Friday, December 28, 2018

A Thing Beyond Forever by Novoneel Chakraborty - A book review

We have one book "That Kiss in the Rain" by Novoneel Chakraborty which we have bought almost 3 years back, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Last month we saw the new edition of "A Thing Beyond Forever"s cover in our mail. So there was no reason for us to hold back. A chance to review one of the best selling author's limited edition book.



Book Blurb
What happens when life plays a trick on two innocent lovers? What happens when your first love much against all possibilities comes back to you in the most bizarre and astounding manifestation ever? Dr. Radhika Sharma, for the world outside, is an aberrant and arrogant feminist. But inside, she resides in a far-away world like vulnerable first sketch of an artist. One night an innocuous enquiry by a nine-year-old patient coaxes her to open someones personal diary. And, as she reads on, a bygone era comes to the forefront taking her through a cavalcade of exclusive events that life, love and friendship offer at the noon of adolescence. By the time she finishes reading diary, its already morning. And by night time she finds herself face to face with a question that defies logical explanation. Is falling in love a random act or a planned coincidence? Is attraction the missing link between souls? Will the light of true love outshine the dark shadow of destiny? Even when Radhika gets the copasetic answers there are still two or more chapters to go
Unlike the previous cover, this cover is just fantastic. It is really eye-catching. Though my husband wanted to review this book, the moment he unwrapped the courier I booked it. So here I am to discuss what else I found good in the book apart from the cover.

Coming to the story part, Radhika is our protagonist, an ambitious doctor, who found solace in reading than unnecessary gossiping. She started reading the diary of her childhood friend Raen. It contained how he felt for her & how deeply in love with her. And then there was also a part about reincarnation, which made Radhika feel whether things happened due to coincidence or as part of a greater plan.

Good points about the book.
  • Wonderful concept
  • Storytelling part is mesmerizing
  • The way thing unfolded you can visualize them
  • A good way of amalgamation of spiritual discussion as well
Things that can hinder a casual reader
  • Heavy vocabulary. At places, you may need to use a dictionary
  • At places, the spiritual discussion became lengthy
  • New learner/entrants may face difficulty in reading it
Ratings
  1. Cover - 5/5
  2. Concept - 4/5
  3. Character - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart

Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Super Child!: Unlocking the Secrets of Working Memory by Gayatri Kalra Sehgal

A fabulous cover design, catchy subtitle & cute kids it takes efforts to ignore such book. Though we were over-committed & knee deep (literally) in pending review copies we could not deny to this gem. And let me tell you I am glad that I took the opportunity to review the book.


Book Blurb
Would you want your child to have the one superpower that will not just help in academics but also in life?
Congratulations! As an involved parent, you have taken the most progressive step forward. Super Child! Unlocking the Secrets of Working Memory is power packed with comprehensive, exciting and goal-oriented activities for junior school children. The book empowers parents with the ‘science’ behind each particular game or activity in a manner that enables parents to design the games themselves in order to facilitate learning specific to their child’s needs.
Strategically planned, exercises in this book activate the working memory skills of young learners and enhance their individual learning style, at par with the school’s curricula. The book enhances as well as develops skills to remember, reformulate and assimilate information, giving the child a better edge for the future. What’s more, you can enjoy these activities with your six to eight-year-olds in a casual setting by using recyclable resources easily available at home!
I have read books to improve memories, I have read books to improve IQ & logical reasoning, but in the end, they were like self-help books with a lot of exercises. If you give it as plain exercise book to your kid, they will give you stare. A mature kid (14+) may appreciate but other kids will simply get angry. So how would you handle the case with kids? Simple play game with them. They never say no to the game especially group games. That is what Gayatri has done, in this book.

Basically, the book is nothing but a collection of group games. These games are categorized & grouped based on the nature of how it benefited kids. Isn't it sound interesting? Though we played few of these few of these games during our childhood, if we could have played more of such games, our brain would have been more trained. You don't need a costly educational supplement or branded toys to make your kids engaged. These games are damn easy from a resource point of view. Majority of them can be played with just a paper & pen. Just don't wait for it, grab the book.

I have shortlisted 4-5 games that we can play with my 4 years. An awesome and must have a book on parenting. Ratings
  1. Cover - 5/5
  2. Concept - 4.5/5
  3. Content - 5/5
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Time to Read Christmas Fantasy - Alfie the Elf by Shaiju Mathew

We found this little guy (Alfie the Elf by Shaiju Mathew) in old house's neighbor. It seems we missed to get the courier during our house shifting. What could be a better reason than not to read Santa & Elf related book before Christmas? Just look at how adorable cover is? When I clicked the picture to post on our Instagram feed, my 4 years old told me "Did you bought this Character based book for me? I said yes. Unfortunately, it will take 3-4 more years for him to read this book.


Book Blurb
Alfie is a 14-year-old orphaned midget. He has just one wish – to grow tall. He believes that would help him gain lots of adoring friends and even impress Charlene, the girl of his dreams. He tries all tricks and tips to increase his height, but to no avail. Finally, he pins all his hopes on a miracle by writing to Santa and stays ‘good’ through the year. Christmas arrives, but Alfie’s wish doesn’t get fulfilled. Hurt, and deeply disappointed, Alfie runs away from his orphanage to look for Santa. That is only the beginning of a fantastical journey that takes him across mythical lands where he meets creatures straight out of fairy tales. With a wicked wizard out to dominate the universe and a worried Santa with his share of woes, Alfie has his hands full. Will he be able to achieve his dream? With the help of his best friend, Bullet, a pug and Pedro, an owl, he just might!
The story is sweet & simple. Alfie was our protagonist. He was a midget. Being shorter than all his orphanage & schoolmates, he was always being bullied. All he wanted was to get normal like other boys & girls. One day he learned about Santa & Christmas wishes. He wrote the letter & waited for Christmasegerly to get his wish to fulfill. But he was humiliated when his wish was not met. Sadden Alfie met Pedro Owl & Bullet dog, who told Alfie about Santa & how to reach time. Three of them left their city to meet Santa. But accidentally they took the plane of a dark magician. Read the book to know more.

I wish I have read this book a year back when I won it. It would be a best and A sure shot gift material Christmas gift to 7+ age kids. Simplest language usage, straight narration style, proper context (for kids) & full with illustration.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 5/5 (for cover as well as other artwork)
  2. Concept - 4/5
  3. Character - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Book Review - The Conquest of the East: Royal Crown Returns by R Durgadoss

"The Conquest of the East: Royal Crown Returns" is the second installment in the series after "The Indus Challenge" by R Durgadoss. Almost one and half year back we reviewed part one. Durgadoss has the capability of delivering a super fast-paced story with high-interest quotent. After reading 2nd part I feel though the book may fall under historical fiction, it should be categorized for middle graders and/or millennials as well. 


Book blurb
The numerous attempts made by the Cholas to capture the prestigious royal crown, the mythical aaram (necklace) and the precious garland of pearls from the Pandyas have failed. Emperor Raja Raja Chola’s grandfather even defeated the Pandyas, but their king managed to escape with the royal jewels and kept these in safe custody with a Lankan king.
Years later, even after Raja Raja Chola’s victory against the Lankan king, the jewels eluded the Cholas as the Lankan king too fled with the jewels. Emperor Rajendra Chola takes it upon himself to finish his dynasty’s incomplete agenda. The jewel trail extends well beyond the shores of Bharat, right up to the kingdom of Srivijaya (modern-day Indonesia). Rajendra Chola’s naval commander Surya emerges as the greatest support to his king. Will Surya be able to restore the Chola pride?
Even with his unbreakable spirit, courage and special powers, Surya must be careful as the enemies may have lost wars but they are hitting back through proxy wars launched by hired mercenaries. He must use every trick in the book to unmask the enemy and save the Chola kingdom from plunging into a civil war.
The Conquest of the East: Royal Crown Returns is an action-packed page-turner that is a befitting sequel to the bestselling book The Indus Challenge.
The protagonist of our story is Surya alone. Unlike the last part where Chanakya had also shared equal canvas with Rudra. Surya was born to an unmarried woman in Rameshwaram jail. He was born with a fish mark on his chest. His mother hadn't accepted him, so he was raised by jailer's brother who was commander in Chola navy. Surya was later on adopted by the same family and treated equally. His adopted father found traits of Surya in water. He wanted Surya to become Jaladhipathi (Supreme Navy Commander / Admiral) Luck was on Surya side & he got chance to learn/train at the prestigious school of Chola kingdom (for Military & Navy) Surya with age became indispensable. Soo he became trusted commander of Raja Raja Chola. He led multiple successful mission for King. But how he had done that you will come to know only after reading the book.

Observations about the book
  • Language usage is simple. 
  • Narration style is straight. 
  • Yes pace is super fast, you cannot skip or leave a paragraph (leave about skipping a page or chapter) 
  • The story is full of twists & turns. 
  • Less - no violent descriptions
The only thing that the author should take care in next part is line given at the end of the majority of chapters. It goes like this "And then something happened that shocked XYZ character" 

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5 (Last part's cover was better though)
  2. Concept - 3.5/5
  3. Characters - 3/5 (Predictable at places)
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Humorous Story of Medical Students - Dissected by Naveen Kakkar

One word title, a funny looking guy with a skeleton & blue background, that was all I got while windowshopping Dissected by Naveen Kakkar. Later on, reader-universe gave me positive vibes through their positive reviews. So I went back to book page & checked available reviews. And "Tada" I knew I have to read it. So here we are discussing or dissecting the book & its likable parts with our readers.


Book Blurb
Medicine brings forth images of dour, grave looking faces with heads buried in thick books. Naah....not at Dale. Set in an era much before hyper-connectivity made us social recluses, this is a hilarious take on the lives of fifty teenagers. Walk with them as they face the challenges of a treacherous first term at a medical school in Damsar, through the landmines of the anatomy hall, the eccentric physiological concepts and the endless biochemistry cycles that most did not give a damn for; well nearly most. This is a saga of how the class survived the adventure of a bus trip with a sloshed driver, the dressing down by teachers, the quirks of their own characters and still found time to shake a leg or two. Find out if Podgy and Palak will be together right till the end? Will Lego find his balance and Joy his joy? Will Tazo survive his class? Will people keep falling off the South Pole? Rohan needs this answer, desperately!
Don't worry the book is not nonfiction. The story is a humorous fiction picturized around medical college & its first-year entrants. The story goes like as good & humourous like any of our college life. A geeky guy, an introvert guy, a couple (yet to be) and few more characters. The difference is the environment, mine was engineering, here it was medical college. So the life of our protagonist was more miserable. I don't want to share their adventure. Read the book to know more.

No matter in which stream or college you have studied, you would be able to relate it with the book. Because apart from medical student life, characters also belong to young college going, crowd. So life at that stage is always memorable.

Good points about the book
  • Simple language usage 
  • Straight to the point narration style
  • Witty, humorous dialogs. Specially Tazo inner voice
  • Relatable to life
  • Nice illustration & title of each chapter
  • Short in content. Can be finished in 1-2 sittings
In short, fun-filled witty companion for a train or plane journey. Ratings
  1. Cover - 2/5
  2. Content - 3.5/5
  3. Characters - 4/5 (Tazo & Podgy)
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews 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.

Book Review - Chronicles of Kali - The Secret Book Of Asurs by Prithvi Raj Banerjee

Initially when Vishnu introduced me to this book I wasn't sure about reading "Chronicles of Kali - The Secret Book Of Asurs" by Prithvi Raj Banerjee by judging it from the cover. I'm glad I have read this book. I guess the quote "Don't judge a book by its cover" is indeed true, especially for this book.

At first, I expected this book to have a story of goddess Kali in a comic version with some modern twist but when I started reading it I realized it's not that at all like my assumption. 


This is a story about kali who was found near the river Ganga by the sage Vyas. Her mother lost her by the river and saved by floating raft. She had supernatural power where she could talk with animals and plants. She was trained from the childhood to defeat Asurs. Asurs, on the other hand, had a book which had the teaching of how to keep human in their mental chatter and destroy the earth in the process. Kali and her team were the only ones who could destroy the book and defeat the Asurs. Will she able to accomplish her mission? Read the book to know more.

I love the plot of this book. I think this book has captured so many aspects multiple genres like thriller, mythology, psychology, fantasy. It also has a social message of human destroying nature. There were so many examples to make us understand mind chatter and how to free ourselves from it which I loved the most, The storytelling was awesome it keeps you on the edge till the end. The book of Asurs at the end was also a nice touch.

I have no complaints about this book, it had made me see the concept of goddess Kali in a different way, a satisfying read I must say. Ratings:
  1. Cover : - 2/5
  2. Content : - 3/5
  3. Character : -3.5/5
  4. Concept : - 4/5
  5. Overall : - 3.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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

Friday, December 21, 2018

50 Habits of Thin People - Don't Diet by Kavita Devgan - A Book Review

We rarely take self-help and cooking mix books, but when we find gems from well-known Dietrician, Nutrition or Chefs we don't say no. Because with the level of their expertise & exposure, they can share many interesting ingredients & recipes. Kavita Devgan's last book that we read was "Ultimate Grandmother's Hack". We learned many quick & try-able recipes. So our bar of expectations was pretty high for "Don't Diet".


Book Blurb
"50 HABITS OF THIN PEOPLE GENERIC DIET PLANS DON'T WORK! Long-lasting weight loss can be achieved only by changing the way you eat. To reach your ideal weight, you must move away from diets to eating right. Move away from fads to healthy habits. Thin people stay thin because these habits are embedded in their subconscious and are a part of their daily routine. Don't Diet will help you identify 50 STAY-THIN habits - spread across MIND, BODY and LIFESTYLE - and give you workable cues to adopt them easily. With the help of these cues, you too can stay fit and happy. And of course, thin. DON'T WAIT. BEGIN NOW! Kavita Devgan has many avatars: she is a writer, nutritionist and weight management consultant who has transformed the lives of hundreds of clients seeking weight loss. She is a feted speaker and a popular health columnist with premier media groups. She has been writing extensively and sharing her ideas with lakhs of people for the last 15 years."
I think "Don't Diet" is Kavita's first book. I found content preparation wonderful. Instead of delivering a slow paced boring self-help manual, she has used interactive approach. She has divided content in 2 chunks. The first chunk of 50 habits takes 80% of the portion. Kavita has wonderfully compiled 50 healthy habits into 3 sections in the first chunk. Mental/Mind related habits. Dietary related habits. Lifestyle-related habits. Out of 50 habits, 30 are dedicated to dietary. Though the second chunk is divided into 3 parts, I have clubbed them under one group due to the nature of sections. That section helps us to make our daily journal & keep track of our progress.

In short, consider this book as your consultant. Get 2 diaries and start your journey of getting fit (not slim). Things that I liked about the book
  • Nice content preparation
  • Short chapters. Author has mentioned you can skip a chapter if you don't like it.
  • Illustrations to increase interest portion
  • Not at all looks like a self-help book
Ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4.5/5
  3. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Review of a romantic book - Love is for Life & Beyond by Yashwant Kanodia

This book was the part of surprise Diwali bundle we have received. Though not sent as a gift, timing made it as a perfect gift for bookworm like us. "Love is for Life" by Yashwant Kanodia looks a perfect "Mills & Boons" type book. A sweet picture of a couple, a romantic title & cute blurb makes it a perfect pick for Millenials.


Book Blurb
“Love is like a storm. It hits you without a warning and it affects you till your last breath.”
Nikhil is relishing a perfect life – a family that loves him beyond measure, a dream that he is sure to fulfil and the love of his life Shanaya. The day he thinks life couldn’t have been better, it unravels its plots one by one, cracking the very foundation of his perfect life and breaking his heart into a million pieces.
Just when he decides to give up, he crosses paths with Ridhima – a girl with a stained fate, who finds in him her fulfilment.
Will Nikhil forget his first love, whom he promised to love for life and beyond?
Love is for Life and Beyond is a story of love, destiny and dreams, which will wobble your perceptions about love and will coax you to taste the holiness of love.
In an era where love can be just a swipe away, can true love find its way back?
The story goes like this, Nikhil the protagonist had his dreams like any ambitious guy, both on the professional & personal front. He wanted to get his life settled with Sahana. His emotional nature made him sacrifice his professional dreams and joined his family business. While trying to maintain his professional life, he was not able to give time to Sahana, which ended up as break up. But things might change as a new character Ridhima entered his life. Read the book to know more. Hope I haven't given away more information.

Coming to my opinion. Good points about the book
  • An ideal pick for Mills and Boon's lover (I mentioned it already)
  • A simple & straight narration style
  • Ideal for beginners as language usage is simple.
Could have been better points
  • Storyline missing page sticking elements. specially twists & turns
  • The book is predictable at many places
Ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Character - 3.5/5
  3. Concept - 2.5/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Why Trading is the Most Difficult Job in the World by Indrazith - Author of Trade & Grow Rich

Why 90% traders lose money in stock market trading?
The bitter truth is around 90% of the traders lose money in the stock market. This is very difficult to believe if you are new to the stock market or if you have less experience in the stock market. Because many traders show some graphs or indicators and explain how easy to make money in the stock market, trust me it’s not that easy! I am sure we hear many get-rich-quick schemes around us. Barring lottery tickets and casinos do you know any such thing in which one can become overnight crorepati? In real life, it’s hard to find any such person who becomes rich in an overnight without a consistent work. Similarly, one has to work hard with complete focus and discipline to get success in trading.
Challenges in trading

  1. Many people consider Trading is another form of gambling and takes trades without any logical reasoning. A famous trader Ed Seykota said ‘Everybody gets what they want out of the market’. So if you come here with gambling mindset, it gives an enormous thrill, but at the cost of your money!
  2. Many people follow the news and derive their trades based on the information given in the news. Please note, institutional traders and FIIs will get this information first and for a retail trader, it’s always difficult to make money using the news.
  3. Another great way of losing your money by buying 52-week low stocks. Many people look at this info, and they think that the price will not fall from here. But practically no one knows when this fall will stop and hence buying the 52-week low stock is a terrible idea to lose money. I am sure everyone agrees that Usain Bolt is one of the great and the fittest athletes in the world. Even he needs a few days of rest to run again if he falls from 2-3 floor building (assuming he will be alive after the fall). Similarly, any good stock needs time and great energy to trade again at higher levels after making a 52-week low. Even if it doesn’t fall further, it might take some time (usually 1-2 years) to trade higher. So even in this case, your fund will be locked for 1-2 years without much profit!!
  4. Many people think it is very easy to make money with penny stocks or operator stocks, because if the price of a share is Rs.1, then if it goes to Rs.3 or Rs.4, then easily our investment gives 3 or 4 times returns. Then assume the price will not go below Rs.1, but in reality, the probability of price going up is very less (unless an operator pushes with price with his buying) and the price can go below Rs.1 easily and most horrible thing is it can stay at Rs.1 for many years!!
  5. The logic of Averaging down strategy is very simple. It is all about buying more shares when the price of a stock trades at a lower value. For ex, assume you have bought 10 shares at Rs.100, if the price comes down to Rs.50, then buying 20 shares at Rs. 50 will make total buying average to Rs.50. Similarly, if the price falls to Rs.25, then buying 40 shares at Rs.25 will make average buying price is Rs.25. Similarly, this kind of buying should be made whenever the price goes below. When the price bounces up, you will make a profit.

Theoretically, it looks very simple and attractive. But practically very difficult to make money with this strategy, because what will you do if your entire savings has been invested in a stock on Averaging down strategy and the price still goes further? In addition, what will you do if the price stays below your buying average price for years? What is your action if you need money for any emergency purpose?

Then why should anyone think about trading considering all the above-mentioned risks in the trading? Why Trading is the most difficult job in the world? 
Because, if you overcome these limitations and if you learn the proper way of trading, there is no limitation for your growth and you don’t have to depend on somebody to grow in your career. I have personally experienced the trauma and difficulties while learning all the tricks of trading and included all those lessons in my book “Trade and Grow Rich” which helps to become a successful trader.

This blog post is contributed by Indrazith Shantharaj, the author of "Trade and Grow Rich"
Indrazith Shantharaj is a full-time trader and Author of “Trade and Grow Rich” book which won Amazon Best Read 2018 award and Editor’s picks 2018 award at Notion Press book store. He is a former IT professional with over 10 years of experience. He has decided to pursue a full-time career in the stock market, which is his subject of passion and expertise. His articles can be found at www.profiletraders.in  . Apart from trading, he spends his free time travelling to new places, reading books and practicing spiritual sadhana.

Good news for readers. We have arranged a giveaway of "Trade and Grow Rich" book on our twitter handle. Do check our twitter handle for Giveaway details. Give Away Link

Saturday, December 15, 2018

"Never, ever, give up" says N Matthias Moore - Book Discussion on Cloud 9

Reviewing "Cloud 9" was a new experience for us. The brilliance of the author was visible throughout the story. Today we have N. Matthias Moore, the author of Cloud 9, with us to discuss what the story is and how he has conceptualized the idea. (Review link)


Can you brief us about your educational background?
After high school, I attended a local community college, LA Trade-Tech College, where I met the future English advisor who’d inspire me to write CLOUD 9. You could say that the trade I’m certified in is in English, specifically trade paperback fiction! Now, I’m graduating from UCLA with a degree in American Literature & Culture, and a minor in the History of Science & Medicine. It’s true that actor James Franco graduated from here with the same major, maybe he can be cast as one of the characters in a feature film. 
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I consider myself an artist, because of this I’ve been active in a few clubs to help forward my creativity. Most notably, I was a runway model. Being a model is sort of like, acting as the mannequin for fashion designers to help sell their clothes. I love wearing fashionable clothes and for me, being a runway model was something I’ll never forget. Slay! 
Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors? Which author inspires you the most?
I’m reading less and writing more. Recently, I’ve been so busy that it’s a plan of mine to catch up on contemporary stuff. A favorite sci-fi writer for me has always been L. Ron Hubbard. He’s a pioneer of the Golden Age and Pulpera fiction. He wrote in a politically divisive time that eventually led to theological speculation later in his career. I find that fascinating. Today, I’m catching up on high-concept writers who’ve been adapted to screen like James S.A. Corey (The Expanse), and Andy Weir (The Martian).
When did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to become a writer after reading theatrical plays in college. Theater has all the classic tropes and story arcs from the masters, and I wanted to craft a story that employed as much emotional drama as Shakespeare, August Wilson, or Tennessee Williams. These are playwrights that add another level to storytelling.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I plan to continue writing the Cloud series. Beyond that, I feel compelled to expand my repertoire into new mediums. Adapting the novel to film was never in my plans, but in 2018 the visual narrative is all the rage. I also have plans of venturing into other genres; most notably a literary novel. I don’t just write fiction either, I’m an avid science enthusiast and will probably publish a fair share of articles too. There’s much more to come. 
Is this your debut work?
Yes, CLOUD 9 is my debut novel! I hope everyone is as proud of it as I am. 
What genre are your books?
Currently, I’m focusing on Science-Fiction. I’ll let you know when that changes.


Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
CLOUD 9 follows its protagonist, Michael Tillman, through a world that’s fixated on fulfilling pleasures and desires using Virtual Reality gaming, enhancements, and sensuous distractions. Michael’s offered the chance of a lifetime when he realizes that he can upload his mind to a computer-brain interface – the Cloud. The Cloud is a game itself, giving players nine levels to reach a computer simulated utopia. This totally changes his outlook. There’s one problem, he only has three lives to win, or he’s dead. Real Games Enterprise (RGE) gives him this opportunity, but he must also contend with his relationships on the outside world that totally messes things up.
Give us an insight into your main character.
Michael is a 29-year-old gamer on the verge of 30. His mid-life crisis has arrived early, but he intends to make things right by uploading his mind to RGE’s cloud servers in a race to reach utopia.

Valerie is Michael’s girlfriend, for now. The relationship is tenuous, but they get by. She’s not the biggest VR gamer, but in this world it’s hard to circumvent peer pressure.
The Manger is RGE’s ringleader, and he’s in charge of the show. He’s offering people tickets to utopia, if they’re willing to pay the price of admission.
Where did you get idea for this book?
Ironically, I had a dream that inspired the idea of the RGE warehouse, where people’s bodies and minds are restricted to pods. You could say I was dreaming within my dream. Hey, some dreams do come true.
How much research did you do for this book?
Plenty! In fact, I needed to remind myself how modern video games were being positioned within the marketplace so that the VR world was accurate. I also had to make sure that the technology, computer advancements, and other miniscule details weren’t too far-fetched. The year is 2109, after all.
Do you have a trailer, or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I made a trailer months before CLOUD 9 was released, but after the novel debuted, I removed the video from YouTube (sorry)! If you’re interested, it used plenty of animation from indie film directors.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’ve completed the prequel to CLOUD 9, and the novel is being edited with special care. The title for that will be SECTOR 10. For die-hard fans, the origin story to the Cloud introduces a war between Reptilians and Greys. I love space operas, and I also love venturing into parallel universes. It’s going to be totally awesome.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Writing a book series can be tough, especially when you’re doing other things. But I’m focused on making the Cloud series the best it can be. Moving forward, the story is going to use a lot of science-fiction themes based on quantum mechanics and inter-dimensional consciousness. Think of your favorite astrophysics idea and increase that complexity tenfold. It’s fun, but I don’t think even Albert Einstein would have been a sci-fi fan if he knew we’d break all his laws!   
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never, ever, give up.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Don’t forget to eat your vegetables.
Links for your book readers

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Story about a Bank Robbery - Elephants In The Room by Suraj Laxminarayanan - A Book Review

The first thing that hit me when I took this book was its sheer volume. Three elephants surrounding a crate of (former) 500 Rs notes in the cover and the descriptive chaos of the plot involving a bank robbery and more than one team of robbers piqued my interest and I started this crime thriller, curious to what twists and turns awaited inside.



Book Blurb
A ragtag group of friends are planning a bank heist to end their cash crunch. Novices to crime, they are driven more by emotions than skill – their plan seems fool proof, or so they think. 
In another part of the city, a gang of seasoned dacoits has botched up a job and now owes money to the local crime lord. They have to either pay up or pay for it with their lives – and time is running out.
In a bizarre twist of fate, both these groups are brought face-to-face. Trapped in a situation beyond the realm of their planning and experience, they must think on their feet, form quick alliances and rally behind an unlikely leader. 
Set against the backdrop of Chennai, where men sing gaana songs in kuppams (fishing hamlets) nestled against swanky glass-fronted buildings and life-size cut-outs of film stars and politicians, a story of love, greed, friendship, fate and the absurdity of the human condition unfolds. 
“Elephants In The Room” involves around a group of petty thieves who plan to rob a bank and the utter mayhem that ensures when they come to face with two more groups during robbery each of them who try to get one over the others, all of whom have a plan of their own.



The novel is written in third person narrative and in switching perspective of the characters inside the bank and the cops outside handling the situation. The mutual distrust, temporary alliances, frequent disharmony, sudden deaths justify the cover of the book where each elephant is one group and every movement taken creates a tremor throughout the story and pushes the plot in a different direction.

Of all the characters, I felt Neog’s character was most well written and depicted. He thinks rationally, doesn’t lose his head and tries to look for a good opportunity to strike. Of all the robbers, I felt it was Bada and Chota who leave a certain impact. Nari, Vel and Dhanta feel more like quick thinking go-with-the-flow support cast. Others characters like Sid come and go but again feel as a support cast. The book ensures there is no main protagonist and most of the characters role remain situational.

Personally, I felt the story line has a lot of potential but could had even been better with a good editing. Too much time is take to set the plot and the end lacks a proper closure. The love story/fantasy of Sid many a times feels out of place and too much detailing drag an otherwise well set pace of the story. The book is a treat for heavy readers as one can easily put down the book and resume it at their own pace.

For Suraj Laxminarayanan’s ruckus criminal thriller, my overall rating would be 3/5.


Overall Verdict:- Good concept, but too much detailing

The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart

Reviews 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.

Book Discussion with Debjeet Mukherjee - Author of Voyages Volume 1

Two weeks back we reviewed Voyages Volume I - A Collection of Poetry by Debjeet Mukherjee. Today we have Debjeet Mukherjee with us to talk more about his life a.k.a. writerslife along with Voyages 1. Those who have missed the review can click here.


Can you tell our readers about your educational background?
I am a postgraduate student of economics at the University of Calcutta. My educational background was centered in and around Kolkata and I like improving my aspects and opportunities that studying provides. Opening up new avenues such that studying complements my other talents as well. I guess that’s the whole point of studying! To apply it.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was popular. Haha. Not in the usual sense but I was known for what I did. No matter where I step in I am able to create a unique identity of my own. I was never the topper and yet teachers and students knew me. I am grateful for the love and affection I received in my school and college days.
What are some day jobs you have held?
I wish I held any but I am currently a full time university student.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspires you the most?
I read fairly. Depends on the set of books I need to read at any given point of time. Study books, reference books, story books, poetry books, novels, it’s a big set. The importance of reading any one category of books increases given the ambience at that point of time; like study books are read more during exam months and stories and novels are a preference during vacations, while I end up reading no book at all during festivals. Lol.

My favorite authors are Paulo Coelho and Khaled Hosseini.
As far as inspiration is concerned, I am inspired reading the works of Paulo Coelho and when it comes to inspiration from an author as a person, I am more inspired by Vikram Seth although I never had the opportunity to meet him. I just love reading that man’s biography.
When did you start writing?
I started writing at age 12. I used to be an introvert (still am to some extent) and I scribbled stuff at the back of my school notebooks while my friends played dare challenges. Then I used to tear those pages and gift it to my English teachers. My teachers at school were my first and earliest readers. I switch between being an introvert and extrovert. I am an introvert when I am working on something and extrovert when it is complete and ready to be presented to the world. 
When did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to become a writer at class 8 when I was 14 years old. There was this English teacher of mine who used to support me above everyone else. While others read my work, she provided a critique. And then one day when I presented her a poem, she scolded me! Like literally she scolded me. I was surprised and confused. And then she went on to state that she had seen many future Keats and Shelley’s of India all lost in the rat race of higher studies. She feared that I will end up doing the same. So I made a promise that day that I will not quit writing and surely gift India the first Debjeet Mukherjee!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
There are ambitions but I prefer not to say other than the fact that I won’t be quitting what I started. I am more of a presenter. I keep quiet and normally do not share my ideas unless I feel I have achieved what my initial thoughts have originally envisioned.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I do not have a specific time to write. I write when I feel like. It may be months before I write another poem or it may be hours within which I complete writing a short story. My thoughts are random and when some idea comes I immediately finish writing it on any paper in front before the thought gets lost. Daydreaming and talking to myself are two important things that help me write better and I will not shy away from stating it.
Is this your debut work? 
Yes. This is my debut international self-published work. Like I said I have been writing for many years now but this is the first time that I have compiled up everything and published. It has till now been well received by authors, bloggers and book reviewers around the world as is evident from ratings and reviews on Amazon, Google Books and Goodreads.
What genre are your books?
My books are mainly non-fiction/young adult poetry and short stories.

Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
My current book is VOYAGES Volume I – A Collection of Poetry. It is a new style of writing poetry wherein a two line quotation has been provided at the end of each poem which gives a gist of the preceding lines. This has been adopted to make poetry more comprehensible among people who commonly mistake it as a genre understandable only to the Elite.
Where did you get idea for this book?
The idea behind this was that most people share two line quotations on social media everyday when they are sad, happy, angry, betrayed or in love. What people don’t realize is that if they keep all these quotations together then it forms a new style of poetry. A poem can be looked as a collection of quotations. Therefore, I experimented this new idea of mine in this book and it has been a huge success. People who are reading it are surely appreciating my thoughts and efforts.
How much research did you do for this book?
The research into this particular poetry collection of mine is taken from several years of my life. My most recent poems are at the very beginning, and my earliest poems are at the end. It mainly reflects the thoughts that lie embedded in one’s life as a teenager as the collected poems are from age 14 to 21. So it may frequently be relatable to persons reading this particular collection and act as a time machine to help them re-visit their teenage years and the kind of feelings they dealt with as a young adult. 
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Deciding how to arrange the poems! Poems are inspired by age, experience, season, climate, place and mood. So it’s difficult to arrange a poetry collection such that it comes out as a meaningful message.
Can we have your book trailer?

When was your book published?
05 September, 2018. (Teacher’s Day, yay!)
Can you tell us about the response you got for your book?
My book has been reviewed and rated Five Stars by Readers’ Favorite, USA and it has also won a Gold Star at TheBookDesigner.com’s September 2018 e-Book Cover Design Awards. The book currently has near to/above Four Star ratings on Amazon, Google Books and Goodreads and I am expecting some more reviews and awards soon in the coming months. Unfortunately, the book was published as an e-book three months before this conversation and the e-book policy of my publishers Notion Press updates the book sales quarterly. So my author dashboard is currently without any sales figure.
What are you working on at the minute?
I am working on VOYAGES Volume II – A Collection of Short Stories. It will be a unique book since my writings reflect different experiences of people and I am sure it will have one situation/character with whom the reader can relate to. It will not be the usual short stories and there will be lots of satisfaction and peace of heart in every conclusion. It will reflect the goodness that is abundantly still present in this world but is just not always pointed out/discovered.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I really have not given a thought to that but I may end up writing a novel. Book series are currently not in my Five Year Plans. Haha.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
To never let the aspirations fall down. As a student of economics I would say that every individual has a limited set of resources which he/she tries to maximize. Now the process of maximization is different for different individuals and it may not always lead to the best/efficient outcomes. But we either fail or we learn. If we fail then it simply means that our time has not yet come and we must always keep faith in our own processes simply because it is our own. Imitation never leads to efficient outcomes! 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
My first short story “A Rural Coincidence”, won a Commendable Mention at the Wingword Short Story Prize 2017 organised by Delhi Poetry Slam; followed by a Shortlist for my internationally acclaimed story “The Farewell” at the Wordweavers India Short Story 2018 Contest. I am also an amateur photographer and I received Honorable Mention at the International Photography Awards 2017 under Non-Pro Nature – Wildlife category. My love for history made me a keen numismatist. I have a decent collection of republic India commemorative coins, Foreign coins bearing important dates, commemorative coins of USA and USSR and even Berlin Mint coins of Nazi Germany!
Links for your book readers

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cloud 9 - Story about a Futuristic Virtual Reality Gaming by N Matthias Moore - a Book Review

Though I have read a number of fantasy books, in the genre of sci-fi & dystopia I am still new. Before Diwali, I saw “Cloud 9” by N. Matthias Moore. I found the blurb interesting. Though book’s reviews were few, the cover got me attached to it. So I took the book.


Book Blurb
The year is 2109. Michael is one of San Francisco's most notorious VR gamers in a world of uninhibited debauchery. Now at the turn of the 22nd century, the effects of cultural collapse compel the gaming aficionado to leave his sedated existence and venture on a quest for virtual utopia. But first, he must traverse nine levels inside a computer-brain interface or pay the ultimate price. The promise of living the rest of one's days in a computer-simulated paradise may be too enticing to resist, but for Michael Tillman and his girlfriend Valerie reality is hardly what it seems. Meet Real Games Enterprise RGE the underground cartel pandering the Cloud software that requires players to complete nine levels within the game or suffer elimination. With only three lives to win, failure results in death when their data is terminated. Outside threats from those determined to undermine the Cloud software finally puts RGE in jeopardy when they're attacked by infiltrators who don't like secrets.
The story goes like this, in the year 2109 when futuristic technologies reached its peak, virtual reality was taking over things. In fast-track world, partly stressed partly lost, Michael Tillman took solace in Virtual Reality Gaming. His only support was his girlfriend Valerie. He was broken inside & feels lonely (even after having a family). Things changed when he got a letter from Real Games Enterprise RGE a virtual reality gaming company. They offered him Virtual Paradise if he could clear their game. Unlike the previous games, he played, this was a completely different technology and environment. He had to clear 9 stages with 3 lives. The only clause was if he loses 3 lives he would lose his real life as well. (Sounds interesting? Yes it is new) The developer of the game (named as Manager) wanted government approval for the game to control population. But someone was against it. Manager’s only hope was the victory of Michael. Read the book to know more.

The book reached us in the 3rd week of November, but busy schedule postponed the review. Determined to reach the goal, I took the book in last week of November. Though it took me a few pages to attach myself with the story, once I got my hands on tempo I finished it in 2-3 days. Actually, I read too many Indian authors, that has set my mindset for reading. This habit always slows down my pace while reading foreign authors. Same happened with me while reading Cloud 9. The is no mistake from author’s side.

Good points about the book
  • Multi-Genre book – Yes you heard me right. Action, Thriller, Scifi, Suspense, Psychology, Gaming & whatnot.
  • The character of Manager – (called as a mad scientist by another party) Each of his actions & dialogs will amaze you. It had multiple interpretations which makes you guess what exactly he meant.
  • Conceptualization – The whole idea of VR Game is just amazing. Though scary, if lives are not at the stack, such technologies can create a complete revolution.
Overall a fantastic read. Ratings
  1. Cover – 4.5/5
  2. Character – 4.5/5
  3. Concept – 5/5
  4. Overall – 4.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon USA and Amazon India
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Book Review - Between the Great Divide: A Journey into Pakistan-Administered Kashmir by Anam Zakaria

We have received "Between the Great Divide" by Anam Zakaria almost 2 months back. Actually, my husband wanted to read it. But being a patriot, my husband didn’t like the context after reading the first few pages. He took permission from Publisher to donate the book. Fortunately, he asked me to donate it to the library, unlike him I was able to read the book as a neutral party. So here I am to give my view about the book.


Book Blurb
Seventy years ago, as India and Pakistan gained their independence, the region of Jammu & Kashmir also found itself divided, with parts of the territory administered by Pakistan ever since. Located by the volatile Line of Control and caught in the middle of artillery barrages from both ends, Pakistan-administered Kashmir was until over a decade ago one of the most closed-off territories of the world. In a first book of its kind, award-winning Pakistani writer Anam Zakaria travels through Pakistan-administered Kashmir to hear its people - their sufferings, hopes and aspirations. She talks to women and children living near the Line of Control, bearing the brunt of ceasefire violations; journalists and writers braving all odds to document events in remote areas; political and military representatives championing the cause of Kashmir; former militants still committed to the cause; nationalists struggling for a united independent Kashmir; and refugees yearning to reunite with their families on the other side. In the process, Zakaria breaks the silence surrounding a people who are often ignored in discussions on the present and future of Jammu & Kashmir even though they are important stakeholders in what happens in the region. What she unearths during her deeply empathetic journeys is critical to understanding the Kashmir conflict and will surprise and enlighten Indians and Pakistanis alike.
The author has taken tremendous efforts in visiting Pakistan Occupied Kashmir region and gather information about the lives of those people. Instead of giving straight legal or documentary content, she has taken few life stories. She has taken us through the life of those people showing how their life is affected by all the political and military pressure of Kashmir.

Life is life whether it is from India or POK. People have to meet days end with the same basic needs. But here things are not normal, their struggle is visible in words of Anam. I am not getting biased, but the same would be the condition of India Occupied Kashmish. Still, it won’t justify terrorism and violence shown towards authorities. Let's not divert the topic. In short, authorities at both sides should read such books and take decision for the betterment of population.

Ratings
  1. Cover – 4.5/5
  2. Content – 3.5/5
  3. Concept -3.5/5
  4. Overall – 3.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Blogger Trailmap - How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level in Easy Steps - A Book Review

I am blogging for more than 5 years now. I started dedicated (book) blogging in July 2016. Since then I tried and tested many things so when I saw "The Blogger Trailmap" with interesting illustration at just 1$ (72 INR) I gave it a try.


The book is divided into 3 parts.
  1. Deciding the type of blog/topic/subject
  2. Creating MVP - minimum viable product
  3. Taking proven blog (model) to next level
The content is written as pointers. You won't find spoonfeed material or step by step (pedagogy). Frankly speaking, being a solo/small group blogger there are no fix steps. The author has given only directions.

As a blogger, in the initial phase of blogging, all I wanted was more and more number of visits. While building blog, I thought of buying web space and domain, but my stable mind prevail me to do so. When I read these sections it reminded me earlier phase of my blogging days. At many places, my decisions were validated by book direction, though at some places they were criticized as well. In short, I have planned for my blog 3.0 based on the book.

Coming to general sense, the author has used a practical approach to wanna-be blogger and ametuare blogger. If we don't plan out we may lose viewership. If we think too much about planning before execution we may miss the right entry. The author has also shown where, when and how monetary decisions should be taken. Whether it's about marketing your blog or monetizing it.

Following are good points
  • Easy to understand language usage
  • Less preaching more examples
  • Shown steps in pointers
  • Wonderful illustrations
  • Supporting materials provided at end of each chapter
Only suggestion would be proper cover design. Though trail map (cover) is good as content, it looks like an academic poster.

Kindly note that though I have used word blogger, the book is equally true for Vlogger & Podcaster as well.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Concept - 4/5
  3. Content - 4.5/5 (0.5 extra for good illlustations)
  4. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon India and Amazon USA
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

We would like to thank Zavesti.com for introducing us to this wonderful book. Those who would like to know more about Blogging/Vlogging can visit their site.

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