Inspired by these posts, I thought of making a list of books I purchased at the Delhi Book Fair last month. So here are 13 non-fictional texts that I picked-up, mostly at throw-away prices from the fair. They are in no particular order, except the the books featured first and last are the ones I am most excited about. The descriptions are mostly from GoodReads.
In 1959 German journalist Norbert Lebert interviewed children of prominent Nazis: Hess, Bormann, Goring, Himmler, Baldur von Schirach (Hitler Youth creator) & Hans Frank (governor of Poland). Not knowing what to do with the interviews, he boxed & stored them. After his death, his son Stephan–also a journalist–inherited the files. Fascinated by what he found, he set out to re-interview the same people 40 years later. Revisiting his father’s subjects, Lebert explores how each of them deals with the agonizing question: What does it mean to have a father who participated in mass murder? For the most part, the Leberts found that the children remained intensely loyal to their fathers, regardless of their crimes. Gudrun Himmler, for example, lives in a Munich suburb under her husband’s name, keeping secret contact with other nostalgic Nazis. In fact, Niklas Frank is the only one who rejects his heritage. But when he writes in a popular German magazine of his rage against his father–charged with 2,000,000 deaths–hundreds of letters pour in from outraged readers. Whatever your father did, fathers must always be honored. Remarkable in both its content & its narrative power, “My Father’s Keeper” is an illuminating addition to the dark literature of the Nazi past & of how the past haunts the present.
He was a 1930s golf legend and Hollywood trickster who adamantly refused to be photographed. He never played professionally, yet sports-writing legend Grantland Rice still heralded him as “the greatest golfer in the world.” Then, in 1937, the secrets of John Montague’s past were exposed—leading to a sensational trial that captivated the nation.
The formation of Pakistan and the search for an Islamic identity are inextricably interlinked, says journalist Haroon Khalid. Of the wider issue of global politics, he reasons, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism has been a side effect. And religious intolerance places the minority communities of the country in a precarious position.
They have to come to terms with a rapidly changing situation. A White Trail is an ethnographic study of these communities and the changes they are having to face.
In the Inspirational and often hilarious memoir, the author recounts her experiences in India using Hindi as the lens through which she is given a new perspective on the country.
In November 2013, Sachin Tendulkar played his final test against the West Indies at the Wankhede. Final Test traces those fateful two and a half days as Sachin takes to the pitch one last time.
Not many people have heard of IIM and IIT graduates becoming bestselling writers or chief ministers. The professional career path chosen by many people is as plain as daylight and can be predicted many years into the future. But Sonia Golani’s book, My Life, My Rules: Stories of 18 Unconventional Careers, catches the imagination of the reader and provides valuable insights into the inconceivable ways a person’s career can proceed. It is a collection of eighteen different stories, each featuring an individual who has dared to walk the less-traversed path.
A sparkling collection studded with wit, passion and insight, the essays are personal reflections on genres of cinema: Hollywood blockbusters, Hindi noir, horror — and any other kind you may have sat through wide-eyed in a million small-town halls or metro multiplexes — and the effect they had on individual lives.
Ranging from the sparse, undemonstrative work of Finland’s Kaurismäki brothers to a boisterous Punjabi masala movie that may or may not be about a foot fe- tish; from a writer’s first — and hilarious — experience of watching a film in a theatre, to one who performs a Helen dance in drag at a Brooklyn square … each of these essays reveals to readers a completely different side of their authors.
Have you heard of Footpath(1953), perhaps the most Left-leaning film in which Dilip Kumar gave one of his most nuanced performances? of director-actor Chandra Shekhar’s Cha Cha Cha(1964), a fascinating musical where the ‘Harijan’ hero becomes a fabulous pop dancer? of Gaddar(1973), perhaps the finest example of film noir in popular Hindi Cinema? Of the Amol Palekar-directed Thoda Sa Roomani Ho Jayen (1990), a rare true-blue musical with Nana Patekar at his best?Of Sehar(2005), one of the most underfeted gangster movies by Bollywood? Of Antardwand(2010), a movie on shotgun weddings that gobsmacks you with it’s authentic portrayal of mofussil Bihar? National Award winning film writer Avijit Ghosh takes a second look at 40 such compelling Hindi movies that have been largely forgotten. Speaking with the directors, producers, cinematographers, music directors and actors behind these, he explores how and why they have been fallen through the cracks of our memory.
The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the fountainhead of Indian literature and religion have served as model and source of theme and treatment for countless number of works in Sanskrit and other regional languages…
By turns humorous, sympathetic and hair-raising, this delectable travelogue-cum-memoir is the unique account of a young Englishman travelling through the India of the 1920s for the first time.
Emphasising collaborative learning strategies, the authors explore and challenge the nature of learning within the national curriculum, looking at ways of including diversity in science, history, maths and poetry.
12 & 13: Two books which I am very happy to have purchased, dealing with the pain and sufferings of people put behind bars for their convictions.