Beginning Android 4 Application Development

Wei-Meng Lee

(Wiley India, Rs. 549)

If you are a beginner, one of those creative minds wanting to make applications for the latest Android OS and other new devices, this tome will serve the purpose. This book offers hands-on guidance to aspiring developers on how to create applications for the first time, including smartphones and tablets. From the basics to the more nuanced specifics, the book has plenty that you can learn before you successfully develop an Android application.

Some of the topics handled in-depth here are designing User Interface with views; display of pictures and menus with views; data persistence; content providers; messaging; networking; developing Android services and using Eclipse for Android development.

Coming from Wei-Meng Lee, a technologist and a writer for online magazines, the book will prove useful on many counts.

Business Sutra: A Very Indian Approach to Management

Devdutt Pattanaik

(Aleph Book Company, Rs. 695)

Business is something that has thrived across nations ever since man made fire and iron, and developed the barter system. And India had set its own rules when it came to the art of managing businesses. However, modern management and business practices seem to be rooted in Western beliefs which emphasise objectives and increasing shareholder value. By contrast, the Indian way of doing business as apparent in Indian mythology, but no longer seen in practice, is based more on subjectivity and diversity, and an empathetic approach towards achieving success.

Using well-known stories, symbols and rituals drawn from Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology to understand a wide variety of business situations, be it running a tea stall or nurturing talent in an MNC, Pattanaik bases his book on the premise: if you feel the need to chase wealth, then the workplace will become a battleground of investors, regulators, employers, employees, vendors, competitors and customers. But if you believe wealth needs to be attracted, then rest assured that you will be happy at your workplace.

Brilliantly argued, original and accessible, this book presents a radical and nuanced approach to management, business and leadership in an increasingly polarised world.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Chip Heath, Dan Heath

(Random House Business, Rs. 1126)

Decision-making is an art. Not everybody has the ability to make quick decisions and more important, stick to them. And when it comes to important decisions, it is always difficult. You may weigh the pros and cons and take advice, but ultimately, it’s your decision. But have you made the right choice? Are you sure?

Well, that’s where Chip and Dan Heath step in with this book where they discuss the thorny problem of decision-making. They analyse the working of our brain, which according to them, is a flawed instrument that allows for natural biases and has a tendency to think irrationally. Naturally, this impacts the choices we make.

So, now you know the problem. How do you overcome it? The authors examine such errors in judgment, and drawing upon extensive research, offer specific, practical tools that can help us get out of the echo chamber of our own heads and improve our decision-making, both at work and at home.