From My Book-Shelf

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Freedom at Midnight

by Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre

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This is the second Dominique Lapierre- Larry Collins book I have read. I love Indian history and this book traces the period between Mountbatten becoming the Viceroy till Gandhi’s assassination.

Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah and Mountbatten are the heroes of this book. Of them only Mountbatten was alive during research of this book so it is fair to say that the book can be biased and we can see that with how Mountbatten has been portrayed.

It shows as if he did his best to avoid a bloody partition but because of the irreconcilable differences between the Congress & the Muslim League, the nation had to be sliced quickly. However, it could also be very easily argued that the British left midway in a hurry which led to the bloodshed in 1947.

The book also says good things about Nehru and Gandhi but castigates Jinnah. That is why the book is still banned in Pakistan. But I will take those praises with a pinch of salt. The book goes behind the plot to kill Gandhi but does not delve into Sardar Patel’s effort to unite India clearly.

However, it is a good read and even though we know how this story ends it will keep the reader engaged. The one thing that stuck with me was how close we were to not being partitioned at all. Some “what if…” to wonder.

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The Lowland

by Jhumpa Lahiri

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I haven’t read a lot of Jhumpa Lahiri but I will pick up more of her books after this one.

The Lowland traces the journey of three people- two brothers and a wife set against the the background of a West bengal on the throes of the Naxalite  movement and the United States.

The book is about loss. All characters try to deal with the death of the younger brother as they try to adjust their lives around this tragedy. The book traces their lives as they go about dealing with their motivations & emotions.

It is well-written and the characters have been well etched out. Worth picking it up.

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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

by Michael Moss

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Everybody must read this book. Everybody.

This book explores how the three most important components used in processed food today are manipulated to make them taste better and make us want them more.

The three components are: salt, sugar and fat. The author takes us to the biggest food companies in the US who started this trend and how we have a problem at hand with obesity today.

With India being touted as the next big market and the processed foods which are on our supermarket shelves led by these very companies, it is imperative that we read this book and become aware of what we eat.

Nothing will make you watch what you eat like this book does.

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From My Book-Shelf

From My BookShelf

938720

A Little Too Close to God: The Thrills and Panic of a Life in Israel

by David Horovitz

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Goodreads Link

This book is written by the Israeli journalist David Horowitz after he moves with his family from England to Israel in 1983. It gives us a look into the day-to-day life in Israel as it moved from Rabin’s years to the more orthodox Netanyahu. (He has become even worse since then.)

The book is a nice look into the question all liberal Israelis face about the question of Palestine and how to live with them on a daily basis and their conflict with the more orthodox Israelis.

The book is okay and I picked it up only to introduce myself to Israel. However, the question of the friction between the orthodox and the liberals will always remain and the conflict has become even more profound across the world as migration, wars and terrorism create a disruptive impact across the globe.

A decent read.

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A Thousand Suns

by Dominique Lapierre

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Goodreads Link

Dominique Lapierre, a journalist who has interviewed several big personalities from Mother Teresa to Lord Mountbatten. In this non-fiction book, Lapierre tells us stories of some of the extraordinary people he met during his time as a journalist and as a writer.

The list varies from one of the most popular bull-fighter in Spain to a Nazi general who refused to invade Paris to Mother Teresa. The book is an interesting read and the list of characters is also interesting with one we will not hear about in general.

I plan to include more books from this author in the coming months.

Pick it up, it is a light read. 🙂

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Dongri To Dubai : Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia

by S. Hussain Zaidi

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Goodreads Link

I picked up this book reluctantly because I generally avoid the popular books in India, because their writing is bad. It is not an Amitav Ghosh or an Rohinton Mistry. But I picked this up because crime and mafia in India interest me.

The story is about the history of the Mumbai Mafia, especially Dawood Ibrahim. I do not have much to say about the book except that it is a swift read and easy to follow. Hussain Zaidi, an investigative reporter himself is a credible source to know about the Mumbai Mafia and hence a better source than any other.

Pick it up if crime and mafia interest you.

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