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Books that tell you Stories of Nationalism, Women Entrepreneurs and Weight Loss: Here is a List!

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New Delhi, May 12, 2017: Learn to question the concept of nationalism by reading the tale of an air warrior; know about the the obstacles faced by women vying for a top job; go through the fastest way to lose weight; flick through the story of a teenager who sets out to investigate a murder through his indulgence and escapades.

The IANS bookshelf offers a good combination of fiction and non-fiction for this weekend. Read on!

1. Book: Baaz; Author: Anuja Chauhan; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 430; Price: Rs 399

“Why do they call you Baaz?”

“It means falcon,” he replies solemnly. “Or bird of prey. Because I swoop down on the enemy planes just like a Baaz would.”

Then he grins. The grey eyes sparkle.

“It’s also short for bastard.”

It’s 1971. The USSR-backed India-Mukti Bahini alliance is on the brink of war against the US-aided Pakistani forces. As the Cold War threatens to turn red hot, handsome, laughing Ishaan Faujdaar, a farm boy from Chakkahera in Haryana, is elated to be in the IAF, flying the Gnat, a tiny fighter plane nicknamed “Sabre Slayer” for the devastation it had caused in the ranks of Pakistan’s F-86 Sabre squadrons in the 1965 war.

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Flanked by his buddies Raks, a MiG-21 pilot, Maddy, who flies a Caribou transport aircraft, and fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana, Shaanu has nothing on his mind but glory and adventure — until he encounters Tehmina Dadyseth, a famed bathing beauty and sister of a dead fauji, who makes him question the very concept of nationalism and whose eyes fill with disillusioned scorn whenever people wax eloquent about patriotism and war.

Pulsating with love, laughter and courage, “Baaz” is Anuja Chauhan’s tribute to our men in uniform.

2. Book: The Shortlist; Author: Maya Kavita; Publisher: Tara; Pages: 333; Price: Rs 299

Four female executives are on Trans-Geo Tech’s shortlist to become the next CEO. The same women are on Jim Kenyon’s shortlist for murder.

But Jim has one more victim on his list — his nemesis Ella Laraway. She now works for Ridley Latimer’s company, Tackle and Trim. Ella accepts TGT’s invitation to help them vet the shortlist of CEO candidates to replace Tapan Rao. She knows Jim won’t be able to resist this chance to kill them all.

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After all, Wargrave Island is a remote place on the Canadian-American border. Meanwhile, detective Rae Birnam and detective Frank Bianchi (from Outsourced) are aware that Jim may try to kill Ella and they are gathering nearby. Then the body count starts rising.

First, their hostess Mrs Owen disappears. Then Jim knocks out the power and communications. He kills Warren, the handyman. The women (Sondra, Bettina, Parvani, Mickey, Julia) decide to do what they learned in business — pair off to divide and conquer, and fight for themselves. But Julia dies.

Through the book, the author examines the path to career success at TGT and the obstacles faced by women vying for a top job. One of those obstacles will test every skill they have. Although the list of candidates may be short, there’s someone close by with plans to make it a lot shorter.

But Ella finally comes through with help from boss-cum-lover Ridly Latimer, TGT gets its new CEO, the villains are all locked up or dead and Ella finally manages to take a well-deserved break.

3. Book: The Blood Sugar Solution; Author: Mark Hyman; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 423; Price: Rs 399

In “The Blood Sugar Solution”, Mark Hyman reveals that the secret solution to losing weight and preventing not just diabetes but also heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer is balanced insulin levels.

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Hyman describes the seven keys to achieving wellness — nutrition, hormones, inflammation, digestion, detoxification, energy metabolism, and a calm mind. He explains his revolutionary six-week healthy-living programme.

With advice on diet, green living, supplements, medication, exercise, and personalizing the plan for optimal results, the book also teaches readers how to maintain lifelong health. Groundbreaking and timely, the book is the fastest way to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel better than ever.

4. Book: From The Darkness; Author: Abhishek Ray; Publisher: Tara; Pages: 184; Price: Rs 299

An old woman is found dead, a tribal warlord intent on destroying what has been irrevocably resurrected, a troubled teenager craves intoxication more than life, and a middle-aged woman who has a secret — a secret that could destroy her and everything around her.

On the surface, Rohan is just another average teenager who goes to school, likes listening to rock music, hates his parents and has his own ideas of fun. He does, however, have an interesting indulgence, now and then. His love for the occasional joint of marijuana, rolled and sealed at the tip, gives him the escape that he craves for.

When a brutal murder in his neighbourhood brings the police knocking on his door, he decides to make his life more interesting than ever.

He sets out to investigate the murder, not through logic or deduction, but through his indulgence and his escapades. Little does he know that close at hand, in the physical world, lurks a terror so ghastly and terrifying that even a renegade warlord from the jungles of Sunderbans — Bagha — shudders in his sleep when he dreams of it. Which is why he has come back, all the way, looking for it. To win what he once lost. To regain what he once couldn’t salvage.

Will Rohan get the answers he is looking for, from the beyond? Or will Bagha slay the demons once and for all? Or will the darkness take them both? (IANS)

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Women Hit Especially Hard In Congo’s Worst Ebola Outbreak

For the afflicted, the road to recovery is long and lonely.

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Ebola, WHO, UNICEF, congo, Uganda, women
Congolese health workers register people and take their temperatures before they are vaccinated against Ebola in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

The Democratic Republic of Congo is in the throes of its worst-ever Ebola outbreak, with more than 420 cases in the country’s volatile east, and a mortality rate of just under 60 percent. But this outbreak — the nation’s tenth known Ebola epidemic — is unusual because more than 60 percent of patients are women.

Among them is Baby Benedicte. Her short life has already been unimaginably difficult.

At one month old, she is underweight, at 2.9 kilograms. And she is alone. Her mother had Ebola, and died giving birth to her. She’s spent the last three weeks of her life in a plastic isolation cube, cut off from most human contact. She developed a fever at eight days old and was transferred to this hospital in Beni, a town of some half-million people in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

More than 400 people have been diagnosed with Ebola here since the beginning of August, and more than half of them have died in a nation the size of Western Europe that struggles with insecurity and a lack of the most basic infrastructure and services. That makes this the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history, after the hemorrhagic fever killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa between 2013 and 2016.

This is 10th outbreak to strike the vast country since 1976, when Ebola was first identified in Congo. And this particular outbreak is further complicated by a simmering civil conflict that has plagued this region for more than two decades.

Guido Cornale, UNICEF’s coordinator in the region, says the scope of this outbreak is clear.

“It has become the worst outbreak in Congo, this is not a mystery,” he said.

What is mysterious, however, is the demographics of this outbreak. This time, more than 60 percent of cases are women, says the government’s regional health coordinator, Ndjoloko Tambwe Bathe.

“All the analyses show that this epidemic is feminized. Figures like this are alarming. It’s true that the female cases are more numerous than the male cases,” he said.

Congo, Uganda, ebola, Women
Health workers walk with a boy suspected of having been infected with the Ebola virus, at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, near Congo’s border with Uganda. VOA

Bathe declined to predict when the outbreak might end, though international officials have said it may last another six months. Epidemiologists are still studying why this epidemic is so skewed toward women and children, Cornale said.

“So now we can only guess. And one of the guesses is that woman are the caretakers of sick people at home. So if a family member got sick, who is taking care of him or her? Normally, a woman,” he said.

Or a nurse. Many of those affected are health workers, who are on the front line of battling this epidemic. Nurse Guilaine Mulindwa Masika, spent 16 days in care after a patient transmitted the virus to her. She says it was the fight of her life.

“The pain was enormous, the pain was constant,” she said. “The headache, the diarrhea, the vomiting, and the weakness — it was very, very bad.”

Congo, Ebola, Women
Marie-Roseline Darnycka Belizaire, World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemiology Team Lead, talks to women as part of Ebola contact tracing, in Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

For the afflicted, the road to recovery is long and lonely. Masika and her cured colleagues face weeks of leave from work to ensure the risk of infection is gone. In the main hospital in the city of Beni, families who have recovered live together in a large white tent, kept four meters from human contact by a bright orange plastic cordon. They yell hello at their caretakers, who must don protective gear if they want to get any closer.

And for Baby Benedicte, who is tended to constantly by a nurse covered head to toe in protective gear, the future is uncertain. Medical workers aren’t entirely sure where her father is, or if he is going to come for her.

Also Read: Congo Start Trials For Drugs Against Ebola

She sleeps most of the day, the nurse says, untroubled by the goings-on around her. Meanwhile, the death toll rises. (VOA)