Friday, June 29, 2018

Book Review - Smart Guide for Awesome Memory by Shireen Stephen

When I want to learn something, I categorize books into three segments: Textbooks, Casual and Tutorial books. The first category is indeed the most detailed one, at the same time they end up being a boring one, which brings drowsiness. The second category as I said already is so light on a topic that you may miss the crux of the topic. The one I like the most is tutorial books because they are filled with theories, examples, and application. "Smart Guide for Awesome Memory" by Shireen Stephen is one such book, to improve your memory power.


Book Blurb
Would you like to have facts and figures at your fingertips? Would you like to be able to remember everything that you have studied while writing your exams? Would you like to learn a second language easily? Make these goals a reality with the help of this simple guide. With fun memory techniques to more complex ones, Smart Guide for Awesome Memory will help you improve and boost your memory when it comes to academics as well as everyday life.
After a long time, I have taken a book seriously. Last time I read something so engrossing was "Word Power Made Easy" when I had invested almost 2 months. This time it took me almost 5 weeks to finish this book. The main reason was exercises given for each topic. The author has compiled various memorization techniques available, some of them are as old as ancient Greek time or Vedic time. Techniques were nicely arranged in around 8-9 segments. Each chapter covers one segment. The good part is each method follows at least one or two applications or usages with appropriate example. These examples are again in form of exercise. So first you learn the topic and then apply it yourself. TheThe author has given general tips to improve your memory, though 40 of them were known to most of us, 10 are less known. I personally found it good to follow. Last 20% book portion covers exercise only to recollect those topics once again.

You can even call this book as a cheat sheet to an awesome memory. A book must be translated into different language and can be gifted to kids for better memory power.  I wish I had such book during my school time. I have spent endless hours mugging up topics, though I have used some of these techniques like linking and pegging (I was not aware of their name at that time), knowing improvement or proper use of these techniques would have changed scenario for me.

Overall it is must to have book if you would like to increase your overall mental capabilities and confidence. Sure shot gift material for people above 7 years.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4.5/5
  3. Concepts - 4.5/5
  4. Overall - 4.25/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book Review - Arthla - Sangram Sindhu Gatha

I have received "Arthla - Sangram Sindhu Gatha" after a year of patience. Frankly speaking, I just waited to read some Hindi books from my favorite genre. Looking at cover or title I was not able to visualize what should be the story. Though blurb helped me trust the book and I tried it. Again blurb was also not exactly for this book. After reading the book I felt that blurb was written for the whole series.


Book Blurb
मिट्टी से घड़े बनाने वाले मनुष्य ने हजारों वर्षों में अपना भौतिक ज्ञान बढाकर उसी मिट्टी से यूरेनियम छानना भले ही सीख लिया हो, परन्तु उसके मानसिक विकास की अवस्था आज भी आदिकालीन है ।
काल कोई भी रहा हो - त्रेता, द्वापर या कलियुग । मनुष्य के सदगुण और दुर्गुण युगों से उसके व्यवहार को संचालित करते रहे हैं । यह गाथा किसी एक विशिष्ट नायक की नहीं, अपितु सभ्यता, संस्कृति, समाज, देश-काल, निर्माण तथा प्रलय को समेटे हुए एक सम्पूर्ण युग की है । वह युग, जिसमें देव, दानव, असुर एवं दैत्य जातियां अपने वर्चस्व पर थीं । यह वह युग था, जब देवास्त्रों और ब्रह्मास्त्रों की धमक से धरती कम्पित हुआ करती थी ।
शक्ति प्रदर्शन, भोग के उपकरणों को बढ़ाने, नए संसाधनों पर अधिकार तथा सर्वोच्च बनने की होड़ ने देवों, असुरों तथा अन्य जातियों के मध्य ऐसे आर्थिक संघर्ष को जन्म दिया, जिसने सम्पूर्ण जंबूद्वीप को कई बार देवासुर-संग्राम की ओर ढकेला । परन्तु इस बार संग्राम-सिंधु की बारी थी । वह अति विनाशकारी महासंग्राम जो दस देवासुर-संग्रामों से भी अधिक विध्वंसक था ।
संग्राम-सिंधु गाथा का यह खंड देव, दानव, असुर तथा अन्य जातियों के इतिहास के साथ देवों की अलौकिक देवशक्ति के मूल आधार को उदघाटित करेगा ।
Coming to the story part, protagonist of our story is Vidhan. But I feel that Dhananjaya, Sattu, and Vasundhara would be contributing to equal footing incoming parts. The country was under pressure. Manavas (specially Arthala) is under hidden attacks from Danava, Daitya, and Asura. Their previous hero was killed and his legacy came upon Vidhan. Not ready for big scale events, Vidhan followed mighty hero Sinhnaad to Arthala. Life changed for Vidhan once he left his village in pursuit of answers.

I would like to applaud efforts of Vivek for building this plot. Though Indian mythology is rich, he had taken names of clans and prepared story based of his own. So to mythological book lovers, Arthala is not a re-telling Mahabharata or Ramayana or Vedic Stories. Only familiar words you will encounter are Dev, Danava, Asura, and Daitya. Vivek has even conceptualized country names. So in terms of originality, I will give 5 out of 5 to the author.

Talking about characterization, narration style is the third person. And when the story of a person starts you will feel that the current person as a protagonist (be it Sattu, Vasundhara or even Dazan) Fight scenes' narration were also good. Till now I haven't read this nicely written fight scenes in Hindi novels. Description of various places and palaces were apt. You can even visualize them. I have divided book in three part. The begining portion was somewhat slow and it needed slight efforts to continue. The second portion was still slow but started becoming entertaining. And last 120 pages were fast and interesting. Will eagerly wait for next part.

Ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Concept - 4.5/5
  3. Characters - 3.5/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Source of Inspiration - Book Review of From Ideas To Iconic Brands

Being a management student, I love to read successful business cases, marketing cases and stories of branding. I remember reading Phillip Kotlar's book just for case studies. So when I saw "From Ideas to Iconic Brands - Inspiring stories of 101 amazing brands that changed the world" by Giles Lury, I had strong liking and expectations from it. And I am happy with book's content and coverage.


Book Blurb
Inspiring stories to help you build a bigger, better, stronger brand
A cross between a business book and a storybook, From Ideas to Iconic Brands is a collection of 101 accessible, enjoyable and revealing tales behind the creation of some of the world’s greatest brands, including Mercedes, Apple, Disney, KFC, WWF, Guinness World Records and Coca-Cola.
The stories are arranged into sections covering brand origins, brand naming and identity, marketing strategy, communication, innovation, repositioning and renovation, with a moral at the end of every story. For each story, the author has drawn a marketing principle that can be applied to many brand and marketing challenges businesses face today.
Packed with compelling anecdotes illustrating how to gain increased visibility, cultivate a loyal following and establish a reputation of being the best in the market, this book provides the reader with a fully-equipped toolbox for building a winning brand!
The book has covered not just ten or twenty but 101 success stories, all across the globe. And the author has divided them into segments. Each segment covers around ten or twenty cases. The author has selected major fundamental subjects around marketing/branding as segment topic. Topics like rebranding, necessity, survival, new entrant are covered. But in the core of each case were an idea and persuasion.

I had more than 20 books to read when I received this book, and I haven't planned to read this book at that moment. But just one glance at a book, and I kept other books aside. I finished it in 3 sittings.  Management guys can read this light book to boost their marketing examples which can be used in their group discussion and personal interviews. I wish I had this book during my NITIE time.

Some good points about the book
  • Short and crisp cases. No detailing and to-the-point description.
  • A pool of general information. Brands of different time and location are covers.
  • A short thought-provoking question is given at the end of each case
  • Easy to follow language. English learner can even read it without any problem.
  • Attractive title and elegant cover design.

If you want a detailed explanation of each point this is a wrong book, it is a light read not a serious marketing textbook. It would be a perfect gift on corporate occasions and college events.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4.5/5
  3. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, June 22, 2018

Comic Review of Doctor M - Kalapani Comics

Another wonderful episode (New Series) by Vimanika. This is their first superhero series that I am reading. Though Doctor M has not revealed this powers yet. But series seems promising.


The story started with two plots. One with a group of terrorists wanted to spread chaos entered a school and left a device which was throwing some kind of bubbles on kids. Another plot is about Doctor M who found out his neighbor's kid infected with a strange kind of disease. All the doctors in India have said no to the case. Doctor M started diagnosis of his cells.

Comparing with the previous series by Vimanika, Doctor M is the shorted. I personally felt the first episode in any series should be long enough to bring readers back. Otherwise, everything is awesome about series and episode. 

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 2.5/5
  3. Concept - 3.5/5
  4. Artwork - 4.5/5
  5. Overall - 3/5
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, June 21, 2018

4 Reasons why you should pick - "Are you living the biggest scam called money?"

Sachin Mittal's expression on the cover page and the title ‘Are You Living the Biggest Scam Called Money? Demonetization and After’ lends a tone of the seriousness of the matter under discussion in the book. And it’s only befitting because we are talking about money!


Book Blurb
In the current day and age, currency is considered as money that forms the basis of all our transactions. But what happens when we realize that these pieces of paper are nothing but deception? What if, one day, out of nowhere, we are told that these currency notes are as good as paper? 
As scary as it sounds, this scenario is not very far from the truth. On 8th November 2016, the citizens of India were faced with a similar predicament. It was the day when the government of India declared 86% of the currency worthless unless exchanged for new currency notes. 
An expert on financial matters, Sachin Mittal takes us through the seemingly complex matters on a variety of topics that explain one of the most basic questions of our existence: What is Money? Through a deft use of examples, Mittal draws a timeline of the various forms of money used for transactions since the existence of civilization till date. Finally, he delves on the origin of money as we know it, the paper currency. 
The author does not wish to pass a judgement on the factors that led to demonetization, rather raises serious concerns regarding the validity of paper currency as a widely accepted form of money. Moreover, through nuanced argument and examples, he demystifies the concept of money and reinstates the faith in gold as a more reliable form of money.
The first one-third of the book contains a discussion about demonetization. It covers what happened during and after demonetization and how it troubled the common people. 

The next section covers the history of the Indian currency—starting with the Barter System to use of gold coins to IOU notes to gold-backed notes to fiat currency. The author has covered them very comprehensively and concisely. The final section covers how our government and the central bank handles money, and in the process, inflate our money.


If you are a BJP or Modi-supporter, you may leave this book or criticize it after reading the first section. However, my suggestion is: Be patient and continue reading the next section. If you are not the patient type, then you may skip this book. Though I support demonetization personally, I haven't put this book aside, I continued with it and finished it. Because I knew the book had the capability to deliver good content and sound arguments in the coming chapters.


4 simple reasons why you should pick this book up!
  1. Layman's terminology—If you cannot understand the complex terms used by RBI or the government, don't worry. The author has used none! I think even an 8th grader can understand the complex financial issues due to the way the author has described how the flow of money works. 
  2. Light in content & deep in context—the book is just 125-140 pages long with explanatory artwork and good text spacing. You can virtually finish it in 2-3 hours in one sitting! But the context is deep enough to make you aware of the banking system.
  3. Explanatory Artwork & Easy Examples—As I mentioned, complex things are explained with the help of explanatory cartoons and the simplest of examples.
  4. Useful Guide for Money-related Decisions: Lends basic information and awareness about money and currency so the reader can take proper decisions regarding their personal money matters!
The only improvement that I suggest to the author would be the pricing. I know the glossy colour page costs a lot, but an MRP of Rs. 899 will be difficult to drive good sales! Especially when you are trying to set footing in the market. Otherwise, it’s a great learning experiment!

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Review - Trust Me Not

"Woh Woh Woh" This is what I felt when I finished "Trust Me Not". One of the best climax set story I read in thriller genre yet. Well, you cannot say it is a political thriller only as it is a perfect mix of drama, romance, suspense and what not. I would say it is a complete movie material.


Book Blurb
Rising corporate star Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a top-notch PR agency. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. But working with Enigmatic Billionaire Kunaal Kabi was not going to be easy. Even as she develops feelings for him, she is determined to prove herself.
But when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. Can she retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. If she succeeds, powerful people will have much to answer 
When I selected this book it had 50+ reviews, today I can see more than 100 reviews and a majority of them were 3+. Reviews doubled in just 4 weeks which shows its popularity in readers.

Talking about the story, our main protagonist is Reeva. She got chance to work with one the famous & rich personality, Kunaal. She wanted to prove herself in the field, but at the same time, she was falling for Kunaal. Things were going like a romantic story when Reeva friend asked her to help to reveal an ongoing scam, which was relevant to thousands of lives. Reeva saw that more she unravel thing scarier they were becoming. The very thing she loved so much can become the source of fear.

Though the book comes under a political thriller, it doesn't start with a murder or political party de-thrown. Rather, the story started very casually, It too few chapters to realize that I was deeply engrossed in an entertainment mix.

400 pages long book and not a single deep in tone, not a single boring chapter. The author did this magic with help of perfect character mix. I even thought of assigning actors from Bollywood, to six main characters that dictated the plot. The book can be converted into a nice movie. I hope praise by Madhur Bhandarkar can be taken seriously by Bollywood for movie adoption.

I would like to thank Writers' Melon and Vishnu for introducing this book to me. I really like it. I am going to recommend this book to my friends for sure.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Characters - 5/5
  3. Concept - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

We would like to thank WritersMelon for providing us the review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review - Prithvivallabh - a Historical Fiction by KM Munshi

In our syllabus, we had a chapter "Why had Prithivivallabh hesitated?" The chapter was based on the historical fiction of KM Munshi, originally written in the Gujarati language. The book is now considered as classic. I Wanted to read this book ever since I had studied that chapter. Though I have read this book almost 2 years back, I have decided to re-read to share my views & review.



Book Blurb
Prithivivallabh is based on history of Malwa region of India. The novel depicts the rivalry between Munj, the ruler of Dharanagari and Tailap as well as the romance between Munj and Mrinal. Munj had defeated Tailap several times but Tailap captures Munj with help of his feudatory Yadava king Bhillamraj. In captivity, Munj falls in love with Mrinal, Tailap's widow sister. Celibate Mrinal too falls in love with too. The love story of Bhoj, a poet; and Vilas, daughter of Bhillamraj engaged with Satyashraya, son of Tailap; runs in parallel.
Munj is the protagonist of the story. He was called as "Prithivivallabh" by people. He was a fearsome king with high values. Tailap was his arch enemy. He attacked Munj multiple times and got defeated. Everythime Tailap was allowed to go back by Munj. In his last battle, Tailap was able to defeat Munj and he decided to humiliate Munj for his previous defeats.

Munj was taken as war prisoner to Tailap kingdom's capital. He was asked to beg to the citizen of capitals. Tailap was surprised to find out that his citizen started linking Munj. On top of that, the biggest support of Tailap his own sister (Mrinal Devi) who had ruled kingdom (indirectly) was slowly & steadily falling for Munj. Tailap then sentenced Munj under elephants leg. Whole capital was invited to see the death of the nation's enemy, but Tailap found tears in his citizen's eyes.

The book considered as a classic in Gujarati literature & it is translated into many languages so I have very little to add about book's content quality. Every Gujarati reader must read this book at least once. For me, the book comes at the same level as Patan-series by Munshi.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Character - 5/5 (For Munj)
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Book Review “Tales of Man Singh, King of Indian Dacoits” by Kenneth Anderson

A lost in thoughts turban wearing dacoit riding through Chambal valley carrying a gun in its cover and a colophon boasting the of Man Singh’s exploits promising to be the complete account of his legends, I decided to take a break from fiction and explore Man Singh through the words of Kenneth Anderson.


Book Blurb
A single man who was pursued by 1,700 policemen of four states for fifteen years! A man who ruled the Chambal ravines and roamed 8,000 square miles, leading the police on a wild goose chase every time they plotted to nab him! Loved by the underprivileged and feared by the rich, he was eventually shot dead when cornered by a company of Gurkhas. Read the thrilling tales of his adventures and the legends of a man who was called ‘Raja’ because of his generosity and large-heartedness.
Overall Verdict:- A could-have-been better one time read

'Tales of Man Singh' is a collection of stories of Dacoit Man Singh which describe some of his exploits, his background and ultimately how he died.

To start, the well written foreword sets a good mood for reading and increases the expectations for what’s to come. The stories themselves are disconnected and there is no specific timeline as to when they are happening. You are able to read from one page to other but it lacks the elements that makes you immerse in the experience.

The book is written in first person perspective. Personally I felt the character of Man Singh could had been better portrayed. The choice of tales are taken from a period once he had been established as the king of dacoits, with the exception of last chapter which deals with how he became a dacoit and how he died. Mostly, he’s shown more a leader/judge than that of a dacoit, who swoops in to give judgement and move aside for someone to execute it. Even though the books title is Man Singh, we find that most of the tales consist of support characters, their background story, wherein Mansingh appears to be their conclusion.  

Personally, I felt that the last chapter could had been introduced earlier. It would had perhaps given a better justification of the fear and respect of Raja Mansingh which the author makes tremendous use of. In comparison of the rest of the book, the last two tales are written well.

My overall rating would be 3/5.

Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Historical Fiction - Prithviraj Chauhan by Anuja Chandramouli

None of my books made me feel as guilty as Prithviraj Chauhan by Anuja Chandramouli. Anuja had sent me the review copy before the book was released but it was wrongly couriered to other address. It took me almost a month to receive that book. With tha1t mess up started unavoidable sequences called a book on the shelf. So Anuja I am really sorry for not able to finish the book on time.


Book Blurb
Prithviraj Chauhan was destiny's chosen one, singled out for glory and greatness. During the course of an extraordinary life, he transcended the limits imposed on mortals and achieved Godlike luster. The conquering hero dreamed of a united land where peace prevailed over war and love over hate.
Princess Samyukta loved him from afar, and when Prithviraj Chauhan claimed her for his own, defying the wrath of an implacable foe, their happiness was complete. Victorious in love and war, Prithviraj Chauhan was soon to discover that success came with a terrible price - trouble, treachery and tragedy. What happened next? Read the tale of the legendary warrior who lives on in the hearts of those who remember his unmatched valor and timeless heroism.

Before I start I would like to add a fact, I have read "Gujarat no Nath" and "Rajadhiraj" by K M Munshi. So when the story started with Kanchanadevi & Kumarpal I was able to relate plot. Don't worry if you haven't read those books, you can still read this book with ease.

So the story started with Pregnancy of Karpuradevi. She was adjusting a Chauhan-Chalukya customs. Married to a less capable Someshwar, she understood that her mother-in-law's expectations were high from her son. But Karpuradevi didn't want to restrain herself to just royal wife, she started developing skills under Kanchanadevi's tutelage. She knew that her mother-in-law would take care of upbringing and training of his sons and she would be neglected by her husband. From the birth, Prithviraj was able to attract the attention of Royals and commoner alike. His fame increased as he started growing up. Being a kind hearted, a skilled warrior and a good looking he was the center of attraction wherever he went. His own father was envying his son's fame.

I think I have given enough plot details, you can check the book for more details.

Talking about writing style, as usual, Anuja's storytelling gives you poetic feeling. Scenes would start with a person then it goes back or forth in some detailing. You need to keep patience to explore what will come next. She carefully developed each and every character based on historical facts It has taken some time for me to attach to the story.

The book seems heavy at places, and flow also bit boring, which have delayed my reading pace, Otherwise a nice read

Ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Characters - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 3.5/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Unusual Story of a Usual Corporate Couple - How I Became a Farmer's Wife

I have checked Yashodhara's tweet about "How I became farmer's wife" book's cover and I instantly liked it. I haven't read any book by her but the title and the cover were too attractive when mail reached to my inbox. I instantly said yes. I started reading the book the moment I have received courier.

Book Blurb
Mild-mannered Vijay is the perfect good Indian husband - responsible and predictable. Well, at least he was, until he decided to turn Farmer! Vijay's unsuspecting wife Yashodhara is caught off guard when, tired of the rigours of city life, he actually rents land and starts dairy farming! As if Yash didn't have enough going on already, what with her high-octane job, three children and multiple careers. As Vijay dives deeper into his quirky hobby, the family is plucked out of their comfortable life in the steel-and-chrome high-rises of Gurgaon, and thrown headfirst into a startlingly unfamiliar world - complete with cows and crops, multiple dogs and eccentric farmhands, a shrewd landlady and the occasional rogue snake. Will these earnest but insulated city-dwellers be able to battle the various difficulties that come with living a farmer's life? A laugh-out-loud romp that'll leave you wanting more!
I am not sure whether it is a real story or fiction work, but characters, author, and her husband name are used in the story. Yashodhara our protagonist is having a successful corporate career with a leading tablet seller in India. Her husband was also in a successful career. But he wanted to try his hands in farming. He had a dream of having farm fresh veggies in their kitchen. At same time Yashodhara has started working on her next novel, a romance genre, but she was not confident about the book. On the top of that, her life is completely chaotic due to her three kids. When Vijay took the decision seriously Yashodhara was not sure how he would manage a full-time job with the farm, but she supported his dream. And then started funfilled trips to farm with/without their kids, Vijay's daily updates on farm, activities, struggle he faced while handling these activities.

The book is written in very steady and simple tone. You will enjoy humor/sarcasm used at places. Yashodhara (author) has a unique style in narrating incidents, which I loved (I am thinking of checking other books by her)

Talking about characters, her three kids peanut, papad, and pickles are adorable (though mischievous at times) Yashodhara's character is portrayed as today's hyperactive woman, who is handling one full-time job, one part-time job, one full-time passion and what not. Vijay is the guy I loved the most. A real struggle in the new field without hesitation. Those who would like to get inspiration we have Yashodhara and Vijay from this book.

Some advice to readers
  • Don't read it in public, you may laugh while reading. (Just to save some awkward moments)
  • This is not a manual/self-help book on agriculture
  • You may end up reading this book in 2-3 sittings keep tea or coffee handy
I have already recommended this book to many friends. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Characters - 4.5/5
  3. Concept - 5/5
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, June 15, 2018

Review of Preeti Shenoy's Latest Book - Love a Little Stronger

I am following Preeti Shenoy on twitter since January 2017. I have window shopped all her books on Amazon. So when I got the copy of "Love a Little Stronger" for review, it was a big moment for me. You may say an SRK fan was asked to watch SRK's new movies on premier and was asked to review the movie.


Book Blurb
Life is a collection of moments, some memorable and some mundane. Often it is the tiniest things that bring the greatest joy, even though at that time, we have no idea that what we are witnessing may be magical, something that we will talk about and laugh over after many years.
Packed with her hilarious narratives, poignant observations and a writing style loved by millions across the world, this book is certain to strike a chord with anybody who has children or who has been a child, themselves!
Before I got to content when I had unwrapped the book, my son liked the cover so much he took the book. It required cajoling from my side to get the book from him.

Now coming to content, I think the author has shared some golden moments of her life. These moments comprised of humorous incidents, some life changing events, some learning lessons. If all of these happened with Preeti then I think she is a lucky person to experience them. Stories include
  • Her struggles in becoming an author
  • Her parenting years
  • Her teenage years
  • Early years of her marriage life
She has also given funny and/or important list that we can keep in our mind.

In short, you can think this book as Chicken Soup for Soul. Differences are single author and theme is life (unlike Chicken Soup books). The book is so lightweight in content but so deep-rooted in the context that one can feed it to their productive mind. Take this book on your journey, you will enjoy it. I have finished the book in 2 sittings though you can do it in a single sitting as well.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read something light & meaningful. Language is pretty simple to follow. Those who are learning English or would like to cultivate reading habit can take this book.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Check Book Review of Mango People in Banana Republic

The thing that took my attention was the uniqueness of the title “Mango People in Banana Republic”. I was really attracted to the book. I did all possible research for the book, I checked reviews on Goodreads & Amazon. Mixed reviews Especially one talking about satirical black comedy style writing made me go for this book.

Book Blurb
Ravi Bhalerao is a top of the rung business strategy consultant struggling with two disquiets in life – a festering career disillusionment and a festering wound in his posterior. Stung by an unfair performance appraisal, he pulls off an outrageous stunt at his workplace, drops off the urban map and reaches his ancestral land, a village in drought-prone Vidarbha. There he encounters India in its elemental form. Convinced that his destiny is somehow entwined with that of his country, he sets off on a truth-seeking mission. On that mission, he finds love, revolution and most importantly, a redemption for the disquiet in his rear.

Anand is a former physicist on a spiritual quest through esoteric India. He realizes that the path to realization is beset on all sides by gurus, their cults and their boundless quirks. As he hops from one ashram to the other, he grows convinced that liberation does not come with a user manual in a neat little box.
Wrapped in light-hearted, almost tongue-in-cheek prose, 'Mango People In Banana Republic' is a tale of an Indian’s search for personal identity, against the backdrop of a country divided along fault lines of countless social identities. Teeming with a cast of characters and ideas that encapsulate modern India, the tale ascends from the gross to the sublime, much like the Kundalini powers some aspire to acquire. With a steady pace, and gentle mocking humour, this book is an absorbing read and a laugh.
I have received this book 10 days back, and I would like to thank author and WritersMelon for arranging this review copy for us.  I would like to share my experiences of first few pages of the book. The book has seven chapters, each chapter names with one of the seven chakras of the human body.  The index page gave me feeling that I am going to read” some mental/spiritual / enlightenment based fictional book Contrary to the index, the satirical first chapter reminded me of “Coinman” book. That time I thought the book is going be corporate satire or black comedy. But the feeling was changed as I progressed towards other chapters.

Coming to the story, protagonists of our story are Anand and Ravi. Anand was a physicist by profession but lack of mental peace was bothering him. He tried looking for the solution in various babas and ashrams. He went to various places but was not able to find solace. In the end, he took the help of self-meditation and went to the bank of the river for some lone time to meditate. On another hand, Ravi was a living life of a corporate employee. His life was full of issues that any ordinary corporate guy would face. But he did something that normal people didn’t at his workplace, this landed him in jail. After jail, he went to his village in Vidarbha where drought is a normal issue. There he met with the burning issues of our country India face to face. Somewhere in his mind he was feeling that he was destined for a bigger role and to know his identity he set on a journey. He also ended up on the same river bank where Anand had taken refugee.

So overall it is a different story. It will take you to some of the grass root issues of Rural India. It will show you differences in ideologies and lifestyle. A recommended read for serious readers. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Character - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

We would like to thank WritersMelon for providing us the review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Political FIction - Riding A Tiger by Vinay Capila

Reading "Riding a Tiger" was a different experience for me. I usually read romance, fantasy, management, and drama. So reading something political was totally new for me. I know we should not judge a book by its cover but it was the first thing we see while checking the book. This book's cover was one of the things that made me read this book in the first place. The red cover and two crossing swastikas were giving a look of a serious story about to begin.



Book Blurb
As they looked at each other in consternation, a man appeared in the doorway wearing a black uniform and balaclava face mask ... “I am told that you feel very cold at night. We have come to fix some heating for you ...,” he added with a taunting chuckle, signaling his men to enter ... The room soon reeked of petrol fumes as his men backed out, leaving a thin trail of the fuel  ... They watched in fascinated horror as a cold blue flame crept through the doorway like a slithering snake and split into two to encircle them. There was a whosh of sound and the blue turned to an orange as the flames engulfed the curtains and furniture. The inferno crept rapidly towards the terrified trio – their cries muted by the duct tape over their mouths.

Soon there were only orange-red flames and crackling sound and the smell of charred wood and cloth and flesh.
Two boys, leading normal lives in two separate towns, are lured by circumstances to join an extreme rightist organization. They come together to help the organization increase the membership of its political arm. Over the coming years they are driven to actualize their individual ambitions and take their Party and the country by storm, with the help of rampant false promises and rabid roving gangs. They do not realize that it is always dangerous to ride a tiger – for it has its own ravenous appetite and desires.
This book revolves around two main characters Deepak Moolchandani and Manohar. Deepak was having a strong strategic mind and vocal personality. Manohar was more aggressive. Though they were from different backgrounds, they came together in BSS and started to conquer the political views by divide and rule principle.

Though it is a fictional work, some of the things that are described in this book seem really close to the actual event. I am from Gujarat and I have seen the riots between Hindu and Muslim. I can say this book has connected to me on a personal level. 

The storyline in this book is very well portrayed. The childhood of Deepak and Manohar are described beautifully. Although I liked this book thoroughly, towards the end I was expecting interesting climax, which I didn't get and that is the only complaint I have otherwise this book is awesome and insightful.

To sum it up if you want to read something different, new, more towards political side than Riding a Tiger will be a great choice.

Ratings

  1. Cover : - 4/5
  2. Content : - 3.5/5
  3. Character : -3.5/5
  4. Concept : - 3/5
  5. Overall : - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Meet Kumar Author of Earth to Centauri - Alien Hunt

Today we have Kumar with us to talk about next book in "Earth to Centauri" 


How did you conceptualize whole plot of this series? Would you like to share some special moments about how you come to this idea?
I actually started off with an idea only for the first book - how could first contact actually take place: the technological challenges. Once the first book was finished, the idea for the second started forming. You see, the book is based on a series of to and fro journeys - from Earth to Alpha Centauri. Each journey has a set of adventures built into it.
We would like to know whether you have taken any inspiration from series like Star Trek or Star Wars?
I would say yes. I am a huge Star Wars fan and a Trekkie. I have every movie and series with me. There are inspirations from those but yet I believe my stories are unique - building on technological challenges, human frailties and such. The characters are not super-humans, in fact, they have many self-doubts and grow along with the stories. There are also elements of drama and suspense. A number of sequences are inspired by current world events and how they would shape our future.
Looking at technicality or detailing of a futuristic world, it seems you must be tech geek yourself. So do you consider yourself nerd or geek?
These two words are often confused or used interchangeably. I personally think I am a geek - obsessed with science and science fiction!
Captain Anara hold a special place in your series. Would you like to share why you chose a women character as the main protagonist?
I and married and have two daughters - I believe my character is defined by the strength I see in them and what the future I imagine they will live in. Women will be the driving force behind humanities progress in the coming centuries.
What would like your series to be called "Earth To Centauri" or "Captain Anara" or "Antriksh"? 
I started off by calling the series - Captain Anara and Antariksh but as the story has progressed I am inclined to refer to it as Earth to Centauri.
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads 

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