Book Reviews

Author: A. Sethumadhavan (Sethu)
Translation: Prema Jayakumar
Publisher: Niyogi Books, New Delhi
(ISBN: 978-93-85285-57-8, Rs 495)

The Saga of Muziris is a fascinating tale of the glory and decline of a major port, a hub of maritime trade in Kerala, in South India, which had mysteriously disappeared from the face of earth during the fourteenth century. Historians,archaeologists and academics, from the world over, had been looking for the lost Muziris, ever since. Some interesting leads, at the excavations at Pattanam, prompts Aravindan, the narrator, to pay a visit to his homeland.

What follows is a magical journey, enticing Aravindan to sail into the dark annals of history. In an effort to document his findings, Aravindan unravels the evolution of the area over several thousands of years— through political turmoils, social struggles, emigrations and more—unfolding an alluring history through powerfully and indelibly etched characters. The result is a gripping mix of history, myth, legend, fiction and magic reality. It takes the reader on a journey through antiquity, moving back and forth to reflect on the socio-economic ferment of varying periods, also, interestingly, establishing an organic link to the most recent times. Beautifully written, the book is a masterpiece.

Publisher: DK
(Pp 512, ISBN: 9780241299722, Rs 1999)

There is no dearth of material on the Mahabharata — translations, retellings, adaptations, commentaries, poems, criticisms, plays, children's versions, TV serial, movies, even satires and parodies. Was there a need for a coffee table book? DK certainly thought so and gives us The Illustrated Mahabharata.

This illustrated edition of Mahabharata from DK brings the world's longest epic to life. With more than 500 stunning images showcasing India's varied art forms, the book encapsulates stories from all 18 chapters, the Gita, and the Harivamsa in a uniquely accessible and visually stunning way. With clarity and simplicity, the stories reveal the eternal relevance of the Mahabharata, an epic that has shaped Indian thought for more than 3,000 years. An exploratory journey of lost kingdoms and dynasties, with characters that resonate with millions of people, DK brings you this beautiful retelling of India's greatest epic with a foreword by Mahabharata scholar Bibek Debroy.

Here’s what a satisfied customer in Hyderabad has to say, "I have already sold numerous copies of The Illustrated Mahabharata to individuals of different walks of life. IBD is taking another batch and the branch manager, Sri Gopal is helping me in its promotion. I congratulate the entire DK team for their work on this great Indian Epic. And I am sure you are going to create history in selling this great book. The coming together of fonts, photographs, artistic sketches, narration and presentation have all resulted in a product of par excellence. In my opinion, this book is unrivalled. It is the Bahubali of the written word!!! Every customer who has purchased a copy of The Illustrated Mahabharata from me has expressed their total satisfaction in possessing it." - M Madhusudan, Bhagyanagar Book House, Hyderabad.

Authors: Prof MP Poonia and SC Sharma
Publisher: Khanna Book Publishing, New Delhi (
(Pp 394, ISBN 10: 938617309, ISBN 13: 9789386173096, Rs 350)

Pollution poses an alarming threat to the environment & mankind and the environmental degradation all over the globe has become a major concernin the name of modernization resulting in negative impact onthe earth’s eco-system. India has put alert and importance of environment and environmental studies. Educational institutions haveincluded ‘environmental studies’ fulfilling the curriculum with this publication of Environmental Studies.

Environmental Studies publication is a creation of Prof MP Poonia, VC of AICTE, with the support Shri SC Sharma, a distinguished writer in Mechanical Engineering. Prof Poonia, an M Tech (Mech) and Ph D (Thermal Engg) Degrees holder from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Prof Poonia is a renowned & specialized personality in the areas of Mechanical Engineering (IC Engines, Gas Dynamics, Ref AC), Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development. He possesses vast experience on various fronts.

Covering the syllabi of technical universities and others in diverse disciplines, whether it could be environmental science or ecology or natural resource management, Environmental Studiesis intensely written to bring about knowledge and awareness of all facets of environmental issues among students of different grades. Divided into 23 chapters,each chapter in the book narrates about different environmental concerns and their relative impacts and mitigations. Key lessons inthis book are on eco-system, ecology, forest resource, waste management, social issues and all othersrelated to environment.

Author: Abhishek Ray
Publisher: Tara Art Press
(Pp 184, ISBN 978-81-8386-136-6, Rs 299)

Set in Kolkata, the book revolves around an old woman’s murder that has left everybody baffled. There is a tribal who has run away from prison to the jungles of Sunderbans, back to his tribe, to correct the mistake they made. A teenager, who loves to get high on marijuana, can see dead people. His mother, a middle-aged woman has a secret, which she wants to forget but her son is bringing all old memories back. The destinies of all these four people bring them together.

It is a dark thriller but an intriguing one. Though the author has left many questions unanswered, probably for the sequel, the book does make an impression on the minds of the reader.

Authors: Dr. DS Bedi and Prof MP Poonia
Publisher: Khanna Book Publishing, New Delhi
(Pp 730, ISBN 10: 9386173069, Rs 450)

Elements of Mechanical Engineering contains three different fields viz. Thermodynamics, Strength of Materials and Theory of Mechanism. Dr DS Bedi, BE (Delhi), M.E. (Roorkee) (Gold Medalist), Ph D (Waterloo Canada), and Prof MP Poonia, an M Tech (Mech) and Ph D (Thermal Engg) Degrees holder from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, are very well known prominent authors and possess rich teaching experience in these subjects in B Tech classes in India. They have written this book in a simplified language in elaborated chapters.

Elements of Mechanical Engineering contains 14 chapters on topics ranging from the basic concepts of thermodynamics upto centre of gravity. Every chapter in this book is supplemented with a large number of solved examples, which centre on every possible situation. At the end of each chapter are ‘review questions’ designed for students to exercise and these questions are made conversant with the question models of various university examinations. Chapter 13 in this book covers topics in a broad spectrum covering common topics, which are commonly designed for electronics, automobile, airplane and other allied industries.