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Finding inner peace seems to be the flavour of the season whether its through yoga or Vipasana. A book on finding peace is as much a worth read as radical discoveries about the origins and evolutions of life on earth. Then, there are stories of visionaries like Galileo, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin who silenced their critics with their great inventions and a glimpse into modern-day tennis. Check out the weekend fare the IANS bookshelf has to offer.

1. Book: Finding Peace, An Oriental Quest; Author: Koushiki Choudhury; Publisher: Bloomsbury; Pages: 175; Price: Rs.299

The practice of Nichiren Buddhism is fast catching up and its popularity is not easy to ignore. The book traces the origin of Nichiren Buddhism founded by Nichiren Daishonin, a Japanese Buddhist priest of the 13th century. Life in Japan during Nichiren's time was difficult with disasters like earthquakes, droughts, famines, conflict and diseases. A fisherman's son, born in then time of social unrest, Nichiren became a Buddhist monk to find inner peace.

The book explores the life-changing philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism and aligns it with the spiritual vision of Tagore's poetry . In essence, the philosophies of Nichiren and Tagore enable us to find peace and happiness.

2. Book: A New History Of Life; Authors: Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink; Publisher: Bloomsbury; Pages: Rs.391; Price: 499

New York Times said the book is "likely to cause a revolution in thinking". Such is its impact that the book compels one to unlearn what we know about the history of life on earth.

An estimated 4.6 billion years ago, the Earth and the Moon were formed after a violent impact. On this many agree, and even more that, a long time after, life began. However, few know that the first life forms on Earth may not have emerged on this planet, but could have begun on Mars and brought here by meteorites. Thus, scientists Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink rewrite the principal account of the history of life on Earth.

The book answers many of the perplexing questions confronting us all: how did we humans come to inhabit this thin, late-occuring and very marginal twig on the giant tree of life? What wars did our species have to go through? And many more questions like that.

3. Book: They Laughed at Galileo; Author: Albert Jack; Publisher: Constable; Pages: 251; Price: Rs.399

Galileo might have invented the telescope but this also brought him into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church, which for centuries had been preaching that God had placed mankind at the centre of the universe. The telescope presented the first serious challenge to this. He was sentenced to a life of house imprisonment and his works were banned. He died in 1642, one of the few who had questioned the Scriptures to do so peacefully.

Albert Einstein was expelled from school because his teachers thought he was mentally handicapped or anti-social. He went on to win the Nobel Prize for physics.

George Orwell's classic work "Animal Farm" was rejected by four publishers before being accepted. Despite being an established writer of the time, it took 18 months for Orwell to find a publisher.

Likewise, Harry Potter-fame J.K. Rowling suffered humiliation at the hands of many publishers who turned down her manuscripts.

The book gives insights into how all of them took it as a challenge and went on to prove their mettle.

4. Book: Break Point - The inside Story of Modern Tennis; Author: Kevin Mitchell; Publisher: John Murray; Pages: 340; Price: Rs.499

Coming from a sports journalist, Break Point provides authentic details on the inside story of the modern tennis. At the current heart of the game's growing appeal are four players: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. The quartet has dominated the game for a very long time and their rivalry have scripted the 'Golden age of tennis'.

Break Point chronicles how the old guard met the challenges of the young contenders and the many stories in between.


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