A little of this, a little of that

A little of this, a little of that

1. The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth, published by Corgi, pp 352, Rs 450

2. Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts,

published by Piatkus books, pp 400

3. Rumi’s Daughter by Muriel

Maufroy, published by Rider

books, pp 240, Rs 650

4. The Spice Route: A History by John Keay, published by John Murray books, pp 360, Rs 595

5. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason, published by Signet books, pp 160, Rs 400

What the books are about :

The Afghan:

When British and American intelligence catch wind of a major Al Qaeda operation in the works, they are primed for action, but what can they do? They know nothing about the attack — the what, where or when. They have no sources in Al Qaeda, and it’s impossible to plant someone. Impossible, unless ... The Afghan is Izmat Khan, a five-year prisoner of Guantanamo Bay and a former senior commander of the Taliban. The Afghan is also Colonel Mike Martin, a 25-year veteran of war zones around the world, a dark, lean man born and raised in Iraq. In an attempt to stave off disaster, the intelligence agencies will

try to do what no one has ever done before — pass off a Westerner as an Arab among Arabs — pass off Martin as the trusted Khan. It will require extraordinary preparation, and then extraordinary luck, for nothing can truly prepare Martin for the dark and shifting world he is about to enter. Or for the terrible things he will find there ...

Blue Smoke:

Reena Hale grew up with an intimate knowledge of the destructive power of fire. When she was a child, her family’s restaurant was burned to the ground, and the man responsible was sent to jail. The Hale family banded together to rebuild, and Reena found her life’s calling. She trained as a firefighter and then as a cop, always with the

end goal in sight: to become an arson investigator. Now, as part of the arson unit, she is called in on a series of suspicious fires that seem to be connected — not just to each other, but to her. And as danger ignites all around her, Reena must rely on experience and instinct to catch a dangerous madman who will not stop until everything she loves has gone up in smoke.

Rumi’s Daughter:

Rumi is now acknowledged as one of the great mystical poets of the Western world, with huge sales of the many collections of his poetry. Not much is known about his life except that he lived in thirteenth-century Anatolla (now Turkey), had a great spiritual friendship with a wild man called Shams, brought an adopted daughter into his family, and was distraught when Shams finally disappeared. Rumi’s Daughter is the delightful novel about Kimya, the girl who was sent from her rural village to live in Rumi’s home. She already had mystical tendencies, and learned a great deal under Rumi’s tutelage. Eventually she married Shams, an unusual husband, almost totally absorbed by his longings for God. Their marriage was fiery and different and, in the end, dissolved by Kimya’s death — after which Shams vanished. Rumi’s Daughter tells Kimya’s story with great charm and tenderness. Well written and thought-provoking, it is sure to draw comparison with Paolho Coelho’s The Alchemist.

The Spice Route: A History:

Aromatic spices and exotic trade routes mingle headily in this lush, evocative history. An exotic saga with the tang of drama in every voyage, The Spice Route transports the reader from the dawn of history to the ends of the earth. The Spice Route is one of history’s great anomalies. Shrouded in mystery, it existed long before anyone knew of its extent or alignment. Spices came from lands unseen, possibly uninhabitable, and almost by definition unattainable; that was what made them so desirable. Yet more livelihoods depended on this

pungent traffic, more nations participated in it, more wars were fought over it, and more discoveries resulted from it than from any other global exchange. In a bid to discover and exploit the spice route, mankind first passed beyond his known horizons to probe the limits of our planet. Epic was the quest, and in this major new study, epic is the treatment as John Keay pieces together a historical process that spans three millennia and a geographical progression that encircles the world.

The Richest Man in Babylon:

When I read this book, I was already several investment books down the line and this matched the very best of them in every way. You could say it was the very best ‘pound for pound’ when you see how cheap it is. The stories are good reading, the characters interesting and the book can be understood by children. The miracle of compound interest as described by investment gurus, The Motley Fool, is also discussed at great length. I highly recommend it. — Lars Braaten

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