Tag Archives: book review

First Reads Reading challenge 2013

First Reads Challenge 2013

I found this challenge on book Reviews by DDS [ she spells it way cooler ] and liked it.

Challenge : Read as many books as possible, by authors that YOU haven’t read before.

Level I chose : Amateur : Choose to read 1 – 10 New Authors

I will be reviewing on my Group book blog : A Lot of Pages

Also , the books have to listed back on the main blog here

Book Review : Celebrating India

till today evening , I had been tryign to find out , who sent me this book since it came as a gift without a name. And it turns out , DialABook ( @dialabook )saw my tweet about someone gifting me a book and did send me one ! That was super awesome thing of the week ! Wonderful gift indeed. thank you.
When a book makes you cry with the first thing you read, you do not just read the book, you live every feeling in it. And that’s exactly what happened with me.  Always in the habit of reading a story collection in random order , I randomly opened some page and starting reading. As the article ended, I was choked. that’s how I began my journey with “Celebrating India”

The book is divided into different sections – Memories , Poetry , Short Stories and lastly the travelogues.

The book begins with an excerpt from “The Elephant , the tiger and the cellphone” by Shashi Tharoor. I had always admired Shashi in his interviews and some of the talk videos I saw on youtube. But this essay titled as Invention of India was perfect picture on what makes us a nation and how we break our own rules of segregation. How no single factor alone can be attributed to bind us as a nation and yet we stand strong and proud. We are worth celebrating, so says and convinces Shashi.

Memories has some of the most heartfelt accounts of people from across nation, across various social backgrounds. It is like sitting in the lap of your grandmother and hearing her tales. floating in nostalgia and misty eyed look of happiness , the memories are a gem to read.

The poetry section has renowned names like of Gulzar and Deepti Naval , a few of my old friends from orkut poetry community and a lot of new names. But what I loved most was the variety of themes , emotions , views and ideas spread in the poems.

Land of many colors – land of many tales – land of many voices

And the poetry section so beautifully covers them all.

Short stories offered me an insight into minds of people inhabiting here.

The last I read was travelogue section since I never been much of a fan of such posts. But here i must admit I was wrong.  Every article under this section is like being in a cinema and watching images unfold.

The book also has 5 color pictures included and not to mention beautiful choices those are !

As the book aptly states on the cover :

  Imagine Color
 Imagine Excitement
Imagine Hundreds Of Dialects
Imagine Celebration
Imagine India
We live in a country filled with a Paradox, Love,Fusion,Tradition,Opinions,Laughter and Empathy.
For us, India means more than a piece of land.it is where we are rooted.
We have heard fictional tales of different pieces of land. we have had our own tales of memories.
 This collection bring to you stories/poetry/photographs/sketches where the spirit of india is celebrated.

Here are short stories, poems and memories from different people across the country, India. The initiative, a non-profit one is to rejuvenate the spirit of India that we’ve lived and loved.
Pages : 150
Price : 200

You can order the book from here : http://www.dialabook.in/books/celebrating-india_1_27295.html

book Review : Love virtually


A dear friend of mine told me about this book and since then I been trying to get my hands on this one. Luckily , the same friend gifted me this last week. 

To say , I loved this book would be less.

I kind of lived this one.

This is the only book this year that i finished in 2 sittings ( one of 40 pages and other of the rest number of pages )

It begins by chance: Leo receives emails in error from an unknown woman called Emmi. Being polite he replies, and Emmi writes back. A few brief exchanges are all it takes to spark a mutual interest in each other, and soon Emmi and Leo are sharing their innermost secrets and longings. The erotic tension simmers, and it seems only a matter of time before they will meet in person. But they keep putting off the moment – the prospect both unsettles and excites them. And, after all, Emmi is happily married ..

The book has the perfect tagline : “Have you ever just clicked with some one?”

I know a lot of people on blogging and other social media have. in N possible ways. but falling in love with some one’s words , via emails / long messages ?

why is it that you can act yourself , act so freely at times with strangers without knowing you are acting different than usual. How does some one whom you have never met or even know might be lying to you become so important that you want to forget that you have a family.

How can mere words take you away from your reality or become your reality. Words that both excite and calm you , words that make you angry and guilty too, words that make you dream , make you change yourself and create a separate world. “an island away from your mainland life” as Emmi puts it.

“Write to me Emmi. Writing is like Kissing, but without lips. Writing is kissing with the mind.”

And the spontaneous , bubbly  Emmi loves to write.

Leo loves Emmi’s emails. He loves the way she thinks and the way her emails are without any filter.

Of course Emmi writes this way and talks this way only with Leo.

Love virtually is an Epistolary Novel that is solely written as emails between Emmi and Leo – from the first wrong one to the last long one.

There is fun , love, friendship , jealousy , possession , wit , intelligence and a sweetness to the emails. The language is casual and yet sophisticated. The dialogues are clever , sensitive and appear genuinely personal as you read them.

I’m thinking of you a lot, in the mornings, in the afternoons, in the evenings, at night, in the periods in-between and just before and after – and also during.

5 goodnight emails , midnight wine session emails , Good morning emails, between the break email, desperate emails , possessive emails – oh god !  I miss some emails now 😀

and for those , who wonder if such relationships are possible and how long , I say its all where you put your trust and how long.

All you romance lovers , should read this .

Non romance lovers , please read this.

Word lovers , you will adore this.

Friends and lovers from internet , you will smile at the journey.

Leo : It’s sad, Emmi, we’ve got nothing more to say to each other.Emmi : Maybe we never did.Leo : Well, for two people who’ve got nothing to say to each other, we’ve been chatting away one hell of a lot.

The end might shock you a bit. 

As for me , the wait for the sequel has begun !

This is the German book cover. I later found out the book title means “Against the north wind” And you would understand it only after reading the book. North wind has such a sweet episode in the book between Leo and Emmi
Rating : 5/5 😀
[ Originally written for ALOP ]

Book Review : JFK by Jhangir Kerawala

Did i tell you I love reading about murders and the story that has to be traced back to “how and where” it all began ? and then comes few books that open with not one , but two murders in a row ! Whoa ! Now we are talking.


JFK … A dying man’s last word … A plea, an accusation or a clue? That’s what the police couldn’t figure out. What they did know was that they had serial murders in broad daylight, and just one suspect with little motive … Jatin F. Karunamoi, the dead man’s best friend. Jatin is no hero; he’s an unemployed 50-year-old, desperate to find a job. But his only hope for a life of dignity lies in him finding the real killer.


JFK opens with two unrelated people dying within the same night – Ram Prasad Yadav – a man set on revenge, Manish Kumar – one of the most decent person you could know.

Only link that is clearly visible – they were killed by same gun.
Only clue that the police has – Manish’s best friend , the “hero” of the story Jatin received a call from Manish who could only say “JFK” before dying.

Soon Jatin and his friend Montu find themselves protecting Manish’s secret and also trying to figure out what led to his murder.

Jatin is your normal guy who has shit loads of his own issues – unemployment , age , a family to provide and safegaurd and now the best friedn’s murder followed by some shocking truths about him and the stranger Ram Prasad Yadav.

The story of Ram Prasad Yadav and his role in the plot is well crafted and narrated. He is one of the character who even outshines Jatin once his story comes out.
One of the best thing about the book is the relatable feel to the book’s events. This is India as we talk about , as we know it. The way we think , the way we assume and react , the way people act in certain situations. Not a thing is out of place. The cover of the book , the scene setting , the characterization , the timeline and the events all appear to be either well researched or seen from close quarters. I always like when the author can bring that touch to his story. This one is absolute page turner. I have not finished any book faster than this one in the last six months. Only complaint I have is from the font of the book. Its a little too small in the sense that my table lamp reading was affected a bit. also one of the lady character I felt was not given a proper pink slip ! I wondered till the end , what she would be upto after all ?

And the reason behind the murders and the revenge ( did we think it ends with Ram Prasad ?) is something sort of a lesson to all of us who doubt our own voice and find in a position to never again say a word of good later.


All in all I would give 9/10 rating.


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com . Participate now to get free books!


Of books , lessons , stories and some people

So this is nothing new that I am trying but maybe more regular. While writing fiction most days, I feel I have developed an entirely new glass to see the world through (And its a lovely one indeed). So for once a week / 10 days , I will try to write of the other stuff I feel I should mention ( no particular reason ) . Read if you wish ..

first is a note of thanks ( many many thanks ) to slpmartin  . none inspires , amazes and makes you feel good about writing like he does. There are days when I write knowing he will atleast read it and if liked , his comments are so heartfelt. Thank you !

Best of the last week would be a home trip after a long time ( although it was for short duration ) and the Visit to book fair !

The Book fair .. After making and cancelling the plans 4 times for the book fair , Sunday evening I got down at the Pragati Maidan Metro station for no real reason. I was getting suffocated  in the metro maybe or I just did not want to reach my room that early .. whatever be the cause ,  I found myself standing on the platform and blankly staring at the people coming in / out of the metros. After 3 metros have passed I realized I was just 100 m away from the book fair. And that’s when I made a run for it. Two hours at the venue with my heavy bag on shoulders , I visited half the halls , specially the theme hall , bought a story collection by Premchand ( I always wanted to read him ) and came back with a lovely Ganesha Poster ( Pic to be shared later) . God totally loves me !!

I also finished reading A Calendar too Crowded yesterday [ click here for the detailed review ] while reviewing ,  I forgot to mention a story from the book. So this tale is of a “nice girl who deserves / will get better ” . I could relate to the ideas and feelings of this girl who is too nice for being a girlfriend or even ask some guy to consider the option while she keeps helping every one around. But what I was thankful about was the lesson with which the chapter closes. The author states that If you are such a girl, you sure should love yourself the most ’cause you are the best and nicest girl around. And do not be upset over the guys who did not value you. Remember , You are a nice girl and you deserve better.


and there is an ebook promotion going on Smashwords.  Click here to check the books included in the promotion [ These are free / at discounted prices] for this week only.

Well all is not so happy in the world. And We often see prejudiced people around us. Yesterday night I went to get vegetables from the nearest shop and there was this long queue [ ok , just 5 people before me. but usually there is NO queue there ] at the billing counter. When I went to join the queue , the lady in the last indicated me to take her place and she stood behind me. I was surprised at this generosity until I realized that in front of me stood a house maid in old clothes. The lady behind me was still staring at her with such disgust that I felt so odd. She could not even bear to stand behind the maid ? really ??

ufff  🙁


And lastly , check this blog started by @vivekisms : http://55words.blogspot.in/  – A new theme for #55wordstory each day. Some day I will share all the stories I wrote for the blog. Till then, have a read and if you like , do take part. Follow him on twitter, write on the daily theme and email the stories to him !

Well thats all for now.  More good and bad of my days in next post.

A flawed god ( #Book #Review)

About the book :

An ordinary corporate executive turns assassin to save his firm from ruin with the help of the master of a secret guild out to revolutionize the corporation… 

Sanchit Mishra a.k.a. Sancho is staring bleakly at his performance appraisal form when an invitation from the mysterious Progress in Work Collective lands on his desk. His colleague and confidante, Pause Daniels, urges him to dig deeper. Soon he finds himself sucked into a secret world of anonymous superheroes out to revolutionize the business world by attacking that flawed god it worships – the share market. This parallel life pumps some self-esteem into Sancho, preparing him to do what’s needed when the firm is taken over by a multinational and an ugly industrial relations situation ensues.

The case for the transfer of ownership from shareholders to employees is made through Sancho and Pause’s story in this witty, fast-paced corporate allegory.

My two cents:

As soon as you turn first few pages of the book, you can know the author Arjun shekhar knows “to add” and “how much to add” of humor in his writing. And am glad to say that he does not loses this style till the very end. Sancho is the typical corporate guy, A bit crooked but one with good intentions and ideas ,which are either curbed by the bosses or by lack of opportunity. Pause , his best friend , the all so resourceful and  know-it-all lady is one of the best female character I have come across recently. This story belongs to her more than Sancho, who at places come across as really dumb ! what I liked about the book is the absence of any character that was either not needed or not given due place in the whole scheme of the events. The nicknames do get a little difficult to follow in the beginning as much as the general description of usual working in Sancho’s office.  but a careful read is all you need to sort that.

As the synopsis indicates , the story plot is based on working of share Market , ownership of any firm , the profits and the losses made , and more importantly, who benefits from all this. Is it all real or a carefully wrapped scam ! some of these questions have been tackled in the book via articles Sancho reads and more in the way the events unfold in the end of the book. But some how you still can not say the book is about share market and a common worker’s role in his work place. That connect / explanation did not go well with me.
I also wished the author had written more about the playshop which Sancho attends and the activities in detail. if that playshop could bring such a change in a guy, I would really like to know how it happened. The discussions that happen there were good to clarify certain ideas but the way that chapter was ended, disappointed me.

Another complaint that I had ( which most people will not agree with , I know ) is the parallel drawn between many events in the book with a cricket match ! Ok, I am no sports fan and not even cricket interests me.

Even if i am still a bit ignorant about share market and why firms sink , I am for sure a bit wiser on way people should work, way I should write my appraisal , or what is needed for people to try new things. some of the lessons shared in the book were not new but the way it was said was. And that did make an impact on me.

This is a book I might not read again as a whole but I have all plans to mark few paras for future read.

Rating : 4/5


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

A Lot of Pages

Just thought to let you all know [ once again] about the book review blog I am a part of since last month. And its got all addictive for me already ..

A Lot of Pages
[click image to reach the blog]

book reviews , book talks , book photography .. We are willing to hear / see / know any thing about books .. hope we can be helped and help other book lovers !

Do pay a visit ..