Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus was published, she received an email from Chinua Achebe's son which read: "Just a short note to tell you that our family has been following your career and rejoice with you on every success. Dad has read Purple Hibiscus and liked it very much. Give him a call at... "
That should give you an idea of how well the book works. What is on the one level a tale of the coming of age of its heroine, Kambili, Purple Hibiscus is also a tale about colonialism and its lingering hold on the consciousness in language, gods, names, ways of expression and the attempt to break free of this clutch. Adichie crafts her story so well that all of this holds together and merges several other streams of the story of Kambili the confusion and pain of her relationship with her repressive and radically religious father, the transforming magic of her relationship with Father Amadi, her aunt Ifeoma and her children and so on.
Excellent reading, well worth owning. Comes at a discount too.
The World is Flat
Another book on globalisation? Yes, another book on globalisation, but a very readable one, it must be said. And Thomas Friedman seems like quite a little globalisation industry, having already written two other books on the topic.
Friedman journeys to India to see "... why the Indians I met were taking our work." And finds many answers, meets lots of people, including Nandan Nilekani, whose remark, "Tom, the playing fields are being levelled" gives Tom the jolt that lads to the title of the book and shape to his journey in the flat world.
As the title suggests, the book is an exploration of the flat world and how it was formed; Friedman looks in detail at 10 forces that did the flattening, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Netscape, work flow software, off-shoring, and outsourcing among others.
The Mapmaker's Wife
The Mapmaker's Wife traces the journey of a team of French scientists who travelled to South America in 1735, to try and map the actual shape and size of the earth.
The mapmakers faced all manner of dangers including death and madness. The Mapmaker's Wife is the story of how one of them, Jean Godin, falls in love with, marries and is then separated for 20 long years from Isabel Grameson, a local girl, who then decides to set out to look for him.
She makes the journey along with her brothers and nephews, all of who perish along the way, till she is finally united with Godin.
An amazing tale written after Whitaker retraced Isabel's journey, The Mapmaker's Wife also has lots of maps and drawings, which make an exciting adventure in themselves.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
This one is sad and dark and seems a lot like the real world. The coming of age theme is stressed here, with Harry making several decisions.
The book ends on a sad note and young readers say that they would rather someone else had been `killed off' rather then the one who actually is. Opinions are divided on the merits of the latest in the Potter series, while some say "Can't see what all the fuss was about', others think that it's the best yet from Rowling.
Whatever it is, one must buy the book and keep it along with the rest. And with all the discounts that Fabmall is offering, it will cost much less than you think.
(Fabmall offers several discounts on books, currently including a minimum of 15 per cent for anyone joining the Fabmall Bookclub in the next 12 months. For prices and discounts log on to www.fabmall.com)
KALA KRISHNAN RAMESH
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