Wednesday, January 31, 2018

8 The Game is On by Swapnil Khamkar

I selected "8: The Game is On" by Swapnil Khamkar when I checked the tagline on the back cover.  '1 ship; 2 deaths; 3 cops; 400 murders; 500 years; 60 days; 7 countries; 8 artifacts – Let the adventure begin!' 

A catchy line doesn't it...! Yes, I also thought same when I have first looked at this book. 

Book Blurb
History holds a lot in its pages. But till when can truth be hidden?
Neel is a cop investigating the mysterious death of a famous film director. In the middle of a divorce case with his wife Avantika and amidst thoughts of resigning from his job, will he be able to find the culprit?
A five-hundred-year old sunken ship belonging to Vasco da Gama is discovered off the coast in Oman. It is well known that the ship sank with thousands of artefacts in it. Out of them, eight artefacts are missing in specific. Do they have some connection with the film director’s death?
Neel tries to unearth the truth behind the missing artefacts to find clues to questions nobody else can answer. Join Neel as he tries to find the truth behind 8! 1 ship; 2 deaths; 3 cops; 400 murders; 500 years; 60 days; 7 countries; 8 artefacts – Let the adventure begin!
The author started narrating the storyline in a thriller way by portraying a murder which was staged like suicide. A south Indian movie like cop comes to the story. With his Sherlock Holmes-like skill and observations, he excludes suicide and deduced it to a murder. As the murder investigation was just started getting somewhere the cop dropped the case and went to another plot only to meet the former afterward. 

The story becomes romantic drama rather than a thriller in next part. Working with his would be divorced wife over a mission, clearing the misunderstanding and falling in love again. And after that, treasure hunt began. I found fewer details and more pace in this part. 

No doubt the author has done some research over the whole Esmeralda Tragedy and also about the cities mentioned in the story. He has done a good work with that but after all, the story fails to hold. Swapnil Khamkar's writing skills are good as a debutant but I missed that touch. I wish him best luck in his future endeavor.

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

Book Review - Lauren Kate's Torment Second Installment in Fallen Series

Torment by Lauren Kate is the second book in Fallen series. I was randomly going through youtube and I came across the movie that was made from the first book of series "Fallen" last month and I loved that movie, I wanted to read Torment ever since. So when I found this book in book fair I was so excited, but after reading this book I was bit disappointed.

Book blurb
How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for?In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean – and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future. and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened. what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?
The story starts after the events of Fallen, Cam- the demon and Daniel -the angle made an eighteen-day truce to protect Luce who was Daniel 's love and a mortal from the Outcast. Luce was hidden at Shoreline, a school where both humans and Nephilim - half angle attended. Luce found out more about her past lives with the help of two Nephilim friends Shelby, Luce's roommate, and Miles, whose affection for Luce causes her to doubt her relationship with Daniel. Daniel will do anything to protect her. Discovering some of her past lives, Luce realizes how their love hurt the thousands of families she once lived with. During her time in Shoreline, Luce's division between angels and demons becomes blurry when she discovers that Daniel and Cam are fighting side by side. At times, Daniel visits her to try to make her feel happier about her situation. At one time, when Daniel comes to visit her, he sees Miles kiss Luce on a window sill. She finds out that not only the Elders want her, but that the Outcasts - beings who are neither angels nor demons - want to capture her. Luce's parents have a Thanksgiving party, and when her parents go out the Outcasts arrive in Luce's backyard to fight the angels. Luce finds out that Miles has feelings for her, as he can replicate a person, but only if he loves them. Luce is stressed from the violence and decides to find out more about her past lives by jumping through one of the shadows, leaving everybody behind her. Leaving her past and into her future and Daniel,  follows her.

I am love reading books with angles, demons or vampires in it, in short, YA fantasies.  That was the prime reason I liked this book, otherwise, I found writing style quite poor. One particular thing that I didn't like was the meetings between Luce and Denial. Whenever they met, they just fought over stupid things. And then Denial will leave saying "I have to go". After watching Fallen I had big expectations from this book, which were not fulfilled.

This book is a bit like the Twilight series, instead of vampires in this book we have angles and demons. So I recommend this book to YA fantasy readers only.

  1. Cover : - 3/5
  2. Content : - 2.5/5
  3. Character : - 3/5
  4. Concept : - 2.5/5
  5. Overall : - 3/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Mrs Funnybones: She's just like You and a lot like Me By Twinkle Khanna

I have read this book in one sitting and let me just tell you that I loved it beyond apprehension.

Once, I randomly saw an episode of "A Coffee with Karan" where Akshay Kumar and the author of this book Twinkle Khanna were invited as guests. I am not a Bollywood person so I didn't know her at that time. But I loved her fierce and nonchalant humor. At the end of that episode, she mentioned Mrs. Funnybones and I wanted to read this book since then. I have read this book finally and it has not disappointed me.

Book Blurb
Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman a woman who organizes dinner each evening after having been at work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country. Based on Twinkle Khanna’s super-hit column, Mrs Funnybones marks the debut of one of our funniest, most original voices.

When I was purchasing the book I read the tagline on it "She's just like you and a lot like me" and my thoughts were how can she be a lot like me?  she is middle-aged, celebrity, married and mother of two, but after reading this book I really can relate to her.

This book is about her really clever and peculiar view of life. In this book, her husband is referred as the man of the house, her son as the prodigal son, her little daughter as the baby, which I find amusing and different. This book also has her opinion about feminism, patriarchy, our culture and many other things with a great humor. Her opinions about this things are really similar to mine so I can relate to this book.

All and all if you're looking for a book with good humor, and a book that can make you laugh till you cry then I recommend Mrs. Funnybones.

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

Hit For A Six by Payal Dhar

If you are going on a short or medium trip, "Hit for a Six" by Payal Dhar would be a good companion for you. I selected this book based on cover & blurb. 

Book Blurb
Laila, a spunky thirteen-year-old whose life revolves around cricket, is badly shaken when the cricketer she idolises admits to match-fixing. Can her hero’s betrayal and her love for the game coexist? Things get complicated further when she discovers that her school is going to be home to the town’s first ever girls’ cricket club.

Meanwhile, working on a school project about their town’s historical spots, Laila and her friends find themselves asking questions that seem unrelated at first but point to a mystery just begging to be solved. What is going on in Old Mister Marshall’s house? Who are the anonymous benefactors who have sponsored the renovation of Laila’s school? What why?
An exciting read about precarious friendships, cricket and a niggling mystery, Hit for a Six is sure to be a big hit.
As blurb suggested Laila, our protagonist used to come for lone time in an old mansion of her city Chandanisarai. She used to be a big fan of Indian cricket team captain. When she entered in 8th Standard things changed drastically. Her favorite spot - mansion suddenly got new occupants, who didn't allow outsiders to enter the house. Her school suddenly got renovated, her best friend Shalini drifted away from Laila. New students & cricket coach were also big addons. On top of that Laila got history project for which she selected Mansion purposefully to solve the mystery.

A very light story, that made me go to the last page without knowing it was coming. Though no big ups & downs or climax I there in the story, writing style made sure no boring moment awaiting readers. I liked cricket match part, which made me feel like listening to radio commentary. 

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

Imperfect Misfits by Devanshi Sharma

When Vishnu first told me the title - "Imperfect Misfits" by Devanshi Sharma available for review, I instantly said yes. I didn't even check the cover, I liked title. Once I received the book I loved the cover art as well.

Book Blurb
Tiasha: I am very annoyed.

Aakaash: That’s your job, Tiasha. Good that you are doing it well.
Tiasha: And I am very serious.
Aakaash: When are you not!
Tiasha: Argh! I hate you, Aakaash. 
Aakaash: Thank God for small mercies! 
Just like a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes the sizzling chocolate brownie delicious, these best friends complimented each other. A chef by passion, Tiasha jumps and waves through her professional choices, while Aakaash, the witty stand-up comedian, knows exactly what he wants.
He was the tranquility which refugees crave to stay in and she was the refugee, who wanted to wander and explore. Imperfect Misfits is a story of perfect misfits, food, frolic, emotions and their endless imperfections.
The question is, will their friendship survive through this wavy journey of love? 
"Imperfect Misfits" is the story of two best friends Aakash and Tiasha. Aakash was sorted guy, whereas Tasha was a bit childish in nature. These two inseparable best friends fell in love and things started to go haywire. When things didn't work out, they decided to just begin best friends again. Along the way, they both started dating different people. But could not feel that love and finally came back together.

What I like about this book is simple and easy language, therefore millennials will enjoy this book. Being a foodie I also liked the comparison of food with general things and thoughts in life. What I didn't like about this book is author's view in between which was breaking the link of the story. Also, the pace of the story in starting is very slow and bit boring which I didn't like.

Overall this book is for millennials who want to read simple and casual romantic novel.

  1. Cover : - 3.5/5
  2. Content : - 2/5
  3. Character : - 3/5
  4. Concept : - 2.5/5
  5. Overall : - 2.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book Review - Holy Herbs - Modern Connections to Ancient Plants

My mom preferred herbs over medicines. Her herb-cyclopedia is vast enough to cover 90% of our health issues with herbs. When I saw "Holy Herbs - Modern Connections to Ancient Plants" by Sudhir Ahluwalia on Goodreads giveaway, it created enthusiasm for me to get some knowledge myself as well. After all, I am also a mother now and I should know some basics of herbs as well.

Book Blurb
With the growing trend towards ‘organic’ products and ‘coming back to nature’ worldwide, the rising interest in herbs and herbal remedies, in culinary use, health products, medicine, cosmetics and religious rituals is not surprising. A wide audience shares the fascination for Mother Earth’s generous bounty.

Herbs have a long history and find a mention in ancient texts. Do herbal products have relevance in modern medicine, such as in the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and so on?
This book explores the historical, cultural, religious and scientific connection between the East and the West. With the author’s exposure to forestry training and research and knowledge drawn from the Bible, perhaps one of the biggest references for herbs, Holy Herbs stands at the right spot for tracing a global history of herbs from ancient to modern times.
The book started with historical notes how people in ancient time used herbs, how just for getting some important spices & herbs people started faraway trades. It also covers how ancient civilization's herbology was consolidated. Then came the part where the importance of herb associated with religion. How different religion emphasized various plants. 

The main section covers different herb categories, specific herbs, history and/or religious background (if any) and finally its benefits. The book is informative but it was more technical or academic side. Overall I liked the book.

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Book Review of Son of Shiva by Preetha

Two months back I reviewed "Shiva in the City of Nectar" by Preetha and it was a wonderful experience. "The Son of Shiva" was the similar experience for me. The main attraction of the book series is the cover design and artwork. I simply love it. Her other book "Navagraha Purana" is also on my wishlist.

Book Blurb
The asura king snarled and launched an avalanche of arrows at his adversary. Kartikeya countered with his mystic spear, which emitted a flurry of sparks, incinerating the oncoming missiles with consummate ease. The champion of the gods then whirled his discus. The twirling orb of light danced lethally through the asura army, obliterating Surapadma’s hordes. Weaponless, armour shattered and flagstaff severed, Surapadma stood defenseless on the field.

Son of Shiva is the gripping narrative of the warrior-god Kartikeya, commander-in-chief of the heavenly hosts, and epitome of wisdom and valour. The book depicts in mesmerizing prose the monumental battle between the forces of good and evil, as embodied by the devas and asuras.
Though book's title protagonist is Kartikeya - 'The Son of Shiva", ardent love of Preetha towards Shiva is visible through the book. Sixty percent of stories were related to Shiva. "Shiva in the City of Nectar" was a collection of short stories about Shiva related Madurai. This part is more theme oriented. The antagonist of our story is Surapadaman, son of sage Kashyapa & Asura princess Maya. As instructed by Shukracharya, Surapadaman got boons from Shiva & won 108 realms. With the power, he turned towards Adharma, which took him towards destruction. Shiva's son Kartikeya was born to bring these lose demons & asura under control. He launched an attack on Surapadaman. 

Talking about narration style, it is simply awesome and flawless. I kept turning pages. I hated when I had to put the book aside. And pictures of Shiva & Kartikeya are too good. One can gift this book to any age, any genre readers.

I would like to apologize author for taking extra time to read this book

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Horror, the horror

A glimmer of positivity underpins the grim, sordid tales in a debut collection

SANGEETA Shankaran Sumesh narrates tales of Conradian fears and abomination in her debut collection. Admittedly though, her choice of settings are more accessible, even as her plots revolve around murder, rape and extra marital affairs.

Sangeeta, who’s a CFO at a multinational company in Chennai & a Performance Coach, had a life-altering experience on a recent vacation to Cambodia, which became the basis for these stories. "I felt emotionally challenged on hearing the stories in Phnom Penh," she says, recalling the relics of the Cambodian genocide of the early 1970s that she got to see. The haunting images of the killing fields set her thinking about "How man can be so inhuman and barbaric," she says. "Even today, pieces of human bones and nails can be seen here."

A Glance at the Unknown weaves stories around a motley band of characters – a youngster looking to avenge his father’s death, a CEO of Indian origin in Malaysia, a runaway victim seeking justice for her sister’s death, a tribal chief and a suicidal intellect. Each story reveals complex shades of human characters and relationships.

"I love to read books on suspense and thrillers, as I find them gripping," says Sangeeta. The tragical elements, in fact, form the unifying theme for her stories. "I was thinking about the inhumane and barbaric acts and wondered what the repercussions of such deeds would be. That became the basis for the stories," she explains.

"Tragedies touch the human chord, and the empathy in an individual is evoked. That is what happened to me," explains the writer. "In effect, I was transferring my emotions through the book. Further, I wanted to create awareness on the impact of the tragedies."

Interestingly, Sangeeta completed the book in a 100-day challenge, while the stories are largely fictional. A few of them are based in the forests of Agamalai, Tamil Nadu, though she’s yet to actually visit the neighbouring village. "I strongly believe in conversation of nature," affirms Sangeeta, suggesting a possible premise for her next book.

"The larger story," she offers, "is about positive messages, with tips on principles of values, purpose, integrity, crisis, conflict management and so on."

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

If you have missed the review of the book earlier check here.

P.S. - Article is shared by author. It is originally published via Notion Press.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Lucknow Cookbook - Delicious Lucknowi Food - Book Review

I have decided to try different genres this year. And when I saw "The Lucknow Cookbook", I thought of taking chance. I have already read & reviewed "Superfood for Awesome Memories", and I liked that book. I started liking this genre but I expect more than just recipes. 

Book Blurb
Lucknow’s famous Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb—a melding together of influences—is seen in its art, architecture, dance and music. But nowhere is this tehzeeb better represented than in its food, redolent with the tastes of Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan, and infused with the flavours of Sindhi, Parsi, Punjabi, Nawabi, Mughlai and British food.

When Sunita Kohli’s parents, Chand and Inder Prakash Sur, first settled in Lucknow after having to leave Lahore following Partition, they brought with them only the memories of home. In The Lucknow Cookbook Sunita Kohli and Chand Sur bring together the taste and smells of home in these 150 well-loved dishes from their kitchens and from the kitchens of family and friends. These delectable kebabs and soups, biryanis, pulaos and raitas, mutton, chicken and fish dishes, paranthas and rotis, vegetables, sweets and puddings, cocktail snacks, chutneys and pickles are a taste of the fabled Lucknowi tradition of hospitality.
A celebration of the tehzeeb of Lucknow as well as its nazaakat (elegance) the book is also a portrait of the city and its storied history.
The Lucknow Cookbook started with author's mother Chand Sur's life before & after her marriage, through different phases of her life. After that author started various recipes types - Kabab, Soups, Veggies, Mutton, Chicken, Fish, Dals & Biryanis. She has also covered various desserts, puddings, drinks & exotic bakery items & chutneys. I know I have mentioned all types but believe me each of these is covering 5-10 recipes individually. The book is the treasure of mouthwatering desi food, specially Lucknow-y style food.

At home, we have already tried biryani, curry & raita. We loved it. I didn't take pictures else I would have shared it here. 

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

BookReview - Bayoneting with Opinions by Bhopinder Singh

I was attracted to "Bayoneting with Opinions" by Bhopinder Singh while going through war-politico books on Amazon & social media. Lt. General Bhopinder Singh has consolidated current and eye-opening articles he has published over time in one book.

Book Blurb
The following collection of articles are a reflection of the unique and inspiring perspective of a soldier, who has both served in the Indian Army, and also acted as the Military Secretary to two of the foremost Presidents of Independent India – 
​ KR Narayanan and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. These articles deal with matters of a political, military, economic and psychological nature; not simply through an intellectual lens, but through the prism of experience. Interspersed with anecdotes from the personal life of the author, drawing upon all that he has witnessed, and partaken, these words take the reader through a journey filled with dragons, fighter jets, newsroom warriors, and even, Sufi saints. 
They are a celebration of the human spirit, and an invocation for the betterment of society, and the world that we inhabit. Although, the topics that find mention, are often filled with suffering and bleakness, the element of hope is ever-present. Veering away from the pit-falls of gross over-simplifications, the author delves deep into the topics he has chosen to write about, offering a nuanced and conscientious approach to a wide range of subjects. As comprehensive and varied as the topics are; they are also extremely relevant given the current hyper-nationalistic word-view. The author seeks to remind his readers about the importance of critical engagement and multiple perspectives, and appeals that the spirit of “cooperative federalism” be considered as paramount in these trying times.​
Lt. Gen. Bhopinder Singh has had multiple combat experiences & held diplomatic positions too. He has served as the Military Secretary to the president of India, Shri K R Narayanan & Shri APJ Abdul Kalam. Based on his wide experience in the army, of war & the political domain he has written numerous articles in India’s top newspapers. His articles on foreign policy, international affair, defense, governance & serious social issues are consolidated in this book. 

Talking about the depth of articles. They are pure gems. His vast experience and high position enabled him to provide insights and harsh truths. To talk about the first two sections. Articles wonderfully describe how India is placed among countries who are more cheque-book-style led. Our second biggest neighbor (Pakistan) plays cards as per their convenience and goals. How our biggest neighbor China threatens half of the world with border  issues. The book also covers how various countries fulfill their economic & political motives through international treaties & donations. 

It took an extra effort for me to digest the information & the thought process of these articles. Normally a person can read and absorb 3-4 articles in a day, reading 80 such articles required dedication on my part.

Those who love politics, diplomacy, international relations and are looking to go into Civil Services will love it. I can vouch for it. It is so revealing and informative.
We hardly understand the motive behind international politics but this book can help you understand it.  Just grab it.

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown - Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation - Vaseem Khan

A few months back I got two fantastic books. Unexpected inheritance of Inspector Chopra & The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown two books in series of “Baby Ganesha Agency” by Vaseem Khan. I loved the first part & was equally enthusiastic to read second part but during my relocation, I misplaced this gem. It took me three months to find back this book & every minute spent on finding this book was worth. I found it damn interesting & gripping. In spite of heavy workload, I finished this book in 3-4 sittings.

Book Blurb
For centuries the Koh-i-Noor diamond has set man against man and king against king. Now part of the British Crown Jewels, the priceless gem is a prize that many have killed to possess. So when the Crown Jewels go on display in Mumbai, security is everyone's principal concern. And yet, on the very day Inspector Chopra visits the exhibition, the diamond is stolen from under his nose. The heist was daring and seemingly impossible. The hunt is on for the culprits. But it soon becomes clear that only one man - and his elephant - can possibly crack this case.
Last part ended with Retired Inspector Chopra starting his detective agency & restaurant. Both of his plans were instantly hit. But life is not that grateful for Chopra. As the restaurant was managed by her mother-in-law, he had to be on his toe due to her harshness. On other hand, detective jobs were not as great & interesting as his unofficial case of human- trafficking. In his quest, his ex-subordinate also joined him. There were many changes came into Chopra’s life after human trafficking case, which kept the story interesting. Introduction of Irfan’s part was a warm heart touching.

The narration of Vaseem Khan is simple yet powerful. It can take you on the ride of Chopra’s life with as realistic touch as possible. The characters’ development makes you fall in love with the story. Talking about detective part, Vaseem Khan has again created an impossible looking case of Jewel Theft, the beginning of which even made me think how it happened.
This books or I would say series have emotion, drama, sarcasm, humor, thriller & suspense, I think many books with just one of this ingredient became a big hit. And this book has each ingredient in the perfect mix. I am glad my 2018 started with this book. A perfect read for any age group.

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

The Dev Anand Story by Govind Sharma

As the name suggests The Dev Anand Story is the biography of evergreen Dev Anand. This book has covered his ups & downs in the film industry and his personal traits. A very informative book with writing mixed with beautiful quotes and recollections from different personalities & publishing mediums.

Book Blurb
A must-read for Dev Anand fans and students of film history
“A broken nose sometimes makes a great boxer,” said the evergreen Bollywood star Dev Anand after his movie Ishq Ishq Ishq did not work at the box office. In his sixty-five years of unchallenged dominance as the most-loved Hindi film star, Dev Anand gave us several memorable hits like Guide, Taxi Driver, Hum Dono, Johny Mera Naam, and Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
He was not only an exceptionally handsome and stylish hero. His ‘man of the future’ philosophy is worth emulating by persons of all generations. He neither celebrated his successes nor lamented over his failures. A Karma Yogi, in the true sense of the term, he produced, directed, and acted in a lead role in a movie at the age of eighty-eight, which is without parallel in the history of Bollywood.
The book attempts to analyse why his philosophy of life is a source of inspiration for all. It also gives a detailed filmography from Hum Ek Hain to Charge Sheet, with a separate chapter on Guide, and a special write-up on his genius brother Vijay Anand.
The book covers the year-wise classification of Dev Anand's movies along with the summary of few of his remarkable movies. That is appreciable work of the author. 

Though this is  "Dev Anand Story" there is less about "Dev Anand" and more about his films. As a reader, I can understand that film and actor can't be separated from each other. Still, a lot can be done & written over the struggle of Dev Anand. Facts about the movie which everyone knows. In a biography, people would like to know other facts about his relationships with others in the film industry, his ups & downs in his film career. These facts can be researched & written. The author could have added the part which talks about his efforts behind getting a movie or struggle in the initial phase.

The Dev Anand fan would surely love that mini summary of movie & don't miss this great art of work.

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

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book Review - Rankshetram: Asureshwar Durbheeksha Ki Wapsi

I know I have given average ratings to Rankshetram - 1 - Raksh Raj Markesh Ka Ant. That doesn't mean I cannot read next part. The author provided me ARC of the book to get my suggestions as I bombarded with issues in part-1. He wanted critical inputs to improve Asureshwar Durbhiksh Ki Vapsi. And I am glad author has improved a lot compare to part-1.

Book Blurb
चार खण्डों में फैली रणक्षेत्रम महागाथा का दूसरा खण्ड राजकुमार सुर्जन पर केन्द्रित है जो जन्मा तो मानव रूप में किन्तु नायक असुरों का बना। उसके मुख के तेज को देखकर कोई यह अनुमान भी नहीं लगा सकता कि एक दिन वह असुरेश्वर कहलायेगा। किन्तु प्रश्न यह है, कि क्या वह वास्तव में दुष्प्रवृत्ति का है? या फिर यह उन योद्धाओं द्वारा फैलायी गयी एक भ्रांति मात्र है जिन्होंने उस अट्ठारह वर्षीय युवा को छल से पराजित किया था। जब वह लौटकर आया, तो सुर्जन से दुर्भीक्ष बन चुका था परन्तु अब ऐसा कोई जीवित नहीं बचा था जिससे वह अपना प्रतिशोध ले सके। किसी प्रकार उसने अतीत में अपने साथ हुए अन्याय को विस्मृत करने का प्रयास किया। किन्तु परिस्थितियों ने उसे हस्तिनापुर के युवराज सर्वदमन (भरत) के सम्मुख ला खड़ा किया और सर्वदमन से सामना होते ही अतीत के सारे पीड़ादायक दृश्य दुर्भीक्ष के समक्ष आ खड़े हुए और उसकी प्रतिशोध की प्यास फिर जाग उठी। वह सर्वदमन का वध करने दौड़ा, किन्तु एक स्त्री उन दोनों के बीच आ खड़ी हुयी, जिसे देखकर उसे अपने शस्त्रों का त्याग करना पड़ा और एक बार फिर उसका प्रतिशोध अधूरा रह गया। दुर्भीक्ष का सर्वदमन से क्या संबंध है? कौन थी वह स्त्री जिसके पास दुर्भीक्ष के सामने खड़ी होने का हौसला था? क्या होगा आर्यावर्त के सबसे बड़े योद्धा के अपूर्ण प्रतिशोध का परिणाम?
The first part ended with "Mahayudhdh" a great war. The second part started at the beginning of Durbhiksh background. The story also portrayed a good part of Markesh, his wife Shivanya and their love story. The story then switched back to Tejaswi's time, where again things went hay wired due to Bhairavnath's cunningness, which led to another big war. In that deadly war, the return of Durbhiksh was known to the world. After the war, the story advanced and new generation entered into the story. Sons of Akhand and Tejasvi led there on. Another kingdom entered the scene which is Hastinapur. Along with Hastinapur new sets of characters added to the story. To know more read the complete story.

Firstly I would like to apologize to the author as I was not aware book audience last time. If I have known the fact I might have reviewed differently. Well, the book is targetted for young adults and middle grades. Content maturity and writing style is aligned with the audience. Some highlights of writing style & characters.
  • To the point story. No extra line apart from the main story.
  • No abusive language
  • Simple language usage for beginners
  • Good linking of characters as story evolves
I had many negative points in mind while reading previous part even halfway through this part but author's style also evolved and improved after Tejaswi's chapter. The impatient behavior of characters steadied in later part. Though some bricks lose here and there but looking at the targetted audience I think content is strong enough. Looking for next part in series.

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

Super Food for Awesome Memory by Shipra Khanna

Though I like to experiment various recipes at home, I have never read any food book seriously. Super Food for Awesome memory by Shipra Khanna is my first book in the genre and I really enjoyed the experience. Book or I would say ingredients & recipes were focused towards improvements in mind power.

Book Blurb
We are what we eat and so our memory is linked to food. The helplessness that overwhelms us when one forgets a name can be embarrassing. In this age of instant googling, this is just the start of the ebbing process where memory is gradually relegated to a shrinking space in our brains. Enter Master Chef India shipra Khanna who tells you about the fish that helps you meditate or a walnut that prevents you from going nuts. This amazing book of recipes brings to us on a platter the food that helps us in strengthening our mind and memory. And this food is to be found not in some exotic location but in our own kitchen. Try her recipes and see for yourself how you can fight the complacency and sloth that come in the way of your exercise and positive action, thereby making for a better life. From chicken recipes that keep ageing away to recipes made with coconut oil that help fight memory loss, super foods for awesome memory is the book you will never forget.
Shipra has provided 15+ ingredients & related recipes. Each ingredient started with it benefits & background. That was followed by recipes using that ingredient. Recipes were “simple”, I am giving emphasis on simple because many of them can be cooked in less than 10 minutes, including preparation time. Many of those recipes were mouthwatering & worth trying by anyone. For me 90% of the recipes were new. I would like to try some of them personally. I think comparing with general recipes book, this is a different book in the following manner
  • Main ingredients pros were enlisted initially & recipes following that ingredient
  • Not all recipes were pictured supported. Only 25% of them images supported.
  • Cooking methodology  was considered above normal households
Once again, it was a different read for me. I tried something new in 2017 and I am happy for the same. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover – 5/5
  2. Title – 4.5/5
  3. Concept – 4/5
  4. Artwork – 4/5
  5. Overall – 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

BookReview - Marketing By Adit Chouhan

I rarely review technical books. Last technical book that I reviewed was “Six Sigma – 6 Steps”. But the subtitle of this book "Tricks of the trade they won’t teach you at b-schools" caught my attention. I checked the blurb & instantly took the copy. I am glad I took this book as it gave me good insights. Being a data scientist many times we get sales & marketing data. This book has given different ways/matrix to look similar data.

For those who are looking for some text reference books like Kotler, this is a pure marketing implementations book. No BCG matrix, no rural-urban marketing is discussed in this book. It covers a day-to-day job of a marketer. What all he needs to do for a product/service/offer before the event, after the event & during the event. What kind of advertisement medium can a marketer use in what mix-match & when? What should be processed to select a vendor and how to decide working structure with them? I think 250 pages have touched most of the part of marketing profile.

Once again, not a reference book but good informative read to get an idea of marketing profile. Though the author could have used few more examples to keep it more interesting, I found it gripping enough & I think it can be referred to any serious reader or person with marketing interest.

Talking about rating
  1. Cover – 4/5
  2. Content – 3.5/5
  3. Concept – 3.5/6
  4. Overall – 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Meet Kumar - Author of Interstellar Science Fiction Earth To Centauri

Today we have Kumar L. to discuss his book "Earth to Centauri: The First Journey". We will have a quick round of question & answers to know about the book.

Can you tell us about your schooling?
I am an engineering graduate. During school time, I was focused on studying and building my general knowledge
What are some day jobs you have held?
Have worked in various factories in production, QA and engineering
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
I read two or three books at a time. My favorites are Robert Ludlum, Jeffrey Archer and JK Rowling
When did you start writing? 
In 2014 with short articles on management on Linkedin.
When did you decide to become a writer?
There was no deciding point. In 2017 I had been toying with an idea in my head of aliens raising earth children and I just went about developing the story in my head before I started writing it down.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To put down books which get the readers hooked and thirsty for more.
Do you have a special time to write?
I generally write late at night sitting in my favourite spot. I generally develop plot ideas throughout the day and write once or twice a week. Its all a bit unstructured I am afraid.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about? 
The book is what I like to call realistic science fiction with a lot of explanations on technology. But its also a thriller in which secrets are revealed slowly. I have tried to make it simple to understand even for laymen.
A secretive signal is received on Earth in the year 2095 and thereby sparks a quest to reach the nearest star Alpha Centauri. The crew of spaceship Antariksh brave attacks to uncover the mystery and make an astounding discovery.
Give us an insight into your main characters.
The protagonist is Captain Anara – she’s risen from the ranks in the IAF and led many space missions before the voyage to Centauri. A complex character – firm and stubborn at times and then beset with self-doubt at others. Very human in her emotional state but very brave and every inch an explorer.
Commander Ryan – the provider of stability to the captain and the crew. Very intelligent yet emotionally balanced.  Loyal to the captain.
Major Rawat of the Indian Army – Strong, fearless yet pragmatic.  An astute tactician.
Where did you get idea for this book?
I am a science fiction fan and my favourite show is Star Trek. That forms the base for obsession. I toyed with the idea of putting some realism into science fiction and trying to write for masses with India firmly at the centre. There are too many shows, movies and books which are western centric. That’s where I thought of connecting realism with an India theme and the story took shape.
How much research did you do for this book?
Years I would guess but my back ground as an engineer meant that I was already familiar with many concepts of physics and could put them in my story. I believe my third book would require at least six months of basic research.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 
This would be Lt Manisha. She reminds me of a number of young engineers who have worked with me – passionate, smart and highly dedicated to making a mark in their field.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Editing and pace without a doubt. There are some many errors which creep in and sometimes the dialogues makes you go to sleep.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?

Your book release date. 
May 2017,
What are you working on at the minute?
Book 2 of the series – Alien Hunt and researching for book 3.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I believe each book must satisfy the reader on its own and yet leave a thread open to make them come back for the next one –the final hook so to say.
Links for your book readers
Book Link - Hindi Version & English Version
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads



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