Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review: Graffiti by Joanie Pareria

Book Title: Graffiti 
Author: Joanie Pariera
Publishing House: Author House
Available format(s): ebook 
Genre: Fiction, Comedy, Drama



I picked up Graffiti through Book Review program on Writersmelon.com. Graffiti showcases a medley of human emotions, from bereavement to elation. It is a fine depiction of the central characters, which are Rene, Vipin, Pournami, Upi (Upasna), Mark and Agni. Narrated in first person, the story takes place simultaneously across Denver, Bangalore and Mumbai. 

Off late I've been reading a lot of ebooks on my kindle app, particularly for the convenience it offers over a paperback. So, I had instantly applied for this one thinking the same. However, I couldn't finish this book at one go, and it did take me longer than usual to read it entirely. But having said that, it mustn't daunt a reader to pick this one up.

Joanie takes the story of each character and describes it well. In my opinion, the initial pace of the book is slow but it does keep a read engaged to a certain extent. However, certain place the story seem to dawdle a bit. She has depicted the pain and the emotions of losing a loved one - one's spouse - somewhat realistically. Most of the chapters are peppered with some playful banter and awkward hilarity that is charming. 

The author has aptly tag-lined Graffiti to be a sensual, tragic, sexomedy; which readily I agree. All in all a good, emotional read.

About the Author:

Joanie Pariera (Pen Name), has apparently been thinking about writing fiction since the time she learned to say the word ‘pencil’. It came to be, that that was the first word her parents taught her to say. According to them, she then made up her own word for it just to see them squirm. 

She likes to think she is a master of many things, including making up words. To start with she has two master’s degrees. She cooks, keeps house, codes and programs, and until recently used to write specifications for Information Systems for a living. Having travelled extensively, she has self-assimilated the cultural nuances of various unsuspecting anthropological groups and stealthily continues to put down her impressions in her writing. 



Book Review: Skyfire by Aroon Raman

Book Title: Skyfire
Author: Aroon Raman
Publishing House: Pan Macmillan India
Available format(s): ebook and paperback
Genre: Fiction; Thriller
Pages: 256




Blurb: 
May 2012. India is hit by a series of freak weather disturbances and startling epidemics that threaten to bring the country to its knees. At the same time, children are disappearing from the slums in the capital and nobody seems to care. Stumbling upon these strange and seemingly unrelated incidents, journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Syed Ali Hassan start upon a trail that leads them into the drawing rooms of Delhi's glittering high society before reaching a terrifying climax in Bhutan, where they come face-to-face with a force of unspeakable power and evil.


My Review:

One word: Unputdownable. I am so glad to have picked this book up. Though the initial pace of the book is slow, it catches up as the author describes the fine details of each of the freak weather disturbances and unusual natural occurances. The character sketches of the main protagonists, the trio of Chandrashekhar, Meenakshi Pirzada and Syed Ali Hassan have also been defined very well, each of them have a key role in the plot. 

Overall, a pacy and a racy read, not a single dull moment! Now I'm compelled to read the first two of his books as well.




This is review is a part of the Flipkart book review program; I've recieved the book in exchange of an honest, unbiased review. I thank Flipkart for shortlisting me for to review this book.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Book Review: Stories of Work, Life and the Balance in Between by Tomson Robert


Book Title: Stories of Work, Life and the Balance in Between
Author: Tomson Robert
Publishing House: The Write Place
Available format(s): ebook and paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction


Blurb:

Are you stuck in a job you don’t love? Are you made to do flunky work in office? Do you struggle to balance work and life? Do you want to quit your job and start a business of your own? Do you wonder about the meaning of love and life? If these questions apply to you, then this book is for you. This book is a collection of 10 contemporary short stories based on the corporate world and life in general. Although these stories are a work of fiction, they capture real life situations and dilemmas that I have seen and faced. Each story is aimed to leave the reader with a message. I believe these can help you answer the above questions. If not, I have tried my best to keep the stories as humorous and entertaining as possible.

My Review:

Yet again, I thank the good folks at writersmelon.com for sending me this ebook for review. This book entails the author, Tomson Robert's fictional accounts of his corporate life and his personal life. Through 10 contemporary short and crisp stories, the situations one usually faces in work life are highlighted through various perspectives - the boss, the employee, etc. I found it entertaining and a quick read to be completed in a single sitting (1 hour max) as it is about 70 pages long. My favourite story from the lot is 'How You Became A Horrible Boss'. All the stories are generously sprinkled with humour and make it a light read.


About the author: 
Management Consultant by day and amateur author by night. Husband to a beautiful wife, father to an adorable baby girl and raised (along with a smart younger brother) by loving parents in God’s Own Country (a.k.a Kerala, India). Currently living in Dubai and working for a consulting firm.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review - Corpokshetra by Deepak Kaul



Book Title: Corpokshetra - Mahabharata in the MBA Yug
Author: Deepak Kaul
Publishing House: Westland Ltd. & Bloody Good Book
Available formats: ebook & Paperback 

Corpokshetra ebook book
The amusing book cover. Image source: amazon.in


Blurb:

The Pandavas have returned home after 13 years of exile. And they are demanding their stake in Hastinapur Inc. But the Kauravas, led by the haughty Duryodhana, aren’t ready to give them a penny. The battle lines are drawn, only this war is in the present-day Kurukshetra - the corporate boardroom.
As the Kauravas and the Pandavas don their sharpest suits, Krishna - the wily Consultant - strategies for peace. This is a humorous, modern take on the Mahabharata (with due apologies to Rishi Ved Vyas). An epic story retold for the MBA generation.



Thanks to Writersmelon.com, I recently got my hands on Corpokshetra by Deepak Kaul. This book is a modern corporate twist to the tale of epic proportions - The Mahabharata. As rightly described, it is retelling of the Mahabharata for the MBA generation.

It is the story of all the beloved and celebrated characters, but in a corporate boardroom. Where Lord Krishna is running a successful international CSR consultancy. Kansa is the CEO of Mathura Corp and Lord Indra is the chairman of Govardhan limited. When Kauravas are back from their exile they demand a stake in Hastinapur Inc. Instead of the battlefield, here the battle is in the boardroom with wit and politics as the weapons.

Unlike in every corporate, the top bosses call the shots when the going goes tough. With all characters in place, the story starts a board meeting. (Guess what they also hangout at Starbucks!)
A well described story, Corpokshetra incorporates and merges all the corporate elements effortlessly. 

For a reader like me who always gets confused between characters of the original tale and has lesser knowledge of the nitty gritties, found this book a recap of the original tale, but with a twist of course. Interspersed with wit and humour, it makes for a quick and easy read.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Book Review: The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias


eBook: The Devil's Prayer
Author: Luke Gracias
Pages: 294
Genre: Thriller
Price: Rs. 189.58 (Amazon.in Kindle Edition)
Publisher: Australian eBook Publisher (18 February 2016)



The Devil's Prayer ebook
The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

Blurb: 

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago. 
In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul. 


As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors. 
And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it. 
Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction? 

My Review:

Needless to say the name of the book itself is intriguing. With a stellar start of a nun allegedly committing suicide, this book becomes unputdownable and captivating from the word go. The book is cleverly divided into four parts with each part seamlessly connecting the next. 

One can read the first three parts in quick succession; I found it difficult to tear away from the book (sacrificed some sleep in the process). The fourth section deals with a lot of research and details pertaining to religious history where the author has done a lot of his homework well and with supporting proof. It is here that I lost some interest, a tad too much history had me waiting for the cliffhanger. Eventually, I did finish reading it and boy, it has me waiting for the second part.(I really hope he writes it.)

I totally recommend this book to lovers of supernatural fiction. All I can say is, Mr Luke Gracias is certainly a Dan Brown in the making. Goosebumps guaranteed!



Disclaimer: I've received this ebook from Writersmelon.com in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Book Review: The Honest Season


Book Title: The Honest Season
Author: Kota Neelima
Pages: 376
Genre: Political Fiction
Price: Rs. 206 (Amazon.in)
Publisher: Random House India





Blurb: 

Sikander Bansi, an unlikely political heir in Delhi, secretly records politicians in Parliament as they haggle to become cabinet ministers, bag defense contracts, dodge criminal charges and collect corporate largesse. Among them is a rising leader of the People’s Party, Nalan Malik, whose success has come through unscrupulous means. When Sikander suddenly disappears, Mira Mouli, a newspaper journalist with an unusual gift of knowing people’s thoughts, receives the controversial Parliament tapes along with clues to find him. She is attracted to Sikander’s principles and is wary of Nalan’s deceit. But her powers of knowing tell her a different story, one that she can unravel only at the cost of her life. From the bestselling author of Shoes of the Dead, this is disturbing political fiction that reveals why Parliament functions behind gates closed to the public.

About the Author:

Kota Neelima has been a journalist for over twenty years, covering politics in New Delhi, India. She is Senior Research Fellow, South Asia Studies at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced international Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. Her recent academic research in India on perception seeks to develop a structure based on rural and urban voter choices .Her previous books include the bestselling Shoes of the Dead and Death of a Moneylender, among others. Also a well-known painter, Neelima’s works are a part of several collections in India and abroad, including the Museum of Sacred Art, Belgium.


My Review:

It would be an extremely rare case that I would pick up a book on politics. But the word fiction added to it certainly drew some intrigue. And boy, I'm glad I picked it up. Right from page one, the author does not let you put this book down. She has orchestrated the plot so beautifully, I thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and turns. Kota Neelima has a impeccable hold of the language and the subject matter that she is an expert in. Each page shows the amount of research that has gone into writing the book, and not leaving any loose strings. I would readily recommend this book to those who are uninterested in Politics as I am, because this is nothing short of a best-seller!

Disclaimer: I've received this book from Writersmelon.com in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Book Review: Ramayana The Game of Life - Stolen Hope


Book Title: Ramayana The Game of Life - Stolen Hope
Author: Shubha Vilas
Pages: 312
Genre: Mythology 
Price: (Paperback): INR 299
Publisher: Jaico Publishing

I was elated when I was directly contacted by the author Shubha Vilas to read and review 'Ramayana - The Game of Life - Stolen Hope' early in January this year after reading and reviewing the previous book in the 'The Game of Life' series. Pleased that this book landed in my lap just as soon as I took up the #HTBrunchBookChallenge 2016 for the first time ever. And it helps the criterion of the Brunch Book Challenge of having to read at least 3 books surrounding Indian context.

But perhaps the main reason for me to read the books - even though it is definitely not my favourite genre of reading - is that I haven't been lucky enough to know the entire story of Ramayana from my grandparents or parents. That somehow motivated me to read this book.




A beautiful note from the Author Shubha Vilas


About the Author: 

Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in engineering and law with a specialization in patent law. 

He has just launched his first book, Ramayana - The Game of Life Book 1 which is a modern rendition of the Ramayana with practical life lessons. 

His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He addresses their crucial needs through thought- provoking seminars on themes such as ‘Secrets of Lasting Relationships’, ‘Soul Curry to Stop Worry’ and ‘Work–Life Balance’ to name a few.

He believes that a good teacher, no matter how knowledgeable, always sees the process of learning and teaching simultaneously as an inherent aspect of personal and spiritual growth.

Shubha Vilas periodically interacts with the youth in premier institutes across the country, inspiring them to live a life based on deeper human values. Close to his heart is his role as a guide and teacher to school children, teaching foundation values through masterful storytelling.

He also helps individuals apply the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and other dharmic traditions in dealing with modern- day life situations.

Source: LinkedIn.com


What I liked about this book:

You need not have to read the previous books to understand the overall story of Ramayana. 

This book helps you reflect on the teachings of Ramayana and apply it to your day to day life. This book not only narrates the story of Ramayana, but is packed with the interpretation of wisdom from the popular epic.


What I did not like about this book:

This book comes across as a mythological book, but is actually is a pleasing read. A lot to takeaway. I felt the length of this book is a mighty constraint for hardcore fiction readers like me who want their readings to be that hooks them, understandably this genre is not one.



Why you should read this book:


There are literally many nuggets of wisdom packed into this book. It took me a lot of time to read and review this book as mythology is really not my cup of tea, my I'm glad that I determinedly finished reading it.


Disclosure: I have received the author signed copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

Book Review: Life Mantras


Book Title: Life Mantras
Author:'Saharasri' Subrata Roy Sahara
Pages: 298
Genre: Memoir
Price: Rs. 160 (Flipkart)
Publisher: Rupa Books
Image Source: amazon.in
About the Author:

Subrata Roy Sahara (born 1948) popularly known as 'Saharasri', is one of the most successful, bold, vociferous and talked-about figures of corporate India. When he laid the foundation of Sahara India Pariwar in 1978 with a capital of `2,000 (about $32) and three workers, who would have imagined his company's meteoric rise to a worth of `1,80,000 crore (about $27 billion) within a span of thirty-seven years! A teacher, guide and a proud guardian to his over 1.2 million fellow workers, he ascribes his success to his philosophy of 'Collective Materialism' which means continuous collective growth for collective sharing and caring. Renowned institutions like Harvard School of Business, USA; the Indian Institutes of Technology; the Indian Institutes of Management; and Banaras Hindu University have invited him to address their faculty and students, besides which, a host of awards have been bestowed on him that include the 'Indian Business Icon of the Year' at the Powerbrands Hall of Fame Awards in London; the Doctor of Business (honoris causa) by the University of East London; and the highest honorary degree, 'D. Litt.' by the Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Bihar for his contributions in various fields.

At first glance of the book, the cover is not very appealing, rather it is just pleasant to look at.
Perhaps my only reason for picking this book up for a read, is wanting to know the pysche of the renowned Subrata Roy Sahara and how he built his empire -The Sahara Group - keeping the current soup he's in aside for a while. 
However, contrary to my expectation, this book is not an autobiography, but certainly unravels some life lessons that we have long forgotten.

This book can be said to be a reminder on how to progress with life with certain 'mantras' to make it into a fulfilling one. It speaks to you about the meaning of life, about happiness and positivity, just what an optimist like me would like to hear. It is certainly something that anyone in general can relate to. You might too.

On the flip-side, some bits in the book may get rather preachy. And some bits made me lose interest for a while. 

All in all a good book if you are looking to reinforce and pump in some motivation and positive thoughts back into your life pick up Life Mantras.









Monday, March 7, 2016

Book Review: Raakshas


Book Title: Raakshas: India's No.1 Serial Killer
Author: Piyush Jha
Pages:  242
Genre: Thriller
Price:   Flipkart: INR | Amazon: INR 192
Publisher:  Westland Ltd


One look at the cover of the book and you'll know what it's all about. But the question I asked was, 'do serial killers really exist in India?' or is it purely a work of Indian fiction writers in a bid to mimic the West? The 'Soon to be a motion picture' had me interested.

Intrigued, I picked up a copy in lieu of Writersmelon book review program. And once it landed in my lap, I could not put it down.
The author of this book is Piyush Jha,a noted filmmaker in Bollywood, who is not new at writing books. 

The blurb:

What made him a serial killer?Was he born with homicidal tendencies?Did a harrowing childhood render him criminally insane?The questions haunt, Additional Commissioner of Police, Maithili Prasad as she discovers the horrific murders across Mumbai. As she spearheads the greatest manhunt in Mumbai’s history, she’s determined to contain the reign of terror unleashed by the ruthless serial killer. But before that she must grapple with her personal demons that surface to plague her with self-doubt.Just as it seems that Maithili has begun to understand the deep-rooted resentment that drives the serial killer, he turns around and makes her the object of his revenge. Will she emerge unscathed from this ordeal?

The first few chapters had me hooked with the entire description bordering on graphic details. Sinister yet gripping, is not for the faint hearted. One begins to question, whether serial killers are born so or is it the environment they are in or conditioning they get make them so? 

Initially, the chapters highlighted the story of the main protagonist interspersed with chapters on the history of Maithili Prasad. I had thought initially that it is the author narrating the story, but in fact the author weaves the story together from the point of view of  Maithili. 

Through and through the language used is good, and so is the flow of narration. I felt somehow the pace of the book dips halfway through. But overall, I feel Piyush Jha has done a remarkable job in storytelling and touches the right emotions of the reader.

At the end of the book, is a special section dedicated to Serial Killers in India - which answered my initial question.

I recommend this book to those want a real slice of a thriller.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote - Ravi Subramanian



Book Title: The Bestseller She Wrote
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Pages: 391  
Genre: Thriller/Drama
Price:   Flipkart: INR 266 | Amazon: INR 180
Publisher:  Westland Ltd

Prior to reading this book, I have read and reviewed ‘God is a Gamer’ by the same author. In my opinion, it was a great read. So I was naturally inclined to read this book as well.  But it was slightly different from the genre of his earlier books - fast paced thrillers. This time, author Ravi Subramanian decided to take a shot at romance thriller kind of genre. And he does well. 

A combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption reads the by-line. And so with trepidation, I delve into the book.



One look at the book cover and one would get a hint of the story and the eventual dalliance that would unfold in the book. The cover is nice, with snapshots of the book’s trailer and is designed by Think WhyNot.

Coming to the story of the book, in short the book is all about Aditya Kapoor's life as a bestseller author how on meeting Shreya Kaushik, a bull-headed opportunistic overambitious IIM Bangalore (also Ravi Subramanian’s alma-mater ) graduate, puts his personal and professional life in turmoil and promises to wreak havoc and irreparable damage in his life. How Aditya tries to put back the pieces and find redemption is what the story is all about.

Initially, a couple of chapters down, it felt like a page out of an author's life and more so perhaps akin to a semi-autobiography. This is proven by references to real life authors like Ashwin Sanghvi and his book Private India (an attempt at cross selling, perhaps?) and even BlogAdda’s Nirav Sanghavi! And even a backhanded mention of a certain author who is concentrating more on judging Bollywood dance shows over his writing. Very cheeky, Mr. Subramanian!

Overall, the story is a potboiler, with the right mix characters, conversations, twists and turns.  The chapters are short and engross the reader, making it difficult to put the book down.

The book also gives a sneak peek into a writer’s life and in a way guides the reader of the process of writing, editing, publishing and marketing the book. For a novice writer like me- who wants to understand the nuances of the publishing world- it is like a blueprint.

There are some gems like: "A lottery gives you a better chance at success than getting a book published."

“The vestiges of the past, unless buried, will always keep cropping up and impact relationships”
“Without these bookstores, there will be no books, and without books, there will be no culture”
“In relationships, particularly those that are adulterous in nature, the first time is always the most difficult. That’s the point in time when one’s conscience makes its presence felt the most and people are consumes by regret. Once that bridge is crossed, regret is often forgotten”

All in all, this book is well written like his earlier books, Ravi Subramanian keeps the reader engaged throughout without prematurely revealing the suspense.
Special thanks to BlogAdda for sending me an author signed copy of this book!

You can take a look at the book’s trailer:





I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Book Review: Kissing Frogs for a While


Book Title: Kissing frogs for a While
Author: Pavan Tarawade 
Pages: 136 
Genre: Romance/ Chic-Lit 
Price: (Paperback): Rs. 150  (Flipkart) 
Publisher: NotionPress

Pawan Tarawade is a first time blogger-turned-author of 'Kissing Frogs for a while'. The book revolves around Ayesha,  a successful career girl at the so-called marriageable age, who is pressured to get hitched, primarily from her parents and partly because she's the only one among her friends who's yet to find her soul mate. She reluctantly explores the option of arranged marriage while trying to heal from a bitter break-up which is what the story is mainly about - the five guys she meets. Will she find the right guy and get over her past or will the past continue to haunt her?



Frankly, I felt this book was written in a hurry. The character build up is not thorough and could have used a lot more details. Ayesha's  thoughts, her expressions, her actions could do with more reasoning and decription. The initial flow of the story was sketchy and half baked at some parts and could do with much more finesse. Though the story can be related to more than half the girls out there, overall it leaves nothing to imagination. What I liked was the end, which was nicely tied though expected.

I have read and reviewed many a book by first time authors - be it Rishad Saam Mehta, Upendra Namburi or Prtihvin Rajendran and found them living up to the mark in terms of language, story, flow and narration. All I can say it is an early start for Pavan and he needs to hone his literary pursuits and I wish him all the very best.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Review: Yes, my accent is real - Kunal Nayyar


It has certainly been a while since I reviewed a book. My last review was on The House that BJ Built in July! Whoa! Long time.

So the Flipkart Book Review program had a book with an interesting title on review. Turned out it was Kunal Nayyar's aka Rajesh Koothrapaali's memoir book. And the Big Bang Theory sitcom fan that I am, I instantly signed up for the review.

So here's the review:

Book Title: Yes, my accent is real and some other things I haven't told you
Author: Kunal Nayyar
Pages: 272 
Genre: Memoir
Price (Paperback): Rs. 375 262  (Flipkart)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In the beginning I wondered why a man, all of 30 would like to pen down his memoirs when there's still so much of his life to go about. I mean, he isn't very famous for a TV star - Not an Oprah or a Ekta Kapoor. Yet, I was intrigued to know the backstory of the guy who made it big on TV with a hit sitcom and the journey of how he got there.

Overall this book is easy to read at one go, even in a single sitting. Simple, lucid language has been used throughout the book so that it appears that Kunal is talking to you through the book. 

I never did research behind Kunal, so I was surprised to know that he was India born and like everyone else, he headed to the states for his studies. So overall, Kunal shares his experiences from his childhood, his time in India, his time in the U.S. for studying, his calling as an actor and how 'luckily' he bagged Raj's role on the show.

Before you pick the book, let me burst your bubble. Big Bang Theory fans like me might presumptuously assume that there would be A LOT of references and experiences from Rajesh Koothrapalli time on the show - the behind the scenes, the deep secrets, gossips and the would-have-beens - et. al. Let me tell you, your enthusiasm will be kinda dampened.

(But there is a whole chapter and more dedicated on how he made it to Big Bang Theory, so there, happy? BTW, Kunal's character was earlier named David Koothrapaali, did ya know that?)

Throughout the book, Kunal initially sees himself as an underdog in every aspect - while making friends, academia, acting abilities, getting girls - until he grows out of those presumptions and eventually finds his ground. He finds his father his source of inspiration, and has a dedicated chapter to his dad and many references throughout the book. In the end, he talks on how he hit it off and finally fell in love with a former Miss India, albeit after several misses.

One must read the chapter on how he realized that acting was for him - the ssssssssss moment - his calling.

I specifically enjoyed reading his 'A Thought Recorded on an Aeroplane Cocktail Napkin' as the idea appealed to me - to have one's thought recorded then and there. 




Let me tell you, I have not read a single autobiography/ memoir book before this, as I find them to be rather self centered and dawdling about themselves on and on. But after reading this book, I kind of changed my perspective or rather presumption on how "boring" memoirs can be. Because in this book, there are certain events and experiences that one goes through in life - the trying times - that I could relate to and could certainly pick a trick or two.

So all in all a good read.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Book Review: The House that BJ built

Book Title: The House that BJ built
Author: Anuja Chauhan
Pages: 408
Genre: Drama
Price: Rs. 259 (Flipkart)
Publisher: Westland Ltd

Thanks to Flipkart and Westland for sharing the uncorrected bound proof copy of Anuja Chauhan's second installment of 'Those Pricey Thakur Girls' with me for the review.

Image source: www.vervemagazine.in

This book is about the the Thakur Girls coming back together to meet their father LN Thakur, fondly referred to as BJ. He is under the care of his granddaughter Bonita Singh Rajawat (Bonu) at his home on 16, Hailey Court in Delhi, who runs a garment workshop under his roof. Samar Vir Singh, upcoming Bollywood director, step-grandson of BJ visits the House to meet BJ and complete the missing piece of the puzzle of his film's story on BJ's parents - Pushkar and Pushkarni. BJ insists that he sell the house worth Rs 200 crores and divide it into 5 equals hissas for his daughters and Bonu. However, post BJ's death, what follows is a series of family squabbles, vehemence unearthing painful past histories, and a full blown property dispute court case on the House that BJ built.

What I really loved is the style of narration- simply superb with right amount of Hindi words that fit well with the situation and dialogues. Some dialogues are simply unique and memorable, for instance:

I'll make them squirm like well-salted earthworms,
I won't sell, Even my jooti wont sell.
And if I die na, then even my gosht won't sell.

You need balls to do business!...Remember, any incomepoop can work in an office...


And some are truly hilarious, almost that I burst out into laughing while reading the book - an instance of perfect comic timing, that is now-a-days very rare in books.

Throughout the book, I loved the usage of stereotypes and similes that one can connect well with. Moreover, every character in the book had a distinct and distinguishable personality, akin to a family drama, yet the camaraderie shown between them was flawlessly executed. My favourite bit was the bonhomie between Samar and Zee and the random banter and gossip among the sisters and their aunt.
The crunch part of the story was superbly glued together with all the other bits and pieces, coming together as a perfect narration.

Though this is my first book review of one of Anuja Chauhan's titles, I am truly in awe of her style of writing. It is zany, peppy and unputdownable. Looking forward for more !

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: The Case Files of P. I. Pojo - The Killing of Mr. Heathcote


Book Title: The Case Files of P. I. Pojo - The Killing of Mr. Heathcote
Author: Meghna Singhee
Pages: 204
Publisher: Penguin India
Price: Rs. 199
Genre: Mystery

Pratap (Pojo) Pande is a teenager who studies at a boarding school in Panchgani called Heathcote International. Son of parents that are creators of a popular detective show, Pojo is a precocious boy who loves to solve and unfold the mysteries behind everyday cases, akin to a Private Investigator (P.I. ). And one such mystery he resolves to unfold is when the mascot and icon of his school, a cat, is said to be killed - Mr. Heathcote. He has his sidekicks as a super senior Radha Rao and Pops - a junior to Pojo, who's also Radha's cousin to help him uncover secrets, search for clues and interrogate suspects. Eventually, Pojo solves the mystery, in a truly Sherlock meets Poirot style - a tad bit eccentric and the use of the little grey cells.



If you've been reading my book review, you'd know I'm a sucker for mystery and a thriller any given day. So when I signed up for the Book Review program with Flipkart, they sent me this book right away. One look at the cover, you'd think it is uncannily representing a children's book. However, abiding with the adage- I judged this book by it's content and not the cover.

And it was truly a delight to read this book at one go ! Meghna Singhee has done justice to the whole idea of representing a hostel life set in a hill station, be it the junior-senior divide, the banter, the pranks, the hostel food, the allowance, the midnight escapades, the social gatherings, the hot shower restrictions, the free time break and the finer and innocuous details of the on-goings of the staff and the students day in and day out.
It brought back nostalgia by transporting me back to the days when I was away from home for higher studies. The characters have be described well, with each of them distinct from the other, as one would actually find in a hostel. Overall, I liked the smooth flow of the book's narration with witty and funny anecdotes, with one chapter after the other connecting the dots of the mystery flawlessly. And in the end, when the mystery unfolded, it was a wonderful surprise!

I would love to recommend this book to anyone who would like a good mystery, age no bar. (Even though the back cover says '10+')



                                                

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book Review: Ramayana - The Game of Life (Shattered Dreams)


Book Title:
 Ramayana - The Game of Life (Shattered Dreams) Book 2
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Edition: 2015
Pages: 387
Price: Rs 350

To be honest, I haven't read the original Ramayana in its entirety. I can recall reading the adapted form of Ramayana in an illustrated version of the Amar Chitra Katha series way back in school.

I am no epics or sacred texts buff, but when BlogAdda asked me to review this book, I felt like signing up for something that is different from my usual choice in books - Fiction.




On first look the illustration on the cover of the book is nice. So I began reading this as soon as I received it. Mind you, it took me time to read it. The author's note appealed to me, when she wrote - 'Have you ever wondered if the age old epics hold any immediate relevance to our lives?’

This book is the second book in the series. The previous one being Ramayana - The Game of Life (The Rise of the Sun Prince ) Book 1 talked about the events prior to Lord Rama and ended with his marriage to Sita.

The book starts with the narration of King Dasaratha and his decision to change the fate of Ayodhya. In subsequent chapters, it talks about Ravana's life and his conquests. And with Manthara's sinister plot, the drama intensifies. Later talks about Bharata's journey after Rama's exile and Dasaratha's death.

Each and every page of this book contains footnotes. In every such footnote is a teaching, which one could sit back and ponder upon after reading through the page narrative. 
For instance - 'An unprotected and unpredictable mind is like an open pot of nectar. One blob of poison dropped into it will ruin all the nectar'

More learnings from the book include on how to handle reversals positively, to handle temptation, to explore beyond our comfort zone and with due emphasis on how human relationships work and importantly how they fail.

On reading this book, on realises the depth of knowledge our ancient texts have and why we needn't look anywhere else to find motivation and value addition to our lives.

The book is narrated beautifully and lucidly with the right emphasis and details of the thought processes of the characters. Through and through this book is a keeper to impart knowledge from our sacred text. 

For me this was a revelation of sorts. I found this to be an authentic rendition of The Ramayana.


Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand and apply the learnings of The Ramayana in one's day to day life. Even if we did not have the advantage of grandparents or parents eloquently narrating this epic tale to us, this book can help us understand The Ramayana.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
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