Saturday, August 31, 2019

In Conversation with the Stars by Anupama Chopra

Outside fiction genre, books on Bollywood has taken a good share among my nonfiction genres. I have read more than a dozen books on Bollywood in the last 2 years. So I usually don't say no to this genre.


Book Blurb
In Conversation with the Stars is an extraordinary collection of curated interviews with some of the key figures of Hindi cinema. The artists discuss the art and craft of films on the Film Companion platform.
In each of the interactions, film critic Anupama Chopra deep dives into what makes an artist— from Shah Rukh Khan to Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma to Priyanka Chopra—tick, providing a window into the people behind the larger-than-life persona.
Through wide-ranging and in-depth discussions that make for a rich reading experience, these conversations also reveal how each of them grapple with both success and failure, and what it really means to be in the spotlight. This is a sparkling look into the lives and work of some of the most glittering stars of Indian cinema.
Earlier books I have read on Bollywood were either based on short biography collection (one of them was a biography), the contribution of production houses, movies & personality towards the cinema. This time I got my hands on conversation records. And most of the celebrities covered in the book are from the current age. The author Anupama Chopra (wife of Vidhu Vinod Chopra) runs a website Film Companion. Her site's motto is to bring some of the deepest stories/emotions by asking correct questions. When I have read the introductory part of the book where she discussed Bachchan sir's comment on the interview, I got the idea that the book won't be a boring one.

True to the introduction of the book, interviews that are covered in this book are
  • Genuity, where instead of the same questions, the individuality of question can be seen from personality to personality
  • Conversation Tone - You will find proper dialogs throughout each interview.
  • Props - During interviews Anupama has presented various video, audio related to the celebrity which has brought some hidden story behind it. Readers like to read such experiences
  • Quality of question - Yes indeed proper homework was done before each interview, which can be seen in those questions.
My favorite interviews are
  • Ranveer Singh
  • Saif Ali Khan
  • Hrithik Roshan
  • Priyanka Chopra
You will also find some clicks from these interviews. The book is designed so well that even though it is a paperback you can call it semi-hardcover. A nice read indeed.

Ratings
  • Cover - 4/5
  • Content - 4.5/5
  • Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Alternate Mythology - All lies says Krishna - a Book Review

I have read many versions of Krishna, still my hunger for one more never satiated. Last month only I have read Yugpurusha. And as Janmasthami was near, I took another book, which was "All Lies, Says Krishna" by J. Rajasekharan Nair. Just to tell you I have read stories where Krishna was shown as a shrewd politician than a god, so my acceptance level with the creativity of writer is flexible. I like to read alternate history/mythology and I accept it open-mindedly.


Book Blurb
Its thirty-six years after the Great War of Kurukshetra. The curse of a bereaved mother has deprived Krishna of everything, except his life. And so he journeys to Vrindavan, the village of his innocence, to spend the concluding hours of his life with his childhood friend and lover, Radha. In her presence, Krishna peels off the layers of myth that portrayed him as the incarnation of God. And at her request, he retells the story of the Mahabharata, like you have never heard before. All lies, says Krishna is an emotional journey into the tortured inner universe of its central characters, focusing more on their flailings than on their heroism. A charismatic retelling of the Mahabharata, this compellingly told narrative has a distinctive voice which sets it apart from anything you have ever read.
"All Lies" is one such attempt. If you believe Krishna was all godly, he doesn't have any gray patches, then you should avoid this book. If you would like to flow with Authors imagination then you may try this book.

Years after Mahabharata war when Krishna's fame spread in whole Bharatvarsha as a demi-god, he lost his kingdom Dwarika due to family feud & nature's wrath. He was sort of lonely. He left for Gokul/Vrindavana in search of his childhood friends & his love (Radha). When he reached there and met Radha after years of separation, two souls yearned for each other, they found solace. Here in front of Radha Krishna revealed some of his darkest secrets. He cleared out that he was merely a human who controlled things with his wisdom, wit & cunningness. Though completely imaginary in words of the author, you may question some of the belief you had about Krishna.

As I said the book need open-mindedness for acceptance. The pace is medium. You can easily read out the book because of the ease of language usage. I like the way cover designed, though not a single character is used in cover art, the way colors merged gives an impression of Krishna's "Morpankh - Peacock Feather". Talking about newness, yes you will find a new perspective for sure.

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

Monday, August 26, 2019

Book Review - Yoga & Stress Management by Acharya Yatendra

We have read 2-3 books on Yoga previously. Books like them may (or may not) help you directly, but indirectly they make you aware of wrong habits, rituals, schedules that you follow every day. Your conscious/subconscious mind make changes with/without you noticing it. I have observed it, like the way I to sit on the chair during office hours, the timing of meals and much more. So when I saw "Yoga & Stress Management" by Acharya Yatendra, I thought of reading it, before age and stress make me visit doctors/consultants for the same.


Book Blurb
Yoga & stress management is a therapeutic guide for those dealing with mental and physical stress, as well as a reference book for healthy living. Although urban work culture has greatly improved the individual economic status, it has grossly diminished. Nature’s endowments. While modern psychology effectively helps in creating an awareness of what causes this, the Yoga philosophy is capable of changing one’s overall attitude towards life. This book combines both and provides valuable guidelines, tips, and techniques. Yoga offers the complete toolkit to deal with psychological and psycho-somatic disorders that are globally on the rise. With yogic techniques one can understand the nature of human consciousness and attain its higher stages. Using yogic practices like meditation and Pranayama, one can delve deep within and connect the body and mind to the inner self. By enhancing the latent energy in man, yoga offers a holistic solution to erase conflicts, suppression, and sensitivity.
You know the first thing I did once I started the book, I filled the stress test. I am glad my score is below 50 which means I am not stressed. But the book changed the way I nurture thoughts. My point is book starts with a stress test and then explain to you what is stress, what are different types of stress are there. Following that comes minerals, vitamins, and food intake section. The gem of the book is 14 advises, I loved them. That section follows the actual Yoga Asana & Pranayama.

Those who are thinking that the book is full of Asana & Pranayama are wrong. The book is written with full Yoga as subject to help our stress levels. And if you are aware that you must be knowing yoga is not just Asana & Pranayam. The book has done justice to both stress management & yoga.

Good points
  • Easy language & narrative
  • Good illustrations/pictures
  • Informative and practical
  • Dept of subject
Improvement - Could have given more examples in some places.

Overall a nice book. I will give 3.5/5 to it.

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

Murder Mystery - the Secret of the Palamu Fort - Book Review

I was attracted to the book, ever since I saw its cover almost 4 months back. At that time book was yet to publish, but the cover was damn good and I just wanted to read it. I would like to thank Author Razi for providing me the review copy in exchange for an honest review. I have read stories based on many states of India, the secret of fort Palamu is my first read on Jharkhand state. So I was excited to read it.


Book Blurb
Someone has risen from the dead and is haunting the sinister ruins of the Palamu Fort, situated in the mystical land of Jharkhand.

A few hundred kilometers from the fort, in the capital city Ranchi, a History Professor of St. Xavier’s college is murdered at his home. The witnesses claim he was killed by a ghost! 
The police is clueless. Inspector Patrick Minj ropes in Detective Robin Horo, who unearths a clue which indicates that the murder has a bloody trail running as far as 350 years in the history of Jharkhand. A poisonous conspiracy was plotted centuries ago in the Kingdom of Palamu that designed the downfall of an empire and forced the king to hide his legacy in the unforgiving and indifferent womb of time. 
The ghost is leaving behind a trail of dead bodies and to solve the case Robin has nothing but an Artifact that is said to have an ancient curse over it and a centuries old riddle that if solved, could lead to an Elixir. 
Witness the conspiracy unfolding that spans 350 years in the making and takes Robin and his companions on a labyrinthine adventure involving deadly secrets, dangerous threats and a lethal encounter with a beast in the jungles of Palamu.
As the title suggests the story is linked with historical references, it even contains a certain portion of historic events. The protagonist of our story is Robin Horo, a private detective, acknowledged by the state's chief minister. Robin is well-known in media. The story started with the murder case, where police came to Robin for consultation. As per police and alibis murder was done by a Ghost. And they cannot work on an entity which didn't exist. Robin readily agreed. His involvement didn't stop further crimes, one more murder happened along with a few more attacks. How will Robin solve the case when everyone except him wanted to avoid further investigation.

On the other side, 350 years back, Raja Medini Ray recruited a boy name Satyabhama in his royal guards. Later on, he gave Satyabhama a task. In current time, the ghost attacking people has same name Satyabhama. Do read the book to know what is the mystery behind the Ghost of Satyabhama.

As mentioned earlier, this is my first read on Jharkhand, so the only strange thing I found was the names of characters. (though they are Indian, I found many of them unheard of) Else the book is as smooth as butter. I have finished it in 3 days (total reading hours less than 6 for 250 pages). Language usage is simple, you won't face vocabulary issues. The plot & suspense is well maintained. You will keep turning pages till the end. Even the climax is wonderfully portrayed.

Along with the story, the author has done a wonderful job of bringing the face of Jharkhand to its readers. Believe it or not, the state is full of natural beauty but ignored by the majority of people. If a movie or series can be planned on this book, it can promote tourism for Jharkhand.

Ratings
  1. Cover - 5/5
  2. Content - 4.5/5
  3. Characters - 4.5/5
  4. Concept - 5/5
  5. Overall - 4.75/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Book Review - It's Never a Break-up in Love by Avijitt SSood

"It's Never a Break-up in Love" is an interesting title. When I saw it the first time, I was having mixed feelings for the book, as the book cover was an average one. (I am kind of bookworm who likes attractive covers) But the impression of the title was stronger than the cover, so the copy landed up in my hands.


Book blurb
Is it okay to love twice or to be in love with a person who loves someone else? Is it okay to let your feelings die when you still have the hope to save your relationship? What would you do if your heart still pound for the one who has left you? Is this true that an invisible, slender thread always binds the people who are in love? What would you do if you were in any of these situations? Only those who are in true love are blessed to understand what it takes to love. Would Akshita, Aarav and Ananya ever come to realize what their real desires are? The only way to explore would be to embark on the chaotic and surreal emotional journey of love.
Talking about the story, "It's Never a Break-up in Love" is a story between 3 characters Aarush, Akshita and Ananya. Yes, it is a love triangle. I think generation Z will be able to relate it more than others. Characters & story are divided into London & India. The writing style is different, where each chapter leaving behind curiosity and the next one clearing those doubt. 

Points that I observed about the book
  • Easy language usage. (at places some mistakes but can ignore them)
  • Short in length. Finished it in 2 sittings.
  • Felt many places were left unexplained, could have been placed better
  • A weak cover
If you like to read love stories, you will find the book a good proposition.

Will give 3/5 to the book.

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

Friday, August 23, 2019

Book Review - Rankshetram Part 3 - Durbhiksh & Durdhara

In India, especially in Hindi or regional languages, you will get fewer options for middle grades or YA readers based on mythological action thriller. Because sometimes it is not that much encouraged by parents. In India parents still, prefer their kids to read syllabus than literature/stories. I feel books that can encourage younger generation should reach them and if that can be done in their preferred language then it's even better.

Rankshetram series by Utkarsh is efforts in bringing a mythological world in front of readers where they can see events unfolds before them like watching a series. Utkarsh has taken the support of existing mythological plots and woven his story around it. Those who have not read the first two parts can check our review here, Part-1 & Part-2. It is recommended to read both parts before you venture into part 3.


Book Blurb
रणक्षेत्रम के पहले भाग में पाँच दिनों के महासमर और दूसरे भाग में इस महागाथा के सबसे मुख्य पात्र ‘दुर्भीक्ष’ की वापसी होने के बाद अब प्रस्तुत है रणक्षेत्रम श्रृंखला का तीसरा भाग जो दुर्भीक्ष के जीवन के सभी भेद खोलकर रख देगा| दुर्भीक्ष और दुर्धरा की प्रेम कथा, रीछराज जामवंत के साथ द्वंद्व, गरूड़ों का श्राप, त्रिगर्ता की यात्रा, और दुर्भीक्ष का एक बार फिर दुर्दांत हत्यारा बन पाँच सहस्त्र गंधर्वों की बर्बर हत्या जैसी अनेक घटनाओं को समेटे यह भाग श्रृंखला का सबसे महत्वपूर्व खण्ड होने जा रहा है| वहीं दूसरी ओर सदियों के उपरांत द्रविड़ प्रजाति अपनी मातृभूमि को वापस प्राप्त करने के लिए लौट आई है| ऐसा कौन सा असत्य था जिसने सुर्जन को फिर से दुर्दांत हत्यारा दुर्भीक्ष बना दिया? क्या रहस्य है
The story of part 3 is solely concentrated on Dubhiksh and Durdhara, as suggested in the title. Durbhiksh is shown as protagonist and antagonist both. The book has two major sections. The first part covers how Durbhiksh & Durdhara met, how in disguise of Surjan he helped Durdhara and her people. This part shows Durbhiksh's war strategy as a normal human. The second part covers how Durbhiksh join Dacoit group (handled by Meghvarna & Chandraketu) on their mission to Singhal-desh. This part covers strategies and cleverness of Meghvarna. Unlike previous parts, this book has limited plots & fights. It is written with more detailing and maturity. You will find out more about Durbhiksh as a great warrior in this part. Read the book to know more. 

As I just mentioned, apart from action, this part covers war strategies and political tactics. Where the first two parts had shown only cunningness of Rakshguru, here other characters have shown their sides. The entry of Jamvan, Garudas & Dravidian has brought new twists to the story. Two characters got the major platforms are Durbhiksh & Meghvarna. By the end of this book, I can visualize where the author is leading the story. I can sense even bigger war than shown in previous parts. Let's see how it will turn out.

Talking about improvement points
  1. The author has used limited words vocabulary. Specially words like "Zilla Utha" / "Zillaya", "Nischit Mudra"/ "Nischit Jagha". There are such repetitive words. I feel the author could have taken help, to improve it.
  2. Word "Nischit" (means certain) was provided so many times I lost the count. You will find that word after every 3-4 pages. Like, he went to a certain place, he came in a certain position. The author could have elaborated better.
  3. Found 5-6 typing mistakes especially in Kindle version. Which I think will be corrected by the time you guys will get your copy.
Overall a super-fast read, which can give you company in your short vacation.

I will give 4/5 stars to Part 3 of Rankshetram.

Book can be found at Amazon Kindle & Paperback
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

If you have Kindle Unlimited Subscription, you can read this book at free.

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Metaphysical Adventure Thriller - Adrift by Para H - A Book Review

If you are a bookworm, then you might have read books which you misjudged based on its cover. Well, it is a common phenomenon among us. We have many books which we buy because of its cover., or not buy because we didn't like the books cover. When I saw Adrift the cover had a girl (and a guy as transparent background) I thought it was a love story. I would have skipped the book if I have not checked its blurb. Those who assume that the book is a love story will get a surprise when they read it.


Book Blurb
A catastrophic seismological event causes a large piece of Southern California to break away and float into the Pacific Ocean. More than 10 million Americans are struggling for survival. They can sink any minute. Kate, a spirited young woman, joins the military leaders to take charge of the rescue operations. Father Duncan, a priest, helps Kate by 
inspiring the people with spiritual messages of hope and faith. 
Adrift is a metaphysical adventure thriller that takes on a journey you will never forget. 
What does Indian philosophy have to do with the Americans’ struggle for survival? Will Kate and Father Duncan succeed in saving the masses? Where do they end up? Read on and join the roller coaster ride to discover for yourself. 
The story starts with an earthquake in Southern California. What follows is a complete surprise. When affected people came out to gauge the situation, they find that they have been separated from the USA and are now afloat on the sea. It takes them some time to realize that they are actually floating like a boat on the sea, and are not sure of the direction their landmass is taking. An architect,  Kate approaches military authorities to understand the situation and becomes the hope of this island. On the professional front, Kate tries to handle the situation but is going through emotional turmoil. After years of stable marriage one fine day her husband dumped her.

Read the book to know whether Kate will be able to find stability on the personal front? Will the floating landmass sink in the ocean or collide with another continent?

The major part of the story is written with Kate as the central character (in the third person). The book or I would say the plot has a positive outlook. One can only imagine how chaotic world will become without law and order and a capable leader. In the story, the positive side of people is highlighted. The leadership of Kate, the spirituality of father Ducan and intellectual capability of Hari are the gems in this book. Those who want to read a mixed genre book can try this. Slight technical details are included, explaining the phenomena of a floating landmass. But I feel some of it is essential to give a logical background.

I will give 4 out 5 stars to Adrift. :)

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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Story of Krishna - Yug Purush by Savita Singh - A Book Review

They say you should not linger around a particular genre so much, even I advise the same to others. But deep down I prefer more mythological & historical fictions (especially Indian base). Due to this, I have read many version of Krishna. Some were related to only Krishna, while some were on Mahabharata time where it was just a side character. I have read a version where he was born as a God, in some version he was born normal and died like a god. So when an opportunity appeared to read another version I grabbed it.

One of the most attractive features of this book was its cover, the artwork of Krishna is just mesmerizing. You may end up buying this book if you are not a strong-minded person.


Book blurb
This is the story of the most enigmatic man of the era; the man who, despite being a mortal, was superhuman in every way. Krishna was a visionary who could see into the future, and tried in his own way to make it better, accepting what he could not change. A brilliant strategist, he manipulated people to achieve the end goal—yet never for the wrong reasons. The powers he exhibited are in all of us; only we are not aware of them and have no idea how to activate or harness them. This book reveals how Krishna directed his immense powers to make the earth a better place to live in for future generations. He stood for love, friendship and harmony, yet did not hesitate to destroy, if it meant the destruction of evil. The ninety-nine sons of Dhritrashtra have been equated with the many faces of corruption, and when corruption reaches its peak, there is born a person like Krishna, who uses every means at his disposal to snuff it out. That is why he is the Yug Purush—one who stands out, and above, everyone else.

Talking about the story, Yugpurusha started with Krishna joining Maharishi Sandipani's Gurukul for studies. The world portrayed in this book is shown as a normal one. Godly powers of Krishna were shown as psychic powers which awakened since his birth. His teacher made him aware of those powers and thought him how to garner them. Later on, he went back to Mathura and lead his people to shift to Dwarika to avoid attacks of Jarasandha. The story covers how he got married to his Patrani (principal wives). Also, the story of Krishna is not complete without his contribution to Mahabharata. You may find many such things while reading this book.

Well, I have read so many books on Krishna that I found only one variation in this book. That variation is Krishna was a normal human with psychic powers. Apart from that, I found this book as a quick recap of Krishna series by Ramanand Sagar and Mahabharata by B R Chopra. I missed the spark and uniqueness. Talking about the writing style, it was fluid and fast-paced. You may finish the book in 3-4 sittings. Language usage is also simple. A novice or beginners can easily read this book. 

Ratings

  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Concept - 3/5
  3. Content- 3/5
  4. Overall - 3/5

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

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Book Review - Heartquake by K. Vijayakarthikeyan

K. Vijayakarthikeyan has made a loud entry with his debut book "once upon an IAS exam". Being an IAS himself he has taken writing around experiences of the same environment. Once Upon IAS was so popular in 3 months of its release that we cannot deny the book. So we wanted to read the book to know what is all the noise about the book. My teammate Devi read it and she liked the book. As per her, the book was on par with praises it was fetching. So this time when Vandana from Vinfluencers offered us a review copy in exchange for an honest review I took the opportunity.


Book Blurb
An IAS officer’s tale of survival against all odds.

Once upon a time there was a city plagued by greed, corruption and mysterious deaths…
A patriotic IAS officer, Vikram, decides to expose a corrupt and powerful minister, Rudra Pratap Rana (aka RPR), during the latter’s visit to the IAS training academy. The video of Vikram asking the minister some highly embarrassing questions in front of a packed auditorium goes viral.
Instead of having Vikram suspended from service, a vengeful RPR unleashes violence on the officer’s family, and to continue the torture, RPR gets Vikram posted as the sub-divisional magistrate in Laxmipur—the politician’s backyard.
As soon as Vikram joins duty, RPR resumes his vengeance. However, a new drama unfolds when a large number of people start dying of heart attacks across Laxmipur. As Vikram tries to unravel these mysterious deaths with the help of Veda, a cardiologist, and Raghu, a police officer, extreme panic grips the city, which soon leads to riots and pandemonium. Vikram is left with no other choice but to risk his life to get to the bottom of this mind-numbing situation.
Join Vikram in this fast-paced thriller as he fights to save Laxmipur from HEARTQUAKE
Well, "Once Upon" was the story around IAS exam preparations. "Heartquake" is more of after IAS situation. Don't worry it is not a sequel (even if it is I didn't feel one). The story started when during IAS training our protagonist Vikram confront antagonist Rudra Pratap Rana (RPR), a corrupt politician & home minister of the state. RPR got Vikram posted in his base constituency, Lakshmipur. He planned to insult Vikram and he did it till the end. In Lakshipur Vikram met the love of his life, a cardiologist Veena. Then started a series of mysterious heart attacks in Lakshmipur taking lives of hundred plus people. The story became a mystery thriller later on.

Vijayakarthikeyan's writing style is simple and straight. This was my first read by Vijaya and now I know why he is reaching good readership in such a short time. His story flows like a smooth river stream, which is fast in pace and shallow not to sink its readers. You will turn page after pages and before you know you are done with the book. You can finish the book in 2-3 sittings. If I had 2-3 hours at stretch I could have finished it in a single sitting. Language usage is simple, if you want to cultivate a habit of reading or learn English this book can be a good pick. The book cover of Once Upon IAS was catchy but with this book, I found it a little dull. 

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book Review - Meant To Be Together by Faraaz Kazi

You have to agree that no matter what a love story always catch human attention. But plain love stories sometimes get you bored, especially every month hundreds of them coming in the market. that brings the creative side of authors how they can show it in a different style. I think recently apart from thriller and action-based love stories two types are doing great. One is an inspirational love story and another is mature ones. "Meant To Be Together" by Faraz Kazi belongs to later type. Well, I was not aware of the same when we received the book in exchange for an honest review.


Book Blurb
Preeti Thaker moves to Mumbai to run away from herself, to put behind a painful childhood, plagued adolescent years and the recent death of her only support system – her brother. She is on the verge of ending it all, succumbing to her depression, when the doorbell rings. Little does she know that answering it will change her life forever! The guy on the other end of the door will offer her solutions to all her problems, but in the process, she will end up losing the only thing she had never lost till date – her heart!

Inspired by the true story of an artist who found that love was the only color missing from the palette of her life, 'Meant to be Together' is a tale of love, friendship, courage, determination and above all, hope... hope that makes us look for the rainbow when it rains and for the stars when it is dark!
Preeti is out protagonist who had troubled past and was on verge of breaking down. She met a guy named Sameer who helped her to come out of her emotional turmoil. Deep down, Preeti started having feelings for Sameer, but she was not confident about Sameer's feeling. Read the book to know more.

The overall writing style is smooth. Though written with emotional quotient in mind book won't bore you out if you don't like emotional drama. It shows how love can bring balance to an emotionally depressed person. Language usage is simple, I would say ideal for people who want to learn reading. A light and quick read. You can take it on a trip and enjoy it. Don't worry it is not another Mills and boon's type. 

I will give 3 out of 5 stars to the book.

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

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Book Review - Sanjay Dutt: One Man, Many Lives

I have been reading since I can read (literally from the age of 8 or 9). I read so many fictions that now I reached a level where fictions don't fancy me much. Rather I started reading more nonfiction. Among them, biographies have taken the front seat. I have read more than 25-30 biographies in the last 3-4 years. When I watched Sanju movie I wanted to read Sanjay Dutt's biography "Kuch to Log Kahenge" but I didn't get the book at that time. So when I got the chance to read the book on Sanjay Dutt by another author I didn't miss it. here I am to discuss the book.


The book is written in a simple context. Lucid language and medium pace made me turn page after page. The author has covered parts and packages of many incidents of Sanjay's life. These incidents are what makes Sanjay Dutt that we see today, whether they are good or bad. In a neutral scale, you may find book slightly towards Sanjay side. So those who see law above stardom may criticize the book just like they did it for movie Sanju.

Talking about the book design, hardcover book with a classy image of Sanjay Dutt make the book a nice attraction for your bookshelf or coffee table. Special moments of Sanjay's like are pictured in the book for fans in color glossy pages. 

Talking about the ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Overall - 3.75/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, August 9, 2019

Story based on Bollywood Struggles - The Stranger in Me Book Review

There are perks of reviewing books. Before that, I used to read a specific genre. But book blogging has exposed me to multiple genres and writing styles. In the last three years, I have been to a blind date with many books where I have been surprised. Almost 8 out of 10 times, I enjoyed those book thoroughly. Same was the case with "The Stranger in Me". I have been provided this book like a blind date(of course in exchange for an honest review). Again the book was a bigger surprise for me as I was expecting a mythological fiction from publishers. Well, we didn't lose heart as at the end of the day as a book blogger we need a book to read.


Book Blurb
One man. His three lives. One city. 

Amit is dead. Amit is alive. Amit is the superstar. Amit is a failed actor. Are there many men or just one man living different lives at different times? After 40 years, Amit wants to hark back to his youth and become a Bollywood hero. But Bombay is now Mumbai and he is no longer 20.
Does Amit have it in him to be the hero of his own story? Rocky, his flatmate, a struggling writer by day and bouncer by night, steps in as a messiah of sorts, along with Disha, the daughter of a renowned movie producer, who is madly in love with Rocky and believes all is fair in love, and Sasha, Amit’s best friend, a hippie stuck in the ’70s.
Chandni, the Bollywood siren of the ’70s, is still the reigning queen of Amit’s heart. With Amit back in the same city, will there be a reunion of two lost souls from another time? Will Amit achieve his Bollywood dream? Will Rocky pen a blockbuster? Will Disha win her love?
"The Stranger in Me" is a story of few struggling characters wanting to enter into the limelight of Bollywood. One of our protagonists is Amit. Amit tried in Bollywood in his younger days, but he didn't succeed. He went back to normal life and had it almost for 30 years. When he got retired from his professional and personal responsibilities he came back to Mumbai for another try as now he didn't have much to lose. He met a guy called Rocky on his first day of Mumbai. Rocky is our next protagonist, who had good looks and body. But he was not accepted by his family as none in his family looks so good. He wanted to become a writer (scriptwriter) but people wanted him to cast him instead of his scripts. Rocky took Amit as his co-tenant and then started a comical journey. Do read if you like to read books on Bollywood backstage.

The book is written with simple language and medium pace. It is an ideal pick for beginners. Don't worry, even seasonal readers can also read it. I would say they will enjoy it for sure. Three things I liked the most about the book
  • The cover page. I cannot just ignore if I am window shopping it.
  • Pranks by Amit. They are just funny and instant.
  • Writing style. not too confusing.
Ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Concept - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Asoka: The Buddhist Emperor of India by Vincent A Smith

Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka, they have a good number of books dedicated to them in our historical fiction shelf. Many of them were related to Chanakya. Well as I said, they are all "Historical Fiction" which means at the end they are fiction. And most of the fictions are written as thrillers or war/strategy book, so it would show more violent and emotional side which affect readers the most. Till now I haven't read historic records or researched book on Mauryas. So when an opportunity was appeared to review "Asoka The Buddhist Emperor of India" by Vincent Smith I simply grabbed it.


Book Blurb
Asoka: The Buddhist Emperor of India is regarded as a culturally important work in the historiography
of the life and times of King Asoka. A masterpiece when it was first published, its importance
has only increased with time.
I was not aware Asoka was such a well researched and well accepted book worldwide. The book is published in multiple languages in multiple countries.

Being a historic scholar and having exposure to multiple ancient Indian sites, Vincent (the author) has dug out as many relevant information about Asoka than we can find in folklore. The author has been to various sites which were created during Asoka's time. He has studied them and presented us with the crux of his findings.

We have heard many myth about Asoka how he became king by killing his 100 brothers. What if I say there are no proof of that theory. What all Asoka did after the war of Kalinga? Read this book to know more.

The language of the book is slight academical. So is the flow to the subject and medium paced. For people who wanted to know about the great empire and its culture, this is a nice pick. People looking for story and action may stay away from the book. I know cover can misguide you by giving a different picture. And that' what we are for. 

Overall a different style & genre. Content of the book is deep.

I would give 3/5 to this book

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

Friday, August 2, 2019

Meet Khalnayaka of Mahabharata - Shakuni - Read the Story of Master of the Game

I know "Shakuni" from Mahabharata and "Manthara" from Ramayana, these two are always portrayed as darkest or the most wicked minds of their time. You will find good and bad of all other characters, be it Duryodhana, Karna, Ashwatthama or Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Vali. I feel even storyteller needed an antagonist for such epics, so 99.99% times you will find these two characters in negative color only. Have you thought what was their thought process behind their actions. I haven't encountered a book on Manthara yet bu in Shakuni this was given in finer details.


Book Blurb
Threatened by the formidable Kuru dynasty, the kingdom of gandhara is forced to marry off its princess to the blind king of Kuru, Dhritarashtra. Enraged by this defeat, shaken, the heir to the gandhara kingdom, vows to seek revenge. He uses the Kauravas and Pandavas as Pawns in a cleverly crafted game of deceit and destruction and watches as the mighty Kuru kingdom crumbles. Told through the gripping perspective of shakti, this retelling of the Mahabharata asks the burning question –was shakuni really the vilest of all villains or the victim of a grave injustice?.
I won't take you through the story, as usual, instead let me give you situations to visualize
  • Assume your beloved sister is at the age of marriage. You are looking for a good candidate. But some powerful guys come to your father and forced your father to give your sister's hand in marriage to a blind guy.
  • Assume you love your sister's eyes as she sees and tells you how she sees the world. Now she has wrapped the cloth around her eyes for the rest of your eyes.
  • After all these sacrifices she is married to a person who lost kingship due to his blindness to a weaker candidate
Can you tell me what would be your reaction? Unless you are a saint or insane you will be disturbed and shocked. So was the case with Shakuni.

If you think he was all evil and coward. Have you ever thought about how he was able to manage his kingdom staying away in Hastinapur. Well, that required good governing policies and implementations. Coming to cowardice he did encourage and plotted the skirmish within the family, but when the time came for the war he didn't run away. He was there with his nephew. Read the book to know the exact character of Shakuni.

The book is written nicely with author's imaginary skill which has capabilities to neutralize one of the sinister characters from Hindu mythology. Language usage is good for regular readers. The pace of the book is medium to fast. A good choice for a long trip. Talking about the ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Concept - 4/5
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Inspirational Fiction - Alumni of the Year by Tomson Robert - Book Review

I got this book last to last week Saturday (20th July) and I was expecting a more of a self-help type book. But it turns out as a light read with a good entertainment factor. I would like to thank author Robert Tomson and Writersmelon for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


Book Blurb
Experience Dave’s journey.
Dave is ambitious, has a demanding boss, and is struggling to balance work and life, especially the relationship with his five-year-old daughter. Dave cherishes the memories of his school days. However, due to an incident from the past, he hardly keeps in touch with his best friends.
When Dave learns that his arch-rival from school is nominated for the prestigious Alumni of the Year Competition, he buys his way into the nomination by donating to the school library.
Travel on a life-changing journey with Dave—from Dubai, to Goa, to Kochi—as he goes for the School Reunion function. See how he confronts his past, his ambitions, his fears, and discovers about what truly matters in life.
When I say inspirational, don't dishearten, the book is based on a fictional story. The protagonist of the story is Dave married to Ann and father of 5-year-old girl Alexa. He is working with JW Associate and settled in Dubai. Well set in a job and doing better financially was not able to give Dave satisfaction. He was one of those (maybe like us) who always say just next target (maybe project/promotion) and then I will slow down. But the moment target is achieved he would make the next target by sacrificing family relations. Dave's company is targeting for a multimillion bank merger project and Dave's team with his shrewd boos Ben was working on it. Dave has already started experiencing early family problems due to his negligence toward family. His vacation was colliding with Ben's set expectations for the project. Dave is getting stressed out how to handle out the situation. He revisited memories associated with his friends and how things went during junior college days. The gem of the story is the last section which gives inspiration to Dave. Read the book to know more.

My observation
  • The fast-paced story you won't feel it finished. I did it in just 3 sittings in less than 4 hours
  • Language is easy. Good for beginners
  • Good balance of faith and inspiration
  • Can help people stuck in such professional-personal cycle.
  • Good choice for light readers. Take it on the trip, it will keep you entertained
Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3.5/5
  2. Concept - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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