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Book Fair: Romancing the Mob!

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By Akash Shukla

Book fair is a paradise for avid readers; for others it could be several different things. Lucknow is a funny town. It celebrates contradictions instead of diversity. This City of Nawabs shuts its eyes on LANDMARK and revels annually on a thematic Book Fair. What an irony! We walk too much. We buy too less. The last day of book fair locked horns with Gujrati Garba in the opposite lawns and down went public’s pseudo love for books as if everyone was waiting for a desperate counterpart. Hypocrites as we are, a mere digression lures us away from the titles. The tracing book lovers sulked in the corners while music enveloped all and sundry. If this wasn’t domineering enough of a trend over the other, the disco lights and a crystal ball coupled with exclusive tickets left no stones unturned to overcast the fledgling reading cult.

Kolkata_Book_Fair
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While Shaan-e-Awadh was grappling with ever-changing curiosities of the multitude, a guy tottered next to a girl merely in care and barely for books. When she nosedived in books, he realized he was wading through her sinkable eyes. Even inanimate books blew saxophones and shabby roughnecks appeared minstrels. This voodoo on a guy is like an unadvertised sale. It’s there but no one would ever know; even the doll-face would stay clueless. Magically meandering and charmingly smitten, the guy says, “May I hold your bag please?” Dazed and amazed, she struggled with a ‘no’ but all that spurted was a confused smile. Dimwit of a guy confused the gesture, held the cross-bag as if he held her. Stupidly they smiled for different reasons and got lost in the books; interestingly it ensued a role play; she turned reader and he turned pretender. Books were her love while she was his.

The author had a Sidney Sheldon in his hand. He saw this. Felt it. Tossed the murky emotional Sheldon ending for an ephemeral romance and the author’s title was lost among many others for a reason even unknown to him. Fleeting joy at its best, the lover boy switched glances between her and the ticking clock. His watch kept telling him that he had to teach. He had to leave. With barely five minutes at hand, the romance continued to melt from his face. The seemingly-timeless book fair stood still. Frozen in time, he looked while she did not; Diving deep into her face, time had come to retrace. Pining for the stay, he just could not. The never-to-be couple had parted. The author saw an unpublished romance; the ignorant titles at the book fair missed it all.

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Sharpen Your English Language Skills at Home With these Amazing Books

As we adapt to a new normal and stay safe at home empower yourself by polishing your language skill in English

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English speaking
Here are 5 books to hone your English language skills to overcome pandemic blue. Pixabay

The world has changed and so have the ways in which we communicate and connect with each other. The current need for social distancing is propelling the transformation of the traditional classroom into virtual/digital learning. As we adapt to a new normal and stay safe at home practicing social distancing, it’s time to capitalize on the opportunity of availability of time to better ourselves as an individual with the most powerful language that unites people across geographies – English.

Oxford University Press, in its endeavor to promote excellence in education and research by publishing worldwide, recommends the following titles as part of its vertical ‘English Language Teaching for Adult Learners’ to master the language that you require in all that you do. Whether it’s preparing for competitive exams, or minimising common day-to-day errors, or just further sharpening your grammar, this list caters to all.

* The Elevate Series by Shefali Ray, Samathmika Balaji and Simran Luthra

This series of three books caters to three levels of English -Elementary, Pre-intermediate and Intermediate. Mapped to the international language framework known as CEFR, these books help learners boost their all-round knowledge of English, including the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) along with grammar and vocabulary. The engaging exercises and activities in this series allows learners to enhance their real-life usage of English while enjoying the process of learning.

* Spoken English for My World by Sabina Pillai:

Speaking English is sometimes the most difficult skill, even for people who have good reading and writing skills. This book helps the learner sharpen their spoken language in various situations, such as their personal, professional and social worlds. It comes with audio and video components built into an interactive Smart Tutor along with quizzes in the Areal app. With sections on spoken grammar and spoken vocabulary, this book is a complete resource for someone looking to speak English better in their daily life.

 

English speaking
Minimize common day-to-day errors and hone your English speaking skills at home easily. Pixabay

 

* Common Errors in Everyday English by Saumya Sharma

This book is not just about common errors. It includes some cleverly deceptive mistakes that we commonly make, including often-mispronounced words. It also covers grammatical errors, frequently used and confused expressions and faux pas that are made unknowingly. This book can surely act as a worthwhile guide, a fact-checking resource and an easy-to-use reference tool. It will be of immense support in basic writing skills.

* Be Grammar Ready by John Eastwood

Written by a British grammarian with over four decades of authorship experience, this book keeps in mind the particular needs of Indian learners of English and provides updated grammar rules and information about usage, along with examples tailored to Indian contexts and exercises for practice, all of which support learners towards achieving accuracy in their use of English. With over 170 grammar topics explained in concise and informative chapters, this book makes learning grammar easy and interesting for both self-learners, such as professionals and exam aspirants, as well as for classroom teaching.

Also Read: Avoid That Early Morning Smoking Urge With These Easy Tips

*The Definitive Guide to IELTS General Training: Preparation and Practice by Audrone Raskauskiene, Irena Ragaisiene, Ramute, Zemaitiene and Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri

This series of separate books for IELTS Academic and General Training is designed to meet the needs of learners preparing for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). It covers all four sections of the test, including Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. It also includes audio and video components. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and sharpen your skills! (IANS)

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These Books Can Drive Boredom Away in Lockdown 4.0

A well-curated list of books can help drive lockdown blues away.

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Books
These binge-worthy books will help you sail through Lockdown 4.0. Pixabay

Life in the lockdown has not been easy for most of us. Were isolated and theres no sign of things changing anytime soon.

Well books can come to your rescue and what better way to spend the last two weeks in home-sheltering than by reading. Reading is not only a great form of escapism, but it also helps to stimulate creativity and enrich language skills, making it a great idea for all ages.

Here is a list of must read books which can transport you to another time and place:

‘The Hunger Games Series-The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

A new Hunger Games book is on its way, the first since 2010; it’s not only for teens but also for all sci-fi lovers. A prequel to the “Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, “A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was first announced in June last year, and – as revealed in an extract published by Entertainment Weekly – ‘will focus on Coriolanus Snow.’

‘Hunted by the Sky’ by Tanaz Bhatena (Penguin Random House India)

From the author of ‘A Girl Like That’, the YA fantasy explores identity, class inequality, alongside a high-stakes romance story, ‘Hunted by the Sky’ is set in the Kingdom of Ambar – a world inspired by medieval India– a world of deadly, dark secrets and adventures.

‘A Thousand Cranes for India: Reclaiming Plurality Amid Hatred’ edited by Pallavi Aiyar (Seagull Books)

This anthology – comprising 23 pieces of reportage, stories, poems, memoir and polemic – uses the mythology, history, and symbolism of Japanese Origami paper cranes as a pathway for some of India’s best-known writers, poets and artists to pave a “shared, civic space for a conversation about the fault lines in India at a time of darkness”.

Books
These books will make lockdown brighter for you. Pixabay

‘Shameless’ by Taslima Nasreen, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha (HarperCollins India)

‘Shameless’, the sequel to the controversial and best-selling ‘Lajja’, had never been published in Bengali, or any other language, until very recently, when a Hindi translation was printed. This “timely, topical and outspoken novel about communal tensions in India” is, according to its author, “not a political novel – and instead about what the politics of religion does to human beings and their relationships: a ruthless, uncompromising, heartbreaking tale of ordinary people’s lives in our times”.

Also Read: Coronavirus Pandemic: A Punishment for Humans?

‘A Burning’ by Megha Majumdar (Knopf; Penguin Random House India)

“For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri” (!), Majumdar’s debut, a thriller-like epic, centres around three characters who find their lives criss-crossing in the aftermath of a catastrophe. ‘Of A Burning’, Amitav Ghosh has said: it’s “the best debut novel I have come across in a long timee In telling the story of a young Muslim girl whose life is undone by a single social media post, it creates a kaleidoscope of contemporary urban India, with its internet-driven hysteria, religious fanaticism, rampant corruption, poisoned air, random violence, enraged mobs and pervasive misogyny.”(IANS)

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Here’s a List of E-Versions of Bestsellers you Can Read Before Lockdown Ends

Now you can buy E books online before the lockdown is lifted

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Lockdown
Grab some amazing e books before the lockdown is lifted. Pixabay

With a week to go before the lockdown is lifted and one resumes life anew, there’s only so much you can do with the time left on your hands?

We suggest you invest it in some thought-provoking content and self-help books to improve your skills, thought process and generally, improve yourself.

Landmark Bookstore lists down some e-versions of bestsellers you can buy online and delve into immediately.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

Author: Charlie Mackeay

Named as New York Times Bestseller, Wall Street Journal Bestseller and US Today Bestseller, the book itself is an object of art.

From the revered British illustrator, the book is a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons. Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters who explore an unlikely friendship and poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

Lockdown books
You can read The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackeay. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Ikigai

Author: Hector Garcia

Ikigai is a Japanese word for ea reason to live’ or ea reason to jump out of bed in the morning’. It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meet. A place of balance.

Finding your Ikigai is easier than you might think. This book will help you work out what your own Ikigai really is, and equip you to change your life. The book gently unlocks simple secrets we can all use to live long, meaningful, happy lives.

Science-based studies weave beautifully into honest, straight-talking conversation you won’t be able to put down.

Love in the time of Cholera

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The book is a romantic novel written with a powerful narrative. The story revolves around two people who fall in love and then suffer the harsh realities which love brings with it. It not only narrates different traits of human nature but also depicts a careful sketch of the Latin American culture of the early 20th century. The book is an engaging saga of two individuals and their quest to find eternal love.

Death, An inside story

Author: Sadhguru

Death is a taboo in most societies in the world. But what if we have got this completely wrong? What if death was not the catastrophe it is made out to be but an essential aspect of life, rife with spiritual possibilities for transcendence? For the first time, someone is saying just that.

In this unique treatise-like exposition, Sadhguru dwells extensively upon his inner experience as he expounds on the more profound aspects of death that are rarely spoken about. From a practical standpoint, he elaborates on what preparations one can make for one’s death, how best we can assist someone who is dying and how we can continue to support their journey even after death.

Life’s Amazing Secrets

Author: Swami Gaur Gopal Das

“Life’s Amazing Secrets” is an engaging philosophical book that deals with deep and meaningful conversations on life between Gaur Gopal Das himself and his wealthy friend Harry. Whether you are looking at strengthening your relationships, discovering your true potential, understanding how to do well at work or even how you can give back to the world, Gaur Gopal Das takes us on an unforgettable journey with his precious insights on these areas of life.

Lockdown ebooks
You can opt for Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Sapiens

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in God, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism?

In ‘Sapiens’, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical breakthrough of cognitive, agricultural and scientific revolution.

What got you here, won’t get you there

Author: Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an expert at helping global leaders overcome their sometimes unconscious annoying habits and attain a higher level of success. His one-on-one coaching comes with a six-figure price tag. But, in this book, you get Marshall’s great advice without the hefty fee. America’s most sought after executive coach shows you how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder.

Read More: Lockdown Diaries: Tips to Keep your Virtual Dating Lives Going

The Art of thinking clearly

Author: Rolf Dobelli

Simple, clear and always surprising, this indispensable book will change the way you thing and transform your decision- making- work, at home, every day. It reveals, in 99 short chapters the most common errors of judgement, and how to avoid them. (IANS)