Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Book Review - Madhuleena: a novel by Govind Sharma

I have read most of the books by Govind Sharma. His stories are usually simple with fluid pace. You can read his books on your short journey or trip. When I saw his upcoming book, I pre-ordered it. The book reached me almost after 20 days. Unfortunately, it took me almost 10 days to take the book in hand but I finished in 2-3 sittings.

The protagonist of our story is Aakash. Aakash is shown as a young man who had been to a juvenile home but wanted to have a normal life. But things didn't go smoothly, he was framed in a bank robbery. Our story started with Aakash running away from the police. He was desperate to go away from the small town Rajapur so that police wouldn't catch him. He almost left the town (almost). On that last day, he met a girl named Madhuleena. You may call it love-at-first-sight or infatuation, but he came back. He took the help of two of his friends and arranged his hideout in Rajapur. He befriended Madhuleena also. But little did he knew about the case he was entangled in. Read the book to know more.

As usual, Govind has maintained his fast-paced storytelling. His way of sticking to the story keeps you reading books. The word choice and sentence framing make the book an ideal choice for beginners. Govind may want to have the cover matching character of Madhuleena but the girl on the cover page looks way too young to suit the said character.

I am giving 3.5 out of 5 to this book.

Book links - Goodreads & Amazon

Friday, September 11, 2020

Boons Curses: Legends of the Mythological Mother by Yugal Joshi

I have read many books based on mythology and my thirst for the same is still strong. Every book I read in this genre brings a new piece of information. Just a week back I read the book "Arjuna - Journey to the heaven ends in hell" and now it's the turn for "Boons Curses: Legends of the Mythological Mother"

by Yugal Joshi. Things that made me select this book.

1. Attractive cover

2. The relevance of title and cover

3. Mythology Genre

4. Perspective of Kunti

Till now I have read more than 20-30 perspectives or points of view from which Mahabharata was portrayed. And in those narrations, I have hardly found a version where Kunti was shown as innocent or a person without higher hopes. She was shown as a shrewd and a calculation woman. She was shown as a person with a determination of instilling her son as a monarch. Her desires made her took some dubious decisions. Many of us knew these dark facts, whether we accept it or not. Let's not go into that discussion. 

After the war when Kunti had introspected the outcomes, she found them very costly. She wanted to discuss her confusion with someone and who could be a better person than Krishna. The book contains a conversation between Kunti and Krishna. Very patiently and with thorough examples, Krishna had attempted to give answers to all questions of Kunti. His answers are not just theosophical or conceptual in nature. He has taken the proper support of other mothers who had been through tough times. And that's why the book subtitle is "Legend of mythological mothers"

Yugal has used references from various stories. You might be knowing many of these stories, but the difference is stark from normal narration we have heard or read. Yugal has focused more on the mother's role in those stories be it Diti-Aditi, Ruma-Tara, or Kunti-Gandhari. Each story shows why they have made some difficult choices. 

I found the book refreshing, as it brought around half novel stories or narrations to me. The language is easy for a fast read. The pace is fast but the grip on the story and conversation between Kunti Krishna continues. I have thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I will give 4 out of 5 to this wonderful book.

Book links - Goodreads & Amazon

Thursday, September 3, 2020

ARJUNA : Journey towards Heaven, Ending in Hell - A book review

I am a great fan of the Mythology genre. Those who follow our reviews know this fact, and even if you are new, you may check categories, maximum books fall under the mythology category. The number went so high we have further split it into two subcategories Ramayana & Mahabharata. So when I received an offer of a review copy in exchange for an honest review of "Shree Arjuna" I said yes. Another reason for the selection of the book was my discomfort for the question of why Pandavas went to hell and why Kauravas went to heaven. I always want to know more reasoning behind it, not just one explanation.

Shree Arjuna - Journey towards Heaven, Ending in Hell

I am not aware of what are authors view of the cover. Butt let me share what I gathered from the design. The cover photo shows Arjuna's bloodied hand with his bow, Ghandiva. If you look closely you will also find a cloth (I assume Saari) in his hand, and the cloth is not his own. I assume this depicts his intention to stop disrobing Draupadi's Saari which was linked with one of the weakest moments for Pandavas. Looking at the circumstances of Arjuna at the beginning of the book, the cover picture portrays his confusion. 

Let's go to the plot, as the subtitle mentioned, when Arjuna, the mighty warrior, who followed all pieces of advice of his mother, elder brother, Shri Krishna, and fought many wars on the name of Dharma was expecting a grand entry in heavens. Instead, he was in front of the doors of Hell, and that too alone. He wished that if he went to hell, at least he would have company. That loneliness mixed with confusion made him introspected his life and all characters associated with him. 

The story is more of his remembrance. These events are part sequential and part random which seems obvious. Because hardly people retrospect in the same order, they try to courier a few events more relatable than others. The same happened with Arjuna. Few points that brought out very sharply to us

1. Arjuna respected Duryodhana's more than Yudhishthira. He found Duryodhana a better brother and a better friend. 

2. Arjuna respected Karna. He envied Karna of many things.

3. Though considered eunuch, Shikhandin was a very sharp mind, more dangerous than Ghandhar Naresh

4. The only mole as per Arjuna in Kaurava brothers was Duhshashana, he was shown, drunkard, and drug addict.

5. Arjuna regretted and felt guilty of giving more priorities to his main wives and Abhimanyu only.

There are many more character-specific traits that Arjuna observed in his life's span. Read the book to know more.

The writing is simple yet engaging. The randomness with a storyline keeps you interested till the last page. Each chapter brings a good drawing of characters/incidents. The content is appropriate and good for beginners as well.

I think the book deserves 4.25 out of 5. 

Book links - Goodreads and Amazon

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Another Story by themarsbeing - a Poetry Book Review

Though I use poetry as an escape from my emotions, this is the first that I am reading a poetry book. And surprisingly, each and every word is written in this book has hit home. It took me a long time to read this book as I have to stop after reading each poem to process it cause the writing is so deep and emotional. The poems written in this book has real, pure, unfiltered, dark emotions. All the emotions that people generally hide from others and yet it's written so beautifully and recklessly. I am saying it again I had to take a break after reading each poem, as for me the words felt like staring into a mirror.

The book contains a lot of poems about suicide, heartbreaks, depression, and mental illness in general. So at any point of time in your life, if you have suffered through any mental illness, you'll be able to connect to most of the poems.

In my opinion books like this should exist more, just to start a conversation about mental health causes in some parts of our life. Everyone has gone through difficult times which affects our mental health. And especially in India, because mental problems and discussions on the same considered taboo, nobody talks about it. Books like this can at least start a conversation about it and at the same time provides a way to escape the chaos as well.

If talking about the structure and rhyming some of the poems could have done better in that department but the emotional story behind the poem reciprocates for that.

I liked all the poems in the book but some of the poems which I liked and I relate to more are Maze, End of the story, Impulse, Dream scrapes, Anxious mind.

I think the book deserves 4 out 5.

Book links - Goodreads & Amazon

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fix it with food by Kavita Devgan - Book Review

The author Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist and her books are not mere some textual content, but properly designed training material. I have read and reviewed both of her past books "Ultimate Grandmother's Hack" and "Don't Diet". She preaches healthy habits and nutritional food and strongly opposes dieting and other harsh measures. Her books are like a pedagogy where she covers every aspect of a said topic using only food. Starting from the selection of food to prepare and schedules etc. In our home, many of her suggested recipes are taken under regular food items. So when I saw the book, "Fix it with Food" I didn't wait for a moment and I selected it.

Fix it with food by Kavita Devgan

As usual, Kavita has divided the book into segments. There are three segments in this book

1. 40 superfoods to get super insights. List of superfoods, their nutrition level, benefits, and usage. Not just the myth of fasting, in this part author, has also explained myth around these foods. These chapters cover more than 75% of the book. The good part is "fun facts" and "at glance" pointers. If you feel lazy to read the whole book, you may point down these pointers and that's also enough. This segment also contains mini-chapters and covering 100 fixing tips for various conditions.

2. 10 Tools - I would say confusing titled but cleared with the subtitle "foods to become healthier" Again eye-opening section for me.

3. 40 quick and healthy recipes that you should add in your daily diet plan. This section will be found in most of Kavita's books and one for which I look forward the most.

Not just physical ailment that Kavita has covered, but problems related to mood swings, mental stress, hormonal imbalance, fighting pollution, and the hottest topic immunity boosting. Read the book to know more.

The ingredients covered in this book don't burn your pocket instead most of the ingredients are available to the majority of the population with minimal cost. The language is simple and straights. Advice is practical and easy to use. The structure of the book will make you engaged until the last page, rarely a self-help book deliver such content.

I will give 5 out of 5 to this book.

Book links - Goodreads & Amazon

Must-read Scientific Book in Layman's Language - Clues to the Cosmos by Shohini Ghose

Shohini Ghose that was the word I catch when I saw this books detail. I googled about her and came to know she is a TEDx speaker. Then I went through the blurb of the book and I came to know that this book is an effort to explain facts of the universe in simple language, something that a normal person can understand, something which is full of both the equations and theories. So I had high hopes when I received this book. Unfortunately due to lock down the book review was delayed and I am really sorry for the delay. Unlike normal fiction where my expectation from the book was to entertain me or lighten my mood, from this book, I was expecting more information that I can understand or grab faster. I am from a science background and I have been introduced many of these theories during the studies, I always wanted an easy explanation of the concepts so that if someone, who is not from a science background, asks me about them then I can explain it with ease.

Clues to the Cosmos by Shohini Ghose

The content of the book is divided into eight chapters. Each chapter covers the aspects of the proper methodology. The author has started with early beliefs about the existence of the universe. And how those beliefs were broken down by different theories with different methodologies with different measurement tools how everything unravels to your mankind. It explains how a various scientist has explored these facts and brought us the modern day's knowledge to us. If you want to read these points from the scientific view you will find a book on each of these topics and a lot of theorems but when it comes to getting crux in layman language then this is the book. The author has taken chronological order of various inventions and facts. She has also shared many hidden faces behind these discoveries whose recognition is still due or recognized after years of the invention. 

Those who are reading this book, take my advice and give time to read this book. Don't rush towards the end. If you like to write down facts then take a marker and keep noting points after each chapter as there are many things to note down. The author has used plain English to reach the maximum audience. Still, the topic related scientific discussions so maybe many souls find it difficult to digest, not due to complexity but due to the nature of readers. 

I will give 4.5 out of 5 to this book.

Book links - Goodreads & Amazon

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Colorblind by Aditya Chowdhury - Book Review

There are few genres where Indian authors seldom venture. Dystopian is one of them. I have read and seen only a single digit of such books to date. Maybe my knowledge of the field is limited but if such books didn't get my attention means they were not tried with proper efforts. That's why I always give a chance to such books by an Indian author. "Colorblind" by Aditya Chowdhury was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. I plunged into the book within 5 days of adding to my shelf. 

Color Blind by Aditya Chowdhury

I would like to start my review with this line I got from the book. 

"Sometimes, to get some real insight, you need to risk a complete change in your perspective.”

I am not aware of how many of you know about the book blurb. But the book brings us a world where color blindness is a norm. A person can see three colors black, white, and one more color. The last color decides everything for a person. People are divided as per their color. Also, an ability to see more than one color is considered an illness and it is a capital crime to hide this fact. In such a world, the above line makes a good context whether you are willing to get real insights or not. 

The protagonist of our story is Lohit. He belonged to the red community. All his life he was connected with only red people. But one fine day he found an interesting girl who was not red but applied red lipstick, which was rarest of the rare. When he met that girl she told him something which I found true even for our normal world. She said

"We become the lies we tell ourselves daily, it won’t be too late for us to change.” 

She gave him a strange spectacle which had changed Lohit's life forever. Anything more from my side and it may spoil your reading experiences. Read the book to know more.

Coming to writing style, the author has used simple language and kept content engaging for readers. With its medium pace, the book provides a sweet read that won't bore you out. A book which you can take on your short trip. Though the book is dystopian in the genre, it is different for the normal dystopian category which usually goes around action and thriller sequences. Instead, the author has delivered a good message. The author's intention of telling people to venture out and experience something new is very well delivered. 

I will give 3.75 it of 5 to the book. 

Book links - Goodreads & Amazon