This week’s reading list includes a book that explains a heavy subject with a light touch, and novels that deal with the trauma of losing home and with dark secrets.
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HT Picks: New Reads – books ht picks


THE JOURNEY BACK HOME

72pp, 599 rupees; Westland

Varmull, nestled in the middle of the Pir Mountains and the Jhelum River, with its small town familiarity exchanged in quiet streets, has always been home. Until violence invades the streets and there is no choice but to flee. For six punishing summers in sweltering Delhi Barsati, Rahul, Doora and their young son try to push back their memories and their yearning for Kashmir.
Around him, the city remains rude and strange. His landlord calls Rahul a Muslim-Brahmin because he eats meat; his Pandit relatives want him to join an extremist Hindu group.
It is not long before Rahul fled again, this time to England, where he hopes he will not have to make these decisions: Pandit or Kashmiri? Teacher or husband? Rational intellectual or wounded exile? Expatriate or refugee. As he struggles to survive as a foreigner, moving from one accidental relationship to another, a series of bombings in London attacks Kashmir back into its life. And he knows he must attempt the journey home.
A devastating exploration of what it means to lose home. A bit of everything It reveals the many ways in which the violence of a land destroys the daily lives of its people. *

THE POWER OF THE SECRETS

400pp, 399 rupees;  HarperCollins

400pp, 399 rupees; HarperCollins

Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with his eccentric artist father and his cat, Monty. She knows little about her past, but she knows that she is loved.
When her father reaches fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the protagonist, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on television and strangers appear at her door, convinced that the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.
But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before his eyes, he begins to disappear completely.
In his increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets his father has hidden in his picture books and realizes that there is something much darker and more devastating hidden within the pages … *

ECONOMICS LESSONS

296pp, 299 rupees;  Penguin

296pp, 299 rupees; Penguin

Why are all the good mangoes exported from India? Why should we pay more for our household help? Why do we hesitate to find that last piece of cake in a meeting? Are more options really better? Why do many of us offer a prayer but are reluctant to wear a seatbelt while driving? Are Indians programmed to sulk at the success of a partner? What is common between a cereal box and your resume?
Can economics answer all these questions and more? According to Dr. Sudipta Sarangi, the answer is yes.
In The economy of little things, Sarangi uses a variety of everyday objects and common experiences, such as achieving lasting social change through Facebook and historically momentous episodes such as the shutdown of telegram services in India to deliver clear and easy-to-understand economics lessons. The book explains everything from game theory to the Cobra effect without relying on graphs or equations – a modern miracle!
Through disarmingly simple prose, the book demystifies economic theories, offers delightful insights, and provides jargon-free nuance. Each chapter will give you the tools to meaningfully engage with a topic that has long been considered alienating but is unavoidable in its relevance. *

* All text of press releases.

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