Books This Weekend: Of health remedies, Upanishads for children and a world of dragons

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New Delhi–Dodge the “tricky terrain” of innumerable health remedies with a step-by-step guide to a better health; Rediscover the Vedas and Upanishads, simplified for first-time explorers; Walk with wanderers and dragons in a world of fantasy fiction.

The IANS Bookshelf has these varied reads this weekend.

1. Book: 13 Steps to Bloody Good Health; Authors: Ashwin Sanghi and Mukesh Batra; Publisher: Westland; Price: Rs 250; Pages: 200

Part of the 13 Steps series, the book elaborates on an easy, doable path to good health, and advises readers to sleep, hydrate, nourish, move, digest, alkalise, breathe, supplement, love, prevent, moderate, relax, rejoice and personalise.

The book acknowledges that it is tragic that we get old too soon and wise up to life too late. “There’s so much we could-and should-have done to get to this point in better shape. The question is: what should we do now?”

The guide offers an answer to the tricky terrain of health remedies, which are dime-a-dozen, each one contradicting another and brings together scientifically sound advice in a non-judgemental course-correction guide.

2. Book: The Vedas and Upanishads for Children; Author: Roopa Pai; Publisher: Hachette India; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 412

Three thousand years ago, deep inside the forests of India, a great ‘thought revolution’ was brewing. In those forest labs, the brightest thinker-philosophers contemplated the universe, reflected on ancient texts called the Vedas and came up with startling insights into questions we still don’t have final answers to, like: “What is the universe made of? How do I know I’m looking at a tree when I see one? Who am I? My body, my mind, my intelligence, my emotions, or none of the above?”

Where did they put those explosive findings? In a the fascinating oral literature called the Upanishads. A “joyful, fun guide to some of India’s longest-lasting secular wisdoms, reinterpreted for first-time explorers”, the offering is illustrated by Sayan Mukherjee, and delves deep into our scriptures.

Endorsements for the book include one by economist Bibek Debroy: “It is not easy to communicate the gist of our ancient texts to children. Roopa Pai did it with the Gita, and she has done it again. Non-children should also enjoy this book.”

3. Book: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Tales from Alagaësia (Volume 1: Eragon); Author: Christopher Paolini; Publisher: Penguin; Price: 12.99 pounds; Pages: 311

The book is a stroll into the world of Alagaësia, with a wanderer and a cursed child, spells and magic, dragons.

It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective.

The volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist, penned by Angela Paolini. (IANS)



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