Sunday page-turners

1. An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, paperback, published by Bloomsbury books, pp 336, Rs 1,500

2. State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration by James Risen, paperback, published by Bloomsbury books, pp 336

3. Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World by Karen Armstrong, paperback, published by Bantam books, pp 672, price Rs 795

4. The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-up in History by Michael Baigent, hardcover, published by Harper Collins, pp 336, Rs 895

5. My Quest for the Yeti: The World’s Greatest Mountain Climber Confronts the Himalayas’ Deepest Mystery by Reinhold Messner, hardcover, published by St Matins Press, pp 192, Rs 650

What the books are about:

An Inconvenient Truth

The truth about the climate crisis is an inconvenient one. That means we are going to have to change the way we live our lives. Our climate crisis may at times appear to be happening slowly, but in fact it has become a true planetary emergency and we must recognise that we are facing a crisis. So why is it that some leaders seem not to hear the clarion warnings? Are they resisting the truth because they know that the moment they acknowledge it, they will face a moral imperative to act? Al Gore, former Vice President of the US, has been a passionate advocate of action to halt climate change for many years. In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore writes about the urgent need to solve the problems of climate change, presenting comprehensive facts and information on all aspects of global warming in a direct, thoughtful and compelling way, using explanatory diagrams and dramatic photos to clarify and highlight key issues. The book has been described in the New York Times as one which could ‘push awareness of global warming to a real tipping point’.

State of War

The winter holidays are usually a quiet time for news, but the December 2005 revelations of the Bush administration’s extensive, off-the-books domestic spying programme by New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau made headline after headline, raising criticism from both sides of the aisle and an immediate, unapologetic response from President Bush himself. On the heels of those scoops comes Risen’s State of War, which goes beyond his Times stories to provide a wide-ranging, if anecdotal, “secret history” of US intelligence following 9/11. Risen’s description of what he says was called “the Program” — the ongoing eavesdropping operation, done with almost no judicial or congressional oversight, on the phone calls and emails of hundreds of Americans (and potentially millions more) — is only a chapter in his larger tale of the recent missteps and oversteps of US intelligence.

Holy War

Karen Armstrong has written a brilliant narrative of the Crusades, in a unique and engrossing fashion. This large book, deals with every single Crusade that took place (1 - 13), and shows how they effected today’s world in the Bush era. The Byzantium empire, the forming of Israel, and the Mongol campaign that ran parallel, are all covered, jumping back and forth in time, but in and understandable and logical fashion. Unbiased accounts are given of the acts and events of the age, and no religion is made to look sinister. It is just a case of chronicled events, which does make the Crusaders look a little naughty. I read this book before watching the Kingdom of Heaven, expecting it to be totally historically wrong, but apart from the ludicrous movie version of the defence of Jerusalem, it was quite close. Armstrong was a nun, not a military General.

The Jesus Papers

The answers to the following questions may change everything you believe. What if everything we have been told about the origins of Christianity is a lie? What if a small group had always known the truth and had kept it hidden... until now? What if there is incontrovertible proof that Jesus Christ survived the Crucifixion?

My Quest for the Yeti

For over 20 years Reinhold Messner has been obsessed with the secret of the Yeti, the Himilayan creature of legend, who in the West became infamously known as the abominable snowman. Rather than fruitless speculation, Messner — the first person to climb Mount Everest without oxygen and the first to climb all 14 of the world’s tallest peaks — provides his own first hand account. He begins by recouting his own terrifying run-ins with the Yeti — while hiking alone in remote parts of Nepal — and how they led to his determination to solve their mystery through seubsequent expeditions. This is an account of a quest, taking readers on hair-raising climbs through Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh, Northern India, and even Tibet — where Messner was a fugitive from Chinese authorities.

Information courtesy: UNITED BOOKS, Ganesh Man Singh building, Northfield Cafe ph: 4229 512; Bluebird stores in Lazimpat & Tripureshwore, ph: 4245 726; Momo’s and More, Old Baneshwor; Himalayan Java; Saturday Cafe, Bouddha; Namaste Supermarket in Pulchowk, ph: 5525 017