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Books for the weekend

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New Delhi: Book lovers prep up your weekend as we bring you some exciting good reads from various genres. These books are sure to make a worthy read on that lazy Sunday afternoon.

Meet Bant Singh, an agrarian labourer with indomitable spirit despite being physically disabled; Mohammed Aamir Khan, who refuses to be defeated despite being framed as a terrorist and being jailed for 14 years; an IAS officer explains complex ideas of Indian philosophy in simple and accessible language; and finally, tips from a journalist on how to invest money and save for future.

There’s much the bookshelf has for you this weekend. Take a look:

1. Book: The Ballad of Bant Singh; Author: Nirupama Dutt; Publisher: Speaking Tiger; Pages: 213; Price: Rs. 250

The book relates the life story of Bant Singh the protagonist and his tales of courage. On the unfortunate evening of January 5, 2006, Bant Singh, a Dalit agrarian labourer and activist in Punjab’s Jhabar village, was ambushed and brutally beaten up by upper-caste Jat men armed with iron rods and axes.

He then had to fight for justice for his minor daughter, who was gang-raped. He lost both his arm and a leg while fighting against the Jat men. But this incident could not demolish his spirit and continues to fight for equality and dignity, inspiring others with his revolutionary songs.

2. Book: Framed as a Terrorist; Author: Mohammad Aamir Khan with Nandita Haksar; Publisher: Speaking Tiger; Pages: 234; Price: Rs. 250
In 1998, an ordinary young man was kidnapped by the police from the by-lanes of old Delhi and accused of being a terrorist. The man was released after serving 14 years in jail – when proven innocent.

Based on the true story of the author, Mohammad Aamir Khan, the book is a tale of phenomenal humanity, perseverance, and courage in the face of extreme injustice. Despite facing torture and solitary confinement, the author remains committed to the secular and democratic values that he grew up with.

3. Book: Chaturvedi Badrinath – Unity of Life and Other Essays; Edited by Tulsi Badrinath; Publisher: Oxford; Pages: 158; Price: Rs. 450
The latest book edited by Tulsi Badrinath is a compilation of essays written by her father Chaturvedi Badrinath. The book takes a reader into Badrinath’s approach towards life. An IAS officer for 31 years, he delivered lectures on the concept of dharma and its application in modern times.

Ranging over perceptions of the self and the other; different ways of ordering society in Jainism, Islam and Christianity; the paradox of sex; the roots of violence and the quest for truth and peace – Badrinath’s essays gained wide acclaim and popularity.

4. Book: The Money Book; Author: Vivek Law; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 194; Price: Rs. 395
Planning to invest money in starting a new business? Want your money to multiply fast? Or save some earnings that would secure future post-retirement? Well, here is the answer to queries related to money and investment.

Using relatable examples, the author simplifies the process of savings and investing by bringing the best possible ways to multiply money. Decoding terms like mutual funds, equities, and life insurance, Vivek Law shows that there is no need to toil throughout life to have a secure and comfortable lifestyle.(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)

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Here’s Why Fictional Villains are Suprisingly Likeable

From Joker to Voldemort, learn why people like fictional villains

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fictional villains
Researchers have found that people may find fictional villains surprisingly likeable when they share similarities with the viewer or reader. Wikimedia Commons

What makes evil characters like the Joker or Lord Voldemort more interesting and likeable? Researchers have found that people may find fictional villains surprisingly likeable when they share similarities with the viewer or reader.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, indicated one reason for this shift is that fiction acts as a cognitive safety net, allowing us to identify with villainous characters without tainting our self-image.

“Our research suggests that stories and fictional worlds can offer a ‘safe haven’ for comparison to our darker selves. When people feel safe, they are more interested in comparisons to negative characters that are similar to themselves in other respects,” said study lead author Rebecca Krause from Northwestern University in the US.

fictional villains
Voldemort, a fictional villain of the Harry Potter series is liked for his intellect. Wikimedia Commons

“For example, people who see themselves as tricky and chaotic may feel especially drawn to the character of The Joker in the Batman movies, while a person who shares Lord Voldemort’s intellect and ambition may feel more drawn to that character in the Harry Potter series,” Krause added.

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To test this idea, the researchers analysed data from the website CharacTour, an online, character-focused entertainment platform that had approximately 232,500 registered users at the time of analysis.

One of the site’s features allows users to take a personality quiz and see their similarity to different characters who had been coded as either villainous or not.

Villains included characters such as Maleficent, The Joker, and Darth Vader. Nonvillains included Sherlock Holmes, Joey Tribbiani, and Yoda.

The anonymous data from these quizzes allowed the researchers to test whether people were attracted toward or repulsed by similar villains, using nonvillains as a baseline.

Not surprisingly, people were drawn to nonvillains as their similarity increased. However, the results further suggested that users were most drawn to villains who share similarities with them.

fictional villains
Darth Vader is one of the most popular fictional villains. Wikimedia Commons

The researchers believe that similarities to story villains do not threaten the self in the way real-life villains would.

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“Given the common finding that people are uncomfortable with and tend to avoid people who are similar to them and bad in some way, the fact that people actually prefer similar villains over dissimilar villains was surprising to us,” said study co-author Derek Rucker.

The current data do not identify which behaviours or characteristics the participants found attractive.

Also Read- 5 Great Ways to Reduce Stress

Further research is needed to explore the psychological pull of villains and whether people are drawn toward similar villains in fiction because people look for chances to explore their own personal dark side.

“Perhaps fiction provides a way to engage with the dark aspects of your personality without making you question whether you are a good person in general,” concluded Krause. (IANS)