New Delhi: Whether the book under review is on development issues or on leisure, each of the seven make for an absorbing read.
For graduate business and social science students
By John Adams, Hafiz TA Khan, Robert Raeside and David White
Price: Rs 395.00
Publisher: Response: Business books from Sage Publications
Researchers can now rest easy, for here is an easy-to-follow guide that lists out how to conduct research and present one’s findings. From general concepts and basic guidelines to specific instances that can help deliver a report that is lucid, reader friendly and coherent, it has a universal appeal, in that it would be just as relevant to a research scholar collating data as an Asian student embarking on a research project.
Divided in 16 chapters, it defines research ethics, gives a step-by-step outline right from planning research to embarking on it and finally presenting it in its final form. Formulating content, giving tips on the reading that should precede it to collecting data, carrying out surveys, getting questionnaires filled out, making statistical analyses and presenting final copy that is reliable, it is amply backed by graphic description of charts, data sheets, graphs and interviews.
Fun with Finance
Price: Rs 95.00
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
Money makes the mare go no doubt, and now here is a simple puzzle book that is focused entirely on money teasers, quizzing you on your mathematical skills, placing you in hypothetical situations that involve currency, bullion and commodities.
A stimulating mind game, the slim volume has 120 fun and tricky mathetmatical puzzles on money. Without coming across as an intimidating tome that calls for a great deal of specialization with numbers and calculations, it turns out to be a challenging exercise, especially for those who think they are mathematically challenged. Since here one deals with not just plain cold numbers but hard cash, one tries that much harder to get the puzzle right. Calls for out-of-the-box thinking as you run through ten chapters on ‘share market’, ‘buying, selling, earning and paying’, ‘comparing and dividing money’, ‘money and logic’ and ‘operations with money’. Clearly, could provide some pointers to dealing with and managing money too !
A pathway out of poverty for India’s rural poor
Publisher: Sustainet (Sustainable Agriculture Information Network
14 examples of development initiatives that have helped poor farmers in remote areas to combat poverty are outlined in this book which is a result of a ‘writeshop’ - a unique project that involved an intensive participatory approach where participants who have worked on projects in Uttaranchal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, and West Bengal wrote out their experiences that were then incorporated as chapters in the book.
Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the implementing body of Sustainet it has colour pictures that talk of on-ground activities, while detailing the benefits of organic agriculture, managing land and water resources, creating new products and reaching out to new markets. Biofuel hype: Chance or challenge for sustainable agriculture talks of a topical subject while community based watershed development management is a success story that can be replicated on a large scale. The volume should get wider readership for anyone who is interested in rural development and agriculture.
An American Witness to India’s Partition
By Phillips Talbot
Publisher: Sage Publications
Price: Rs 720.00
This volume is a collection of Talbot’s letters written between 1938 and 1950, on the build-up to the independence of India and Pakistan, and the early experiences of the new states. His letters and reports from the field, presented here in the original, include his first-hand observations on student life at Aligarh Muslim University, local life in a small Muslim community in Kashmir, a Vedic ashram in Lahore, Tagore’s Shantiniketan, Gandhi’s Sevagram, the Kodaikanal Ashram Fellowship, and Hindu and Muslim urban communities in Lahore and Bombay, and Afghanistan. It captures stray nuggets, which provide insights into the troubled times, from the eyes of not someone who was on the periphery, but who was involved.
Once Upon a Time in the Doon
Writings from the Green Valley
Edited by Ruskin Bond
Price: Rs 295.00
Publisher: Rupa & Co
It is the kind of book you can settle down with and allow yourself to reminiscence about times gone by. For all those who feel strongly about changing landscapes and cultures, this account of the Doon valley will strike a chord, irrespective of which part of the world you live in. With essays and personal accounts written by a bunch of very interesting people, it resonates with a freshness that makes the format of the book an instant hit.
There is Karan Thapar writing of his experiences at the Doon School; Bill Aitkin giving the genesis of how some homes got their names in the hill town; Victor Banerjee coming up with an engaging story on ‘Last train to Dehra Dun’; Allen Sealy talking of the East Canal and David Keeling setting the pace with his ‘Long and winding road’, the first piece after Ruskin Bond’s introduction. Who better to begin and sum up a free wheeling discussion on the Doon than its most original native, Bond himself?
Mashi and Other Stories
By Rabindranath Tagore
Price: Rs 95.00
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
Mashi and Other Stories, written by Tagore in 1918 is a collection of 14 short stories translated into English by eminent Indian and English writers who were familiar with his work. Postmaster for instance was translated by Debendranath Mitter and later filmed by Satyajit Ray.
The Skeleton, Elder Sister, Castaway, My Fair Neighbour are other well known stories which although reflect the culture and ethos of 20th century Bengal, continue to be relevant even today. Retaining a simple narrative, the focus is on description and bringing alive situations while illustrating dilemmas of the mind, given Tagore’s deep fascination and understanding of human relationships.
Plays for Schools
By Manjula Padmanabhan, Paro Anand and others
Price: Rs 150.00
Young playwrights and budding theatre directors in school now have a ready tool from where they can source ideas for their annual productions. The compilation brings six interesting professionals from the field of theatre, journalism, children’s literature, advertising and media to present entire plays which can be improvised.
Set in an Indian context, they outline a basic treatment plan, stage set up and character outline, making the task of the theatre buff easier. With names like Manjula Padmanabhan, Paro Anand, Harsha Dandapani, Ujwala Samarth, Ramu Ramanathan sensible child friendly scripts are assured and bonus is these are witty and they provoke you to think. An ideal tool to build interest in theatre which need not be a once- a- year annual affair. Barry John would be happy for he had originally envisaged the theatre-in-education programme for schools.