Books of the Week - Saturday, 31St July, 2021

The Stranger in the Mirror 
By - Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

About the Book

The Stranger in the Mirror is the memoir of the legendary producer-director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Co-written by noted marketer-author, Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta, this book chronicles the richly experiential, multi-faceted life of one of India’s most celebrated and feted directors who has made critically acclaimed films like Rang De Basanti, Delhi-6 and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Though it may seem natural for an autobiography to have a primary narrator, what makes this book truly unique is its many narrators. It is this multi-dimensional, multi-character narration that will enable readers to delve deep and truly understand what it means to be as unselfish as Mehra, a man who gleefully steps back and lets the experts do their job.
Peppered with anecdotes from Mehra’s life—from the chai-biscuit college days to the popping of the proverbial champagne—it implores readers to pay attention to understand who is narrating, because the plot may have just shifted a little bit, just like his movies. At the end, what really stands out is how effortless the journey has actually been. And herein lies the greatest paradox because there is no lack of perseverance in this journey. The miraculous manner in which things fall into place naturally, like pieces of a pre-ordained puzzle with the universe acting as the ‘sutradhar’, is the fulcrum around which the joy of this remarkable journey is built.
About the Author
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra occupies a reverent mihrab of his own in the annals of Indian filmmaking. After working on almost 200 advertising films and a documentary, he found his calling on the big screen.
His cinema is honest, powerful and holds a mirror to society. His unsentimentally crafted portraits of conflicts inside our own culture, the demonic behaviour of humans possessed by communal hatred, the inherent imperfections that humanize super-achievers, have always been ahead of their time.
His brand of socially conscious, progressive filmmaking has its own signature. His work is archetypal, socio-political and philosophical spawning genres such as sports biopics and youth-oriented cinema.
As a director, writer and producer, with a yen for timeless music, he established Flicks: The Motion Picture Company in 1987, which grew into Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures in the year 2004.
He is married to P.S. Bharathi. They have a daughter, Bhairavi, and a son, Vedant.
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Books of the Week - Saturday, 24Th July, 2021

Why Women Are Poorer Than Men and What We Can Do About It 
By - Annabelle Williams 

About the Book
Discover why you aren't earning as much, saving as much or being valued as much as much as men in this astonishing dissection of the gender wealth gap
'A nuanced look at the institutional oppression faced by women on a daily basis' Dazed
'It is refreshing to see Williams challenge well-worn sexist myths' i
The modern world is rigged unfairly in men's favour, from pensions to the tampon tax, bearing children to boardroom bullying. Exploring these injustices, Annabelle Williams, former financial journalist for The Times, shows how society conspires to limit women's wealth.
Did you know . . .
·  The NHS spends more on Viagra than helping single mother families eat healthily
· Female entrepreneurs only receive 1p in every £1 of funding given to start-up businesses
· Women are the majority of the elderly poor
· There are more men called Dave running the UK's top 100 companies than there are women altogether
· Women do 60% more unpaid work than men
Economies thrive when women do well, and only by understanding why women are poorer than men can we finally end this unfair disparity between the sexes.
Why Women Are Poorer Than Men reveals how we got here and what all of us can do to fix it.
'Annabelle Williams uncovers the realities of money in the modern world, and what exactly we can do about the fact that women are poorer than men' Stylist
'Goes beyond talks of glass ceilings and gender pay gaps to a more nuanced look at the institutional oppression faced by women on a daily basis' Dazed

About the Author
Annabelle Williams is a journalist and editor who specialises in investing, economics and consumer affairs. Previously a columnist at The Times, Williams has appeared on live TV, radio and panel debates talking about her passion for the finance inequality between genders.
Why Women Are Poorer Than Men and What We Can Do About It is her first book.
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Books of the Week - Saturday, 17th July, 2021

The Bomber Mafia: A Story Set in War
By - Malcolm Gladwell

About the Book 
:
The international bestselling author returns with an exploration of one of the grandest obsessions of the twentieth century

'The Bomber Mafia is a case study in how dreams go awry. When some shiny new idea drops from the heavens, it does not land softly in our laps. It lands hard, on the ground, and shatters.'

In the years before the Second World War, in a sleepy air force base in central Alabama, a small group of renegade pilots put forth a radical idea. What if we made bombing so accurate that wars could be fought entirely from the air? What if we could make the brutal clashes between armies on the ground a thing of the past?

This book tells the story of what happened when that dream was put to the test. The Bomber Mafia follows the stories of a reclusive Dutch genius and his homemade computer, Winston Churchill's forbidding best friend, a team of pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard, a brilliant pilot who sang vaudeville tunes to his crew, and the bomber commander, Curtis Emerson LeMay, who would order the bloodiest attack of the Second World War.

In this tale of innovation and obsession, Gladwell asks: what happens when technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war? And what is the price of progress?

About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of six international bestsellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog SawDavid and Goliath and most recently, Talking to Strangers. He is the host of the podcast Revisionist History, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and co-founder of the audio company Pushkin Industries. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He lives in New York.
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BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 10TH JULY, 2021

Policymaker’s Journal: 
From New Delhi to Washington, D.C. 

By - Kaushik Basu 

About the book ----------------------------------------------------------------------
The art of political speech is to say things that sound meaningful but are impossible to pin down. You hear such speech from master politicians in not just India but the United States, the United Kingdom, China (if we knew what they were saying) and just about everywhere ...
Irreverent and hilarious, wise and introspective, Kaushik Basu’s journal records the course of his career over seven years, first in India as the chief economic adviser to the Indian Government and after that as the chief economist at the World Bank in Washington. Encounters with expected and unexpected world leaders and influencers—Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi, Barack Obama, Sheikh Hasina, Deepika Padukone and many, many others—pepper and liven this charming page-turner of a journal.
The Indian years were a period of high inflation, growth challenges (as the global financial crisis arrived in India) and also a remarkable growth recovery story, with India moving past China’s GDP growth rate. There were corruption scandals causing widespread street protests, plenty of late-night decision-making which one knew would rock the stock market the next day and getting to know politicians who were outstanding as statesmen in the midst of all this, as well as many who were not.
The World Bank years ranged from interacting with officials in tiny, remote countries like Samoa, to gigantic nations with considerable heft, such as China. It entailed sitting down with leading researchers to compute and announce global numbers on extreme poverty and rankings on how easy it is to do business in different countries (fully aware that there would be calls from irate finance ministers as soon as these were published), and assisting quarreling nations to communicate amicably and coordinate on policy.
Basu narrates these momentous periods in his diplomatic career with a rare lightheartedness which not only informs by giving the readers a ringside view of Indian bureaucracy, but also makes this book the most compelling and enjoyable book on policymaking to come out of India in years.
About the Author -------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaushik Basu is professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He is currently serving as president of the International Economic Association.
A fellow of the Econometric Society, Basu has published widely in the areas of development economics, industrial organization, game theory and political economy. His books include The Republic of Beliefs: A New Approach to Law and Economics.
Early in his career, Basu was a professor at the Delhi School of Economics, where in 1992 he founded the Centre for Development Economics and served as its first executive director.
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BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 3RD JULY, 2021

Peace, Poverty and Betrayal : A New History of British India
By - Roderick Matthews

About the book
How can we explain Britain's long rule in India beyond the cliches of 'imperial' versus 'nationalist' interpretations? In this new history, Roderick Matthews tells a more nuanced story of 'oblige and rule', the foundation of common purpose between colonisers and powerful Indians.
Peace, Poverty and Betrayal argues that this was more a state of being than a system: British policy was never clear or consistent; the East India Company went from a manifestly incompetent ruler to, arguably, the world's first liberal government; and among British and Indians alike there were both progressive and conservative attitudes to colonisation. Matthews skilfully illustrates that this very diversity and ambiguity of British-Indian relations also drove the social changes that led to the struggle for independence.
Skewering the simplistic binaries that often dominate the debate, Peace, Poverty and Betrayal is a fresh and elegant history of British India.

About the Author 
Roderick Matthews is a writer and Indian historian. Born in 1956, he studied Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford, and has written articles and reviews for a number of British and Indian publications. His previous books include The Flaws in the Jewel, Jinnah vs Gandhi, and The Great Indian Rope Trick.
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