Book Reviews

Selector: Tanya Kirk
Publisher: Niyogi Books
(ISBN 978-93-85285-75-2, Rs 450)

Ghost stories seem to intrigue people who look for thrilling stories. If you are one of them, then this book is for you. A collection of short stories, with strong plots, the book keeps the reader hooked till the end. Each story has a library in the background and books become the source of warnings, messages or even control or possess their readers.

These classic ghost stories are from the golden age of the genre in the early twentieth century. Each story is a delight as there are happy endings and none of the story has gory details.

- Varsha Verma

Author: Vijay Mukhi
Publisher: BPB Publications
(Pp 910 pages, ISBN- 978-93-8655-130-6, Rs 1995)

2017 Bitcoin touched a market capitalization of over 100 billion dollars. In the year 2014, one Bitcoin could buy about 500 dollars, just three years later one Bitcoin buys 5,000 dollars. The Initial Coin Offering or a ICO is getting to be the preferred method of raising money rather than going to a Venture Capitalist or using an Initial Public Offering or IPO. Lots of countries like Dubai have announced their own crypto-currency called emCash.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain are one of the most difficult technologies to understand. This is why most people including technology folks cannot understand the future direction these technologies will take. The only way to understand anything complex is by going back to the basics. This is what is done in this book. We explain every byte of the Bit coin block chain that is downloaded on your computer.

Most of the code in this book is written in Python as today it is the easiest language to use. The Bitcoin Source is written only in C++. Most of the important Bitcoin data structures are only documented in code, a bare knowledge of reading and not writing C++ will help. Finally, the official client for Ethereum is written in the programming language Go. This book is written for the programmer in mind.

- Vasu V

Author: Anita Krishan
Publisher: FINGERPRINT! (An imprint of Prakash Books India),
(Pp 303; Price: Rs 295)

Anita Krishan, whose second book Fluffy & Me made me feel two years ago, comes out with her third book Despite Stolen Dreams with full of feelings. What I feel right from the Prologue of the book is the struggles simple common people face at the turns their lives take. And what it makes me feel the story my kind is the way Anita constructs it with a strong theme and characters breaking the walls that divide the society into pieces along the lines of caste and creed.

The story of Despite Stolen Dreams unfolds in a corner of Kashmir Valley at a madrasa, owned by a philanthropist, a home to a host of homeless boys who become terrorists and use convert the institute their training ground. It is the region’s separatist sentiment that provokes the boys to become terrorists, who eventually house arrest Wali Khan and his family. One of them, Shakeel, even plans to marry Wali’s daughter Meher, forcibly.

Wali, with the help of his clever servant Abdul, escapes from the clutch of terrorists to live with his son in Delhi. Anita’s ideal is her real deal in the narratives. Wali finds a friendly sardar neighbour Kashmira Singh, who has also experienced victimisation of terrorism in his past and who helps him fight against all odds in his new life in Delhi and struggling to keep nostalgia away.

Anita clusters the plots throughout the story in a page-turning way, carrying the theme forward directionally. She adds value of love and humanity so pertinently while telling the story. A pinch of romance between Meher, who is a practicing pediatrician at AIIMS, and her senior Dr Raghav provides a mid-way breathing space in the story whirling around the struggle and agony amid terrorism. Inner life of a terrorist is what nobody cares about, because he kills innocent people; but Anita does care and explores the humane side of Shakeel.

- Jyaneswar Laishram

Author: Aastha Singh
Publisher: Teenage Publishers
(Pp 172, ISBN 978-938538759, $6.99)

Hindi is spoken in around 120 countries and the language itself is quite simple to learn, not as difficult as Arabic or Sanskrit. In addition to this, if you are in trade with Indian people, you need to know some basic things, such as, "hello", "Good Morning", "Nice to meet you", "Thank you" etc.

If you want to know some important things about the language, then this is the book for you. Here, in this book, you will find all kinds of basic sentences that you speak in daily life or the ones that are important for your own safety. Written in English, the book gives Hindi names of commonly used words, besides giving basic information about alphabets and their pronunciation. This book will be helpful to all non-Hindi speaking people!

- Vasu V

Author: Tsewang yishey Pemba
Publisher: Niyogi Books, New Delhi
(Pp 468 ISBN 978-93-85285-62-2, Rs 495)

A posthumous novel by Dr Tsewang Yishey Pemba, the founding father of Tibetan-English literature, White Crane, Lend me your Wings is a historical fiction set in the breathtakingly beautiful Nyarong Valley in the Kham province of Eastern Tibet in the first half of the twentieth century. Dr Pemba skillfully weaves a dazzling tapestry of individual lives and sweeping events creating an epic vision of a country and people during a time of tremendous upheaval.

Each word is the book is skilfully written and once opened, it is impossible to put the book down. It shows the true human spirit, which is above nationality, religion, political view etc. The book shows the purity of love, compassion, valour, honor, trust and topics deeds. A beautiful tale, written in an equally compassionate way!

- Varsha Verma