Tag Archives: book review

September reading Wrap

As most of you would know , I have been a part of a book blog – A lot of pages ( link is in side bar too) from over 5 years now. Although ,currently I am handling 80 percent of the posts there, I never felt it right to mix the two blogs. But ,starting this month I will be doing a monthly post of the books and some blogs / articles I liked in the past month. So diving into the september list of books ( review posts are linked to book title ) –

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid – I picked this book as it was the shortest of the novels shortlisted for Man Booker Prize this year. 10/10 to this one. There us no one or no reason to not recommend this book to.
Twice Blessed by Rani Ramkrishnan – A very good theme for the plot and handled decently. 7/10 for the lack of character development.
The tree with a thousand Apples by Sanchit Gupta – my first booking Kashmiri Pandits and the current issues. A bit chaotic but a bit poetic too. 7.5/10
Unlikely tales by Mani Padma – A short story collection that is has all moods and genres covered. What I loved is the day to day relatable scenes and some beautiful plots. It lacked wow factor a bit. 7.5/10
Awake by Ashok Banker – one of my fav author , but this book doesn’t give me the high like his previous ones. Waiting for the sequel to pick the plot and the tempo. 7/10
Masala Chai by Divya Prakash Dubey – My first hindi book read in 2017. This has special charm for the nostalgia and the sweetness I related in some dialogues and diction in hindi. The stories are good for time pass. 7/10

Empire by Devi Yesodharan – Luckily my month started with this amazing historical fiction set in South India. 8.5/ 10 for this book with a kickass female lead.
And since I have not thought of this post last month , I do not have any other post to link here. Hopefully next month I will share some of my favorite posts from blogosphere.
Till then, keep writing and reading.
And hit me with book recco , blog post suggestions , your views on any of these books and more.

#book Review : The Guardian angels by Rohit Gore

The Guardian Angels is the epic and tumultuous story of two star-crossed lovers who weren’t just soul-mates but were also each other’s protectors.
The fates of Adi Mehta and Radha Deodhar are deeply entwined when within days of their first rendezvous they save each other’s lives. Despite their vast sociopolitical differences, they are drawn to an uncertain future fraught with contrasting ambitions, personas and ideologies.

. . . he is the son of a billionaire, she is the daughter of a socialist.
. . . he is quiet and unassuming, she is a firebrand and spirited.However, the unexplained phenomena ties them forever – whenever they are in peril, they are each other’s only saviors.

Over the following two decades Adi and Radha live through hope and despair, joy and sadness, and try to decipher their relationship. As the truth of their bond is revealed, they must confront the true nature of love, and ultimately, their destinies.


 
 
I picked this book only ’cause I liked Rohit’s book “Circle of three”  . I wasn’t aware that there was another book he has penned ( which I am going to search and read pretty soon ). The first time  I read the plot , the first impression was  , “Ok , this sounds predictable. Let’s see what Rohis has to offer differently here” . 100 pages into the book , I wrote an email to him mentioning the number of times I shed tears and how much I am loving this book.
So , yes , predictable end or not , this story will move you to tears and want you to confront the true nature of your love [ I wrote quite an emotional email to my fiancee as soon as I finished this book 😀 ]
This is a tale of Adi and Radha who meet as teenagers , grow up together sometimes , mostly apart , loving each other , yet letting the world dictate otherwise some times. Following two lives over two decades is one hell of a task and I am impressed Rohit doesn’t let the story falter at any given moment. A friend of mine recently said “soul mates are meant to shape you , change you and appreciate you , but rarely stay with you “This totally suits Adi & Radha. It was heartwarming to see their concern and sacrifices for each other , the price they willingly paid for each other’s smiles and yet never admitting once , the life they could “live happily ever after”.Rohit has created another spell-binding world in this book , which you automatically feel a part of. The circumstances , the people in their life , the events that occur , none of it seems misplaced. No dialogue lets you down , no goodbye leaves you without a lump in heart.
Maybe I am an emotional person and so could relate so much to this book. But , in all times , for most readers , I can readily recommend this book and know you won’t be disappointed.
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

Book review : Compass box killer by Piyush Jha


The last time I read an Indian thriller ( and liked it too ) was RIP .
I have not read Mumbaistan and frankly was not even aware of its success but what attracted me to this book was the name and the fact that it hinted of serial killer. Oh ! I so love serial killer plots ’cause they have so much to offer for a motive of the killer.
Fortunately this book will not disappoint you one bit [ Maybe a bit, if you are too critical ].
 
A crime thriller, set in the by-lanes of Mumbai. One muggy afternoon, a senior police officer is found murdered at his desk. When Inspector Virkar from the Crime Branch arrives at the scene, he finds a cryptic note that spills out of a student s compass box. Then begins a series of killings and in each, a telltale compass box reveals more clues. 
Accompanied by the attractive, ambitious TV reporter, Raashi Hunerwal, Virkar has to race against time to catch the Compass Box Killer before the bodies pile up. As the investigation shuttles from Mumbai to Khandala to Belgaum, Virkar is taken deep into a labyrinth of backroom deals that lead to shocking revelations about the ruthless killer s motives.
 
Except Virkar’s habit to say those hindi dialogues , half of which did not mean much to me in the flow of things , I liked the character Piyush has created – honest , hard working , compassionate and a straight forward clever guy who believes in getting justice for all , by any means possible.
The book got me hooked from the very first chapter. There is something so damn attractive about a man who knows his ways in the world – his habits , his space , his duty and his sensibility intact under all scenarios. Add to that an intelligent killer who improvises with every strike. who would not love a well matched pair in a book. Another thing I like about a book is that it should give you a feel and context of the places it is set in , which was done to perfection in compass box killer. The people , the places , their reactions and the expectations from every character was met.
Absolute spell binding reading time happened with Compass box killer. I am soon gonna grab Piyush’s first book now.
Rating : 4/5

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

Book review : The homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri


One look at the cover and I was in love with it. Add to the fact that I love Pigeons.  [ They are said to live with one partner all the life and can find their mate from anywhere. ]
Knowing this, I expected story of two such people who like pigeons seek love and finally find it right where they began looking for it.
Aditya , a sikh guy whose name was converted in his early years is an ambitious , proud and kind person who is forced to make some choices against his values and morals.
Radhika , a girl from small town who married for all wrong reasons and circumstances , widowed at the age of thirty tow is unsure how to spend the life ahead even if she is finally free to do anything.
These are the pigeons who meet , depart , meet again , love , hurt , still love and still miss each other , no matter when and where life takes them. Sid has beautifully linked the memories and flashback scenes to the events in present. hoe certain things and days are meant to be dedicated to only your past and nothing makes sense those times.
Along the protagonists ,  the other characters are as much true to their character sketch and nature as detailed by the author. I like each one of them in whatever role they were assigned – the servants , the friends , the people who became catalyst in the events unfolding in way they did or even the people who remotely had no influence on the events but were still a part of it.
I really enjoyed the alternating narration and the flashback modes ’cause it kept me wondering what changed these two nice people to become who they are right now. It was like meeting them at a coffee place and some how listening to their life story. I judged them on some pages , cried for Radhika at another , smiled for Aditya’s love  and there was some satisfaction when the book ended.
Like , there was still hope for love. Hope for second and third chances , if only you believed.
My rating : 9/10
 
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This book review is a part of “The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program”. To get free books log on to – thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com.

Book review : Chameleons by Sanket Ghag

 
chameleons-400x400-imadgwyz7ppgqxrqWhat would happen to you, if someone you loved madly left you without giving you a reason? What would you do if your business, which is running smoothly, turns into a bumpy hell ride? And a friend, whom you looked up to, turns his back when you needed him the most? The last resort you look to is your mother, who comforts you in your crisis, but she too pushes you to the extreme. Situations like these brings out the true inner self of a person; some change themselves to adapt to the situation like chameleons, some fight back and change the situation. Sunny is entangled in such situations. Standing on a six inch thick parapet wall of a four-storied building, he is looking out for a solution, and life flashes back to Sunny. Will Sunny find the solution? Will he become a chameleon or will he jump off?
 
I have to Say :  This book was sent to me for review a month back but due to busy schedules and moods , I could only pick it up this weekend as I traveled home.
The story follows Sunny from his college , his initial job , love and to the end of his troubles. Though the story jumps between past and present , I liked the parts where his dad joins him and his brother to help them come out of the financial situation. More than the money , his dad’s dealing , the advice and the support is something one can easily identify with. Also , the architect terms and few insights into what goes into building a home and its decoration was well written.  I personally found sunny a bit too good and kind of dumb. He accepts almost everything his girl says , even accepts her leaving without a reason and is too willing to take her back in even when she very stupidly goes around with another guy.
On the whole , It was a easy read that did not need much to think about, the story was decently thought but not so well written in my opinion. There were a few cliched scenes that I wish were edited out and oh , I hope the author does not use so much of Hindi ( and the translations in bracket like this ) in his next book.
 
My Score : 2.5 / 5

Book Review : Rule ( marked men#1) by Jay Crownover

This was one of the book which I bought on impulse just by looking at the cover. I mean , is it too hard to not fall for the charming man shown here on the book cover. Sigh!

Rule

“ Here’s my heart Shaw. You have it in your hands
and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to
be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I’m not taking it.”

This is just one of the lines from the book that I remember even after a month.

Plot :

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight–A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want–and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

My views : Ok, this is one of the romance books that I read by choice. The story was kind of predictable ( which I realized later) but the way it is written , you will not have any time to think about it. Rule is typical IDC ( I Don’t Care) guy , who is clearly a lot misunderstood by his parents , loved by his brothers and adored by friends. He is good at his job ( one of the best infact) and so so likable.

Shaw is (surprisingly) so sweet and the pretty , shy girl next door but not dumb and awkward like many other heroines I come across in many books that are based on a male character. No way ! Shaw is perfect daughter to parents who never seem to approve anything about her , a good friend , a super hot and wild girlfriend ( the love making scenes would really make you feel oh so HOT ! ). She is fun , a little proud and yet with a good heart that is controlled by a brave mind.

what i really liked about the book was how both Shaw & Rule struggle to make this relation work. It is not the other people that make life unbearable for both but also , learning to fit into each other’s routine , each other’s thoughts and understanding each other that makes the story so believable and close to any heart in love.

Read it for fun , for A real hot & super awesome boyfriend Rule. for the really well created set of characters around them and for believing in Love.

 

Sigh ! The next book is a bit costly. Can’t wait for its prices to fall a bit 😉

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This is for Indie book reading challenge by DDS

Book Review : Business Sutra

 I signed p for reviewing this book only ’cause I love Devdutt Pattnaik books. At first when I began the book, I wondered if it was a good decision , since I am far far away from any sort of business / management profiles. But within a few pages , I fell into the flow of the author’s direction of thought.

The introduction of the book covers his initiation into the topic , the basic definitions and ground rules for belief , the three beliefs , the culture , the links to management and before you know , you become comfortable with the stories & the morals that we can map to present times.CAM00048

The illustrations done by the author are as funny as simplistic to learn from. The attention is given to all details and presentation of the idea in most effective and understandable way.

Each story that DP took from our scriptures & like wise , is so seamlessly transitioned into the modern story snippets.

while I read the book , I paused and wondered if i had been in same situation or how do people usually react to these scenes. there are many ideas / learning that one can use in our personal lives too and not just business. After all , life too is a transactional sum of a lot of our actions of give and take like this :

CAM00049
Even if you ignore the management part of things , the book has excellent tales and examples from mythology that would initiate you into this topic and make you read more and more. No one can make you impressed with mythology like DP does. The opening pages of the book were very easy as introductions of the topic felt like some one is talking just to you.

The illustrations are awesome ! they are fun , clear and so on the mark. I almost got reminded of a teacher who taught us with similar stimulating visuals .

No aspect of human or business lifeline is left untouched. Without much forceful reading , the author has made us so aware and curious about things around us and way we consciously or subconsciously get affected by it.

I will surely recommend this book to all managers & entrepreneurs, if they ever plan to apply the indian way of dealing things.

Only issue with the book that it is NO way en easy read 😉 both by topic and size wise. Some things seem to be over explained which makes reading a bit slow and one can get distracted easily.

All in all , a good read.
I would rate 4/5.

You can buy the book here : http://www.flipkart.com/business-sutra-very-indian-approach-management/p/itmdhwr4zfgzhvwr

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

Book Review : Tantra by Adi (@dearAdi)

Fantasy fiction , supernatural , mythological .. you name it and I love this genre. since I good hooked to reading such books, I always been on lookout for Indian authors writing similar books. After Ishaan Lalit’s “the bracelet” and Kalika ( english translation of a famous Malyalam novel) , the wait has been too long.

Then I came across Tantra. Though the cover was decent , one look at the plot and my heart was on this book. I badly wanted this to be another good read and thankfully I was not disappointed.


Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires. For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather.

At first, it seems Anu’s biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu’s pulse racing.

To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

After a long time I have come across an Indian female character who is in control of her head and heart ( mostly) . No giggles , no guy issues , no drama. Anu is a true professional vampire hunter [ Sigh! And I love vampires] , one of the best in her generation. But even she finds herself clueless and lost at first in capital city Delhi. The settlement , the relations made , unexpected friendships and unusual foes do make her life interesting and difficult at the same time.

Adi’s writing is  simple , clear and with lot of humor, which I must say is done with a class. The setting is realistic and relatable ,except maybe her night Auto travels. I actually envy her the liberty to sit on rooftops and enjoy the beauty of night. I liked her boss in Delhi , suresh but sadly not much light is thrown on his character. An obvious love for Chandra , the old and charming [ with looks of 25 yr old ] Chandra and total win for Amit , the vampire hunter and anu’s friend. We all love and need and should be such awesome friends and company for all times !

The dark forces in the book arise from use of Tantra and I enjoyed the way Adi sets its plot and unravels the extent of Tantra. Also the description of Maya and its power or hold on the world is a treat to read and imagine [ I will not say more in case I spoil the beauty of these scenes ]. On that note , Adi gets full score.

what I missed in the book was a proper background of Anu , of the vampire hunters , how and what made them different from rest , Chandra’s story and bit more of larger picture of the forces at work in the book. I know there is a sequel coming and I hope all these questions are answered in that.

Overall, I enjoyed the book.

My rating : 4/5

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

F?@K Knows : #Book #review

F?@K Knows
F?@K Knows


What do you want from life?
Are you on the right track?
Are you truly happy?
If your answer to these questions is ‘F?@k knows!’, then this book is for you.
Find the answers to life’s most important questions with the help of uber-successful entrepreneur, Shailendra Singh, co-founder of Percept and inceptor of Sunburn. Told with sparkling, flavourful and in-your-face humour, this b
ook will advise you on how to:

– Find yourself (Because you’re probably lost. Admit it.)
– Follow your heart (Because if you don’t then you’ll die unhappy, you stupid f?@ker.)
– Achieve your goals (You know you want to.)
– Live life like you give a f?@k (Because…why not?)

Candid and thoughtful, F?@k Knows will show you how to really live life on your own terms, to do what you want to do and not what you have to do just because your father said so!

I rarely pick self help books. I have read my share of books when in college and when I began working , and though I did not like many or could understand it all , the lessons make more sense now. Be it career , life , spirituality , relationships or other phase of life , there is always a book about it. I can recommend a few to some one who genuinely wants to read such books But I will think thrice before suggesting this one. and here is why :

I am not a fan of the word *fuck* ! however you write it , you will say it like that. And the maximum number of times i use this word is once a week to say “wtf”  ! And I do not know many people who say it either any more frequently.

I do not like anecdotes / incidents that refer to sex and related stuff. Neither do i gain any insight from such analogies .  Like the chapter : Orgasm as character study where the author tells about watching 2 of his friends having sex ( with some stranger ) and finding a character analogy based on way they f?@k. As much it is amusing as title , I was not impressed. This was not according to my taste. Plus , such mentions make sure I am not giving this book to anyone below 18.

The author did everything according to his dad , struggled to make an empire , earned millions , suffered a heart attack and that’s when he realizes he has not actually lived his life. That he has been doing it all wrong. It happens. But any way you tell this story , It remains the same. The story ( or parts of it) are mentioned many times in the book which kind of become a contrast to the stuff you want or hope to gain from this book. If other’s stories inspired , we don’t need such books at all. We all need to be convinced that we can make our own success stories.

Having said this , I will still tell you to try this books for some parts like – “And then ? and then and then” ; “Few of my favorite things” ; The cheesecake experiment ( If that can keep few people away from casual sex) ; Mind as technology ; Stop thinking , start doing ..

The author has some really nice ideas and some easy to digest philosophies. Some of the analogies , the examples and the incidents he sketches in the book are funny and wise beyond my age for sure. He has a good flow in his narration and doesn’t sound preachy but he does sound some one *trying* too hard to be casual. The overdose of F?@K as a verb ( or adverb) might put you off. Not to mention you can not pass this book to just anyone. Not to my bro or mother for sure I know.

Confession : I read 120+ pages complete and then 7-8 chapters in random but then I was turned off by the one of chapter. . And then I only finished the chapter name and the subtitles which are good enough to get the context and gyaan in straightforward manner.

I rate this 2.5/5

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

book Review : Maid in singapore

Maid in singapore

Maid in Singapore, a tale based on true events, relives the bizarre and often troubling journey of a family consisting of an Indian woman and her British banker husband, forced to move to Singapore from their home in London. Their chemistry quickly turns acidic with the hiring of a maid who enters their web of carnal excesses, redefining the rest of their lives.

The blows dealt on each member are enough for any to give up, choosing actions that are shocking, as only true events can be.

Before I got this book, I read a review of the book on some blog and I was turned off a bit. If the book was really all about sex and that too a web of multiple partners sort , I certainly was apprehensive. when I started the book , the sex part came in quite early in the pages and I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. Maybe i am quite old fashioned in this regards, yet somehow I could not put the book down. The events were written so clearly and even if the language was sophisticated and simple , the flow of the book was inspiring.

The book is in three parts : Shame , acceptance , laughter. It is written in form of a journal by Rashmi starting from her move to Singapore with husband David and son Jay. It tells us of the maid Mary’s entry into her household and subsequent exit – the circumstances , the consequences and later in second part she tells about how she dealt with all this. Sometimes when we push a limit , or accept some one doing it , we forget that there is no turning back. How our actions affect the ones connected to us , we do not really comprehend. Human mind works in weird ways and often truth is far stranger than fiction. While I read this book, I felt myself connect to Rashmi at many of her thoughts and decisions.

The Last chapter is in another voice – of a lady Eve. For some reasons , that is my favorite part of the book. Where everyone sort of escapes the eyes and words of Rashmi and spoke for themselves.

I am not sure how to describe the book is mere words. This was a journey for me to understand that even in weirdest of events happening around you , all you need is to keep your head and heart clear. Communication is must in every relationship and no means is ever better than talking face to face.

I liked this strange tale.

True or not , I know such people do exist. And I feel for all of them.