Campaign India Bookshelf brings you a selection of books that you can curl up with, this weekend. We list three choices this week - Kabul Disco, Superfreakonomics and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Each is different from the other in genre, treatment and storytelling. And we assure you, each one is a page-turner. So, happy reading and enjoy your weekend! Do use the comments box below to share details of any gems you've recently found at the bookstore!
Kabul Disco - Nicholas Wild
Summary: In 2005, Nicolas Wild, a wandering French writer, found a job and somewhere to live at the same time. The only problem was that the place was Kabul, in Afghanistan, a country left unstable after several destructive years of war. When the carefree young man arrived at a capital in crisis, his first mission was to write a comic book explaining the Afghan constitution to children. His second project was to work on a recruitment campaign for the Afghan army. Consequently, he became a privileged observer of the hesitant reconstruction of the country whilst leading the unusual life of a Western expat in Kabul. Gradually, he fell in love with the country and decided to extend his contract despite the risks of living in Afghanistan.
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The Men Who Stare at Goats - Jon Ronson
Summary: In 1979 a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US Army. Defying all known accepted military practice - and indeed, the laws of physics - they believed that a soldier could adopt a cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror.
With firsthand access to the leading players in the story, Ronson traces the evolution of these bizarre activities over the past three decades and shows how they are alive today within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in postwar Iraq. Why are they blasting Iraqi prisoners of war with the theme tune to Barney the Purple Dinosaur? Why have 100 debleated goats been secretly placed inside the Special Forces Command Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina? How was the US military associated with the mysterious mass suicide of a strange cult from San Diego? The Men Who Stare at Goats answers these and many more questions.
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Summary: Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What’s more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it’s so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary? The book challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as, how is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa? Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands? What’s the best way to catch a terrorist? Can eating kangaoroo save the planet? Non-fiction never felt so good.