Of birds, wildlife, and mindful cats (IANS Books This Weekend)

Indulge in the world of wildlife, birds and pets this week. Conserve and help the wildlife, which creates a pleasant environment for you to live in. Know more about our Indian birds in an intriguing account by an ornithologist. Also, acquire a deeper understanding of your feline companions. Check out the weekend fare the IANS bookshelf has to offer.

1. Book: Saving Wild India: A Blueprint For Change; Author: Valmik Thapar; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 145; Price: Rs.499

The author, a naturalist with over 40 years of experience, lays out a blueprint to govern our wilderness and safeguard its future – for the quality of our life hugely depends on the existing wildlife cover.

He suggests that each one of us take an active part in conserving our wildlife, rather than passively hoping the government and the forest departments will take care of this, and hence our environment. From legal and federal structures, to the role of the state and the Indian Forest Service, the author’s research offers some feasible solutions – framing and passing enlightened legislation, revamping training institutes, enlightened wildlife tourism, public-private partnerships and the like.

@. Book: Jungle Folk: Indian Natural History Sketches; Author: Douglas Dewar; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 216; Price: Rs.295

An original and eye-opening account of various Indian birds by an ornithologist Douglas Dewar. The subjects are diverse – vivacious mynas, vociferous cuckoos, beautiful pittas, silent herons, and cheeky squirrels, among others. Each chapter is dedicated exclusively to one bird details their anatomy, physiology, behaviour, lifestyle and habitat.

The book would interest both an amateur and an expert in natural history.

3. Book: After the Crash; Author: Michel Bussi; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 199; Price: Rs.386

A detective novel, translated from French by Sam Taylor, is about an investigation that lasted almost two decades.

Private detective Credule Grand-Duc, investigating a case of a sole survivor of a plane crash, a three month-old baby girl, decides to take his own life after failing to find the truth in 18 years about her real family out of the two who came forward to claim her. Just as he is about to pull the trigger, he uncovers a secret that changes everything.

Read on for a thrilling crime story.

4. Book: The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Power of Meow; Author: David Michie; Publisher: HayHouse; Pages: 199; Price: Rs.399

The latest book in the series of the Dalai Lama’s cat opens with an epigraph: “I have lived with several Zen masters – all of them cats.” The feline protagonist is on a mission to be mindful – to think less, to experience more and to live in the moment.

The cat takes the reader to the enchanting world of the Dalai Lama’s monastery in the Himalayas. She narrates the conversations she hears and the incidents she encounters, and introduces us to a range of new characters – a senior executive, the Pope’s beloved dog and a public health inspector who wants her cat banned from the book cafe where she often lounges.

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