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A journey across the world of sports to stories from Goa

Ruskin Bonds' stories on sports, a lover's desperate attempt to woo his lady love's "terror of a father", along with tales from Goa - the IANS bookshelf offers all this and more this weekend. Take a look.

1. Book: Ranji's Wonderful Bat and Other Stories; Author: Ruskin Bond; Publisher: Puffin Books; Pages: 151; Price: Rs.199

From Ranji's extraordinary bat that gives his confidence a boost and leads to the beginning of his wonderful innings to a thrilling race between two beetles, this collection of sports stories by noted author Ruskin Bond is packed with fun and humour.

Written in Bond's distinctive style, the book offers stories of friendship, sportsmanship and also triumph and mischief.

A quick read, the stories are accompanied by illustrations, adding to the joy of reading.

2. Book: The Amazing Racist; Author: Chhimi Tenduf-La; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 231; Price: Rs.399

From sleeping with snakes to eating curries that make him breathe fire, Eddie Trusted does all that it would take to woo the "orthodox terror of a father" of his love, Menaka Rupasinghe, if he is to marry her.

But Thilak Rupasinghe, the father of the "vibrant Sri Lankan beauty", wants his daughter to marry someone from the same race and religion - and if possible, even from the same locality.

So, will Trusted ever be successful in making a connection and impressing the man whose daughter he wants to wed? Funny, yet moving, this debut novel narrates the story of a man who finds a "home among strangers" and forms bonds that grow to be "stronger than family ties".

3. Book: Goa Travels; Edited by: Manohar Shetty; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 308; Price: Rs.295

Long before Goa became the hub of the hippie and flower power generation and a much sought-after tourist destination, its magnetic appeal attracted travellers from across Europe - Germany, Holland, England and Italy.

These travellers - including Italian nobleman Pietro Della Valle, jewel merchant from France Jean-Baptise Tavernier and English entrepreneur Ralph Fitch - left behind compelling accounts of their sojourns and information on the sartorial styles and economic activities of those times.

This compilation by Manohar Shetty serves as a guide for the "curious visitor as well as resident Goans who have forgotten the land's rich, eventful and colourful heritage".

The writings, spread over 450 years of Portuguese rule as well as accounts by contemporary travellers, also reflect Goa's fading "lustre" in the 18th and 19th centuries "as well as its resurrection in contemporary times".

4. Book: After Tendulkar - The New Stars of Indian Cricket; Author: Soumya Bhattacharya; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 217; Price: Rs.495

Taking batting legend Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from all forms of cricket as its point of departure, this book highlights the master blaster's last Test matches along with narrating the careers of the Fab Five - Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Tendulkar and Anil Kumble.

It also highlights the stories and feats of young and future stars of Indian cricket like Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, while also narrating the exploits of current ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, "the finest finisher in one-day cricket".

This account of future Indian cricket is a must-read for lovers of the Gentleman's Game