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Shameless book-plug two-fer

I finished reading matociquala's Carnival over the weekend. And, um, WOW. Set N centuries in the future, in a universe where humanity has spread to a score of worlds and a Very Nasty Thing has happened on Earth, it is the story of two long-time diplomat/spies reunited for a mission to a planet ruled by an iron-clad matriarchy and possessing a seemingly limitless source of energy. For a book where the pace of events ramps up gently, it's a gripping, fast read. If you're craving space opera, this isn't necessarily the book for you. But if you want spies, Amazons, amazing high tech, and rich vivid societies that will bend your conceptions of who you are, there is no better book. Oh yes, and there are aliens! The only bad thing is that, unless you're lucky enough to lay your hands on an advance reading copy, you have to wait until Thanksgiving to read it.

Amazon: Carnival by Elizabeth Bear

So, if I'm going to pimp one book by someone who is near and dear to me, why not two?

My father in law (Dr. A. V. Srinivasan) has spent the last two years crafting a remarkable book. If this was around when ashacat and I got married, I would have understood so much more of what was going on. Sheenu is an engineer by vocation, and a religious scholar by avocation. In the 1960s here in Connecticut the nascent Indian community didn't have things like the several Hindu temples that now dot the state. Sheenu was a leader in that community, leading worships when people met in each other's living rooms, founding the Connecticut Valley Hindu Temple Society, and perhaps not surprisingly, performing Hindu marriage rites.

This book is part how-to, part scholarly tract, and part celebration of getting married. If you're a Hindu planning on getting hitched, the significant other of a Hindu, or just curious about how Hindu weddings work, The Vedic Wedding: Origins, Tradition and Practice will tell you what you want to know. There are translations and transliterations of the Sanskrit rituals, instructions, philosophy, and neat illustrations by the Indian artist Bapu.

I have a strong familial bias about this book, especially since I've watched it grow from idea to manuscript, but all bias aside, this is a great book about getting married as a Hindu.

Periplus Line LLC: The Vedic Wedding: Origins, Tradition and Practice by Dr. A. V. Srinivasan.

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