Hot reads: Becoming Steve Jobs, Amish Tripathi’s Scion of Ikshvaku, Raghav Bahl’s Super economies, more

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Updated: May 24, 2015 4:05 AM

Whether you plan to travel this summer or just laze around at home, here is a selection of latest titles that are guaranteed to keep you engaged

top booksHot reads: Super economies: America, India, China and the Future of the World, Scion of Ikshvaku, more

Super economies: America, India, China and the Future of the World
Raghav Bahl

With all the talk of India becoming the world’s fastest-growing economy, Raghav Bahl’s book on how India can become the world’s third ‘super economy’, after the US and China, comes at a most relevant time. With its demographic advantage, a surplus of skilled labour, a GDP expected to more than double in the next decade and a new, decisive political leadership, India has every chance, Bahl argues, of becoming the third super economy. Its arrival will enhance global stability and ensure that the balance of power remains free, fair and representative of the people. Super Economies projects India’s advent on the global economic scene.

Ahmedabad: A City in the World
Amrita Shah
Release date: June 3

With Narendra Modi in power, all things Gujarati evoke natural interest. But Amrita Shah’s book on Ahmedabad is not just about the city, it is essential reading for an insight into contemporary India as well. That the city is India’s seventh-largest, a 600-year-old former textile town, where Mahatma Gandhi launched his struggle against British rule, and today a model for a new, market-led vision of development, besides being a harbinger of the changes sweeping through the new India, are facts that are surely not coincidental.

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances
Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt and entertain with this third collection of short fiction following Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things. This book includes a never-before published story, Black Dog, written exclusively for this volume. In this new anthology, Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction—stories, verse and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the 50th anniversary of the series in 2013. It explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them.

The House that BJ Built
Anuja Chauhan
Release date: May 25

Anuja Chauhan returns with the much-anticipated sequel to Those Pricey Thakur Girls in The House That BJ Built. The story continues a generation later with Bonu, the orphaned daughter of one of the Thakur girls. The fight is over the house on Hailey Road and whether to sell it or not. All the Thakur girls want to sell, divide up the money and be done with it, but Bonu will have none of it. In the midst of all this is Bonu’s childhood crush—brilliant young Bollywood director Samar Vir Singh, who is the stepson of one of her pushy aunts. Kickass, no-holds-barred writing makes Chauhan’s book one of the most fun reads this summer.

Clinton Cash
Peter Schweizer
Release date: May 27

In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they’ve earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from? Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their wealth through lucrative book deals and high six-figure fees for speaking gigs. Now, Peter Schweizer shows who is really behind those enormous payments. In Clinton Cash, he follows the Clinton money trail, revealing the connection between their personal fortune, their ‘close personal friends’, the Clinton Foundation, foreign nations and some of the highest ranks of government.

The Devourers
Indra Das

Who doesn’t like a touch of mystery and macabre in a book? The subject of werewolves and monsters is one that intrigues all ages. Indra Das revives the lore of the werewolves and shape-shifters in The Devourers that hops eras from 17th-century Mughal India to 21st-century India. Cyrah, a young wanderer, meets a man who says he is a monster. Their encounter fills her with revulsion and dread, yet changes her forever. In present-day Kolkata, college professor Alok Mukherjee meets a man who claims to be a werewolf. Alone and estranged after a divorce, Alok is drawn to the stranger’s hypnotic allure, unable to tell delusion from truth, trickery from magic. But the real story is about what it means to be human, and the transformative powers of love.

Empire of the Moghul: Traitors in the Shadows
Alex Rutherford
Release date: May 26

This is the sixth in the bloody and gripping Empire of the Moghul series. A new emperor, Aurangzeb, sits on India’s glittering Peacock Throne—the throne he seized from his father while the old emperor still lived. He has paid for it with blood: during the brutal civil war, he hunted down and killed his brothers. Now, he must return the Moghul Empire to the true path and achieve new glory. But the exercise of great power is isolating. With enemies everywhere, who should he trust? Certainly not his sons. He must rely on himself and the knowledge that there are more ways to subdue a man than on the battlefield. But as the years pass, memories haunt him—memories of a father who never loved him and a mother who lies in the Taj Mahal; of murdered brothers and of sons and daughters locked in sunless prisons.

Murder with Bengali Characteristics
Shovon Chowdhury
Release date: May 27

Chowdhury takes his readers on a trip to a plausible future again with his new book. A teacher lies dead in a small village near Calcutta. Since the Chinese took over, things in the Bengal Protectorate have been sliding from bad to worse. It looks like the work of the New Thug Society, whose members are determined to free Bengal from Chinese oppression. Under Governor Wen, who is confused and slightly weepy, the law and order situation continues to deteriorate. Resurrected members of the Bengal politburo stalk the land, demoralising all those who thought they were dead. The Maoists are still in the jungle, and remain strangely reluctant to reintegrate with the motherland. This promises to be an interesting read.

Sleeping on Jupiter
Anuradha Roy

A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping. The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests and ashrams, three old women disembark, only to encounter the girl once again. Over the next five days, the old women live out their long-planned dream of a holiday together. The full force of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence and friendship and fear. An enthralling read for the holidays.

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli

There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others. Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple co-founder and CEO: how did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our
time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?

Theodore Boone: The Fugitive
John Grisham
Release date: May 28

Thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone thought the danger had passed, but he’s about to face off against an old adversary: accused murderer and fugitive Pete Duffy. On a field trip to Washington, DC, Theo spots a familiar face on the Metro: Duffy, who jumped bail and was never seen again. Theo’s quick thinking helps bring Duffy back to Strattenburg to stand trial. But now that Duffy knows who he is, Theo is in greater danger than he’s ever been in before. Even when everything is on the line, Theodore Boone will stop at nothing to make sure a killer is brought to justice. This smart and fast-paced legal thriller is the newest adventure for clever and determined kid lawyer Theo Boone.

The Modi Effect: Inside Narendra Modi’s Campaign to Transform India
Lance Price

How did a chai-wallah who sold tea on trains as a boy become the Prime Minister of India? On May 16, 2014, Narendra Modi was declared the winner of the largest election ever conducted anywhere in the world, having fought a campaign unlike any before. Former BBC correspondent and Downing Street communications expert Lance Price was granted exclusive access to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team of advisers. With complete freedom to tell it as he finds it, he details Modi’s rise to power, the extraordinary election victory and its aftermath. The Modi Effect lifts the lid on a whole new box of tricks, where message-management and IT wizardry combined to create a vote-winning colossus of awesome potency.

Nabokov in America: On the Road to Lolita
Robert  Roper
Release date: June 9

The author of Lolita and Pale Fire conjures the apotheosis of the high modernist artist: cultured, refined, as European as they come. But Vladimir Nabokov, who came to America fleeing the Nazis, came to think of his time here as the richest of his life. Indeed, Nabokov was not only happiest here, but his best work flowed from his response to this exotic land. Robert Roper fills out this period in the writer’s life with charm and insight—covering Nabokov’s critical friendship with Edmund Wilson, his time at Cornell and his role at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Flood of Fire (Ibis Trilogy 3)
Amitav Ghosh
Release date: May 28

One of the most anticipated books of the year, Flood of Fire is the climax to the Ibis trilogy that began with the Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies. It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war. One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love; and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband’s wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China through the outbreak of the First Opium War.

Scion of Ikshvaku
Amish Tripathi
Release date: June 22

From Shiva, Amish Tripathi turns his focus on Ram in the first book of his new series. But it’s a story we have not heard before. It’s 3400 BCE in India. Ayodhya is weakened by divisions. A terrible war has taken its toll. The damage runs deep. The demon king of Lanka, Raavan, does not impose his rule on the defeated. He, instead, imposes his trade. Money is sucked out of the empire. The Sapt Sindhu people descend into poverty, despondency and corruption. They cry for a leader to lead them out of the morass. Little do they appreciate that the leader is among them. One whom they know. A tortured and ostracised prince. A prince they tried to break. A prince called Ram. Tripathi takes readers on a hot adventure trail, guaranteed to turn up the heat even more.

Go Set A Watchman
Harper Lee
Random House
Release date: July14

A recently-discovered sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from the earlier book. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political, as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude towards society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood in. Will it have the same magic as Mockingbird and will it be as iconic as its predecessor? This is a book you can’t miss.

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