Of women in business, quest, mystery and truths for children (IANS Books This Weekend)

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New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Are women getting their due at workplaces or are they being overlooked? What happens when a devastated man embarks on a quest to find the recipient of his donated kidney? IANS book shelf for this weekend presents an exciting array of books that, apart from answering these questions, also feature a thrilling mystery novel and a book for children where 10 “idea-shapers” have valuable lessons for kids.

The IANS recommendations have these varied reads to offer for this weekend:

1. Book: Win Win; Author: Joanne Lipman; Publisher: Hachette; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 297

Women spend their working lives adapting to an environment set up for men, by men: From altering the way they speak to changing the clothes they wear to power-posing. But still the gender gap persists. And once you see it — women being overlooked, interrupted, their ideas credited to men — it’s impossible to ignore.

Diving deep into a wide range of government initiatives, corporate experiments and social science research, Joanne Lipman offers fascinating new revelations about the way men and women work culled from the Enron scandal, from brain research, from transgender scientists and from Iceland’s campaign to “feminise” an entire nation.

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2. Book: Happy Dreams; Author: Jia Pingwa; Publisher: Amazon Crossing; Price: Rs 499; Pages: 480

From one of China’s foremost authors, Jia Pingwa’s “Happy Dreams” is a powerful depiction of life in industrialising, contemporary China, in all its humour and pathos, as seen through the eyes of a charming and clever rural labourer who leaves his home for the gritty, harsh streets of Xi’an in search of a better life.

After a disastrous end to a relationship, Hawa “Happy” Liu embarks on a quest to find the recipient of his donated kidney and a life that lives up to his self-given moniker. Traveling from his rural home in Freshwind to the city of Xi’an, Happy brings only an eternally positive attitude, his devoted best friend Wufu, and a pair of high-heeled women’s shoes he hopes to fill with the love of his life.

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3. Book: Trickster; Author: Vinaya Bhagat; Publisher: Harper Black; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 338

When she loses her parents in an accident, Diya Mathur’s world collapses around her. As far as she knows, she’s alone in the world now — till a mysterious letter arrives from India. Suddenly, Diya has a chance to be part of a family again. But moving from Boston to India also brings Diya closer to the place where the horror of the Chakwa — the Master Trickster — first started. As bodies and tragedies pile up around her, Diya’s belief in the urban myth of the Chakwa increases. Will the monster that ruined her parents’ life now destroy Diya’s happiness? Or will she manage to defeat him at his own game? With the help of her newly-discovered friends and family, Diya must fight not just the monster in her nightmares but also make sense of a fast-unravelling web of lies that makes up her life.

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4. Book: The Children’s Book of Truths; Author: Several (anthology); Publisher: Hachette; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 204

Growing up throws up a lot of questions — about people, events and the world around us. Sometimes the answers are in simple black and white, wrong and right, but mostly they are not. In this book, 10 truth-explorers and idea-shapers share their thought-provoking views on important topics close to your heart and mind. Drawing on their experiences, they help you see many different sides of a question and arrive at the most important truth — your own conclusion, your own interpretation, your own answer. Subroto Bagchi writes on Leadership; Shaheen Mistri on Education; Vivek Menon on Nature; Meeta Kumar on the Economy; Manjula Padmanabhan on Gender Bias; Omair Ahmad on Conflict; Bibek Debroy on God and Religion; Roopa Pai on Stories; Hartosh Singh Bal on Science and Maths; and finally Kapil Dev on Sports.

–IANS

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