Kalam’s lessons, weight loss tips and a flight attendant’s life


New Delhi — Take lessons from former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to ensure that a better life becomes possible for everyone, know about a liberating new way to tame hunger and lose weight, get an uncensored insight into a flight attendant’s colourful life, and flick through an interesting tale about a bright red Bench that creates confusion, stupidity, and even the desire to commit a crime.

The IANS Bookshelf has an interesting combination of fiction and non-fiction for this weekend.

1. Book: Pathways to Greatness; Author: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 158; Price: Rs 250

What makes a nation great? Is it simply economic prosperity and military strength — or something more? It is only a matter of time before India is termed economically developed. But a nation has to learn to survive in tough times too. And for that what is most important is national character, born out of the value systems that exist in our families, what schools teach students, and the culture of the nation.

In “Pathways to Greatness”, Kalam shifts focus from the economic development of India by 2020 to the development of our strengths, offering key lessons that will help India withstand the forces of change. He identifies what makes a nation great and also compares the standards of living of other nations with India’s.

He draws on his travels and his interactions with people. He evolves unique oaths for citizens from all walks of life to ensure that a better life becomes possible for everyone. In the book that he completed just a few months before he passed away in 2015, one of India’s best-known icons writes how our nation can become a leader on the pathways to greatness.

2. Book: Always Hungry?; Author: David Ludwig; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 357; Price: Rs 499

“Always Hungry?” turns dieting on its head with a three-phase programme that ignores calories and directly targets fat cells. The recipes and meal plans include luscious high fat foods (like nuts and nut butters, full fat dairy, avocados and dark chocolate), savoury proteins, and natural carbohydrates. The result? Fat cells release their excess calories and you lose weight — and inches — without battling cravings and constant hunger. This is dieting without deprivation.

Forget calories. Forget cravings. Forget dieting. “Always Hungry?” reveals a liberating new way to tame hunger and lose weight… for good.

3. Book: Welcome on Board; Author: Vinamra Longani; Publisher: Om; Pages: 236; Price: Rs 195

It is saucy, raunchy, free-spirited, revealing, heartfelt, cheeky and downright entertaining, and it isn’t the latest Bollywood potboiler! It’s the journey of an international flight attendant, who has been in the profession for over 12 years.

This hilarious collection of experiences swings between a vision of goodness and your worst nightmares, depending on the circumstances, the mood of the flight attendant, the cabin you are in and if you are cute or not.

Be it dealing with difficult people on the plane or doomed relationships on the ground, quickies in the air or infidelity to the plane, here’s an uncensored insight into his colourful life.

4. Book: Upon a Bright Red Bench; Author: Pallavi Rebbapragada; Publisher: Om; Pages: 248; Price: Rs 295

Imagine if the bench you are sitting on could read your mind. What if it had a voice? What if it knew that you lie daily, in your marriage, in your job, to the mirror, to the world? Upon a bright red bench, there is guilt, confusion, stupidity, and even the desire to commit a crime and get away with it.

The bench knows you are here to seek wisdom and calmness and all those virtues that you observe and admire in the lives of others. In this story of stories, there are bankers, artists, engineers, journalists, designers, dreamers and doers, who roam the world in search of attention and approval.

When their ordinary lives bring them to a bench, they find life-altering realisations.


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