers. For starters, reading any book ought tobe a pleasurable experience. It should notmatter if one reads fiction or non-fictionas long as the basic intention behind read-ing a book, which is to partake of themunificent pleasures that accompanyreading books, is realized. Having said that, it needs to be men-tioned that people who read either ofthese genres and prefer one over the otherdo so as a matter of individual choicebased on taste and preference as well asthe need to read these genres that ani- In fact, this is the joy of reading fiction. fiction, it needs to be remembered thatmates the purpose. The books cannot be put down once start- books are essentially works of art and For instance, many students of liberal ed and the thrill of following the protago- hence deserve the same respect and treat-arts programs have to read literary fiction nist through his or her escapades is some- ment irrespective of the genre.and non-fiction because their courses pre- thing that is indescribable. The "Eureka" moment is something thatscribe these books. As I grew up, I read literary fiction by both fiction and non-fiction deliver to the On the other hand, there are those who the likes of Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie readers and life seems complete whenread pulp fiction because they are looking and V.S. Naipaul. Though I enjoyed these that brilliant flash of inspiration strikesfor "fillers" when they are travelling, hol- authors immensely, I should confess that when reading a book which more thanidaying or waiting for their turn in hospi- classics by Shakespeare and the writers of compensates for the time and moneytals etc. Hence the need dictates the act of his time were a bit too much for me. spent on reading.reading in these cases. However, I did compensate by getting In fact, I would go as far as to say that Further, reading literary fiction can be a hooked up on the "Victorian Era" writers reading books is to be pursued for thesematter of preference like it is with the act and the early 20th century writers like moments of quiet beauty when we areof reading non-fiction for keeping abreast James Joyce and John Steinbeck. subsumed by the awe inspiring feeling ofof the trends in politics, business andsociety. There is nothing to say that read- I have always believed that reading peri- od fiction is an excellent way to get introduced to the authors of the particular oneness and the insights that strike when reading books that make us a better per- son.ing either genre is preferable over theother and my personal take on this topic era that we want to explore. Reading is a creative process and asis that as long as one enjoys the book, My personal recommendation for any- with all creative pursuits, both the "aha"nothing should stop people from reading one starting to read books would be to moments and the depth of thought thateither genre. start slow and climb steadily. complement and supplement each other To be honest, I did start with fiction and Pick up a fiction book, or take a non-fic- need to be savoured.graduated to non-fiction with the passageof time. My earliest memories of reading tion piece that is a biography or a narra- tive of history and then work ones way through these before taking on weighty T o take an analogy from cricket, read- ing fiction is like watching T20 or One Day matches whereas reading literary fic-consist of picking up the latest bestsellerby Fredrick Forsyth or Sidney Sheldon and serious tomes by philosophers and tion and non-fiction is like watching testand "gulping" them down continously. sociologists. cricket. In fact, if you are pursuing a liberal arts So the purists would like us to watch“To take an analogy from program, chances are that you would be test cricket for its sonorous elegance initiated into these topics as part of your whereas the marketers like to highlightcricket, reading fiction is like curriculum. However, given the fact that the shorter versions for the thrills andwatching T20 or One Day the "in-thing" these days is to study engi- spills. Ultimately, it is up to us to decidematches whereas reading lit- neering or science, reading as a way of life what we want to read and whether we is something that needs to be pursued on choose fiction over non-fiction or viceerary fiction and non-fiction an individual basis. versa, the bottom line is that we benefitis like watching test cricket. “ Whether one is reading fiction or non- from the very act of reading. 
  7. 7. JustBooks Connect - August 2011 7Talking books "Never judge a book by its movie" English while the movie was in Hindi). thanks to translations, subtitles, etc.Pushpa Achanta Of course, a novels fame does not guar- Even though the Asterix and Batman antee that it can be converted into a good comics were a rage worldwide, it is no exaggeration to state that their film versions (animated and fea-W riter J W Eagan’s quote ture) added to their universal "Never judge a book by its appeal. movie" has stuck with me This is true of childrens clas-ever since I first read it on a bookmark. sics like The Jungle Book byIn fact, I picked up the reading aid as Rudyard Kipling and Lewissoon as I spotted these thought provok- Carrolls Alice in Wonderlanding words. and modern titles such as the One may choose to agree or disagree comical romance Bridget Joneswith the viewpoint conveyed by the Diary by Helen Fielding,saying depending upon whether one is Upamanyu Chatterjees Englisha book lover or a movie fan. However, August and Sylvia Nasarsan avid reader who also enjoys films acclaimed work A Beautifulmay perhaps be prudent and unbiased Mind (biography of Nobel Prizein his or her opinion. (The wisest winning economist John Nashwould probably not participate in a who struggled with schizophre-discussion on this subject but that is a nia).different story altogether!). On the other hand, the Of some of the well known books renowned Laurel and Hardythat have inspired successful movies and The Flintstones movie andare The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, animation series saw the charac-Alistair Macleans wartime adventure ters and their adventures beingThe Guns of Navarone, Murder on portrayed in comic books whichthe Orient Express, Death on the Nile were also sought after.and other works of detective fiction by Apart from a possible alter-Agatha Christie, Bibhutibhushan and ation to the narrative, a filmBhopadhyays autobiographical novel maker typically needs to com-Pather Panchali and its sequel press the original story simplyAparajito, many of Tagores novels and because it is impossible toShakespeares plays. include and transform every lit- And, there are titles with fantasy tle detail onto the screen.characters and themes and fictional Therefore, even the bestheroes that have caught the fancy of movie with minimal changespeople of all age groups around the spun out of a book may not doworld. justice to the latter. These include the series of Harry This is evident from the filmsPotter, The Chronicles of Narnia, the that were adapted fromLord of the Rings and Sherlock Parineeta by Sarat ChandraHolmes. The last continues to interest Chattopadhyay, Jane Austensreaders and film producers although it movie. Also, one must remember that Pride and Prejudice and Illango Adigalswas initially written about a century ago. mere high sales of a book or multiple and Silapathikaram (considered one of the It is noteworthy that films have been long runs of a film do not represent their five greatest ancient Tamil epics).made from non-fiction works too, such as greatness although they may have cap- One can safely assume that things mayJoel Bakans The Corporation although tured the fascination of many book lovers not have been very different even if thesethis particular one is a documentary. or film viewers. legendary writers directly contributed to The main factors responsible for a book Film makers often employ their artistic the production of films influenced byof any genre being considered for a licence to drift from the original story line their novels and stories.movie are the popularity of the title and of a novel even if it is based on real life. A close member of my family thinksor the author and the uniqueness or For this, they usually seek the permis- that, "The book is much better" on manystrength of the story. sion of the author, publisher and other occasions when I have appreciated the These would have been the reasons for relevant stakeholders. celluloid interpretation. Honestly, he is achoosing Chetan Bhagats One Night @ Actually, the approval of the novelist is voracious reader and not much of athe Call Centre for mainstream cinema. required even to create the film. Quite movie fan while I enjoy books and someBut, despite the book becoming a best often, the author of the book is involved films. Nevertheless, I cannot help agree-seller, the corresponding movie Hello in writing the screenplay for its movie. ing with him especially in the case ofwas not a hit. The portrayal on screen sometimes play masterpieces such as The Count of This might be due to the difference in a major role in increasing the popularity Monte Cristo where the movie departslanguages (the tome was penned in and reach of writers and their books from the original story line a lot. 
  8. 8. 8 JustBooks Connect - August 2011 Reader’s Reader’s contribution She stands tall among the crowd Voice Anirudha Padagi She charms herself, With a violin in her hand Every penny dropped by me, It may stop her hungerS ince my arrival to BSK 3rd stage, I But its just not enough to was on the lookout for a library. To fill her empty heart But to my disappointment I foundnone in our locality and my thirst for The broken bow, in her handbooks remained unquenched. After three long years, my desire has Are like her broken dreamsbeen fulfilled, when I found out about The tunes are in harmonyJustBooks through leaflets. They are the songs of her memory Having spent two months of my holi- But I know it aint herdays waiting for weekends (my father Violin Songused to buy me books on those days), Icould not have wished for more: As I hear closelyJustBooks at a walk-able distance from With its high notes and lowmy home and a wonderful collection of Spaced between each notebooks. My joy knew no bounds. From the day Are the sounds of love and painI obtained the membership card, I am a But I know it ain’t herregular visitor to the library. Violin song Thank you, JustBooks for opening abranch in our locality. I observe closely Tear drops filling her eye R. Shruthi, 19 years Make for the loss in my voice Banashankari, Bangalore  The mist surrounding her eyes Makes the violin sound nice I pass by her, among the passers by Cheat myself of not seeing her Not able to take away her pain Like a helpless child All I do, is drop a penny, But I know, Every penny dropped by me, It may stop her hunger Its just not enough to To fill her empty heart. Anirudha is a working professional, writer and freelancer. Inspired by life, he is currently chasing his deepest desire to be a full time author. He is a member of JustBooks, Whitefield. 
  9. 9. JustBooks Connect - August 2011 9Readers’s Contribution The skill is in the weaveSine Curves Kamlu, till the very end. for the publishers demands or financial Their travails, the deep understanding considerations, the book could have easi-K.A. Chinoy between two dissimilarly similar indi- ly boasted of a thousand plus page offer-Harper Perennial Modern Classics viduals and the disarming relationship, ing. are what this book is all about. Mr. Chinoy has smoothly skirted the The book presents tradition, values, question, on the autobiographical nature culture, spirituality, all laced with subtle of the book. humour, making it "engrossing". He prefers to say instead that it isSuresh Warrier Language has been used appropriately about lifes experiences. He goes spiritu- and powerfully too. The authors mas- al and drifts into the unknown towards tery over words and the apt usage makes the end, but then, good books should reading the book enjoyable. have nice endings, nah?S ome times the avid reader will You would rarely come across a more come across a good book, hidden reader-friendly book as Sine Curves. away in a dark corner of a book- The different regional vernacular vocab-shop. Written purely, for the joy of writ- ulary has been put to good use to bringing, these are usually first-time authors out the right flavour. About the Authorwriting from their experience and want- To make matters easy for the reader, aing to share it with others. Their eyes are neither seton film rights, nor a sequel. Mr. K.A. Chinoy, is anThese serendipitous gems active septuagenarian,rarely get acclaimed, pro-moted or talked about in born in Bangalore. Hisany kind of forum. They work took him all overbloom only by word of India and he has featuredmouth. Sine Curves, isone such gem. many of those locations in As the author puts it, the his book.skill (of writing & present- He resides ining) is in the weave (of thestory) and what a superb Rajarajeshwari Nagar,weave it is. The story Bangalore surrounded bymeanders through tens of his children & grandchil-years, smoothly unravel-ling the thread of the tale dren.that he wants to share with He is an active blogger andthe readers. his new, sometimes satiri- Life for many is verysimilar to the archetypical cal, sometimes direct andfilm or serial, the events many times opinionatedprobably more accented in piece, is usually availablethe soaps. Who can saythat life has been and will weekly oncontinue to be smooth-sail- chinoyka.blogspot.coming: only nice things hap-pening always? In life itself, there islearning, romance, tragedy and if you thoughtful glossary of such words is From an avid Archer-Brown-throw in the mother-in-law factor, you there at the end of each chapter. Higgins-Ludlum type reader, Sureshhave the story. As you get used to the writing style, Sine Curves takes you through a simi- your curiosity to see the further twists in Warrier has recently migrated tolar journey, albeit somewhat autobio- the story gets tickled. exploring the plethora of Indiangraphical in its presentation and portray- But, the chapters or pages jump gener- Writers and their offerings.al. ations. You wonder why those middle His previous literary experience is It starts slowly, and builds momentum years have not been given the detailed limited to writing business propos-as the pages turn. treatment that the previous pages had als, employment offers and emails. As you proceed, you start getting painted so fondly. He also happens to be the franchiseincreasingly eager to know what hap- One wishes that, the author could owner of JustBooks Banashankaripens next to the protagonists, Seeni & have just gone on. If it werent perhaps and Rajarajeshwari Nagar. 
  10. 10. JustBooks Connect - August 2011 10 1. Name the author of The Keys 4. Recently Rafiki, the theatre group performed a play based to the Kingdom series: on this book : Philip Pullman Adventures of Aditi and Friends Garth Nix Taranauts Rick Riordan The Blue Umbrella 5. Akimbo owes his adventures to: Cornelia Funke Roald Dahl 2. John Grisham created this character Alexander McCall Smith for Young Readers: Theodore Boone Percy Jackson Captain Underpants 3. The Feluda Mysteries first appeared in: Tinkle Amar Chitra Katha Sandesh Garth Nix, Theodore Boone, Sandesh, Adventures of Aditi and Friends, Alexander McCall Smith JUSTBOOKS What we’re upto! TOP 5 T his seems to be a season of firsts. N EW A RRIVALS Weve been fea- 1. Last Man In Tower by tured, for the first Aravind Adiga time on Forbes, 2. River Of Smoke by then Outlook Amitav Ghosh Money, then 3. The Lotus Queen by Deccan Herald, Rikin Khamar and now we have 4. Geek Nation by Angela opened our first Saini branch in proper 5. On China by Henry Kissinger Mumbai (see previous post!) and so on and so forth. I tell ya, theres no stopping us! R ECOMMENDED In a first again, we shot some questions last Friday to a wide-eyed, 1. The Yacoubian Building enthusiastic, eager bunch of children of ZeeSchool, Kudlu Gate, by Alaa Al Aswany Bommanahalli, Bangalore. And boy, did they answer well? Here are 2. The Bad Girl by Mario all the winners: Vargas Llosa 3. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson 4. Empires Of The Indus by Alice Albinia 5. The Indian Clerk by Leavitt David R ENTALS 1. Only Time Will Tell by Jeffery Archer 2. 2 States: The Story Of My Marriage by Chetan Bhagat 3. And Thereby Hangs A Tale by Jeffery Archer 4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney 5. The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles) by Rick Riordan From JustBooks blog - http://blog.justbooksclc.com 
  11. 11. JustBooks Connect - August 2011 11Quest for truth On the edge of discoveryThe Edge of Reason: Dispatches gravity have not yet been explained by a ing! Access to massive resources and unified theory. human ingenuity to overcome resourcefrom the Frontiers of Though these forces were presumably constraints both contribute to carryingCosmology unified for a brief epoch called the Planck out these experiments. epoch after the Big Bang, there are sever- We learn how the Russians are usingAnil Ananthaswamy al alternative theories on how they parted Lake Baikal when it is frozen during the ways, each with their predictions and Siberian winter to save on need for ships prognosis for our universe. and submersibles; how an Indian scien- Though each chapter has a black and tist has designed and built a series of Dr. Rajagopalan white photograph as the visual backdrop, radio telescopes at a fraction of the cost of alternative designs; or how rich countries are spending enor-A s per the current under- mous amounts to build under- standing among physi- ground tunnels and experimen- cists, what we call nor- tal stations in the Antarctic.mal matter accounts for only Why should India spendabout 4% of our known universe. resources on Antarctic expedi- The rest consists of what we tions, and join multilateral con-dont know: dark energy (73%) sortia for projects like CERN orand dark matter (23%). Why the Square Kilometer Arraycant these physicists throw (SKA) instead of more pressingsome light on such dark energy problems? Part of it is of courseand matter? for staking a claim for resources This book tells you how and yet to be assessed and accessed.why they go to all kinds of But a part of it also has to do withextreme places and do extraordi- our common quest to understandnary experiments, risking life our universe.and limb, to get a glimpse of a People have often wonderedzoo of elusive particles, includ- why physicists often turning the so-called God particle. philosophers. The author adds a The cat and mouse games possible practical reason for thisbetween theorists, who create link: both needs an environmentparticles out of thin air to pre- of silence free of pollution of theserve their equations, and mankind.experimenters, who attempt to Monks need it to probe theirtrap such elusive particles, is as inner selves. Physicists need it toexciting as a murder thriller. probe for messages from our cos- It beats any James Bond movie mos.hands down for exotic loca- One is left wondering whethertions—South Pole, Himalayas, the current difficulties in devel-Baikal Lake, Atacama Desert, oping a unified theory of all foursatellites, and a 27-km-long tun- fundamental forces have an echonel spanning the Swiss-French in our difficulties in understand-border. ing ourselves and our role in the After all these, still the jury is out, mak- they hardly do justice to the exotic sites of cosmos. After all, the book starts with theing us all feel humble and wonder at our these experiments. following quote from the Rig Veda:marvelous universe—or, is it really a I would recommend that the readermultiverse? starts with this lecture by the author at But, after all, who knows, and who First of all, I would like to emphasize http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/a can saythat this book can be enjoyed by every- nil_ananthaswamy.html. This includes a whence it all came, and how creationone, including those who may not have video of a launch of an enormous balloon happened?heard of modern physics. in Antarctica, a sight to behold. The gods themselves are later than cre- Start with the two appendices of two The locations are indeed exotic, but ation,pages each: The Standard Model of why? It is to ensure an environment of so who knows truly whence it hasParticle Physics and The Standard silence—free from air and light pollu- arisen?Model of Cosmology. These lay down tion; dry weather and clear skies to suit Whence all creation had its origin,the background to the mysteries motivat- some enormous telescopes; rocks, clean he, whether he fashioned it or whethering the extraordinary experiments ice or water, more than a kilometer deep, he did not,described in this book. to trap elusive neutrinos without being he, who surveys it all from highest The four known fundamental forces of swamped by cosmic ray particles. heaven,nature, namely, electromagnetism, the The author charmingly calls one of he knows- or maybe even he does notweak and the strong nuclear forces and these An experiment that detects noth- know. 
  12. 12. 12 JustBooks Connect - August 2011Parent Trap Battle hymn of the sleepless fatherAnindita Sengupta Im no expert on parenting. The only people entranced at parties and on panel experience I have is with a very barky, discussions. The Battle Hymn of the very furry dog and he has never Tiger Mother by Amy Chua espouses asked for bedtime stories. I can the Chinese mothers rules of parenting only try to imagine what it is to as a surefire way to churn out achievers. be a sleep-deprived parent and I An extract in the Wall Street Journal go with Jill Filipovic at outlines how Chua did not allow her Feministe.com who points out, children several liberties including "sometimes, frustration at a child is sleepovers, play dates, school plays, not actually being misdirected from complaints, computer games, and any all other aspects of your miserable grade less than A. They had to play the life. Sometimes, children are just piano and violin. They were not allowed frustrating." This is where I think to play anything other than the piano or Go the F*** to Sleep—for all its violin. As hymns go, this one has me simplistic content and childish shivering inside my armour and grateful rhyming—scores. It has forced I wasnt born anywhere near Chua. people to talk about parenting But whether I agree with her brand of parenting or not, Chuas book does offer a shiny sliver of discussion. More and more, were given to agreeing blindly with homogenous ideals of parenting promoted by theA few weeks ago, there was engag- media. Modern ing banter between two friends ideals. Often, west- who have babies. They were ern ideals.talking about a book. "If youre not too Whether these areprudish," one said, "Ill send you the e- the correct, univer-version." "How would I survive parenting sal or best ideals iswithout a sense of humour?" said the something thatother. should be ques- The book in question was Go the F*** tioned.to Sleep, a "childrens book for adults" While Im fairlywritten by Adam Mansbach and illus- more honestly. clear on corporal punishment (against),trated by Ricardo Cortés. I dont remember my grandmother or Im less certain about extracurricular The slim, 32-page book which relies on mother pretending that bringing chil- activities. Are children always the wisestrhymed prose and pictures was picked dren up was a bagful of laughs untaint- judges of how they should spend theirup by an indie press and it quickly ed by frustration. Terror stories of tod- free time? Do they have the requisiteplonked onto the New York Times best- dler antics were recounted until they will power and patience to last out theseller list. became the stuff of legend. My mother initial toughness of singing, or learning Actor Samuel L Jackson did a reading did not sail euphoric through my early a musical instrument? Chua seems toof it, which is now available on years, jiggling me with one hand while think not. From what I remember of myyoutube.com. The howling, hilarious serving up dads fave mutton curry with childhood, I tend to agree.rant bemoans the tedium that parenting the other. Kerosene ovens, tears, snot; On the other hand, she also seems tocan sometimes be. It is a fathers long baby hands in food, detergent, dog suggest that abuse is okay. She tells ofand tortured plea to his daughter to go mouth; constipation, fevers, disappear- how she did not let her daughter go toto sleep. Cynical, at times rageful and ing maids; broke-ness and some more the bathroom until she got a piece right.full of expletives. brokeness is more like it. Okay, so my This I find wildly sadistic. Predictably, it has raised some eye- family clearly didnt take any tips from Either way, theres lots of matter forbrows. The argument against it is that Mary Poppins. But Im guessing a lot of debate here. For those who read Dr.children are, well, children. other families are similarly chaotic. Spock, mommy blogs and the Times ofManipulative perhaps. Demanding. Sleepless nights are the clean and inno- India, it can start to seem like there isFrustrating. But is it fair to write a book cent tip of the iceberg. Wheres the only one way of doing things, one uni-in complaint? Some have asked. Modern harm—or shame—in talking about versal truth. In reality, many differentparenting is at fault with its demands of them? stories add up to the truth. More power24/7 perfection, flawless nurturing and This reminds me of another book to Mansbach and Chua for telling two ofperpetual sunshiny smiles. which incited gasps and gabbing, had them. 
  13. 13. JustBooks Connect - August 2011 13On Second ThoughtAn entrepreneurship dream come true Smitha and Suresh WarrierS mitha, my wife nearly fell off the chair when I asked her, “How would you like to own a library?” Anotherone of her dreams coming true? You see,at home, we call Smitha "the prophecyqueen", a sobriquet that sits very well onher shoulders. She has this uncannyknack of wishing for something and ithappens. Take the ICC World Cup for example.Passing by the TV at a crucial moment,she says, "A wicket is going to fall", and itdoes. Our son Parikshith and I believeSmitha single-handedly won the WorldCup for us. But then, that is another story. We are fairly avid readers, gobble upbooks in one night, renounce food andsleep to devour an interesting book,Reliance Time Out & Crossword are our branches. When thosefavourite hangouts in any mall, you get it seemed a bit far off, duedont you? We had run through most to the demographics ofbooks that are available with the "hole in the immediate area, wethe wall" type dingy libraries, and thats actively started thinkingwhen Kirana, a mutual acquaintance of adding another full-mentioned JustBooks. How appropriate fledged store. It waswas that? but logical to start We applied to be considered as a thinking vicinity.JustBooks franchisee for a lark as thenearest JustBooks library was quite far.The rest is history with a lot of geography F inancials were duly considered, but a JustBooks franchisee isthrown in. A lot of soul searching, check- fully aware that costing up on available finances and not to recovery happens even-forget, the immediate response from tually and a small profitJustBooks later, we felt we could make it can follow, if the opera-happen. tions are managed And so, our life partnership extended properly. understanding the IT systems than weeasily into a business partnership and Big Google Maps were pored over for con- are.Fish was born. An anxiety-ridden and nectivity, satellite maps were explored in Needless to say, the team at both loca-exhilarating roller-coaster ride later, we great detail for population, newspaper tions has wonderfully capable peopleopened our first library in Rajarajeshwari agents were talked to for English paper and have shouldered a tremendousNagar, Bangalore. circulation numbers and innumerable amount of responsibility. We are very selfish as far as books areconcerned, and we mentioned this to two-wheeler rides were taken into pro- posed areas, to identify suitable locations. E ntrepreneurship is always a big risk and for us who are neo-business peo- ple, we decided to embrace it with thequite a few of our early members - "The We did eventually open the second one atlibrary is essentially for us to read, but you Banashankari. knowledge that a sensible team, fair poli-are welcome too". Now, we truly appreciate the art of jug- cies, equitable revenue sharing, and solid Slowly the thrill of business became an glery. Smitha is most times ‘hands on’ (at support are the premise on which theexhilarating cause. The joy of seeing a all other times ‘phones on’) with both foundation of JustBooks rests!small child dragging their parents along locations, thriving in instructing the staff, If two is company, will three make usfor membership; the senior citizen who putting policies and procedures, task lists proud?found her calling in life in reading books; and systems in to place. She is at both Smitha & Suresh Warrier, reside inneo and nouveau bibliophiles; changed locations everyday and is at best when Rajarajeshwari Nagar and in athe cause and perception of a library as a purposefully engaging both new and existing members. short span of less than three monthsbusiness. Entrepreneurship was disguis-ing itself with a social cause. Parikshith chips in quite regularly as of opening their first JustBooks With this overriding thought, it was but and when the need arises, and as store, took the decision to startnatural to think of pockets or satellite teenagers are these days, is much faster in their next. 
  14. 14. 14 JustBooks Connect - August 2011 Just KidsThe Circle of Gold to their advantage, changing the course impossible mission of rescuing his of time itself for their own personal ben- mother - even more strange and improb- efit. able things happen.Guillaume Prevost The story follows the tale of Sam However, with the procession of theAge group: 12-18 yrs Faulkner, a 14-year old boy who learns adventure, things become increasinglyPages: 288 the use of the statues by accident and complex; it all culminates in Sam goingScholastic sets out exploring time. First, just out of to the worst of all places - the future. curiosity, then in search for his father, Where even more magnificent and who had mysteriously vanished to a invaluable treasures appear over the medieval era. Sam manages to rescue his course of Sams time quest, one of themJayanthi Harsha father, along the way he finds one of the being none other than the Eternity ring. two Golden Circles. This book was written and published He soon finds that his father was in 2008. The author, Guillaume PrevostM any, many years ago in is a history teacher, who has written ancient Egypt, there was a several other historical thrillers in the king, named Merigrave, he past. The Book of Time series is hishad a daughter who suffered from a first for children - in his words, he cre-strange illness which no medicine ated the series "for the purpose of mak-could treat. As time passed, her condi- ing children like history better". Thetion worsened and she was left with other books in the series (apart fromjust a day to live. As the story goes, The Golden Circle) are The Book Ofthere was a priest who petitioned the Time and The Gate of Days. He cur-Egyptian god of time, Thoth for help. rently lives near Versailles, France.Thoth taught the priest how to make The story of The Golden Circle putsstone statues which would make trav- into force the basic elements of writingelling through time possible. In addi- such as romance, adventure, fantasy.tion, Thoth made a bracelet, known as The emotional element in particular isThe Golden Circle which would enable quite strong with the author employ-King Merigrave to travel easily ing it in all the right areas, convertingthrough time using the stone statues. the story into a rather emotionallySpending seven days in different time compelling one, with the reader feel-eras equaled one day in the travelers ing just like the main character as thepresent. This enables King Merigrave story goes along.to visit seven different eras, spending a Though there are certain placesday in each era to look for a cure for where the reader winds up confusedhis daughter. Finally, in the modern- at certain events that take place in theday era, he finds the cure for his daugh- story. The plot has enormous potentialter in antibiotics. hunting for the Golden Circle to try and to be converted into a much bigger and However, it wasnt to be the end of the save his mother who died in a car crash more compelling story provided thatstory, with the passage of time, the some years ago. With his father sinking sufficient planning was done. All theknowledge of the stone statues and the in a coma when they return to the pres- same, the book is an incredibly goodmethod of using them spread rapidly ent, Sam is left on his own. read for people looking for a differentand people started exploiting the statues As he thinks about this seemingly type of romantic-fantasy story.  JustBooks Picks for Young Readers Busy Busy Grand-Ant by Sandhya Rao Shampoodle by Josef Holub Room in Your Heart: Folktales from Bhutan by Kunzang choden Gajapati Kulapati by Ashok Rajagopalan Crazy Times with Uncle Ken by Ruskin Bond The Merry Mischief of Gopal Bhand The 12 Days Of Christmas by Robert by Devika Rangachari Sabuda The Shadow In The North by Philip Pullman Figure It Out: The Ultimate Guide To Teen Fitness by Namita Jain